Head Gasket time? 98 v6

Discussion in '94-04 - V6 Specific' started by Mounce, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Mounce

    Mounce New Member

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    Background info: Has around 183k miles, daily driven 80+ miles a day when I commute to work, never had an issue out of the car until recently, replaced thermostat after some questionable temps with 180° thermostat, and replaced upper radiator hose. I have a Bluetooth obd2 scanner that connects to my phone and I have it running any time the car is running because my speedo doesn't work and I monitor coolant temp, trans temp, battery voltage, etc constantly while driving. Coolant Temps hover between 180-220 normally, temp only gets high when sitting still like at a red light. Have seen it at 240 once and another time it skyrocketed (within 10 seconds or so) to 264 when the upper radiator hose blew. Replaced the thermostat after I saw it up at 240 and it hasn't gotten that high again. Fan is running any time I've checked about it.

    Had my car over a year now, always had a weird coolant disappearance going on. Every time I open the radiator it's low but not empty, if I fill up the overflow tank it's dry within days. Not exactly sure what's going on there unless the overflow has a slow leak in the bottom of it or if the system is sucking all of the fluid into the radiator as it gets low. I've never seen any coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant and never seen and smoke from the exhaust.

    Anyways, my worry began about three weeks ago. Coming to a red light, I notice coolant temp quickly rising. Wait 15 seconds or so for the light to change and I immediately pulled over at a gas station. Pulling in about to park, it gushed steam as the upper radiator hose spewed it's contents everywhere. Replaced the hose, filled back up with coolant and haven't had an issue since except for getting worried when the temp gets near 220. Have refilled the radiator about 5 times since then due to my dissappearing coolant issue.

    The other day my brother was at my house and I had my hood open and he pointed out a strange issue... I have coolant puddling up on the top of the motor. It's above where the thermostat is, more like under the front part of the intake manifold and I can see fresh coolant around one of the bolts on the inner side of the driver's side head.


    SO, after that long read if you even read it, I'm guessing I have a bad head gasket right? Is it a tough job to replace them? Looks like a pain in the ass from how much stuff will have to come off before the heads can be removed. Should I just replace the driver's side or is both recommended? Head gaskets a common failure?
     
  2. PALESKIN

    PALESKIN New Member

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    I had an issue like this before, but it was caused by a rusted radiator. I did however had to get my heads machines, and put on new gaskets, but that was unrelated. I would maybe check out the radiator first, take it out, and look at it. You never want to perform open heart surgery when it could just be a cut. You know?
     
  3. Mounce

    Mounce New Member

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    Well, I can see where coolant is coming from the driver's side head so I know that's the issue now, was just looking for some confirmation. Thanks for the reply though. Haven't done shit about it yet, and probably won't honestly, I just add coolant as needed. Haven't had an issue since before the OP.

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  4. PALESKIN

    PALESKIN New Member

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    Has the car ever stalled from overheating though?
     
  5. Mounce

    Mounce New Member

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    It has not. It rarely gets above 200 anymore because I watch it like a hawk on my scanner and will baby it when it starts climbing. It don't like sitting still and idling, unknown if it's the radiator or water pump that's being inefficient but 99% of the time if I'm moving it stays around 185. I know 200 isn't even hot for a pressurized cooling system but I'm paranoid about it after finding the head gasket leaking.

    Just got a new job and the Mustang will be saying bye bye as a trade in as soon as I get the chance. It served it's time well and only needed a belt and hose since I've had it. Rather impressed considering I'm not a Ford guy. And I can't complain about 20+mpg.

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