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Early Signs of Head Gasket Failure? 

 

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 Post subject: Early Signs of Head Gasket Failure?
Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:42 am 
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Joined: 26th May 2010

Ride: 1998 EL Falcon Futura

Location: Canberra
ACT, Australia

So I bought myself an EL Falcon really cheaply. While there are a few things that need to be done for RWC, it seems like there's a major issue that needs to be fixed. The car idles like a truck, and vibrates as much as a single cylinder dirt bike. The low coolant light is on (intermittently) too, but the reservoir is full, the coolant looks fairly fresh, and there doesn't seem to be any leaks.

When I bought the car (I bought it knowing about its issues), at first, I thought it would be the head gasket, but the oil looks fine, and it's not blowing smoke. However, the front and rear of the rocker cover look wet, and there's some sticky looking build-up all around the side of the engine - I assume it's around the head gasket.

However, I just want to make sure that it's the head gasket that's about to fail, and not something else that has similar symptoms.


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Thanks for your help!
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 Post subject: Re: Early Signs of Head Gasket Failure?
Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:57 am 
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Joined: 17th May 2005

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Ride: EL Fairmont, VFR400 racer

Power: 144 rwkw

Location: Melbourne
VIC, Australia

Give the engine a good clean with some degreaser and then run the car for a bit. You will find out where the leak could be coming from. Coolant level sensor could be broken and needs replacing, or have a look at the wiring to make sure it is plugged in correctly.

From your description, it sounds like the head gasket may be okay as there is no milkshake in the oil/coolant reservoir. When you say there is a sticky residue, are you looking under the exhaust and inlet manifold, or above it? If you are looking above the manifolds, it is most likely a rocker cover leaking and not head gasket. If it's below, it could be head gasket, but could also be running down from above. Have a look under Timing Chain Tensioner under the power steering pump, it may be leaking from there as well or the power steering pump could be leaking itself.

Regarding the badly running engine, have you checked the spark plugs/leads/cap for any damage? Check fuel filter/fuel pump. If you have a timing light, put the car into diagnostics mode and check the timing. When pulling off the rocker cover, rotate the engine to TDC and check if everything is lined up correctly. Make sure there is also tension on the chain.

 

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phongus = Post whore 2006
EL XR6 motor, EL ECU + J3 chip, WADE 1673 Camshaft, 3" S/S intake, Pacy 4480, 2.5" Hi flow cat, 2.5" Lukey exhaust.
Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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 Post subject: Re: Early Signs of Head Gasket Failure?
Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:01 am 
Fordmods Newbie
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Joined: 26th May 2010

Ride: 1998 EL Falcon Futura

Location: Canberra
ACT, Australia

I guess I'm relieved that it's not the HG, but it looks like there are a number of other problems that have reared their ugly heads, so it might not be worth fixing.

While I'm disappointed, I guess it's a matter of getting what I paid for.
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 Post subject: Re: Early Signs of Head Gasket Failure?
Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:58 pm 
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Joined: 17th May 2005

Gallery: 11 images

Ride: EL Fairmont, VFR400 racer

Power: 144 rwkw

Location: Melbourne
VIC, Australia

nonotahonda wrote:
I guess I'm relieved that it's not the HG, but it looks like there are a number of other problems that have reared their ugly heads, so it might not be worth fixing.

While I'm disappointed, I guess it's a matter of getting what I paid for.


What other issues?

It is unfortunate, but these cars are definitely getting old in age so lots of bugs start to appear.

 

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phongus = Post whore 2006
EL XR6 motor, EL ECU + J3 chip, WADE 1673 Camshaft, 3" S/S intake, Pacy 4480, 2.5" Hi flow cat, 2.5" Lukey exhaust.
Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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