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Galvanic

S15 leaky head gasket? Help please

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Hey all,

 

I swapped out my standard head gasket about a year ago with a Cometic MLS head gasket and also use ARP head studs and all was good

 

I went to one track day and the whole day and I had no problems, then I went to another and I came off track once during the day and it was quite bumpy (not sure if related).

 

The water temp started getting hot on track which is not really normal but the thing is it would not even cool down when i did cool down laps so i just called it and day and drove home about an hour later but on the way home just cruising on the highway I saw that the water temp gauge was maxed out and the cars temp gauge was maxed as well (oil temp was still 70 due to my oil cooler i assume) so i pulled over strait away and as soon as i did the engine light came on and then i shut the car down. (error code was cooling fan circuit)

 

Coolant was overflowing out of the overflow bottle so i just waited for it too cool, I drove to the servo and topped up the water and the temp was fine again. The next track day it started getting hot again towards the end on the day so im assuming i have a leaking head gasket.

 

Symptoms:

- Car starts getting hotter and hotter when driving hard for extended periods

- I can see something in the coolant, tiny brown/black blobs and it is very minimal I have to really look hard to find them

- Some oil? under the radiator cap

- When i go for a drive and park the car a few moments later the overflow tank will start to bubble (1 bubble per second)

- When i removed the cam cover I saw some coolant near the spark plug holes on the head

 

- I've re torqued the head studs but problem still seems to be there

- I've switch the radiator cap to another 0.13 bar

 

- I did notice when draining the cooland the drain plug was not on very tight, still tight enough that I needed a spanner to loosen it but no force need to open it, could air have been getting into the system here?

 

When I drained the coolant and oil they both seem normal, the oil is black and coolant is green and I cant really see anything in it so now I don't know if the head gasket is fine but maybe I have another problem

 

Any input would be great

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I think I found my problem, all of the cylinder pretty much look like this

 

15401002_526734567534828_6410839663747435806_n.jpg?oh=e87dc8a87166e3c38d38f12f52333bda&oe=58F49083

 

I might have to put it all back together and find out what is causing this but ill have a chat to my tuner

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What do you mean put it back together and speak to ur tuner? You need to inspect the bore not the top of the piston. Looks to me like there is a potential leak between the cylinder block water jacket and cylinder on the lower of that picture.

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So what is the problem you think you found? Do yourself a favour and don't use a cometic pos Hg again. How about showing us some better pics of the complete block surface, head surface and gasket instead of a picture of a carbonated slug.

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What do you mean put it back together and speak to ur tuner? You need to inspect the bore not the top of the piston. Looks to me like there is a potential leak between the cylinder block water jacket and cylinder on the lower of that picture.

 

From what I saw the bores where fine with no marks on the cylinder walls, I’ve been told by a few ppl that the block is no good and the head is probably damaged as well so they recommended I put in a used motor.

Seeing as how that car ran before in theory it should run again right? I might still be able to get some more km’s out of it, it not like I have much to lose trying to see if it will still run.

Yeah you’re right that’s why I’m thinking I had the cooling system being pressurized

 

So what is the problem you think you found? Do yourself a favour and don't use a cometic pos Hg again. How about showing us some better pics of the complete block surface, head surface and gasket instead of a picture of a carbonated slug.

 

 

The pitting on the sleeve and block must have been causing the cooling system to be pressurized.

Yeah I don’t think I’ll ever use Cometic again, I’ve always hear good things about them though. I’ve installed a standard gasket that I had to see if the car will run again.

Ill post some overall pics tonight when I get home but yeah it’s not a raised section of carbon it’s actually pitting so it lower than the deck.

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That is your problem for sure. Block deck pitted. I personaly wouldnt bother whit putting it back together like that, even with a standard gasket. Either bite the bullet and get another engine or pull your engine out and pull down, machine and forge. But thats just me, might as well fix it once.

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Did you clean the surface b4 taking that pic? Normally I would expect to see traces of carbon going towards a water jacket and that is where I would assume the leak to be. When my engine was pressurising there was evidence in a few spots along the deck, gasket surface and head. Have you got pics of the gasket and head?

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Here are a few more pics, head has been cleaned but the block has not and you can see where the leak was happening.

 

This is what I took the other day, head is back on and the intake manifold is back on.

 

Ill take a pic on the gasket in daylight but I think i can see the trails to the water galleries

 

15439946_528160354058916_5178452970676364410_n.jpg?oh=c5a6fcd6b929b2826439536f2450c08a&oe=58E9D341

 

15541691_528160317392253_3862639821962497765_n.jpg?oh=117b7e2740ae2f8cc6283113b6ed4718&oe=58EC8969

 

15541630_528160274058924_6279957992033822799_n.jpg?oh=d1ebf78f2d4a20ae1f9eb8c3b6e12dfa&oe=58F8557D

 

15542112_528160267392258_6916547534484980430_n.jpg?oh=71b98c44f58da2946a104b9dda83b3e0&oe=58E91EC1

 

15439808_528160247392260_1233577571635831728_n.jpg?oh=f82c27981070d43571847e6f1e3bd4f5&oe=58F602F9

 

15541136_528160154058936_2599076710029346829_n.jpg?oh=a814e1a9f7a2aac8664ff7899d158f04&oe=58B4B1D2

 

15541570_528160140725604_5651604140580565819_n.jpg?oh=1e092115037b9b6bdd50e668c62cdec6&oe=58FC9598

 

15578947_528160137392271_448154608439317017_n.jpg?oh=c39b14c72e659e332c27fc32e1d655ad&oe=58B4A9D1

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Will be interesting to see if this seals up like that.

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Ok so I put it all back together. I had the weirdest problem when I tried to start it. It would idle as if it was running on 2 cylinders and run lean and then die but if i unplugged the MAF it would idle smooth but at like 2000 rpm at the right AFR.

 

Anyways its all up and running now, it seems to be running a bit hotter than normal, it normally ran at 68° but now it running at 75° but at least its steady which i think is good.

 

So far all the problems seem to be gone, no more boiling into the overflow tank after a drive.

 

I feel like I should just run 16psi low boost for now instead of my 22psi high boost.

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Got the S15 back from the tuner and it's still alive and well!

 

Might be down on power a bit but the tuner said the tires I had on are no good on the dyno as they might be slipping, on the road it feels like it has about the same amount of power

 

I'm very happy with the result I'm glad I put the head back on just to see what would happen.

 

Now time to take it drifting on the 27th and see how she holds up :)

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