Head Gasket or Something Else (Steamy Exhaust)
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Head Gasket or Something Else (Steamy Exhaust) in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I started my 94 STS for the first time in a year and pulled it out of the garage after ...
  1. #1
    MRogers is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Head Gasket or Something Else (Steamy Exhaust)

    I started my 94 STS for the first time in a year and pulled it out of the garage after it idled for a few minutes it started to steam a bit around 130 degrees in another few minutes it was bilowing huge amounts of steam and by the time I got it back in the garage it wa up to about 190 degrees and I shut it off. On the way into the garage it dripped coolant in two lines 18 inches inboard of both sides of the car. Never any steam under the hood and really still ran pretty good. Is this a head gasket or is there something else that causes this? I hadn't had serious overheating problems before. It always ran at 205 on the highway and up to 225-230 in town sometimes, although I've only really used it on the highway. It has about 95,000 miles on it the coolant was changed a 2 years ago at the stealership when they recharged the A/C.

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    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Head Gasket or Something Else (Steamy Exhaust)

    Well the "billowing huge amounts of steam" does not sound good at all, but the "two lines 18 inches inboard of both sides of the car" doesn't sound like head gaskets unless it was coolant dripping out of the tail pipes, but that would be one catastrophic overnight failure (not very likely). Was the billowing steam coming from the pipes?

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    KrazyK55's Avatar
    KrazyK55 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Head Gasket or Something Else (Steamy Exhaust)

    Ranger & MRogers

    It may sound like "a very unlikely Catastrophic overnight failure" but it can happen, at least it did to me.

    My cream puff 96 Eldorado with only 71,000 miles was running just fine, never lost any coolant or over heated until the day after I raced my son's buddy in his 07 Mustang GT & was hurting his feelings pretty badly until I developed a misfire and backed off of it. AFTER A bit the engine smoothed out and ran fine so I figured it was an intermittent thing until the next day on my way home from work it started blowing white smoke from the exhaust and the temp headed for the stratosphere but I had no misfire. I pulled over immediately & checked it out and found coolant running out of the exhaust pipes so I had it towed home. The engine still starts and runs smooth as silk but when I put the pressure tester on and pump it up white smoke and coolant start coming out of the exhaust pipes so, I am assuming that I blew a head gasket of cracked a head. Won't know for sure until my buddy (GM master mechanic) gets a chance to help me do a thorough diagnosis. Should I blame it on my son's buddy's FORD or chalk it up to my own foolishness?

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    tpis15's Avatar
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    Re: Head Gasket or Something Else (Steamy Exhaust)

    Sounds like a bad head gasket or a cracked head, unless there was a large amount of moisture in the gas tank but thats not likely.

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    Re: Head Gasket or Something Else (Steamy Exhaust)

    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyK55 View Post
    Ranger & MRogers

    It may sound like "a very unlikely Catastrophic overnight failure" but it can happen, at least it did to me.

    My cream puff 96 Eldorado with only 71,000 miles was running just fine, never lost any coolant or over heated until the day after I raced my son's buddy in his 07 Mustang GT & was hurting his feelings pretty badly until I developed a misfire and backed off of it. AFTER A bit the engine smoothed out and ran fine so I figured it was an intermittent thing until the next day on my way home from work it started blowing white smoke from the exhaust and the temp headed for the stratosphere but I had no misfire. I pulled over immediately & checked it out and found coolant running out of the exhaust pipes so I had it towed home. The engine still starts and runs smooth as silk but when I put the pressure tester on and pump it up white smoke and coolant start coming out of the exhaust pipes so, I am assuming that I blew a head gasket of cracked a head. Won't know for sure until my buddy (GM master mechanic) gets a chance to help me do a thorough diagnosis. Should I blame it on my son's buddy's FORD or chalk it up to my own foolishness?
    At least you can blame it on the beating you gave it. Mrogers was sitting in the garage. That is why I find that bad of a breach so hard to believe. Even yours is hard to imagine. I have never seen one so bad that coolant ran out of the tale pipes. That is definitely a "blown" gasket.

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    MRogers is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Head Gasket or Something Else (Steamy Exhaust)

    It appears that coolant ran across a crossmember to the sides of the car behind the front tires which leads me to believe that the rear bank gasket blew out the back as well as into the combustion chamber. I'm a competant mechanic but I'm quite afraid of tearing into this engine, especially since I don't think I can get the motor out to do it. I also was wondering if an impact gun to remove the head bolts would lessen the chances of problems. I haven't had to do anything to this car sonce I got it and my background is mostly pre '90 GM cars.

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    Re: Head Gasket or Something Else (Steamy Exhaust)

    Sounds like it might be an external leak. Check the coolant line that runs along the rear head. It is a bitch to change, but a lot easier than head gaskets. If you DO have to do the head gaskets, impact or not, Timesert the head bolt holes unless you want to do it the first time just for practice.

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    Tommy Deville's Avatar
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    Re: Head Gasket or Something Else (Steamy Exhaust)

    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyK55 View Post
    Ranger & MRogers

    It may sound like "a very unlikely Catastrophic overnight failure" but it can happen, at least it did to me.

    My cream puff 96 Eldorado with only 71,000 miles was running just fine, never lost any coolant or over heated until the day after I raced my son's buddy in his 07 Mustang GT & was hurting his feelings pretty badly until I developed a misfire and backed off of it. AFTER A bit the engine smoothed out and ran fine so I figured it was an intermittent thing until the next day on my way home from work it started blowing white smoke from the exhaust and the temp headed for the stratosphere but I had no misfire. I pulled over immediately & checked it out and found coolant running out of the exhaust pipes so I had it towed home. The engine still starts and runs smooth as silk but when I put the pressure tester on and pump it up white smoke and coolant start coming out of the exhaust pipes so, I am assuming that I blew a head gasket of cracked a head. Won't know for sure until my buddy (GM master mechanic) gets a chance to help me do a thorough diagnosis. Should I blame it on my son's buddy's FORD or chalk it up to my own foolishness?
    So much for the N*s being able to take a beating.
    How fast were u going?

  10. #9
    blb
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    Re: Head Gasket or Something Else (Steamy Exhaust)

    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyK55 View Post

    Should I blame it on my son's buddy's FORD or chalk it up to my own foolishness?
    Neither you or Ford is to blame. Put the blame where it belongs....GM's incompetent engineering and/or manufacturing work force.

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