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Water in Combustion Chamber..Heads or Block?


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threenout65
New User

Sep 24, 2015, 8:27 AM

Post #1 of 5 (759 views)
Water in Combustion Chamber..Heads or Block? Sign In

Really a novice here, trying to repair if possible my '94 Buick Lesabre, it has a 3800 V6. 3.8L


Had a leak in radiator, it overheated and was driven too long.

of course the head gasket blew, and water pump seal gasket failed as well.

while fixing those things stopped some leaks, I still get water in the exhaust system, in the cylinders.


So I know now it must either be a crack in the block itself, or in one or both cylinder heads.

I've got both cylinder heads off, can't really tell if they are leaking from water ports or not.

I filled water into the water ports into the block, but I just can't fill it all the way with the heads off,. The level of water I can obtain in the block stays there and is not leaking.

Just so you'll know, when everything was on and I was adding water through the radiator, it was gushing water into the exhaust system, it was no small leak.


So my question is, in a badly overheated 3800, what is more likely to fail, water ports in the cylinder heads, or in the block itself?

also, how else can I check for water leaks in the heads or block, and is there any diagnostic tricks I'm missing?

Thanks


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 24, 2015, 9:04 AM

Post #2 of 5 (752 views)
Re: Water in Combustion Chamber..Heads or Block? Sign In

Quote you">>Just so you'll know, when everything was on and I was adding water through the radiator, it was gushing water into the exhaust system, it was no small leak.


So my question is, in a badly overheated 3800, what is more likely to fail, water ports in the cylinder heads, or in the block itself?<<"
First, was coolant (water you said) going into exhaust before, after or both when gaskets were replaced? The old gaskets should show some clues.


Seem you really smoked this engine about as hot as you can get and still run.


Open to real damage not just gaskets now. You didn't mention sending the heads out for at least inspection or resurfacing if it was even possible. That was a mistake as a machine shop would usually find flaws such as cracks or if head was out of spec to be worked with at all. I find blocks fare better than heads.


My problem to help you know is fine machine work is its own trade with its own ways to find cracks that may not appear at a plain look or when cold again could be "water" tight.


Have you consulted a machine shop at least? I don't do that but think in the arsenal of ways to find cracks/flaws would include a dye that will find hidden cracks to the eye now and could seal up with you current test which is inconclusive IMO that it's NOT the block with all or part of the current leaking.


IDK how much you want to keep fooling with this engine to really be sure of what happened where. Heads you can just send out but block you probably or could need it back together and under pressure with a scope thru spark plug holes might reveal source of a flaw inside if not found with a dye and a rag is what I think is used when in doubt.


Seems like it got hot enough to render this engine a lost cause?


Did oil turn to shellac/sludge with this overheat? I can't be sure of what test will prove this practical to fix or not. That much heat can turn oil to junk, metal to metal friction never mind the gaskets all items lubed by oil.


I suggest talking to a machine shop most likely to deal with or maybe take on the final diagnosis of at least integrity of the heads and block.


So far by your description not too promising,


T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Sep 24, 2015, 9:18 AM

Post #3 of 5 (746 views)
Re: Water in Combustion Chamber..Heads or Block? Sign In

There is a TSB on the plastic intake manifolds leaking near the throttle body and actually filling up the valley until the level rises to the intake ports. The fix is a new intake manifold.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



threenout65
New User

Sep 24, 2015, 9:49 AM

Post #4 of 5 (740 views)
Re: Water in Combustion Chamber..Heads or Block? Sign In

Seem you really smoked this engine about as hot as you can get and still run.


YEP


Seems like it got hot enough to render this engine a lost cause?

POSSIBLE, MAYBE PROBABLE, BUT I HAVE TO FIND OUT.


IDK how much you want to keep fooling with this engine to really be sure of what happened where.

UNTIL I KNOW FOR SURE, THIS WAS A REMAN ENGINE ($2000) I PUT IN AND DROVE 3,000 MILES 6 MONTHS AGO.

HAD A LEAK IN RADIATOR, TEMP LIGHT DIDN'T WORK, AND I WAS ON INTERSTATE BEFORE I COULD TELL SOMETHING WAS WRONG.


I THINK THE INTERNAL WORKINGS OF THE BLOCK ARE STILL GOOD(PISTONS, BEARINGS, CRANK SHAFT ETC.) WANT TO SAVE THAT IF I CAN.

I CAN GET NEW HEADS FROM A JUNKYARD PRETTY CHEAP, WEIGHING THAT AGAINST COST TAKING IT TO A MACHINE SHOP.



THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 24, 2015, 10:05 AM

Post #5 of 5 (738 views)
Re: Water in Combustion Chamber..Heads or Block? Sign In

OK - HT above post suggested a TSB on intake manifold. Not sure if your replacement engine included what? Do you know?


No argument friend that going HWY speeds in warmer/hot weather can quickly overheat even before you hear it rattling away and a light is a "too late" warning anyway.


Did you so much as straight edge the heads? You about can't overheat that much without seriously checking it out newer or redone engine or not.


Check on what HT= Hammer Time said above. I'd still try and have to ask if this was mine about testing for block cracks as it just isn't something I would run into on an older car and tons newer wouldn't take this on as a whole engine but send that out just for the space and weight of an engine not and never set up for at several shops but quick access to cooperative shops for those cars that were worth it and went used, whole running engines checked out by me.


Stuff happens like not knowing if a radiator is going to surprise you like that unless it had an obvious problem before.


Tough call. You thought enough of this car in general to do it once so think you may truck along and see every way possible to save this engine or do it again?


Hard to advise on this by age and costs,


T







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