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View Full Version : Possible blown head gasket please advise


Njclimber
03-03-2019, 09:19 PM
After some quick searching I see that these vans weep sometimes (https://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8610). Mines seems to be a bit more than a weep. Today was the first time I have noticed actual droplets of coolant on the cross member. Below cylinder 3 and 5 exhaust ports. I am using this coolant: https://europarts-sd.com/GenuineMercedesCoolant2002-2013-1.asp I was in there to replace a broken manifold stud but gave up in depression after seeing this. Probably going to pay a mechanic to do the exhaust stud and put on a new manifold gasket. Is this engine doomed? Should I start researching head gasket repair? Throw some coolant stop leak in there and call it good? Can anyone recommend a las vegas sprinter mechanic? I am in las vegas until the end of April at which point I will be moving back to Golden CO. and a visit to Linden is in short order. I just really need my van for work and living and hope this isnt the beginning of the end. PLEASE ADVISE

I have had to add coolant to the van maybe 3 times in 30k miles. That blue crud builds up on various coolant hoses as well. I flushed the system and replaced the coolant just over a year ago along with water pump and most coolant hoses and EGR. This thing is nickel and diming me to the death. Debating giving up van life :(

NelsonSprinter
03-03-2019, 10:35 PM
1st thing to do is check inside the oil filler cap for brown/green mayo where oil spray should be, if found a blown head gasket is likely.

https://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74086
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Montybefree
03-03-2019, 11:08 PM
Check for exhaust gas in coolant. Autozone should have one for sale, doubt they rent one.

Sent from my LG-Q710AL using Tapatalk

lindenengineering
03-03-2019, 11:38 PM
We have just done one like this on a 2003 Sprinter recently.
The gasket around the pass thru coolant ports were eroded away.

If you want to delay the job try BG Coolant Stop Leak .
Being organic its made from a Brazilian pepper that works well but will flush out with just plain water internal engine coolant jacket wash once the repair is competed.
Hence it won't permanently plug up your cooling system.
Dennis

Njclimber
03-03-2019, 11:53 PM
Linden, do you think I can limp this for another 2 months until i can get to your shop? I'd be looking at getting this repaired, check injectors while they are out, fix exhaust manifold bolts, and probably a new exhaust (very rusted). I think I've seen you quote about $1500 for the head gasket job. Is that still current? Should I call tomorrow to set up an appointment for May?

Thanks everyone, I'll report back on the oil filler cap and coolant shortly...

Midwestdrifter
03-04-2019, 12:18 AM
Oil in the coolant is rarely from the head gasket. The oil passages are not close enough to the coolant passages. Some quality stop leak can do the trick for a while.

Njclimber
03-04-2019, 12:58 AM
Oil cap looks good. Also added an example of the blue crud growing out of all the coolant hoses. BG products are not sold at the regular auto part stores so I'm gonna have to hunt some down this week. Plan of action is to patch with BG until I can get to Linden in May.

lindenengineering
03-04-2019, 01:38 AM
Linden, do you think I can limp this for another 2 months until i can get to your shop? I'd be looking at getting this repaired, check injectors while they are out, fix exhaust manifold bolts, and probably a new exhaust (very rusted). I think I've seen you quote about $1500 for the head gasket job. Is that still current? Should I call tomorrow to set up an appointment for May?

Thanks everyone, I'll report back on the oil filler cap and coolant shortly...

Yes that is about right depending upon parts consumption.
With BG it should last
Dennis

outbound
03-04-2019, 02:09 AM
kinda looks like some 'other' coolant was added to the mix?
(resulted in that greenish/blue schtuff.... huh? never seen such b4..)
with lots of corrosion on the various engine parts... ?

Njclimber
03-04-2019, 03:46 AM
Van came from Washington DC and had quite a bit of rust. I have no service history but believe the previous owners weren't the most diligent of owners. I cant remember what the old coolant looked like but I dont remember it raising any red flags. Oh well damage is done. Hopefully I caught it soon enough and it will hold together until I can get to Linden...

NelsonSprinter
03-04-2019, 04:49 AM
kinda looks like some 'other' coolant was added to the mix?
(resulted in that greenish/blue schtuff.... huh? never seen such b4..)
with lots of corrosion on the various engine parts... ?

No, the Replacement M Benz brand Sprinter spec coolant is now blue as seen in OP link post 1

NelsonSprinter
03-04-2019, 05:05 AM
Oil cap looks good. Also added an example of the blue crud growing out of all the coolant hoses. BG products are not sold at the regular auto part stores so I'm gonna have to hunt some down this week. Plan of action is to patch with BG until I can get to Linden in May.

Franks European auto in Las Vegas provides service with BG sealant leak stop , https://www.frankseuropeanservice.com/

AdrianD
03-08-2019, 11:49 AM
We have just done one like this on a 2003 Sprinter recently.
The gasket around the pass thru coolant ports were eroded away.

If you want to delay the job try BG Coolant Stop Leak .
Being organic its made from a Brazilian pepper that works well but will flush out with just plain water internal engine coolant jacket wash once the repair is competed.
Hence it won't permanently plug up your cooling system.
Dennis

Dennis, for an in-frame head gasket replacement, what kind of preparation work do you do to the block surface?

I remember reading about back flushing the block after the head is off, is that for clearing the water passages that usually get sediment trapped in them?

Midwestdrifter
03-08-2019, 02:27 PM
On tractors, we would usually just check the surface, and if needed, cut it with some 180 grit wet-dry on piece of flat soapstone (about 6x12"). If it was in very good shape, a rubber block and sandpaper would work just fine to remove any left-over gasket material.

If the head need a light resurface, a stone countertop is usually perfectly flat, also a sheet of rolled window glass works. just glue some wet-dry paper on, and take your time.

I would flush the block with the head on if possible. Dennis has mentioned you can pop the drivers side freeze plug out, and flush directly there.

AdrianD
03-08-2019, 03:39 PM
On tractors, we would usually just check the surface, and if needed, cut it with some 180 grit wet-dry on piece of flat soapstone (about 6x12"). If it was in very good shape, a rubber block and sandpaper would work just fine to remove any left-over gasket material.

If the head need a light resurface, a stone countertop is usually perfectly flat, also a sheet of rolled window glass works. just glue some wet-dry paper on, and take your time.

I would flush the block with the head on if possible. Dennis has mentioned you can pop the drivers side freeze plug out, and flush directly there.

I read about using a sharpening stone to give the block surface a smooth finish.

Sorry for the threadjacking :D

doug022984
03-08-2019, 09:41 PM
I read about using a sharpening stone to give the block surface a smooth finish.

Sorry for the threadjacking :D

This is exactly what I did to both my block and head gasket surfaces. Seems to have worked for me. I did double check my work with the head on a granite table and a straight edge and feeler gages for the block.

Njclimber
05-07-2019, 05:54 PM
Edited

Missouri Blue
05-07-2019, 06:23 PM
I am not a "super-participant" on the forum, but I have relied on Dennis' input many times. I have spoken to him on the phone twice, and both times he has been encouraging and helpful. Dennis's input and generosity do not exempt him from grievances, but choosing to articulate your frustration on this platform doesn't seem like the best choice to me. So, you've had a bad run-in with Linden, let Dennis know.

I understand that there is a collective wisdom that can be helpful: If many people continue to post grievances of the same dealerships, part suppliers, mechanics, then as a whole, Sprinter owners might be more likely to stay away from those options. But a grievance against Linden is one among hundreds (thousands?) of good recommendations. So, I've noted your grievance but it holds no sway in my estimation of Dennis and his shop (his reputation and participation "por gratis" on this forum and the phone precede him). As an owner (DIY'er) of a 2002 T1N I do not want to chase one of the few experts away from this forum. Thank you, Dennis for your work.

Njclimber
05-07-2019, 06:32 PM
Missouri Blue, I have taken what you said into consideration and I think you are right that this forum is not the best place to leave this information. I have edited it out and I feel that the Dealer/service review forum is a more appropriate place for my story. Thank you.

lindenengineering
05-07-2019, 06:40 PM
Oh We were expecting a dis- satisfied non customer who wanted free or very cut price job.
Firstly we DO NOT WORK FOR FREE nor give deep discounts to walk customers.

You were quoted 12 hours std labor charge to R n R the cylinder head on numerous occasions. Parts and Materiel is consumption is extra. Labor to do this job is $1500 which you were quoted.

Not knowing what we would find with heavy deposits running out of the head joint is anyone's guess (even you) as to what the root issues might be.

Since you said you were a diesel mechanic by trade and the quote didn't meet your expectations my suggestion was to DIY it.
I have done this many times as a factory field support tech in places liker Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan in the past to name just a few places.

I offered to refer you to the best guy in town who would look at your cylinder head once removed and direct you to parts sources locally so that you could meet your budget .
You turned at the lunchtime break with the same belligerent nasty attitude while i was on the phone to get you a referral. (he too was at lunch)

This does not garner a friendly disposition in any way whatsoever.

Please note Linden Engineering is NOT A BOY'S CLUB but rather a business that works for profit.

I am sorry we couldn't meet your budgetary expectations and we appreciate you not recommending us for the same cut price services which we don't do.
Please note from an opening discussion with a nasty attitude you will provoke an appropriate response, some manners might help in your case .

. Budgetary challenged customers we can find any day! Rather we give good service at a fair price and many will attest to that.

Please remember the world does NOT owe YOU SIR free or cut priced car repairs.
Respectfully Dennis

lindenengineering
05-08-2019, 04:16 AM
Dennis, for an in-frame head gasket replacement, what kind of preparation work do you do to the block surface?

I remember reading about back flushing the block after the head is off, is that for clearing the water passages that usually get sediment trapped in them?

Adrian.
OK getting the head off is only the start.
Questions arise such as can the head be recovered or is it cracked, excessively warped beyond recovery or porous?
If it can be recovered, a head job is about $550 to $750 at a machine shop .
If it needs a new head then its $2500.

Next is the block deck face.
If erosion is really present and eaten into the gasket seating/seating faces or the firing ring(s) have fretted the block face away you are wasting your time scrubbing it with emery cloth.
Its an engine out job, strip it, and deck it !
At this stage the costs start soaring to about $6000 for something almost rebuilt.

Yes if the block is good then a flush out is in order plus a clean of the cooling pack.
Injectors should be checked as well !

A Bosch FIE dealer will charge $50 for a test of each injector or approximately $250.

Its folly to re-use hoses and the cooling fan is always suspect so are the accessory pulleys, belt & tensioner etc.

The job has a lot of hidden pitfalls that can cause early failure if not attended to when doing the job.
I saw on this thread "someone" offering a complete head job quotation for $1500.

Basically if it sounds too good to be true then something is false or there are lies involved!
Also offering a 25,000 mile warranty is either fluffing or blowing hot air.
That amounts to about two years use.
Try getting that claim reimbursement should it occur!

Warranties are NOT free and the indemnity is always built into the final price. For a customer to enjoy a two year warranty on an engine gasket job that has 150,000 miles plus on it suggests an up lift of 40% or about $2500 to cover a third party fixing ahead gasket failure on the other side of the country as you Mr Repair Shop cut a check for that amount.to the shop doing the job under warranty.
Obviously numbers don't add up neither do facts if you know the product and its likely use & abuse .
Dennis