North American Turbocoupe Organization



Head Gasket... OOPS!
vegas_ss Offline
Senior Member
#1
The only time I opened it up good…

Was getting on the freeway, ramp was up hill and I was pushing pretty hard. Merged into traffic and was cruising along in 5th when I noticed there wasn’t much power there when trying to accelerate. Sort of coasted along and got off at the next exit, and coasted into a shopping center parking lot where it died. Steam was pouring out the hood, when opened the steam was coming out under the intercooler from the head around #2 and #3 cylinders. Car wouldn’t start so it was towed home. Once there I was able to get it started and run long enough to position it in the garage… it was making a noticeable amount of noise and the temp gauge went from normal to pegged in within a short period of time.

Removed the head and took it to a machine shop… things looked quite good in the combustion chamber and pistons/cylinders… no carbon buildup and just a light amount of residue. Will hear back from the shop tomorrow so hopefully the head is in good condition. There are going to check the cam, check for cracks, pressure test and a valve job. I have a few questions so…

If the cam needs replacing, what would be some options? I’ve read about a ranger roller cam… can anyone tell me what all is needed for that?

Where to get the coolant hose that runs from the lower intake to the heater pipe near the water oil cooler connections. It’s an elongated ‘U’ shaped smaller diameter hose. Would any suitable replacement such as fuel pressure hose in a small arc suffice?

Best source (besides the dealer) for Motorcraft wires?

The exhaust manifold was just unbolted from the head and doesn’t move out of the way of things… should the turbo/manifold be disconnected someplace to allow easier head placement (thing is pretty heavy with lower intake on)?

I’m sure I’ll have more questions… sorry about the length!


[This message has been edited by vegas_ss (edited 08-24-2005).]
1987 TC, 5sp, Boport Stage 3 Head/2.1 Cam
1996 Impala SS, DCM, Borla Cat Back, too much other stuff!!!
2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 6M, 6.2l LS3, Kooks Long Tube, Hi Flo Cats, Mild Cam
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Ryan H Offline
Posting Freak
#2
Ranger cam: You can go to the J/Y and get the RR cam. You can also grab one on eBay or get one new for $2xx with followers. Depends on where you get one. You will need to grab the followers also if you get one from the J/Y. The car models are listed in the FAQ's.

You may also want to replace your oil supply line to the turbo. I tried reusing mine once and it leaked oil everywhere. It is a very high pressure line and if it isn't sealed right, you'll lose lots of oil- fast.

For that u-shaped hose, I always use 3/8" transmission cooler line. It is thicker, tougher and cheaper than regular heater hose. You can get about 2ft of it from NAPA for about $4. Just cut it so it's a good length and doesn't kink and make it into a big "U" instead of a big rectangle, if you know what I'm saying..

For the wires / tune up parts, I like to use www.rockauto.com. Do a search and you can get a 5% discount code also. Since you have to pay shipping, make it worth your while and get any other tune up parts or sensors all in one order [Image: smile.gif]

Turbo/manifold: I unbolted the turbo from the block & downpipe, and unbolted the oil return line from it. It basically freed the whole manifold and I took it out of the car.

When you get the car back together, do your best to try and find out what caused this gasket to to go south. I'd hate to see you have to do this again! [Image: frown.gif]

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Ryan Harris

88 TC, 5 speed, B&M Ripper Shifter, Walbro 190 LPH, Aeromotive FPR, K&N, 3.73's, 88K miles

[This message has been edited by Ryan H (edited 08-24-2005).]
'88 TC Smile Walbro 255HP, Stinger FMIC, PIT BOV, Pro 5.0, Kirban, RR cam, FRPP strut tower brace, T3
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vegas_ss Offline
Senior Member
#3
Thanks for the info...

I did order a bunch of stuff from rockauto... checked the wires on there but they didn't carry motorcraft. I had bought a new set of lifetime wires at checker (autolite) about 1 month ago and when I removed them the middle two wire terminals came out of the boot and stayed on the plugs. The boots were very mushy (I think the steam melted them)... anyhow I was going to return them and get some motorcraft wites with the thicker boots as recommended on here [Image: wink.gif]

The turbo was replaced not too long ago by the previous owner. The oil supply line seemes to be in very good condition so I'll probably reuse that.

The head gasket itself looked to be intact. The machinist mentioned that it looked like some material was missing near the edge of the head near where the steam was coming from. I thought the damage would be much more definitive...

I will be changing all the hoses, have a set of flow tested and cleaned injectors, kirban adj FPR, getting a 3 row core for the radiator, 180 t-stat, water pump, timing belt and components... plugs, cap, rotor and tfi are about 500 miles. Have new ECT and air charge sensors so hopefully it will run well when it's back together.

[This message has been edited by vegas_ss (edited 08-24-2005).]
1987 TC, 5sp, Boport Stage 3 Head/2.1 Cam
1996 Impala SS, DCM, Borla Cat Back, too much other stuff!!!
2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 6M, 6.2l LS3, Kooks Long Tube, Hi Flo Cats, Mild Cam
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Ryan H Offline
Posting Freak
#4
If you blew coolant out, expect to replace the O2 when you go back together. I would first run the car, then after it has warmed up, replace the O2 so you don't get any left over coolant on the new one.

RockAuto has Motorcraft wires, they are listed here:
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/catalog....ttype=7228

A lot of cars have trouble running the cheap wires. My new one doesn't, however my last two did. I think it is just related to how old your ignition components are and how healthy your electrical system is. It is a good idea to pull the KOEO codes before the initial startup to detect any pre-startup problems that could arise. When I did my head, I left the battery disconnected the whole time. Also I took the opportunity to clean off all of my electrical grounds/connections and re-grease them with dielectric grease. Now is about the best time to do this since the engine bay is practically bare.

One final note, make sure you change the oil and coolant before you start her up! I actually "flushed" my motor out. I bought the $5 gallon of cheap Super Tech oil from Wal-Mart, ran it with a Fram filter for about 10 miles, then changed it with a NAPA Gold filter and some Mobil 1. There's no telling what junk got in there when the gasket blew and while the block deck was exposed. As for the coolant, I took my water pump off when the head was back on, and flushed out the block, etc with the garden hose. Lots of rust comes out!

I hope this helps you, and this was just my own collective information from doing this job myself twice now. Hopefully others will chime in and give some more pointers to you [Image: smile.gif]

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Ryan Harris

88 TC, 5 speed, B&M Ripper Shifter, Walbro 190 LPH, Aeromotive FPR, K&N, 3.73's, 88K miles
'88 TC Smile Walbro 255HP, Stinger FMIC, PIT BOV, Pro 5.0, Kirban, RR cam, FRPP strut tower brace, T3
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Joe F Offline
Posting Freak
#5
I'm sure the shop will do this, but have them check the head for flatness. You can disconnect the exhuast from the turbo elbow (use lots of PB Blaster and heat with a torch if necessary to keep from breaking bolts). See http://natomessageboard.com/Forum12/HTML/000123.html for the intake hose you're replacing; the part number section is a wealth of hard-to-find info.

Good Luck!

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Joe F.
JR's Aerie - Our 3 TC's
JR's Place - My '87 Turbocoupe
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vegas_ss Offline
Senior Member
#6
Thanks for the info and links... Strange that I didn't see the motorcraft wires when I made my last order... I know I looked for them!

I'm pretty sure that the reason the HG blew was detonation due to lean A/F ratio since there really wasn't much (if any) carbon buildup on the pistons and head. It seemed to detonate a little too easily, fuel pressure is good and a new walbro 190lph pump leads me to believe the injectors are not performing up to task. I do have a set that are flow tested and cleaned ready to go in, so hopefully things will be better next time around [Image: wink.gif]

[This message has been edited by vegas_ss (edited 08-24-2005).]
1987 TC, 5sp, Boport Stage 3 Head/2.1 Cam
1996 Impala SS, DCM, Borla Cat Back, too much other stuff!!!
2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 6M, 6.2l LS3, Kooks Long Tube, Hi Flo Cats, Mild Cam
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Pete D Offline
Administrator
#7
Light load detonation could signify EGR problems.

See http://www.turbotbird.com/FAQpage/FAQpag...20Cleaning:
Pete Dunham


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vegas_ss Offline
Senior Member
#8
Thanks for the info... I was planning on removing the EGR and cleaning it up. I was expecting to find carbon buildup on the head/pistons, but that's not the case. I will certainly be giving this the once over... very thoroughly!!!
1987 TC, 5sp, Boport Stage 3 Head/2.1 Cam
1996 Impala SS, DCM, Borla Cat Back, too much other stuff!!!
2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 6M, 6.2l LS3, Kooks Long Tube, Hi Flo Cats, Mild Cam
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