Coolant leak into #4 cylinder~help - Mazda MX-6 Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 9-25-11, 21:57 Thread Starter

 
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Question Coolant leak into #4 cylinder~help

I originally thought oil was leaking into my combustion chamber.
I pumped pressure into my cooling system yesterday, and using a stetescope I
Heard air and coolant very very slowly entering cylinder #4 and I can see the coolant resting on top of the piston through the spark plug hole. Today I bought An engine stand, I'm unsure if I should pull the engine or if a vacuum/coolant line being mixed up could cause this?
Btw: I am using a solid copper headgasket, arp head studs with 12 point 14mm nuts torques to 100ft/lb. The head was worked before install it has no cracks. The block remained in vehicle during headwork but it never had problems leaking before I pulled the head. I just wanted to do a better headgasket.

If I have to pull the engine to fix this, I plan on engine internals, transmission parts and installing my MegaSquirt. All help welcome, I know it's been long since I posted.
I'm now a Subaru owner and Im a Mazda, Subaru, GMC dealership Service Advisor.

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 9-26-11, 1:39
 
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The intake manifold has coolant that passes between it and the head between the 1and2 valves and the 3and4 valves, you could have a leaking intake manifold gasket.
(I had an N/A auto that had a coolant leak at the intake manifold).

A leakdown tester will diagnose head gasket leaks blowing air into the coolant if the head gasket leaks, you could also make sure that the #4 intake valves are shut, repeat the coolant pressure test and check for coolant on the piston.

I looked into copper head gaskets years ago and found very few success stories with the F2T.

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Yeah I have read a similar number of storirs about copper headgaskets myself. I bought one years ago and I've never used it for that reason.
I will probably go with an MLS one which seems to have a greater chance of success.

Did you O-ring it ? from what I can gather copper gaskets almost never work unless you o-ring, preferrably the block not the head.
I looked into ways around this, but apparently after speaking with some experts, its seems like they could be right..the main problem is that its much easier to remove the head to o-ring it rather than the block....

Fine if you pull the engine.

IMO too much fiddling about when MLS produces more reliable results than copper. I just cant see any advantage of copper over MLS.

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How can I be sure the #4 intake valves are closed all the way with the head on?
I do not know about o-ring. Had Paeco design the gasket, instructions said to only use copper spray on both sides.
Will try leakdown test after work today.
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How can I be sure the #4 intake valves are closed all the way with the head on?
I do not know about o-ring. Had Paeco design the gasket, instructions said to only use copper spray on both sides.
Will try leakdown test after work today.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mx6MaZTer View Post
How can I be sure the #4 intake valves are closed all the way with the head on?
I do not know about o-ring. Had Paeco design the gasket, instructions said to only use copper spray on both sides.
Will try leakdown test after work today.
Just remove the valve cover.

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the valve cover is off however it is very messy in there since coolant and oil are all mixed. I was reffering to: the intake valves are fully closed when the #4 on the cam gear is aligned with the arrow on the head.... is that true??
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I'm guessing it's intake manifold.


PS: Happy copper head gasket user here.

“One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that if you drive into London at 6am, half of the cars on the roads are Porsches and Astons. Whereas if you go in at ten to nine, they’re all Renaults. Simple solution, then. You want a nice car? Get up earlier and do more work.”

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 9-26-11, 15:04
 
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Originally Posted by Mx6MaZTer View Post
the valve cover is off however it is very messy in there since coolant and oil are all mixed. I was reffering to: the intake valves are fully closed when the #4 on the cam gear is aligned with the arrow on the head.... is that true??
If coolant and oil are mixing then it's probably the head gasket, most of the coolant would steam off and blow out the exhaust if it was coming from an intake valve because it would only get dumped in when the valves opened.

Not sure which valves sit where in relation to the numbering on the cam gear, I just look to see if the rockers for that valve are up or down, look at the cam lobes to see where the rocker arm is.
Or just back off the rocker assemblies, all the valve will be shut when you do the leak down test, just put the engine in neutral turn the crank with a ratchet until 1 and 4 (pistons) are up, put the car in gear and check 1 and 4, neutral 2+3 up, in gear test 2+3.

All my searches turned up having to O ring the block for copper head gasket installations, there was a thread (here I think) about someone using metal wire cable they slashed grooves into one of the surfaces (Gasket/head/block cant remember which) around the cylinder in an X pattern and put in the metal cable ....
Many copper head gasket instals I read about where claimed to be successful by the owner despite the fact they leaked- So do Copper head gaskets often leak even when properly/correctly installed ?.

The final deciding factor for me was "electrolysis corrosion" From my understanding (lazy) Having two different metals, iron and aluminum, a copper head gasket will act as a conductor and cause particles from each surface to deposit onto the other... How long it takes? After it starts can both surfaces be used again without machining (shave/deck), shaving to much off will increase chances of head lift.

Looked into cometic gaskets...
Finally realized I have seen no documented info on the failing point of a felpro head gasket under boost on the F2T (After xLBS the head gasket fails and a stonger aftermarket version is required).
Same goes for head studs...

I had head lift occur two years ago for about 8months, rad cap would pop off once and a while above 18lbs boost, I suspected the head as the problem, it had been shaved about .003" - .005" when i ported it, I blew the Tbird turbo, swapped a stock in and severed one of the turbo coolant lines without knowing, overheated and warped the head they took another .015" of to get it true again, sat in the shop for years... after 8month I finally looked into it, pulled the front central head bolt and found head gasket melted to the bolt, so I put on a different P&P head, new felpro gasket and some other used head bolts and never had another problem.
The head gasket that suffered head lift looked pretty good still, despite exhaust gases passing over it, never had any symptoms of leaks aside from under high boost, car ran great despite 8month of head lifting.

I would just say put in a felpro and save the copper head gasket for when you need to use it due to really high boost.
Or have all the surfaces trued (machined) and try again.

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 9-26-11, 15:17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mx6MaZTer View Post
Btw: I am using a solid copper headgasket, arp head studs with 12 point 14mm nuts torques to 100ft/lb. The head was worked before install it has no cracks. The block remained in vehicle during headwork but it never had problems leaking before I pulled the head.
the Mazda spec for head bolts is 59-64 ft-lb. This is not because the head bolts fail at 70, it's because the head begins to distort when local pressures exceed 70. This is part of the reason you "never had problems" until you decided more torque was better.

It isn't.

Use the stock torque spec, torque in 3 steps (40, 50, 60) and retorque after a week or two of driving.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 9-27-11, 0:02
 
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the Mazda spec for head bolts is 59-64 ft-lb. This is not because the head bolts fail at 70, it's because the head begins to distort when local pressures exceed 70. This is part of the reason you "never had problems" until you decided more torque was better.

It isn't.

Use the stock torque spec, torque in 3 steps (40, 50, 60) and retorque after a week or two of driving.
Seriously, that's your advice.
You quoted two lines, did you read them? Words 9, 10 and 11 should give you a hint, assuming you did read what you quoted before responding to it and aren't just posting because you like typing words.
Then you are recommending using stock head bolt torque specs on ARP head studs, sounds like a recipe for failure.
Don't ever buy yourself or install head studs yourself .

ARP studs use different specs then mazda bolts, the studs have two torque specs something like- 80 ftlb with assembly lube and 120 ft lb with oil (Again I say something like and not exactly those numbers but close).
Studs apply pressure differently then bolts.

After you have torqued the stock head gasket down to spec wait 20 to 30 minutes for the gasket to settle and torque it again, no need to torque again a week or two after driving.

The words I underlined in you post I find a bit condescending and definite and are why my post was belittling.

Sentences like "Use the stock torque specs" can sound better when phrased "I would recommend / suggest/ the best idea is...". We are all just stating opinion and experience, facts are simply what we think is true until proven otherwise.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 9-27-11, 2:19

 
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One thing I was reading about....I cant remember the link to the article, but it was talking about why use TTY headbolt (torque to yield).
And they said in essence, that due to the different expansion ratio between an iron block and alloy head there will be a different crush pressure on the headgasket depending on temperature, when using a fixed torque on the bolts/studs

a composite gasket soaks up the variation quite well, but there are probably limits to what it can do.

Going to ARP bolts simply lifts the static crush value, but its still going to vary with temperature.

The MLS gaskets are more tolerant than copper for this but probably still not as good as composite.

The reason I looked into this, My diesel motor the RF is based on a similar design to the F2T and uses TTY headbolts and an MLS gasket from the factory to contain the combustion and static compression pressures.

Alot of manufacturers have since switched to TTYs on normal gas engines for mass production, probably to get a more consistent clamping pressure with the all the variations in temperature and the deformation of the head over a long period of time.

Copper headgaskets probably work well where the head and block are both iron and the expansion ratio difference between the two components is similar.

MLS gaskets probably work ok, but might need to be re torqued a bit more often than composites, which are theoretically ok after doing them once and again shortly after to compensate for the inital squish.

I have found with some of my cars where I havent re torqued the composite gasket after a while (say 40,000 miles) the gasket ends up leaking coolant out the side of the engine, so I would say they still squish down further atfer the the initial stages, just not as much or as quickly.

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 9-27-11, 10:14 Thread Starter

 
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`update`

after work last night, i used a digital boroscope in all cylinders while the cooling system was pressurized. i found a small leak on the headgasket mating surface where the cylinder rim edge is. on the piston we have four cutouts, well the one on the left rear when it is at TDC allows coolant to flow right onto the piston. with the scope you can actually see the coolant/air bubbling... It is soo fuckin small that it was almost invisible.
now under engine compression/coolant pressure/temperature that small leak is probably pissin like a race horse.

Next step.... deciding what headgasket to replace it with. and probably pulling the engine and tranny for machine work.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 9-27-11, 12:24
 
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On the Head Gasket, just go wth Felpro or OEM Mazda Head Gasket!

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 9-27-11, 18:23 Thread Starter

 
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yeah but now i have the immense task of pulling out the entire engine. I looking to harbor freight for a cherry picker right now, $170 for a 1Ton foldable.
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