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Head gasket blown?

40520 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Natedawgss
I've pulled each of the six spark plugs and see
no evidence, but I take off the oil filler cap and
see this goop - does this look like evidence of
a blown head gasket? Also, pure white smoke
is billowing out the exhaust, but it's not steam,
it smells oily.

... and the smoke:

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Looks very suspicious! What engine? Is it the 3100 (aka 3.1)?
It's the 3100 SFI ...this is my brother's car ... it's had a history
of engine issues. If I remember correctly, it's been "rebuilt" by
"Thunderbolt" engines (one of those Houston engine rebuilders
with a shady reputation).

As I mentioned, the smoke billowing out the back is pure white
smoke ... I held a paper towel a couple of inches from the end
of the tailpipe for about a minute ... there was no evidence of
any moisture .... I pulled all plugs and none were "clean", so I'm
fairly certain the gasket is not broken from a water jacket to a

There is no evidence of coolant on the oil dipstick, but what I
see on the oil filler cap sure looks like a bad head gasket.

Any other thoughts besides the head gasket?

Is there a head gasket break from an oil galley passage into
the galley under the intake? I can't think of where the break
might be (?)
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Intake manifold gasket?
I hadn't considered that ... would that contribute to the white
smoke out the exhaust? I'm trying to wrap my brain around
that one ...
If coolant was being drawn into the cylinder, yes.
My experience with blown head gaskets (or other) ... if water
is being drawn into the cylinder, the spark plug (the cylinder
in question) would be very "clean" (would look almost new)
because of the cleaning action of the water, along with

For example, my 64 Buick blew a head gasket not long ago
and was spewing steam out the exhaust ... pulled #1 plug
out and it looked almost new ... stuck a Q-tip down in the
cylinder and it came out wet (water/coolant).

All the plugs on this engine look sooty/slightly oily, which is
why I'm a bit perplexed ... what is the route the water is taking
to get into the oil ?
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Caldercay i did a quick search and found that the intake manifold gasket leaking is super common with that year and engine size. Take a look at this site it has 50 complaints on it.
Howdy Natedawgss ...

Thanks for the link ... I'll discuss this with my brother. It looks
like this car is a dog and he might be better off getting rid of it,
but in the meantime, it looks like an intake manifold gasket
replacement is in the works ...

Thanks for the research !!! I hadn't come across that site ...
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