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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've searched forum to see if this condition has been reported. Not seeing what I'm looking for exactly.

My '01 3.0 Vulcan engine has been consuming coolant. My initial guess was that I had a bad head gasket, but I'm not sure that is the case.

I've been watching my oil. There is zero sign of any coolant making it into the sump and making milkshake out of it. So, that's good.

On a whim, I decided to pull the PCV and take a look. I'm seeing definite signs of coolant misting into the rear side valve cover for sure. I'm not seeing it on the front cover at all, but it may be staying under the baffle.

So, my question: Do you think I have....

1. A cracked head that is allowing coolant into the valve spring area? (I've had this happen on a 2.9 Cologne engine before close to the valve spring seat). Or...
2. A failed lower intake gasket that is allowing coolant into the same area?

One other symptom that may add to the troubleshooting: Most times when I start the vehicle, I have a miss on one cylinder that will eventually clear up.

If it wasn't so cold out right now, I would pull the valve covers (and upper intake) and take a look. Maybe put a pressure tester on the coolant tank and see if I can see where coolant might be infiltrating from.

Thanks!

Tony
 

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I've searched forum to see if this condition has been reported. Not seeing what I'm looking for exactly.

My '01 3.0 Vulcan engine has been consuming coolant. My initial guess was that I had a bad head gasket, but I'm not sure that is the case.

I've been watching my oil. There is zero sign of any coolant making it into the sump and making milkshake out of it. So, that's good.

On a whim, I decided to pull the PCV and take a look. I'm seeing definite signs of coolant misting into the rear side valve cover for sure. I'm not seeing it on the front cover at all, but it may be staying under the baffle.

So, my question: Do you think I have....

1. A cracked head that is allowing coolant into the valve spring area? (I've had this happen on a 2.9 Cologne engine before close to the valve spring seat). Or...
2. A failed lower intake gasket that is allowing coolant into the same area?

One other symptom that may add to the troubleshooting: Most times when I start the vehicle, I have a miss on one cylinder that will eventually clear up.

If it wasn't so cold out right now, I would pull the valve covers (and upper intake) and take a look. Maybe put a pressure tester on the coolant tank and see if I can see where coolant might be infiltrating from.

Thanks!

Tony
Be sure what you see on the PCV is coolant and not just water condensing in oil and other sludge stuff in the crankcase. Cold weather and short trips make for this.
You can loose coolant at the water pump or timing chain cover.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Be sure what you see on the PCV is coolant and not just water condensing in oil and other sludge stuff in the crankcase. Cold weather and short trips make for this.
You can loose coolant at the water pump or timing chain cover.
-chart-
This is more than just condensation. Major snot build up in PCV, hose and at the connection to upper intake.

I would assume that any coolant loss at the front cover is most likely going to migrate down into the oil pan, yes?

Oil pump is new. Replaced it a couple months ago because it was leaking too. I have zero external leaks at this point.
 

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If the coolant level is droping and you are sure there are no external coolant leaks, my guess would be a failing head gasket.

Pull the plugs and see if one or more look different. If one (or more) look cleaner than the others and / or have a greenish tint, you have a failing head gasket.
 
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My 98 had sludge on the pcv and a ton inside the rear valve cover, despite no obvious coolant contamination of the oil. However, I suspect that's mainly from short trips before I owned it. It did have bad head gaskets on both banks though.

When you start it, can you see bubbles coming up from low in the coolant reservoir?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My 98 had sludge on the pcv and a ton inside the rear valve cover, despite no obvious coolant contamination of the oil. However, I suspect that's mainly from short trips before I owned it. It did have bad head gaskets on both banks though.

When you start it, can you see bubbles coming up from low in the coolant reservoir?
There is no overpressurizatation of the coolant system. That's the one reason that I'm not exactly suspecting a bad head gasket. I should probably just get a test kit that will tell me if I'm getting exhaust gasses into the coolant system. I've used one before on a car and it did work.
 

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There is no overpressurizatation of the coolant system. That's the one reason that I'm not exactly suspecting a bad head gasket. I should probably just get a test kit that will tell me if I'm getting exhaust gasses into the coolant system. I've used one before on a car and it did work.
Which cylinder is misfiring on startup? If you know which, start the car and let it run for 20 seconds or so, shut it off and pull the plug and see if it's stained orange/green, or smells like coolant. But if you aren't getting pressurization or any other signs, it would be low on my list of suspects. Has the timing cover gasket ever been addressed? A lot of times coolant leaks out of the back port and onto the exhaust so you never see the coolant drip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Which cylinder is misfiring on startup? If you know which, start the car and let it run for 20 seconds or so, shut it off and pull the plug and see if it's stained orange/green, or smells like coolant. But if you aren't getting pressurization or any other signs, it would be low on my list of suspects. Has the timing cover gasket ever been addressed? A lot of times coolant leaks out of the back port and onto the exhaust so you never see the coolant drip.
I need to get my code scanner connected back to my phone so I can see which cylinder is misfiring.

I'm not sure if the timing cover gasket has been replaced or not. I actually have a new cover and gasket on hand.
 
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