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Blown head gasket or cracked head or...?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:37 pm
by OddAdrian
Hey guys long time lurker but never posted before.

I'm here to ask the pros for some opinions. My car is a ka-t, running super strong 750cc, e85, 330whp on enthalpy tune.

I'm having this issue where coolant is seeping down my turbo mani on what seems like cylinder #1 only. Also comes splashing out of where the hotside meets the down pipe.

Weird. I know.

No coolant mixing into the oil and vice versa. But definitely leaking coolant. I can tell cause after some driving my car will chug the reservoir.

Now first thought was oh it's my manifold gasket then I'm thinking it's a bigger problem since coolant is coming out. And I'm thinking if my head gasket was that damaged that it would be seeping coolant out the side wouldn't I have way bigger issues? Has anyone experienced something like this?

I would also like to add that coolant literally drips down from the manifold gasket area on start up but not so much after driving. Also like to add I popped the valve cover open and the exhaust side was puddled in oil and the intake wasn't. Right where the valve caps are so I'm sure I have leaking Valve stem seals is what that means. But I don't think this would cause the coolant to come out the side correct?


Anyways. Sorry about the huge mess of a first post. Any help is appreciated. I already have another cometic mls but been reading cosworth being the better gasket so I might go with that.

Re: Blown head gasket or cracked head or...?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:12 am
by tuzzio
Is your turbo coolant fed?

Re: Blown head gasket or cracked head or...?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:55 pm
by OddAdrian
No. It's an older turbonetics t3t4 journal bearing. Oil fed only.

Re: Blown head gasket or cracked head or...?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:00 pm
by OddAdrian
UPDATE:

forgot about this post since it didn't get much traffic but I'm not losing anymore coolant after replacing what I found to be a cracked reservoir. Last I checked I'm still leaking some coolant right under cylinder #1 on the manifold and still leaking out of the area where the downpipe bolts to the turbo.

I keep telling myself it's a blown head gasket but don't want to justify the job if it's potentially something else.

So still no solid solution

Re: Blown head gasket or cracked head or...?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:41 pm
by unicoder
Your turbo manifold, the very first stud, goes straight to a water jacket. When you put that turbo manifold on, did you by chance have to tap that hole or have trouble tightening it down? You may have broken through to the water jacket.

If so, no worries, several old dodge engines did the same thing (as well as myself), get the stud out and put some RTV sealant in the hole and on the threads, and tighten her up!

Re: Blown head gasket or cracked head or...?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:58 am
by OddAdrian
You know I had read about old DSMs having that issue and the same fix but didn't know if it applied to KAs. I'll make sure to try that next weekend I'm off.


And I did actually have to remove that stud because it had been snapped off by previous owner. When I installed the turbo manifold I don't recall having a hard time but I might have tightened it too much.

I've been daily driving the s14 for about a month now since my 350z is down for a steering rack rebuild. The first two days of said month I had some overheating issues which lead me to make this post seeing as I thought I had a blown head gasket.

Well I ended up removing the thermostat and it stopped overheating but still leaked coolant. So I thought still blown. Replaced reservoir and no more huge leak and no more overheating. Car stays cooler than it should most of be time actually. Might throw a new thermostat in there after I get my z back and I get to experiment but for now I'm leaving it as is.


I'll update after I remove the stud and get some RTV in there. Hopefully it's that. Still no oil or coolant mixing after a month. Still no white smoke. There is smoke after taking off from sitting at idle but I'm sure that goes back to my valve stem seals. Or my old beaten to death and back turbo. Or restrictive drain.

Anyways car seems to perform as good as before so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Re: Blown head gasket or cracked head or...?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:47 am
by adamky
unicoder wrote:Your turbo manifold, the very first stud, goes straight to a water jacket. When you put that turbo manifold on, did you by chance have to tap that hole or have trouble tightening it down? You may have broken through to the water jacket.


Great reply!

Re: Blown head gasket or cracked head or...?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:18 pm
by OddAdrian
Took out the two first studs from the turbo manifold since that's one of the areas of the leak and put some rtv in there an on the threads of the studs. Let them sit there. For a few hours

Went to start the car and coolant still leaks. I attached a picture to show where I'm getting coolant on my turbo/downpipe. This is mostly a cold start issue. Once warm it doesn't keep spraying water but maybe it's evaporating. I also have thought maybe it's moisture but it seems like way too much.

Anyways that's my update. Thanks for the help so far.

Re: Blown head gasket or cracked head or...?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:24 pm
by OddAdrian
Just a heads up I have a multi layer steel gasket on my turbo manifold. And I don't currently have a gasket on my turbo/downpipe.
Turbo is oil cooled only.

Still no milky oil. Coolant is all water since it works best here in Texas.

Could I try some sort of dye to see if this coolant/water coming out of my turbo/manifold is indeed from my engine or excessive moisture?

Re: Blown head gasket or cracked head or...?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:43 pm
by adamky
Yes. There is a UV-dye that you can add to your coolant/water. Most automotive stores carry it.

Re: Blown head gasket or cracked head or...?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:45 pm
by OddAdrian
Okay so quick update since I hate when I'm on a forum trying to diagnose something and it always goes unresolved.

So I had a few issues that sprung up together that made it seem like a bigger problem than it was.

Starting with my cracked reserving which was making it seem like I was "magically" loosing coolant.

The water that was splashing out my turbo was most likely condensation seeping out through a leak since I had no down pipe gasket.

The water leaking out from under the mani could've been there same case. Either way I did the RTV trick mentioned in the thread and maybe thag helped.

I replaced my valve stem seals. BTW don't buy supertech seals. They suck. I ended up replacing them a week and a drift event later cause they started leaking again. Pulled them out and half of them were trashed already. Replaced with oem and no issues so far.

So car stopped smoking. I ended up ditching the 5 bolt and went vband. No more leaks. No more wet turbo. And car is still solid. I've been to a few events. Highway fun and just ripping it on my way to work and stuff and it's solid.


Hope that this helps someone out..

Even to just double check everything.

Thanks for all your suggestions.

Re: Blown head gasket or cracked head or...?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:20 pm
by flip240
Glad to hear! Keep it truckin!

Re: Blown head gasket or cracked head or...?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:25 am
by tuzzio
Interesting. I've had supertech valve seals for over a year without issues.