How Long do Headgaskets leak and is this normal oil pump behavior? - Chevy and GMC Duramax Diesel Forum
01-04.5 LB7 Duramax Powertrain Discussion of components that are directly involved in the power production and all that is needed to get and keep the truck moving . Engine , Transmission, Etc.

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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How Long do Headgaskets leak and is this normal oil pump behavior?

So my headgasket has been leaking for roughly 30,000 miles. Pressurized coolant tank, losing small amount of antifreeze over time. Heat randomly goes out in winter, sometimes flashes coolant level low. I was going to tackle it early this spring with C gaskets and some ARP studs but honestly it seems to be going fine. Will it get worse and start puking coolant or what is going to happen with this? I don't want to rip my truck apart for no reason.

Also, just to make sure the engine is worth the effort, I wanted to note when I was pulling a cherokee home on the interstate the other day I was going up a small mountain at 70mph . Steady speed and RPM and I noticed my oil pressure slowly drop from around 60 to down around 35. Is my pump getting weak or is this normal? Oil level is fine.

Engine has 207k on it. Has had injector and headgasket work done before.

I picked up a 220k 03' nv4500 Cummins Ram for $2,800 this week. Almost tough to not give up on the ol' Duramax, but I also just want to flip the Cummins for mod money... sooooo...

2003 Duramax, RCLB 4x4. ZF6, Downpipe, Diamond Eye 4", Nicktane Filter, Edge Evo CTS2, luk solid flywheel clutch, kryptonite uppers, sleeves, pump rub fix, a1 electric windows, clazzio heated seat covers, alpine/rockford audio

2003 Honda CBR 954RR
Previously owned: 2003 GMC Sierra 4x4, Duramax, ZF6 Swap, South bend DD, Airdog, AFE intake, MBRP Exhaust, EFI Live from Idaho Rob w/ V2 and Edge CTS, B&W w/ Firestone Airbags, Cat filter
Lots of Cummins

Last edited by Red Six Six; 04-19-2017 at 10:17 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 04:52 AM
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How Long do Headgaskets leak and is this normal oil pump behavior?

Are you positive it's you hg. They usually have signs of failure far more evident. There are many other possible sources of leaks. That being said, if you already have the studs then drive the dodge for a week and do the hg and the studs. It effectively bulletproofs the motor up to 450-500 hp. Then again if you have the money swap in some 04.5 lly heads and injectors and get out of the valve cover for good.

Now as far as how long, if you know definitively it is the hg that has failed you are tiptoeing through a room of knives in the dark. They can go at any time, when it does, prepare yourself. Better to have a donor motor on standby.

If you need help sourcing the leak we can talk on how to find it. We are all experts in one arena or another and I'm sure you can find it.

2004 Silverado Cali lb7, Airdog ll 165, fresh sticks at 325k, custom tuning on v2 by Rick Fletes, 33x12.5 nittos at on 20 inch American steal wheels, modded factory air box, Profab Intake Horn, Batmo Wheel, Turbo port and polish, Full EGR Removed w/ fed belt, 3.5 inch MBRP Downpipe, Full five inch MBRP Exhaust, 10mm lbz cp3 pump, Dual Yellow Top Optimas, High Output Alternator, Cognito Pittman and idler w/ support kit, Cognito Contol arms, Drilled and Slotted Rotors on all four Corners, Custom Y Bridge.

Last edited by t.ashton; 04-20-2017 at 04:56 AM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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I've just read 15-20 threads where people experienced the same issue and ended up replacing the gaskets. Since at least one side was done on the truck before, I assumed this was a good possibility. I haven't made any purchase yet, it seems so silly to tear apart such a good running engine. I run it hard ALL the time, never really have any issues. The underside is bone dry so I don't think its an external leak. Alot of times it just spits antifreeze out my overflow tank when I add it back up to mark. The system is always still pressurized a day later. When I try to take the cap off it bubbles up and spits some out the overflow as I slowly relieve pressure. Losing my heat in the winter is one of the most annoying parts of this whole thing, but now its spring and it doesn't seem so bad, lol.

2003 Duramax, RCLB 4x4. ZF6, Downpipe, Diamond Eye 4", Nicktane Filter, Edge Evo CTS2, luk solid flywheel clutch, kryptonite uppers, sleeves, pump rub fix, a1 electric windows, clazzio heated seat covers, alpine/rockford audio

2003 Honda CBR 954RR
Previously owned: 2003 GMC Sierra 4x4, Duramax, ZF6 Swap, South bend DD, Airdog, AFE intake, MBRP Exhaust, EFI Live from Idaho Rob w/ V2 and Edge CTS, B&W w/ Firestone Airbags, Cat filter
Lots of Cummins
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:07 AM
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Ok is your driver side radiator hose hard before you start the truck after you leave it overnight?


2004 Silverado Cali lb7, Airdog ll 165, fresh sticks at 325k, custom tuning on v2 by Rick Fletes, 33x12.5 nittos at on 20 inch American steal wheels, modded factory air box, Profab Intake Horn, Batmo Wheel, Turbo port and polish, Full EGR Removed w/ fed belt, 3.5 inch MBRP Downpipe, Full five inch MBRP Exhaust, 10mm lbz cp3 pump, Dual Yellow Top Optimas, High Output Alternator, Cognito Pittman and idler w/ support kit, Cognito Contol arms, Drilled and Slotted Rotors on all four Corners, Custom Y Bridge.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:09 AM
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The overflow tank can have a slight pressurization at an y given time


2004 Silverado Cali lb7, Airdog ll 165, fresh sticks at 325k, custom tuning on v2 by Rick Fletes, 33x12.5 nittos at on 20 inch American steal wheels, modded factory air box, Profab Intake Horn, Batmo Wheel, Turbo port and polish, Full EGR Removed w/ fed belt, 3.5 inch MBRP Downpipe, Full five inch MBRP Exhaust, 10mm lbz cp3 pump, Dual Yellow Top Optimas, High Output Alternator, Cognito Pittman and idler w/ support kit, Cognito Contol arms, Drilled and Slotted Rotors on all four Corners, Custom Y Bridge.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Six Six View Post
So my headgasket has been leaking for roughly 30,000 miles. Pressurized coolant tank, losing small amount of antifreeze over time. Heat randomly goes out in winter, sometimes flashes coolant level low. I was going to tackle it early this spring with C gaskets and some ARP studs but honestly it seems to be going fine. Will it get worse and start puking coolant or what is going to happen with this? I don't want to rip my truck apart for no reason.

Also, just to make sure the engine is worth the effort, I wanted to note when I was pulling a cherokee home on the interstate the other day I was going up a small mountain at 70mph . Steady speed and RPM and I noticed my oil pressure slowly drop from around 60 to down around 35. Is my pump getting weak or is this normal? Oil level is fine.

Engine has 207k on it. Has had injector and headgasket work done before.

I picked up a 220k 03' nv4500 Cummins Ram for $2,800 this week. Almost tough to not give up on the ol' Duramax, but I also just want to flip the Cummins for mod money... sooooo...


if your headgaskets are damaged and you are pressurizing the cooling system then you are damaging the cooling system with high pressure exhaust gas, you also risk damaging the block and heads where the gap in the gasket is. you should change the gaskets if they have failed.

the oil thing does not sound normal however it could just be the gauge is screwed up. you could use a mechanical tester or use a scanner to read the pid.

2001 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD 6.6L LB7
Allison Transmission (stock)
Banks six gun | Banks intake | Fabtech Tierods | ARP head studs | Kryptonite UCA | PPE Blue placebo valve | Batmo lagwheel| Red Head Gear box
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Ok is your driver side radiator hose hard before you start the truck after you leave it overnight?
Been a few months since I checked. Seemed pretty firm to me. I'll check saturday after I drive my truck tomorrow. Been riding my bike a lot lately.

I'll turn the oil pressure monitor on a PID of my Edge CTS2, not sure when Ill haul a trailer again. Only time I noticed the activity.
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2003 Duramax, RCLB 4x4. ZF6, Downpipe, Diamond Eye 4", Nicktane Filter, Edge Evo CTS2, luk solid flywheel clutch, kryptonite uppers, sleeves, pump rub fix, a1 electric windows, clazzio heated seat covers, alpine/rockford audio

2003 Honda CBR 954RR
Previously owned: 2003 GMC Sierra 4x4, Duramax, ZF6 Swap, South bend DD, Airdog, AFE intake, MBRP Exhaust, EFI Live from Idaho Rob w/ V2 and Edge CTS, B&W w/ Firestone Airbags, Cat filter
Lots of Cummins
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 04:07 AM
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I will be harder then Ann eighteen year old at the playboy mansion. If it's not then there a leak that we can find.


2004 Silverado Cali lb7, Airdog ll 165, fresh sticks at 325k, custom tuning on v2 by Rick Fletes, 33x12.5 nittos at on 20 inch American steal wheels, modded factory air box, Profab Intake Horn, Batmo Wheel, Turbo port and polish, Full EGR Removed w/ fed belt, 3.5 inch MBRP Downpipe, Full five inch MBRP Exhaust, 10mm lbz cp3 pump, Dual Yellow Top Optimas, High Output Alternator, Cognito Pittman and idler w/ support kit, Cognito Contol arms, Drilled and Slotted Rotors on all four Corners, Custom Y Bridge.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Interestingly, I ran it decently hard on the interstate home last night, check it this morning and my top rad hose is soft

Maybe I'm in luck after all...

Everytime I add coolant it seems to puke some out the overflow onto the side of the frame, lose heat in the winter randomly (blows cold air on me), and losing antifreeze but the underside of my truck is pretty dry.

2003 Duramax, RCLB 4x4. ZF6, Downpipe, Diamond Eye 4", Nicktane Filter, Edge Evo CTS2, luk solid flywheel clutch, kryptonite uppers, sleeves, pump rub fix, a1 electric windows, clazzio heated seat covers, alpine/rockford audio

2003 Honda CBR 954RR
Previously owned: 2003 GMC Sierra 4x4, Duramax, ZF6 Swap, South bend DD, Airdog, AFE intake, MBRP Exhaust, EFI Live from Idaho Rob w/ V2 and Edge CTS, B&W w/ Firestone Airbags, Cat filter
Lots of Cummins
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 08:31 AM
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How Long do Headgaskets leak and is this normal oil pump behavior?

It's not your hg bud. So now we can isolate where the leak is. Have you done anything with your cp3 lately? Have you checked your lines(2 of them) coming out of your firewall? The plastic fittings are known to degrade and leak but burn off on the exhaust. I have since taken them of and just did new hose with cable clamps on the pipes to the heater core. Have you checked you heater core? Pull your glove box and scope it out.


2004 Silverado Cali lb7, Airdog ll 165, fresh sticks at 325k, custom tuning on v2 by Rick Fletes, 33x12.5 nittos at on 20 inch American steal wheels, modded factory air box, Profab Intake Horn, Batmo Wheel, Turbo port and polish, Full EGR Removed w/ fed belt, 3.5 inch MBRP Downpipe, Full five inch MBRP Exhaust, 10mm lbz cp3 pump, Dual Yellow Top Optimas, High Output Alternator, Cognito Pittman and idler w/ support kit, Cognito Contol arms, Drilled and Slotted Rotors on all four Corners, Custom Y Bridge.
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