How to check for Head Gasket issues?? - Chevy and GMC Duramax Diesel Forum
04.5-05 LLY 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 Ect

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Old 02-14-2011, 03:07 PM   eBay Motors  #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation How to check for Head Gasket issues??

Sooo now im a lil worried....Im flying to Fl on thur to buy an 04 LLY w/130,000 mi on it and it has a Banks 6 Gun Tuner on it.... I have had about 12-15 ppl tell me to look for HG issues due to the Banks....Is the only way to check is to have it sit overnight and check the upper radiator hose...Im flying so I will have no tools....or should I take it to a Chevy Dealer for inspection....It has passed an inspection from ASE mechanic but I have a 18 hr trip home so im a lil worried...This will be my first D-Max so I dont know alot about them.....Thanks...
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:15 PM   eBay Motors  #2 (permalink)
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Just had another person email me and said he bought his with blown HG and did'nt know it....It even drove fine for a while....
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:29 PM   eBay Motors  #3 (permalink)
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Just had another person email me and said he bought his with blown HG and did'nt know it....It even drove fine for a while....
i would think if its blown/leaking youd see water in the oil. look for milky colored motor oil on the dipstick.
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:35 PM   eBay Motors  #4 (permalink)
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its not tuners or high hp that blows head gaskets on the LLY's. Its a factor of age, heat cycles, and mileage.

Back when the LLY's were new, we were beating the absolute crap out of them with big turbos, huge boost, and really hot tunes....and we never had any problems. Now, as the LLY's get older and get more miles/heat cycles under their belts, is when we are starting to see random head gasket issues here and there.

Its purely a luck of the draw thing IMO. You cant base it on "if it was tuned by X tuner" or if it was even tuned at all. Huge HP trucks with stock head gaskets and bolts have never had problems, and on the flip side, there have been stock trucks that have had problems.

Just drive it and enjoy it is my own opinion.

When/if head gaskets blow on duramax's, you'll never see any of the "typical signs". They wont mix coolant with oil, they wont blow 'coolant smelling' white smoke, etc... Many people drive for thousands of miles with leaking head gaskets and they dont even know it.

Really the only way to tell for sure is to drive it hard and check to see if theres a large amount of pressure in the cooling system, or if it pukes coolant out the overflow, or if you are seeing big coolant temp swings or the cab heat will just drop out randomly for no reason and then come back.

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Old 02-14-2011, 03:37 PM   eBay Motors  #5 (permalink)
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i would think if its blown/leaking youd see water in the oil. look for milky colored motor oil on the dipstick.
that basically doesnt happen on duramax's. I dont know why, but it doesnt. If you blow a head gasket on a dmax, 9 times out of 10 you wont even know it because it wont exhibit all of the "typical signs of when an engine blows a head gasket".

I mean I suppose it COULD happen, but ive never heard of it (milky oil)...so if the oil looks clean, that doesnt mean anything IMO
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:41 PM   eBay Motors  #6 (permalink)
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Ill second all of what Ben just said!!!
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:49 PM   eBay Motors  #7 (permalink)
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when mine went out, i drove it for awhile and didnt realize it. I had the tight radiator hose and the puking coolant out the overflow. The temp gauge was always moving also. just go and look at the truck and drive it.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:08 AM   eBay Motors  #8 (permalink)
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About the only way to guess if it has blown head gaskets is to drive the vehicle and monitor the temperature gauge. If it moves a lot-- and the heater blows warm air and then cold air, I would suspect a leaky head gasket. Also let it idle with the reservoir cap off and look for bubbles.

Of course the hard upper hose, after it has set overnight, has always been a good indicator.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:31 AM   eBay Motors  #9 (permalink)
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About the only way to guess if it has blown head gaskets is to drive the vehicle and monitor the temperature gauge. If it moves a lot-- and the heater blows warm air and then cold air, I would suspect a leaky head gasket. Also let it idle with the reservoir cap off and look for bubbles.

Of course the hard upper hose, after it has set overnight, has always been a good indicator.
How far of a temp swing are we talking about ( mine only moves from 185 to 200 ) and not all the time.
And when you say look for bubbles in the tank are they tiny ,(like you have to put your eyeball to the tank neck ) or are they easy to see.Thanks
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:33 AM   eBay Motors  #10 (permalink)
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The temp on mine was going between 185-230. Not all the time, mainly when getting on it. The bubbles are very noticeable. mine was flowing out the overflow.
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