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Head gasket leaking?


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Shops have a vested interest to stay in business and can (not always) find things to do on your dime. The best defense is to know as much if not more than them and simply tell them what you want done. Asking here is a good idea.


Water in the oil is a symptom of a bad or failing head gasket, yes. Water enters the cylinder and gets past the rings as steam and mixes with the oil usually turning it gray. If the water is going there, then the rad will show signs of needing constantly topping up as well. In some cases the compression of the engine will force it's way into the cooling system, over pressurizing it and expelling coolant from the rad cap into the coolant recovery bottle, if equipped. The exhaust may also steam more when warmed up too and have a sweet smell of antifreeze. A compression test may not bear this out as the leak only has to be a small one.


As  for the engine rebuild. A cylinder leak down test will measure compression loss past valves and rings and can narrow down the problem area. Compressed air is forced into the cylinder and escaping air sounds out the exhaust indicates a bad exhaust valve while out the intake is a bad sealing intake valve. Any other loss is presumed to be the rings.  Asuming the valves are in good shape and adjusted and timing set properly a low compresion over all the cylinders would indicate wear on all the rings. However if not burning excessive oil (little to no exhaust smoke) low compression isn't necessarily a reason for a rebuild. If all cylinders are within 10% of eachother the engine will still run evenly. There is no cut off number but under 150 is getting there and more definitely if there is oil consumpton other than valve guide seals and dripping past bad gaskets and seals.


Assuming the head is flat and does not need to be planed to remove any warp, a replaced head gasket should solve the water in the oil problem. This may be the best way to go for now and will get you back on the road. If the head is warped, again you will have to trust your mechanic on this, perhaps while it is off have the valve guide seals replaced. This is a common source of oil leaking into the engine and being burnt. 

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My front timming cover went bad cause of old antifreeze and the cover cavitated. if the cover behind the water pump is beat up like Termites went thru it that could be the proplem. if looks OK then I would point more towards the head gasket.



try to find more of a Datsun shop where they might be more helpful.


history on the motor and whats happen in last 6 months mayb help us trouble shoot over the computer

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