Blown head gasket? - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Blown head gasket?

So I'm going to try to make this story short. Bought a 14 6.7 with a low coolant light. Previous owners said its been on a while but they never worried because it comes and goes and never got over heated. I went to add coolant the next day and the system still had pressure and coolant would back flow into the reservoir when I open it. No sweet smell or white smoke from the exhaust. No milky oil or notable oil in the coolant. Filled it up with maybe 1/4 gallon of OAT coolant and water. Ran for a week or two before the low coolant light came back so I add a little more. Same thing of no matter how long the truck sits it still has pressure in the system. Little research showed the egr cooler was the likely culprit. Replaced it and still having the same symptoms. I feel crazy in this but if the head gasket is leaking shouldn't it leak down the pressure in the system when not being used? I'm talking 12-36 hours not being driven. But no obvious fluid in the oil and no leak down of pressure? I'm not yet sure if the truck is still leaking coolant as I haven't driven it enough to notice as it was a slow leak but I've checked the pressure in the system multiple times.

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 09:39 AM
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Sounds like it was simply low on coolant. Keep doing what you’re doing and eventually it’ll settle.

I did some servicing to one of my radiator hoses and lost coolant in the process. When I filled it back up I had to burp it MULTIPLE times.

This went on for a while as I couldn’t get all the air out. Each time I opened the reservoir the fluid would back flow and the level would raise.

Eventually I got all the air out and now every time I open it the level doesn’t change anymore.

1. Sounds like the previous owner was lazy
2. Sounds like you’re simply low on coolant and air got in the system.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medic142 View Post
So I'm going to try to make this story short. Bought a 14 6.7 with a low coolant light. Previous owners said its been on a while but they never worried because it comes and goes and never got over heated. I went to add coolant the next day and the system still had pressure and coolant would back flow into the reservoir when I open it. No sweet smell or white smoke from the exhaust. No milky oil or notable oil in the coolant. Filled it up with maybe 1/4 gallon of OAT coolant and water. Ran for a week or two before the low coolant light came back so I add a little more. Same thing of no matter how long the truck sits it still has pressure in the system. Little research showed the egr cooler was the likely culprit. Replaced it and still having the same symptoms. I feel crazy in this but if the head gasket is leaking shouldn't it leak down the pressure in the system when not being used? I'm talking 12-36 hours not being driven. But no obvious fluid in the oil and no leak down of pressure? I'm not yet sure if the truck is still leaking coolant as I haven't driven it enough to notice as it was a slow leak but I've checked the pressure in the system multiple times.


The head gasket is out. I went through the same issue with mine. Is your truck running an after market tune?

2011 Laramie 2500 Crew 4x4 w/ 8' box, 68RFE transmission with trans tune, H&S mini w/5" exhaust, sinister egr delete, arp head studs, S&B cold air intake, B&W rollover goose neck hitch, roll'n'lock bed cover
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 11:54 AM
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Small leaks may not be obvious in the oil, get an OA to determine for sure. The steam ports are very close to the cylinder and it could be leaking just a little when the engine is up to temp, not enough to back pressure the coolant system but just enough to lose some coolant.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Previous owner was lazy and admitted it openly. They had a new f250 platinum they were driving when I bought the truck and basically said they had no need for the ram anymore. The truck is tuned and deleted but they had no idea how to use it. They paid a shop to install it and just drove it. It has a raceme tuner that shows how long it has been since updated and it was a lot 😂. I updated it but don't know what tune they were running but I went back to stock with deletes. I'm going to try to get it filled but I'm leaving towards a head gasket now. Just can't understand if it has a leak why does the system still hold pressure after such a long period?
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 03:32 PM
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Classic sign of a leaking HG. The pressure is so great in the cylinder it pushes a little gas into the coolant pressurizing the cooling system. It wont depressurize just setting like that. They probably had the timing jacked up to high or hammered on it with it not being warmed up and messed it up. Get the repairs done by a good shop or you will be doing it again. And also do a lot of reading and asking before you start messing with fuel and timing on the tuner.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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I don't plan on messing with the tuner for the most part. The truck will do everything I need without upping the power. I got the tester for exhaust gas in the coolant so I'll try that soon to be sure.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 12:49 AM
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I’m still not convinced it’s a coolant leak.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medic142 View Post
Previous owner was lazy and admitted it openly. They had a new f250 platinum they were driving when I bought the truck and basically said they had no need for the ram anymore. The truck is tuned and deleted but they had no idea how to use it. They paid a shop to install it and just drove it. It has a raceme tuner that shows how long it has been since updated and it was a lot 😂. I updated it but don't know what tune they were running but I went back to stock with deletes. I'm going to try to get it filled but I'm leaving towards a head gasket now. Just can't understand if it has a leak why does the system still hold pressure after such a long period?
Right...the owner is just playing dumb. The owner simply decided this tuned and deleted truck was more trouble than it was worth.
Unfortunately we take our chances every time we buy a used vehicle.
Personally I would NEVER buy a deleted truck.
I hope the problem is not serious and good luck to you.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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If they were being truthful or not is pretty irrelevant to me but they weren't acting shady. Gave me their business cards and said call if I have trouble with anything and have answers when I called since purchasing. I honestly believe they didn't know and were just done with it but like I said it doesn't matter as I own it now and I will repair it. It sucks a little but I got a great deal on it and even with repairing it I'll have a got a good deal. I did the block test to see if there were any exhaust gasses but it kind of sucks. It seems when the thermostat opens it overflows the bottle quickly which contaminates the test fluid but the fluid did seem to turn green JUST before overflowing so I'm pretty sure that is a blown gaskets since I already replaced the egr cooler.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 12:23 PM
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When the head is removed for the head gasket replacement be sure it is completely flat before it is reinstalled, my head needed to be machined .006". The dealership replaced the HG twice under warranty and I believe they didn't check it and it failed both times. I had it done on my dime and the private shop sent the head to a reputable machine shop to be checked for cracks and warp and it is right after this go around.

It isn't completely necessary, but for a little extra protection I would advise installing head studs to replace the factory head bolts while it is apart.

2011 Laramie 2500 Crew 4x4 w/ 8' box, 68RFE transmission with trans tune, H&S mini w/5" exhaust, sinister egr delete, arp head studs, S&B cold air intake, B&W rollover goose neck hitch, roll'n'lock bed cover
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 12:26 PM
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As suggested above.

While not essential with a plain head gasket, check/adjust valve lash after a few heat cycles with a new gasket, and check all head bolts at the same time as doing the lash.

R12 in the summer, Webasto in the winter; cassette tapes & SAE-20078 all year.
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