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Discussion Starter #1
Folks,

Long story; but I'll condense as much as possible.

Noticed slight coolant leak at a hose a few weeks ago. Changed hose, leak disappeared.

New trailer (enclosed) and noticed a coolant smell, but no drips. Odd.

Hooked up and went away. Started using significant coolant. A few gallons in a few hundred miles. Limped it into the shop. Never overheated; monitored temps with the edge.

Diesel shop confirmed head gasket blown, milled head, ARP studs, pressure checked EGR cooler and all was good. Hooked trailer up and came home.... and on the way home used 2.5 gallons of coolant.


Now.... what next??? Shop that did the work is 1000 miles from home, and I'm still losing coolant - not as much (compared to the 7+ it took on the trip out), but it's still going somewhere.

Seems to only lose coolant when under high load.... anyone installed a head gasket and still have it leak???

I supposed I could have gotten a back head gasket (or an improper install).

Thanks for any help,
Evan
 

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is it continuing to use it or could the 2.5gal have been an air bubble? For the cost of having that work done, I would certainly be taking it back to them and/or having them reimburse a shop local to you for any work performed to fix it.
 

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After the radiator is refilled and the engine is up to 200 degrees or full operating temp, when you shut the engine off does it percolate for a little bit? If you answer yes, your truck’s head gasket is still leaking, but if there is no percolating it was an air lock in the cooling system. After I had the HG replaced in my truck it had an air bubble but belched it out, and hasn’t needed topped off since then, even after pulling our camper 3,000 miles through some mountainous terrain.
 

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I take it you're deleted with EGR parts still physically present?

There's no way the system burped out half its capacity in air. You're definitely losing coolant somewhere. If it isn't ending up in the oil and the EGR cooler is really ok then it's either the head gasket, cracked block, or cracked head. If they milled the head then presumably they checked the block surface so I'd assume the HG is intact but you never know.

At that rate of loss you should really be able to smell it in the exhaust or see white smoke. If it's any sort of external leak you should be able to track it down by pressure testing the cooling system.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So... yes... all my thoughts exactly:

Oil is clean and at the full mark; exactly where it was when I changed it 5000 miles ago.
Coolant is definitely going somewhere; I changed the coolant a couple months ago (at 155k, currently at 161,800), and it did burp coolant once after getting it up to temp and letting it cool down, I had to add some.

But 2.5 gallons is a lot more than some, and it's continuing to lose it; because as I drive more I can hear it slosh inside the heater core. When it's fully full, the heater core never makes noises.

No smoke. No external leaks. Spent an hour last night going over the truck, and again today after running the snot out of it with the trailer behind it.

The ONLY thing I can come up with; as the head was magna fluxed and milled prior to install, and the EGR cooler was pressure tested is that I have a cracked block (99.999999% certain that isn't the case). I think the MLS Cometic head gasket has let go. They talked me "into" this upgraded head gasket, but on doing research today, I don't think it's helping anything.

Cooling system pressure test to come tomorrow or Saturday.

I've owned the truck since new; this is the first repair, and the first repair someone else has done for me. I didn't like the lack of attention to detail on many items. So I wonder if everything got torqued properly; or if the MLX head gasket from cometic really is as bad as what the internet seems to say they are. Everyone else seems to recommend using the Cummins gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I take it you're deleted with EGR parts still physically present?



There's no way the system burped out half its capacity in air. You're definitely losing coolant somewhere. If it isn't ending up in the oil and the EGR cooler is really ok then it's either the head gasket, cracked block, or cracked head. If they milled the head then presumably they checked the block surface so I'd assume the HG is intact but you never know.



At that rate of loss you should really be able to smell it in the exhaust or see white smoke. If it's any sort of external leak you should be able to track it down by pressure testing the cooling system.
NO. I am tuned, with all emissions intact and operating. Calibrated power did my tune.
Agreed on the air; but I've owned the truck since new. I know it's never overheated or been frozen. I've had 158k of trouble free miles; and then this issue rears it's head.

DPF/SCR I'm told will eliminate all the white smoke. No smell out of the exhaust. But even when it was pushing a lot more coolant out than it is now, it didn't have those symptoms. Unlike a deleted truck, those are not good indicators in this scenario.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
The heater hose that has the quick-disconnect at the rear of the block; quick disconnect showed some crustiness, I attributed it to it's location above the manifold, now I'm thinking it was more likely early warning that the coolant system was getting additional pressure in it.
 

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Interesting (maybe not the best choice of words with your issue...) that the DPF/SCR can or will mask burning coolant.
There's only 3 places for coolant to go if it's disappearing. On the ground, in the oil pan or out the tailpipe. So given the first 2 aren't happening according to you, then, yes, sounds like it's burning coolant unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
talked with the shop that did the repair. they're pretty certain it's the EGR cooler. Though pressure tested, there is no way to pressure test to the load at full rpm and towing in real life (least that's what they tell me; not sure I agree???)

They claim to have never had a cometic gasket leak after install. They milled .006" off the head to get it flat, and used a .052" gasket.

Now we all know that new doesn't equal good.... so I'm not saying it's not the head or gasket at this point. But since the engine was run low on coolant, I do wonder if that EGR cooler that's near the top of the cooling system did overheat; cause a minor crack that is only allowing coolant to escape at full load.

I'm tempted to replace it and see what happens. There are used ones on Ebay for $160. Course.... it's used. A new one is $1800 from cummins, which I'd happily spend. or there is an updated one from Bullet Proof Diesel for $989.

Thoughts fellas??? ya'll are a pretty intelligent group. Happy to spend/do whatever I need to;

Couple folks have talked about taking the EGR cooler off and looking for any dampness or wetness inside; it should be completely dry.
 

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Unless you have it registered where you are required to have emissions certification you could do what I did early on, Just removed their junk and left on a shelf out in my shop. I had it deleted and never looked back.
 

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not sure where your located, but ive got a couple in the attic north of Houston if you want to slap them on to check and see before you drop a grand on a "maybe"
 

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Unless you have it registered where you are required to have emissions certification you could do what I did early on, Just removed their junk and left on a shelf out in my shop. I had it deleted and never looked back.
Well... We don't in NC. But I drive all 50 states, and I certainly don't want to risk a ticket. And I'll be honest, I like my clean diesel.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
So I ordered a new EGR cooler today. Went with the Bulletproof version; hopefully that will fix it.

Around town, without a trailer, it's not using any coolant. Apparently it's only under high load.

I'll get it swapped next week and report back. Hopefully this cures everything, and life is back to normal.
 
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