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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So recently I picked up another P-pump 12 valve truck in a non-running condition as a project truck for my now 14 year old son, with the aim of having it going good by the time he's 16.

I bought the truck from a south Texas farmer. This truck was been worked its whole life, but the engine was completely stock (all the tamper proof screws were still in place, as was the stock airbox) with about 340K miles on it.

The truck sat in a non-running condition, parked outside next to a barn, since sometime in 2014.

Anyway, I finally got the truck running and it poured white smoke.

Did a compression test and the front two cylinders have basically nothing (like 50 psi maybe). Poured a little oil down the #2 hole to see if it was rings or head related and the oil sprayed back out of the #1 hole at me.

So how screwed am I?

My first thought is head gasket, is it common (or at least heard of) for a head gasket to fail connecting two cylinders?

Or is it more likely something more serious, like the block or head?

Any insight or experience would be appreciated. Thanks
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Sounds like a blown head gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I figured I'd go ahead an order up a head gasket kit. The dang good head gasket kit (Mahle) is cheaper than the core deposit for the injectors.

I initially thought the white smoke was a failed injector (truck as 340K miles on the original injectors ) and the pre-filter (that still had the heater attached) was NASTY, so I put a set of re-manufactured injectors in it. That of course didn't fix the problem of low/ no compression I later found out after pulling those new injectors back out.

Guess the old farmer was filling up in the middle of dust storms all the time. The whole pre-filter bowl looked like this, a bunch of the junk also fell off when I was removing the screen from the housing, so the picture doesn't show it as bad as it actually was.

Oh well, it probably needed new injectors anyway.
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907587
 

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I just took a look at Rock auto. Remans are more expensive than new injectors. I'm waiting for them to restock the 215 Bosch injectors, but they always seem to have 180s.
 

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I just took a look at Rock auto. Remans are more expensive than new injectors. I'm waiting for them to restock the 215 Bosch injectors, but they always seem to have 180s.
Took me like a year to find them, checking every couple days. When i ordered them they were out of stock the next day.
 

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Ya, I went there one day when they had four. Now I need the other two.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just took a look at Rock auto. Remans are more expensive than new injectors. I'm waiting for them to restock the 215 Bosch injectors, but they always seem to have 180s.

Close but not quite.
New Bosch injectors from Rock Auto are $76.79 each, so $460.74 (plus shipping) for the set. Reman 5x12's from PDD are $424.80 with free shipping (once you get the core deposit back of course). And since they're re-manufactured cores, they're pretty much always in stock.

New Chinese injectors can be had cheaper from lots of places, but I wanted to stick with Bosch bodied injectors.

Rock auto does offer Cardone remans that can be had for $51.79 each ( so $310.74 a set), but I'd had good luck with PDD stuff in the past, so I just went with them.
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Well, I figured I couldn't make the matter any worse, so I went and pulled the head to take a look around. The gasket was definitely bad.

907617
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Considering its a Fel-pro gasket, I'm guessing its been replaced at least once before.

907618
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The #2 piston has a few marks in it , but the cylinder wall is fine.
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907623
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I went and ordered a machinist straight edge from Amazon. Guaranteed to be straight within 2 thousandths. I'll check the flatness of the deck and head with that once it arrives. Gotta go dig through the FSM to find the spec for block & head flatness now.

Anyone out there ever put an engine back together with a piston that looks like that and just send it? I really don't want to pull the engine, I'm thinking that since the cylinder wall isn't scored I might be able to get away with putting on a new head gasket (assuming the deck and head check out for flatness) and just going with it.
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The pistons are pretty thick. I believe I would smooth the damage a little and call it a day.
 

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At 340k that engine and head is wishing for a re do. Complete .

That being said , you could check flatness of BOTH surfaces , closely inspect the valves and valve seats and bolt her up and see what ya got .
 

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Also im suspect on why it has had at least 1 head gasket replaced . IE : non flat head , overheating ect ect
 

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Maybe a valve job, but 340k on a totally stock engine isn't enough to assume it needs a full rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
In a related public service announcement. If you find yourself in need of doing a compression test on your 12 valve, the Harbor Freight diesel engine compression tester kit will work, but only if you modify the dummy injector to actually fit into the injector hole. The way it comes in the kit the threads are correct, but the body below it is to large to actually go down into the head.
A little work with a grinder and it fits. Doesn't need to be super round or an exact fit. I used one of the left over thick copper injector sealing washers on the tip to seal it to the head, worked fine.

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Also im suspect on why it has had at least 1 head gasket replaced . IE : non flat head , overheating ect ect

I think overheating may have contributed. The reason I say that is when I bought it, the truck it was low on coolant. I filled up the coolant before I got it running again. After it was running I discovered a reason it may have been low on coolant. It was all running out into the passenger side floorboard.

So its possible that the truck was out somewhere with a heavy hay trailer behind it (the guy I bought it from cut/ sold those giant round bales of hay) when the heater core blew and the ol-farmer drove it home, popping the head gasket in the process.
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
The pistons are pretty thick. I believe I would smooth the damage a little and call it a day.
If the block checks out for flatness , I think I'm going to do just that.
Although I'm not real sure how I'd go about smoothing out the damage. Obviously don't want to get a grinder or other power tool that close to the cylinder wall, and I don't think a red scotch brite is really going to do much. Any suggestions on tools/ techniques to use to smooth out the damage?
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A vacuum and a scotchbrite pad is all I'd do. IMO, all you need to clean up would be any sharp edges. It seems to me they would be hot spots if left alone.
 
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