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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got this problem with a 95 custom build but the engine is stock.

It has steam coming from the breather tube, and of course the dispstick tube and the oil fill tube. No oil in the water or water in the oil but it is getting moisture in the oil ... you can see it in the fill tube and .. we pulled the head and it was moisture in the valve covers.

We sent the head to the machine shop and they found no cracks .. the face was out .003 so they shaved it ... we installed a new gasket and torqued the bolts to like 145 - 150 lbs.

Still has steam coming out .... it only does it after it warms up .. like maybe a small crack in the block that only opens after it heats up ..

We're thinking maybe a crack in a cylinder because how else would it make steam when the engine is only at 180 degrees or so.

I just rebuilt the engine .. it has less than 2000 miles on it ... never run hot .. always warm it up before putting under a load and let it cool before killing it. The block was checked for cracks before it was rebuilt and bored .040 over. The water jackets were corroded a little ... makes me think that a cylinder could possibly developed a crack.

Any one else have this problem are have any clues? I really hate to pull the motor but I don"t know what else to check.

Thanks, Robert.
 

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we installed a new gasket and torqued the bolts to like 145 - 150 lbs.
Apparantly you didn't bother checking into the Cummns procedure to tq the head bolts. What else did you fudge on?

I can think of two things. You managed to crack the block where one or more of the head bolts thread in. A less likely thing is a cracked cylinder wall.
 

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Does the steam smell like coolant?

Water will condense in the crankcase, especially when it cools down outside and the humidity is high. What's the temperature like where you are? Are you routinely getting dew in the mornings?
 

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Wow I'm having the same issue with mine. Just swapped the head gasket, head was shaved 0.012 and a 0.010 head gasket installed. Torqued the studs to 130 like they're supposed to be. Cylinders looked fine when the head was off.

After it warmed up it started puking a huge steam cloud out the blowby tube, but no mixing of water/oil that I can find, and it runs really smooth. It steams enough to pool on the ground and it smells like straight water, no antifreeze or oil smell.

The head was off for almost a full month, I'm wondering if some water could've got in the block and it's just steaming out maybe? It did rain a couple times but the hood was shut and I had a tarp over the block just in case also. I'm very confused about this. It didn't do this before even with a really toasted head gasket.

Not trying to hijack but it seems we have similar problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Apparantly you didn't bother checking into the Cummns procedure to tq the head bolts. What else did you fudge on?

I can think of two things. You managed to crack the block where one or more of the head bolts thread in. A less likely thing is a cracked cylinder wall.

I guess I got my handle wrong on here.

Yea, I've been pulling wrenches for 45 years ... I know all about torqueing the bolts to 80 lbs then going another 90 degrees in one smooth motion.

But we folks who want a little more torgue our bolts a little more. Don't think it's a crack at the head bolt ... that wouldn't cause steam. I'm still thinking cylinder wall.

Thanks for the reply GAmes..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow I'm having the same issue with mine. Just swapped the head gasket, head was shaved 0.012 and a 0.010 head gasket installed. Torqued the studs to 130 like they're supposed to be. Cylinders looked fine when the head was off.

After it warmed up it started puking a huge steam cloud out the blowby tube, but no mixing of water/oil that I can find, and it runs really smooth. It steams enough to pool on the ground and it smells like straight water, no antifreeze or oil smell.

The head was off for almost a full month, I'm wondering if some water could've got in the block and it's just steaming out maybe? It did rain a couple times but the hood was shut and I had a tarp over the block just in case also. I'm very confused about this. It didn't do this before even with a really toasted head gasket.

Not trying to hijack but it seems we have similar problems.

Well I hate your having problems but at least I'm not the only one. Good thing is I have several engines laying around and if someone on here don't have a solution I guess I'll have to rebuild another one.
 

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Yea, I've been pulling wrenches for 45 years ... I know all about torqueing the bolts to 80 lbs then going another 90 degrees in one smooth motion.

But we folks who want a little more torgue our bolts a little more. Don't think it's a crack at the head bolt ... that wouldn't cause steam.
I spent 27 years maintaining helicopters. In that business, not going by the book will kill people. Following the standards set by pople that are trained in metal fatigue and metal shearing has carried over into the automotive mechanican that I do. There is a reason why the long head bolts are supposed to have more torque than the shorter bolts, and a reason why the torque setting is published. I'm always amused by those who feel they have a better method than the engineers.

I have never witnessed it, but I have read that the blind bolt holes in the block can be cracked (I assume from over torquing) which will allow coolant to escape. It follows that with the uneven clamping force applied by the bolts all being torqued to the same number would allow coolant to seep into a cylinder or two. You might very well have a cracked cylinder wall since you are getting coolant into the bottom of the engine, but investigating the bolt holes might save you a lot of work and expense.
 

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Since your bolts are over torqued, I would suspect that as a cause to the issue.
People run higher torques for xxx reasons but I would think studs are the way to go for that.
I believe the spec is 115ft-lbs so if your at 145-150 ft-lbs then its quite possible your issue is caused by that. Why did you over torque? Your sig suggests that there is no reason for that....:confused013:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You guys have some good points ,,,, now ... how would you go about checking the bolt holes for cracks and how would you fix them if you found that to be the case?
 

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I believe the spec is 115ft-lbs......
Actually the spec isn't a specific number. First you tighten all the bolts to 66 ft lbs, in sequence, then double check. I usually triple check, or more until none of the bolts move, again in sequence. Then the six long bolts through the towers are torqued to 89 ft. lbs, in sequence, double (triple?) checked. Prior to the third step I mark the heads of all the bolts with a white paint pen. White out will work also. The third step is to tighten all bolts an additional 90 degrees. What that torque ends up at I don't know because I use a breaker bar and a cheater pipe.
 
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People retorque head bolts way past factory spec quite often with no issues of cracking the cylinder walls or the bolt holes..
 

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You guys have some good points ,,,, now ... how would you go about checking the bolt holes for cracks and how would you fix them if you found that to be the case?
I would remove each bolt in sequence and look for moisture on the threads. Check it against a length chart and reinstall it to 66 ft lbs because I don't want to lose clamping force on the gasket. If any threads are wet I'd mark that hole and continue. If none of the bolts have wet threads you can count out the HG or a cracked hole. If there is a sealant that can be applied to a wet surface I might try some on the threads of the wet bolts, but I am not aware of any sealant that wll work that way. Assuming you find a wet bolt or two (or more) I would replace the HG again, then on assy clean and dry the cracked holes and use a good sealant (like Ultimate Grey or ARP's sealer) instead of a lubricant on the bolt threads.
 

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People retorque head bolts way past factory spec quite often with no issues of cracking the cylinder walls or the bolt holes..
Yes, and people go 90mph in 65mph zones and never get caught. So what?
 
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That is in no way a comparison to a retorque on stock head bolts past factory spec.

Odd that Jeff Garmon would do such a thing...

garmon head bolt torque specs anyone? - Competition Diesel.Com - Bringing The BEST Together

Head bolt torque... the dirty limits - Competition Diesel.Com - Bringing The BEST Together
It is a good comparison IMO. If Jeff Garmin runs into curbs to adjust his front end alignment would you blindly follow him? But since you posted those links I have a couple questions for you. What is the factory torque setting if the factory procedure is followed? Also, how does torquing all the bolts to the same setting compensate for the different lengths? I'm sure you have an engineering degree that outshines those who established the spec in the manual.
 

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It is a good comparison IMO. If Jeff Garmin runs into curbs to adjust his front end alignment would you blindly follow him? But since you posted those links I have a couple questions for you. What is the factory torque setting if the factory procedure is followed? Also, how does torquing all the bolts to the same setting compensate for the different lengths? I'm sure you have an engineering degree that outshines those who established the spec in the manual.
I can see your skull is pretty thick so I will leave this alone and let you continue thinking the way you do.

You are right everything aftermarket and/or spec not done completely by the cummins manual is completely wrong and will destroy the truck.
 

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I can see your skull is pretty thick so I will leave this alone and let you continue thinking the way you do.

You are right everything aftermarket and/or spec not done completely by the cummins manual is completely wrong and will destroy the truck.
:hehe: So, to conclude. You are not an engineer and have no idea what the final torque is when using Cummins specs. You also are of the opinion that just because a few people get away with using other than spec settings that there is not a high probability there won't be eventual failure. I suppose you feel so strongly about those things that you would willingly spend your time and money to help repair the engines of those who choose to believe in your opinions.

To be clear, I have no problem with after market items as long as those items fill a need and are dependable. I am running an aftermarket cam and turbo. If I had a need for an engine that produces more than 30 pounds of boost I would have studs.
 

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I'd like to add mt 2cts. 1st. if it isn't using coolant I wouldn't worry about it. 2nd. There are expansion plugs behind the tappet covers. Just maybe... 3rd. You are going to break a bolt before you pull the threads in the block.
 

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I'd like to add mt 2cts. 1st. if it isn't using coolant I wouldn't worry about it. 2nd. There are expansion plugs behind the tappet covers. Just maybe... 3rd. You are going to break a bolt before you pull the threads in the block.
One would think the bolt would break given they're a torque turn bolt that eventually twists before it turns at some point. One would know that having read the threads I posted where they mention stopping if the bolt starts twisting. Giving the bolt time to cool as well. Common sense doesn't apply here apparently.


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:hehe: So, to conclude. You are not an engineer and have no idea what the final torque is when using Cummins specs. You also are of the opinion that just because a few people get away with using other than spec settings that there is not a high probability there won't be eventual failure. I suppose you feel so strongly about those things that you would willingly spend your time and money to help repair the engines of those who choose to believe in your opinions.

To be clear, I have no problem with after market items as long as those items fill a need and are dependable. I am running an aftermarket cam and turbo. If I had a need for an engine that produces more than 30 pounds of boost I would have studs.
I assume you know I graduated from Purdue's ABE program then.


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