Head gasket

Discussion in '1998 - 2011 Ford Ranger' started by LeslieXLT, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. LeslieXLT

    LeslieXLT New Member

    I have 98 xlt 3.0 and have noticed a rough idle last couple weeks. Yesterday I noticed water spitting out exhaust. Oil don’t show milk or oil cap. I ran compression and # 3 is low. Am I looking at gasket PLUS A BAD HEAD? Any way to run test to determine if it’s valve or cracked head?
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  3. 1998Ranger2WDTom

    1998Ranger2WDTom New Member

    Well Leslie ,
    Could be several things that make it rough.
    "Water" out the exhaust or coolant out the exhaust ? Water is usually condensation every time you start and / or a byproduct of combustion.
    Is it overheating? AND loosing coolant ? Does it run at what has been " normal " temperature range?
    Diagnose one issue at a time.
    A head gasket can fail in a few ways. The seal from the piston combustion chamber can breach to the outside leaking to the ground, the most rare. It could breach to the crank case or oil system, also under pressure and less common. It can breach to the coolant galleys pressurizing them with combustion gasses. Or it could get the the exhaust, and often but not always the result of overheating and a crack in he head casting.

    Here is a quick check.
    Starting with a cold motor start it and if there is pressure in 30 seconds when you release the radiator cap good chance it is breached to some degree. When I didn't have two extra nickels to rub together I ran back and forth to work with the cap loose and added water when needed.....for about a month until I saved. I don't recommend
    that for new cars.

    How low is # 3? More than 15% of the rest (65 as the rest are 110 for example).
    If you have a way to hold #3 at TDC and apply air pressure WITH A REGULATOR AND DO NOT EXCEED THE NORMAL LOWEST ALLOWED COMPRESSION (warm engine coolant cap Off) and see if you get air out the radiator or exhaust
    ( you can put you ear to the tailpipe NOT RUNNING and listen like a sea shell.

    Hope that helps.
    Old school back to the shop.
  4. OP

    LeslieXLT New Member

    Thanks Tom#3 was maybe 30-35lbs lower than the rest of cylinders and is firing. Coolant system has no leaks but will go thru a gallon or more in a week. Considerable and constant water coming out the exhaust from start up to shut down. I don’t drive it off the property often so it haven’t overheated. Soon as I rid myself of this flu/cold bug I will try that air test, thankyou again
  5. 1998Ranger2WDTom

    1998Ranger2WDTom New Member

    All good Leslie,
    Agreed, Too cold to do anything outside now and I have to justify heating the garage..... When I get a few things lined up.

    So the are several more things I would do to diagnose also.
    That plug especiallty clean.?

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