Seeping head gasket 4.6L???
At what point does a "seeping" headgasket become a problem? I have a 2001 4.6L non-PI with 67K miles on it. The pass. side headgasket was replaced @ 20K mi. and now the driver's side is "wet" looking (but no drips) all along the underside of the exhaust manifold and there is thick "soot" on the inner side underneath the intake. The heavier "moisture" appears to be more prevalent just above the coolant inlet located just above the oil filter. Some of this COULD be from oil changes I realize, but it seems odd that it's that far above the filter location. Also the pass. side seems to be "wet" looking toward the rear with an actual drip clinging on just behind the location of the exhaust manifold flange. The upper most part of the oil pan also appears dark from the migrating moisture, but it's by no means oily and only dirt comes off on your finger when you wipe it. It doesn't leak a DROP on the ground and I haven't noticed any oil consumption, smoking, or contamination of the coolant. When I noticed the pass. side might be bad, there were actual drops of oil hanging from the pass. side oil pan bolts. Not the case this time, just a little wet looking here and there.
Is this normal for an engine with almost 70K miles on it, or am I in trouble? I'd like to see another 70K out of it ya know? I am getting ready to squeeze the trigger on a $1,700 gear & posi job, but before I do that I want to make sure I shouldn't save that for Cometic head gaskets and a LOOOOONG week of researching / knuckle busting / cussing & drinking. I should have most of the tools, but not the knowledge. Would the timing cover have to come off? Would it be wise to invest in "PI" heads or have mine extrude honed? Guess if the timing cover had to come off I may as well do cams too huh? HELP!!!