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  #1  
Old 04-19-2011, 03:46 PM
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5.4 Expedition - signs of Blown Head Gasket? PLEASE HELP (pics)

Today on a drive to the store, my 99 ford expedition 5.4L (147k miles) started to shake / vibrate heavily during acceleration from 5 mph to around 35mph, then it would drive like normal. I drove it the rest of the way to the store with no problems, shopped, and on the way back it was much worse. Same heavy shaking from the engine from 5 - 35mph then it would clear up after that. Then it started to make some sounds that went along with the vibrating, a putt putt putt kind of sound along with somewhat of belt squeek noise. Then came the smell of antifreeze. I pulled over, checked under the hood and saw a light chocolate looking residue on the bottom of my oil cap. I waited a little bit and drove it the rest of the way home. At some stop lights, it would have terrible acceleration, and at others, it would drive like normal. I got home and popped the hood after I shut it off and heard a hissing down by the passenger side head near the firewall. I opened the coolant container and it had some pressure in it. My oil cap had the same milkshake looking color. I then noticed down on the passenger side head, there was milkshake liquid everywhere, it was already cooked on the head but it was leaking on the frame rails so it was fresh.


Is this the sign of a blown headgasket?
Is the best way to check, to go get a pressure tester?
If anyone has had this issue, please chime in!! I'm stranded without this vehicle.

Pictures - taken from passenger side wheel well.

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  #2  
Old 04-19-2011, 05:03 PM
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not good

Most likely a cracked head/block, but you could be "lucky" (if you want to call it that) with just a badly blow head gasket. Don't run the engine anymore and let us know what is the final diagnosis is!
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2011, 09:03 PM
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Yea, that milky crap can be somewhat normal. It builds and traps under the cam covers with these engines. How is it making to frame rail lol. Looks like, from the pics , it might be coming from the valve cover seal . (?). Is it or was it running hot at any time just before or somewhat recently? Well, you need to pin-point that leak. If you need to start it to do so, then so be it IMO. BUT! Clean that area up first and all residual leakage evidence. Who knows, you might find where it's coming from while doing so.

Yea, looks like it got wet at the top of head at one time. Check it good, the other side of the head can leak and it may have traveled/wrapped around. Your model year had a bur problem factory (heads/machining defect). That's where they blow, back passenger side head, but there is a few other reasons it can get wet back there as well.
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2011, 10:21 PM
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Possible blown out freeze plug behind the front cover as well.
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2011, 11:05 PM
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The milky crap is normal, but yours is a bit excessive. I don't however see any fluids below the HG line... maybe the heater hose above has a leak. And you have a broken exhaust bolt btw

Maybe the exhaust leak is blowing it upward? Looks like it to me. I dunno.
Starting to think it has an internal HG leak and that is coolant and exhaust gasses mixed that are making that mukky film. Then maybe it's leaking out the exhaust and being blown upward near the broken manifold bolt/leak
Probably what is causing the misfires
Hydrocarbon test the coolant for any exhaust gasses. Bet it comes back positive.

Last edited by Toyz; 04-19-2011 at 11:18 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2011, 02:22 AM
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It was not running hot at all, the temp gauge stays just below middle and never moves once warmed up and I watched it the entire trip that the car was acting up.

Thanks for the advice so far, Ill clean the area tomorrow and try to pinpoint the leak and also test the coolant for hydrocarbons.
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  #7  
Old 04-20-2011, 07:37 PM
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Having similar issues here, but ive got 285k on the old girl, and im leaking coolant into #1 cyl...consistent misfire on #1, and going through about a gallon of coolant every 1k miles at this point..thing is, when totally warmed up, she still runs pretty dam good, so still not sure what im gonna do yet..fix it, swap motor, or maybe lightning motor...hmmmmmm
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  #8  
Old 04-20-2011, 07:56 PM
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If you keep the radiator cap off and let it run for 10 minutes, if the coolant bubbles out of the neck then yep, headgasket, and overpressurization
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2011, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DYNOTECH View Post
Possible blown out freeze plug behind the front cover as well.
There is a freeze plug on the passenger side block just below the #4 exhaust port. If it is leaking it will shoot hot coolant, judging by the pics dirty rusty water, up on to the manifold. The leaking manifold spews it even further onto the head and manifold. BTW the first pic is upside down.
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  #10  
Old 04-21-2011, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMC View Post
There is a freeze plug on the passenger side block just below the #4 exhaust port. If it is leaking it will shoot hot coolant, judging by the pics dirty rusty water, up on to the manifold. The leaking manifold spews it even further onto the head and manifold. BTW the first pic is upside down.
lol thanks, I noticed that but photobucket doesn't seem to want to work for me. Thanks for the responses so far. Keep them coming. I'm making a list of things to check when I get some time tomorrow.
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  #11  
Old 05-12-2011, 11:08 AM
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Well I took this to a shop and had them diagnose it for me, they said it was definitely a head gasket and quoted me $2,650 to repair it. That is insane to me so I decided to take it home and do it myself. I replaced all gaskets with a new felpro kit, Replaced all the headbolts. Had the heads machined and magnafluxed to check for cracks and I cleaned the engine all up and put it back together. Started it up and it was good the first night. The next day I have the same exact issue. I left the exhaust manifolds disconnected from the rest of the exhaust and I was able to see coolant blowing out of the exhaust manifold pretty heavily. That explains the above pictures with the coolant blown all over the side of the block with the stud being broken. So I have the same exact issue. I am confident that I repaired the headgasket correctly, the heads are supposedly crack free. HOW ELSE IS COOLANT GETTING INTO MY ENGINE? Can it be an intake manifold problem? I see that there is coolant passages going through that thing. I am stumped and I need this thing to get me and 4 dogs to FL in less than a week.
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  #12  
Old 05-12-2011, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spucegreen View Post
HOW ELSE IS COOLANT GETTING INTO MY ENGINE? Can it be an intake manifold problem? I see that there is coolant passages going through that thing. I am stumped and I need this thing to get me and 4 dogs to FL in less than a week.
Sure, it can be an intake gasket. But you should of took care of that after the heads. I mean, - new upper and lowers from the dealership, -then you need to stage the intake at least three times @ lite torque. Otherwise they'll leak for sure.

Are absolutely sure it's coming out the exhaust ports/manifold ? If your intake/heads were installed correctly I'd say you have a cracked head. Maybe near the water jacket.
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  #13  
Old 05-12-2011, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by spucegreen View Post
Well I took this to a shop and had them diagnose it for me, they said it was definitely a head gasket and quoted me $2,650 to repair it. .
Personally, I would of dropped a good new/used motor in it @ half that price and of be done with it.

Put the old one the stand and get to it when I can lol.
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  #14  
Old 05-12-2011, 08:36 PM
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I would pull the sparkplugs and see if any have coolant on them. If they are all dry then you don't have a cracked head or cyl bore.When you had the heads off did you notice any one particular bore that looked washed out or the piston was cleaner than the others? I have seen porosity in the cyl heads especially right under one of the valve seats. This would allow coolant to enter the engine and if it was an exhaust valve coolant could flow out the exhaust port. You had the heads tested so thats probably a long shot. A cyl bore crack would be the most likely condition at this point but you would have a dead cyl because of the volume of coolant entering the bore. Are you getting coolant into the crankcase oil yet? Has the coolant level dropped and the engine oil level increased? Is there a leaking hose above or anywhere near the area you are seeing coolant? The one exhaust bolt that was broken off,was that a stock stud that was in the hole or did soemone drill and tap that hole out and install a bolt because it looked to me like it was a bolt and the head popped off. If so someone may have drilled into a coolant passage during an attempted repair job and its leaking coolant from that hole.

Last edited by DYNOTECH; 05-12-2011 at 08:42 PM.
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  #15  
Old 05-12-2011, 10:06 PM
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You said the shop indicated a blown head gasket, but you opted to change it yourself. When the head was removed, what was the condition of the gasket? Where was it leaking if it was?
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:06 PM


 
 
 
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