Mitsubishi Head problems

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  #1  
Old 03-15-04, 08:48 AM
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Mitsubishi Head problems

OK....friend has a 96 eclipse with the standard 2 litre 4 banger that is blowing water from the cooling system. Mechanic says it could be deep (Head or head gasket) and with 96K on it says maybe its time to look for another car. The person has taken excellant care of it and it seems a shame. How bad are these to pull a head on for the average gear head? I have pulled/rebuilt V-8's with success and have a decent selelction of tools! OR are these particular engines just a known disaster and we are wasting our time! Inputs???
 
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  #2  
Old 03-15-04, 10:13 AM
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they ain't all that bad...

...sounds like the "mechanic" is scared to me...i'd pressure test the cooling system first to be sure where it's coming from...the other thing is to price the best and worst case scenarios just so the customer knows ahead what may or may not be. i'd price a valve job AND a replacement head...i guess it's also possible that the block could be damaged, but it doesn't sound very likely given your description of the history.
 
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Old 03-15-04, 01:26 PM
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Hey HEY...............

Cmon carguy........I'm just a regular "gear head" looking to help a friend save a few bucks. His regular mechanic quoted about $1800 and that was for replaning the existing head......sounded kinda steep.......for that price I woudl think it would include a rebuilt head.
 
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Old 03-15-04, 01:43 PM
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dude...

...i WAS giving you advice...and encouragement. it's best that the customer knows what the possible outcomes are...so figure a best case/worst case thing for him. I've had quite a few heads off of mits engines and they're pretty simple and straight forward...altho i'd suggest using the service information as a guide. and as far as 1800 for surfacing and a valve job....where I am, that's definately on the high side...we usually quote a 4 cyl at 800-1000. if you take this on...you'll save your friend a bundle. good luck....

PS...if it hasn't been over heated, the head is probably ok...
 
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Old 03-15-04, 09:07 PM
mike from nj
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have you done the basics?

remove the spark plugs and pressure test the radiator, let it sit for a few hours and see if any coolant made it to the cylinders.(crank the engine, with the plugs out)

is the thermostat opening, is the fan cycling, is there even a belt on the water pump.

does the cap hold pressure, is the secondary seal on the cap intact, is the radiator flowing, is there a pile of leaves in front of the radiator?


it's quite rare for these head gaskets to leak, a turbo one....maybe. non-turbo, not likely.


let us know what you want to do, i have these heads off in about 45 minutes.

(for the few hundred head gaskets i've done, i've only planed(resurfaced) maybe one or two. including my own vehicles)
 
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Old 03-16-04, 06:09 AM
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Mike from NJ.......

Mike, here is the scoop:
1)Thermostat is new
2)Belt is on
3)Cooling fans work fine!
4)Cap is fine and the radiator is clear of any obstructions
5)Radiator only 4 years old.

HOWEVER, the radiator cap and when you swosh your finger in it and smell it, it smells like engine oil!!!!!!!!!!!

His mechanic says this is what happening........as the engine runs there is a leak in the head gasket that is allowing the cylinder compression to overpressurize the cooling system. Basically the car heats up and fine but you almost NEVER get heat out of the heater!!! Then when she gets to temperature (mid gage) she starts to percilate into the overflow tank. When you shut off the car, it continues to percilate for about 30 seconds then it stops.
The exhaust does show some vapor even after it is fully warmed up and the outside air temp is about 50F. Also there IS some slight blue smoke in the exhaust!
 
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Old 03-16-04, 06:12 AM
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Mike?????????

I looked at the car and to pull the head do ya leave on the intake
manifold? It appears IMPOSSIBLE to get that off with nuts buried in the back! Also is there anything "wacky" to removing this head?
 
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Old 03-16-04, 06:14 AM
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Mike...one other note...........

looking straight on at the car.....the right half of the radiator barely gets warm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The upper hose and thermostat come in on the left side!!!!
 
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Old 03-16-04, 08:18 PM
mike from nj
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let's figure out exactly which 2.0L we're talking about. there was a lot of engine sharing and body sharing back then and names on the back bumper mean little.

is the valve cover silver or black, are the belts on the driver's side or passenger side?


if i even suspect a head gasket leak, i have a tester which measures HC (hydrocarbons) in the anti-freeze. the absolutely only way it can get there is from a combustion leak. no other way. maybe you can find a good reputable repair place that has this tester, and make a definite diagnosis before you rip a good head off. or if you have access to an emissions machine, you can put the sniffer near the radiator neck and make the same diagnosis. (HC=gasoline)


let us know
 
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Old 03-17-04, 05:25 AM
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Replys to Mike.....

Thaxs Mike. Yes, its the 96 Eclipse with the 2 litre DOHC, Black cam/lifter cover with the timming belts on the passenger side.
Even when you just idle/warm up the car from dead cold for about 10 minutes, the temperature gage will go up to the mid zone, you will get NO heat from the heater and when you shut it off the overflow tank percolates for about 30-45 seconds! This guy was very very good about maintanence and oil changes and as you can see for an 8 year old car it was only driven 10-12K per year!
 
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Old 03-17-04, 08:02 PM
mike from nj
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ok, that answers some questions. that engine is 100% dodge, similiar to the neon engines, except the exhaust is in the front and the intake is in the rear. that's why these engine don't have the 'oil leaking' headgasket problems.

you very well might have a (coolant) leaking headgasket, based on the description. i don't like to guess though, that's why i use that tester. imagine my/your frustration when you replace the headgasket and it does the same thing(overheats).

all it takes is one good overheating to blow a headgasket, or even crack a head.

did you pressure test the cap, to know it's 'fine'. is the coolant topped off, low coolant causes no heat.


yes, the intake manifold and the exhaust manifold comes off with the head as one assembly. it's a little tight in the front of the engine, in the timing belt area, it might take you a whole weekend to do the entire job. allow yourself plenty of room and plenty of time, (don't rush it). a manual will have tons of good information for you follow, or you could just post the questions here and wait a while for me to answer.


let us know.
 
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Old 03-18-04, 04:21 AM
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In all your effort here, don't overlook whatever may have been the root cause of the overheating that led to the head gasket demise. You may also have a radiator problem so be carefull not to ruin that again after repairing the head. I'd try to flush that system real good before disassembly and maybe change the radiator during the repair.
 
  #13  
Old 03-18-04, 05:17 AM
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Thanks to both of you.....

I will pass your info onto my friend and how he wants to approach it.
 
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