Not a 4x4, but need help

Discussion in '4X4 Truck Talk and Repairs' started by steve_b124, May 10, 2009.

  1. steve_b124

    steve_b124 New Member

    Messages:
    461
    State:
    south carolina
    My daughter's Lumina (99 model with 3.1L) has a problem. It's blowing steam out from behind the timing cover on the fire wall side of the block. I pulled the timing cover yesterday expecting a freeze plug blown or a cracked timing cover (the water pump is mounted in the cover and the cover forms part of the water jacket), but no luck. Everything looked good. I checked the freeze plugs on the side and the heater hoses. All good. I put it back together with new gaskets and still have the problem. It over heats real fast, blows steam out where I said before. I also noticed that it would push the coolant back into the overflow bottle while running. The thermostat is openning as it should. I replaced the intake gasket and head gaskets 3 years ago, but I suspect that I have blown a gasket to the outside or between the water jacket and a cylinder. Anybody got a suggestion?

    Thanks Steve
     
  2. Shimano_cat

    Shimano_cat New Member

    Messages:
    261
    State:
    North Caro
    I think you're dead on with the blown head gasket diagnosis from the problems you described.
     

  3. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    Yep, that came right out of the GM mechanics mouth a couple of months ago when my wife's malibu was in the shop for an intake manifold gasket:

    "yeah, these cars are known for blowing head gaskets too".

    Please tell me you didn't put Dex-cool back in it!!

    Overheating with plenty of coolant definately sounds like a head gasket to me. Any signs of oil in the coolant, or coolant in the oil? I think there is a fairly cheap kit you can buy from an auto parts store to check for exhaust gases in the coolant.
     
  4. steve_b124

    steve_b124 New Member

    Messages:
    461
    State:
    south carolina
    Thanks guys,
    I don't see any oil \ coolant mix. I bought the car cheap ($600) 3 years ago with a blown intake gasket at 100K miles. I replaced the intake and head gaskets then. It's been a good car for the last 65K miles, but started skipping and now the overheating and steam out the back side. The car is still relatively good shape, not to mention that money is tight, so I guess I'll fix it. My girl is 21 and working, but can't afford a payment, who can?

    Steve
     
  5. smokey869

    smokey869 New Member

    Messages:
    966
    State:
    frederickt
    be sure and replace the head bolts when you do the gaskets, they do stretch, especially after overheating, its not a bad job as ive done too many to count lol
     
  6. steve_b124

    steve_b124 New Member

    Messages:
    461
    State:
    south carolina
    Thanks,
    I always change any bolt that is torqued, including head bolts. A bolt loses a tremendous amount of strength if it is re-torqued due to stretch.
     
  7. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    State:
    Missouri Originally Now I
    It definately sounds like a blown head gasket to me also. Be sure to have your machine shop pressure check the heads, as they are prone to cracking also.

    BTW, GM made oodles of cars with that engine, before you spend a bunch of time & $$$, you might want to obtain an used engine with low miles on it, JAT...Elliot