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Thread: i wish i knew- headgasket, just do it right the first time

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2014-10-29 02:17:54
i wish i knew- headgasket, just do it right the first time
I went cheap when I got my VE so I didn't do head studs or a head gasket before putting the engine in, my boss was pressing me to get my car off the lot and just couldn't spend more money on the studs, so I just bolted my turbo kit onto the bone stock engine, had it tuned and went racing. so I was having issues pushing coolant into the overflow bottle when running my VE hard. first happened at the track after 3 passes within 15 min, it actually pushed some out of the bottle. I'm running 1 bar of boost. so a few months later I get new ARP studs, the "correct" ones from mazworx. I decided to try replacing the studs one at a time without pulling the head. I know, I know but I needed to buy some time and it actually worked for a while, not real long but long enough for me to get a new head gasket. i figured, why not, it's a VE, i had a VE metal gasket in my last set up so they all have metal gaskets right? no! fast forward to today, i pulled the head and it has a typical Nissan carbon graphite (or whatever it's made of) gasket! i thought they all had metal head gaskets. i was kicking myself anyway for not doing a gasket and studs from the beginning but when i saw this i was really feeling dumb. i now have a VET gasket and ARP studs! anyway just my story, hope this helps save someone else some time and energy. just be patient and do it right the first time. so now i can turn it up...right?!
2014-10-29 03:15:02
If you are pushing coolant into the overflow, that's a sign of headgasket issues? Wow, never knew that. I just thought that was normal when a car gets really warm. This happened to me during a road course session on a hot day. Didn't think anything of it. Don't have other symptoms related to head gasket issues...now you have me thinking.

Last edited by gomba on 2014-10-29 at 03-16-51.
2014-10-29 18:10:53
Its usually a sign of a weak radiator cap. Kinda sounds like you did a head gasket when u didnt have to.

Did u take the two minutes pressure test the coolant system before u ripped the head off?
Last edited by DxPxE on 2014-10-29 at 18-13-05.
2014-10-29 19:00:26
Uhh hot coolant expands. That happens and is sometimes normal and sometimes abnormal. It does not mean the headgasket is blown, however.
2014-10-29 20:47:30
I had a similar issue a while back and thought the head was lifting under boost...only happened after hard runs. Ran fine when driving normal but after boosting the temp.gauge would rise and coolant overflowed from the tank. The cooling system was pressure tested and fine. The Cometic MLS gasket showed signs of failure around a cooling jacket...I figured air (combustion) was being introduced into the cooling system thru there which would cause an airlock...yada yada yada
2014-10-29 20:59:16
granted i havent been running 1bar of boost but i have been boosting my stock ve for going on 3 years with no issues.. just sayin maybe you got the runt of the litter?
2014-10-29 21:01:01
I wanna clarify, I agree its possible as 1fast points out it obviously does happen but I just hope he checked every option before he put himself through all that work and i just wanted to put that out there so no one else with maybe a 20 year old radiator cap comes to the conclusion that hes got a blown head gasket when in reality it could just be a bad seal at the neck.

I parked my car thinkin i had a blown head gasket for months when i saw i was loosing coolant but when i got around to checking i felt like an idiot when i found out it was dripping out the rear coolant pipe and right on the exhaust so a drop never hit the ground.

Just sayin hope he was thorough, wasnt aimin to look like a dick.
2014-10-29 23:37:03
Sorry man but yeah from what I read in the past its the SR20VET that has an OEM metal head gasket not the NA variants.
2014-10-30 02:17:21
SR20VET and SR20VE 20V (N/A) engines have the metal head gasket. The rest get paper.
2014-11-04 04:19:07
Yea I know coolant expands and the rad cap opens to let coolant into the overflow bottle and the cap opens to let coolant back into rad as it cools down, basic cooling system operation. I have a 2" thick aluminum rad with a good cap. Typically a cooling system won't completely fill an empty overflow bottle after a few passes unless something is going on. At 9psi I didn't have any issues, Kinda like what 1faster said. Anyway I was just telling my story, and what I didn't realize (about the gasket), I can say I did see 2 spots between cylinder 1 and the timing chain opening, there's 2 coolant passages there close to the seal ring. And on another note a VE head is a piece of cake to pull compared to my old high port DE. No problems anymore!
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