Head Gasket, help!

Answer to most of the common technical questions

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zara
Posts: 78
Location: Auckland

Head Gasket, help!

Post by zara » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:19 pm

Hello everyone, I'm Jonathan and I've purchased a 1989 300ZX TT auto about 2 weeks ago and it has been running fine until now....

heres the story...

So I went to Team Nissan NewMarket today for my 140 000k service and the usual oil change coolant top-up etc was done. However there was a major problem. They found foam in my coolant, and suggested that it could be the head gasket giving in. The compression from the engine was going into the coolant and boiling it was what they said. They said they weren't able to take apart my engine to check if it was the gasket, because they weren't 100% sure its the gasket, and it will cost too much.

So does anyone have a clue what the problem might be? I certainly hope its not the gasket cause Team Nissan said fixing that would cost upward of $8000!!

I want to take it to a Zed specialist preferably in Auckland to let them have a look at it and give me a diagnostic. The car is drivable but just can't be driven for extended periods of time otherwise engine will basically cook itself once the coolant is gone.

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djz
Posts: 849
Location: Christchurch

Post by djz » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:26 pm

Is the car overheating when you drive it? And is the coolant level actually going down? Any oil in the water or water in the oil? There are a couple of different reasons why the coolant can get bubbles in it, how bad is the foam? There is a test that workshops can do that from memory tests the coolant to see whether it has combustion gasses in it or not, but it isn't 100% accurate. Or you could get a compression/leakdown test done.
Last edited by djz on Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nissan 280ZX 2 seater RB26 powered.

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zara
Posts: 78
Location: Auckland

Post by zara » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:46 pm

The car was not overheating when I drove it to and from Nissan Newmarket, the temp gauge on the dash did not exceed half way. I'm not sure if the coolant level was going down, I have yet to open up the cap and check. I do not know how bad the foam is either.....
I'm quite new to owning a sports car so I'm not quite sure on a number of things, sorry. Do you know which workshop could conduct a test for compression gas in coolant? Do you know any Zed specialists in Auckland that might have a good clue?
Sorry for spamming questions, shes my baby and I'm worried about her.

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240z
Z Club Member
Posts: 251
Location: Auckland

Post by 240z » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:43 am

Try Dave at Z Spares in Manukau Ph 09 276 7376

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ZILVER
Posts: 470
Location: Auckland

Post by ZILVER » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:50 am

Gutted to hear this. But "Spam" away this is partly what the forum is for...

I remember you mentioning you purchased this car from a mechanic? If so he would have surely known the problem, and both the cost and consequences of not addressing it.
That in mind, Im betting it was a sale of as is where is.

Did you get an inspection done prior to purchase? They should have checked or tested for this.
Most mechanics should be able to do a compression test for you.

Ignore the water temperature gauge (on the Z32), apparently they only really register a high reading when its to late.

Dave at Z parts Auto is the Zed specialist. If I were you I would try make best friends with him asap.

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ZMAD
Posts: 657
Location: Tauranga

Post by ZMAD » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:26 am

Monitor water levels,oil and spark plugs for any change from normal.Water should not go down in a short period,oil should not look like mud.Ive had blown head gaskets before,small leaks can go un-noticed while major leaks are very obvious due to your car running like a steam train.Other reasons can cause foam in water,nackered water pump,water leak etc.Get a real water temp gauge,worth every cent to monitor engine.
All Nissans are racecars.

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zara
Posts: 78
Location: Auckland

Post by zara » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:57 pm

thnx for your reply guys. I did get an AA check done on it, but they said that the engine was "too complicated" for them and weren't able to do a complete test on it, they didn't charge me the whole $125 though. I bought it as it where is so even if the Russian mechanic knew something, he probably didn't tell me.

I will contact Dave in the next few days, and have the car inspected. I won't be running her except for maybe the occasional drive way shifting.

where can I get a good water-temp and other engine monitoring devices for the Z?

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Andy
Site Admin
Posts: 2013
Location: Auckland

Post by Andy » Sat Mar 28, 2009 4:36 pm

You can fix that car on Trademe, they have a cars for sale column. Hope you didnt pay too much originally.

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