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Old 05-22-2008, 08:27 PM   #15
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1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
Join Date: May 2006
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We had a '66 Pontiac Bonneville that etched a hole in the aluminum timing case (didn't change coolant often enough) and dumped coolant into the oil. It sounds as if you are not losing much coolant so the culprit is probably the HG and possibly temperature related.

"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:47 PM   #16
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2000 34' Excella
Tucson , Arizona
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Don't discount the manifold gasket. I have screwed up at least one cam swap. Believe it or not, I used to RTV the manifold gaskets, not any more. Makes a nice milkshake out of your oil. Now I just use adhesive, point being, the water cross over on the manifold can easily leak if the front couple of bolts are lose and oil soaks the gasket over the years. Much less torque on them than on the head bolts.

You can get a pressure test done on your cooling system as well as check the cylinder pressure which I have had very mixed luck with but at least it should be cheap and easy. I have never had a head gasket go bad unless there were associated heating problems. Did you over heat the engine at any point recently?

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Old 05-23-2008, 07:06 AM   #17
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2005 25' International CCD
Leesburg , Georgia
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heart of the beast

great response all, much appreciated.
before diving in i'd like to reply to Artstream- burnstream sounds like a great place to get a new head gasket hope to make it there someday

i've owned the vehicle just under six months and regularly drive to the zoo which has a wonderful rustic campground. we took a 400 mile round trip to the FL panhandle earlier this year and she performed great. rattled a few things loose on the inside but easy fixes. it was a flat run with no real hills to test the power under load, unless you count 4 fat people and a stocked fridge!
oil temperature ran steady around 200-220.

it does tick on the passengers side when cold, then goes away when it's warmed up, but doesn't tick after getting hot, i'll have to double check though. the oil didn't look milky, haven't got round to recycling it yet so will take a look after work today.
hopefully it's just the head gasket, might could find a shade tree and fix it myself. if it looks like i'm in too deep i'll call this guy down at the gmc shop whose done off ticket work for me before.

we're in the process of moving house, so camping and related tinkering has taken a back seat for now, but it gives me time to think out the process. the idea of full timing is becoming more and more attractive, so much junk to sift through!
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:49 AM   #18
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2000 35' Land Yacht XL w/slide
Vermilion , Ohio
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Hey Curious what prompted you to send the oil off for a test ?
Do people do this all the time just in case ?
What is the approx price for this ?
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:21 AM   #19
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1976 Argosy 24
Tempe , Arizona
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Posts: 326
concluding to jumpsions

the chemical tests they use on waste oil are pretty sensitive. the real issue is whether or not there is foamy white layer on top of the oil on the dipstick. secondly, how much coolant do you have to put in after 8 hours of operation. many 454's will pass a little coolant when the engine is cold before the block and heads grow due to warming up. most head gaskets will loose their resiliancy over time and need to be replaced because of many warm up cycles. better to do it before overheating causes warping or cracking of the block and head. most of the late model 454's had 180 or 190 thermostats so 200-220 is a bit high for operating coolant temperatures. use a real temperature guage or a fast read infrared device to get the real temperature. bottom line, you probably still have a few trips in the MH if you aren't having to put more than a cup of coolant in for 8 hours of operation. but i would recommend getting some quotes on replacing the head gaskets and save up for the service.
Donna & Mike
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:11 PM   #20
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2005 25' International CCD
Leesburg , Georgia
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no "foamy white layer on the dipstick"

It's taken a while to get here but the results of a second oil test are in.
I had the intake gaskets redone last summer and thankfully that seemed to have been the cause of coolant in the oil, even though it may be an idea to have the head gasket replaced at some point.

I also had a ticking noise which was fixed by replacing an old leaky exhaust gasket on the passenger side with a copper one. Before, you could feel the air escaping around the last cylinder and could even pull out brittle bits of it too.

Anyway, better late than never. I did move house between first posting this to the forums. Won't be moving house again any time soon as that was a pain in the arse.

"The only thing that read out of line in this second sample from your GM 7.4LL engine was silicon. We suggest checking air filtration since silicon could show dirt. Silicon can also come from additives and lubes, and in this form it's harmless. Wear read normally, mostly around average levels (see universal averages). No volatile gas or moisture found. No anti-freeze found. The viscosity read in the 5W/30 range, and oil filtration looked good (see insolubles). As of 4/23/11, the sample date, we have no obvious issues to report."
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:49 AM   #21
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Thank You for the Update Andy

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