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Old 11-23-2007, 02:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 95 Tracker - cracked exhaust manifold - Please HELP!

I'm a newbie here and have searched a number of posts related to my issue but nothing seems to match up. I've got a 95 Tracker with a cracked exahust manifold and am looking for some expert advice. I'm not sure if this is the cause or effect of something else. I have oil coming out through the crack in the exhaust manifold from the inside indicating that oil is getting in to it. Radiator is full and does not seem to be losing water so I don't think it is due to a cracked head/block. The valve cover gasket looks intact and PCV valve is clean and is not blowing oil out the top. Car starts but sends massive white smoke out the tailpipe and stutters. I suspect it may be a blown head gasket (or worse) but am not sure how that would blow oil into the exahust. I am wondering if anyone has any advice. Could it possibly be that the oil drain holes are clogged in this area and oil is collecting on the piston head and getting blown out the exhaust.

On the side - The car has 157,000 miles and has always run fine. No recent work although we hit 27 degrees here recently.
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95 Tracker - Cracked exhaust manifold, white smoke-95exhstmnfld.jpg  

Last edited by metamorphik; 11-24-2007 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 11-24-2007, 12:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like a head gasket to me. Coolant burns white so white smoke is a good indicator of a blown head gasket, it does not take much coolant to make allot of smoke. When my head gasket was blown it didn't seem to use any coolant either but it actually does and it doesn't look like it because its replaced by pressure/vapors and got worse and worse till the rad cap couldn't contain the pressure and would blow it into the overflow. A blown head gasket will blow oil into the exhaust because theres a crack in the head gasket between the cylinder and one of the oil feed passages to the head. As the piston is in its downward stroke it sucks in the air/fuel mixture as well as oil and coolant and then it compresses and explodes but it can burn all the oil and most of it gets blown out the exhaust. There are a couple of things you can do to diag. this. Checking the compression is a good start it should be 170psi +-15psi across all the cylinders. You can do a coolant system leak down test were you attach a small manual pump to the rad cap that pressurizes the coolant system, it should be able to hold the pressure for a long time if it doesn't then you have a leak. Theres a tool that can measure exhaust gases in the coolant system. Also the crack in the manifold means that exhaust is leaking before the o2 sensor and not getting an accurate reading. The ECM will think its running lean and will ajust the fuel trim to compensate causing it to run rich.
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Old 11-24-2007, 03:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Head gasket replacement

Thanks so much Schoner! You have confirmed my suspicions. I have the valve cover off now it looks a little worn near the distributor side but doesn't seem to be enough to be leaking. There is a lot of oil in and around the rear of the engine in between the valve cover and head gaskets. It appears to pull the head I need a special hex bolt to pull the crack pulley as I need to get that off to get the timing belt off to be able to pull the head. Obviously I am a newbie but am full of blind courage. Hey you just put it back together the way you took it apart right!? Again I thank you for your input. I need to order some parts and will definitely post a reply with the outcome in the next week of so. Happy holidays! M
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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bad head gasket (classic symptoms as per above)
crank pulley has tiny 8mm hex nuts in a circle.
drain RAD, pull water pump first chance you get, so block will be dry.
rad juice is bad for oxy and cat. ( you too) damage control !
pull first fan and rad (if not auto)
is this a 16 valve?
off they come so does pulley.
then covers.

remove all the obvious ( exhaust man, some just loosen collector)
then loosen valve lifters.
take head bolts loose in stages, not all at once !!!

some keep manifolds on and take it out all at same time.

do not forget to check for head warpage and deck damage on block.
use a steel rule and very tiny feeler gauges. .004 or less.
measure cross ways.
never use sand paper or sharp tools on head.

some people go crazy from this point (total over haul , blue print...)
others just do the inspections and put back the best Felpro gasket they can find. good luck .
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Old 11-24-2007, 11:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tips. Parts are on the way. Will post a follow up with a few pics and lessons learned once complete.
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What are you doing about the cracked manifold?

If you are going to weld it use nickle rod, make sure you clean, v-groove and preheat before starting to tack..
leave connected to head until it is all welded(stops warpage & miss alignment).

OR, you can replace it.....
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