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I bet its corroded a core plug in the head to lose that much without blowing water out the radiator when its running. If the head gasket was blown to that extent you would have obvious compression bypass into the cooling system
 

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1995 Sidekick, 4 Door Hardtop, JLX 16 valve, Automatic with 4W Drive, manual hubs, 174,000 miles
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Discussion Starter #22
I bet its corroded a core plug in the head to lose that much without blowing water out the radiator when its running. If the head gasket was blown to that extent you would have obvious compression bypass into the cooling system
I wanted to let you all know what I found out today regarding the milky oil issue.

I did a compression test, but of course it had to be done cold because I cannot run the engine. I do not know what the perfect numbers should be, and I do not know what cold numbers vs warm numbers should be. The readings I got are as follows: Cylinder 1 - 3 were 150, cylinder 4 was 145. This was a dry test. I am not sure what a wet test will tell me in comparison to the dry test. What do you all think of these numbers and do they tell you anything in particular?

I tried to get a loaner coolant leak test kit but couldn't find one in my area so that is something I still need to work toward.

I removed the valve cover and it was quite milky but I do not know how bad it is as I have never seen this before. I've attached pictures if you are interested in viewing and giving me any feedback.
Valve Cover.jpg Rocker Arm.jpg

The 3 core plugs in the top of the motor are in perfect condition, I cleaned out the area with all the muck and they were really clean and I cannot find anything that resembles holes or rust.

Questions to you all:
• Are the compression numbers ok and lead you to think that the head gasket is ok or are there more things I need to do first before making that assumption?
• 2013GV mentioned that a leak like this can only be from a head gasket or a cracked block, Fordem mentioned the plugs can rust and lead to rust. If neither of these is happening where else could the leak be coming from?
• It appears coolant flows through the intake manifold area, can coolant mix with oil here somehow, be suck into the valve cover area?

Thank you all for taking the time to look through this and give me feedback.
 

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numbers sound ok to me, a -5 psi in one cyl doesnt sound like a blown gasket
with the same test kit adapter you could try blowing air pressure in each cyl (you have to rotate the crank so cyl tested is in TDC and valves closed), do it with the rad cap off, if fluid level raises then pressure is going into the cooling system.
 

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I'd say those compression numbers are decent for a cold engine, and I wouldn't worry too much about #4 being slightly low, see if you can get a cooling system pressure test kit to rent - the type that attaches to the radiator neck and uses a hand pump to pressurize the system - pump it up to about 20 psi (normal pressure is 13~15) and see if anything shows up.
 

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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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The valves, cam, etc. look MUCH cleaner than I expected for that age and mileage. And I also expected much more "GOO". Of course none of that helps you uncover the problem.
 

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1991 Tracker LSI, 5-speed 4wd...84,455 orig. and 99.9% intact! Rust-free New Mexico car
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The valves, cam, etc. look MUCH cleaner than I expected for that age and mileage. And I also expected much more "GOO". Of course none of that helps you uncover the problem.
Yeah, the head is actually relatively clean and that "goo" has not been been there very long.... almost appears as if someone just poured a glass of water through the oil filler cap and it's just now started to mix with the oil.
Engine runs good and no tell-tale whitish exhaust ...... calling Charlie Chan & Sherlock Holmes
 

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I would think that losing that much coolant would mean much more GOO in the engine. No smoke out the pipe -- makes me wonder "Where did all the coolant go?"
 

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1991 Tracker LSI, 5-speed 4wd...84,455 orig. and 99.9% intact! Rust-free New Mexico car
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Many years ago, I worked on an engine that had a hairline fracture at the bottom of one of the cylinder bores. It was low enough in the bore that it was not affecting compression, yet it was at a point where it allowed coolant from the water jacket to seep into the crankcase. Also, possibility that the head gasket has corroded between a water jacket opening and an oil drain hole... without affecting the gasket "seal ring" at the cylinder bore. Rare, but it happens. I'm not familiar with the design of the this particular head gasket, but on many engines, a leak like that can occurr and not leak into the cylinder itself. The heat in the crankcase/oil will create a vapor which still needs to escape and usually goes out through the PCV hose...into the the intake manifold. I have a feeling there is some whitish exhaust there, just hard to detect sometimes.
Way out theory, but.......
 

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It's not as way out as you might think - I've seen quite a few anecdotal reports about cracked G16 blocks, often discovered through coolant leaks.
 
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also seen head gaskets leak between water jacket and oil return galleries, usually due to lack of inhibitor causing corrosion.
 

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1991 Tracker LSI, 5-speed 4wd...84,455 orig. and 99.9% intact! Rust-free New Mexico car
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also seen head gaskets leak between water jacket and oil return galleries, usually due to lack of inhibitor causing corrosion.
yeah, that's what I was referring to in my last post... and there's several of those openings between head and block deck.
 

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YIKES!!! With all these possibilities, it really does sound like a case for Charlie Chan & Sherlock Holmes.
 

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1995 Sidekick, 4 Door Hardtop, JLX 16 valve, Automatic with 4W Drive, manual hubs, 174,000 miles
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Discussion Starter #33
I wanted to write and give an update on my progress. I wasn't able to procure a coolant pressure testing kit so I made one and was able to pressurize the coolant system. I found that 2 of the "freeze plugs" in the top of the head are leaking. The front plug leaks around the edge where it seats into the hole. The second plug back, the middle one is leaking from a small hairline crack in the head. The third one in the back had no issues. I had no external leaks anywhere.

I've posted a video that hopefully allows you to see a very faint thin black line above the bubbles as they come out. The pressure held quite a while while these bubbles escaped somewhat slowly.

So from this new found information I guess I have to pull the head. If you could respond to the following for me I would appreciate it.

Since I have to take off the timing belt to get the cam shaft out I am reading my service manual for "how to's"
My service manual tells me that before I install the timing belt I have to have to do the following:
"...loosen all valve adjusting screws on intake and exhaust rockers arms all the way after loosening each lock nut." "This is to permit free rotation of camshaft... for correct timing belt tension".

The first question: Since I have to rotate the crankshaft/camshaft to get the no.1 cylinder to TDC and take off the timing belt and eventually put on a new one is loosening the valve adjusting screws a must to do this procedure? I've watched videos on head replacements and they don't show doing this step.

Second question: I have to depressurize the fuel system. Everything I am reading online says I need to start the vehicle to do this. Of course at this point I can't, is there a safe way to do this without starting the vehicle?

Third question: Can a hairline crack in a head be fixed or is this head toast?

Thanks.
 

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1995 Sidekick, 4 Door Hardtop, JLX 16 valve, Automatic with 4W Drive, manual hubs, 174,000 miles
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Discussion Starter #34
Sorry... forgot to upload the video before hitting post. Then I found out I can upload a video so here is an image.
99407
IMG_9331.jpg
 

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good catch!
BTW, how did you DIY the pressure check?
youll have to remove the cam AND rockers to gain access and change those plugs. Unscrewing the tappets is going to be the last of your worries...
Releasing all those countersunk screws holding the rockers shafts is the tricky part.
changed valves and seals in my head two months ago, so procedure pretty fresh in my head.
 

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1991 Tracker LSI, 5-speed 4wd...84,455 orig. and 99.9% intact! Rust-free New Mexico car
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Are you able to get a photo of the hairline fracture in the head? Apparently, the crack only goes into a water jacket, not the cylinder, so very possible it can be successfully repaired with a weld (by an experienced welder, not cousin Billy).
Years ago, there was a kit for repairing cylinder heads that were made of cast iron... you drilled into the crack and then tapped it for a special threaded plug using epoxy. I even saw hairline cracks between exhaust & intake valves repaired that way. They were effective, not sure if they're still marketed or whether they work on cast aluminum.
That was back during the Detroit JunkerOsaurus Age...late 1960's -80's.
 

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1995 Sidekick, 4 Door Hardtop, JLX 16 valve, Automatic with 4W Drive, manual hubs, 174,000 miles
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Discussion Starter #37
good catch!
BTW, how did you DIY the pressure check?
youll have to remove the cam AND rockers to gain access and change those plugs. Unscrewing the tappets is going to be the last of your worries...
Releasing all those countersunk screws holding the rockers shafts is the tricky part.
changed valves and seals in my head two months ago, so procedure pretty fresh in my head.
My DIY pressure device - I took a bike inner tube that was no good, cut the valve stem out, inserted the valve stem into the radiator overflow hose, (took the hose off at the over flow tank) clamped it, and used a small hand held ball pump to build pressure but couldn't get enough pressure so I used my compressor. Two short presses with the compressor valve put in 15 lbs of pressure. Worked perfect. I watched many videos online about making your own DIY devices and most were very complex. Mine was really simple. The only thing that would have made it better was an inline pressure gauge.
99409
 

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1995 Sidekick, 4 Door Hardtop, JLX 16 valve, Automatic with 4W Drive, manual hubs, 174,000 miles
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Discussion Starter #38
Are you able to get a photo of the hairline fracture in the head? Apparently, the crack only goes into a water jacket, not the cylinder, so very possible it can be successfully repaired with a weld (by an experienced welder, not cousin Billy).
Years ago, there was a kit for repairing cylinder heads that were made of cast iron... you drilled into the crack and then tapped it for a special threaded plug using epoxy. I even saw hairline cracks between exhaust & intake valves repaired that way. They were effective, not sure if they're still marketed or whether they work on cast aluminum.
That was back during the Detroit JunkerOsaurus Age...late 1960's -80's.
I was wondering if the crack went into the cooling area and am hoping it can be fixed. I need to clean out the fluid and then will try to get a good picture, It's really hard to get in there to clean it out. I'll upload a picture once it's cleaned out.
 

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1991 Tracker LSI, 5-speed 4wd...84,455 orig. and 99.9% intact! Rust-free New Mexico car
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Really nice DIY rig there and it worked for what you needed!
 

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I was wondering if the crack went into the cooling area and am hoping it can be fixed. I need to clean out the fluid and then will try to get a good picture, It's really hard to get in there to clean it out. I'll upload a picture once it's cleaned out.
Yup, it goes into the water jacket-passageway in the head... as I said in earlier post, in many cases they are very repairable. Fortunately, the San Diego area should have some very competent machine shops that can do the job.
 
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