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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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I think the worst has happend!!!

well , there is alot of exhaust coming out of the muffler , but it shouldnt be that much , i think its steam or something from blown headgaskets. but whenever i check my oil there is no sign of water or ani tfreeze and alot of dirty grosslooking water is dripping from my exhaust. but the car is running good. i would have the compression check but dont have access to a compression tester. i really hope its not the head gaskets , if it is ill have to sell the car because i cannot afford to have it reapired, somebody help
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 11:22 AM
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Does it only happen when you start up from sitting overnight? What color is the smoke? and does it go away after about 5 minutes or so after starting?

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 11:39 AM
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well if its not your headgaskets it would either be a clogged cat, or muffler. but that still wouldn't explain the water. i believe auto parts stores will loan compression testers. i would try that. if its none of the above i say its unicorns. tiny mythical horses running around in your exhaust system.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 11:40 AM
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also, if you have a basic set of tools you can replace the headgaskets yourself (with a couple specialized tools). if you dont know see if any chapter members around you would be willing to help (beer helps influence tccoa members). its cheaper than going out and buying a new car.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Stevinator
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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it does not go away after 5 minutes , and yes beer is good
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 01:41 PM
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I have the same problem. My headgaskets went over a year ago, and ever since then, on cold days, you can see the steam from the exhaust the whole time. I don't know if this is good or not, but I know my cats and resonator haven't been changed, maybe thats what the problem is?


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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 02:05 PM
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i would think if the car is still running good and no water in the oil i would say it is prolly just condensation built up in the exhaust system from the colder weather.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazed maniac
I have the same problem. My headgaskets went over a year ago, and ever since then, on cold days, you can see the steam from the exhaust the whole time. I don't know if this is good or not, but I know my cats and resonator haven't been changed, maybe thats what the problem is?
dude, are you on crack or something? over a year ago, and you're still driving it?
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 04:59 PM
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The exact same thing happens with my windstar every year when it starts getting cold. It is condesation from the exhaust system. One year when i had it inspected they ran it through the dyno and you had to see how much water came out. I think about a bottle like 16 oz came out of the tail pipe. After about 10 minutes it was normal. It usually happens when the car sits out in very cold weather overnight. I warm up my cars now every day for about 5 min if i am not using it. That seems to lessen the amount that comes out of the tailpipe
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 05:10 PM
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it would prolly also keep the exhaust from rusting out prematurely.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Stevinator
dude, are you on crack or something? over a year ago, and you're still driving it?
They were fixed, obviously.


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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazed maniac
They were fixed, obviously.
nah, you don't say, lol...

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 11:49 PM
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If you short trip it alot it will alawys smoke or steam cuase you never burn the water out you would be suprised how much water colects in the mufler and cats

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 11:52 PM
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I drive a half hour to school and it still does it when I arrive there. But then again, our little 3.8 don't make enough heat to get the whole exhaust hot. lol


-Brian
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 01:03 AM
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water is a natural product of a clean burning exhaust. If it comes out white smoke and smells like coolant...then you have a problem.

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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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well i thought all exhaust was white ? this is white and i have no idea what coolant smells like!?!?!?
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 07:10 AM
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I don't think there is any problem because this is normal, but check your coolant level. If you don't know what coolant smells like yet then you will once you open the overflow and check the coolant level.
If your exhaust smoke isn't sweet smelling then you are probably fine.

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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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i checked my coolant after about 30 minutes of runninthe car yesterday, it was green , i do have a leak somewhere and i cant find it , becuase im loosing coolant. one reason i doubt my headgaskets are because if the coolant was going into my engine my iol would level would rise up more or something. i did just change the oil recently. honestly i think all exhaust smells sweet. if i can find all the stuff to do it ill just run a compression test
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 08:51 AM
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If the smoke coming out of your exhaust smells sweet then you have a problem. If you smell the sweet coolant smell just outside of the vehicle and not from the tailpipe, it means you have a leak and it is probably hitting a hot engine part causing the smell. On my windstar the antifreeze was dripping on top of one of the cats which is why i had the strong coolant smell. Above the cat is the water pump and the front engine cover.
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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 08:57 AM
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The coolant usually doesn't get into the oil first so saying that since the oil level isn't changing doesn't mean much really. The leak usually starts out smaller and as you lose coolant slowly the car usually burns it. But the same smell that the coolant in the overflow has is the same smell that will be coming from your exhaust if it is burning the coolant. A very small amount of coolant goes a long way toward that smell.
Also, pull and inspect your plugs. If you find one that is clean or smells like coolant then you found your leak. The leaking coolant steam cleans the combustion chamber and the spark plug.
If you have a leak you will most likely smell coolant somewhere, either out the exhaust or in the engine compartment.

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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soopa villain17
well i thought all exhaust was white ? this is white and i have no idea what coolant smells like!?!?!?
If you're burning oil, the exhaust will have a bluish tint to it. If it was water in the exhaust it would go away after 5 or 10 minutes unless its real darn cold. Sounds to me like you have coolant leaking into your combustion. Most common reason is a headgasket but there could be other causes.

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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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thats what i thought, where can i get the stuff to do my headgaskets ? how hard is it , i have some automotive skill but not alot. thanks
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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 11:45 AM
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Its not hard to do but it is time consuming and frustrating as hell if you don't have the proper tools. I sure wouldn't jump jump right into a headgasket swap if it isn't necessary. While it isn't hard, it is time consuming and a lot of work. It would really suck if you go to all that work for no reason. But on the other hand, if it is the problem then you need to catch it and fix it before your oil gets contaminated and far worse things happen.
The thing is that you need to do here is to stop listening to internet diagnostitions and actually go find out if there is a problem or not. We honestly can't diagnose the car from hundreds or thousands of miles and it would be irresponsible to try. You are there with the car and you need to follow the simple steps to see what, if anything, is wrong.
Just so you know, my cars always smoke if the weather is right. I was just in Florida and the weather wasn't right to cause it and it didn't smoke there. I just had the normal "burning off the condensation" smoke that goes away after a few. In Indiana the weather is and it does. In Maine I am sure it is as well.
More important than the presence of it is what does this smoke smell like? Does it smell like antifreeze? If it does then you definitely have a problem.
My best advice that I have learned from decades of doing this stuff is to always find the real problem before you go determining the cure. I agree that this is the most common problem and hassle with these, but find out what you are dealing with first. Just because its common doesn't mean that its your problem. It almost sounds like you want to replace the head gaskets. If so, you will change your tune about 10 hours or so into it, trust me.
Remember two time tested sayings. If it aint broke, don't fix it and K.I.S.S.
If it were me I would go pull the spark plugs and check them out, but you have the right to do what you want.

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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 12:07 PM
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and compression test as others have said.

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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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ok ill try to get a compression test done, ran the car today and there is barely any exhaust now , i think it was just becuase it was freezing cold yesterday. ill also try to check my plugs, but there so hard to get to , thanks for the help
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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 11:20 AM
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Bad title for this thread. The WORST is firing up with a cyl full of water on the comression stroke and bending or breaking a rod. Damn shame Ford dodn't engineer in a couple more head bolts on the 3.8. I got rid of a 93 I bought new for this very reason.

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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 12:14 PM
 
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Make sure you check everything before you go tearing the engine apart. It IS NOT fun, I had to rip apart an old 2.6 in a New Yorker and it is a long process. FYI here it gets cold and stays cold my exhaust is always white. And if there is coolant in your exhaust you will know it. On that old Chrysler there was a coolant passage in the carb, when it started leaking into the intake you could smell it behind the car right away.
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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 11:10 PM
 
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If you do have a head gasket out, check with a Ford dealer. They had a recall on the 3.8 engines for a head gasket replacement. I don't know if the recall is still in effect or not. If it is not you might be able to get the recall kit if it is still in stock. Also check the head for warpage. I had run across a few of them when i worked at the Ford dealer. if the heads are warped you will have to take them to a machine shop to get re surfaced.The cars I performed the recalls on were Taurus and Sable vehicles so it may be different for your car. If I remember correctly, the head bolts were torque to yeild meening one time use only!
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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 11:41 PM
 
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The recall is expired. And yes the head bolts are torque to yield, so if you do change the HGs buy new bolts or go with studs.
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