Cracked head?


jyount
06-02-2009, 08:09 PM
A guy at church has a 2001 zx2, said it overheated, then he drove it 30 miles on home. Long story short, couple months ago I went to his house, pulled the rad cap and had him crank it up. Didn't just have bubbles, it shot out like a rocket, not kidding, hit the hood and all. So I figured a bad head gasket or something. He finally got it to my house and I pulled the head Sunday evening. 2 and 3 are the obvious culprits, they have been burning water, only problem, no visual sign on the gasket, head, or block. It could be only on one cylinder, as the gasket right between 2 and 3 looks like the guy who put it on damaged the gasket. It is a steel gasket, and it has 3 crimps in the metal right between the two cylinders. 2 and 3 were able to leak to each other, so it could transfer between cylinder 2 and 3. ALSO, there was coolant in the intake...?? Err, I think it was coolant, could have been straight water to, the "coolant" looked and smelled like mud, so for all I know it could have been straight water too. Coolant doesn't even go through the intake system anywere does it? Gonna have to buy a Haynes from the zone anyway I guess, have to find the procedure to set the cams to put the timing belt back on.
Are there any "known" areas to look for cracks in the heads on these things? Surely the block isn't cracked, I have seen stranger things though....

rhandwor
06-02-2009, 09:15 PM
Go to an automotive machine shop and get the head checked for straightness and pressure tested. This fee is small compared to the problems it will save you and lost time. Sometimes they will repair a cracked head or sell you a used one.
Use a flashlight after you get the block cleaned. Lay it flat and look for cracks especially between cylinders.
When done make sure the radiator ,fans and water pump is working.

jyount
06-02-2009, 10:25 PM
can an aluminum head be magnafluxed? I am leaning towards that, if its good, then its most likely the block, if its cracked, obviously it needs replaced...
I put a flash light in the cleaned out block and could see nothing. The only other idea I have is to try the UV light I have for leak detection, maybe a uv light will floresce a crack or something, short of that will have to send it to a machine shop I guess. I did however find a reason for the coolant in the intake plenum, the oil is very overfull, mixed with coolant of course, the pcv valve goes right into the lower swell of the block, so overfull oil would go directly to the intake via the pcv valve. So that one is solved. what is the going rate to have one magnafluxed? never had to magnaflux anything in all my years of wrenching, always been able to see the reason for the problem.

rhandwor
06-03-2009, 06:42 AM
I've looked at magnetic particle tests and they used powder and a yoke. The other test they spray on the particles. Aluminum is non magnetic so I don't think it will work.
Machine shops also can do a vacuum test but isn't as good. Really most cracks they know exactly where to look and will spot without charging you anything but may try to sell a valve job.
When I had a garage I always used them. When I worked as an inspector I used a flashlight many times hunting cracks. Laying it flat across the top cracks are much more visible.
At least let them look at it and give you a price.

MagicRat
06-03-2009, 10:48 AM
Aluminum is non magnetic so I don't think it will work.
There is a colored dye process used to find cracks on aluminum parts. Also, aluminum shows cracks to the unaided eye more easily than iron or steel.

rhandwor
06-03-2009, 01:32 PM
http://s2.pegasusautoracing.com/2009/142.pdf

Davescort97
06-04-2009, 01:23 AM
I've found that cracks in the head will show up by pouring alcohol onto the surface.

jyount
06-05-2009, 08:12 AM
I've found that cracks in the head will show up by pouring alcohol onto the surface.

interesting, I will try it

jyount
06-20-2009, 01:28 AM
interesting, I will try it

tryed it tonight, sorry so long to check it out and get back.
NO DICE. I still can't see it, I really don't know why alcohol would work, but I tried it anyhow. Checked in the combustion chambers, and in the intake ports, can't see it, only other thing I know is to pull those 4 valves out and look down in the seat areas, I don't think it is in the intake ports though, they are not "steam cleaned", like they are when water cleans them up....Other than that I guess I'll send it off and have it checked, he will put a new head on it if thats what it needs, but I don't want to put a new head on it and the block be junk, so gotta find a reason for the water burn.

rhandwor
06-20-2009, 05:56 AM
Try some kerosene and rub it on with a rag wipe off any excess. Sprinkle talcum powder on it a crack will show up.

jyount
06-21-2009, 12:04 AM
Try some kerosene and rub it on with a rag wipe off any excess. Sprinkle talcum powder on it a crack will show up.

I wonder if the crack is on the "inside, or blind to me" part of the head, I obviously cant contort myself into all the passages of the heads. Funny thing to me is the intake ports aren't steam cleaned, so that means it has to be either in the block, or the combustion chambers, just cant beleive I can't see it...

rhandwor
06-21-2009, 08:40 AM
Some machine shops can do a head repair I would at least get a quote. They clamp them in a pressure tester and can pin point the leak.
Look at a scrap yard for a used head and get a valve job or price a used from the shop.
http://www.ebay.com/ Search for a used head.

jyount
07-19-2009, 08:03 PM
I sent the head off a couple weeks ago, just wanted to update here.
They pressure test and said it is not cracked, but it was warped .016!!!!!!
I think thats enough warp to go across to gasket and not even leave a trace.
Machine shop asked me if the oh cams were binding in the head, they weren't, but apparently usually with that much warp the cams start binding up in the bearing bores.

So, been kinda lookng around, looks like its probably a trip to pick and pull. What year heads will fit this dude?

Davescort97
07-21-2009, 01:46 AM
Anything from 98-03 should fit. Check casting numbers: XS7E AD, XS7E AE.

jyount
01-31-2010, 01:26 AM
WOW, this thread is old, makes me think there aren't many posts here.
Anyway, finally got around to putting another head on this thing, seems to have fixed it, doesn't get hot and doesn't have the explosive coolant trick.
Anyway, put it back together and it idles rough and smokes at idle, runs like a raped up when you take it down the road, it is obvious the zetec is working, only way a 2.0 would have that much zip. Think there is a chance i got the exhaust cam off just a bit or is there something else. I don't see a cam/valve timing issue cause it runs so good on top, but every day is a learning exp. I don't wanna rule it out. I could use a screwdriver through the gear and a wrench on the cam on the intake cam, but couldn't hold the gear on the exhaust, just the cam. So could it be or is it something else. By the way, no trouble codes, runs out good otherwise, just crappy idle and some smoke, can't id the smell of the smoke, it is just weird, kinda rich smell, but not really. Def not antifreeze or oil...

Davescort97
01-31-2010, 10:29 AM
Thanks for coming back and letting us know how your zx2 turned out. Idle and smoke will get better after you've put some miles on it. You might want to take the IAC out and clean it. MIght help the idle a little bit.

jyount
02-01-2010, 12:03 AM
i drove it about 5 miles last night, his plates are way expired, our state has changed plates to a new style and it still has the old so its obvious, didn't want to go far for that reason. Anyway, that many miles needed? I though the same kinda, like maybe zetec needed to work any air out or something? I don't know...

jyount
02-15-2010, 10:35 PM
Holy moly, what a drawn out project, I have so many irons in the fire....

Finally got around to this thing, Pulled the valve cover, right wheel, and the splash shield. Rechecked my timing and had it slightly advanced, like 1 or 1.5 degree, so I timed it again, on that note, where do you get a tool to stick in the cams? I used allen wrenches and stacked up feeler gauges to hold the cams, and there is NO way to hold the zetec cam gear while tightening the nut, atleast not without some special tool. Just gotta hold your tounge just right and cross your fingers.....
ANYWAY, fixed that, hooked up the vacuum hose, put some more gas in it and it still started like crap. Got to fiddling around, and found that the plug end of #2 wire was boogered up and was going to the side of the plug instead of down on it, runs good now. Didn't find it until it started missing throughout the rpm range, now its fixed. YEAAAA!!!
I so want this freaking thing out of my driveway. I turn wrenches all day, I don't want to do it anymore at home, atleast not for anyone but myself....
I don't have time for this crap :)

rhandwor
02-16-2010, 05:59 AM
http://www.ebay.com/ Search item 190368529977
This seller ships to the US as I've bought from him before. Other dealers only have part of the set in the US.

bulrid8
02-16-2010, 11:51 PM
Holy moly, what a drawn out project, I have so many irons in the fire....

Finally got around to this thing, Pulled the valve cover, right wheel, and the splash shield. Rechecked my timing and had it slightly advanced, like 1 or 1.5 degree, so I timed it again, on that note, where do you get a tool to stick in the cams? I used allen wrenches and stacked up feeler gauges to hold the cams, and there is NO way to hold the zetec cam gear while tightening the nut, atleast not without some special tool. Just gotta hold your tounge just right and cross your fingers.....
ANYWAY, fixed that, hooked up the vacuum hose, put some more gas in it and it still started like crap. Got to fiddling around, and found that the plug end of #2 wire was boogered up and was going to the side of the plug instead of down on it, runs good now. Didn't find it until it started missing throughout the rpm range, now its fixed. YEAAAA!!!
I so want this freaking thing out of my driveway. I turn wrenches all day, I don't want to do it anymore at home, atleast not for anyone but myself....
I don't have time for this crap :)


If you have the Haynes manual, it will tell you how to make the tool out of angle iron. It is easy and works good.

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