2000 Dodge Dakota Is this the head gasket?

Tiny
STRYPED
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE DAKOTA
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 151,000 MILES
 Well, I looked at the 2000 Dosge Dakota I have at home that was my brothers. 1st I tried to start it but it had sat so long the battery was dead. Charged the battery for a minute. Got it to crank a few times but not start. I went ahead and took the plugs out:

6 = 90psi 3 = 190 psi (120 checked later)
5 = 105 psi 2 = 90 psi
4 = 95 psi 1 = 95 psi

These are the compression readings and the order I checked them. 1 being the drivers side front, 3 the drivers side back, 4 being passanger side front, 6 being passanger side back. After checking all compression I re-checked # 3 because of it being so much higher than the others. It was 120 at this time.

When I pulled out the plugs the best I could tell they were ok. Looked worn. Except number 3. It looked wet but not drenched. Also, On this plug, the porcelane on the bottom of the plug around the gap was broken, also, the grounding part that curves over (The part you adjust the gap) was brken in half and missing.

Cranking with no spark plugs, light vaporized mist or or something came from most of the holes but #3 I could tell had more coming out. It was like water or droplets as I cranked much heavier than the rest.

I took a piece of winshield washer hose and stuck it down a few of the spark plug holes and sucked with my mouth. (Probably not smart). Never really got much of anythign out with the exception of #3. There was some gas in there but also a sweet taste. (Would this be antifreeze?)

Inside of radiator hose had brown granulated crud that I could pull out with my finger. Almost looked like brown sugar but a more red color.

If I did not mention, truck has 151,000 on it. Overheated on my brother. White smoke rolling out when it warmed up. When he had it towed to my house, I started it right up and drove it about 200 feet to park it and had no trouble at all and did not notice any sounds or anything unusual.

Can I assume this is a blown head gasget around # 3? What is the liklihood this is a cracked head? Should both head gaskets be replaced? Should I go ahead and have the heads machined or check with a straightedge and then if ok don’t worry about it?

I want this to run right but money is a factor. My salary has been cut recently due to the hard economic times. (Still thankful I have a job though).
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Monday, March 16th, 2009 AT 9:10 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
THETOOLMAN
  • MEMBER
You are right this could be a blown head gasket and or cracked head. Always change both head gaskets after an engine has run hot. Always have the heads reworked by a machine shop and checked for cracks. The things you have described are all signs of water in the oil. The High reading on three was due to the oil and anti-freeze mixture sealing the rings during the compression test. Good Luck
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Monday, March 16th, 2009 AT 12:07 PM
Tiny
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Is the compression on the rest of the cylinders ok? Will this engine still last if I redo the heads and head gasket? Or will the fact that water got in the oil ruin the cinnecting rod bearings?
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Monday, March 16th, 2009 AT 12:40 PM
Tiny
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Well these readings can not be used basically due to the fact the heads are warped and or cracked as well as the blown gaskets. The anti-freeze can definitely wipe the bearings. I have reworked heads before and changed the gaskets for people and the vehicle work fine and last. The thing is each vehicle and situation is different. Due to the financial hardships most people are facing you may can get by doing that. It all depends on how hot the engine got how long it was run while hot? The damage can vary so it really is a judgment call on your part. I would at this point and time if it were me just change the gaskets and have the heads reworked. Then do another compression test. Of course most shops are going to tell you to rebuild the engine. It is a chance and judgment you have to make based on what happen that cause the problem. If you have the money and intend on relying on the vehicle then the rebuild may be the way to go for you. Like I said there are many variables to consider. Good Luck.
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Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 AT 2:34 PM
Tiny
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By re worked do you mean machined and checked for cracks? I guess I will pull the heads and hope for the best. My intention is to drive the truck a little while while trying to sell it.

Is it possible the heads are not warped or cracked? This has cast iron heads and was runnign fine before this happened.
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Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 AT 3:18 PM
Tiny
THETOOLMAN
  • MEMBER
Yes it is possible they are not warped or cracked. If they are cast iron they are probably not warped. I just assumed they were aluminum and they usually warp when they are bolted to a cast iron block and the engine over heats. Sorry about the wording I was just trying to list the possibilities. It may just be a blown head gasket. By reworking I mean have them sent to a machine shop they will check for cracks and warp. They will surface grind them and should let you know if you need any valve work done. The one I use to use would always put spacers under the springs of the valves if they were not replaced to give them a little more tension. If you know a good machine shop just tell them to rework the heads they will know what you are talking about.

Good Luck
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Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 AT 12:15 AM

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