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Old 06-04-2012, 09:37 PM   #1
BigAir
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Default 2008 Head Gasket vs Cooling System

2008 WRX: Engine mods include Perrin TMIC, AEM CAI, Turboback, Protune
Hi,
I had a recent previous thread about my WRX with coolant overflowing and then overheating after a new T-stat. I thought I fixed it with new radiator caps as the car ran normal temps around town and spirited driving.

However, this weekend at a track day, my car went down. After the first HPDE session my coolant overflow reservoir was full almost to the top and boiling. Coolant temps were 185-190F during the session and not over 200 after coming in. The coolant did not get pulled back into the block after a cool down. After the second session the coolant was "puking" out. I skipped the 3rd and 4th session and coolant remained at the top of reservoir. On the drive home, coolant temps were 181F.

I found a thread on IWSTI about the heads lifting when pushing the car like at the track. The coolant in the reservoir had dark flecks floating in it and some brown sludge at the bottom.

Ok, long story. I'm pretty sure the head gasket is blown and the car is going to the shop tomorrow. Are there any recommended items to do while the engine is out short of a new short block at this time?

I was thinking of ARP studs, OEM head gasket, heads decked and pressure tested. I could also add Group N engine mounts, Kartboy pitch stop, and Crawford AOS.
How about a Koyo radiator and silicone hoses as I want to keep going to HPDE's?

Future plans will be adding VF52, 1000 injectors, fuel pump, E85, TGV delete. I was going to head towards more track car than DD, but I will probably get a RWD car (in 1-2 years) for track days and then keep the WRX for DD/winter driving.
Thanks,
Tim
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:05 PM   #2
Tripintaz
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If it were me, I would replace the head studs, then just have the heads checked to make sure they are flat and no damage. Then put OEM gaskets back on and put it back together. There are plenty of vf52 E85 cars running around on stock motors. Your head gasket failure might not be related to your mods. It could have been compromised long ago if you had issues with air in your cooling system. Then as time goes by the issue degrades.

Cliff Notes: Spend as little as possible and don't just throw parts at it because you can.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:42 AM   #3
BigAir
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2008 WRX with 39000 miles. I'm bringing this thread back for some advice please. Here's the link to my first thread.
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2349435
I used a block testing kit and had a shop test the coolant for exhaust gases and both were negative. The shop suggested a better radiator for track use so I installed a Koyo racing radiator. After the install, my car was running fine as daily driver. But this weekend at the track (12 turn, 2 mile long), I had the same problem. Saturday was rain and 40F. After 5 runs of 20 min. each, the overflow was just over the full line. Coolant temps on my Access Port never went above 190F. Sunday was rain and mid 60's. After one 30 min. run, the coolant was coming out the overflow reservoir and it was bubbling. Also there seems to be a brown residue in the coolant.
I will be having the head gaskets replaced with oem gaskets and ARP head studs. Should I have the timing belt, tensioners, pulleys and water pump replaced as well? Any other suggestions?
Thanks for the help.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:01 PM   #4
BigAir
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Here's a good answer to my own question from the Manifesto. Thanks Unabomber. Will do.
What brand/type of drive belts should I use and how do I do it myself?

OEM belts are fine, but you can usually save some money by picking up your new belts from NAPA. The NAPA brand belts are made by Gates. Gates is the manufacturer of the OEM replacement belts. So now matter where you buy them, your belts will have Gates stamped on them. No name belts from your local auto store tend to howl like a banshee, so this is one case where you want to spend more and not have to worry. Kevlar timing belts from Greddy, STI, Gates, PE, etc. are an expensive option and for 99% of users are wholly not needed as OEM or OEM quality belts are not prone to failure.

Now when you do your timing belt, there is a lot of debate about what you should do while you are in there already. Other things you can do are timing belt tensioner, oil pump, idlers, water pump, cam and crank seals. The only must replace item is the timing belt tensioner and some even forgo that. The other items are not particularly wear prone and could be replaced if you see a problem with leaking when the timing belt cover is off. Mind you, there are doom and gloomers that suggest replacing every bit under or near the timing belt cover, but rest assured...unless you see a problem, there is no dire need to replace things just for replacement's sake or you feel it's in your car's best interest.

subarugirlies.com accessory belts instructions
clubwrx timing belt instructions
Scoobymods timing belt instructions
Meatys Timing Belt Changing Guide
This link is to the SPT timing belt instructions
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:03 PM   #5
BigAir
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I guess I am still not sure if I should replace the timing belt when doing the head gaskets.
This car will be tracked at least 5 weekends per summer in HPDE events.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:23 PM   #6
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bump for some input. Hey I can't even get Uncle Scotty to tell me I'm an idiot
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:40 PM   #7
Hoon Goon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAir View Post
I guess I am still not sure if I should replace the timing belt when doing the head gaskets.
This car will be tracked at least 5 weekends per summer in HPDE events.

My opinion is to change the belt, but I am in the "piece of mind" camp. EVERY track day I would worry about the belt because it is cheap and easy dang it. You have to drive it, so your confidence in the car is all that is required. Not ours!
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:14 PM   #8
BigAir
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Car is in the shop now. I will post pics if the heads come off.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:52 PM   #9
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Op's post is old, but hopefully he didn't waste his cash on arp head studs, especially for a vf48 build.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:22 PM   #10
Paidfor
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^^^^^^^Maybe he wants to run high timing.......those stockers wont hold it..........they will lift. Hell..........my ARPs lift under high boost high timing. You dont need knock to lift heads. The cylinder pressure alone is more than enough to cause a headgasket issue. Especially with increased timing.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:21 PM   #11
BigAir
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Positive block test this time. Here are some posts on head studs and head gaskets. I'm going with ARP. The OEM ones are $100-115 and ARP's are $196. I will eventually (in 1-2 years) put a 18 or 20G turbo with fuel pump, injectors and E85.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...oem+head+studs

http://www.iwsti.com/forums/2-5-lite...d-gaskets.html
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:34 PM   #12
2011WRX420
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Hey so please really need some advice.....Car overheats within 2 miles if i drive away at normal op temp. I checked my oil today and see white milky residue. Smells is sweet out of exhaust so i am assuming Bad head gasket. Now i need advice not, not bashing....I am currently stage 2, elh, Aos, and pro tune. If my head gasket is the reason why I'm having these issues what should i do? I keep reading if i get it fixed the motor may already be warped. New short block? I haven't had it completely over heating and start flashing lights. I stopped driving as soon as i saw temp rise and its been sitting in my garage. Please tell me what i should do....Just fix my stock motor and add parts that may make it a durable DD or New short block since the motors already pulled? And maybe guesstimates on what both routes would cost...Thanks guys
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:02 PM   #13
Andrewxxcarlson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2011WRX420 View Post
Hey so please really need some advice.....Car overheats within 2 miles if i drive away at normal op temp. I checked my oil today and see white milky residue. Smells is sweet out of exhaust so i am assuming Bad head gasket. Now i need advice not, not bashing....I am currently stage 2, elh, Aos, and pro tune. If my head gasket is the reason why I'm having these issues what should i do? I keep reading if i get it fixed the motor may already be warped. New short block? I haven't had it completely over heating and start flashing lights. I stopped driving as soon as i saw temp rise and its been sitting in my garage. Please tell me what i should do....Just fix my stock motor and add parts that may make it a durable DD or New short block since the motors already pulled? And maybe guesstimates on what both routes would cost...Thanks guys
If it didn't overheat just slap in some new headgaskets.
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