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Bad head gaskets? 5.2L V8

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Old 09-06-2012, 05:04 PM   #1
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Default Bad head gaskets? 5.2L V8

Took my intake manifold off to do a full gasket change, (Plenum, TB, Mani gaskets, etc.) and saw this on the bottom of the heads where it mates to the block. Below are both sides pictured, there is a little gap it seems between the material and the head. But there was maybe three drops of coolant in the whole manifold area, nothing more. Should I worry or do I need to change the gaskets? (Yes, I'm aware this 500 dollar jeep is a sludged up mess.)
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:17 PM   #2
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I don't think you have a head gasket problem, but you do have a lot of crud and sludge built up there.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:28 PM   #3
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How many miles are on that 318? If it were mine, since you're that far into it, I'd pull the oil pan to let all the crud drain through and use degreaser to get it as clean as I could. Then I'd pull the heads and have them cleaned up and a valve job done. Remove those pushrods and clean them good, check for straightness on a piece of glass. Add a new timing chain & gears & oil pump.
Then put it all together w/your new gasket set. Maybe then you might even give it a coat of engine paint. Make you proud of your work. It should run a lot better too. Just my opinion of course.
Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about that gap. I doubt it'll hurt it the way it is.
I always check the compression before taking an engine apart. It gives an idea of the condition of the headgasket/rings/valves sealing ability. Not the same as a leak down test, but it's a good test just the same. Again, JMO.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys. This 318 has 190k on her, was ran like 8 months ago, (Probably on really old oil) and then sat for these 8 months until I bought it. The cam looks pretty clean, no grooves on her at all no damage, etc, so I think the oil just sat on top of everything and got thick as time passed. So I don't think it ever ran with that bad of an oil consistency. I'd pull the oil pan like you said, but the exhaust is in the way, which I really don't want to get into removing and such. I'm going to clean up this top end as best as I can (Almost done with that, actually) and reassemble with new intake gaskets, then detergent "wash" the motor. Not sure if I'm going with Seafoam or trans fluid to clean her out a few times when she's running.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:58 AM   #5
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Okay, I can understand that. ATF added to the oil is an old trick, with it's high detergent it works pretty good.
I've never used Sea Foam myself, so I can/won't comment on it.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:28 AM   #6
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Gentlemen! Here's a trick as old as cars. Warm it it, drain 2 quarts of oil out, put in two quarts of kerosene, IDLE it for 5 minutes, drain it out well, and refill with oil. And change the filter. You would be suprised what comes out! DO NOT RUN ABOVE IDLE, EVER!! Bad thing happen.
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:32 AM   #7
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Read post #3 Again and again if you need to. Very good advice .
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:28 AM   #8
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ol''blue thanks for the advice that's exactly what i will do. just curious how bad is it to do this job? a day, two days.
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