blown head gasket

Mitsubishi Delica L400 production commenced in 1994 -- After much anticipation, the L400 arrived on Canadian Soil in 2009!
Lukas
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:28 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1994 L400
Location: Vancouver

blown head gasket

Postby Lukas » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:53 pm

Gentlemen,

I am looking for some advice or tips before I take my delica to a shop. There are a few things that need to be looked at and I was wondering whether any of you might have an idea what the cause may be and what a reasonable repair price would be. It is a 1994 L400 2.8 Intercooler.

1) she is very hard to start when it gets cold - when the temperature drops below +5 Celsius it is impossible to start for the first time. Sometimes it does but immediately dies again but in most cases I have to keep "turning" the engine for 10 - 15 secs (it won't start though), that wait a few minutes and then try again and it usually starts.

2) I have to add engine coolant quite often. When I had the engine oil changed last time I asked my mechanic to have a look if there is any radiator leak, he said he had not found anything and that it is probably leaking head gasket. When I asked him for a quote to get it fixed he said it would be cheaper for me to get a used engine and have it swapped. I am not mechanically inclined but is changing the head gasket really that difficult and time consuming ?

3) the car gets very smokey - even when the engine is warm it looks like I am driving a mobile smokehouse. Can it be the coolant leak or probably something else ?

Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks.

poochike
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:52 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1999 L400 Chamonix Gen2
Location: vancouver
Location: Vancouver

blown head gasket

Postby poochike » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:10 am

Lukas wrote:Gentlemen,

I am looking for some advice or tips before I take my delica to a shop. There are a few things that need to be looked at and I was wondering whether any of you might have an idea what the cause may be and what a reasonable repair price would be. It is a 1994 L400 2.8 Intercooler.

1) she is very hard to start when it gets cold - when the temperature drops below +5 Celsius it is impossible to start for the first time. Sometimes it does but immediately dies again but in most cases I have to keep "turning" the engine for 10 - 15 secs (it won't start though), that wait a few minutes and then try again and it usually starts.

2) I have to add engine coolant quite often. When I had the engine oil changed last time I asked my mechanic to have a look if there is any radiator leak, he said he had not found anything and that it is probably leaking head gasket. When I asked him for a quote to get it fixed he said it would be cheaper for me to get a used engine and have it swapped. I am not mechanically inclined but is changing the head gasket really that difficult and time consuming ?

3) the car gets very smokey - even when the engine is warm it looks like I am driving a mobile smokehouse. Can it be the coolant leak or probably something else ?

Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks.
Your starting issue sounds like glow plus, but if you have a cracked head or blown gasket you may have coolant pooling in the piston chamber causing a hard start. If you are losing coolant with no visible leaks it's most likely a head gasket or cracked head. A new head installed will cost around $3000. If it's just the head gasket probably around $2000.

Are you overheating or just noticing coolant low in the expansion tank? A cracked head you will usually overheat and the coolant will come out of the overflow spout in the expansion tank from excess pressure caused by exhaust gasses entering the cooling system.

Either way it will be cheaper to do the head gasket or new head job than a new engine.

Good luck.


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Growlerbearnz
Posts: 1622
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:58 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: Delica P25W
Location: New Zealand

blown head gasket

Postby Growlerbearnz » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:04 pm

poochike wrote:Are you overheating or just noticing coolant low in the expansion tank? A cracked head you will usually overheat and the coolant will come out of the overflow spout in the expansion tank from excess pressure caused by exhaust gasses entering the cooling system.


The expansion tanks are notorious for cracking and leaking coolant, so check for that.

The definitive test for head gasket failure is to test for exhaust gases in the coolant. Most mechanics should be able to do this.

I'm not convinced that "just swap in another engine" is the best solution to a blown head gasket. All 4M40s are quite old now, you may just be swapping a blown gasket for one that's about to blow.
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.


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