coolant bubbling back into bottle

Discussion in 'Peterbilt Forum' started by smalltimetrucking, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. smalltimetrucking

    smalltimetrucking Bobtail Member

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    Mar 21, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
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    can anyone confirm what the causes of this might be? I've got a freightliner with cat engine 475 where coolant is bubbling back into reservoir bottle, check engine light comes on, truck stalls on the highway, and using a lot of coolant. Having to go through bottles of it after approx 300 miles or so. Truck does not overheat though, and is an older model which DOES NOT have an egr sensor. Any ideas anyone? Am I looking at a head gasket? Blown motor? Help! Just bought the truck! Only rolling a month! Now I'm beyond discouraged!::biggrin_25513:
     
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  3. Bent Wrench

    Bent Wrench Medium Load Member

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    Aug 11, 2009
    Cornholio, OR
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    You need a radiator cap or a head gasket.
     
  4. CondoCruiser

    CondoCruiser The Legend

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Tennessee
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    If it's bubbling back and gurgling, you need a head gasket. If you had a cracked block or head it would definately be getting in the oil.

    I just seen Bent Wrenches post. It could possibly have a bad radiator cap. It increases the boiling point.
     
  5. G/MAN

    G/MAN Road Train Member

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    If you are blowing bubbles into a bottle it is most likely a head gasket or cracked head. Unless you are losing power or something else is going on that you have not mentioned, I don't think that your engine is having a problem. It has been a while since I have had to replace a head or head gasket, but you are probably looking at somewhere between $3,500-5,500 unless you know someone who has cheap labor rates. If you can find a CAT dealer in your area I would have them take a look. They cannot tell if your head is cracked until they take it off and check it. In any case, you will likely at least need to replace the head gasket. There are some other possibilities, but the head gasket or head are the most likely culprits. Another thing could be a cracked liner. You could try replacing the radiator cap, but I doubt that is the problem.

    The thing about diesel engines is you never know what you are getting into until you tear into the engine. I know that is not what you want to hear starting out. You might check around to see if someone knows a CAT certified mechanic that has their own garage. They will often charge less and still do a good job. If the leak is bad enough you might be able to spot the leak yourself. Look on the side of the engine where the head bolts to the block. If it is a head gasket you may be able to see where coolant has been leaking out. It isn't always that obvious without having to take the head off.
     
  6. G/MAN

    G/MAN Road Train Member

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    If you have some tools and one or two friends who can help you, you could take the head off yourself and save a lot of money in labor. If you have an A-frame or strong tree and a come-along you might be able to do it yourself. I believe the head gasket set costs about $400 on a CAT. You can check with your local CAT or truck parts dealer for an exact cost. Again, it has been some time since I have had to replace one so my numbers could be off.
     
  7. paul 1052

    paul 1052 Heavy Load Member

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    Oct 9, 2010
    Sand Springs, Ok.
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    Put your coolant overflow hose into a bottle of water and rev the engine. When my headgasket was bad it bubbled like an aerator in a fish tank.
     
    serozhah Thanks this.
  8. Powerstroker

    Powerstroker Bobtail Member

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    Apr 28, 2011
    IN
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    You can pressurize the coolant system I thought also. Get a tester put it on the radiator prssure the system to what is suppose to be if the pressure bleeds off quickly then you head gasket is bad. That is what I was taught.
     
  9. serozhah

    serozhah Light Load Member

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    Sep 8, 2013
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    Can i try that after my truck was sitting for a day? or do i have to do this after i drove it some so that the coolant pressure is already built up? I am loosing coolant everywhere. Just trying to find the biggest leak lol
     
  10. serozhah

    serozhah Light Load Member

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    Sep 8, 2013
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    how quickly is quickly? Like after I drove for a while the coolant is pressurized. But then even if the truck sat for 10 hours, when I unscrew the cap, it bleeds out air pressure meaning that it keeps some coolant pressure even after 10 hours. Is that even normal? that coolant keeps pressure even after 10 hours of sitting?? Thanks
     
  11. RSQ20

    RSQ20 Medium Load Member

    If the head or HG is leaking, exhaust gasses will be in coolant, this can be tested..

    • Check the engine temp with an IR gun, especially around the Thermo housing.
    • Check the radiator for proper cooling/flow..
    • Get the pressure cap tested..
    • Is the fan working correctly?....
    • Are you using 50/50 coolant or water at this stage?

    You will be looking at >5000.00 for a head gasket job, more if the head requires work..

    ... Philip
     
    serozhah Thanks this.
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