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Water where it shouldn't be

Old 01-07-2019, 04:38 PM
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Default Water where it shouldn't be

Purchased a 97 spec JDM B18C and I found water or coolant in the oil pan and the oil filter cooler/mount. My question is if this looks serious to you guys? the Importer drained most of the oil before i bought the engine so the pictures show it exactly as it was when i took the pan and filter off.

Obviously my first thoughts were that i hope the head gasket wasn't blown. Yes it would be convenient to change right now, but that's just added cost and labor to deck the block. The oil residue in the pan isn't "muddy" or "frothy" at all though, so i have some doubts that the gasket is blown...unless it's been so much time since the engine was run in Japan that the oil and water separated again, but i feel like the head wouldn't be as clean as it is if that were the case (see pic).

If the head gasket isn't blown, that would be a relief and then i'd assume the water is just accumulated condensation from the engine sitting around OR water that got in when the importer pressure washed the engine before i picked it up.

Note: i did not see any water in the head when i took the valve cover off.

What do you guys think? all of you that have gotten JDM swaps, have you run into this at all? Hoping it's just minor condensation build up and a good oil flush before installation will be all i need.

head looks pretty clean...



you can see pretty good oil/water separation with all the jelly looking stuff.


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Old 01-07-2019, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

I think they pressure washed the engine with some of the openings exposed, the water and oil are too separated to be a head gasket issue, but that's just my opinion. Was the oil filter missing when you got the car, if so they might have pressure washed the engine with the oil filter mount exposed, causing water to enter the oil pan, or possibly from the pcv breather tank, etc.

I would do a flush with some cheap oil when you are ready to start it up.
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

Originally Posted by zeroptzero View Post
I think they pressure washed the engine with some of the openings exposed, the water and oil are too separated to be a head gasket issue, but that's just my opinion. Was the oil filter missing when you got the car, if so they might have pressure washed the engine with the oil filter mount exposed, causing water to enter the oil pan, or possibly from the pcv breather tank, etc.

I would do a flush with some cheap oil when you are ready to start it up.
Yeah the separation made me think it was something other than the HG too... I sure hope it was just the pressure washer! The oil filter was on the engine so how water got into the oil cooler is a bit puzzling, unless they really decided to hold the pressure washer over the filter and water pushed it's way past the gasket, but the oil filter was on pretty tight too. The only other obviously open port was the valve cover breather, but like i said, there was no water around the camshafts (i did a valve adjustment so i was looking at the area for quite a while). Well, i will install it soon and cross my fingers lol
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

Pressure washers can peel paint with crazy high pressures, so they may have gotten too close to the engine while cleaning.

I would drown the valvetrain in oil , adding oil over the entire head and valves and valvesprings as the main method of filling the engine. Then when you go to start it up, turn over the engine a few times with the injectors disconnected to get oil circulating through the engine at no load before firing it up, then flush out the oil after a very short period of time to make sure all of the water/oil mix is out of it.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

Agree with zero, they probably pressure washed it. I would make haste and get that engine before your warranty is out though.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

Leakdown test, if it comes back good then install it and get it fired up before your warranty is up. Hazard Fraught Tools (TM) sells a set of leakdown gauges pretty cheap or you might be able to find a mobile mechanic to do it for you for cheap.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

Originally Posted by MotorMouth93 View Post
Leakdown test, if it comes back good then install it and get it fired up before your warranty is up. Hazard Fraught Tools (TM) sells a set of leakdown gauges pretty cheap or you might be able to find a mobile mechanic to do it for you for cheap.
Yep i just purchased a OTC leak down tester on Amazon. I'd rather know now than later if something is wrong. Thx for the help guys.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

IDK.... the oil pan deff looks like the head gasket went! that chocolate milk look is very apparent but lets hope its not! do that leak down and report back! I don't think our friends over in Japan would pull a fast one! they usually do a comp and leak down test before selling the swap.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

Originally Posted by GR_DC2 View Post
Yep i just purchased a OTC leak down tester on Amazon. I'd rather know now than later if something is wrong. Thx for the help guys.
I have those gauges as well and they've worked very well the few times I've used them. Also, if you see leakage at any of the valves, crank the pressure up to 90-100psi and tap the rockers with a hammer and something to cushion them from the hammer to open them a tiny bit, sometimes if an engine has been sitting for a while you can get flakes of carbon stuck in the valve seats and cause them to leak a bit, and tapping them will blast it out.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

if the engine didn't come with headers maybe water came through there, or the intake. Got me thinking OP might as well contact seller.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

Just curious who you purchased from? I would definitely be reaching out to the seller...
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
Just curious who you purchased from? I would definitely be reaching out to the seller...
HMO

Originally Posted by MotorMouth93 View Post
I have those gauges as well and they've worked very well the few times I've used them. Also, if you see leakage at any of the valves, crank the pressure up to 90-100psi and tap the rockers with a hammer and something to cushion them from the hammer to open them a tiny bit, sometimes if an engine has been sitting for a while you can get flakes of carbon stuck in the valve seats and cause them to leak a bit, and tapping them will blast it out.
Funny you mention that. I contacted Steve at HMO today and he mentioned the same exact thing (to tap the valves).

I ran a leakdown test over the weekend and got 80% leakage on 3 cylinders and 50% on the 4th. All leaking out of the exhaust side. I called Steve up to tell him and he advised me to tap the valves because the carbon deposits are what is keeping the valves from seating. He claimed it's very common and happens all the time on the B20's he sells (although he mentioned it being common on the intake side). I didn't know what to think when he told me this, but now that someone else (you) have mentioned it, makes me very interested to try it.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

is there a way to test for a head gasket leak with the gauges or is there too much leakage out the valves ?
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

Originally Posted by zeroptzero View Post
is there a way to test for a head gasket leak with the gauges or is there too much leakage out the valves ?
typically once you pressurize the cylinder, where the air is hissing from is dictates the place that needs attention:

throttle body = intake valves
coolant passages = head gasket
exhaust = exhaust valves
PCV/oil dip stick = rings

having that said, i did not experience any hissing coming from any other areas, BUT with 80% leakage on the exhaust valves, most of the air would take the easy route via the exhaust valves anyway. So if there were smaller leaks elsewhere, not sure if i would have even noticed any discernible hissing from those areas.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

Originally Posted by GR_DC2 View Post
Funny you mention that. I contacted Steve at HMO today and he mentioned the same exact thing (to tap the valves).

I ran a leakdown test over the weekend and got 80% leakage on 3 cylinders and 50% on the 4th. All leaking out of the exhaust side. I called Steve up to tell him and he advised me to tap the valves because the carbon deposits are what is keeping the valves from seating. He claimed it's very common and happens all the time on the B20's he sells (although he mentioned it being common on the intake side). I didn't know what to think when he told me this, but now that someone else (you) have mentioned it, makes me very interested to try it.

It happened on the JDM high comp B20B I bought from JDMAlliance a few years ago. I freaked out a bit because I was getting massive leaks from the valves but after tapping them a couple times everything ended up around 10% leakage.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: Water where it shouldn't be

Originally Posted by MotorMouth93 View Post
It happened on the JDM high comp B20B I bought from JDMAlliance a few years ago. I freaked out a bit because I was getting massive leaks from the valves but after tapping them a couple times everything ended up around 10% leakage.
That's music to my ears. Crossing my fingers that that's my issue. Which valves for you, intake or exhaust?

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