cat 910 80U wheel loader pushin water out the radiator

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jim

United States

#1 Jun 11, 2012
I recently replaced a head gasket, because when we started it up cold water was being pushed out the top of the radiator, and it had a lot of white smoke out the exhaust. Had to be a head gasket? Just finished the work, turned it over a few times and water is being pushed out the radiator again. I have had no water in the oil. Before it would run ok for a few minutes then die. Then a minute later it would boil over. Any help is appreciated.
Ken

Marion, IN

#2 Jun 11, 2012
It's obvious that compression from one of the cylinders is getting into the cooling system to "push" that water out of the radiator. Since you don't have any oil in the water, this can be caused by 3 things...bad head gasket (you replaced it) a "cracked" head, or an injector cup that has either an o-ring failure or is cracked itself.

I'm not sure which engine you have in that machine, but I work on many different Cat engines & these symptoms are common. I'm thinking it's most likely an injector cup failure, because that will allow compression to flow into the coolant, and also allow coolant into the same cylinder, casuing the "white smoke" you described.

Did you have the head professionally checked or pressure tested while it was off the engine? Did you notice if any of the exhaust ports in the head were "wet with coolant" when you removed the exhaust manifold? If you can narrow it down to a single cylinder, you can remove that injector & pull the cup for inspection. It's easier than pulling them all!

Please let me know the engine model number, if you want more specific information. Good luck!
jim

United States

#3 Jun 11, 2012
Thanks so very much for your response. Im almost sure the engine model number is 3204. I took the head to the NAPA shop for inspection and all they do to it. He removed the cups and replaced the o-rings from the kit I got from CAT. I had no water in the oil, no oil in the water. Also last week when this happened, we drove it for like 20 minutes, all good. Then about an hour later we took it at a rode speed for about a half a mile then it died. A minute later it boiled over. Then when we got it going again, water started gushing out the radiator and all that white smoke. It ran for about 2o minutes then died again. I pulled it home, it sat for 2 days, I started it, there was no smoke this time. Not much water left to push out, I ran it for about 30 seconds, long enough to get it into the shop. Thanks again for your response.
Ken

Marion, IN

#4 Jun 12, 2012
Sounds like you did everything "by the book". Having the head checked & pulling ALL the cups is what I would have done, too...it eliminates potential problems!

Does the water temp gauge function properly? When you ran it for 20 minutes, was it under any kind of load? Did you notice what the engine temp was?

It's quite possible that the engine "overheated" when you drove it later, or it got hot enough to "damage" your new head gasket. I would inspect/replace the thermostats & flush the cooling system, to be sure. The overheating problem is most likely what caused the original head gasket to fail. It doesn't take much to damage Cat head gakets, no matter which engine it is :(
jim

United States

#5 Jun 12, 2012
Ken, I replaced the thermostat when I did the head gasket job. We watched the temp gauge very closely last week when we drove it, never moved away from normal, until after it died, then it buried in the red. The oil that I took out after I ran it last week did have a burned smell. Could it be a problem with a plugged water port? Bad water pump? Water not circulating? Im grasping at straws I do realize. Thanks.
jim

United States

#6 Jun 12, 2012
So, if it was your machine, what would you do next? Do I pull the head off, start over? Pull the water pump and radiator? I'm going to talk to the machine guy who did the head work and ask him if he truly inspected the cups. I have never heard them called this, I am assuming its the chamber the injector goes in? Again thanks for you time. jim in Colorado
Ken

Marion, IN

#7 Jun 12, 2012
Yes, the injector cups are the removeable chamber that the injectors fit thru. The cups have two o-rings, one at the top & one at the bottom. They will be green in color, if you bought a genuine Cat head set. Coolant flows between these two o-rings, surrounding the cup. This allows the injectors to be cooled, as well. If either o-ring fails, coolant will flow past the injector into the cylinder, where it causes the white smoke.

You have to use a special tool to remove them, they are threaded inside at the bottom. The tool screws into these threads, and it has a "slide-hammer" type handle to pull them from the head. When replacing the cups, the o-rings have to be greased and you have to push the cups in by hand, using the same threaded tool. It's a tedious job :(

It's quite possible that you have a coolant circulation problem, especially since it's overheating. Have you flushed the system? Have you removed the lower radiator hose & poured water thru the radiator to see how well it flows? The water pump is gear driven, but I have seen the shaft break loose behind the gear on occasion. Usually it's the bearings that fail inside the pump, then the seal starts to leak...right out the weep-hole. Even though it's leaking, it's still turning.

I'd make sure the overheating problem is resolved before pulling the head again, if possible.
jim

United States

#8 Jun 12, 2012
Hey Ken, Thanks for the reply. The machine guy at napa I do believe used a punch and hammer to turn the caps, and I saw one of them after he took it out and it only had one yellow o-ring. Does this not sound correct? Im thinking if I take off the exhaust manifold, and crank the engine a few times, that will tell me which cylinder is the problem. It appeared that piston one may have had some water in it when I removed the head. After this drain the water and start pulling out the caps. Hopefully I will know which one by some liquid on the exhaust side. I will deep you posted. Wont be working again on it until probably this weekend or again Monday, other obligations with kids.
Ken

Marion, IN

#9 Jun 13, 2012
You're welcome, Jim! I've never pulled the cups on a 3204, so the o-rings could be yellow in color. Cat produces alot of yellow o-rings in various sizes for different applications. But there has to be 2 o-rings, one at the top & bottom for the cup to "seal" properly.

I would definitely remove the exhaust manifold & check for a "wet" cylinder before pulling the head again...might save you some time & money :)

Good luck!
jim

United States

#10 Jun 19, 2012
Ken, back at it. I fired her up the other night and did have some wetness around no. 1 and especially no.2 cylinders. Im going to pull those cups today. The napa guy did pull them, but used a hammer and a punch, so I am hopeful that if even if the lower spacer gasket pc. is in tack it might be a torque issue. It looked like a punch is how the last guy put them in as well. I did find a tool at the county shop to put them in with, so they can be torqued properly. The glow plugs also are not in the correct position any more either. Ill let you know. By the way I am a rancher, not a mechanic! So I do appreciate your inputs. jim
jim

United States

#11 Jun 19, 2012
Also, I just drained all the coolant, appears to be some sort of red liquid in it. Fuel Im thinking. Out in the sun you cant see it, but inside the shop it appears red inside a glass jar.
Ken

Marion, IN

#12 Jun 19, 2012
jim wrote:
Also, I just drained all the coolant, appears to be some sort of red liquid in it. Fuel Im thinking. Out in the sun you cant see it, but inside the shop it appears red inside a glass jar.
That would be fuel, especially if you're buying "off-road" non-taxed diesel. They dye it red, so if we use it on the highway & they find it in our tanks, they can "fine us".

Sounds like fuel from the injector in No.1 or 2 cylinder is getting past those o-rings and into the cooling system. The same 0-rings are letting coolant into the cylinder as well, causing the "white smoke". This is assuming that the injector cup isn't cracked or damaged....

Hopefully you'll resolve this problem soon...good luck!
jim

United States

#13 Jun 19, 2012
Ran into a problem, small town, cant find the tool needed to remove the cups as of yet. Purchased from CAT its almost $100. Still looking, I know I can get them out, but need the tool to torque them back in.
frustrated in colo.....
Ken

Marion, IN

#14 Jun 20, 2012
If the head was off the engine, we could "make" wooden dowel rods to "push" these out then back in. If you can remove the cups without damaging them, you could use a wooden dowel rod the same diameter as the top of the cup to "push" them back in place.

After you place the new o-rings on the cup, rub a light coat of grease on them before you try to push them back into the head. This will make it easier to install, and also keeps the o-rings from "rolling" or becoming pinched in any way.

I'm not sure what "torque" you're referring to when they are installed. I just push them straight down, with equal pressure until they "seat" all the way down inside the head. I'll download some diagrams of the 3204 engine tonight, just to be sure. I've worked on 3208's, which are the V-8 version of your 4 cylinder inline, but never a 3204.
jim

United States

#15 Jun 20, 2012
Hey Ken,
May be a different horse. These cups are not driven in they have threads at the bottom. The parts man from cat sent me a page of instruction on putting the cups back in and it said to torque them to 150lbs. You need a tool with splines, this fits where the piece that screws on to the injector was before it was removed. It also said to put anti-seize on the threads. Will most any lube work for this? The lower "gasket" just fits on the part that screws in, much like a flat washer would. The only part im not sure is I know the glow plugs are supposed to me in a certain position. Is this as far away from the exhaust as possible? Getting the wires to them is not a problem no matter where they are, but one guy told me he didnt know but I needed to find out or they would not function properly. Do you know? Thanks again, jim
Ken

Marion, IN

#16 Jun 20, 2012
Wow...did I just get an "education"!! Your engine was produced in 1978 for a 1979 model year, and it does NOT have "direct injection" OR a turbocharger, either. That's why the cups "screw in", and you have glow plugs!

I've never seen one, since Cat went to "direct injection" the following year, in 1980. Yes, the cups DO screw in, and they torque to 150 lbs, like you were told. The glow plug position can be wherever you like it, according to what I read. I think I would place them as far away from the exhaust as possible, like you suggested. They will function in ANY position, though. Yes, you can use a thin coating of grease to "lube" the threads before inserting it into the head.

Sorry I didn't go online to the Cat Tech Site earlier, I just assumed that it had direct injection...those cups are pushed in like the engines I work on. Hope your problems are solved once you get the engine back together!
jim

United States

#17 Jun 21, 2012
Ken, Got the tool from cat and new rings for the bottom of the cups, torqued them down to 150 lbs. Got it all back together, started her up and got the same result. It pushed about 3/4 gallon of water out the radiator overflow in about 5 minutes. Then the engine died. The first 2 minutes it sounded good, then began to run kinda rough, dropping rpms, I ran the rpms up a few times. I then just let it go by itself, the rpms dropped and it died. Had no white smoke. Here in a little while I will take the exhoust off again, it appeared to have some liquid around no. 2 and 3. Wow, Im bummed. I guess we're back to square 1 ? Warped block? Or I didnt get the head gasket on right? Im all out of guesses. Im thinking taking the head off again is the next move, and to the best of my ability checking fro flatness on the block. What would you suggest? Thanks again. jim
Ken

Marion, IN

#18 Jun 21, 2012
Did you redo all 4 cups, or just the first two? If you did all four, then I would say it's time to pull the head again.

Once the head is off, and all gaskets removed, you can do a rough check of the block surface by using a flat piece of metal. A flat metal ruler, or a 2 foot by 1 foot metal carpenters square would work well. You can slowly "pull" the straitedge across the block surface, from different directions, looking for gaps & spaces underneath.

Napa can check the flatness of your head, I should think they would have done that the first time, or possibly machined it.

When you installed the head, did you follow a "bolt tightening sequence"? Did you torque the bolts down in "stages"? On the Big Cats, we torque them down three times in a pattern. 100, 200 then 330. Not sure about your engine specs, but I can look them up.

Let me know what you find...best of luck!
jim

United States

#19 Jun 22, 2012
Hey Ken
Yes did all 4 cups. Last night went back to the shop, filled it up to the top with water, it took alot more than it lost out the jug in the afternoon. Started it up. It did not push any water out the top. It actually ran fine. I let it run for about 10-15 minutes. But the new thermostat didnt open till I shut the engine off. The lower hose was hot, but not the top one. I was trying to see if the water pump was pumping water. Had no bubbles in the water. I do think I may have 2 pinholes around the neck of the radiator though. The temp guage stayed normal, but the water in the radiator never moved, and stayed cold. Also, I had a helper the other day when I torqued the heads, they missurderstood the directions,(read me the Newton meter torque, not the foot pounds) so I think I over torqued the head bolts by about25 lbs. Of course its a old torque wrench so it may not be that much. Feel pretty stupid, I didnt look at the numbers myself. She was pointing to the bolts in sequence for me, i was running the wrench. How can I test the pump to make sure its working? Do I need to take the radiator off to get it fixed or can I fix these holes myself? Why did we not blow water this time? Did something take a little heat to properly seat? Ill run it again for a while this morning. Thinking about taking out the thermostat, at least for now. Thoughts? Thanks
jim
jim

United States

#20 Jun 22, 2012
Update: I topped off the water put the cap on and started it up. Right away it started pushing a small stream of water out. Ran it for about 30 minutes. Total pushed out almost a gallon. The engine stayed very cool to the touch throughout. After 20 minutes or so i increased the throttle a little and the temp guage went up and down some, like it wasnt making contact with the water. Do have a leak in the neck of the radiator. Confused in Colorado....Also, those two oil lines that connect at the bottom of the radiator, do they carry hydraulic or transmission oil? Ill start looking for some place to take the radiator to. Closest place for me is about 100 miles. Thanks again. Still not certain whats going on with the head, water pushing thing.

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