Gen. 2 Head gasket time

bloose

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I have a 2001 GTS with about 30k miles. A few weeks ago I noticed fair amount of smoke primarily coming out of passenger side exhaust pipe. I'm also now seeing some "s t e a m y" grey/white smoke coming out of the passenger side of the hood. I say "s t e a m y" because it's not thick white, black, or grey or blue. I haven't driven it other than some starts or very short trips to diagnose the type of smoke and when it would appear. Other than the smoke the engine runs as great as it normally does.

There wasn't any overheating or extreme use that would have necessarily caused this, but everything points to head gasket(s). While the car is aging, I drive it about 2-3k miles a year and it is always stored indoors in a heated garage so it has been treated well and hasn't been exposed to extreme temperatures, even in the summer where max temps are in the low 90's.

Is this expected due to age? I'm not a mechanic, but planning on doing the work myself as I have the shop manuals, all the required tools a have done a fair amount of automotive repair in the past. While the search system isn't great I've read about everything I could find here on the topic. I plan on ordering and replacing any gaskets that are removed in the process, and also plan on upgrading to as many billet parts as possible on the accessory belt, like the power steering pulley.

Any great advice that you can pass along that you've learned over the past 20 years of Gen 2 ownership? I'm all ears. Thanks!
 
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bloose

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Correct, billet power steering pulley (fixed) and bracket. I was also looking at the billet water pump impeller, and belt tensioner pulleys. I haven't noticed a loss of coolant yet, but I haven't really run the engine much since I first saw the smoke.

I'll look into a leakdown test, and at minimum pull the plugs to see what's up there. Thanks for the suggestions.
 

GTS Dean

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A Leakdown test on a Viper V-10 is more than a little bit of a problem because the firing order alternates by 54 and 90 crank degrees over a 720 degree cycle. If you've got a helper to feel for compression in each cylinder as it comes up, it makes it do-able. But then, there's the problem of getting a socket on the crank bolt in the first place...

I'd like to know exactly how many people around here have ACTUALLY succeeded in doing a full 10 cylinder leakdown with the engine IN THE CAR.
 

Dan Cragin

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I've done many a leak down on the V10's. Not so bad once you get all setup. With 2 people its a breeze.

These Gen 2 engines don't blow head gaskets. The gaskets are multilayer steel and very strong. Check the coolant for hydrocarbons,
(a block check),
 

GTS Dean

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Dan, you are one of a handful of folks I know that would have done it. As a 1-man endeavor, it's extremely difficult. I just spent the time and effort to remove, mark and die-stamp my damper so I could perform it solo. I also put an ARP bolt in the crank to make it easier to get a bite on with a socket.
 

Old School

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A leak down test to locate a cracked cylinder or blown head gasket can and should be done at BDC. Just let the air push the piston down and take the reading. You only need to have the piston at TDC when measuring ring seal.
 
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bloose

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I've done many a leak down on the V10's. Not so bad once you get all setup. With 2 people its a breeze.

These Gen 2 engines don't blow head gaskets. The gaskets are multilayer steel and very strong. Check the coolant for hydrocarbons,
(a block check),
I've just ordered some hydrocarbon test strips. Thanks for the advice.
 
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