AR15.Com Archives
 Now I have white smoke coming out of my exhaust pipe.. AGGHHHH!!!! : (
GENESMITH  [Team Member]
1/10/2007 2:00:10 AM EST
My 98 explorer overheated yesterday afternoon. I pulled over and put in a bunch water, and was able to make it home just after dark.

Today I let it run for a few min and saw the one thing I didn't want to see... water dripping out the tail pipe.

I know this means I have a lot of work in my future..


ETA: Title change and new problem-

-Well the water problem turned out to be a bad radiator. Further trouble shooting revealed a hole in the radiator. $400.00 later, I'm good to go.
(water in the tail pipe turned out be condensation as mentioned below)

-Today I notice I have some serious white smoke coming out of my exhaust. When rev the engine while in park, there is alot of smoke!

I checked the oil, that looks ok. It does seem to be rough when I start it up though.

Could this be related to a bad spark plug?

What causes white smoke?

Thanks for the input thus far guys.

Gene
Paid Advertisement
--
N_FL_Mountaineer  [Team Member]
1/10/2007 2:18:52 AM EST
Head Gasket if you're lucky...

Good Luck!
THOLL223  [Team Member]
1/10/2007 2:31:40 AM EST
Like a lot of water? You do realize that water is a byproduct of combustion in your engine, it is perfectly normal to have some water coming out your tailpipe on startup. It is not till your engine warms up that the water burns off in the muffler.
El_Guapo  [Team Member]
1/10/2007 2:42:09 AM EST
At first I thought you meant you had diarrhea.
DanishM1Garand  [Member]
1/10/2007 2:44:00 AM EST
Touch a drop of the water to your tounge. If it is sweet tasting you have a blown head gasket at best, cracked head at worst. (antifreeze has sweet taste) If it is not sweet it is just a byproduct of the combustion process.
Punani  [Team Member]
1/10/2007 2:53:24 AM EST

Originally Posted By THOLL223:
Like a lot of water? You do realize that water is a byproduct of combustion in your engine, it is perfectly normal to have some water coming out your tailpipe on startup. It is not till your engine warms up that the water burns off in the muffler.
GeorgiaBII  [Member]
1/10/2007 2:57:29 AM EST
Let it get hot if you start billowing steam out the exhaust when it revs up you have problems. But condensation out the pipe is normal.
GENESMITH  [Team Member]
1/10/2007 3:27:45 AM EST
I know water is normal, but this alot of water and it's kinda black (more than what was there in the past).

I'll try the "taste test" to be sure. I'd never heard of that.

I'm not a mechanic, but I've done this with a few buddies in their trucks in the past and I have a couple guys here who are "motor heads" that are willing to help out.

Just sucks. I hate to have to rip the engine apart.

This thing has over 100k miles on it. I'm thinking I should do the pistons while I'm at it.

NoHarmNoFAL-01  [Team Member]
1/10/2007 4:03:47 AM EST
I knew a guy once that had water come out his tail pipe, dead in three days.

Did you check the oil? If it is green and foamy you are in big trouble. Is your Check Engine light on, I can't imagine that the O2 sensor would take to anti-freeze too well.

Which motor? 3.0, 4.0 or 5.0? I have a 5.0 and have not had any major issues at all.

What caused it to overheat?
USMC2111  [Member]
1/10/2007 4:32:35 AM EST
Take off the radiator cap (while the engine is cold), and start the engine. Let it run for a few minutes. If you start to see a lot of bubbles, most likely you have a blown head gasket or a cracked head. Also look for an oily sheen on the coolant. Thats another sign of a crack/gasket failure.

Semper Fi
UH_SALT_RIFLE  [Team Member]
1/10/2007 4:39:48 AM EST
Yeah that sounds like my Jeep. Turns out it didn't get the gas mileage I was expecting when I ran it on water!


michaelj1978  [Member]
1/10/2007 7:17:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By GENESMITH:
I know water is normal, but this alot of water and it's kinda black (more than what was there in the past).

I'll try the "taste test" to be sure. I'd never heard of that.

I'm not a mechanic, but I've done this with a few buddies in their trucks in the past and I have a couple guys here who are "motor heads" that are willing to help out.

Just sucks. I hate to have to rip the engine apart.

This thing has over 100k miles on it. I'm thinking I should do the pistons while I'm at it.



Drink at least 8 ounces. 4 during start up and 4 after you've run it for a while. The taste may change. If the last 4 ounces are still sweet there might be a problem.
NickySantoro  [Member]
1/10/2007 11:27:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By GENESMITH:
My 98 explorer overheated yesterday afternoon. I pulled over and put in a bunch water, and was able to make it home just after dark.

Today I let it run for a few min and saw the one thing I didn't want to see... water dripping out the tail pipe.

I know this means I have a lot of work in my future..


Before you start feeling too bad, top off the rad and put a pressure tester on the system. It's far more likely you have a leak somewhere and if you didn't run it too hot too long the HG is probably fine and the water out the pipe is probably just condensation, black because it ran through the exhaust system.
FWIW
YMMV
GENESMITH  [Team Member]
1/10/2007 4:09:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By NickySantoro:

Originally Posted By GENESMITH:
My 98 explorer overheated yesterday afternoon. I pulled over and put in a bunch water, and was able to make it home just after dark.

Today I let it run for a few min and saw the one thing I didn't want to see... water dripping out the tail pipe.

I know this means I have a lot of work in my future..


Before you start feeling too bad, top off the rad and put a pressure tester on the system. It's far more likely you have a leak somewhere and if you didn't run it too hot too long the HG is probably fine and the water out the pipe is probably just condensation, black because it ran through the exhaust system.
FWIW
YMMV


When it got hot and opened it up to add water, there was no pressure under the cap.

I'll try what your saying though to make sure.

Thanks for the good advice guys.

I'm really hoping this doesn't turn into a "here are some pics of me tearing my engine apart" thread...

Gene
GENESMITH  [Team Member]
1/28/2007 8:49:08 PM EST
Bump with a new problem. See first post.


Gene
Tim84K10  [Team Member]
1/28/2007 8:59:44 PM EST
If it's billowing smoke out the exhaust when the engine gets hot, you have a cracked block, head, or a blown head gasket, or a combination of these. You need to do some tests to find out which, all of which are probably outside the scope of what you know how to do if you're not a mechanic.
Firepower  [Member]
1/29/2007 3:02:42 AM EST
A blown gasket is enough to have white smoke. You can smell the antifreeze burning out the exhaust. The head will need to be resurfaced as they warp cause of excessiove heat. Especially if there aluminum. Good luck on this one.
GENESMITH  [Team Member]
1/29/2007 10:22:29 AM EST
Well now what I wanted to hear, but I kinda knew this was the case.

I called a couple shops, they want $900.00 - $1,200.00 to do the work (not including parts).

A mechanic I am not, but I have a couple buddies who are and we've decided to do it our selves.

I need to order a gasket kit first though.

Guess my "gun a month" program will have to be put on hold for a while..
DBerk  [Member]
1/29/2007 11:51:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By Punani:

Originally Posted By THOLL223:
Like a lot of water? You do realize that water is a byproduct of combustion in your engine, it is perfectly normal to have some water coming out your tailpipe on startup. It is not till your engine warms up that the water burns off in the muffler.


this is what I was thinking too, and my other thought was
BozemanMT  [Team Member]
1/29/2007 2:23:53 PM EST
Head gasket

Get a cylinder pressure gauge (rent one, about 15 bucks)
that will tell you instantly.

But that's where I'd bet money.
scarbutt  [Team Member]
2/5/2007 4:09:07 PM EST
It's really fcken cold out?
cmjohnson  [Team Member]
2/5/2007 4:14:57 PM EST
If the engine overheated, another distinct possibility is a cracked head.


Head or head gasket, either way the heads will be coming off for inspection.

A dead sure sign of a cracked head is that the combustion chamber for that cylinder will be much cleaner than the others, as it's self-steam-cleaned itself.


Sorry, but respectable amounts of steam coming from your exhaust is generally indicative of a blown head gasket or cracked head.

If you're a halfway decent shade tree mechanic, you can handle either problem for a
fraction of what any mechanic will charge to fix it.


CJ
GENESMITH  [Team Member]
2/7/2007 12:07:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
If the engine overheated, another distinct possibility is a cracked head.


Head or head gasket, either way the heads will be coming off for inspection.

A dead sure sign of a cracked head is that the combustion chamber for that cylinder will be much cleaner than the others, as it's self-steam-cleaned itself.


Sorry, but respectable amounts of steam coming from your exhaust is generally indicative of a blown head gasket or cracked head.

If you're a halfway decent shade tree mechanic, you can handle either problem for a
fraction of what any mechanic will charge to fix it.


CJ


I have accepted the fact that I have tear my engine apart.
Not really looking forward to it. By buddy is ready when I am though.
I just need to order the parts.

FrankSymptoms  [Team Member]
2/7/2007 12:56:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By THOLL223:
Like a lot of water? You do realize that water is a byproduct of combustion in your engine, it is perfectly normal to have some water coming out your tailpipe on startup. It is not till your engine warms up that the water burns off in the muffler.


And it is LOTS more noticable when the weather is cold.

Best of luck!
Delta  [Team Member]
2/7/2007 1:09:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By GENESMITH:

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
If the engine overheated, another distinct possibility is a cracked head.


Head or head gasket, either way the heads will be coming off for inspection.

A dead sure sign of a cracked head is that the combustion chamber for that cylinder will be much cleaner than the others, as it's self-steam-cleaned itself.


Sorry, but respectable amounts of steam coming from your exhaust is generally indicative of a blown head gasket or cracked head.

If you're a halfway decent shade tree mechanic, you can handle either problem for a
fraction of what any mechanic will charge to fix it.


CJ


I have accepted the fact that I have tear my engine apart.
Not really looking forward to it. By buddy is ready when I am though.
I just need to order the parts.




If your buddy is going to help rebuild, why not go all the way and rebuild it completely. It will be already tore apart.
Extra dollars are hard to come by, but for the extra money you invest. Brand NEW engine


.02 anyway
Hoppy  [Team Member]
2/7/2007 1:24:48 AM EST
A lot of white smoke after the engine is warm usually means it's burning oil. This is usually rings or valve guide related. Check compression on all cylinders (not so much worried about the exact number as you should be that all cylinders measure about the same). If you find a low cylinder dump about a tablespoon of gear oil down the plug hole and try another compression test of that cylinder. If the pressure comes up it's probably rings, if not I'd look at the valve guides, or seals if equipped.

Another thing to look at is the plugs. If you're burning oil expect to see a plug with burnt oil sludge on it.
oneshot1kill  [Team Member]
2/7/2007 2:39:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By GENESMITH:
My 98 explorer overheated yesterday afternoon.

<snip>

-Today I notice I have some serious white smoke coming out of my exhaust. When rev the engine while in park, there is alot of smoke!

I checked the oil, that looks ok. It does seem to be rough when I start it up though.

Could this be related to a bad spark plug?

What causes white smoke?

Thanks for the input thus far guys.

Gene


Gene, I agree with the majority, it definitely sounds like a blown head gasket. What motor do you have? Do you have a repair manual?
GENESMITH  [Team Member]
2/7/2007 2:55:02 AM EST
I have the V6 4.0L

Doing the whole engine is what I'm planning. Since I'm in that far, I might as well do the rest of it.

I'm getting white smoke almost as soon as I turn it on, and it does smell like radiator fluid, so you guys are correct.

Yes, I do have a Chilton's manual.

Any recomendations on where I can do "one stop shopping" for all the parts?

Thanks again,

Gene

oneshot1kill  [Team Member]
2/7/2007 3:03:23 AM EST
Which 4.0L? There were 2 4.0L motors offered in '98.
One is a SOHC EFI (8th digit of VIN was 'E')
The other 4.0L was SFI (VIN 'X')

ETA: For parts you should go to FORD or to a local parts supplier that independent shops use. Get a complete head gasket set with lower intake, upper plenum, valve seals, valve cover, throttle body, and get a new thermostat and gasket. New spark plugs should probably be installed unles they are fairly new and you can clean them up nicely. If you pull the fuel rail you may need injector 'o' rings. Of course the hads will have to go out to the machine shop to check for cracks and warpage as well as being resurfaced. You could have them do the valve seals or DIY when you get them back.

You will also need new head bolts, these are torque to yield bolts and can only be used once. I've reused TTY bolts before in my own vehicles because I'm cheap, but you really shouldn't.

GENESMITH  [Team Member]
2/7/2007 3:17:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By oneshot1kill:
Which 4.0L? There were 2 4.0L motors offered in '98.
One is a SOHC EFI (8th digit of VIN was 'E')
The other 4.0L was SFI (VIN 'X')


I have VIN "X", 241 cu in


Do you have the same year?
oneshot1kill  [Team Member]
2/7/2007 3:31:31 AM EST
No, I'm a tech at an indy shop, but I've seen a lot of these trucks.
GENESMITH  [Team Member]
2/7/2007 3:44:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By oneshot1kill:
No, I'm a tech at an indy shop, but I've seen a lot of these trucks.



I thought you were going to say "no, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last ngiht"




Gene
Paid Advertisement
--