Thread: How can i tell if i have a bad head gasket?

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  1. #1
    Viper Owner
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    Default How can i tell if i have a bad head gasket?

    I have a 93 rt/10. it has under 5k miles on it. i've been told that they have had problems with bad head gaskets. how can i tell if i have a bad one, or if i can't tell, how does the dealer tell?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How can i tell if i have a bad head gasket?

    Depends on where the leak is at. If its between cylinders, a pressure test will identify that. Also you can see if you have oil in your coolant or coolant in your oil.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: How can i tell if i have a bad head gasket?

    John is correct if you have a tinkler but when that gasket really goes than you will see a puddle (puddler) under the car in the garage. Be careful though because it depends where the puddle is. If it is off the back end of the motor it could be a gasket for the crossover coolant tube or t-stat. Those usually go first. Trust me, as I have had leaks from all the places I have listed. The head gasket required a re-build.


  4. #4
    Viper Owner
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    Default Re: How can i tell if i have a bad head gasket?

    I would love to know the answer to this simple question. After 10 years of viper production, and a known fact that the head gaskets are JUNK, seeing all the replaced gaskets over the years.(everyone knows someone who has had them replaced once,or even twice!) Question; Why does DC not have a better replacement Gasket???


    Maybe one for UNSOLVED MYSTERIES


  5. #5
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    Default Re: How can i tell if i have a bad head gasket?

    Well I have to disagree with having to get a motor rebuilt because of a bad head gasket. Unless you drive the car with antifreeze in your oil to the point where your rings are shot, it is an exercise in futuility to rebuild the entire motor.

    Also, everyone who has had their motor rebuilt by Arrow is in for a rude awakening after another 25,000 miles after it is rebuilt. I have been told by a rebuilder at Arrow that the poor quality head gasket is the problem here. He told me that the same leaks will reappear after a few years and thousands of miles after the initial warranty expires. At that point, we'll see how many motors will get new head gaskets as opposed to getting the whole motor rebuilt.

    Personally, I know of two people that were experiencing head gasket leaks on their Vipers. They both had just new head gaskets installed and it cured the leaks. I plan on doing the same to my Viper if and when the leaks occur.

    I suggest keeping an eye on coolant level, the smell when running, white smoke, etc. At that point, have a test done so as not to wash out a ring or bearing. I believe many people aren't keeping an eye on the early warning signs and keep on driving/racing their cars to the point where major problems occur.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: How can i tell if i have a bad head gasket?

    Jon B. with all due respect, regardless of the creeping up of the liners, if the V-10 had a much thicker head gasket, the slight creeping would have no effect on making the heads leak. Especially if a thicker copper head gasket was used, as mentioned, the creeping would not cause leaks because the copper would seal tighter if and when the liners pushed up. Remember, these liners are not moving a whole lot. We are talking about thousands of an inch at most. Worse case scenario is to have to get a mallet and a block of wood and gently tap down on the liners with the head off until proper clearances are had.

    Also, another good idea would be to retorque the head bolts down every 3,000 miles. I know this isn't easy, but considering most people put 3,000 miles on their cars in 5 years (garage queens), it wouldn't be too bad. If you are on a real budget, you could try using a leak stopper. I know of many people over the years have used them with great success.

    I have done much wrenching on Mopars, especially newer ones. Mopar head gaskets suck and everyone is aware of it. A nice and thick copper head gasket would solve many of the head leaks found on Gen 1 cars. Why do you think all of the performance tuners use non-Mopar head gaskets? Ahhhhhh


  7. #7
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    Default Re: How can i tell if i have a bad head gasket?

    To do it the right way would be to remove the exhaust manifolds and the valve covers. Actually the bolts kind of hidden beneath the manifolds are the most important ones regarding the seeping because they are the ones closest to the "edge" of the block/head. Retorque them all.

    I have been told that one person loosened them all and then retorqued, but I will try torquing them already tight. I forget what the exact ft/lbs. is but whatever it is I will add another 5ft/lbs. to that to get it a tad tighter. Hopefully it will work.


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