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Nissan Forum: 87 Hardbody-Issues Other Than a Head Gasket?
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:45 PM
Mud Master Mud Master is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2
Default 87 Hardbody-Issues Other Than a Head Gasket?

What do you think is happening?

87 Nissan Hardbody, 2.4L 4x4
There is coolant in my oil, but the normal symptoms of a blown head gasket are not present (rough running, sweet smelling exhaust, white spoke). I discovered something was wrong when I checked the dipstick and saw a milky film.

I sent an oil sample to Blackstone Labs. Lab confirmed there is antifreeze present because of elevated levels of potassium, sodium, and moisture. However, lab said I caught the problem early as there are no indications of significant engine damage compared to their averages. FYI, I had this engine rebuilt and there have not been any issues in the last 8 years.

[U]Here's my question: Can you think of any other issue that may be going on other than a head gasket or head?

Thank you,
Mud Master
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:10 AM
jp2code jp2code is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Longview, TX [USA]
Posts: 1,566

There is a coolant passage in the intake manifold.

When the engine was rebuilt, if that coolant passage was not sealed correctly, coolant might leak into an oil passage.

That would be a weird thing to happen, though.
~Joe (not a mechanic!)
1994 Heavy Duty D21, Long Bed, 2WD, V6, 5-speed
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:15 AM
Myers503 Myers503 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 788

It can leak coolant into the crank case.
Also a leaking front timing chain cover will do that also.
I had done a rebuild decades ago and had that same issue. Got really good at pulling the head off and on too. Could not figure out how the coolant was getting in the oil. Was sitting in the driveway enjoying the sun with the timing cover on my lap looking at the back side of it about where the water pump area. Saw a little line that looked weird. Just touched it with a pocket screw driver and the backing fell apart. It was being held together by the pump pressure and just a pin would leak through. Put a new cover on and never had a problem since.
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