1996 Mustang GT Oil in cooling system - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010 Thread Starter
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1996 Mustang GT Oil in cooling system

Hello all,

I have a 96 Mustang GT 4.6 stock with 143,000 miles. I noticed lately there's oil in my cooling system inside the overflow tank. It shows as a dark color in the coolant and beige thick substance on the cap. However, the vehicle doesn't overheat as of yet and the motor oil in the block is fine- color is normal with no sign of coolant. It appears the oil in the coolant may be the sign of a blown head gasket but I would like to make sure before I do a head job. Are there other factors that could cause this?

Additionally, if any of you have any tips or advice on how easy is it to pull off the heads and replace the head gaskets off this particular engine, please let me know. Hopefully, the heads aren't damaged. I've never changed heads before on an engine so any help would be greatly appreciated. The only work I did myself on this car is replace the intake manifold.


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010
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Start with a leakdown test on all the cylinders. That will verify whether it's a headgasket or not. Replacing the head gaskets on a 4.6 is a time consuming and tedious project. Setting the timing requires a lot of attention to detail, and the headbolts are easiest to install when you put them in the heads before installation, and use rubberbands to hold them up while you set the head back on the block. There's a few headbolts that can't be put in after the head is on the block, there's just not enough room.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010
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Bullitt has a good point, i would start with the cylinder leakdown test and look for bubbles in the overflow tank, if all cylinders check out okay, your best bet is the oil filter adapter that shares a gasket and housing with the bottom coolant hose waterneck.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010
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A leak down test or a simple compression test is a good place to start. But if the head gasket leak is small, that may not reveal it.

Take a coolant sample to a good shop and have it tested for by products of combustion. A + test = head gasket.

Or, try the stuff advertsied here: "Steel Seal".

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