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Discussion Starter #1
My other ride, 96 mustang,4.6 is leaking coolant and overheated, at the rear around nipple on the plastic manifold. After pulling over, it was scalding hot, after letting it cool, it had only lost about 2 qts of coolant. The check engine light is on. I drove it home about ten miles,stayed in the middle of the gauge, seemed to run fine.My question is, how can I tell if there was any damage to the heads or head gasket? I'm preparing to do the PI intake manifold to non-PI heads swap, and want to make sure I don't have to do this job twice. Thanks
 

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Of course check the oil for coolant/oil mix, and coolant for the same. You could pressurize the cooling system and see if it holds pressure.

If these come out well, then I would drive gently for a few days with frequent inspection (after repairing the leak of course!) and see that all is well.
 

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really need to seal the cooling system to either pressure test or chemical test..
the modulars hold head gaskets pretty well. but if it does leak or is blown it will need the head to be surfaced or replaced since they will be warped...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
no water in the oil, or steam in the exhaust. ran for 20 in the garage, with the cap off the expansion tank, no bubbles so far. no other leak except on the intake just under the nipple at the heater hose. definitely cracked.Ordered the PI swap intake kit from blue chips in indiana.
Thanks GK
 

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Anytime you overheat your engine assume the worst. The overheating will reduce the life of your head gaskets by a drastically, even though there are no ill effects showing now.

That's a fact that you can deposit in the bank, but nobody gives ya any money for it. :)

Now about overheating... THAT is a very touchy thing. How HOT did it get? Did you hit the 250* or 280* or 300*F mark? Or did you simply blow off 2 quarts of coolant from the leak loss?

Overheating can be harsh, but getting hot from a sudden loss of coolant yet not getting too hot is a blessing in disguise.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
FE, don't know, the gauge was at the top of the three marks, not past, all within the parameters of the gauge. pulled over, steam and coolant was coming from the small crack in the manifold, some of the loss was when i cracked the cap. Gonna install the kit above and see where it goes.
 
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