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The end is near ! (at least I think its near)


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Hope everyone had a Happy and safe Thanksgiving !


I used the time to try and wrangle with my 94 Pathy. After replacing the intake manifold gasket and water pump for what appeared to be coolant leaking into the valley under the manifold I thought I had solved my coolant leak issues. Unfortunately no. Noticed a small but significant leak coming from the two forward most exhaust manifold studs on the passenger side. Both had been buggered by the shop that "fixed" my broken exhaust manifold studs. I guess they over drilled and hit the water jacket. I patched one up with sealant, the other is broken off and is only leaking very minimally even when rad is pressurized.  While doing the intake gasket, I replaced the knock sensor and fuel injectors ( at least two were bad when I ohmd them out  and the rest were filthy ) with a set of matched (supposedly) aftermarket ones. I did a quick test with a 9V battery prior to installing and all clicked open and shut audibly. I also replaced the fuel injector connector at cyl #1. She started right up today and idled pretty smoothly. Smell of gas was strong. Went to the exhaust and saw white smoke and dripping what appeared to be raw fuel. The smoke did not go away after she warmed up although the dripping eased off.  Spent a good bit of time looking around and saw no leaking anywhere on the block or head but did notice the flange between the passenger side exhaust manifold and downpipe was damp. Shut her down and pulled spark plugs 1,3,&5.  #3 and 5 plugs were a bit carbon fouled but still firing, #1 was wet, not fouled and also still firing. Dried off #1 plug, let ithe cylinder air out for a bit, put em back in and fired up. Very little smoke initially but then it got worse like before and dripping continued.


Truth be told, I was getting the gas smell before without the smoking when warmed up. This plus the ohm testing of the injectors is what prompted me to replace the injectors while I was taking care of the intake manifold gasket leak.


No CEL codes popping up


So I'm thinking  1) I FUBARd the intake gasket on installation and its leaking coolant into #1 cylinder

                             2) #1 injector stuck open  ( either faulty injector or ECM problem )

                             3) really bad rings on #1 cylinder ( I havent compression checked yet)  - seems doubtful since smoke doesnt look like burnt oil

                             4) blown head gasket 

                             5) cracked head on passenger side

                             6) folks overdrilled exhaust stud holes went way too deep and ??

                             7) contaminated gas ( its been sitting for about a year) or bad fuel pressure regulator ?



As always, appreciate any thoughts from those more experienced than I,  especially what I might be missing and how you would approach this.







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1) I don't think there is a coolant passage in the intake manifold but it has been many moons since I had one off and could be wrong. 

2) Use a stethoscope to hear if the injector is clicking.  No clicks, stuck open/closed and you have other problems.

3) compression check it. this may not answer #4, but a leak down test would for certain.

4) oil and coolant would likely be mixing and that would be noticeable in the radiator.

5) replace it if true.

6) get this taken care of ASAP, any kind of fluid leak is bad

7) this could be why you have a strong fuel smell as the old fuel is not burning completely.

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The only coolant passage that I recall in the intake tract is to heat the throttle body and that's with the two 3/16" hoses under it, after that I only recall heater core lines at the back of the engine on the passenger side; if they were leaking you would have smoke in the engine bay. The large quantity of smoke out of the exhaust could be either accumulated water from sitting which will take a goodly while to burn off OR, as you said, the water jacket surrounding cyl #1. It could be a head gasket but there are folks who a getting 700 hp from the stock internals and heads so I have to think that it an unlikely cause.


AS far as the fuel out of the exhaust: did you check to see if the liquid evaporated quickly or lit on fire? I would suspect the flexible fuel lines might be at issue if you didn't replace them when you were doing the intake.... you didn't mention anything about them so I'm just throwing that out there. That's where my fuel leak was anyway! I would suspect that a stuck open injector would not smell in the cabin... I can assure you that a leaking fuel line in between the two banks smells a lot!


That's all I have as ideas and direction! I hope you track down the coolant leak!

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I replaced injectors a few years ago I had the same issue, It has been a while so the memory is foggy but iirc I fubared one of the injector o-rings or dident have something seated properly so the fuel rail was just dumping fuel into the intake manifold. 

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