Question about 1990 GMC Suburban

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How to take off heads there water in oil - 1990 GMC Suburban

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  • Richard Scordino May 11, 2010

    Pretty easy job but too much "remove this remove that" to write out whole thing. You can get a vehicle specific manual to guide you through it from any decent parts store.

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  • 12 Answers

Do yourself a favor get the chilton book for that truck it has torque specs and disassembly instructions it will help alot

Posted on Jun 14, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Engine froze up, what causes water to get in oil?


The head gasket could be blown. Is there a lot of water? Is there oil in your radiator?
There is a chance, it could be condensation. If it is just a small amount of milky looking oil on the oil cap.

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Most likely a cracked head. They are often difficult to see with the by eye and can be in places you cannot see. One thing though, do any of the head bolts extend into the water jacket? If so, when you install them you need to use a manufacturers recommended thread sealer on the bolts or water from the water jacket will wick up through the head bolt threads into the head itself.

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1 Answer

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Hi Wendy, hope I am wrong but it sounds like a cracked head or blown head gasket.
If the engine hasn't been started in a couple hours pull the engine oil dipstick and look at the oil level. If the oil level is over the full mark you likely have water in the bottom of the oil pan. Milky/semi-white oil on the dipstick would indicate the same. If the oil looks good and at or below the full level look in the water overflow for the radiator. Any sign of oil or milky looking foam is an indication of oil in the water from cracked head/block or blown head gasket. If both the water and oil look good start the engine, let it warm up and look to see if you have water coming out of the exhaust pipe. It is normal to see some water come out of the exhaust after starting a cold engine due to condensation in the muffler and catalytic converter but a healthy engine should have only a slight amount of water vapor coming out of the exhaust. Anything more would indicate a cracked head/block or blown head gasket.

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1 Answer

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for water to get into all cylinder heads the head bolt tension is not as it should be. This comes from mainly 2 items . one is that the head is warped and is not tightening evenly and two the head stud holes are full of water and a hydraulic lock has formed before bolt tension was sufficient to hold the head down. If there is any water /oil or rust /gunk in the holes then the studs bottom out before attaining the proper head tension. Cracks can be under the exhaust valves

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Oil in the water is usually a sign of a head gasket leak, because the high pressure oil passes through to the head in order to lubricate the camshaft.
The oil return passages also go through the head gasket, but are too low pressure to usually cause any problem.
As long as there is no water in the oil or loss of water, I would keep driving it.
The oil in the water will not hurt anything. If it eventually gets worse and leaks water, then you will have to do the head gasket. Costs about $500.
Of you can do it yourself for about $75 if you know how to use a torque wrench.

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If its just condensation in the oil cap or dipstick, to some degree its normal. However if you have water in the oil and its very creamy in texture, its probably a head gasket leak, or cracked head. Its important to get it repaired soon, or total engine bearing failure will result.

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this can be serious, like a blown head gasket or cracked head. has it been overheated lately? good antifreeze used? even then you can have head problems, are you losing water? oil? check the oil and look for water in the oil, check the water and look for oil in the water, is the water abnormal looking? rusty? all these are symptons of head problems

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We just had the exact same issue with our 2004 F-350 with a 6.0. The oil cooler had failed. Its an expensive fix. But less costly than a blown head gasket.

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If the engine has been flushed well including the radiator and you are still getting water in the oil. The culprit is the cylinder head or the block has a crack internally allowing water into the oil.

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