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MK Wagon, and an SD33T in pieces...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick question, is it possible for the head gasket of the SD to leak oil out onto the block, without any other symptoms of damage being present? I’m not sure why, but every time I run it and go for a drive, there’s always oil all around the block, starting up at the head gasket.
there’s no other signs of a head gasket leak. It doesn’t eat any coolant at all, and there’s never bubbles in it, never gets hot, doesn’t use much oil or blow blue smoke, but all sides of the block are always covered in oil under the head gasket after a drive.
I’ve looked at the SD in dads farm Ute, and the block is dry, all the time, so I’m a bit concerned.
Mine also has a somewhat bad rear main leak, always drips in the car park when parked for a little while, but I’ll ignore that until I go to put on the turbo flywheel and replace the clutch.
Photos of my block after it’s been sitting for a few minutes and some of the oil has naturally vaporised:



Photos of dads block, showing no signs of head gasket oil leaks whatsoever:




Pretty much, do I need a new head gasket? Or is there something else going on?


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1989 GQ TD42 wagon
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Thoroughly degrease and wash the area. Then take the vehicle for a short drive. Check for oil. Repeat, slowly increasing the amount of time you drive each time until you can see oil.

The idea is to spot it as soon as possible, before the oil spreads all over the place and you can't tell where it's coming from.
 

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MK Wagon, and an SD33T in pieces...
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653 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thoroughly degrease and wash the area. Then take the vehicle for a short drive. Check for oil. Repeat, slowly increasing the amount of time you drive each time until you can see oil.

The idea is to spot it as soon as possible, before the oil spreads all over the place and you can't tell where it's coming from.
Yep, I’ll have to try this Monday when I’m free, but I’m almost certain it’s coming from the head gasket. I’ve degreased and washed it before, and every time it comes back in the same place, all around the block below the gasket line. It’s especially bad on the manifold side, but still pretty bad on the injector pump side.


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A friend of mine has had this same issue with a leaking head gasket. I’m currently helping him reset the head gasket. This is a great source for a quality gasket set.

Currently out of stock.



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MK Wagon, and an SD33T in pieces...
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653 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A friend of mine has had this same issue with a leaking head gasket. I’m currently helping him reset the head gasket. This is a great source for a quality gasket set.

Currently out of stock.



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Sounds like it could be good, but I've always heard that genuine Nissan gaskets should always be used on the SD33T as no aftermarket company makes a quality set? I'm not concerned with keeping the engine 'original' or 'unopened', as it's clear that the head has been off in the past and the injector pump has been serviced or rebuilt as it's quite clean. So putting a gasket kit through the engine is on my future to-do list. The other thing that I'd do at the same time is use a rebuild kit with new main bearings, pistons, rings etc. Should I just not worry about it until the time comes in a couple of years that I decide to do that?
 

· Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
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11,505 Posts
A friend of mine has had this same issue with a leaking head gasket. I’m currently helping him reset the head gasket. This is a great source for a quality gasket set.

Currently out of stock.



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If the head gasket holds up, thats good, it would be nice to have a reputable aftermarket source for those.
The manifold gasket can go straight in the bin. Those perforated steel things are garbage, especially on an engine like the SD. Both manifolds relying on a common nut and washer for clamp pressure, one cast steel, one aluminium, different expansion and contraction rates and different gas temp inside them. If it's not a proper MLS gasket with port rings, it won't hold up.
 
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MK Wagon, and an SD33T in pieces...
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What about this? Worth the money?
I'm not sure I'd buy an ebay rebuild kit unless I knew that it came from a reputable company. The fact that SD's already crack pistons through high cylinder temps (when not taken care of properly) doesn't give me a whole lot of reassurance that an ebay piston will hold up. Also it says it's for an SD33 AND an SD33T, but we don't know whether it's using the old-style 5 ring pistons or the newer 3 ring, or anything else that might give a clue about the quality. Remember that in the US the SD33T was pretty much just what we know as an early N/A but with a turbo strapped to the side of it, none of the extra beef and turbo-resisting parts that were added to later aussie-spec SD's. And this kit could very well be for those.

On the other hand, it could be an excellent quality kit that will last as long as a brand new crate motor from Nissan. We just don't know.

The description doesn't give any help either, as it's just a generic message about the company's rebuild kits in general. Which already leads me to assume they're just a mass-production company only in the game for profits, with not too much quality control.

This on the other hand:
Is a known, reputable rebuild kit specifically made for the turbo motor by a good company that have been making the kit for many years. Currently they do have delays because of supplier issues but if you can hold off on a rebuild until you can get a kit from these guys I'd definitely do that over the ebay job (y)
(and not much more expensive than the ebay one either, I'd call the extra money insurance that you're getting a good product)
 

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MK Wagon, and an SD33T in pieces...
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Welp, time to whip out the info in this thread again and buy some gaskets I guess...
 
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