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Been having problem with building pressure in cooling system

I've run out of idea's on this problem I need some different views on this problem. I have a 2006 Detroit Series 60 that builds pressure now and then the pressure is not steady one time it will be normal you might drive 500 miles or so everything is fine next time you might drive 50 miles and building pressure and it doesn't last very long. It has no combustion gases in antifreeze has no by products of antifreeze in the oil sample. Oil sample comes back normal. This trucks heater system does not use air to operator it so there no air supply to the heating system at all.

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14 Answers

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Maybe your air compressor is taking coolant or the reservoir cap doesn't hold pressure.

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I've changed the cap that didn't care of the problem I've been leaning towards the air compressor myself I've talked Bendix tech department and they say no but I think that's where it might be coming from that's last part to try changing everything else has been changed out.

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Easiest way to see if you've got water going into your air system is to put a white cloth by the wet tank drain valve and open that. You'll know by the color if you have coolant and/or oil going out through the compressor. Before replacement mine was putting both into the air system.

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That's been checked everything was good but that pressure has to be coming from somewhere I just don't where to go

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You could have a bad head gasket in your air compressor. I had this problem. I never lost coolant, but the air compressor would force air into coolant system and then the radiator cap would open to let the pressure out. Bubbles were constantly visible in the overflow bottle. I tested the bubbles using Lisle 75730 Diesel Detector Fluid and the fluid never changed color. If the fluid does change from red to yellow, it means that the bubbles are combustion gases, pointing to a leak from the engine. They make these test fluids for gas and diesel, so get the correct test fluid. They also make a tool that holds the fluid as you hold it on the radiator opening. I didn't have clearance for the tool so I just put the fluid in a clean/clear plastic bottle and dropped the radiator overflow tube into the fluid. It cost me $8 to let me know my engine was okay and not pushing combustion gases into the coolant.

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I just fixed that problem with my Cummins engine. It building pressure and temperature passing the red mark when I turn off the engine. It would run normal.for a while the heat up again . Cummins service department ran a pressure test and told me I had a blown head gasket. It didn't have mixed ,fluids and egr cooler was not leaking. I replaced, water pump, thermostat, fan clutch, temperature sensor it got hot , I sent my radiator to be flushed and clean. They said water would run through it but it was 85 % clogged. I replaced it with a new one ,no more heating up or pressure build up truck runs good I'm running the West coast .Thank God.

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I also had to change the crank case oil filter. That let the engine oil run through the engine at normal temp, , which help the engine run cooler. That helped stop a lot of tinging and knocking .I'm back in Houston TX, truck run very well up and down to UT, NV, back through 395 , 120 ,49, with no problem. Good Luck.

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No experience on a Detroit, but almost every time I've seen this happen on a Caterpillar, and everything else has been checked/changed, I remove the head and carefully inspect all 6 fire-rings on the old head gasket. The fire ring is the solid metal ring on the inside of each of the 6 circles. (A lot of shops pitch the old gasket without inspecting it). There will be a small black "soot" mark usually about 1/16" inch in one or two corners of one, two or three fire rings. That soot is where the combustion is leaking into the cooling system. (If that's the problem). It will at least lead you to inspect that particular spot on the deck or head for abnormalities.

My '01 DDEC 4 literally goes through 0 coolant at all. The only time I've added coolant is after a hose repair.

Another way to verify if it's combustion gas is to make a home made radiator cap (I used an adapter from an old cooling system pressure tester) with a manual pressure release valve on it and a 15-20 lb pressure gauge. Run the engine to operating temp-bleeding off the air pressure about 4 times to remove the natural pressure formed from coolant expansion- then see how high the gauge will go (Don't go much above 15 psi or hoses may start blowing). With the problem as bad as yours, I would do that with the air compressor completely disconnected, tanks drained and heater valves all off.

If it still builds pressure, then you will have 100% confidence inspecting the engine again for the combustion leak.

They can also pressurize the radiator (engine cool) to about 10 psi, then remove the oil pan, all 6 injectors, and any cover on the front of the engine and search for the coolant leak with a high quality borescope. Even if it takes all day, a good, detailed search will locate the coolant and then maybe lead to your problem.

I'll let you know if I come up with anything else.

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Besides this motor being inframe Detroit has replaced the head 4 times sense the inframe as well as EGR coolant 2 times trying to correct this problem. The coolant has been analyze and there's no combustions gases or soot in the coolant and there's no coolant in the oil sample. This truck has no air supply going to the heating system but I've have turn off all the coolant lines to the cab and sleeper heat and that made no difference. This pressure comes and goes one time you can drive all day and never build any pressure and then the next day you might drive 50 miles and have it building pressure.

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You didn't say how much you were having to add to your cooling system? Check and make sure you don't smell any fuel in your radiator.

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Adding about 1 gallon every 3 months Had Polaris labs do work up on antifreeze everything was good no problems with coolant

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have the same problem replaceing coppers

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That's been done to didn't take care of problem.

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Head gasket is bad.

Update

I did had that problem b4, I got it fix untill took off the head, took it to be rebuild. put it back and problem solved.. It cost me $1050 for rebuilding head and I put it on myself, so I saved me that..now 4 years later I am starting to see some pressure in radiator again. Will be checking it next week.

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There's no combustion gases in the coolant plus the head gasket has been replaced 4 times in the last 12 months cause that's what Detroit thought might be the problem and the liner protrusion is set right where it's suppose to be and I still have the problem.

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Has anyone messured the deck of the block when head was off to see if it is true? My guess is it is not true with 4 head gaskets in a year. Also are they reusing head bolts? You can only torque a bolt a few times before it stretches and wont keep torque although it is set to torque spec if bolts are old enough they wont keep correct torque. Also have blow by messured to see if you have high crank case pressure. If thats high the cylinder packs are wore out.

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This motor was completely rebuilt in July of 2011 for the same reason building pressure hasn't been able to stop it yet. This motor has been tore down 5 times looking for this problem since the in frame I am guessing Detroit has to be getting tired of doing this under warranty by now but I have 5 months of warranty left so I need to fine the the problem. Any way the head has replaced every time they've had it apart liner protrusion has been checked and verify they've check the block. As far as blow by Detroit checked it and said it has less than brand new engine puts out. This motor only uses 1 Gallon of oil in 35,000 to 40,000 miles.

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Hi I rebuild the engine 2014 July and just started to have this problem again (water running back) any tips before take the heads out?

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How many miles on engine? Was block checked to see if it was true? If not gaskets for head will never hold seal. Also are head bolts being replaced or using old ones? Bolts wont last forever they get stretched from being torqued and have to be replaced. Also have blowby checked to see if you have high crank case pressure if you do then cylinder packs are wore out. Mine is 2004 with 700,000 at the time and was worn out so a inframe was needed. Got mine done at pittsburgh power with egr delete and what a engine now.

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A little over a million and yes motor has been in framed at 875,000 miles and I am about ready to run out of warranty have 5 months left this is why looking for any suggestions that could be helpful. Thank You

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Thank you for all the ideas so far

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How does the pressure manifest itself? The only other thing i can think of is an air bubble in the system even though the system should purge any excess air through the cap.

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Nobody seems to know how or why and I am running out of time on the warranty. Only one item that hasn't been replaced yet is the air compressor so any ideas is most appreciated.

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So how do you know that the system over pressurizes and have you been able to check how many psi you get? What psi is the cap rated for?

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Also you can do a fairly quick check on the air compressor by pulling off its head to check the gasket and valves since that would be the only place where air would be able to get into the coolant. It is more likely though that you'd get air in your oil first.

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That's what I would have thought to but Bendix says it is possible and sense there's no place left to go I guess I'll try it cause I am not sure what's left

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Had the same problem on a Cummins and it turned out to be the air compressor head gasket letting air be forced into the coolant, causing pressure to build up, and radiator cap to open and force fluid into the overflow. My overflow bottle looked liked the fluid was boiling! I mistook it for boiling until I looked at it right after startup and it was doing the same thing! Coolant wasn't even warm yet and the bubbles were coming into the overflow bottle constantly. Tested for combustion gases using Lisle 75730 Diesel Detector Fluid and no color change so it wasn't combustion gases. Bad head gasket in air compressor!!

I replaced it myself in about 3 hours for around $20 plus $8 for test fluid.

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Interesting when the so called professionals have to rebuild the engine four times and still can't solve the problem... this got me . so what was the problem?

I have an 06 60 series going through coolant ab out 4 litres every 12 hours of highway miles and air doesn't build up worth a crap,, going to trouble shoot today...

fred

Road Dawg

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4 bad heads and that's what detroit's reman program calls quality control that was the second detroit I've owned in 40 years of driving and it's also the last detroit I'll ever own

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I would guess you EGR cooler leaking. Let me know would you

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Mr Mel, Now that you did all the big and most expensive things to your truck more then once, maybe you should try some of the small things that we think wouldn't cause these problem's, like I said the three most important think's that helped me with my truck was the radiator weather it's cleaning it or replacing it, then the fan clutch wasn't working correctly, then the crank case oil filter, the computer sent a PID-111 code ;coolant level below normal, and a SPN-111 coolant level sensor 1 circuit above normal or shorted to high or low source. now the code for crankcase pressure code is SPN-101. checking these issues fixed the pressure and heating up for my truck.

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All the small things had been replaced before we to expensive parts

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Mr Mel, did you very find out what the problem was with your truck? If so, what was it and how did you resolve the issue? I'm having some of the same problems. Thank you for your help.

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i have a detroit century loosing fluid i am putting 4 gallons a day. any help please

Update (06/20/2017)

what could be the problem causing my detroit century 07 loosing water from the reservoir. i am putting 4 gallons a day

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was this felpful

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Mel will be eternally grateful.
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