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Old 12-16-2012, 07:09   #1 (permalink)
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P71 engine missing

Hi guys Im new to the forums. So Ill jump right into my problem. I bought this 01 p71 about 2 years ago with 140k on it. When I bought it I put new spark plugs and a new battery in it. About a year ago the heater core went out so I replaced that. Right after I did the notorious intake manifold return pipe started leaking. So I used some epoxy and fixed that. I drove the car from Maryland to South Dakota with no problems. About a month ago there was a problem with the charging system. Battery light came on and the voltage dropped and the car died a few times on the wife while driving. So I cleaned the battery terminals and put pads and dielectric grease on them. 3 days later the car died again. So I cleaned the positive coming from the alternator. And the car ran great for a few days. She still starts,the voltage looks good and theres no battery light on the dash and no code being thrown. Now the wife says it feels strange. So I go drive it and its missing like crazy. Theres white smoke from the right exhaust pipe and it smells like gas. I checked the coolant(looks like it did after I replaced the heater core). Looks like someone dumped a bunch of bars leak in it. The coolant is a little low when cold but thats normal. It has 50/50 in it. I checked the oil and it looks good (nothing milky and the lvl is fine). The wife says it started doing this on a day that was about -7 outside. Hope I didnt crack the block. Maybe its a head gasket? Never heard of one breaking from cold weather. Then I start thinking of the charging problem that just happened. Maybe the battery/alternator are barely working enough not to throw a code or battery light? So Im here on the forums to ask for some advice and maybe to brainstorm alittle. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:06   #2 (permalink)
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Re: P71 engine missing

No codes? Is it a steady miss? What's the voltage at the battery with it running? Have you looked in the plug holes for poor boots or water in the holes? Welcome to the forums.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:34   #3 (permalink)
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Re: P71 engine missing

I just took off the spark plugs on both sides and they look fine. Also took the battery to get tested and its good. It smells like gas under the hood and stumbles like it has a fowled plug...maybe a cracked intake manifold? coolant does run through the plastic intake. I added about half a gallon of coolant. It has white smoke coming out of only one pipe. Dont have a tester so couldnt test the voltage. But if it runs and the battery stays charged so I wouldnt think its the alternator. Also no there are no codes.


UPDATE: I went a looked under the car and can see exhaust coming out before the cat. Maybe a clogged cat?
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Old 12-16-2012, 15:54   #4 (permalink)
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Re: P71 engine missing

That's very possible.
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Old 12-16-2012, 17:40   #5 (permalink)
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Re: P71 engine missing

The white smoke from the on pipe concerns me. I know it's a pain, but it might be worth popping the head off the one side to see what's going on. It sounds like your pulling enough coolant into a cylinder to snuff compression.
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Old 12-26-2012, 18:35   #6 (permalink)
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Re: P71 engine missing

I also am new to this site. ( first reply to a post ) so i hope i am not stepping on someones toes. i would do a compression test on the engine before pulling it down. also i would pressure test the cooling system. get a spare radiator cap and drill out the center of the cap to install a valve stem for a wheel. than using a hand tire pump simply pump up the air pressure in the radiator to about 15 LBS. this will help you pinpoint the leak. hope this helps.
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Old 12-26-2012, 18:46   #7 (permalink)
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Re: P71 engine missing

Dielectric grease is silicone grease, non-conductive but meant to prevent oxidation. In theory on battery terminals, you would not want to coat the components before making the connections, but coat them afterwards. Or, use a conductive grease.
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