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Discussion Starter #1
I was coming home the other day with my wife and about 15 miles from home the car started running very poorly and would barely go over 45mph. So I stopped in at the next gas station and checked it out. My overflow bottle was leaking and the whole engine was smoking.

Hoping for the best, a friend of mine (a mechanic) and I changed the thermostat and installed new plugs after the old ones had been subjected to lots of heat. Sure enough, the car fired right up and ran great...except now it is belching out white smoke like theres no tomorrow. One postive note is that it runs smoothly and there is no water in the oil.

This is my daily-driver/winter car and I don't want to spend a lot of cash so I'm not looking for "Hey time to swap in a CA18DE!" responses. What I am thinking though is if the head must be off in the first place, I could swap in a "Eurocam" just for a few extra hp. What else should I replace while the head is off? I'm thinking that all I need is a "head gasket set" that includes all the necessities and maybe the cam.
 

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CA18DET Wizard
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1,366 Posts
are you ready for the CA18? If it's your daily driver and a winter car as well, I wouldn't poison it with engines that require baby-sitting. The GA16i is an amazing engine and should be used for the duties you're asking of it minus a euro cam...my 2 cents donated:D
 

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Wow, I didn't realize I have a car with an amazing engine. I'm still jealous of all you guys (and girls???) with ca18 and sr20de, ect.

I don't know much about engines, but you might consider changing the timing chain + guides and tensioner, and valves (if damaged). Also the coolant temp sensor, coolant temp switch, and fan switch can be damaged by extreme heat. Of course you also have to figure out what caused the overheat and fix that, so it doesn't overheat again.
 

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Ex-mod/nissan guru
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2,136 Posts
probably head gasket...

overflow in water tank = compression in water (head)...

got this on my e16i... quick fix (8hours or more) DIY.... when you know how to do it !...
 
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I own a 1990 Sentra XE and after having it for about 2 months, the head gasket blew. I was driving to a seminar one day and the car began to lurch on the freeway. By the time I got off, the car was smoking and died. I drove the car home because getting it towed was gonna cost me like $300 since I was so far away from home at the time. I took my car to a shop and they ran a compression test indicating that I had a blown head gasket. Instead of opting to just replace the head gasket for a quick fix, I just replaced the entire engine. I purchased a used japanese engine for $350 and had my friend's dad who's a mechanic for nissan help me put it in. Now I have a pretty new engine (45,000 miles) and can expect years of reliable service from it. My advice is that if you plan on keeping your car for many more years, just replace the engine. There's a good chance that your cylinder head is warped, and then you'd have to get it resurfaced and all that. Why not just spend $500 on a new engine and the tools needed to put it in and have the peace of mind that you're engine is in good condition. Just my experience with having a blown head gasket.
 
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