Lifetime Supporting Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Your dad is right - the chance that a head gasket spontaneously blew on a 7.3 is about the same chance that you're going to win the PowerBall tonight. I've never seen one, never read about one, no one that I know has ever heard of it happening. Unless you are pulling sleds running nitrous, I think you can rule that out.
Now - what your idiot mechanic did - put an incompressible liquid in a closed cylinder and compressed it with two batteries driving a starter - something has to give. Either a hole in a piston, the rod bends, a head gasket blows, or the injector and/or cup lifts. So, you have to look at what the weakest link is. If I had to rank them (based only on experience of what actually happens) I would say the injector / cup assembly, rod, piston, and then head gasket. Based on your symptoms, I'm about 99% confident you have a lifted cup. If there is any diesel in the coolant - that has to be it. You'll have exhaust gas as well, but if you had a head gasket, there wouldn't be any diesel.
You have to see it in your head to know what's allowing different compartment's to mix. In order for compression gasses to get into the coolant, there has to be a breech between those two compartments. Normally, when an injector cup cracks, it just allows fuel and coolant to mix. To get combustion gasses, the whole cup has to be up a bit to allow the gasses from the cylinder to push into the coolant chamber.
As to your other questions - I wouldn't drive it at all. Every hydrolock episode is a gamble at total engine destruction. What needs to happen is those injectors need to be examined. Put a straight edge across the tops of the solenoids looking for one sitting taller than the rest. Then, they all need to be pulled and the coolant pressurized while someone looks into each bore for leakage. I'm pretty confident that's going to tell the story.
Getting the original guy to admit fault is going to be next to impossible. If he had the character to do that, he already would have. At this point, you're going to have to force him to admit fault, which will involve attorneys. That gets expensive quick and you're unlikely to recover what you invest. I would talk to the owner. He'll be interested in the "off the books" arrangement. You can let him know that you intend to file a complaint with the BBB if things aren't corrected, but you have to know what you want. Personally, I wouldn't let them work on my truck again even if it was for free. He's unlikely to cut you a check for the damages, but he might refund your labor from the first fiasco.
Your dad has a 6.0 - can you get your hands on a trailer and tow it to the shop?
2003 F-250 XLT Crew Cab 7.3L, Chrome BigTex Grille Guard, Quad pillar - 3 ISSPRO gauges (trans, pyro, boost) and DP-Tuner F6; Roush fuel pressure / temperature / oil pressure gauges, Ford Severe Duty AIS, 31 row 6.0 transmission cooler, ScanGauge II, Marinco mod, Walker BTM
I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say, "Hey, look - that one is shaped like an idiot!"