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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone tell me if this sounds like a dropped valve seat:

Odd clanking noise near #4 cylinder. Noise completely disappears after a day, and runs fine for 3 weeks, minus the fact it lacks some power. Then car suddenly dies on the hway and we find the head gasket is blown. We know the gasket is blown because of water in the oil. Spark plug tips are ugly, but not broken. Is this a valve seat drop?
 

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1998 ZX2
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It could be. Might as well pull the head and find out.
 

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more than likely
 

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all of that combustion melting the seat onto the piston. might need to replace that piston
 

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1998 ZX2
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The seat could have been loose and partially pooped out and the noise disappeared when it found its way back in. Then it could have fully dropped while you were driving. The rod could have also punctured the cylinder wall causing the coolant and oil to mix.

Any time coolant and oil are mixed you need to pull the head off at some point. Now get to it.
 

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Mine wasn't a valve seat. Hydraulic roller lifter with a bad roller. 5 minute job to pull and check. Simply look for flat spot(s) on the roller and/or missing bearings; play in the roller, hang-ups or resistance to rolling.

Described as a hallow (or solid) clacking or tapping noise in the head.
 

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Valve cover bolts are VERY easy to break by the way. (they're aluminum) 7ft-lbs of torque max... I think. Anyway just be very careful...
 

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Iron block, aluminum head. HGaskets unfortunately don't need a "reason" to go on vehicles of this era; including Neons, Saturns, etc.
 

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That is true. I just fixed a 96 lx with a dropped valve seat. Sounded like a thrown rod. Needed cylinder head, piston, and a new rod. Just got it running today.

Coincedentally a couple of my lifters had the pin holding the roller come loose. It dug grooves into the lifter bores
 
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