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This is a 2004 vg33e by the way. So for the last year, I've been rebuilding my Xterra's engine. I stripped it totally down to the block (while still in car) to replace my head gaskets. Because my coolant was foaming up and coolant was coming out the exhaust. There was no water in my oil. And certainly no cracked heads. I restored and repainted just about every part of the engine minus the block and cylinder heads. And every single hose on the car is also brand new. All the belts are new (even the timing belt), all the filters are new, all the fluids are new, it has new valves (I lapped them so don't worry), and most of the gaskets are also new. Even the valve stem seals. I had the cylinder heads resurfaced as well. I even added a catch can and will be adding another for the other pcv hose. I finally have it running again, and I look and see that there's water vapor on my oil fill cap and I see a small puddle of oil dancing under the valve cover (I could see it by looking through the fill neck. There's no more water coming out of the exhaust and it doesn't seem like the coolant (currently only distilled water) level has gone down at all. The engine is running great, I can send photos and videos later if needed. I've also heard that sometimes its normal to get a little water in the oil because of condensation. I mean there's been some seriously humid days here in Massachusetts so is this the case? Any help or suggestions would be amazing. I can't afford to take this to a shop to be worked on. Thats the reason I did all the work myself.

Thank you in advance
-Zach
 

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2000 Xterra XE 4x4 3.3L AT
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Condensation is a definite possibility especially if the rebuild took place with the engine in place in the chassis.

How long was the engine apart? Indoors or outdoors? How many times have you run itup to temple now?
 

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The car has been stored in my garage. Its pretty crappy so it doesn't seal like the fancy newer ones. And it spent roughly 4 or 5 months apart. Though I did change the oil after I noticed the water. It may not have drained all of the water out though. I've run it about 7 or 8 times for about 10 mins.its not registered yet so I can't really take it on the roads for more than a mile or I risk having the cops question me haha.
 

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It could very well be it is burning off condensation accumulated in the crankcase from being apart for an extended period of time.
 

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It could very well be it is burning off condensation accumulated in the crankcase from being apart for an extended period of time.
I hope so, I'll run it for a longer time and see if it goes away. If it doesn't I'll come back here. Thank you for your input.
 

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I hope so, I'll run it for a longer time and see if it goes away. If it doesn't I'll come back here. Thank you for your input.
Maybe you running only pure water without any coolant has something to do with your issue. Why would you run without coolant at 50/50?
 

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Run the engine & keep an eye on it. If there is a leak it will become obvious soon. You are looking in the right places and using your head. I would get some coolant in it to prevent corrosion as soon as you can. I doubt that's the cause of the leak though. The cooling system is supposed to be air tight to the cap pressure.
 

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Maybe you running only pure water without any coolant has something to do with your issue. Why would you run without coolant at 50/50?
I'm running a mixture of water and coolant cleaner through the engine because there was a ton of rusty coloration in the system. It hasn't been in for more than 3 days. Im changing it out tomorrow to normal coolant and water though.
 

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Run the engine & keep an eye on it. If there is a leak it will become obvious soon. You are looking in the right places and using your head. I would get some coolant in it to prevent corrosion as soon as you can. I doubt that's the cause of the leak though. The cooling system is supposed to be air tight to the cap pressure.
Sounds good, thank you for the advice. I'll be keeping a very very close eye on it. Coolant will be going in tomorrow.
 

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I'm running a mixture of water and coolant cleaner through the engine because there was a ton of rusty coloration in the system. It hasn't been in for more than 3 days. Im changing it out tomorrow to normal coolant and water though.
When using a cooling system cleaner, you may experience what I've gone through a couple of times in the past. Once I was halfway home on a journey of 750 miles, and the other I was within 200 miles of home. In both cases I had used a cleaner, and both times the water pump failed. The 2 engines were a 1964 Mercury 390 and a 1981 Ford 302, and the failures were years apart.

Be prepared for your water pump to fail if it's not pretty close to brand new. If it's not, you might be better off just replacing it along with the t-stat. Check on any old hoses, too.
 

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Maybe you running only pure water without any coolant has something to do with your issue. Why would you run without coolant at 50/50?
this is very common in other parts of the country/world where freezing is never a concern. Many people in these areas also have no functioning heater core.
 

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When using a cooling system cleaner, you may experience what I've gone through a couple of times in the past. Once I was halfway home on a journey of 750 miles, and the other I was within 200 miles of home. In both cases I had used a cleaner, and both times the water pump failed. The 2 engines were a 1964 Mercury 390 and a 1981 Ford 302, and the failures were years apart.

Be prepared for your water pump to fail if it's not pretty close to brand new. If it's not, you might be better off just replacing it along with the t-stat. Check on any old hoses, too.
Yea my pump is brand new as well as every hose on the car. Im really hoping it's just condensation, because the water im seeing is crystal clear, and the water i just drained out was dark brown.
 

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this is very common in other parts of the country/world where freezing is never a concern. Many people in these areas also have no functioning heater core.
I do live in an area where freezing is a problem, but we've been having warmer weather recently, so i figured now was a good time to clean it out a bit. thank god my heater core works great though:sneaky:
 

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I do live in an area where freezing is a problem, but we've been having warmer weather recently, so i figured now was a good time to clean it out a bit. thank god my heater core works great though:sneaky:
Note regarding heat transfer. "Water vaporizes to steam on a hot surface thus reducing the ability of heat to transfer from hot metal. You can raise the total pressure; use a mixture of water and ethylene glychol; or use both higher pressure and a mixture to raise this limit to heat transfer."
 

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Note regarding heat transfer. "Water vaporizes to steam on a hot surface thus reducing the ability of heat to transfer from hot metal. You can raise the total pressure; use a mixture of water and ethylene glychol; or use both higher pressure and a mixture to raise this limit to heat transfer."
Thank you for the info. I'll put the coolant mixture in very soon. I just didnt want to waste it when trying to clean it out. :)
 

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Update
I was loosing sleep over this, so I decided to put on my big boy pants and take a look under my passenger side valve cover to see how much water was there. Luckely, there was only a couple small droplets of water sitting in there. And everything else was covered in a nice clean film of fresh oil. It had no murky coloration to it at all. So it seems that this was only a buildup of condensation that has now mostly been evaporated. I used a shop towel to soak up the droplets too because I have a little case of ocd.

Thank you to everyone who gave me input on the matter. I'll come back here if any questions arise.:D

-Zach
 

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Update
I was loosing sleep over this, so I decided to put on my big boy pants and take a look under my passenger side valve cover to see how much water was there. Luckely, there was only a couple small droplets of water sitting in there. And everything else was covered in a nice clean film of fresh oil. It had no murky coloration to it at all. So it seems that this was only a buildup of condensation that has now mostly been evaporated. I used a shop towel to soak up the droplets too because I have a little case of ocd.

Thank you to everyone who gave me input on the matter. I'll come back here if any questions arise.:D

-Zach
Well done! Appears you have qualified as "Good under the Hood"!
 
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