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After my brother recently bought an '86 P/U 2WD 22R w/150k, and shortly encountered a blown head gasket, I've been learning a great deal about these trucks. Enough to want one of my own to "work on". Well, I found an '87 P/U 2WD 22R w/113k, that is very clean inside and out with five years of repair/maintence receipts. It had a complete paint job about seven months ago, and looks great. The only known problem-set is that the engine knocks quite loud, is loosing coolant, and has white coolant-smelling smoke coming out the exhaust. I had build up enough confidence to do the head gasket/timing chain job (which is what my brother's truck needed), but now I'm afraid that I'm looking at a bigger repair with this truck. The oil seems pretty dark, but it doesn't appear to have any coolant in it. I only paid $700 for this truck, so I have a fair amount of head-room from an investment perspective, but I just wanted to ask for some input on what is probably wrong with this truck - given the symptoms - and what may be my best approach at tackling the problem.
 

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not nescessarily... ive seen a blown head gasket cause a knock due to the cylinders compression leaking into one another. also if coolant is in the cylinder and it doesnt have alot of coolant in the oil id say the engine has decent compression because it it was loose water woul dleak in faster. just a hunch maybe not the problem and could be a bottom end issue in conjunction with the head issue or even just a bottom end issue period. either way your gonna have to pull the head so id start there first.

oh yea and theres a plate on the back of the head that if the gasket blows it will allow coolant to enter the intake plenium via the egr valve and coul be another possible cause. a craked intake or a blown intake gasket could behave the same but it mos likely not the case.
 
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