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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone I’m a new member to the Titan community.

So I recently bought a 04 Nissan Titan off of my boss for $1k with 316k miles. My boss claimed that the truck ran great and only needed “A little love”. Started fixing check engine light after check engine light. So I was driving around town for awhile and all of a sudden when I’m at a stop sign the truck is running rough and white smoke is coming out of the back. When I accelerate the cloud of white smoke gets even bigger, as well as my temp gauge was going up. So I take the truck home carefully and let it cool down a bit. I check the coolant reservoir and sure enough it’s damn near empty with some water oil in there.
So now I’m at a bit of a cross roads, I’m pretty sure it’s a blown head gasket and I’m not looking forward to digging into the engine. I originally planned on just using the truck for some side jobs to make a little extra money. So now I’m deciding wether to sell it (not registered or smogged and it’s a lien sale from a tow yard), or either replace just the head gaskets or the entire engine itself. Let’s just say I don’t have the biggest budget to work with and selling it wouldn’t really net me much considering everything I’ve already put into it. So I kind of wanted to hear from the community as to what do y’all think is the best road to go with this truck.
 

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2017 titan sv 4x4 with tech, convinience, tow, navigation, and Texas packages
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verify the head gasket is blown first. check compression or use a block test kit on the cooling system.

you are right, it certainly sounds like a blown head gasket but verify first
 

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Busemans is right - before you make a decision of any kind, confirm the issue. Once you do (and I tend to agree - it's likely a blown head gasket) you can make an informed decision.

Realistically, for the cost, I'd strongly consider a good used motor swap (or a remanned long block if you can find one cheaply enough). I'd also say, despite the added cost, you might consider jumping into a remanned transmission or a good used one with warranty and relatively low miles at the same time (since you're going to pay to have it removed or do the labor yourself when you pull the motor) as a new trans and motor will give you years of life in the truck to do odd jobs and such. Won't be cheap, but will effectively give you a truck you can run for many years with relatively minor maintenance over time. Brakes, suspension rebuilds, cooling updates, etc., can be done relatively cheaply in the driveway/garage with hand tools on these trucks, so you should be all good to go with a motor/trans with life in them.

For reference, prices range from $2000-5000 on used/remanned engines, and $1200-4500 for the trans depending on used/remanned, miles, warranty, etc. You might get the whole thing done (labor and all) for something like $6k which is a lot of money, but not sure you'll have a better truck for even $8k on the used market, if you could salvage $2k out of your existing Titan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Busemans is right - before you make a decision of any kind, confirm the issue. Once you do (and I tend to agree - it's likely a blown head gasket) you can make an informed decision.

Realistically, for the cost, I'd strongly consider a good used motor swap (or a remanned long block if you can find one cheaply enough). I'd also say, despite the added cost, you might consider jumping into a remanned transmission or a good used one with warranty and relatively low miles at the same time (since you're going to pay to have it removed or do the labor yourself when you pull the motor) as a new trans and motor will give you years of life in the truck to do odd jobs and such. Won't be cheap, but will effectively give you a truck you can run for many years with relatively minor maintenance over time. Brakes, suspension rebuilds, cooling updates, etc., can be done relatively cheaply in the driveway/garage with hand tools on these trucks, so you should be all good to go with a motor/trans with life in them.

For reference, prices range from $2000-5000 on used/remanned engines, and $1200-4500 for the trans depending on used/remanned, miles, warranty, etc. You might get the whole thing done (labor and all) for something like $6k which is a lot of money, but not sure you'll have a better truck for even $8k on the used market, if you could salvage $2k out of your existing Titan.
So funny thing happened I’ve not started the truck since Sunday when the whole white smoke high temp incident happened. So I was going to test if exhaust gasses were coming out of the reservoir, and sure enough after 5 minutes the engine just slowly shuts off
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
clogged exhaust or fuel pump is bad?
Long story short the truck ran out of gas, apparently these trucks have a problem with the fuel gauge getting stuck on 1/4 once they get to it. So it showed 1/4 of fuel left and I never thought anything of it. Back to the whole head gasket situation I was able to confirm that exhaust gasses were indeed going into my coolant system. I used the blue devil yellow label, and I’m blown away at how fast the whole white smoke issue went away. I still have to start it up tomorrow morning and check my temps but I got my fingers crossed this Blue Devil stuff worked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Long story short the truck ran out of gas, apparently these trucks have a problem with the fuel gauge getting stuck on 1/4 once they get to it. So it showed 1/4 of fuel left and I never thought anything of it. Back to the whole head gasket situation I was able to confirm that exhaust gasses were indeed going into my coolant system. I used the blue devil yellow label, and I’m blown away at how fast the whole white smoke issue went away. I still have to start it up tomorrow morning and check my temps but I got my fingers crossed this Blue Devil stuff worked.
So far after a few days it’s looking like that Blue Devil Gasket sealer did it’s job. Only thing now is to get a Hot Smog on the truck and pay the lien sale registration fees and it’ll be street legal.
 
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