Gnarls, this one's just for you; I think I've got a blown head gasket.
If so, I'm gonna have to consider retiring this little guy.
So, on to the symptoms.
Past few months or so, getting the whooshing behind the firewall on cold mornings. The coolant was a little low at one point during this time; heat slow, etc., but was fine after that.
On occasion, I'd smell a little of the sweet stuff, and check under the cap and see a little of the white stuff. This happened during extreme temperature changes with the weather and infrequent driving. I chalked it up to condensation, since it went away almost immediate with no apparent coolant loss.
Tonight on my way out of the bike shop I noticed a little puddle under the truck.
it. Stopped off at the grocery on the way home, gave it a break. Popped the hood and I could see that it seemed to be coming from the water pipe under the intake. More puddle when I came out; worse now. Limped it home, heat on full blast, and the temp gauge kept creeping up. Air finally went cold; system empty.
When I got home, I popped the hood and checked it out better with a flashlight and mirror. The hose section of the water pipe under the intake was swollen and hissing. I removed the cap and steam shot out. My truck looked like a locomotive. In fact, four masked bandits galloped up the driveway and tried to hold me up.
My hope -- thermostat.
I know better, though, having been through a couple of these before. I'm pretty sure it's the head gasket, or a cracked head. Never saw any water in the oil though on this one. I'm not familiar enough with the cooling system to know what flows where, but I'm thinking there's a combustion leak somewhere, and that it pressurized the system. Now that I think about it, I noticed a drip on the lower radiator hose a few weeks ago, as well. Related most likely.
Considering the poor fuel economy for what little power it's got, the bed rust, dents and crummy paint, rough ride, etc., etc., I'm thinking it might be time to go the way of the Rembrant, and get something newer. Hate to say it, especially considering all the work I've put into it and pleasure I've gotten from all the little fixing up stuff, but where do you draw the line? Hardly seems worth it anymore.
Let me know what you guys think about the situation.
If I end up getting something newer, I'll probably part this thing out a bit. Got some SR5 wheels (powdercoated 3-4 yrs. ago), gauge cluster, seats, Weber, 4.56's F/R, etc.