Brown coolant

Eric Sanborn eric.ql at
Sun Nov 21 21:10:44 EST 2004

Well for all the discussions about different color coolants I know mine 
is not supposed to be brown.  My first thought is head gasket, but I was 
hoping for some second (and third) opinions.  Patient is '85 4kq with 
'85 5kt KH engine.

I rebuilt this motor completely in summer 2003.  I did everything I was 
supposed to short of machining the block (since I have never seen the 
need in a properly maintained VAG product).  I used german parts and 
have had no problems with the car as my daily driver.  About a week ago 
it started running rough very suddenly after accelerating hard away from 
a stop sign.  I found the brown coolant while poking around trying to 
figure out the problem which I still have not solved.  It may be a 
separate problem than the brown coolant, but the car misses badly until 
under boost then runs perfect.

I would hate to go to the work of changing the head gasket only to find 
out the turbo is shot and that is where the oil is coming from.  Has 
anyone ever had this happen?  The car does not smoke at all, ever.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Eric Sanborn
'85 4ktq

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