Jump to content
Ultimate Subaru Message Board
Sign in to follow this  
Krag

Head Gasket repair "In a bottle"

Recommended Posts

My water pump broke down on the road last weekend and an overheating problem developed. Since repairing it, have noticed the tell-tale spoke out the tail-pipe and bubbles. Have tried, Bars-Leaks, Silver powder, and copper sealer with uncertain success. Anything else out there that works. Vehicle is 1988 rust bucket and do not want to sink big $$ in it, but am willing to try any solution that makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know of any magic bullets to fix blown head gaskets short of doing the work.

 

Head gasket set > $100.00

*optional* Resurface 2 heads > $80.00

 

Go on the shoestring budget without any machine work. Not ideal, especially with aluminum heads that were run hot, but if you are able to get another 50,000 miles out of it this way, sounds like it will outlast the body.

 

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know of any magic bullets to fix blown head gaskets short of doing the work.

 

Head gasket set > $100.00

*optional* Resurface 2 heads > $80.00

 

Go on the shoestring budget without any machine work. Not ideal, especially with aluminum heads that were run hot, but if you are able to get another 50,000 miles out of it this way, sounds like it will outlast the body.

 

Good luck.

Thanks for response. What kind of expertise does it take to do a head gasket job? Is there really no use in trying a premium block seal product?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for response. What kind of expertise does it take to do a head gasket job? Is there really no use in trying a premium block seal product?
Not really, they rarely work and the potential for clogging up a smaller coolant passage makes them nore trouble than they're worth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you can keep pouring stuff in there, but i'd probably think you're lying or the problem was something else if you told me it worked.

 

you can try removing the valve cover and tightening whatever head bolts you can get too if you're really interested in being as simple as possible. or...you can get ambitious and remove the cam and tighten up all the head bolts.

 

you can remove the thermostat, that will keep the water temperature lower and it will use less coolant (but you'll have very little heat).

 

sorry...but best bet is replace the head gaskets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Krag:

Those products won't work for more than a few days - if at all. Don't waste your $$. I wouldn't even use them unless I was in an emergency roadside repair situation.

If only one HG is leaking, you could try to replace the single gasket. Best case scenerio: the pass side head cause it's easiest to replace with the motor in the car. The drivers side is not even worth attempting in the vehicle, IMO.

If you go this route, you'll have to figure out which side(s) are leaking, and where. A compression test is always a good starting point.

good luck, John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you guys are a bit too sceptical, if they sell it, it must work. seriously, i ran silver solder on my toyota v6, it worked for 6 months, but when it went again, it was way too far gone to try any sealer. if the first one you try doesnt work, your gasket is too far gone for help from the likes of snake oil =]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The water portsare too small in the Sube to use any of the wonder cures. The sealer plugs anything "it" sees as a leak. That and you never get that stuff out. Seen many a ruined radiator from that stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dont use stop leak junk on these engines.

 

Sounds like head gasket if its looking coolant and running weird temps.

 

get two of 11044AA013 and pull the engine...there ya go. Or the complete engine gasket kit can be had for about $110...and...MACHINE THOSE HEADS!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

drivers side head can easily be done in the car, i just did it yesterday on an XT6. the EA82 4 cylinders are WAY easier than the 6 cylinders. headgaskets are too easy to justify pulling the motor unless you need to address a trans, crank seal, torque converter seal issue at the same time. key on the drivers side is get all the wires, hoses and intake manifold out of the way which doesn't take very long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Over here in aus you can get stuff called chemiweld, it can clog radiators, and chances are you will never get the engine apart once you've used it but does work, my engine had really bad blown head gaskets, water in the oil, blew all the water out of the system, etc and it fixed it and lasted for 18mths till I could replace the engine.

 

But once it was out I couldn't get the heads off, not even bashing them with a hammer.

 

Jordan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

welcome to the board baron, i have seen you arround on the byb fourums lately. i prefer usmb as is has heaps more messages/day then the aussie one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot for the advice guys! It seems to still have decent power. I will try to follow advice on "seal" products and not use any more. I have drained system and refilled with antifreeze mix. Used subarus are so cheap, its worth just looking around for a good replacement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you can see, there is no consensus on the "best" solution to your problem.

From what you describe, it is likely to be a failed head gasket, with no further damage to the head. If you watch the fluids, you can probably squeeze a few months out of it without doing anything at all. Just carry plenty of jugs of 50/50 mix.

 

One bit of advice that has served me well in the past: Always try the least expensive method first. If that doesn't work, try the next one. And on down the line...

 

good luck, John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, John. It was below zero last night in northern new england and I did not have the mix right in the cooling system. Nonetheless was able to drive some miles without further problems. The "alumiseal" might work in some situations, not in mine, apparently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried some crap in a bottle for head gaskets when mine was mixing oil and coolant. Didnt stop the leakage. Did a wonderful job of cloging up my coolant passages. Found that out when I pulled apart the whole engine to rebuild it. That was with some milkey looking stuff... don't recall the name.

 

Now AlumiSeal I have heard good things about and seen it work. Arch sealed up his 4Runner headgasket with it. My brother has used it on two vehicles and it sealed them up. Note these are NOT permanat fixes. In all cases noted they eventually did get worse and all the kings horses and all the kings men could not put ther headgaskets back together again :(

 

Good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
drivers side head can easily be done in the car, i just did it yesterday on an XT6. the EA82 4 cylinders are WAY easier than the 6 cylinders. headgaskets are too easy to justify pulling the motor unless you need to address a trans, crank seal, torque converter seal issue at the same time. key on the drivers side is get all the wires, hoses and intake manifold out of the way which doesn't take very long.

 

Hey, I need to replace the head gasket and want to do it in the car. Do you need to unbolt the engine mounts and tilt the engine for this job, or can it be done as it sits? Anyone know of any step-by-step instructions for this process?

 

thanks,

 

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i dont know of the correct procedure for a subie as I havent done one yet, but I have to say it is a LOT easier to do than any other non-subaru car, very easy to get at everything... I imagine the way to go about it for a subaru is unbolt the intake manifold from the block, move it up out of the way, say like where the spare tire sits, might need to undo some brackets and misc stuff that holds vac lines n stuff to the block/intake. if you want think you could brake the motor and tranny mounts loose to rotate the engine, but it might be more work than its worth, but that way you will be working on the head a little bit more in the open. as far as taking the head off I think you take off the valve cover(2 bolts each I think) and unbolt the head, take care when taking off the head as there is a specific order in which to loosen the bolts to help insure the head does not warp when it is removed. after that I'd take your heads in to get machined and maybe shaved and ported while you have them off if you can afford it, and assembly is somewhat the reverse of install with new gasket, I have never done this myself so I know I am missing some things, but should give you a general idea of what kinda work its gonna need(not a whole lot).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and absolutely DO NOT USE that coolant leak repair ************, it does not work, not only will they take your money, waste your time, it will cause MANY more problems down the road and will make the intial repair much more difficult than it needs to be. people dont buy it because it "works", they buy it because they dont know anybetter and think that adding something like that will help them avoid a costly repair when in fact it will make it more costly and decrease the life and performance of your engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad you flushed your cooling system. If you decide to keep the car, that stuff can cause all kinds of cooling problems, like blocking your radiator or heater core.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If i had five bucks for every vehicle I have with my own eyes seen ruined from Bars_Leaks, I would never have to spin another wrench ever again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well dont i feel stupid. I have the same problem and put in bars_leaks it seems to work. it stopped gushing out radiator fluid. and is runnin alright. but crap u guys make me sound like a complete dumb rump roast for doin that. but i didnt know any better. Looks like i got a project to work on now. can anyone send me instuctions on how to do this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bar's is good stuff but isn't without its risks.

 

A lot of how this works seem to be exactly how bad the gasket is blown and where. If your losing coolant and its not mixed with oil or Exhaust then this might work.... big might.

 

But if your getting exhaust into the radiator then you are expecting the pressure in the cooling system to fight against the pressure of engine compression... Oddly enough if you have this problem and its also an external leak it might seal it... but otherwise it likely wont work...

 

That stuff in Australia sound real good.... long as you don't plan on keeping your motor forever... of course it could make a nice paper weight for your desk at work. :)

 

Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gang

Ive used a product called 'metalic seal up ' many times over the years .

if fills the wear spot with metal particals then bonds together.

but you can remove the heads with no probs and it doesnt clog up everything with crap.

The best run so far was 5 years without having to do the head on a ford .

Cheers Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i've used bar's leaks in a 1989 mercury sable, it had a blown head gasket.

 

the temp gauge stayed in the middle for about 10 minutes of driving, then jumped to H... the aluminum transmission was already screwed too, so instead of stopping the car we drove that 3.8 to hell in a safeway parking lot doing donuts and such :brow: then finally bashed the front end into a light pole due to skidding. the air bag hit me in the face pretty hard and i got out of the car, and called the local auto wreckers to come pick it up.

 

point is: i'll be another one to tell you that "magic" engine repair DOES NOT WORK. i'd never use it again, especially not in my Soob.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×