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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

My classic is starting to use an increasing amount of coolant.

The 3.9L original engine in my 1992 Classic has about 180k miles on it.

The previous owner said he did a top end job and decked the heads. I'm guessing that was 10k miles ago, but that's just a guess.

My cooling system is all new within the last one year (3k miles)...radiator, expansion tank, hoses, water pump...etc..and I can't see any coolant leak (though i would love to believe that's my problem)...

Lately I was having the problem where when my engine was hot, and oil was full, my oil pressure light would flicker while I was in drive, but not moving (like at a traffic light).

I had my oil pump rebuilt and I can see on my aftermarket oil pressure gauge that my pressure is now higher and doesn't dip down to those low 6-8 psi levels anymore.

Previously, I would use a little bit of coolant..it wasn't a big deal. I thought maybe it was a small leak I couldn't find or perhaps a head gasket, but I decided to just sit tight and watch it.

Now my coolant expansion tank requires topping up a lot more frequently.

I'm worried that my new, increased oil pressure has revealed a blown head gasket and probably worsened it.

I'm not an expert - does that analysis make sense?

I've considered getting a new Turner engine at some point, but I wanted to drive this engine out as long as I could. If I do have a head gasket issue, should I pull the trigger on a new engine now?

If I don't have a slipped liner, and I keep it cool and well oiled maybe I could still get 50k or 100k miles more? Assuming I could fix it for under, say $1k or $1.5k (I'm not doing the work myself).

Anyway - lots of questions there. I'd be very interested if anyone has any thoughts about any of it.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I should mention that just by eyeballing it - I can't seen coolant when I check my oil dipstick and I don't see signs of oil in my expansion tank...for whatever that's worth.
 

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Take this suggestion as you will..
I use a sealant Called “kseal”
It is in a small blue container..
You can add it to your coolant and leave it...you do not have to change your coolant...it will seal and continue to seal... from your motor description
It can’t hurt.....I have used it With surprising good luck
Got it at wallyworld
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks - I appreciate that.
I guess my main concern would be potential adverse consequences in my radiator....but I'll check it out!
 

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I can't speak for others, but personally would never use a sealant with one of these vehicles. It only lead to compromised cooling.

Two rules for me, no sealant and always corrosion inhibitor / antifreeze to prevent running into coolant system problems.

Advise to check really carefully all around base of radiator, block and core plugs to make sure it's not leaking and subsequently dropping / evaporating coolant.

Another route out is via head gasket direct into cylinder, check when cold by starting it and run for 30 secs, then feel each exhaust at the head to see
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for that. Please excuse my ignorance, but when I feel each exhaust at the head (after running for 30 seconds), what am I looking to feel? If it was leaking through the head gasket directly into the cylinder, how would the exhaust at the affected head feel?
 

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Dropped out of writing there....

........to see if any are cold, that would indicate some leaking into the cylinders while it's stopped overnight for example.

It would clear this as it warms and the dead cylinders chime in, ensure you don't miss any. If that werre the case, it's either gasket or porosity that allows coolant into the cylinder. You'd probably smell antifreeze in the exhaust gases though.
 

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They'd feel cold if they don't fire initially if water was in the bore, as you run it more then the coolant exits via exhaust and conditions inside the combustion chamber improve enough for the cyinder to get going.
 

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Also forgot the other obvious area to check.

Underside of water pump, so immediately behind the engine fan looking up from the ground and check with a good torch.

Trying to think of anywhere else to check, inside cabin in carpets of front footwell as it comes down from top of transmission tunnel under the dash / fascia. If the cabin heater core leaks you'll see it there. That unit is supplied by two hoses that are very hard to see at the rearmost of the engine, they pass hot coolant to and from the cabin heater as it circulates, they rarely get inspected or changed but if leaking the path down to floor is over the gearbox bellhousing immediately behind the engine looking from below.

Thoroughly check all points to make sure it's not just a fundamental leak that can be corrected.
 

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Have you done enough miles that the coolant isn't settling? Also have you checked your front carpets and insulation for sweet smelling dampness? Could be a leak in the heater matrix that is going undetected... I'd use k seal very sparingly, can block the original copper radiators very easily. Ask me how I know

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Could be overflow or pinhole on hoses at joints? Lower rad hose is notorious for leaking at joints.


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Discussion Starter #17
Found it - leaking at one of the joints.
I realized last night that I had a block tester and the fluid happened to still be good so I used that too and it seemed to confirm no head gasket problem.
Thanks everyone! I guess I'm just paranoid about the head gasket!
Attached is a picture not far from where I live in a remote area of Texas.
RRC 1.jpg
 

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Looky there ....
You found that all on your own...
And relayed it back in only two paragraphs...
I could pay attention and not be bored
To tears....
Good for you
Your on your way to Rover life
 
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