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General Automotive General automotive discussion. This is intended to be a discussion about other not VW and Diesel cars you may have or interested in.

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Old February 1st, 2013, 18:12   #1
Mcgink
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Default Anyone had success with head gasket sealants in a gasser?

So, we have a 98 Camry (~300k mi) with a blown head gasket amongst the TDI's. No fluid mix but it's definitely burning coolant and pressurizing the coolant system. As much as I disapprove of using sealants instead of fixing it right, the car itself IMO is just not worth it (Don't tell R ). There's a few products that are available to reportedly repair (Band-aid IMO) headgaskets. Has any one had any success with these products? Some have silicates, one has carbon fiber, and some have no particulates. Hate to plug the core but would want to mainly get it driveable again.
The heater core has a gurgle for many years and heat seems marginal IMO (thankfully, I don't drive it much ) Who knows how long it's been pressurizing the cooling system. The daily driver just doesn't notice things untill nearly FAIL unfortunately. I guess we're not all Technicians.
It was first noticed by the DD as a coolant loss. It was leaving no stains in the driveway and I found no apparent leaks. A pressure test revealed a small leak (hairline fracture) in the lower rad tank at the trans connection. After flushing the system and running for an hour with just water in it, no loss or overheating with existing cap (Junk). New Rad, T-Stat, Cap, and some (while you're in there) hoses/clamps. Now the system is whole and it ran fine in the driveway even at 2500 RPM till the fans kick on and doesn't seem to lose coolant.
The road test is a completely different story (especially the side of the road part ). After ~5 mi, the temp gauge swings top to bottom then everywhere in between. Then limp mode and Cel and off to the breakdown lane with the 4-ways on only able to get like 300 RPM but no stall . Rad hoses are hard as a rock and steams like a locomotive, I dawn the Ov-Glove and carefully release the pressure cap. Idle comes up after about a minute and I ad coolant. Got it home after stopping a few times and adding coolant with the cap off.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 06:24   #2
pknopp
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No luck here. I've only tried a couple times so I am no expert.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 07:25   #3
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Go to a Subaru dealer and buy a bottle of the stuff they use for their headgaskets. If that doesn't work, it's repair or toss time.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 07:33   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Dobro View Post
Go to a Subaru dealer and buy a bottle of the stuff they use for their headgaskets. If that doesn't work, it's repair or toss time.
These are actually "Holts radiator seal" I belive (embossed in the plastic bottle) with a Subaru label. But real cheap like a buck a bottle.

It does work well on Subaru's - especially as preventative maintenance.

Never tried it in anythings else, I just do the correct repair.

For 2 bucks it can't hurt. It's rather thin stuff so perhaps it won't do too bad on heater core, etc.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 08:04   #5
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It is time to have the head gasket replaced. Don't want to damage any of the machined surfaces on the block or head from escaping compression into coolant. Escaping compression will erode these surfaces. May want to have the valve job checked while the head is off. You should have plenty more life in the Camry even with this mileage if it was maintained well.
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 09:47   #6
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McGink, before you do anything, is it a 4 or v-6? If it is a 4, pull the valve cover. Look for a crack near one of the center cylinder head bolts, usually the one closest to the firewall. You should see a brownish line. If so, it is cylinder head time. If not and you don't want to do it (gasket) or can't, I can give you a price if you like. You would have to get it here though.

The only product I have ever seen which works is either K-seal or this: http://www.headgasketsealers.com/

As you know, you will clog the heater core and radiator. They are NOT 100% and sometimes do not work. If the head is cracked, do not bother.
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 12:29   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hevster1 View Post
McGink, before you do anything, is it a 4 or v-6? If it is a 4, pull the valve cover. Look for a crack near one of the center cylinder head bolts, usually the one closest to the firewall. You should see a brownish line. If so, it is cylinder head time. If not and you don't want to do it (gasket) or can't, I can give you a price if you like. You would have to get it here though.

The only product I have ever seen which works is either K-seal or this: http://www.headgasketsealers.com/

As you know, you will clog the heater core and radiator. They are NOT 100% and sometimes do not work. If the head is cracked, do not bother.
Thanks for the info and leads. It is the 4cyl. I'll have a look under the valve cover to look for any cracks on the next warm enough day. If I do end up trying a sealant, I'd remove the T-stat, bypass the heater core, and piggy-back the old rad in place for the application process. Not sure at this point what the best option is. Sealant, do the gasket, find a low mi motor, or sell the car for parts. It's mostly maintained and everything in it mostly works but the car is nothing special condition wise. The Guy who has done most of the work to it for the last 8yrs has moved out of the area. He glopped RTV on everything that ever needed a gasket though so I wouldn't want him to do this job anyway. Most of the local Techs I trust are TDI guys. Towing it 250 mi is a long shot but we'll keep it in mind. IMO it would most important to have it done right just like with our TDI's when we have work done.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 06:41   #8
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An Update, we found a crashed Camry on the local CL with ~175K on it. I Sawzalled the smooshed radiator and support out and set our old rad in place so that we could hear it run etc. It's now being transplanted into our car "The Dalmation". SO, we get a lower mile engine/trans, a few bits and pieces from the body and a bunch of spares, starter, alt, A/C, etc for $500 and then off to the scrap scale for whatever it will bring there.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 17:22   #9
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Very good. I like those older Camrys. Glad you saved yours.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 17:44   #10
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late to the party...

Rad sealants are "good" (core clogging aside) for external leaks, as they can handle 15 psi cooling system pressure as long as the hole is not that big. That's why they're good for the Subie HG seepages. We used to use them all the time in Saturns on seepy water pumps. That goop would come from the factory to seal the crappy water pumps, and deal with any minor porosity in the lost-foam block casting process.

They're really no good at sealing combustion leaks, as the pressures are several orders of magnitude higher. 300-1000psi depending on load is a lot for some goop to hold back
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