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I think I have an '83 Eldorado with the 4100 HT engine, with a blown head gasket or something worse.

I am getting tons of pressure in the cooling system - it blew one hose on me, leaks from spots like the thermostat housing, overheats very quickly ( 5 minutes or less of driving ) and the coolant tank is overflowing.

I have read the thread on "help ! did I blow it ?". Not sure if my case is the same.

I have no odd color to the engine oil, and no visible leaks on the engine itself as per cooling leaks. I had an 85 eldorado with a blown intake manifold gasket, and that was clearly leaking coolant on the top of the engine - no such example here.

I know the next step is to take the puppy apart, and look for blown gaskets in the intake and head gasket areas, but I am worried that I might spend a lot of time replacing gaskets when there could be other trouble with the block, such as it being warped or cracked. I suffered the pain of once fixing a blown head gasket to only find later that an aluminum block was cracked and needed replacement ( not a cadi - looong ugly story
).

Anyway - can anyone give me things to look for to help determine if I only need a head gasket, or something more in line with a whole new engine ??

I also could use advise on books / manuals for procedures on the proper method of replacing head gaskets, etc, on such a car. Not sure if the Chiltons in the auto parts store is the right buy, or if I should search on line for better books for instructions.

cheers !
 

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Pop your radiator cap off and spin the engine over.:stirpot:
If you see 'surging' from the water in the radiator (and possibly even smell exhaust fumes too...) you've most likely got a head gasket problem... (see 4100 sleeve rehash?):crying:
Another way (more complicated) to tell is to pull ALL the plugs out, spin the engine and put them back in ONE AT A TIME. Wait until you see the surging in the radiator to determine which cylinder(s) are leaking exhuast gas into the block... unless it's coming from somewhere else...
IF YOU END UP PULLING THE HEADS, you should plan to replace the sleeve o-rings.:eek:
Falls under the 'better safe than sorry'....:thumbsup:
 

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Sounds like a blown head gasket to me as well.

Another way to check is to remove and inspect the plugs. If any are wet, then you have found the problem. Pressure test the cooling system with the plugs out. Check for pressure drop and if any coolant leaks out of any of the cylinders. You can also bump the engine over slowly and see if any coolant is forced out of any of the plug holes.

After that, it's up to you if you want to tear the engine down and repair it. Unless the engine has been severly over heated, the sleeve o rings should be fine. You'll get into a whole nuther can of worms if you decide to replace those o rings. If the engine got hot enough to damage them, then the engine is beyond repair anyway

Also, remember not to turn the engine over with the heads off, then you WILL be replacing those o rings.

Mike
 
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