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Discussion Starter #1
:banghead: Well, driving home from Thanksgiving dinner last Thursday my diagnosis of the Sevilles cooling system problem was finalized. It's a head gasket. How can I tell? Well - the temp spiked and the coolant was being pumped from the overflow tank. Filled the radiator the next morning (Friday) - started her up and a nice steady stream of bubbles was coming through the radiator.
She's in the shop (don't have the time to do the HG's myself at this point) - they're going to test for exhaust in the coolant - but I figure I'm in for head gaskets. Told 'em if it needs one, do 'em both so I don't have to replay this again six months down the road.
Hey - at least I'll have a higher compression ratio (when they deck the heads) when it's all said and done.
Big problem? Driving the wifes Neon for the next four / five days!

Later

Steve
 

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1992 STS (4.9L, Black on Black)
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Steve,

Did you get a quote for how much the HG will cost to get replaced? I suspect I may need this done in the near future on my 4.9 and I'm curious what the damage will be.

Also, where there any symptoms before it went?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll be getting a quote this afternoon or tomorrow sometime and will inform all when I have it.
Symptoms - ahh - symptoms -

One morning maybe two months back I decided to "jump" another car at a merge point - so I gave her WOT - the caddy was all warmed up - until that point she seemed to run at about 204 rain or shine, AC on or not - well - got an "engine coolant hot - idle engine" message on the display - so I figured the thermostat or waterpump had taken a dump after 120K - replace 'em that weekend. Flushed the cooling system. Still heated up every once in a while - then added some bars-leak (apparently needed after a flush and refill) - all was "cool" for a while. I noticed what I felt was an excess of pressure bleed after running the car a bit (burbling through the coolant overflow tank) but the temp was fairly steady (although it took on a "wave" profile going from 199 - 207 and back - I could have plotted it on graph paper it was so regular).
Drove from New Oxford PA to State College PA for thanksgiving - took 'er up a major hill (used to kill my Jeep) - but no overheating - until I hit a two lane right before we got to the destination - then bingo - 207 to 230 in about .5 miles - pulled into the driveway and "marked my spot" as the coolant burbled from the overflow tank. I might add that when the car got hot the heat went away .... and it was rather cold out (low 30's) ... much to the annoyance of those in the car with me.
Got some coolant and refilled / bled everything - drove home - all seemed dandy - temp remained pretty constant (same old "wave" thing though) until I got near home - then bingo - up went the temp.
Got up the next morning for a bagel run - within a mile I was soaring over 230 - "coolant" warning came on - turned around and drove home. Coolant was pumping out of the OF tank.
Let the caddy cool down while I took the wifes Neon to get breakfast for the gang - after I ate (and downed some needed coffee) filled the radiator and started her up - bubbles started coming through the radiator almost at once - called the garage and dropped it off Friday mid-day - funny thing - on the drive to the garage it held at a constant 204 .... kinda like that toothache that goes away as you approach the dentist office I suppose.
The guy at the garage said they were going to do the following (which I agree with, I suppose):

1) test the thermostat (it's possible that the new one I got was bad)
2) do an analysis of the contents of the radiator for exhaust gas (I don't have a spectrometer at home - but they do) - to see if it's blow-by or some otherproblem.
3) if there's exhaust present in the coolant do a leakdown test to determine which cylinder is leaking
4) if required, pull the intake manifold and heads, re-surface the heads, replace the gaskets, and button everything up.

They'll also be re-flushing the cooling system and re-filling it -

I'll report back with the findings and estimate (and ultimate cost) when all is said and done.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Spoke to the garage - I should have an estimate tomorrow around this time - when I know I'll let ya'all know. I have (for some reason) a feeling that the funds for my planned holiday trip to New Braunfels Texas (see some friends, play some music) are about to be drained -

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ahh .. let's see .. what's my axe ....
I'm a singer / songwriter (songwriter probably should have come first), guitar player and harmonica player (hey - it's a serious blues instrument). - most of what I've recorded to date is folk but I play a lot of blues.
Current quiver of guitars?

1948 Kay archtop single pickup (wide body) - "restored" would be a mis-statement - it's been brought back to being very playable (I re-fretted it myself, re-set the neck and made a new bridge to replace the broken OEM one, put decent tuning pegs on it and removed the purple paint the previous owner had applied - gently - 'cause it was sunburst under that paint - sweetest playing electric I've ever put a finger to ...)
1982 Epiphone flat top PR720 prototype (one of one) - currently has a fishman under the saddle on the bridge (pickup) - great tone - solid spruce top - primary performance guitar
1974 Yamaha 12 string flat top - doesn't get out much but sees a lot of use in the studio -
1988 Epiphone Sheraton II electric - I really should play this one more - but the Kay is just so damm sweet
1938 B&J Serenader archtop acoustic (about 80% restored at this point) - given to me by a friend - was in a number of pieces when I got it - it's playable now but really needs to be set up - which I'm working on - I don't have high expectations for it's tone and it MAY be re-configured as a slide guitar with a pickup installed - time will tell .
1898 S.S. Stewart five string banjo (fully restored) - was my grandfathers - languished under my bed for years - just learning to play it now -
197? Yamaha classical guitar (nylon strung - my "writing" guitar) - just a generic workhorse that travels well.

You can check out some of my stuff at www.deadwinorecords.com - it'll link to my radioindy account as well.

My wife has a couple guitars and a mandolin as well (old Gibson I got for her years ago) -

Yourself??

Steve
 

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SteveThefolkie said:
Ahh .. let's see .. what's my axe ....
I'm a singer / songwriter (songwriter probably should have come first), guitar player and harmonica player (hey - it's a serious blues instrument). - most of what I've recorded to date is folk but I play a lot of blues.
Current quiver of guitars?

1948 Kay archtop single pickup (wide body) - "restored" would be a mis-statement - it's been brought back to being very playable (I re-fretted it myself, re-set the neck and made a new bridge to replace the broken OEM one, put decent tuning pegs on it and removed the purple paint the previous owner had applied - gently - 'cause it was sunburst under that paint - sweetest playing electric I've ever put a finger to ...)
1982 Epiphone flat top PR720 prototype (one of one) - currently has a fishman under the saddle on the bridge (pickup) - great tone - solid spruce top - primary performance guitar
1974 Yamaha 12 string flat top - doesn't get out much but sees a lot of use in the studio -
1988 Epiphone Sheraton II electric - I really should play this one more - but the Kay is just so damm sweet
1938 B&J Serenader archtop acoustic (about 80% restored at this point) - given to me by a friend - was in a number of pieces when I got it - it's playable now but really needs to be set up - which I'm working on - I don't have high expectations for it's tone and it MAY be re-configured as a slide guitar with a pickup installed - time will tell .
1898 S.S. Stewart five string banjo (fully restored) - was my grandfathers - languished under my bed for years - just learning to play it now -
197? Yamaha classical guitar (nylon strung - my "writing" guitar) - just a generic workhorse that travels well.

You can check out some of my stuff at www.deadwinorecords.com - it'll link to my radioindy account as well.

My wife has a couple guitars and a mandolin as well (old Gibson I got for her years ago) -

Yourself??

Steve
OFFTOPIC: Great stuff, Steve! Been looking over your site. I'm a big banjo and mandolin fan, and I take some heat for it. Can't play either one, but I'll drive hundreds of miles to listen to great banjo and mandolin music when life conditions are right. (Bela Fleck or David Grisman, anyone?) Sounds like a nice collection of guitars you've got there. My Fender Strat HSS and Washburn acoustic lack much personality by comparison. Maybe the Duncan will add something to the bridge bucker on my Strat when I get that done. Blues, rock, bluegrass, and a little country are my long-term aspirations. For the time being, though, I'm just irritating neighbors and attracting stray dogs from the comfort of my basement... :thumbsup: I'll send ya a M.O. for Black and Redemption one of these days. Thanks for the info!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
mcowden said:
OFFTOPIC: Great stuff, Steve! Been looking over your site. I'm a big banjo and mandolin fan, and I take some heat for it. Can't play either one, but I'll drive hundreds of miles to listen to great banjo and mandolin music when life conditions are right. (Bela Fleck or David Grisman, anyone?) Sounds like a nice collection of guitars you've got there. My Fender Strat HSS and Washburn acoustic lack much personality by comparison. Maybe the Duncan will add something to the bridge bucker on my Strat when I get that done. Blues, rock, bluegrass, and a little country are my long-term aspirations. For the time being, though, I'm just irritating neighbors and attracting stray dogs from the comfort of my basement... :thumbsup: I'll send ya a M.O. for Black and Redemption one of these days. Thanks for the info!
ALso OFFTOPIC -
Drop a note to [email protected] - we can continue the music discussions there - also - the po box on the site may or may not work - I can give you a street addy in the email.

Thanks much!

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ONTOPIC (although music is more fun than car repair) - anyhow - got a call from my mechanic. Try though he might he could not detect blowby in the coolant NOR could he get any cylinder to leak down to the extent that he'd assume a compromised gasket.
He then went to drain the radiator by using the petcock (I'd just loosened the lower radiator hose) - low and behold - nothing - so he took it for a road test - within 1.5 miles the sensor was indicating 250 degrees - pulled back to the garage and the warmest spot on the radiator was 120 - the vast majority of the radiator was stone cold (about 60 degrees - ambient today is around 55) - so he speculates that the radiator is VERY clogged.
He's going to pull the radiator and check the tanks - speculates that it's all buggered up with the accumulation of 16 years crud - he also speculates that there MAY be a "floating plug" of gunk that may or may not obstruct the flow of coolant - depending on where it is and what else is going on.
So - while I am sorry I can't provide an estimate for headgaskets - on the other hand I'm darned GLAD that I can't. Looks like a new radiator, a good flush of the cooling system and heater core, refill with coolant and I'll be good to go tomorrow.
Funny thing - shoulda listened to my dad - he was an engineer with General Electric Space Craft Operations for 35 years - asked if I'd checked the radiator - told him - "no - it's head gaskets" - well - if the crow-pie tastes kinda sour at least it's cheaper than the alternative! Maybe in the next 15 years of my career as an engineer I'll get as smart as the old man!

Cheers

Steve
 
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