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EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP 

 

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 Post subject: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Hi guys - I have a EF fairmont running both gas and petrol.

Now this is not a sob story, but just giving everyone some sort of idea on what I'm going through with this car.

Now for a while now, I have had cooling issues, on hot days it would rise slowly to about the "R" but never really over that and once I get on a freeway, it seems to cool itself and the temp gauge would drop. Over the last 2 months, there has been leaking from certain hoses - overflow hose, and another radiator hose in which they were changed. Also, I had a pressure problem with the actual overflow, where on hot days, I would stop and turn the car off and a fair amount of water would be coming out of the overflow top hose, I fixed this by changing the radiator cap. I also got the welsh plugs changed over on the side of the engine. More recently, the car had been running pretty poorly, struggling to start and having a rough idle on both petrol and gas. So I then changed the spark plugs which fixed the petrol side of things. I then went to a gas place, as the car was un-drivable as the revs would drop to about 100-200 on idle. A simple tune and a manual converter ( i think) was installed and the car has been running perfect since. The only struggle I have with it now is in the morning, on petrol the car seems a little rough until it warms up. I have just put this down to age and maybe the leads need changing over. Another leaking problem I have noticed is on the actual AIROD converter I have. There is a hose that carries water to the converter, with a blue plastic elbow join in between the hose and converter which is where the leak is from.

Now with the head gasket questions. For a while now, with all the changing of hoses, I still notice that the overflow water drops. Last week there was another leak, on a hose that i did change. I tightened the screw on it and I hope this will be OK. Now with the actual overflow container, when the car is cold and I'm going to top it up, there is a build up of pressure inside as if the car was warm. I know this is not normal at all. I seem to still be losing water and I'm not sure if this could be from the actual gas part of it which is causing this, or could this be a head gasket? Which was changed over around 2 years ago. I'm a student with little income and if it was the case of a head gasket, this could really screw me up.

Just wondering where I should go from here? I'm currently at uni, where the car will be sitting for around 4 hours, so we will see if the water level drops.

Cheers
Daniel
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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:03 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Pressure buildup/remaining when cold could be blocked radiator.

Dunno about the rest yet
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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:08 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Pressure buildup/remaining when cold could be blocked radiator.

Dunno about the rest yet
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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:30 pm 
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Quote:
when the car is cold and I'm going to top it up, there is a build up of pressure inside as if the car was warm. I know this is not normal at all.


Your right its not normal, excessive pressure in the cooling system can be combustion gases getting into the coolant - head gasket, cracked or porous head.

You can get this checked. Most workshops can test for gases in coolant or you can buy the kit yourself

 

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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:43 pm 
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creeture3 wrote:
Pressure buildup/remaining when cold could be blocked radiator

+1

Also, have you:

a. been using coolant or just water to top up?
b. ever flushed out the radiator?
c. ever replaced the thermostat?
d. checked to the airflow through the radiator? Sometimes they get blocked with dirt, bugs, etc.

If you plan to flush the radiator, remove it altogether & invert it when using the hose. You might find, as I did, that the tank on the inlet side is filling up with rust and reducing coolant flow.

 

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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:08 pm 
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Thanks guys

If it was a blocked radiator, is there an easy way to flush this out myself? Rather than going to a place to do this? If I was to take it out, what is meant by inverting it ?

In regards to topping it up, I have been doing this just with water. A little while ago, I did change over the thermostat.
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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:10 pm 
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Hey man.
I have a eb and have had exactly the same issues.
Leaking from thermostat housing. Replaced gasket. Leaking from top hose, replaced hose..
Side tank sepperates! Took the radiator to natrad and it was 30% blocked. Wich sounds like a fair bit to me.
at this time I did have a blown head gasket, so when I was replacing the headgasket, timing chain kit, vrs kit I did the radiator.
So it could be either.
Why do you suspect you're headgasket? Is it leaking at all?
How does you're coolant smell.
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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:25 pm 
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Hi mate

I'm leaning towards a blocked radiator. Just because of the recent hose leaks and because of a 5 hour drive I did up to the country where there were a lot of bugs around on the road. If a blocked radiator can cause pressure in the overflow then fingers crossed this is it.

As for the head gasket, the only reason i suspect it could be this is because of people on here saying that pressure in the overflow could be caused by a head gasket problem. My mate also had issues with pressure in the overflow but he was having to top his car up every day with around a litre a day but for me, its not nearly as bad. As i said earlier, im hoping that the water was dropping because of the converter leak ( which is a b**ch to change as the plastic elbow is prone to snapping, which then would mean a new converter if part of the elbow cracks in the actual converter)

As for the smell of the coolant, there isnt a hell of a lot left in the system, that is another reason why i have come to the forum to sort through this. I have had a lot of leaks and there isnt alot of coolant left.
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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:37 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Location: DORRIGO
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Alright mate if you wanna stop this and not cause headgasket failure you gotta get you're radiator out and either try to unclog it yourself or get it to natrad.
Flush the entire cooling system, and fill up with new coolant, water.
Then fix the leak at the conveter, if you're converter overheats it can cause problems and cost way more then the time to fix the small leak.
Then hopefully its all good.

and yes blocked radiator can cause overflow, because the radiator isn't functioning propperly, hotter coolant+backed up pressure= expansion & overflow.
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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:50 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Ok thanks mate.

How much do you think natrad would charge to get the radiator flushed? Or do you think that it is just a good to do it myself? If i was going to do it myself, is it as easy removing all hoses and bolts and taking the radiator out and then running water through the radiator to flush it?

I really appreciate all the help!

Daniel
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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:05 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Haha. Ok man ill give you a tip. If you need a part of your car repaired, replaced that you can take out and put back yourself you take it out and get it to the shop. Otherwise youl cop an a** load of labour charge.
Ef is a piece of piss. Dump the coolant, undo the thermo fans and remove the screws holding the fans to the radiator, remove hoses, take out 2 bolts and you're done.
Take it to nat rad and say,
"I believe my radiator is blocked, can you please flow test it for me and update me" when they get back to you if they say its blocked get them to flush it and that's it.
They usually paint them and clean them up and hit ya with $200.
Should be about $100.
Doing it with a hose isn't always a fix.
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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:21 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Ok perfect, thanks heaps for the help. I think that is exactly what i'l do next week as it is the only time i have.

This is a little off topic, but as for the little elbow join on the AIROD converter, is it best to go to a gas place and see if they are able to get that part in for me?
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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:59 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Age: 26

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Ride: 92 EB s

Location: DORRIGO
NSW, Australia

Not to sure on gas systems so I dunno exactly what elbow you are talking from.
But
Where abouts on the bend is it leaking. At the conections or is the hose split.
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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:14 pm 
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Price a new radiator - should be well under $200. I had all sorts of silly stuff happening with my ED - temps and pressures all over the place - fitted new radiator and it was sweet.

Also - if the thermostat is ever messed with or replaced, make sure the proper double acting thermostat with bleed hole in the skirt is used - and DON'T ever let a radiator place or mechanic talk you into fitting a lower temp thermostat than is factory specified.

 

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 Post subject: Re: EF Fairmont - dreaded head gasket question HELP
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:28 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Age: 26

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Ride: 92 EB s

Location: DORRIGO
NSW, Australia

Why not a lower temp gauge?
I have a 81deg one in mine and she runs so cool. Just have to let 10 mins for it to warm up in the mornings.
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