Chevy Corvette Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellows, hope everybody's doing well. My first post. I have a 1988 C4. Had her going on four years. Have basically been rebuilding as she was a setter. Problem: Radiator was giving "low coolant" reading. Would not hold an AC charge. Coolant was brown. Had a flush & fill done. Now before this car running great. No problems. None that had not been addressed. Charged AC blowing cold. Get on highway short distance four miles max. AC stop blowing cold . I cut off AC. Get too distantion streaming . I raise hood see some coolant spray on top of radiator no leaks underneath. Overflow revs full . Let her cool down. starts up . Go back too party. Five -six hours later check for leaks on ground see none. She starts up get low coolant light. Head home. Don't make it. Overheats reads 299 degrees hoping then heads not warped. Got it checked four days later. Radiator failed. Was told because rust was holding seams together flushing and added pressure from AC caused radiator too fail! After radiator replacement blowing white smoke from exhaust. Been told head left side (can see anti-freeze ) is warped. Not anyway too know without removing head if its just gasket? Need advice and what's good price for head replacement. Medical retirement low funds. Disabled but can work slowly. Thank in advance. Have been reading you guys advice for two three years think you guys a great with the help you offer.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds like your water pump died. I believe the '88 has aluminum heads and a cast iron block. So it's probable that you overheated the engine and warped the head
Ok, If it was the water pump, wouldn't that had showed up when the radiator was replaced? Because before the flush and fill, just a low coolant light sometimes(off and on) visual check always looked good.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,403 Posts
I think this is more of a chevy motor question than a corvette one. So being a ford man, I hesitate to answer. But my thought is that with warped heads, you'll need to have them shaved at a machine shop to get them back to plane. Then either double up on, or use a thicker head gasket to keep the compression the same. You could just let the compression rise for more power if clearances allow, and they should. But without knowing the condition of the bottom end of the motor, this could cause major headaches.

Another poo pooded way is to use Sodium Silicate (also known as waterglass). Here's a Wiki artical on it. The stuff dose work and can last a long long time. The only brand I've seen used is Blue Devil, and that was on a old GMC diesel truck. There are many vids on youtube about it.

But winter is almost on us, so my recommendation would be to ether go the machine shop route or find a used set of heads on ebay......

edit: One more thing. Don't put off the repair too long. With antifreeze leaking into the cylinder/s, it could seize up if left sitting over the winter...
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
9,061 Posts
that may stop the leak,for awhile. and may stop up a heater core too. Consider it like "Fix-a-Flat" for the head gasket.. Needs to be properly repaired as soon as possible. And you need to address the cause of the 299* temp., probably a stuck T-Stat
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,403 Posts
I agree with everything you just said, cept it's not that old stop leak stuff (the black powder). It's main ingredient is sodium silicate, which becomes active at about 210f and instantly hardens when it hits air. After it cools back down, it takes 1500f to melt it. It's whats in the paste they make muffler repair with. It's also what the gov used to destroy all those cash for clunker cars. Poured it down the intakes. Which is why most people change the oil after using it on their head leak, just in case any got into the oil.

But like I said, I think you should do the mechanical repair, not the quick fix. I just find this stuff really cool, and can think of many situations in the past where I would have used it.

Also, this stuff is brittle like cast iron. So it wouldn't fix a radiator leak I'm told. My buddy also added that it could only stop up a heater core if there was a air pocket in it, and then only if it wasn't under pressure (because of the thermodynamics of heat n pressure). And that GMC diesel I talked about before. Turns out that wasn't the one fixed. It was an old datsun pickup. Old age n memory I guess...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
I just had the heads done on my '88, both were leaking at the back. Two mechanics told me to repair, not replace them, as those aluminum heads are hard to come by. You'll probably only find cast replacement heads and add a bunch of weight. The machine shop charged $125 to plane the heads and mechanic's labor was about another $280 (Mass. prices). That also included installing an aftermarket intake, new wires, etc, while it was all apart. If the water pump is questionable replace that too while the engine is stripped, will be cheaper in the long run. If you plan on keeping it the sealants are known not to last long, especially in these engines which supposedly run hotter and more pressure when you're "playing".
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,591 Posts
Then either double up on, or use a thicker head gasket to keep the compression the same.
I'd never do that :eek2:
find the right gasket
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So your mechanic told you the radiator failed after having it flushed?
Thanks everybody for advice and tips. But yes ,I was told that the radiator failed after the flush. Saying rust was holding bad seam in place. My thought was "If radiator was pressure tested after the refill ,would it not have failed with the pressure test"? And the water pump question was that if the pump was what failed causing the overheat should I have gotten some signs before I had the radiator flushed?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just had the heads done on my '88, both were leaking at the back. Two mechanics told me to repair, not replace them, as those aluminum heads are hard to come by. You'll probably only find cast replacement heads and add a bunch of weight. The machine shop charged $125 to plane the heads and mechanic's labor was about another $280 (Mass. prices). That also included installing an aftermarket intake, new wires, etc, while it was all apart. If the water pump is questionable replace that too while the engine is stripped, will be cheaper in the long run. If you plan on keeping it the sealants are known not to last long, especially in these engines which supposedly run hotter and more pressure when you're "playing".
Wow $280 labor!! I have been quoted $1300 just in labor. 13 to 14 hours (seven in seven out) That is why I wanted too know if Its a job I should tackle myself. Time I got. On disability can do some just takes longer these days. Not afraid too take out the tools. Just can't get underneath anymore due too spinal injury. Not planning on letting her sit thur the winter . In the Desert so no real "winters" here.
And you are right about finding aluminum heads. I am checking ebay. Now if I don't do aluminum and went with cast does the casting numbers still have too match(aluminum 10088113 etc.). Just trying too get as much info as I can.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,591 Posts
It's done all the time. The gaskets themselves are already a layered and rated for a certain thickness. Their really more like shims that act like gaskets...
done by whom ?
back yard mechanics ?
do it right and buy he correct one
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
9,061 Posts
Wow $280 labor!! I have been quoted $1300 just in labor. 13 to 14 hours (seven in seven out) That is why I wanted too know if Its a job I should tackle myself. Time I got. On disability can do some just takes longer these days. Not afraid too take out the tools. Just can't get underneath anymore due too spinal injury. Not planning on letting her sit thur the winter . In the Desert so no real "winters" here.
And you are right about finding aluminum heads. I am checking ebay. Now if I don't do aluminum and went with cast does the casting numbers still have too match(aluminum 10088113 etc.). Just trying too get as much info as I can.
don t buy more heads til you take your heads to your local Machine shop.. save a bunch of money . you say you have a spinal injury, can you spend hours bent over the engine? Its not a really difficult job, but requires some time under the hood
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,403 Posts
done by whom ?
back yard mechanics ?
do it right and buy he correct one
Are you anti crescent wrench too?:doh:

I apologize for not being able to explain your ignorance. I have enough trouble with my own. But yes, use the right one if available, and like most things that work, I'm sure it started in someone's backyard. It's nice to have throw away parts and an unlimited budget, or even a parts store with every possible size on the shelve. Not to mention being perfect with your calculations. But in the real world you do your best and it either works or it doesn't. This does. Hell, I think I even remember them suggesting it on a episode of horsepower TV. Point is, your engine doesn't care whether you use two .025 or one .05. It's not an oil pan gasket....

BTW, as I recall, .05 equals about a half a point on compression. In other words, .05 added would reduce a 11:1 to a 10.5:1....
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
that may stop the leak,for awhile. and may stop up a heater core too. Consider it like "Fix-a-Flat" for the head gasket.. Needs to be properly repaired as soon as possible. And you need to address the cause of the 299* temp., probably a stuck T-Stat
The 299* temp was from no coolent when radiator failed. reading when engine cut out.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top