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B10alia said:
I would say the headgasket hinges on the compression test. You could have a coolant leak somewhere else, like the heated manifold, that's spraying coolant onto something hot and boiling it, giving you the smell. I would expect serious idling and driving problems with a badly blown headgasket. Obviously, I haven't seen the car and how it performs, so there might be something that fingers the headgasket that I haven't seen. I know that if I were you, I would want to make sure it was the headgasket before I committed to replacing it. Like I said, a compression test will be the determining factor, but I would definitely do that before anything else.
Many of the AutoZone stores have a tester called the "Block Tester" in their Loan-A-Tool program. You basically put down enough $ to buy the unit (about $25) and then when you return it, you get your money back. With the "Block Tester" you have to buy the testing fluid which is $7.95 a shot. If the test is performed according to the instructions, you will know if you have a headgasket failure between a cylinder and a coolant passageway, however, there are some reports that state that fresh anti-freeze may show negative for exhaust gas contamination even when there is a small leak. The vehicle may have to be run daily for a week or so to create the anti-freeze contamination so the test kit will work to detect it.

Sometimes you can sniff the overflow container and detect the smell of exhaust gas. A compression test is not helpful on a small leak that just blows a stream of small bubbles. With a small leak, the loss of compression may be very small and almost impossible to detect over several cranking revolutions. A leakdown test also may not be conclusive. The usual 2.2, 2.5 headgasket failure starts with a very small leak. A blown gasket is more of a sudden rupture of the gasket material and that type of failure is easily detected by a compression test.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
John Wood said:
Many of the AutoZone stores have a tester called the "Block Tester" in their Loan-A-Tool program. You basically put down enough $ to buy the unit (about $25) and then when you return it, you get your money back. With the "Block Tester" you have to buy the testing fluid which is $7.95 a shot. If the test is performed according to the instructions, you will know if you have a headgasket failure between a cylinder and a coolant passageway, however, there are some reports that state that fresh anti-freeze may show negative for exhaust gas contamination even when there is a small leak. The vehicle may have to be run daily for a week or so to create the anti-freeze contamination so the test kit will work to detect it.

Sometimes you can sniff the overflow container and detect the smell of exhaust gas. A compression test is not helpful on a small leak that just blows a stream of small bubbles. With a small leak, the loss of compression may be very small and almost impossible to detect over several cranking revolutions. A leakdown test also may not be conclusive. The usual 2.2, 2.5 headgasket failure starts with a very small leak. A blown gasket is more of a sudden rupture of the gasket material and that type of failure is easily detected by a compression test.

It's consuming to much to be a small leak. I feel it's around a gallon a week now, and was hardly noticeable months ago. This just started recently.




I'm going to start with a compression test.


As for which brand HG, I was told to use anything thats slick like the mccord. I was told to not even consider felpro, this is coming from a local chrysler guru. If it does need replacement: do I assemble dry (what I did the lasttime) or spray it down with copper/haylomar?
 

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It looks like it is getting difficult to get the Mopar performance 2.5 TBI gasket, part# P4452005.

I found this link but I would call to make sure they have it.
http://www.monicattichrysler.com/comersus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=381


There is a ROL available on E-Bay. They were supposed to be pretty good. I've never heard anything good about the graphite coated gaskets. Most modern engine manufacturers got away from them in favor of MLS, but I've never heard of an MLS gasket for a Chrysler 2.5.
 

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Weren't the original "bad" headgaskets replaced by an MLS one? I.e. isn't the current OEM replacement a MLS design?

The reason I'm still a bit skeptical about the headgasket is that the symptoms and what's expected don't match. If the car "burns coolant" as the OP stated, the headgasket would have to be leaking fairly severely. A very small leak (like the one I had on my 2.5) is all it takes to freak the thermostat out and cause issues, but the OP never mentioned any problem with the cooling system behaving erratically. Further, a very small leak would not cause a noticeable loss in coolant. I never saw a drop lost from the system, and I had a leak for months. The change is there, yes, but it's so small that it's imperceptible. As Bob L. noted, it could be a leak somewhere else in the system, giving you the coolant smell and consumption without the other headgasket symptoms. I think that most of the problem here was a bad ignition system and vac leaks. Again, a compression test is necessary.
 

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Yes, a compression test will be done this weekend.


The gasket was not an MLS, it was a coated mccord style gasket. I do believe an MLS gasket is available, along with studs. The head and deck surface has to be pretty fine for them to take, this car wasn't all to pretty.


I did notice a small coolant leak in the lower pump hose going to the heater core, where a splice was put in. New molded hose on order. Hardly a drip under it, I suppose it may leak more with flow. The expansion tank also has seen better days, is there a source for these or am I installing a custom mt. dew container?
 

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You should always use a molded heater hose from the water pump to heater core. The heater core end is 5/8", but the water pump end is flared to 3/4". People often try to cram a standard 5/8" hose on the water pump, and they usually get a water leak, or air ingestion at that point. I learned long ago after wrestling and turning my hand into raw hamburger, to use the molded hose. It's about $22-$25, but worth it.

If your overflow tank is the same shape as my Daytona (elongated down the passenger edge of the radiator), there is a stress point where it cracks at the retaining bolt. I've had two of them crack and leak. I have a spare now, repaired with JB Weld. If the jug is simply dirty, clean it as best you can, but it won't cause performance problems.
 

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Monomer said:
Yes, a compression test will be done this weekend.


The gasket was not an MLS, it was a coated mccord style gasket. I do believe an MLS gasket is available, along with studs. The head and deck surface has to be pretty fine for them to take, this car wasn't all to pretty.


I did notice a small coolant leak in the lower pump hose going to the heater core, where a splice was put in. New molded hose on order. Hardly a drip under it, I suppose it may leak more with flow. The expansion tank also has seen better days, is there a source for these or am I installing a custom mt. dew container?
That may be where the coolant is going. I'd definitely do some testing before taking the head off. Get the block tester kit as I mentioned in the other post. Check E-Bay or your local salvage yard for the overflow container.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Even better.


It's the coolant lines going to the TB that leak. I mean LEAK. Small puddle under the car now.

Still going to do a compression test, as it's quick. I think most of my issues were vac, ignition and cooling system. I'm straying away from HG due to no oil/coolant mix or over pressured lines. The smell could have been caused by the TB leaking down to the exhaust manifold. I never did see all to much white smoke from the back.

Ordering all the hoses from rockauto, seems to be cheap. Also getting all the parts or a tuneup.
 

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I think you mean the hoses to the intake manifold, not the TB. Coolant flows through a passage in the intake manifold to help vaporize the fuel better, especially when warming up.

The hose from manifold to heater core is a molded one and is still available. The one from thermostat housing to manifold is a mixed metal and rubber line and is not available So you can cobble a new one, or do what I did - used two sections of rubber hose connected by a 90 degree brass elbow just below the thermostat, to make the turn horizontal.
 

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You can also get generic CRS bottles. The shape is just to get it to fit on the radiator; you can put the bottle anywhere, so long as its overflow inlet is slightly below the radiator cap (at least, that's how I would set it up, although I'm not sure it would matter when the cap opens under pressure. Check your local junkyard if you want OEM, it is one of those weirdo parts that nobody really ever needs
 

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B10alia said:
You can also get generic CRS bottles. The shape is just to get it to fit on the radiator; you can put the bottle anywhere, so long as its overflow inlet is slightly below the radiator cap (at least, that's how I would set it up, although I'm not sure it would matter when the cap opens under pressure. Check your local junkyard if you want OEM, it is one of those weirdo parts that nobody really ever needs

Thanks for the heads up, I have access to a tig at work so maybe I'll fab up a mount. It's ALWAYS empty when I add coolant. ALWAYS.


The intake coolant hose (steel one) was leaking, pretty bad. A compression fitting to a rather large barb fitting should work. I moved the clamp, as it was rather loose and the hose was more towards the end of the connection. Hopefully that help now. Is anyone against a small hole in the t-stat for burping? The bleeder on the head is stuck, and stripped.
 

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Many people drill a 1/16" hole and align it at the top when installing the thermostat, to help bleed air. I just park uphill and run it with the radiator cap off, works fine for me.
 

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Monomer said:
I'm in SE Michigan.



I think drilling a hole will be easier than finding a suitable hill. ;)

A set of ramps will work too!
 

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Get the Stant Superstat. It already has a jiggle valve, I've had good results.
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=886492&cc=1098514
I believe the OEM spec is 195, but I could be wrong. You can see the jiggle valve in that picture just to left edge of the main poppet, it's that little brass "finger". No drilling necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Went to go to work today.


Turn the key, nothing.


Tumbler's broken. Could this have anything to do with the rest of my issues?
 

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Probably not. If the key does not have that "spring back" feeling when you turn it to start (i.e. doesn't spring back to run) then the lock cylinder end is broken. The end is cheap pot metal and the OEM switches from that era have a lot of failures. Chances are the new lock cylinder will now have a hardened steel end that won't break.
 
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