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Dad's old car for the kids

Hi all,

Not OH, but I'm doing up a HK panno....

Need some advice please on an old EA my old man has given the kids to drive. 116,000 original kays on the clock.

S Pak, 3.9 multipoint motor, the bloody thing was overheating so I started with the basics - radiator (old one was cactus) hoses, thermostat.

The car settled for a couple of days, now the gauge moves all the way to hot before the clutch fan kicks in and the temp goes down quickly. It's losing water as well. No sign of leaks from the welsh plugs. Everything's dry. Idling roughly (at times....oxy sensor switch?)

The head's probably gone, but it's not worth the massive cost to fix it.

Question is, has anyone used those head gasket sealers that are floating around? If we get a couple of years out of the car, that would be great. They only use the car to go to uni (about 20ks) or to the station. (5Ks)

Failing that? Any suggestions? Be nice :)

James

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I reckon those Chemi-weld type additives are a waste of time. You could always fill the radiator every day, its been done before.
I did my apprenticeship on EA's, kept me in a job during the recession we had to have!

Go for a drive and get it hot. Park it and take the plugs out and let it sit overnight. If the head's gone it will often shoot water out the blown cylinder next morning when you crank it over (plugs still out). It may even have a wet plug when you pull them out if its far gone. Eventually it would run like a pig and blow steam clouds out the exhaust.

Check the fan hub. They often fail and freewheel and do nothing to cool it down. Does it overheat at high speed or under load up a hill? (radiator), or at idle? (fan hub). Radiators are the biggest cause of overheating in those things, did you put in a new one?
The heads go on all of them about every 100,000.
Some of those EA's had core sand in the block from casting that continually blocked radiators, so give it a good flush, oh and dont always trust the gauge. We used to drill two quarter inch holes in the wide flange of the thermostat to stop the gauges fluctuating too much.
Good luck, they're actually not too bad a job to do the head on and for less than a grand to get the head done up + gaskets + injectors cleaned you'll get quite a few thousand kays from it.

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Hi DaveEH,

Thanks so much for responding. I'll pull the plugs out tomorrow and test the head.

Yep, the radiator is a new one, but the fan could be the problem.

I might even drill into the thermostat....anything to give us a couple of years.

I'll let you know the outcome.

Cheers,

James

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Btw, it heats in idle....

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As above, I also cut my teeth in the automotive game on EA-EL Fords and have done more head gaskets than I care to remember....probably 100 or more.

Anyway, probably not worth burning a grand on the motor and they are OK to work on but there are a few traps for novices (timing chain tensioner is one).

I've used chemi-weld (and it's offshoots from supercheap) a few times with great success. I don't think you've got anything to lose. If it works you keep the car and it might last years as it did for me. If it doesn't you're in the same boat as now. Nothing to lose IMHFO. (incidentally, not sure if those sealers block up radiators and cause further overheating issues....never happened to me but I've heard lots of stories).

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Cheers,

Emu

O.H.T.C. original member

I've used a brand called seal up, clear bottle, available from repco etc on quite a few cars with 100% success. Few examples, It's saved a young girls Toyota corolla from going to scrap, sealed a heater core in another kids car, and the best was a welch plug in a BA falcon. Massive leak at back of the engine, she needed the car urgently so I gave it a go, not expecting it to work at all. It worked and that was 18 months ago, still going strong. Best $11 they ever spent.

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We had an EA and a common fault with them was warping the head. I removed my head and had it shaved back flat and all good. I was told at the time they were designed for o ring head gaskets but were never used as such, that is why they warped. Don't know how true it was.

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cheers,
Pete.
>E-mail Me!

"Old Holdens never die, they just go faster"

being such a long head they warp very easily, as with most newer stuff now they use a multi layer steel gasket or at least a graphite gasket, to allow for a little movement between the differing expansion rates of cast iron (the block) and alloy (the head) standard, these didnt - ford eventually developed a mls gasket for the au, about $70 trade from ford and worth every cent.

seal up works, try it...

thermostat - remove it and test in boiling water. have had several new ones recently that i fitted and they just WOULD NOT OPEN!!! now every one i get will be tested prior to fitting, because that mazda brave diesel one i did was a bitch to get to after the motor was fitted into the car!

check fan belt tension, the v belts slip easily on these, and the 3pk's were not much better

has it been sitting?? if so, check the water pump hasnt lost all its impellers from corrosion.

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If that's the one in the little clear bottle and looks like dissolved copper - it works.

Phil
2570

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Phil
2570

A diabolical head design, and a screaming pain in the arse to set up to skim. The chamber has a tang stretching into it that effectively acts as a glow plug and causes all sorts of drama, including overheating. The 4.1 was a much better head, which isn't saying much. If I remember correctly, they blow head gaskets between 5 and 6. Try the chemical crap and maybe do up another head in preparation; then you're not forking out the $$$ all at one go.

Cheers, Matt

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Thanks everybody.

I'll try the seal up and keep you posted.

James

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Check the obvious first.

EA to ED have a pipe that goes from the water pump, runs back along the engine (driver side) around the back of the motor and then along under the inlet manifold.

They are a bitch of a thing to work on, but are a common place to corrode and leak.

The heater tap hooks in to this pipe (from memory) and is a very flimsy made item, also common place for corrosion and leaks.

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Growing old is unavoidable, growing up is optional ;)

[http://gallery.oldho...|Shed of Wheel Nut]
Email me

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