Previous photos here

Sat, 07 Apr 2007

I've got what looks like a head gasket leak, so I asked for suggestions on the
NAXJA board. I got lots of good ones.

I liked the suggestion to pressure test the cooling system. I couldn't find a pressure tester at an auto parts store this morning, so I made my own. I hacksawed a Schrader valve off an inner tube, and zip tied it into a short piece of tubing I put the tubing on the overflow connector of the radiator filler with a hose clamp. When I put a bike pump on the valve I found that the radiator cap was actually blocking the overflow hole and not letting air into the cooling system, so I used a C-clamp visegrip to push the top of the radiator cap down so it would seal and let air into the cooling system.

The pressure gauge on the bike pump is not accurate, so I used a digital tire pressure gauge to find that 25 psi on the pump meant 16 psi in the real world. The radiator cap said it holds 16 psi. I pumped the system up to 25 psi indicated and left it for 30 minutes. It didn't leak any pressure. So maybe I don't have a head gasket leak.

I also flushed the radiator because it was pretty dirty, and changed the oil and filter because it was time. I drove the car around for the rest of the day with no problems. I'm going to keep a real close eye on it, and watch for white smoke.

posted at: 17:30 | permalink |