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Old 12-31-2008, 02:51 AM   #1
JamesWilson2
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Question Head Gasket/Block Sealer

So after a 3,000+ mile road trip this week from Houston TX to San Diego CA and back, it has come to my attention that my external HG leak that was "fixed" by the SOA-recommended Coolant Conditioner has gotten worse. Compression is good, and I don't see any coolant or the dye that I added to the coolant in the oil (but UOA may show a little Sodium or Potassium once I sample it). The only dye I see is leaking externally somewhere from the driver's side head, and possibly from a tiny crack in the radiator that only happens when it is <30-degrees and a cold-start.

Car has the PhaseII 2.5L engine with about 193K miles on it now. I never have it over 3K rpm, but I've only owned the car for about 6K miles now including the road trip. A dose of Auto-RX and three oil changes are all that I have done. New plugs, air filter, PCV valve, fuel filter, and gearbox/diff oils were changed also. Really bad spark plug tube seal leaks, but that will be done later along with new plug wires as they are oil-soaked and probably original.

Car idles smoothly and no other hiccups other than a nagging CEL for the front O2 sensor, even though it tests OK on the voltmeter and the CEL never goes out even when it is Reset (maybe the old Recall regarding the ECU?? My VIN says it was completed, but the CEL is annoying).

So because we have a baby on the way, and money is very tight, I am going to use the CRC Head Gasket/Block Sealer (the new one with "nano" technology).

Has anyone used it before on their Subaru, and have any tips? I have used the older version on other cars with mostly great results.

Thanks,
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:52 AM   #2
rkramer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesWilson2 View Post
Car has the PhaseII 2.5L engine with about 193K miles on it now. I never have it over 3K rpm,
The only tip i have is QUIT DOING THAT! never going over 3k is actually very, very hard on a small displacement 4 cylinder engine. You are doing way more damage to it than good. Bearings are under more stress, the engine load values are higher when lugged down at low rpm, and there are all kinds of issues about not blowing out the carbon and how your valves will probably hate you later in life.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkramer View Post
The only tip i have is QUIT DOING THAT! never going over 3k is actually very, very hard on a small displacement 4 cylinder engine. You are doing way more damage to it than good. Bearings are under more stress, the engine load values are higher when lugged down at low rpm, and there are all kinds of issues about not blowing out the carbon and how your valves will probably hate you later in life.
X2. Even though I agree with the above statement doing something out of the ordinary like 5k revs might be enough to make it pop especially with a gasket leak and high miles. If you cruise the highway @ or above 3k you are fine.

Do NOT use any head gasket sealers unless if it is external. Using a liquid like you mentioned which requires you to put it in the cooling system can cause far more damage in the long & short run. Nano tech or not it doesn't discriminate a good hole from a bad one. Please do us all a favor even if money is tight and get the head gasket replaced!

Last edited by magnum2066; 12-31-2008 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:22 PM   #4
JamesWilson2
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Saving up is not an option, we have another baby on the way and NEED the Subaru for hauling the entire family around....it could be more than the value of the car to have the HG replaced.

There is another sodium-silicate/liquid glass product that is out there called Blue Devil, that does not contain solids...it instead "epoxies" the seals up.

Remember, I do not have coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant...this is for an EXTERNAL head gasket weep, and a slight leak off of the radiator end tank. There is no overheating.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:07 PM   #5
Engmus
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I would be more inclined to put another bottle of the Subaru Coolant additive in then that stuff.

its essentially the same but still...
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:02 AM   #6
JamesWilson2
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Pulled the trigger and bought the stuff, ready to go when I have a few free hours. I will be doing Used Oil Analysis before and after to see any trends, and will report back.
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:07 PM   #7
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external head gasket leaks are way easier to deal with than internal (from a band aid point of view). I've never had an external leak, but I'd throw another bottle of subie stuff in.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:36 PM   #8
mikeythejew
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If you search, I have used this stuff before as a tech long ago at a honda dealership.
It amazingly worked and was a last ditch effort to prevent an older pos car from going to junk yard. You must follow the directions to the tee or it wont work.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:26 AM   #9
JamesWilson2
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Thanks Mikey, I do trust your judgement and input. I plan on doing it EXACTLY as indicated, seems that the "bad reviews" of the Blue Devil have been apparently from those who tend to not read the bottle.

I feel that because this is an external weep issue, and if it seals it up and also does not gunk up anything else, then it will be worth the $$.

I'll keep you posted, I am going to do the service on Saturday, and change the oil immediately after the seal has set. That way any UOA after the service can confirm or deny that any potential internal leak has been fixed (before it is grossly apparent) along with the external leak. I don't mind being the guinea pig.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:33 AM   #10
JamesWilson2
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PS-- about not driving at high rpm, this is not my first Rodeo...a few ProSolo National wins in my '98 Impreza, I know how to rev a Subaru

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7V5_EyeWrM&fmt=18

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sipVGvw1HQ4&fmt=18
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:00 PM   #11
JamesWilson2
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Drained out the old coolant, saved everything in bottles. No sign of oil residue at all. Flushed out the system first with water, then with Prestone Cooling System Flush, per the directions on the bottle and the directions on the Blue Devil sealer bottle (flush required).

Removed thermostat during flushes also, as directed by Blue Devil.

Refilled with 50/50 mix antifreeze and water, and let idle for 50 minutes as directed. Zero radiator tank leaks, zero leaks from the t-stat housing (which just has the seal and no t-stat, as directed). There was still some residual UV dye near the back of the driver's side head where the external weep was at first, but as the car idled and everything dried out, the dye went away (rather than pooling) and there was no sign of the coolant leaking out of that spot. I also spent some time under the car while it was idling (on ramps, I don't trust jackstands) cleaning up the old oil leaks and junk....no sign of more coolant or dye collecting in the areas, just a little bit of oil leaking from the usual places on the valve cover and probably RMS.

Drove and tested for leaks, nothing apparent.

The rest of the directions on the Blue Devil sealer states to drive and check for leaks, and re-install the thermostat. As it is on the lower radiator hose inlet, I will have to drain everything out. The big question is-- do I add the Subaru Coolant Conditioner as directed by SOA? Might it be non-compatible with the new "permanent" seal?
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:42 PM   #12
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THe funny thing about blue devil- and I've never seen what it looks like inside afterwards, is that it never tells you you have to REMOVE it- so in theory, you have blue devil running around all the time. Or I dont know, maybe the blue devil has already cured so it doesnt matter.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:53 AM   #13
JamesWilson2
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Update -- after 100 miles, things look good. Zero coolant smell, no dye anywhere, and I am reduced to just a few oil leaks/drips off of the valve covers. I am going to wait a few hundred more miles to do an oil change and sample.

PS-- I still have half a bottle left ($30 worth!), if anyone else wants to try it (in TX) as a last-ditch effort, and if my seal holds up in the long haul. Otherwise, I will save it and maybe do it again at 300K miles haha
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