Cah Saga Continued

My brother brought Deb and his kids in the other van, so he hadn’t looked at the other van yet, but it turns out he never filles it.  He adds $20 and it lasts him two weeks.  I bet it has an overfilling related problem.

As far as we can tell, his theory about the van is probably correct.

It started right up and ran as okay as it has lately.  You could see the antifreeze in the oil, but it would have separated out and settled under the oil in the pan.  It took idling quite a whikle before coolant became evident in the exhaust, which was perfectly normal at first.

The radiator developed intense pressure, yet remained stone cold.  The fluid in the radiator appeared to have a little oil in it.

He advised me to price a head gasket kit and find out if one is in stock or a special order.  The lattter being less likely to be returnable.  He has a compression tester, so on an upcoming weekend we could take it apart, test it, see more certainly where the problem lies, and use the kit as needed.  I could also see if a low mileage motor from a rear end total is available for not much more than the parts, but that sounds like an awful lot of trouble.

I could also take it to the shop.  Part of what stopped me was the idea I’d have to have them tow it.  It runs well enough to drive there.  The difference, besides labor, would be in how thoroughly they would take it apart and have it inspected to be sure of no cracks.  That would add a couple hundred bucks.  The other difference would be that I’d take it there, they’d do it, and it would be done, just like that.  If I dropped it there today, it would probably be done we’d even begin to work on it ourselves.  Do I take the slow boat, and not worry about the possibility of minor damage microscopic inspection would find, and spend, say, $200, or do I take the fast boat and be overjoyed if it’s under $1000, but possibly have it back to drive home the baby?

Posted by on 08/17 at 05:23 PM
  1. From experience I can tell you unless you are going to a place that doesn’t care what they are “suppost” to do and likely won’t warrenty much they will have to send the heads out to be micro scaned. This was about $600 of the $900 or so it cost the last time I had the old van done. It was also about 8 years ago.
    They also did a full valve job also.  Its also pretty labor intensive for them to pull the heads off. Also the van has to take up a bay until the heads come back. Its a pain but just having someone try and change the gasket would be alot cheaper per my exp.  But thats just my perspective.

    Posted by wayne  on  08/17  at  08:58 PM  from  ohio
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