Lebaron Emissions, Coolant Leak & Head Gasket Problem?Fixes

Discussion in 'LeBaron' started by HARYSTAK, Dec 24, 2003.


    HARYSTAK Guest

    The coolant reservoir of my 89 Lebaron 2.2 turbo with 127K miles was empty
    all the time. So I took it in to have the cooling sytem checked and it
    appears that I have a head gasket problem. Also the car won't pass the PA's
    emission test because the hydrocarbon output is 15, and 10 is the maximum.

    I was therefore wondering if anyone has used any of those additives that
    claim they can stop small head gasket leaks and, if not, whether the gasket
    would be difficult for me to replace myself, as I did valve seals and the
    timing chain on my Mercedes this summer.

    Thanks in advance for the help
    HARYSTAK, Dec 24, 2003
  2. Yep. That engine, that mileage -- you're just about due for a head gasket.
    Could be related to the head gasket leak, but could also be another cause.
    This kind of gunk will NOT fix your problem, even temporarily. It will,
    however, create many more serious and more expensive problems. Fix the car
    correctly or don't, but using an additive like this is begging for
    additional trouble.

    Daniel J Stern, Dec 24, 2003

    Joe Pfeiffer Guest

    Stay away from magic additives.

    The head gasket on a 2.2 turbo is certainly doable. It's more work
    than valve seals or a timing belt (this engine uses a belt, not a
    chain); of course, never having worked on a Mercedes I can't speak to
    whether it's more work than doing those jobs on that car.

    The main notes would be follow the FSM slavishly (right down to
    replacing the head bolts), and have the head machined since it will
    have warped. this is a very good time to replace the timing belt,
    water pump, and all accessory belts while you're in there.

    Also, of course, it could turn out the head is cracked rather than the
    gasket is blown, but your machinist should be able to tell you this.
    Joe Pfeiffer, Dec 24, 2003

    HARYSTAK Guest

    Thanks for the advice guys. As I'm considering doing the head gasket
    myself, I've looked at the Haynes Manual as well as the procedure at
    http://allpar.com/eek/headgasket.html. But the latter makes the job
    seem a lot easier than the former -- e.g., with respect to not having
    to remove the power steering pump, timing belt and other things -- so
    I was wondering if that procedure was reliable. Also, since my car is
    a turbo, I was wondering if that would make the job even more

    Thanks again in advance.
    HARYSTAK, Dec 27, 2003
  5. Throw your Haynes manual in the trash. It will only cost you money and
    make you sad. These books are *full* of wrong information. The only
    acceptable manual is the factory book, which, whether purchased new or
    used, pays for itself in the first hour of ownership.

    Daniel J. Stern, Dec 27, 2003


    Dec 18, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Head gaskets is a cakewalk. Slip and tuck. On 2.2 and2.5 engines. I have seen them replaced while the customer waits. The only thing disconnect/removed is cam cover. You will need an engine hoist. Drain coolant. Remover head bolts. Wrap a belt around camshaft, lift with hoist. all you need is 1/4 inch. Slip out old headgasket and tuck in new one. Put back together. Don't worry about warped or cracked head. Head will warp if badly overheated only. Very common problem and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.
    forestdaledave, Dec 18, 2013
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