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Thread: New Owner with blown head gaskets

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    2

    New Owner with blown head gaskets

    Hello,

    I've had my 1990 Super Coupe for a few months now. It started running funny and cutting out so I tried to do a little research on the issue. I replaced the ignition control module and a couple other items. Turns out that the lower radiator hose had swollen and was rubbing on the power steering belt. This wore a hole in the hose letting coolant leak out. Unfortunately it was leaking straight down and I live in Washington, so it was raining and I didn't notice. The temp sending unit was not working and stupid me had a new one but didn't take the time to replace it. So I changed the radiator hose and replaced the coolant and let it run for a bit while the coolant circulated, but when I took it up the road about a mile the head gasket finally blew and spit out the familiar white smoke............up to this point it had not smoked at all.

    My question is this, how often do the heads need resurfaced and better yet, how often do the heads actually crack? If I pull the heads of and check them for any warping and they are not warped what are my odds that they're not cracked either? I don't really have the extra money to have them checked for cracks. Is it worth the gamble to simply replace the gaskets and call it a party or are these motors notorious for cracking heads?

    I never drove the car until it died on it's own, I always shut it down when it started running rough, so I'm assuming it wasn't too hot for too long. When the gaskets finally blew badly I was only about a mile from my shop..........I limped it back and shut it down.

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    714
    just had my heads done, it NEVER got close to over heating but they needed to be decked anyways..mine had no cracks either..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Roanoke, Virginia
    Posts
    3,181
    The daily driver 89 I have blew the head gaskets at 199k and sounds similar to your situation...they blew...drove at most a mile after they let go to get the car parked off the streets...towed home, pulled heads, cleaned em up by had...put a straight edge on em all looked well so installed with ARP head studs and Felpro Blue Gaskets.

    Car is at 225K now and hasn't show any signs over issues. This was done 2 years ago so I would say its possible to do what you're asking. Car has no mods outside of down tubes on the exhaust and a 94/95 blower at this point. Haven't had any sort of issues with overheating since they were replaced.

    I'd inspect the heads and use your best judgement - certainly not a job ya want to be doing twice.

    -Tim
    Current Collection
    1994 Thunderbird SC - Auto converted to 5spd

    1995 Thunderbird SC - Auto

    1994 Thunderbird SC - 5spd
    1989 Thunderbird SC - 5spd - Daily Driver
    1990 Thunder/Cougar XR7 - 5spd
    1994 Thunderbird SC - 3v Project

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Groth View Post
    The daily driver 89 I have blew the head gaskets at 199k and sounds similar to your situation...they blew...drove at most a mile after they let go to get the car parked off the streets...towed home, pulled heads, cleaned em up by had...put a straight edge on em all looked well so installed with ARP head studs and Felpro Blue Gaskets.

    Car is at 225K now and hasn't show any signs over issues. This was done 2 years ago so I would say its possible to do what you're asking. Car has no mods outside of down tubes on the exhaust and a 94/95 blower at this point. Haven't had any sort of issues with overheating since they were replaced.

    I'd inspect the heads and use your best judgement - certainly not a job ya want to be doing twice.

    -Tim
    Thank you Tim.
    That was what I was hoping to hear!

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