1989 Tracer/Escort with blown head gasket
Could sure use some help from someone more knowledgeable than I: Car in question is a 1989 Mercury Tracer, which was basically the same as the Escort for that year. It overheated, and I'm pretty sure the head gasket blew. (Milkshake oil, water drip from exhaust, etc.) I decided to try liquid glass on the head gasket - specifically, "Bar's Leaks Head Gasket Repair" - but I'm still having problems.
I should mention the steps I've taken so far (some of which were just for maintenance):
- Replaced the thermostat.
- Back-flushed the cooling system.
- Flushed the heater core separately.
- Replaced the radiator cap.
- (And as I said, added liquid glass.)
What's different now:
- It starts and runs better.
- There's no more sign of coolant in the oil, nor oil in the coolant.
- Smoke is still sputtering out of the front of the engine in some spots, which I take to be unsealed cracks at the head gasket.
- The heater isn't producing hot air.
- The coolant overflow reservoir still bubbles (presumably from exhaust gas.)
I'm wondering now if the water pump is bad, and that maybe the liquid glass can't fully circulate to where it can seal the cracks. The radiator hoses stiffen up when the engine is running, which I would have thought meant that there's pressure and that the coolant is being pumped through the system. Except that the top radiator hose gets warm/hot while the bottom hose never really does… I'd rather not replace anything else without knowing that I've nailed down the cause though. Any suggestions?
Thanks much in advance.