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Old 04-28-2008, 10:58 PM   #1
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Driving home with a blown head gasket?

I have the opportunity to purchase a cheap Bluebird (Manual), in good condition except for a blown head gasket.

I need to phone the owner to find out exactly what he means by blown head gasket, but it may just be one cylinder...

How crazy would it be to drive this car home with a blown head gasket?. If I was lucky, and the head gasket was blown on one cylinder, then the usual risks would be:

(1) Water fills cylinder -> bent rod / crankshaft
(2) Water goes into cylinder and mixes with oil under pressure
(3) Water / oil mix directly.

If I was to ask the owner exactly what had happened with the car, and there is no sign of oil / water mixing, then why couldn't I just remove the spark plug for that cylinder, disconnect the fuel injector, clean around the spark plug hole, and duct-tape a sponge or something over the cylinder?. Then, any water leaking in (or oil leaking in), could just blow out of the top of the cylinder or down into the exhaust, you wouldn't get overheating from pressurising of the cooling system, etc?.

This is all hypothetical at the moment, but, if I could get 200 miles out of it ( ), then I could get it from the South to North Island of New Zealand.

If I could then get another 400 miles out of it, I could get it home, but, once it is on the North Island, it will be covered by my breakdown cover; also if I destroy the engine, the manual gearbox would be perfect for swapping into my car, and the rest of the car could be broken for parts...

Any ideas? Is this madness? (if there are no signs of oil and water mixing, what is to stop me running on 3 cylinders thereby preventing water entering the oil down the side of the cylinder, and also preventing pressurisation of the cooling system?


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Old 04-29-2008, 02:52 AM   #2
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I'd only do it if it was only venting cylinder presssure, no oil or water leaks/mixing. Would remove sparkplug and pull the injector, or see if the valve can be closed. Because blowing HGs have a habit of getting much worse all of a sudden...

If it was a "burning coolant" type small leak where it is almost unnoticiable apart from a bit of white smoke, then I guess you could risk it with reduced coolant pressure..... drive it on a cool day/night with the radiator cap loose until it gets hot, let it cool off, drive some more...

I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:46 AM   #3
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Rent a tow dolly and tow it with a pickup or some other.
Looking to trade for an early 1988 Honda CRX HF (Pillar mounted seat belts)
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