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Get a vacuum and some Armor-All Leather Wipes. What else do you need?

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 #322760  by JTROANOKE
 
Sounds like it is time for a mini meet!
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 #322763  by FIREM
 
Come on Bill :roll: Now that you have been schooled in glass cleaners :wink: pull that dash :ohwell
Look at it as a challenge... how fast can you do it :eek
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 #322767  by LUNAT1C
 
Think of all the problems the car currently has that actually matter to you. If it's just the heater core... replace the core and be on your merry way. Much better alternative to driving the freshly painted car in the winter, or buying another car to replace this one. At 260,000 miles, it owes you nothing.
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 #322772  by 300maximilien
 
Bill take Jim up on the minimeet offer and save the car. I know it's just a matter of creaky bones you talk about and not a lack of skills. If I were closer I would help you out in a heartbeat for all you have done for us!

Never no I may be driving that way soon... ;-)
 #322775  by JTROANOKE
 
Keeping in mind that it would be 2 sets of creaking bones performing this feat! Christmas season is tough time wise but we can figure it out. As long as we don't succumb to engineers analysis paralysis we will be fine!
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 #322850  by Bill Putney
 
FIREM wrote:Come on Bill :roll: Now that you have been schooled in glass cleaners :wink: pull that dash :ohwell
Look at it as a challenge... how fast can you do it :eek
At my age, and with my joints, I already know the answer to that (i.e., not very fast). :)
LUNAT1C wrote:Think of all the problems the car currently has that actually matter to you. If it's just the heater core... replace the core and be on your merry way. Much better alternative to driving the freshly painted car in the winter, or buying another car to replace this one.
We are in fact discussing the possible scenario of buying another car. So much for living on the cheap. It's either time or money, and according to Gary Larson, Einstein proved the centuries-old theory that they are equal. :)
LUNAT1C wrote:At 260,000 miles, it owes you nothing.
That's definitely true. I told myself that exact thing the day I was driving it around with the windows fogging up at every start.
JTROANOKE wrote:Sounds like it is time for a mini meet!
300maximilien wrote:Bill take Jim up on the minimeet offer and save the car. I know it's just a matter of creaky bones you talk about and not a lack of skills. If I were closer I would help you out in a heartbeat for all you have done for us!

Never no I may be driving that way soon... ;-)
I know you would, and I know Jim would too.

Manassass, right? If you talk to someone from there, ask them if they know any Dum-Assass. There's a small town named Dumfries about 20 miles from Manassass. The locals there call the people who live *between* Dumfries and Manassass "Dum-Assass".
JTROANOKE wrote:Keeping in mind that it would be 2 sets of creaking bones performing this feat! Christmas season is tough time wise but we can figure it out
That's a nice offer, Jim.
JTROANOKE wrote:...As long as we don't succumb to engineers analysis paralysis we will be fine!
Hah! You know me too well! I've been thinking of a way to use a sealer chemical (sodium silicate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_silicate) on *just* the heater core (without contaminating the rest of the system) by rigging up a closed loop with portable pump - with the sealer chemical in it, heat it to boiling while controlling the pressure and let the sealer do its "magic". Let's see - double boiler pressure cooker and drill powered pump. Hmm - or, I could park my wife's Buick next to it, and bypass it's engine to my heater core and put sealer in the Buick's system and my heater core at the same time. :hellno

Seriously - one of the parts of pulling the dash and HVAC unit is that the a.c. system will need to be broken open, and I just don't want to fool with everything involved in evacuating (with a nitrogen purge) and charging that up right now - not sure how that can be properly done in colder weather anyway. I cringe at the thought, but I'm leaning towards putting a sealer in the whole coolant system just to buy some time (maybe until late Spring) until we figure out what we are going to do long term - which right now I'm thinking will not include keeping this particular car.

Anybody got a favorite type of sealer? I know Bar's has a decades-long following among the "sealers are your friend" crowd, but I see at least 3 different types of Bars in AAP. Two types are loaded with fine particles of copper or aluminum (depending on which type of radiator you have). That can't be good on the water pump seal - and that's something I'd rather not screw up since it is run by the timing chain, and would be major job if the engine survived a failure like that. Hmm - maybe the Buick bypass method to seal just the heater core wouldn't be such a bad idea!! :!: You know what - I just may do that! GM's are known for coolant leaks anyway (I've already done two coolant gaskets on that one, and there's another one seeping now that I haven't been able to identify yet).
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 #322858  by FIREM
 
If you must then I'v heard :oops: Alumaseal Powdered Radiator Stop Leak has worked :oops: with success.....
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 #322862  by Bill Putney
 
FIREM wrote:If you must then I'v heard :oops: Alumaseal Powdered Radiator Stop Leak has worked :oops: with success.....
Was one hand typing that while the other hand was trying to pull it away from the keyboard? LOL!

Thanks Bob. Coming from you and you working in the industry you do, that recommendation means a lot.

I was giving consideration to the stuff that GM dealers sell (round horse pills) that GM used to put in certain year Cadillac engines at the factory (and dealers also) due to worse-than-usual poor GM coolant sealing (intake manifolds). I figure they would have used something that should be pretty good to keep the brand new cars with design problems going (but that assumption could be wrong). The label says it is the "original vegetable formula".
 #322863  by JTROANOKE
 
Back in the day, good ol' boys used to swear by black pepperÔÿ║!
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 #322868  by FIREM
 
Truckers back in the day always carried a pound of black pepper. Many reported success with it but it was usually short term. Bars Leak with its pellets was known for plugging diesel engine oil cooler bundles real quick...
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 #322871  by Bill Putney
 
FIREM wrote:...Bars Leak with its pellets was known for plugging diesel engine oil cooler bundles real quick...
I think that's the one with the small pellets floating in oil that I've seen in the stores?

Bar's makes these: http://www.amazon.com/Bars-Leaks-HDC-Ra ... sbs_auto_1 - see below. I think that's different than the pellets you're talking about. That looks exactly like the GM package, and one comment on the Amazon page says that the GM ones are in fact the Bar's, just packaged and labeled for GM - and in fact Bar's web site says "OEM used and approved": http://barsproducts.com/catalog/view/6- ... ablets-hdc).

Can you elaborate any more on what you've heard on the Alumaseal, Bob? People who's opinions you trust and respect? Pretty much all good experiences, no horror stories? Generally lasts a long time?

The Bar's tablets - the tablets and package look just like the GM one (only the labeling is different):

Image
 #322874  by user97
 
Bill,

I hope you won't give up on it over the heater core. You tend to do an amazingly thorough job with these cars, but if you are considering giving up on it, I would go for the quick and dirty type of solution. Pull vacuum but skip purging with nitrogen, etc. These systems aren't very sensitive...

Concorde dash is easier to pull than 300M/LHS/intrepid -- radio can definitely be left in (I did that), glove box most likely (I pulled it but saw no real reason for it -- it has to come out on 300M/LHS and intrepid dashes, but I am pretty sure can stay in place on the concorde one).

The other time saving item is leaving junction box/BCM in the dash -- just disconnect wires from junction block that go to the body harness.

Second dash pull was under 4 hours for R&R (started pulling vaccuum as soon as HVAC box was secured in place/lines re-attached). By the time I was done inside, system was ready for refill.

My parent's Intrepid has a leaky core -- has a hairline crack in the top of the core (plastic top end with pipes) -- the leak is slow enough that coolant evaporates on top of the core and does not get a chance to drip down -- but the location was pretty evident due to build up of dry coolant. I was replacing evap when I discovered why the car required coolant top off twice a summer (does not leak in winter). Unfortunately, I also made the decision ahead of time of NOT replacing the core and none of the stores had the core in stock, so I ended up putting the cracked core back in. It's been leaking at about the same rate for the past 10 years or so.

Figured that if/when it gets worse, I will pull the dash again. In terms of stop leak, I am concerned that you may end up with no heat at all -- my LHS was stop leaked (using unknown to me substance) by the previous owner for a cracked overflow bottle -- core is plugged solid and no amount of flushing would improve the flow.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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 #322875  by FIREM
 
Bill Putney wrote:
FIREM wrote:...Bars Leak with its pellets was known for plugging diesel engine oil cooler bundles real quick...
I think that's the one with the small pellets floating in oil that I've seen in the stores?
Yup that stuff :( :roll:

Bar's makes these: http://www.amazon.com/Bars-Leaks-HDC-Ra ... sbs_auto_1 - see below. I think that's different than the pellets you're talking about. That looks exactly like the GM package, and one comment on the Amazon page says that the GM ones are in fact the Bar's, just packaged and labeled for GM - and in fact Bar's web site says "OEM used and approved": http://barsproducts.com/catalog/view/6- ... ablets-hdc).
No experience with those tablets other than most OEM's did attempt to delay warranty repairs using them (Ford Diesels & GM problem engines)

Can you elaborate any more on what you've heard on the Alumaseal, Bob? People who's opinions you trust and respect? Pretty much all good experiences, no horror stories? Generally lasts a long time?

The Bar's tablets - the tablets and package look just like the GM one (only the labeling is different):

Image
Alumaseal was used in one in my "fleet" to avoid a heater core job (97 Grand AM) @ 175k. Never lost another drop when sold @197K.(all aluminum core) A few guys I worked with at the time also had success with it (and issues w/Bars)
Just a FWIW our heater cores are plastic/aluminum. For $3.00 I would give it a shot to delay the job at least till spring...
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 #322890  by Bill Putney
 
Bob -

I went by Advance during lunch today and got the Alumaseal - but they had two types - one is a liquid with stuff floating around in it (bottle is clear), and the other is apparently a powder in a hollow plastic sleeve cylinder about 1" in diameter and 3" long in a blister pack. I will be doing a good bit of driving around after work today, so that will be the perfect time to put it in. They were cheap enough, so I got both types not knowing which you used. Which did you use? (I am PM'ing you too with the hopes you'll see either this post or the PM and can supply an answer before I leave work this afternoon.)
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 #322892  by FIREM
 
Powder is what worked for me...
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 #322895  by FalKen
 
I would use the powder. Its been a long time since ive used it but it was the best stuff then. Follow directions precisely. Should get u by till you decide to do the job or put her down. If you do the job flush vigorously before installing new core.

This is the time I didnt want to be right. :ohwell
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 #322909  by Bill Putney
 
Thanks for the information Alex. The tips on the dash pull would come in handy to maybe get through it faster. I pulled the dashes on both Concordes to replace the a.c. evaporators, and no doubt your tips would reduce the time. I hear you about the a.c. too as far as the overkill.
FalKen wrote:I would use the powder. Its been a long time since ive used it but it was the best stuff then. Follow directions precisely. Should get u by till you decide to do the job or put her down.
Yep. I think it's definitely bought me some time to figure out what I want to do. I also didn't want to inhale anymore antifreeze fumes - I downloaded the MSDS sheet on the Motorcraft Premium Gold (G-05) today and I can tell you that their descriptions of the effects are accurate - not something you want to do for any length of time.
If you do the job flush vigorously before installing new core.
*IF* that time comes, definitely.
This is the time I didnt want to be right. :ohwell
It is what it is. :)

Well - I did it, and I think the Alumaseal powder will be a success. Time will tell. After putting the magic dust in, it was apparent long before I finished my 40 miles of driving (with a few stops along the way) that the leak is close to if not 100% shut off. No fogged windshield, no smell. Heat works normally. The reservoir doesn't even look discolored like I know it would with some of the stuff I could have used.

As I mentioned earlier, before today, stopping for a few minutes after initial warmup, and then restarting, resulted in an immediate total fogging of all windows.

The support of the community came through with offers of assistance and moral support for me when I needed it. Thanks! And thanks for steering me to the Alumaseal, Bob.
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 #322916  by FIREM
 
Sounds like a winner for now !
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 #325754  by Bill Putney
 
In case anybody was thinking that worrying about stop leaks clogging up stuff is unwarranted, read post no. 17 here: http://www.dodgeintrepid.net/showthread ... 2&posted=1
FIREM wrote:...Bars Leak with its pellets was known for plugging diesel engine oil cooler bundles real quick...
Makes you wonder if Bars super-gummy pellets was the culprit in Rodney's car. :) He was convinced that the water pump impeller had come loose, but the shop he used eliminated that possibility using a boroscope (no disassembly) and found the clog. Good shop!
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 #325756  by FIREM
 
:wrenc