(ENGINE) Coolant seal repair (maybe) - RX7Club.com - Mazda RX7 Forum

(ENGINE) Coolant seal repair (maybe)

 
 
 
 
Old 04-23-08, 06:28 PM
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(ENGINE) Coolant seal repair (maybe)

Just wanted to post up this information:

Got my used 12a installed after weeks of cleaning, painting, etc. Started her up for the first time, and saw a small amount of steam coming from the tail pipe. Once she warmed up, and the thermostat opened up, this turned into a thick cloud. I went for a short drive around the block, and left a trail of steam a blind man could've followed. ****! My new motor needs a rebuild! Can you feel my frustration?

Well, I figured I had nothing to lose, so I read up on Inittab's writeup in the Archive on his addative "fix" for this issue. To tell you the truth, it just sounded like way too much work (flush system like five times, use addative, drain and flush another five time, repeat, etc.).

So, I went down to the good old neighborhood Autozone and looked at all of the "block sealant" products they had. I ended up selecting an aluminum addative that can be left in the system when you're finished with it. I wanted something that would stay in the cooling system, so that if the new seal began deteriorating then it would be somewhat self-repairing. I've heard that some of these products can lead to premature water pump failure, but I figured that this is aluminum which is softer than copper, and I only paid 25 bucks for my water pump so replacing it later won't break my heart.

Results: right after adding the stuff (I'll get the name of it later when I am home), the situation began improving right away. After 20 minutes of idling, I was able to drive down to the carwash without worrying about getting pulled over. After washing the car and the engine bay, I headed back home with only a trace of steam from the exhaust. A couple of hours later I drove it to work, and there was not even a trace of an issue.

I'm looking forward to the drive home from work tonight, and I'm really hoping that this "repair" will hold up for me.

Now, before anybody tells me (quite correctly) that the only way to really fix this problem is with a rebuild, I'll let you know that I am very short on time with the autocross season starting up. And the idea of doing a rebuild to fix such a small problem as a coolant seal just really aggravated me. In short, I'm willing to give this a shot for now. Later on, when I sell off my Audi, I'll probably use those funds to find a better motor or rebuild the one I've got. But for now, in one day I went from having a car with a blown motor to driving that car to work and having a blast with it. For a $4.00 investment, that ain't too shabby!

I will keep this thread updated with my results as time goes on.... Wish me luck!
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Old 04-23-08, 08:55 PM
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Did you add it to the radiator directly? Without draining? Was there coolant in the cooling system?

What's the product name?
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Old 04-23-08, 10:17 PM
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It stated on the bottle that it was compatible with coolants, and does not need to be drained/refilled after use. I'll get the name of the product when I get home.

The system was already pretty well flushed, and I was running straight water when I added it. And yes, it went directly into the radiator.

I went out and started it up on my lunch break, drove it around a little. Not even a trace of steam, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed...
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Old 04-24-08, 12:04 AM
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So this was on your freshly rebuilt 12A?

Do you know what might have caused it? (any pitting in your irons where the seals sit or...)
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Old 04-24-08, 12:29 AM
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Not rebuilt, just a low mileage used.

Here is a link to the product, it is the one on the top (the bottle). Turns out that it is intended for radiators and heater cores, not headgaskets or blocks. Interesting.

http://www.goldeagle.com/alumaseal/products.htm

Still no trace of coolant loss on the drive home. Had other issues though. Throttle is sticking at the carb linkage, and I think I lost a fusible link (actually a fuse now) on the way home. Lights dimmed, then no power after I shut her off. I'll deal with it in the morning. It's still been a damn fine day!
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Old 04-24-08, 12:53 AM
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im so glad this worked, i felt terrible that it ended up having a bad coolant seal.
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Old 04-24-08, 02:29 AM
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No worries bro. Even if the motor was toast, I'd still appreciate what you did for me. Nice to have her back on the road again...
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Old 04-24-08, 04:52 PM
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By all appearances, I am all set. If she starts losing coolant again, I'll dig this thread up and let you guys know.
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Old 04-24-08, 05:00 PM
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Congrats! You may have issues using this motor as a core if this stuff causes a lot of build up. Block seal is intended more for cracks in the metal part of the block so it sounds like you made a better choice anyway. Good luck! We can't wait to see how long it holds up! I hope you find another core to rebuild and push this one as far as she'll go just for feedback to the troops.
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Old 04-24-08, 05:14 PM
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I am glad it worked, I just did the " fix" as described in the threads,, I did all that the instructions said,, It sounds like a lot more work than it really is,, but I am extremly happy with the results, no smoke, My car would have watser in the combustion chamber, and would give me a hard time to start but thats all gone,,,
again I did not do the fix you have here I ried "the o-ring fix" I belive...
Good luck let us know how it holds up..
Thanks Jose
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Old 04-25-08, 03:57 PM
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Well, I've got a few hundred miles on her now and still haven't lost a drop of coolant. The last couple of days, I've really been giving her a workout too. I'm just totally stunned that I've gone from a blown engine to enjoying the car so easily.
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Old 04-25-08, 07:40 PM
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It's altogether possible. I think the key is that the coolant was mostly water and kinda new, so there was little chance for slippery stuff to coat the fissures and cause the sealer to come loose.

We can only hope that this fix holds up and shows us a new, better way to fix this vexing problem.
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Old 05-08-08, 08:44 PM
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Update:

Well over a thousand miles on her now, been my daily driver every day and I love it. Not a trace of coolant loss (knock on wood).

This Saturday, its off to the races for her first autocross. Wish me luck!
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Old 05-08-08, 10:13 PM
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wow thats awsome should be achived.
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Old 05-09-08, 02:54 AM
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wow...im glade that worked out for you
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Old 05-09-08, 08:14 AM
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Awesome to hear it actually worked! I've always wondered about those products, guess they might worth something afterall
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Old 05-09-08, 09:18 AM
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Looking back on it all, I really wish I'd shot some video so I could show you guys how bad this really was. There is no doubt that this motor could be considered to have been "blown" and in need of a rebuild.

Sure, I'll rebuild it........ When I have to!
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Old 05-09-08, 09:27 AM
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Yea if it works then run with it. Nice vids btw I was watching them bored at work yesterday makes me wanna go out and start auto crossing even more than i already do....
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Old 05-10-08, 11:03 PM
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Great day! My car took 1st (by me) and 3rd places (Duke Hazard). Perfect_circle took 2nd place. I believe Man in Black took 4th. Exhausted and sun burnt right now, I'll post more info and videos later.... Oh yeah, no issues at all with the engine or the car. Yay!!!
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Old 05-11-08, 09:30 AM
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My major concern would be this:

If you were spewing steam, that means that coolant was leaking into the combustion chamber. You added something containing aluminum compounds to your coolant, and it patched the leak the way a scab patches your skin when you cut yourself...

The question is, how much of this aluminum junk got into the combustion chamber in the process and how much damage could it do to the inside of your engine?

You may have just turned a block that only needed a $300 soft seal kit into an engine that has so much internal scoring from the aluminum compound getting between the apex seal and the rotor housing that it isn't rebuildable.

Yes it's just speculation, but considering that a soft seal rebuild kit is $265 at Atkins, I'm not sure I would have done the same thing as you.

http://www.atkinsrotary.com/store/pr...1&cat=0&page=1

I wish you luck with it, but even putting a bit of "Radiator stop leak" in my rad -once- gave me apprehension, and it doesn't contain crazy metal stuff...

Jon
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Old 05-11-08, 02:43 PM
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That is a good point to consider Jon, and I really won't know the answer to that until I do tear down the motor. But I did figure that aluminum would have less potential for this type of damage than copper. I don't see how it could get into the bearings, but as you said it could cause scoring if it was collected by the apex seal. I'm not sure how tiny flakes of aluminum with fare in a battle against the housing surface, but sometimes these things can be surprising. And the exhaust port is right there for a fairly quick exit.

All I can do for now is hope for the best, but so far it feels like she's a happy motor. But maybe I'll see if anything is visible through the intake and exhaust ports, just as soon as I get a spare minute. lol.

Thanks for the input Jon..

Edit: Aluminum flakes are highly flammable once they reach a certain temp. You can actually make bombs out of the stuff, all you need is a sufficient ignition source. I don't think they'd last too long once the spark plug goes off... I'll keep thinking about this one.
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Old 05-11-08, 04:29 PM
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That's a happy outcome Ken! Something else to consider if you ever end up with the dreaded engine "O" leak - those oil stop leak products can fix your problem. I maintained my tan 84 GSL with the O ring leak for more than 50,000 miles just by adding the additive with each oil change. This stopped a drip-drip-drip oil leak (1 qt/1000 miles) to essentially nothing. Never did rebuild that engine.
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Old 05-11-08, 05:38 PM
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lol, my last motor had blown oil control rings and was shooting out clouds of smoke. I used Lucas to control that, and got another 25,000 miles out of it before dying at 213,000 miles.....
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Old 05-11-08, 07:55 PM
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Man you must have felt relieved when it stopped steaming... Congrats on your first place too.
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Old 06-23-08, 09:49 AM
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Just a quick update on this. Still going strong, with no signs of any issues!!!

I've been to two races this year, and am so far undefeated in CSP. Porsches and Miatas quake in fear when they see me roll in. lol.
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