1. In order to combat the SPAM challenges we have been facing, I have chosen for the registration of new forum members to be manually approved. If you are registering as a new member, please fill out your profile as much as your comfortable doing. By doing this it shows us that you are not a spammer and will ensure that you’re registered to the form quickly. Should you be denied by mistake, please reapply with a fully completed profile
  2. I have received a lot of messages asking about the future of the forums once my car sells. Well today it sold and will soon be on its way to its new home. With that said, for the forums, there is more information under 'Announcements" titled "Future of the Forums' you could also copy and paste this link: http://www.trabantforums.com/threads/future-of-the-forums-donations.1762/
  1. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    My 1984 Wartburg 353S has been a model of dependability for two years. But in the last few months, I've noticed a weaker idle. I did the obvious stuff like clean the fuel filter and check the plugs to no avail. I was under the hood, about to "cheat" and turn up the idle speed on the carb, when it occurred me to check my fluid levels since I hadn't in a while. Well, disappointment lurked in the radiator. The coolant was a milky color and the cap was covered with oily sludge. So, I've begun removing cables and hoses and draining the coolant in preparation for removing the head. This is a messy job. Boo! Why is this happening to me? I've led a very clean honest life. :)
  2. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    Here's what I saw when I looked in the radiator. Not a pretty sight. 20131010_150605 (800x600).jpg
    I got the head off today pretty easily but I don't see any obvious signs of a problem. So now what? Could it just be generally not sealing? 20131012_175552 (800x600).jpg
  3. mati0921

    mati0921 Loyal Comrade

    I wold put a new gasket now that the head is off, and change the coolant. If it doesnt help i would take a compression test, and hope the engine block or head is not cracked. :)
    Wartburg353W likes this.
  4. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    I'm going to clean up all the surfaces and see whether any tiny scars appear while doing that. If not, I had it suggested to get the head shaved just to rule out any warpage. Then, you're right: nothing left to do but hope.
  5. mati0921

    mati0921 Loyal Comrade

    did you have below freezing temp. where you are, and is the coolant rated to those temperatures?

    Here we often see cracked engine blocks on tractors and other stuff left outside, where people only put water in the radiator. :D
    If it is cracked between a coolant channel and the cylinder, you need a new engine block, unless the cylinder walls are removable. :)
  6. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    No, never gets much below freezing here and the coolant was good. Plus it's usually garaged. I'm looking at a spot where I think the gasket may have not quite been sealed well enough around one of the cylinders. Like I said, I've / it's lived a good clean life so hopefully it will turn out OK. 20131013_102644 (600x800).jpg
    What do you think, does this look suspect or not?
  7. Keri

    Keri Leader

    The head gasket is the most likely cause.
    How did the gasket look?
    Did the head bolts seem to need about the same force to remove? Any looser ones?

    You wil need to clean the mating surfaces and check for flatness with a straightedge and feeler gauges.
    Basically, you set the straightedge down and check for a gap. We go along the block and head, across and diagonally.
    We want perfectly flat, but a little warp won't kill things.
    Generally speaking, .002" or less should be fine. Some motor /gasket combinations allow up to .006"
    Anything over .010" is probably going to cause trouble!
    Wartburg353W likes this.
  8. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    Keri,
    Nothing was obviously wrong with the old gasket. But yes two of the bolts were looser than the rest of the eight, and one of them was in that hole in the picture where I think I see the "leak trail". I've spent some time cleaning up the surfaces of the block and head and they look pretty good now. I'll start checking for warp tomorrow. I know, I work slow. I talked to a local machine shop and they said they could shave the head for a pretty good price so there's that option open. I'm not looking forward to flushing the gunk out of the cooling system and then getting it all back together without leaks and/or air bubbles or leaving any crud down in the pistons. Maybe that's why I'm going so slowly; I'm reluctant. Thanks!
  9. Keri

    Keri Leader

    avoid removing metal if possible. "shaving the head" should not be done unless unavoidable.

    Those bolts got loose somehow! they were once evenly torqued.
    How?

    1- the head gasket might have "crushed" in that area. if caused by overheating, this might have warped the head as well.
    2- the bolts might have stretched and become weak from excessive tightening or overheating... check that all of the bolts are the same length.
    3- they were not tightened correctly in the first place, possibly due to dirty or sticking threads
  10. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    The machine shop guy looked at the head with a straight edge and feeler gauges and said it was "good enough" so I am going to focus on getting this back together with attention to cleaning up the bolts and threads and making sure they're all torqued the same.
  11. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    Head gaskets eventually fail sooner or later. I've replaced two on my Fiat 124 Spider.
  12. bigmark40

    bigmark40 Puttering Along

    Where are you located?
    I've got some new gaskets, but am in Ireland.

    Cheers
    Mark

Share This Page