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Unread 12-12-2008, 02:27 PM   #1
Jeeps4u
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Mend Tight Stop Leak Head Gasket Sealer??

So I just got back from Midas where I had my coolant flushed. I had it flushed because it's winter here in Wisconsin and I wanted to make sure there was no water in the engine. Low and behold, they tell me my head gasket is cracked (probably by a chunk of ice). All the symptoms are there, rough idle, coolant out exhaust, exhaust out radiator, etc. $900 to fix the damn thing, or the tech told me about "Mend Tight" leak sealer. He said he used it on his truck and has had no problems. They say it is a very small crack most likely. I searched for info on this "Mend Tight" milky sealing fluid but didn't find any info. Has anyone heard of this stuff, does it work, and is it safe? I'm always hesitant to fix a leaking problem with a liquid sealant. Thanks!

-Aaron

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Unread 12-12-2008, 02:50 PM   #2
danw77
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there are several brands out there... they all do basically the same thing. sometimes they work, sometimes they don't, sometime they clog your heater core. replacing a head gastket yourself is easier than replacing a heater core yourself.
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Unread 12-12-2008, 04:39 PM   #3
Jeeps4u
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Thanks for your reply. I know leak sealers are like band aids, I'm just hoping to repair this gasket without ripping my engine apart. And I've pulled a heater core out, it's a bit of a chore to say the least!

Has anyone truthfully had success using a leak sealant to repair a cracked head gasket? Thanks all!
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Unread 12-12-2008, 05:39 PM   #4
tjwalker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeps4u View Post
Has anyone truthfully had success using a leak sealant to repair a cracked head gasket?
I'm also in the camp of not recommending band aid fixes but in all honesty, I did have good luck the one time I tried it.

I had a (testing confirmed) head gasket leak on my winter beater 88 Ford Taurus. As it had a ton of miles on it and I just needed it to get through one more winter, I tried a sealer and it did work. In fact, I sold that Taurus the next spring to a guy who drove it quite a long time as well without issue.

I believe it was Bars Leak brand that I used. Again, use at your own risk; there are some serious downsides to consider when using them as previously mentioned. And certainly, no guarantees on them working......
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Unread 12-12-2008, 10:14 PM   #5
durango-bob
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I used the Bars Leak Head Gasket Fix (http://www.barsproducts.com/1111.htm) when the gasket blew out and it spray coolant out onto the firewall. I had to make a 100 mile trip and didn't have time to replace the gasket. I had little choice, so I gave it a shot. It work perfectly. I fully intend to flush the system and replace the head gasket, really, but I just don't seem to find the time. It's been a year and still no issues.
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Unread 12-13-2008, 01:05 PM   #6
Jeeps4u
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Thanks for your input guys. Ever since I got my coolant flushed yesterday my xj has been running much better. However I still think there is a minor crack in the gasket. I am considering using bars leak to seal up any small cracks in the seal. Sounds like most people prefer not to use these liquid sealers (including myself) but they seem to actually do what they claim they'll do.

If anybody else out there has an opinion on this topic I'd like to hear your 2 cents. Thanks!
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Unread 12-14-2008, 01:56 PM   #7
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Hello? Who's used leak sealer for repairing a cracked head gasket?? I know you're out there!
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Unread 12-14-2008, 03:20 PM   #8
slayer2000
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I ran bars leak in my old cutlass for 3 years no problem with a 400 pontiac. I just flushed the cooling system out following the bars leak directions and I never had a problem with it.
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Unread 12-14-2008, 03:21 PM   #9
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I forgot to say that I still have the engine and it ran fine until the day I pulled it.
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Unread 12-16-2008, 03:17 PM   #10
Jeeps4u
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Thanks for your input Slayer, I really appreciate it!!
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Unread 12-20-2008, 01:43 PM   #11
ksmanimal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durango-bob View Post
I used the Bars Leak Head Gasket Fix (http://www.barsproducts.com/1111.htm) when the gasket blew out and it spray coolant out onto the firewall. I had to make a 100 mile trip and didn't have time to replace the gasket. I had little choice, so I gave it a shot. It work perfectly. I fully intend to flush the system and replace the head gasket, really, but I just don't seem to find the time. It's been a year and still no issues.
My '85 has a leaky head gasket, so I dumped this stuff in it today.

How long does it take to work?
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Unread 12-20-2008, 02:29 PM   #12
98muddyjeep
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you have to watch if your using the bars that look like liquid gel pills to make sure you let the motor get up to temp before dumping it in i`ve seen that stuff cause a waterpump jam what a mess
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Unread 12-20-2008, 02:47 PM   #13
Jeeps4u
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Well I'm looking to add some info to this topic I originally started. Since I had my coolant flushed (when they told me I had a cracked head gasket) I haven't had the time to troubleshoot much. So today I checked for signs to confirm that I have a cracked head or gasket.

1. No milkshake under the oil fill cover.
2. No coolant/water milkshake on dipstick.
3. Ran the engine with the radiator cap off to check for bubbles. None. However, I would assume the vehicle would have to be warmed up with the thermostat open to see if there was exhaust in the cooling system. Is this true?

The main signs I am seeing is rough idle (which can be due to many things). The plugs are black and need changing. But the main sign is she pukes black fluid out of the tailpipe, mainly when I first start the engine. It has a oil like consistency and color, though I'm not loosing any oil, so I am assuming this is coolant. My thought is that coolant is entering the cylinders, gumming up the plugs, then being forced out the manifold and finally the tailpipe. I don't have the white smoke out the tailpipe, just the black fluid.

What does this tell a guy? What other tests can I perform to confirm the source of the problem so I can fix it? Thanks in advance for any pointers!!
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Unread 12-20-2008, 03:36 PM   #14
slayer2000
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if the coolant was entering the cylinders, your plugs wouldn't be black. Every time I've pulled a head for a blown gasket the plug and the chamber was clean. The water is turned into steam and blasts the carbon out of the chamber. It sounds like you are running to rich for some reason. The black fluid is probably water and carbon. Water is a natural product of combustion so that doesn't mean it's engine coolant. The best test you could do would be a leakdown test. It's sort of like a compression test but the idea is to bring the piston to tdc, and pull the plug and fill it with compressed air and look and listen for leaks. If you have air leaking from the rad, blown gasket or cracked head/block. Air from the exhaust bad exhaust valve. Air from the throttlebody, bad intake valve.
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Unread 12-20-2008, 05:17 PM   #15
Jeeps4u
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Thanks again for the input slayer. Well I only pulled one plug, I intended to pull the others but the wires were very stubborn when I tried to remove them. I figure I'll pull the rest when I change the plugs in a couple of days.

The reason I think it is coolant coming out the tailpipe is because the dudes at Midas that did my coolant flush said when the Jeep came in to their shop, there was almost no coolant in my system...so it has to be going somewhere. There are no visible leaks elsewhere. They also claimed to do a test with a "bulb" on the radiator and said exhaust was detected in the cooling system.

Stupid question, but what is the best way to monitor/check the coolant level in these newer XJ's. They have an overflow tank, that collects extra fluid, but unlike the older (pre '97 Jeeps) this tank has no port to allow coolant back into the system. In my overflow tank the coolant level is about an inch lower than it was after they filled and flushed. I'd like a better method of monitoring the coolant level to know how much I'm actually loosing.

Thanks!
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