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Blown radiator cap, engine won't run

Discussion in 'Mitsubishi Minicab' started by MrJPolito, Jan 21, 2022.

  1. MrJPolito

    MrJPolito Active Member

    Alright, it took an extremely long time but I managed to reassemble everything and get it running well enough to sell it. I'm happy with the outcome and just wanted to update this thread with the good news, in case someone ever reads this and is thinking about giving up. It's a huge pain in the ass, but you can definitely fix a bad head gasket on one of these trucks.

    Also note, I didn't bother checking the block for warpage. It's cast iron and it looked fine and I'm not exactly a professional and didn't want to buy a machine shop straightedge to use it one time. My truck overheated pretty severely and just resurfacing the aluminum head was enough to get it to seemingly run okay.

    Advice for whoever is changing a bad head gasket and is reading this thread:
    - Clean out the carburetor while the engine is out of the car, especially if it's been sitting for months not running. I put the engine back into the car without touching mine and it sucked. It was definitely clogged and gummed up with old gas residue. It took a very long time to fix that. See this thread for more details: https://minitrucktalk.com/threads/how-long-before-gas-goes-bad-in-tank.25080
    - The english manual is pretty okay for head gasket replacement, aside from the images being poorly scanned dogshit. It should have everything you need. See here: https://oiwa.co/minicab-service-manual
    - Make sure you take photos of every single wire and vacuum hose before you take anything off. I made this mistake and it took forever to resolve, and I had to look at photos I took of the engine from a long time ago in combination with reading electrical diagrams. Don't waste your time.
    - Don't waste your time with a cork gasket on the oil pan like I did. RTV it like the manual says. Mine leaks.
    - If the engine smokes when it starts running, it could be that a bunch of coolant got into the catalytic converter. It took three days of driving to burn off in my case. I had no fluid loss otherwise. It will look like coolant and oil is disappearing when you initially run the car, just refill it and it should stop eventually. Probably air bubbles.
    - Consider pushing your Minicab into the ocean or a river.

    From start to finish it took from March 20 to June 15 to get the engine out, replace the stuff, put it back in, and get it to run without stalling. So roughly 3 months. If you have a garage or a concrete surface to work on, it'll be easier.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2024

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