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Looking for advice. Grew unexpectedly attached to my Retired Pursuit 2012 Hemi, wasn't originally planning on keeping it. Took it for a check engine light that's been going off and on for 3+weeks and it failed a block test, hydrocarbons in the coolant. It overheated once this summer. Took it to a friends mechanic because I was out of town and he pressure tested the coolant system and didn't find any leaks. It hasn't overheated (per the gauge) since then.

The day it failed the block test however, I topped off the coolant before heading to the shop and it was half gone by the time I got there. Hadn't noticed white smoke from the tailpipe myself, but not something I was looking for either.

My first quote for head gasket repair came back at $3K, that's replacing gaskets/bolts/plugs/radiator. They said $8K to replace engine. Seemed high so I'm still calling around for other options. I'm in NC. Not really set up to do repairs myself, just looking for my best honest options.
 

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JF:
Welcome to the forum. How many miles on your Charger? Do you know any of it's service history?
I would get a 2nd opinion on the head gasket. What PO codes came back from the CE light? If there is a failing head gasket, I would consider the health/mileage of the entire engine. If the cam/lifters are original, the lifters are a known failure point into and beyond the 90k range. You might have the HG issue corrected, only to encounter another $3k repair when the lifters begin to fail. If you go in for the HG repair once confirmed, I would do the lifters/timing chain/guides also when you are in there.

Don
 
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Does your oil look like chocolate milk?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
N8ECH, I bought it with 110k mileage, it's at about 129k now. The code it was throwing was for the exhaust system, P2032. Unfortunately, our auction doesn't provide the service & shop records. She got glowing reviews right after I bought her, and I've done regular maintenance since, early on my oil changes etc.

Flyers, The oil didn't look like chocolate milk.
 

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JF:
At that mileage, it's possible that the lifter issue might have already presented, and been repaired. Marked road patrol cars see oodles/gobs of idle time, so you can add a bunch of run time to what the odo says. The quote of $8k for an engine is not unreasonable, if you are talking a complete rebuild. A '14 Charger owner here had his 5.7L replaced by a dealer at a very young 86k, to the tune of $10k.

As Joebiker said, if a new(er) engine is the answer, you could search for a lower mile Eagle 5.7 from a civilian Charger, to avoid the idle hours issue. Labor is the same regardless of engine choice.

Don
 

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I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a nine-year-old Pursuit.

I'm willing to admit that under these conditions, I'd probably consider trying something like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a nine-year-old Pursuit.

I'm willing to admit that under these conditions, I'd probably consider trying something like this.
I thought that stuff was snake oil, lol. Best comment:

Ima Pseudonym10 months ago
leave it in a sketchy neighborhood with the keys on the seat.
Then call your insurance company.
 

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I'm shaking my head at the "you need a new motor" thang for what is most likely a head gasket issue. Sure, it could be a cracked block or cracked head (which isn't horrific in terms of cost). Take the heads off (not expensive), see what you've got and then make a decision. If it's just the gasket or a cracked head, it's not nearly as expensive a proposition as changing the motor.

Best,
 

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Need to find where coolant is going. Pull the plugs and get photos.

Look under waterpump for seepage as well as the T stat housing.

Head gaskets are oddly not that hard to do. But if your in there I would check the lifters and cam regardless for signs of wear / failure.

Engine can be repaired for under 2K honestly I would wager just head gaskets at a shop.


I would not under any circumstances use "head gasket repair" crap. Causes many other issues as well possibly. Get the repair done right.


For what it is worth, those who may say sell it, 2-5K repairs vs price of a new car is something to consider. I own a 2011 Pursuit and had heavy repair bills early on. However I have gotten alot of miles past two years including a 5300 mile trip from her.
 
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If the coolant isn't mixing with the oil, and you don't notice an external leak, and you went through that amount of coolant in that short of a time you'd notice it at the exhaust easily. That seems to be a lot of coolant lost quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Need to find where coolant is going. Pull the plugs and get photos.

Look under waterpump for seepage as well as the T stat housing.

Head gaskets are oddly not that hard to do. But if your in there I would check the lifters and cam regardless for signs of wear / failure.

Engine can be repaired for under 2K honestly I would wager just head gaskets at a shop.


I would not under any circumstances use "head gasket repair" crap. Causes many other issues as well possibly. Get the repair done right.


For what it is worth, those who may say sell it, 2-5K repairs vs price of a new car is something to consider. I own a 2011 Pursuit and had heavy repair bills early on. However I have gotten alot of miles past two years including a 5300 mile trip from her.
I've never done that kind of work myself. Don't have the tools for it to be honest, though I'd be willing to learn. I picked it up from auction for 5K, and I'm still willing to get the heads fixed if that's the issue. Just don't want to set myself up for failure 6 months down the road. Still calling around for second opinions at this point. Since the only test that was done is the block test, I've got no idea if there are other engine issues yet.
 

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JF:
Thinking about this a bit, getting a 2nd opinion on the HG is needed. The coolant level dropping might have been due to an air pocket. The 5.7L has plenty of places for coolant to leak, and the water pump is a common one. You are not seeing coolant in the oil, and not reporting the odor of it around the vehicle, so if there is a leak, it must be a small one. The fact that it's not overheating is a very good sign.

If it runs and drives ok, I would drive it, but keep an eye on things. No reason to spend the bucks to pull the heads or worse until you have a solid reason to do so. Thankfully, I have never needed to try a hydrocarbon test. I have to believe that the first test might have been done incorrectly.

Don
 
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Since the only test that was done is the block test, I've got no idea if there are other engine issues yet.
Try pulling an oil sample and sending it to Blackstone for an analysis. That will tell you the condition of water leaking into the oil via head gasket for about $30.

Griz
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Try pulling an oil sample and sending it to Blackstone for an analysis. That will tell you the condition of water leaking into the oil via head gasket for about $30.

Griz
That was like going down a rabbit hole. The free and $30 test seem to only be the tip of the iceberg. Have no idea what half of those tests help do.
 

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The oil sample will tell you if you have a leak from the head gasket separating the heads from the block. If there is no water in the oil, then there's nothing wrong with the gaskets. It will eliminate the failed block theory.
Griz
 
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