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Should I fix the head gasket?

 
Old 11-08-2015, 07:27 PM
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Should I fix the head gasket?

My '98 3.2 TL was blowing a bit of white smoke from the tail pipe and I have tried K-Seal, Bar's Leaks Radiator & Intake, and the head gasket sealer made by Bar's Leaks. I did not flush the coolant in between sealers and I did not use the whole bottle of each of the Bar's Leaks products because I was adding them to the radiator a little at a time. They would work for a short time and then the white smoke would come back. I hadn't run the car in weeks and just started it up to idle in the driveway to make sure the battery was okay and it was smoking worse than before without even reaching operating temperature. There is also evidence that mice have been in the cab, but so far, they haven't chewed anything important.

In the spring, I spent over $2,000 on the timing belt, water pump, some expensive sensor, and other stuff to pass inspection. That was before I started getting the white smoke. I also started working on fixing the rust spots on the body by myself. I thought that spending that amount of money was going to make me committed to keeping the car instead of spending that kind of money to buy a new car. Now that the head gasket is obviously failing, I'm having second thoughts.

I saw a 2.5 TL on Craigslist for $1,000 and I was thinking maybe I could buy that, but then I thought what the heck - perhaps I could just spend the $1,000 on my car's head gasket repair instead. But now I have all that sealer in there and it is probably a huge mess. I don't know if that will make the price go up.

My dad thinks I should just buy a Honda Civic or a little Toyota, but I really want a first gen Acura TL like the one I have. It makes driving enjoyable.

What do you think I should do?
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Old 11-08-2015, 08:59 PM
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You could buy a 3.5 motor from the 1996 - 2004 RL, direct fit and a bit more power. And far fewer headgasket issues. I've seen a lot of them for under $1000.

Just an idea.
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:55 PM
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Does that include installation?
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:02 PM
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I believe the price is just for the motor. Installation of the 3.5 motor would require some custom mounts.
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken1997TL View Post
You could buy a 3.5 motor from the 1996 - 2004 RL, direct fit and a bit more power. And far fewer headgasket issues. I've seen a lot of them for under $1000.

Just an idea.
Hello I am new to AcuraZine but I have a 1996 Acura Tl 2.5 and I want to put in a new engine. I'm thinking a 3.5 from a 96-2004 RL or J32 from a 99-2003 Tl. Any suggestions or comments?
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:16 PM
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Personally, I like the 1996-1998 TL 3.2's engine, but I've only tried that and the 2.5, so I can't comment on the ones you've listed. Welcome to the forum!
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Old 01-23-2016, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric Adams Jr. View Post
Hello I am new to AcuraZine but I have a 1996 Acura Tl 2.5 and I want to put in a new engine. I'm thinking a 3.5 from a 96-2004 RL or J32 from a 99-2003 Tl. Any suggestions or comments?
Sell your car and buy another newer car with a V6.
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:06 PM
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Another one bites the dust? Or does it?

I have a '96 3.2 TL and just blew the head gasket. The car is wonderful other than that. In fact, it has the cleanest manifold ever (I posted about the big cleanout last February). I love my car and hate to give up on it but I can't do the head gasket myself and the charge for the work exceeds the KBB value. So, what would YOU do? Repair it? junk it? or sell it to someone who needs body parts/other engine parts? And if it is the last option, how do you find such a person? I am in NY so I would expect that the population density would help in finding someone. Thank you in advance for any advice!
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:09 PM
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If you have some affinity towards, you can always just get a whole other engine and have someone swap it Else, just junk it?
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