I think I found the problem.
Today I pulled out 5 of the 6 spark plugs. Not the one under the alternator. Too much effort for that one. While doing it, I had that old Sesame Street song going through my head:
One of these things is not like the other;
Which one is different, do you know;
Can you tell me which thing is not like the other;
And I'll tell you if it is so.
Well, all 3 plugs on the front bank were normal looking and dry. Center plug on the rear bank was dry and normal looking.
Rear spark plug (towards transmission), on rear bank (towards firewall) was all wet and had a slight antifreeze smell to it. All its carbon deposits were gone, it was just dark colored all over and wet.
So naturally, it's the worst possible situation. If it had been the front head, less disassembly would be required. Since it's the rear head, I pretty much have to tear the whole motor down to the short block.
Ain't got money for 2 new head gaskets and intake gaskets.
Ain't got a good place to do the job.
Ain't got a HEATED place to do the job.
Ain't got the money to pay a mechanic for the job. Not until tax refund time 2 months from now anyhow.
So it looks like Bar's Leaks and stocking up on antifreeze, mixing it 25/75 for fiscal economy on my part, and checking the radiator frequently.
Since Christmas and New years are on Tuesdays this year, and I still have 1 personal day and 1 vacation day at work remaining, I only have 7 work days left in 2007. So that helps a little. 7 60 mile round trips, plus miscellaneous other driving, so about 1000 miles total, give or take.
I don't know if I'm going to bother fixing it, other than Bar's Leaks. The drivetrain in the car is in great shape and just had a lot of work done this past summer, but the car itself is getting old (196,700 miles) and I'm seeing more and more rust, so maybe it's time to find something else and part out this car.
Lots of good stuff in it, like a complete 543 5 speed assembly, the 543 was rebuilt and has new diff bearings and pin savers, TU clutch with 4000 miles on it, new TU urethane shift cable ends, New TU solid bobble strut, etc. And the 3.0 is now a 77,000 mile motor, with custom ground Crower cams and fully redone heads, fully ported intake and 52mm throttle body, putting down 165 HP to the wheels at the dragstrip, so once it gets new head gaskets it should be good also.
A "parting out" announcement will probably be coming soon in the Cars for Sale and 3.0 forums.