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hey guys.

i just picked up an '89 turbo caravan. it's in WAS in decent shape, with 124k on it. it was 300 miles away in ohio (im in chicago). as it turned out, aside from the expected problems (grinding breaks, bad battery), the radiator soon resembled a block of swiss cheese. i came very close to leaving it in the middle of indiana with a note and the signed-over title. it overheated repeatedly and i subsquently blew the head gasket. it did, however, make it home.

there is water in the already black and broken-down oil, though not much. my main concern, however, is that i damaged the block. i read somewhere that these blocks tend to crack near the freeze plugs. any additional info on this specifically would be great. i'd like to make sure the block is good before i order a bunch of parts. also, i dumped a bunch of radiator stop leak into the thing. im assuming that a solid flushing with a new radiator will remedy this, but we all know what happens when we assume.

i have been tallying a parts list and may actually try to fix this thing. sumer project, you know? i am also considering the head gasket shim to lower the compression a bit for later boost boosting. i don't think i'll go with arp fatseners, though definitely will replace the head bolts. i am also considering swapping the rod bearings out when i do this to counter any damage i did. i want to replace the timing belt, too, as i doubt this has ever been done.

any and all information would be greatly appreciated. i am on a budget, which is why i went toward this car anyhow. they're cheap, parts are a dime a dozen and from what you guys all say it sounds like the stock motor can take a beating.

thanks alot. --taylor
 
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