1982 Buick Electra

I have 1982 Buick Electra Limited, 350 cid 5.7 L diesel engine, roughly 115,000 miles.

Recently, after about 10 min. Of driving, the temperature idiot light came on and the engine stopped running. I was able to get it started again after a few minutes, but it stopped again and I coasted it into a nearby parking lot. I opened the hood to take a look at it and there was a hot/burning rubber smell and smoke coming off of the engine (the whole thing except the very top is coated in a greasy substance anyway, so it looked like the whold thing was smoking.) I let it sit for a couple of hours and checked the radiator and nothing was in it. I added some water and most of it came out within a 5 minutes. I then loaded up on extra water and nursed it home, stopping every few miles to add some more water.

I eventually got it home without it stopping, but I did notice that when the car was about to shift, there was a huge drop in power and a lot of blue/white smoke comes out. It's a few shades lighter than the normal smoke that comes out when a car is burning oil. I noticed a similar issue happen before, but the drop in power and smoke were both less intense.

After I let it cool down, I tried adding water to the radiator and starting it up again. It ran fine, but the water was coming out of the radiator at a pretty high rate, so I'm sure the radiator is hosed. After a few minutes all the water was gone and, as soon as I started adding more to it, the engine noticeably started shaking, missing and the pitch changed, too.

I haven't checked the oil pan, yet, to see if there is any water in it.

Does anyone know if there is a way to check if the head gasket is blown with a leaking radiator?

Also, does anyone know of a way of testing a junkyard radiator for leaks without trying to run the vehicle?
June 27, 2007.

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