Question only cartalk can answer

I have an 8 cylinder diesel engine in a '93 van. 125,000 miles. The bad news. Cracked cylinder head so it is pushing diesel into the cooling system. Replacement is too expensive. My question - could I “shut off” that cylinder and just run the truck on 6 or 7 cylinders? Would that eliminate the leaking?

I would be interested to know how you plan to “shut off” the cylinder. If diesel is getting into the cooling system then coolant is getting into your oil in all probability. I would check that right now.

I will check the oil promptly. As for the cylinder shut off, I don’t know. My guess is stopping the injection of fuel into the cylinder somehow. Can you remove the piston itself ?

Nothing like this is likely to be feasible at all. If the van is not worth spending the money on you might start a search for “mechanics in a can.” If this was a gas engine I’d point you to a sodium silicate based product to try out. But I don’t think you can use those on diesels. Perhaps there is something for diesels though.

You could disconnect the injector that feeds the problem cylinder (easier said than done) and greatly reduce the pressure in that cylinder, but the compression pressure will still be there and you are going to have coolant trying to leak into the engine, so, in a nutshell, the van is scrap metal…It’s no longer a serviceable vehicle and any effective repair will cost more than the van is worth…

Disconnect the wires to the injector. Then, if you have adjustable valves, tighten them up to the point that they never quite close, that will reduce the compression in that cylinder. If you have hydraulic lifters and the rockers are not adjustable, you could replace them with solid lifters and or adjustable rockers, but that might be too much work.

Is this crack in the head an actual eyeball diagnosis or is it theory?

Corrected-Forget what I said.

OK has a good question… Committing to expensive repairs based on theoretical diagnoses is insane…With a diesel, you can’t “cap off” the injector line. The pump will be ruined. You would have to return the fuel to the tank…

'1993 VAN…Serviceability Nightmare…Lots and lots and lots of labor hours…

You’ll want to to adjust the valves so that they stay shut, that way the that cylinder will act like a spring. That’s how cyinder deactivation works. But just blocking off the tube to the injector may cause major pump problem, if it’s a positive deplacement pumpt.

The only way you can fix it is to replace the head. None of the fixes mentioned above will work.

I screwed up on the year - it’s a 2003.

The diagnosis is a theory. I just noticed that the leaking is non existent when the the van is idling. When I turned off the engine (after 30 minutes). Fluid started dripping out of the radiator reservoir. From the smell of it the fluid is mainly diesel

Recently my Toyota dealer service department recommended a Granitize De-Carb Service when I took my 2008 Prius in for regular oil change. Did I get taken for $148? I had no complaints when I took the car in and as far as I knew the car was running fine.

@GP, you need to start your own thread on this. Use the big red “Ask a Question” in the upper right. But, yes. You got taken.