I had Popeye out this evening to go get gas. About halfway to the gas station (about 3 miles) he started missing and running rough. I limped into the gas station and shut down, thinking the mixture was a bit rich. Popeye would not start up again until he had cooled down, about an hour. I had a one-man car show - would have been more fun if I knew I could get home under my own power....
When he finally started up again I noticed air bubbles in the radiator water. I shut down and added water just in case, restarted and air bubbles were constant. I decided err on the side of caution and called a tow truck to get the car home.
There are no other water leaks, so I am thinking the head gasket is shot. Any other thoughts before I drag out a parts catalog? What type head gasket works best?
My thought is that you'd better pull the plugs and find out if you have a cylinder full of water or you'll be doing more than just replacing the head gasket.
What kind of head do you have? A std high head? A std style copper gasket should work well for any head. Just check so you haven't got any twisted surfaces needing to be milled - after cleaning both gasket surfaces you can test mount the head without any gasket, just snug a couple of head bolts by hand and look at the parting line from the side with a lamp on the other side. If you can see any light shining through, you may need to mill it straight..
Drain the oil and see if you get any water coming out as well.
I hope it is only a head gasket. A cracked head or block COULD exhibit the same symptoms. I hope not.
While you have the head off have it surfaced. It needs to be flat to hold a gasket. It will be warped if it has not been surfaced recently.