From: 54F-100 (Original Message) Sent: 8/26/2002 9:17 PM
After assembling my engine and running it several times for a total of maybe one hour. I have half a dozen leaky head bolts. I used ARP thread sealer. I used the origional head bolts in the origional head not studs. Thats the first problem any suggestions? One thing I now realize is that I used a 7lb rad cap and should have used a 4lb one. Second problem. I now also have coolant in the oil pan. Could the coolant have come from the head bolts and into a cylinder or past the valves? One of my cylinders is sleeved and I am wondering if it could leak coolant from behind the sleeve. Any body have any other suggestions as to where this coolant is coming from. Can a cracked head or bad head gasket cause one inch of coolant in the oil pan in such a short time running of the engine. PS. thanks to whom ever had the tip on using propylene glychol antifreeze as the engine is not damaged as it would have been with the other stuff.
The engine is a 1954 Ford in a F-100 Canadian pickup

From: AlbuqF-1 Sent: 8/26/2002 11:10 PM
I'm not the expert on the bolts specifically, but the amount of water you have suggests a pretty serious leak. I would suspect the head gasket first. Are you sure it went on the right way?

I think the 7# cap vs a 4# cap is mainly an issue as far as blowing your radiator seams, not so much an issue for the block/gaskets, especially for the short amount of time it was run. Was there any coolant in the exhaust?

From: ole Sent: 8/26/2002 11:18 PM
Oh, boy! This is not what we like to hear!

First question: Last year, against my better judgement, I tried the ARP sealant, without success! Many leaking fasteners! I've always used the non-hardening sealers 'Aviation Permatex', or 'Permatex #2'. These tried and true compounds have never failed me, and I will stay with them. I have to sign off for now, but I'll think about the second problem and be back. I will say that every flathead block should be pressure tested before assembly, especially if it has had repairs like a sleeve installed... rodnut

From: 4T9merc Sent: 8/26/2002 11:45 PM
Thanks for the endorsement on tried and true sealants. I was about to use ARP on my 8BA stud kit. Whew!! 4T9merc

From: ole Sent: 8/27/2002 1:15 AM
OK- With the amount of coolant in the pan, and no mention of the motor running rough, I would tend to rule out a head gasket, or cracked head. I'd be leaning toward a block problem. However, anything is possible. And please don't try to remedy this problem with block sealer! As AlbugF1 states, 'it sounds like a pretty serious leak!' Did you pull the s/plugs and check for evidence of water in the cylinders? In any case, you're going to have to pull the heads and clean the bolts and block bolt holes of the ARP material, which will let you examine the gaskets, heads and block decks. (Question: Are you using ARP stainless steel head bolts by any chance? Just curious for a theory I'm working on) If nothing is amiss there, the block needs to be inspected. Short of disassembling the motor, it's pretty hard to try and pressure test the block water jackets. One idea would be to pull the oil pan, then before removing the heads, fill the cooling system with water containing some food coloring and put a bit of pressure on the system. Examine the crank case area for a leak(s) while slowly rotating the engine (crankshaft). The sleeve would be my first suspect. One other thought - I've found blocks with evidence of this happening - the exhaust manifold bolts were too long, and when tightened, came up against, and cracked the cylinders... rodnut

From: 54F-100 Sent: 8/27/2002 8:06 AM
The engine is using the origional head bolts not ARP
No evidence of water in the cylinders at least from what I can see through the sparkplug hole . Although the left side of the engine ( I am using headers) when first running the engine smokes a little bit of white smoke and it lessens as i run it but it does not totaly dissapear. In the next couple of days I will pull the pan and try to pressure test the block as Rodnut suggests.

From: AlbuqF-1
Sent: 8/27/2002 10:38 AM
White smoke is usually water/antifreeze......... I can't believe you pushed an inch of water past the rings, it seems like you must be leaking directly from water passages to the crankcase. And I don't know how that water could be getting into the cylinders too, unless it is the head gasket.

Which bank is the sleeved cylinder on?

From: 54F-100 Sent: 8/27/2002 1:13 PM
Sorry I can't remember which bank has the sleeved cylinder. I will be taking off the pan this weekend. Thanks for all your help and I will update when I finaly know what is wrong.

From: rumbleseat
Sent: 8/27/2002 3:25 PM
54F-100:
(1) Bolt leaks: I use thread sealant by Fel-Pro with no problems. A long time ago I found to NEVER run a tap into a flathead block unless the threads were really bad. I've found the threads in the block have some material removed by the tap.... not much but some. This always results in a sloppy fit and promotes leaks as well as deformation of the block surface (they're pretty thin and distort easily). The same applied to studs and cap screws....... I don't run a die over them. Instead, I just clean the bolts/studs with the wire brush on the bench grinder and use a thread sealant when installing them.
(2)Sleeve: This may be how the coolant is getting into the pan. Engine shops today sleeve a lot of engines and are very good at it. The problem is they do OHV engines exclusively. After the sleeve in an OHV is installed the head gasket will cover the sleeve's seam between the block and the sleeve. No problem since the gasket then acts somewhat as a seal. But not so in our FH. The FH gasket does not have contact with this seam all the way around like the OHV does. There's the area at the top of the bore between the piston and valves where there is no gasket. Years ago when flathead engines (both in-line and V-8 type) were the norm, the seal the machinests used when installing sleeves was different than what is being used now. The old stuff sealed the cylinder tight. Not the new stuff. It works good on OHV, but fails on a FH. When the engine builds heat, the sleeve and block actually pull apart slightly. Thereby it causes a small gap between the sleeve and the block. The water in the jacket is now subjected to compression pressure and combustion temperatures. This will usually cause boiling and/or throwing out coolant. Then when the engine is shut down, the gap becomes slightly larger as the sleeve/block gets hotter. The coolant also expands which causes coolant to be forced up through the gap and down past the piston and into the pan.
How do I know? Been there and done that! This happened before I ran a pressure radiator which made it easier to see what was happening before the engine could be damaged. I pressure tested my coolant side of the mill with 12 psi of pressure. It maintained pressure for 10 minutes with no movement on the gauge. So far good.... no leaks in the block, heads, gasket, radiator, water pumps etc.. Next I pressurized each cylinder with 200 psi of air. No bubbles appeared in the topped off radiator (hence no cracks or leaks). Yet I still was getting some coolant in the pan and it would pitch water out the non-pressurized radiator cap big time when the engine reached operating temperature. By the time I could test the system, the sleeve and block had cooled sufficiently to re-seal the gap. Finally found an old machinest who was still doing FH..... and FH only. He told me about it. He machined the sleeve out and put a new one in using the old time sealer. No more problems. Sad part is he died very soon after and I never found out what kind of sealer it was. Rumor has it he made his own sealer. I would have never found the problem it since I couldn't make it leak. Guess I would have replaced the block eventually. Anyway, it's something you may want to experiment with.

From: bobH Sent: 8/27/2002 3:44 PM
Not to take away from any of the above comments.... They are all good. To add just one thought, based on some old threads.... Don't overlook the waterpumps. Internally leaking pumps have driven more than one v8-er nuts trying to find the source of coolant in the pan. There is a story in the V8 Times about someone that discarded his twice rebuilt engine, and actually bought a NEW Dennis Carpenter engine, paying shipping and all the asociated labor, and still had coolant in the pan. Source of problem was his old waterpumps

From: ole Sent: 8/28/2002 2:50 AM
This is the case with new taps, especially if you don't use a very high quality tapping fluid. I keep a few 'well used/worn' taps with my flathead tools just for this purpose. These taps and a liberal dose of penetrating oil work very well for cleaning the block threads w/out removing any extra material... rodnut

From: RB35 Sent: 8/28/2002 8:30 AM
On chasing threads-- I picked up a set of Thread Chasers from Summit for about $20. when I did my Vette motor. They don't cut the thread, just clean it out. I just did the 8BA over the weekend and didn't see anything but crud come out. But Permatex will be added on the rebuild.


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