Coolant leak between head and block

Discussion in 'Engine Topic' started by scrap--metal, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. scrap--metal

    scrap--metal Veteran Member

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    The head gaskets are Fel-Pro and the new bolts/washers I used are also ARP...

    Thank you for the input guys. I will get a brass plug and some high temp sealant before I take the coolant out of it again.
     
  2. scrap--metal

    scrap--metal Veteran Member

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    So after 1100 miles, the leak from the head gasket is back. I drove it to work 5 days straight one week. I took it over 250 miles round trip to Brainerd to watch the NHRA drag racing a couple weeks back (that was an experience). It hadn't leaked a drop during all that driving.

    Last week I came out to my car after work on Thursday and there was a fairly large puddle underneath it (see picture below). I hoped it was the power steering pump based on the location of the puddle, but I wasn't so lucky. After driving it home, I confirmed that it's the head gasket.

    Now I think I have to replace the head gaskets. I don't know if I should use any head gasket shellac this time, but I am definitely going to do two things differently:

    1. Use a thread chaser to get 100% of the sealant out of the holes in the block. I cleaned them up as best as I could, but without a thread chaser I'm sure there was some stuff in there that would affect my bolt torques.

    2. Run a scotch brite pad over the deck until it's shiny clean. I cleaned/scraped it with a razor blade the first time, and now I'm second guessing whether or not it was truly clean.

    Let me know if you guys have any other suggestions. Thanks!


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  3. Bandit723

    Bandit723 Veteran Member

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    Can't comment on the head gasket shellac but i would chase out the bolt holes and make sure the mating surfaces are are clean. I am sure once you pull the heads the reason for the leak will be more clearer. Wondering if there is a quick and easy way to check for head or decking warpage.
     
  4. Peck

    Peck Veteran Member

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    To check for flatness on the heads use a piece of glass like from an end table. Set the heads on the glass, gently it is glass after all, and look for any gaps between the glass and the surface of the head. This is very much a shade tree mechanic check however it will let you know if you need to investigate further.
     
  5. tom3

    tom3 Veteran Member

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    And be sure to retorque the head bolts.
     
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  6. Gasoholic

    Gasoholic Veteran Member

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    I use a straight edge and feeler gauges to check heads and deck.
    Also not a big fan of felpro headgaskets.
    I used to use this stuff called general motors gasket sealing compound on my head gaskets. Unfortunately they dont sell it anymore. I think it had some bad for you stuff in it. Probably cancerous IDK. But the stuff worked really good. The closest stuff I've found to it is that aviation gasket sealing compound made by permatex. It's not as good as the GM gasket sealing compound but I have used it and it worked. I put it on the head bolt threads also. Not a ton but just a bit on the threads. Seals and locks the threads.
    This is just me. Everyone has their own ideas about this stuff.
     
  7. cadillac_al

    cadillac_al Veteran Member

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    Are you going to try another set of laminated gaskets this time?
     
  8. scrap--metal

    scrap--metal Veteran Member

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    The "bad for you stuff" is usually why those products work. One of my buddies suggested Copper Coat Gasket Compound. He used it on the head gaskets in one engine he built, but that's not a great sample size in my mind.

    I haven't made up my mind on what head gaskets to use...

    I don't know if there's a good reason to pull the passenger side head, since it's not leaking. If I leave the passenger side head on the block, I would think that I should use the same gaskets. I don't want to go totally Frankenstein on this motor, even though the rods are a mismatched set that came in the car years ago.
     
  9. kenny77

    kenny77 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    COPO.....
    Part of this forum that keeps me from posting is the part where guys ask for advice ,
    and then when someone who has been there...done that...gives them a solution they are dismissed as being wrong. Oh no that's a terrible solution I'd never do that to my valuable car.

    Now,
    Fact is if there are pores that are open or imperfections in those castings, you CAN'T see them or NEVER tell for sure where they are but they will cause this seepage. The OP can tear it apart multiple times and put whatever goo or gasket he wants and probably will have missed the area causing the leak. Kinda sounds like someone may have tried that Huh? I wonder who?

    Fact is that GM put 2 of those tabs in every single car leaving the factory. Gee....do you think they might have known something? Nahh.....I'd never put those in my car.

    Fact is that I've talked to more than a few people that worked at GM that have confirmed this terrible use of a terrible product Naah....I'd never put 2 of those in my car.
    Oh wait, I did and that was the end of it.

    https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-GM-1...+leak+tablets&qid=1567129009&s=gateway&sr=8-4
    Or not.....I look forward to another 10 page thread how I pulled my heads off and still have the leak.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  10. Peck

    Peck Veteran Member

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    These do work, my aluminum headed smallblock weeped coolant until I dropped two tablets into the radiator.

    There is times your leak could be caused by faulty parts, sometimes it’s not. These are cheap, simple, work, and safe to use.
     

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