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Old 03-24-2013, 01:30 PM   #1
Will N
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Default water in the oil

This winter, I pulled the cylinder head to scrape the carbon. One of my coils went bad last fall, and the number one cylinder was caked with carbon. So I put on a new copper gasket, sprayed with sealer, and torqued the bolts to 55 ft/lbs following a tighten sequence chart I found. After about a week I re-torqued the bolts, and then filled the radiator with water and an antirust additive (not antifreeze). The car was indoors all winter, so I never had a chance to start it- until today that is. It was hard starting her. But after I drained some gas out of the sediment bowl and carb (I think some water had condensed in there, I finally got it started after about a half hour of cranking it. After it kicked over and was running pretty nicely. I was going to let it warm up then shut it down to re-torque the bolts again. Well, after about two minutes, I see this grayish liquid oozing out between the crankcase and block. I shut her down right away. I checked the radiator, and the water was way down. I checked the torque on the bolts, and they had loosened up a little- maybe they were at 45 ft/lbs. Would this be loose enough to let the water leak by the head gasket so completely? I had no problems with water in the oil at the end of last season. In addition to pulling the head this winter, I had the hogs head off to rebuild the pedals. Any other ideas beside the head gasket leaking for the water getting in the oil?

P.S. So I drained the oil, re-torqued the head bolts to 55, and refilled the radiator. Sure enough, I can see water weeping past the gasket behind cylinder 4. Crap. Like I said- no problems with loosing water last year, so that new gasket must be bad. Are there any more reliable head gaskets beside the copper clad that you guys have had experience with?

Last edited by Will N; 03-24-2013 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: water in the oil

Leaks as this are ususally caused by the surfaces not being true or error in installing. Sometimes one end of the head is lowered first causing the gasket to crush in a small area and then when the head installation is finished, it leaks. Also, did you spray the gasket with copper sealer before installation? Just a few ideas for you.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: water in the oil

Yes, I did spray the gasket with copper sealer. I used two studs to locate the head gasket and head as I lowered the head to the block (which I later removed and replaced with the bolts. I was careful to lower the head slowly and evenly. Perhaps the gasket had a dent or scratch that I didn't see. Anyway.... I've rinsed out the crankcase by filling it with kerosene- cranking it over vigorously to sling it all around, then drained it. Then I filled it with a gallon of alcohol, which absorbs water, and cranked it around and drained that. Then I refilled it with another gallon of clean kerosene to rinse out the alcohol. After I get the head reinstalled with a new gasket (that I will inspect very closely!) I"ll fill it with oil, let it run a few minutes to heat up somewhat, and I'll then change that oil right away.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: water in the oil

Did you install the gasket correctly, right side up? Was it stored inside heated? Cracked head? Did you warm it up and then re-torque it last fall?
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: water in the oil

I installed the copper gasket with the seam side up. By seam side, I mean the side where the copper rolls around the the bore opening in the gasket. Smooth side against deck, seamed side against head. The car was in my basement all winter, and it stayed around 60 degrees down there the whole time. The head wasn't cracked last fall, before I removed it, but I'll check it out when I remove it now. I didn't warm it up and re-torque in the fall, as the car was in my basement and starting it would have filled the place with fumes. Today was the first opportunity I had to start it.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: water in the oil

If you havn't already done so i would have the head surfaced at a machine shop, it's pretty cheap insurance.

I know most guys use the copper gaskets that are folded over very succesfully, but while putting my motor together i didn't feel comfortable with it and ended up using the composit one with the silicone beads.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: water in the oil

Did you clean out the bolt holes & run a tap through them?

Perhaps you torqued the rear bolts mostly against the bottom of the hole & not the head.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: water in the oil

I did tap the bolt holes and ran a die on the bolts. I cleaned out the holes thoroughly, and ran the bolts down to the bottom with the head off to check the height of the bolts when bottomed out vs. the height of the head (learned that trick from reading posts on this site!) Plenty of clearance- the bolts are not bottomed out.

I ordered the silicone type cylinder head gasket this time, and I'll probably have the head surfaced before reinstalling it.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: water in the oil

With an engine having 45 to 55 LBS compression, putting 55 LBS torque on the bolts really over kill. 45 to maybe 50 should be good enough. The early blocks did not have as good of metallurgy as the later ones, off hand ones before about 1916 or there about.
Try putting the bolts in with only the Ford wrench, get em tight, then check what the reading is with a torque wrench, beam type might work best. Bet you find the reading is in about that range.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: water in the oil

Well it's all been said: have it checked for flatness/cracks. I'd use another gasket. The only thing not mentioned was did you follow a sequence when tightening the bolts? You can't do one end and work to the other it's got to be done in a pattern and don't go to the final torque spec when first tightening. Get 'em all to say 30 or 35 then go 'round again a bit more then go to final spec. There's no place for water to enter the oil except from a crack up top or a bad head or gasket. Agree 45/50 lbs. final.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: water in the oil

Did you take the water inlet off when working on it in the past? i find water gets in through the valve chamber that way if i am careless.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:25 AM   #12
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Default Re: water in the oil

By inlet, do you mean the one coming out of the head, or the one going into the side of the block? I would call the one going into the side of the block the inlet, and the one at the front of the head the outlet. I did remove the outlet when I removed the head, and I removed the inlet a couple of years ago when I first got the car and was changing the radiator hoses. I did not remove the manifolds when I removed and replace the head and head gasket. How would water make it's way to the valve chamber?
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:23 AM   #13
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Default Re: water in the oil

Will,
I have found that when working with the silicone type gaskets, both surfaces must be perfect. IMO the copper gaskets are a little more "forgiving". It sounds like you have hit everything right on the money. If the deck on the block is pitted at the front and rear water jacket, I've used a thin coat of #1 Permatex in the pitted area's. This will help seal these area's. Torque head in a circular pattern starting from the middle head bolt. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: water in the oil

Thanks to everyone who responded.

Should I be using thread sealant on the bolt threads, or will this just gum up the torque readings?
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:46 AM   #15
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Default Re: water in the oil

Will,
I've never used sealant on the threads. I prefer to use a light oil on the threads, although there's pro and cons to this, everyone has they're own method of work.
I also like to retorque at least 4 times to make sure the bolts settle out and stop stetching.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:15 AM   #16
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Default Re: water in the oil

Thread sealant aka permatex is really only needed when a bolt hole is open to the water jacket. I always tap the holes, and wire wheel the bolts, then apply a thin film of copper never sieze to the gasket (both sides) and the bolts. I also do the paper gaskets... glue them on to a clean surface, then some neversieze on the one face. Stuff always comes apart and can be re-used without destroying the gasket.
All the joints do need to be clean and flat. Always pull the head down from the center out. A warped head will pull flat. HEAVY corrosion around a water jacket can be addressed with JB weld.
Theres also the subject of anaerobic sealants. Works like locktite only way thicker. Itll actually make a plastic film on the gasket surface where any bad imperfections are to be found. ws

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW:

http://www.permatex.com/products/pro...lange-sealants







Freshly decked block by bluing and draw filing. The original factory decking machining marks actually showed up! Last pic shows the begining of the seat reaming. Im way up in northern Wisconsin and dont have the luxury of "dropping" the stuff off at the machine shop, so I do it like farmer Fred wouldve done in 1930. Ive also cleaned heads by dragging them in a figure 8 on the concrete sidewalk... what ever works, eh?
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:32 AM   #17
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Default Re: water in the oil

Can I check the flatness of the head by bluing it, and laying it on some paper that is stretched out on a large pane of glass? The glass is flat, and if the bluing transfers evenly from the head to the paper, it will tell me if the head is flat.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:03 AM   #18
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Default Re: water in the oil

Will, I feel your pain. I have had the cylinder head off twice on my 1914 and it still has low compression and is hard to start. Valves are not the problem, I closely inspected each one and lapped them just to be sure and installed new springs. Sometimes I can't start it and other times it goes and surprises me. This spring I will use all the suggestions above, mill the head and install helicoils in all the holes. I cannot get to 45 ft-lbs in some of the holes and many feel spongy on the torque wrench. Good luck with your problems. Ed
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: water in the oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will N View Post
Can I check the flatness of the head by bluing it, and laying it on some paper that is stretched out on a large pane of glass? The glass is flat, and if the bluing transfers evenly from the head to the paper, it will tell me if the head is flat.

Actually, the best way to check it is to use a machinists' straight edge. Check it end to end, side to side, and corner to corner. In IDEALVILLE, there should be (by the book) less than .002" gap anywhere with a feeler gage, or, use a flashlight at the joint for escaping light. In PLEASANTVILLE, anything better and you wouldnt need a gasket! You can lap the joints like we did on steam turbines... try lapping a 100 ton turbine shell (hint: its done with come alongs).
I would blue the face of the head and the block with spray Dyechem and lightly drag a file across it. Itll show high by the bolt holes and edges which is where the gasket comes into play. Ive seen several layers of aluminum foil used when a gasket wasnt available. I also like to "bump" each hole with a 45 degree countersink by about 1/16". JMHO...
Accuracy versus close is all relevant. How flat is that glass REALLY? How flat is the glass sitting on a cast iron table saw with some paint overspray on the surface? Glass will flex BTW. Now if you know a machine shop with a large granite surface block, you can really get it close to nuts.
Its a Model T, so think like an old time farmer back in the day. In regards to the earlier Ts, Ive heard that the cast iron was softer and indeed would pull the threads out with the bolts. Helicoils or Keenserts are the method to correct that one. ws



This is a Starrett block. All those micrometers and gages have to start somewhere!
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:58 PM   #20
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Default Re: water in the oil

Heres a man with a real feel for engneering ,I like these farmer fixs .Well done Wi Man .
Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtsmanbill View Post
Thread sealant aka permatex is really only needed when a bolt hole is open to the water jacket. I always tap the holes, and wire wheel the bolts, then apply a thin film of copper never sieze to the gasket (both sides) and the bolts. I also do the paper gaskets... glue them on to a clean surface, then some neversieze on the one face. Stuff always comes apart and can be re-used without destroying the gasket.
All the joints do need to be clean and flat. Always pull the head down from the center out. A warped head will pull flat. HEAVY corrosion around a water jacket can be addressed with JB weld.
Theres also the subject of anaerobic sealants. Works like locktite only way thicker. Itll actually make a plastic film on the gasket surface where any bad imperfections are to be found. ws

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW:

http://www.permatex.com/products/pro...lange-sealants







Freshly decked block by bluing and draw filing. The original factory decking machining marks actually showed up! Last pic shows the begining of the seat reaming. Im way up in northern Wisconsin and dont have the luxury of "dropping" the stuff off at the machine shop, so I do it like farmer Fred wouldve done in 1930. Ive also cleaned heads by dragging them in a figure 8 on the concrete sidewalk... what ever works, eh?
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:29 AM   #21
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Default Re: water in the oil

Thouight I'd update you kind folks who took the time to enter suggestions. I'm the type of guy who likes to see things for myself before I bring in outside help. I wanted to check the head and deck for flatness before bringing it to a machine shop, so I ordered a machinists straight edge. It came yesterday. Sure enough, the head is warped. It's bowed upward (as installed) in the middle by .013 when measured lengthwise and diagonally, but it's flat from side to side. The block deck is also flat in all directions (phew!). I'll be looking for a machine shop today!
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:37 AM   #22
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Default Re: water in the oil

EXCELLENT! Now also use that straight edge to check the exhaust manifold for flat and all the ports being in line. Thats a nice indespensible tool to have. Make a nice wood box for it and will it to your grandkids!
When they stick me in the oven, Im sure the junk man is gonna have a field day over here! ws
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:11 PM   #23
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Default Re: water in the oil

Thanks for the update, i'm glad you caught it before real damage ocured.
I know the head on my T was warped bad, they had to take .025 off to get it back straight. $30.00 cash to the machinist and all was well.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:57 AM   #24
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Default Re: water in the oil

ARGH! It never rains but it pours! Got the head back from the machine shop yesterday. Installed it this morning, filled the radiator with water, and left the oil drain plug out so that I could check if it's still leaking. Went to do something else to give it time to leak down if it was going to. Came back and see water seeping from an external crack on the top of the head between number 2 and 3 cylinders!!!!!

I always suspected there might be a crack there because there was what looked a flaw in the casting, but it never leaked there. I guess, when the head was bowed and then drawn down, it forced the crack together. Now that the head is flat, the crack isn't being forced together and it's seeping.

Does anyone out there have a nice low cylinder head that has no cracks and isn't warped that they're willing to sell? Do the low heads have a casting date on them? Mine has raised 4 25 toward rear. If that's a casting date, then does anyone have one with a 1915 date?

P.S., it just occurred to me that that 4 25 can't be a casting date, as the switch from low to high heads occurred in 1918, and what I have is definitely a low head. Maybe it's a mold id number, or maybe it means April 25th instead of April 1925?

Last edited by Will N; 04-13-2013 at 12:17 PM. Reason: added the P.S.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:44 AM   #25
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Default Re: water in the oil

Chemiweld.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:17 AM   #26
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Default Re: water in the oil

Yeah, I thought briefly about some kind of sealer, but since I'm going through all this trouble with the head on and off and on and now off again, I want to fix it once and for all with a replacement head. But thanks for the recommendation.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:55 AM   #27
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Default Re: water in the oil

Can I please have the old head? Ill pay for the shipping! ws
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:19 AM   #28
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Hey Bill, why so eager for a cracked head? Am I missing something? Are these things so rare that even with an external crack they're valuable?
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:24 PM   #29
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To be quite frank with you, they are in a bit more demand than a high head. Generally, they go for about $50-75 each (servicable), and of course theres the kook on edog that has a "rare" one for $600; yeah right! High heads are $20 at swap meets... For me, its worth trying to braze up and run on my speedster, if for nothing else, just to say that its a low head. That, and I like to fix stuff ! ws
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:45 PM   #30
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Just to update y'all... I located a nice low head off the MTFCA Swap site. It needed a little milling to true it up. Installed it today, buttoned it all up and took it for a spin. So far so good. I used the modern style head gasket this time. Need to retorque the bolts after it cools down. But I'ma gonna keepa my eye on that water level like an OCD!

During the winter, I also splurged for the Strobospark coil tester, and I adjusted my coils. Holy smokes, what a difference! I can start it on magneto now too, which I was never able to do. Those friggin bad (and badly adjusted) coils were the reason I pulled the head in the first place (to scrape all the carbon).

I also rebuilt the pedal shafts and cams, and installed new band linings over the winter. Took a little fiddling to get is all right today. I think it might need a lot of adjusting until the new bands wear in some, right?
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