Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Model A (1928-31)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-06-2018, 11:02 AM   #1
rosenkranswa
Senior Member
 
rosenkranswa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Malvern, PA
Posts: 319
Default Blown Head Gaskets

Just incredibly bad luck, or have I offended the Model A Gremlins somehow?

Just finished "refreshing" a 1928 Phaeton for a friend to sell, major tune with new ignition, rebuilt brakes, cleaned a ton of crud off the underside. Running and stopping really well and took it for its first higher speed run after coming out of the shop (45). Horror of horrors, milkey oil leaking out of the engine like a garden hose, coolant level down, milkey oil on the dipstick. For sure a blown head gasket that didn't appear until the high-speed run. When installing a new ignition cable (old one was toast and the wrong one anyway) I removed that head bolt for the clamp and then retorqued the whole head. Could the gasket not have seated properly and blown out after that?

To console myself, I took my always ready 1929 Roadster out for a spin. Its never had any kind of serious issue since we've had it, almost 27 years, just routine, but thorough maintenance. Half-way through the drive I smelled hot coolant. Got it back home and expected to find coolant leaking somewhere, but didn't. Perplexed, I started looking around and again, horror of horrors, milkey engine oil. Two blown head gaskets in one afternoon! I'm sure I saw a small green creature scurrying away.
__________________
Wayne @ Barb
Malvern

'19 T Speedster
'26 T Touring
'29 A Roadster
'30 AA Stakebed
'30 A Pickup
'30 A Town Sedan
'31 A Station Wagon
'38 Columbia Girls bike (WWII)
'40 Elgin Boys bike (WWII)
'42 Super Deluxe Tudor
'42 Willys MB Jeep
'43 Willys MBT Trailer
'43 M3A4 Hand Cart
'43 Harley Davidson 42WLA with sidecar
rosenkranswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2018, 11:26 AM   #2
art ebeling
Senior Member
 
art ebeling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Hillsboro IL
Posts: 293
Default Re: Blown Head Gaskets

Did you drain the coolant down
below the level of the head before loosening the head nut to replace the cable? Art
art ebeling is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 12-06-2018, 01:39 PM   #3
Ed in Maine
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 522
Default Re: Blown Head Gaskets

This is precisely why I do not use the ignition cable clamp under the head bolt. I feel your pain. There is no reason to install this clamp other than trying to have a high point car for judging. Why have to involve the head gasket when you just want to service the ignition switch cable. Art Ebeling's comment is excellent but I didn't think of it either. Ed
Ed in Maine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2018, 02:40 PM   #4
rosenkranswa
Senior Member
 
rosenkranswa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Malvern, PA
Posts: 319
Default Re: Blown Head Gaskets

No, I didn't lower the coolant level before loosening the head nut - wouldn't have thought of that, but have done it before a couple times with no issue. Good point about the necessity of the ignition clamp on the head bolt, part of the old anti-tamper I guess.
__________________
Wayne @ Barb
Malvern

'19 T Speedster
'26 T Touring
'29 A Roadster
'30 AA Stakebed
'30 A Pickup
'30 A Town Sedan
'31 A Station Wagon
'38 Columbia Girls bike (WWII)
'40 Elgin Boys bike (WWII)
'42 Super Deluxe Tudor
'42 Willys MB Jeep
'43 Willys MBT Trailer
'43 M3A4 Hand Cart
'43 Harley Davidson 42WLA with sidecar
rosenkranswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2018, 04:31 PM   #5
Synchro909
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3,653
Default Re: Blown Head Gaskets

I have never experienced this but some have posted here that your green coolant can destroy the bearings. If that is so, you amy be too late to save them but I'd drain it.
As for lowering the coolant when one head nut is undone, When I rebuilt my latest motor, several of the old studs broke off or were already broken. I repaired the threads in the block with Helicoils but there was one I was unsure about. Sure enough, it failed and was contributing nothing to holding the head down. I had to drive more than 20 miles to get to a workshop to fix it.
That's DRIVE 20 miles with one undone so I can't see that lowering the coolant level would be a concern.
__________________
Procrastinate now. Don't put it off!
Synchro909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2018, 10:43 PM   #6
BillEbob
Senior Member
 
BillEbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 136
Default Re: Blown Head Gaskets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synchro909 View Post
I have never experienced this but some have posted here that your green coolant can destroy the bearings. If that is so, you amy [sic] be too late to save them but I'd drain it.
Curious - - What anti-freeze do YOU use if not the ‘green’ Prestone❓

Bill
BillEbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2018, 11:37 PM   #7
Y-Blockhead
Senior Member
 
Y-Blockhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
Posts: 3,647
Default Re: Blown Head Gaskets

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillEbob View Post
Curious - - What anti-freeze do YOU use if not the ‘green’ Prestone❓

Bill
I use PEAK with the green CAP...
__________________
Y-Blockhead
'30 Briggs Town Sedan
_________________________________
And once again that is just my 1¢ worth.
Y-Blockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2018, 10:33 AM   #8
BRENT in 10-uh-C
Senior Member
 
BRENT in 10-uh-C's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Eastern Tennessee
Posts: 8,263
Default Re: Blown Head Gaskets

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosenkranswa View Post
No, I didn't lower the coolant level before loosening the head nut - wouldn't have thought of that, but have done it before a couple times with no issue. Good point about the necessity of the ignition clamp on the head bolt, part of the old anti-tamper I guess.




Not so fast Wayne, ...the reason for the clamp besides theft is that it also keeps the internal wire from vibrating and chafing the insulation off which shorts the unit out. Often times when this occurs, the cable has an intermittent or slight draw which causes the engine to run poorly. People then start blaming coils, carburetors, and every other thing except the culprit. There is a reason why Ford spent the money to install items such as this clamp, or engine pans, etc.

FWIW, if the cylinder case or the head is within factory specification, there is no need to drain the radiator. If 'one is unsure how level the deck or the head is, then a safety measure of draining is fine. Once the head nut is retighten, there should never be a leak anyway. Based on your description of the entire vehicle, my guess is the cylinder case and the head were likely not in correct plane anyway, --and it likely had all kinds of gasket sealers trying to band-aid or mask the problems. Can you imagine being in my business where issues like this surface almost every day??
__________________
.

BRENT in 10-uh-C
.
www.model-a-ford.com
...(...Finally Updated!! )

.
BRENT in 10-uh-C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2018, 03:25 PM   #9
Synchro909
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3,653
Default Re: Blown Head Gaskets

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillEbob View Post
Curious - - What anti-freeze do YOU use if not the ‘green’ Prestone❓

Bill
I use "Cyclo" rust inhibitor and water pump lube. It's clear so you wouldn't know it is there and it doesn't attack the hoses. A couple of yers after putting it in, I can still feel an "oiliness" when I rub some coolant between my fingers. Anti freeze qualities is not a consideration here.
What is Prestone? I've never seen that one!
__________________
Procrastinate now. Don't put it off!
Synchro909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:17 AM.