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Old 03-07-2019, 10:25 PM   #1
snappydon
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Default '37 21 Stud, 85 hp flathead now has water in the oil

So my project just keeps on giving...


After sitting all winter in a warm dry garage, I started the old girl today and let her warm up.


Checked all the fluids before starting, and everything was fine.


But after about 20 min of smooth idle and 140 degrees temp I noticed a small puddle about 2" in diameter on the floor under the rear of the pan/bell housing area. thought maybe it was just water, but oh no. It's grayish colored motor oil. So I pull the dipstick and sure enough, way overfull and gray colored. And the water level in the rad had dropped.



I'm at a loss...I have no idea where to start on this. My knowledge of flatheads is pretty minimal.



It did sit with straight water in it over the winter, but it was in an attached dry sealed garage. That I'm pretty sure didn't ever even get close to freezing.


The only work that had been done was last Fall I changed water pumps. Is it at all possible that water can get into the oil system thru a water pump bolt or something?


Motor runs like a top and has never had a problem before. It does have an external canister type filter unit on it.


Open to any suggestions on what to check.


Thanks
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:33 PM   #2
alanwoodieman
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Default Re: '37 21 Stud, 85 hp flathead now has water in the oil

pull the plugs, is there water in any of the cylinders? plugs- does one or more show water-droplets-rust? I would put air pressure into each cylinder and listen/look for water /air to come out of the radiator. could be a blown head gasket, cracked block ], but doubtful that water got into the oil from a water pump
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: '37 21 Stud, 85 hp flathead now has water in the oil

Didn't you guys have a crazy winter this yr?


Hope for the best!
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: '37 21 Stud, 85 hp flathead now has water in the oil

Re-torque the heads. 50/50 antifreeze and water from now on.
OMHO
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: '37 21 Stud, 85 hp flathead now has water in the oil

Well...I'm beginning to think the worst may be possible. The truck was stored at my daughters in her garage. But after talking to her last night she said that the power was off at her place for 3 days and she knows it froze out because she had to pack water for her animals.


I'm gonna be sick if the blocks cracked because I forgot to put antifreeze in it.
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: '37 21 Stud, 85 hp flathead now has water in the oil

check the sand plugs on both pan rails. They are bad to leak when they get old on 221 blocks. They are in the bulges on the side of the block where the pan bolts. If they leak, it goes right in the oil.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: '37 21 Stud, 85 hp flathead now has water in the oil

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Originally Posted by snappydon View Post
Well...I'm beginning to think the worst may be possible. The truck was stored at my daughters in her garage. But after talking to her last night she said that the power was off at her place for 3 days and she knows it froze out because she had to pack water for her animals.


I'm gonna be sick if the blocks cracked because I forgot to put antifreeze in it.
Not good news, but sounds like what the problem is. It will most likely require a teardown to determine the source and possible damage. In the future I would be keeping antifreeze in it year round, don't see any reason not to in a cold climate.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: '37 21 Stud, 85 hp flathead now has water in the oil

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check the sand plugs on both pan rails. They are bad to leak when they get old on 221 blocks. They are in the bulges on the side of the block where the pan bolts. If they leak, it goes right in the oil.

Ok, will do. I plan on taking the engine out next week.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: '37 21 Stud, 85 hp flathead now has water in the oil

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Originally Posted by alanwoodieman View Post
pull the plugs, is there water in any of the cylinders? plugs- does one or more show water-droplets-rust? I would put air pressure into each cylinder and listen/look for water /air to come out of the radiator. could be a blown head gasket, cracked block ], but doubtful that water got into the oil from a water pump



I pulled the plugs today, all look really good. They all look the same and all the combustion areas, top of the pistons and valve edges I can see are dry and look really good.



There is no water leaking anywhere on the outside of the block and I can't see any suspect areas of seepage.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: '37 21 Stud, 85 hp flathead now has water in the oil

JimTN thought exactly what I would. The 32-41 engines have four casting plugs on the pan rail they are known for rusting out. At that point they could/would dump coolant into the oil. They are a basic 5/8” concave freeze plug
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: '37 21 Stud, 85 hp flathead now has water in the oil

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JimTN thought exactly what I would. The 32-41 engines have four casting plugs on the pan rail they are known for rusting out. At that point they could/would dump coolant into the oil. They are a basic 5/8 concave freeze plug

People put pennies in those as Ive found out ...
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: '37 21 Stud, 85 hp flathead now has water in the oil

37 engine, you say. Does it have the pumps on the block, or the head?
If it's pumps on the block, then there is a saga that you might want to consider reading, I think in an old V8 Times.
The bottom line, and short version of the story is that there COULD be a problem with the water pumps. The subject person in the story went through a lengthy exercise of replacing his engine, but continued to use his original water pumps, in the process of learning this. It was a VERY expensive lesson, for a relatively inexpensive fix.
Just sayin. It's worth thinking about.


Yes, to the penny's... I found penny's in those locations in my engine.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: '37 21 Stud, 85 hp flathead now has water in the oil

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Originally Posted by bobH View Post
37 engine, you say. Does it have the pumps on the block, or the head?
If it's pumps on the block, then there is a saga that you might want to consider reading, I think in an old V8 Times.
The bottom line, and short version of the story is that there COULD be a problem with the water pumps. The subject person in the story went through a lengthy exercise of replacing his engine, but continued to use his original water pumps, in the process of learning this. It was a VERY expensive lesson, for a relatively inexpensive fix.
Just sayin. It's worth thinking about.


Yes, to the penny's... I found penny's in those locations in my engine.

Yes...definitely '37 engine. Dual pulley pumps in the block and 21 stud heads.


The motor is coming out of the truck next week and getting a thorough checking out.


After deeper discussion with my daughter it turns out nothing else with straight water in her garage froze. So I'm optimistic that my problem is not a freeze cracked block.
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