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Old 12-11-2015, 12:18 PM   #1
Blu Dice
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Default oil in the radiator

Should I be worried about a little bit of oil in the coolant - if so what should I look for - there's no water in the oil pan.
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

If it runs OK and doesn't overheat, you're good to go. If it runs hotter than previously, remove the radiator cap and watch for bubbles. To be certain, a shop can check for exhaust in the cooling system.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

You can buy a test kit from NAPA to check for combustion gases in your rad. Not too expensive considering what it will tell you.
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

What are the causes for combustion gases in radiator? Pulled plugs - they looked great - car runs great - it is using coolant though - doesn't over heat.
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Old 12-12-2015, 09:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu Dice View Post
Should I be worried about a little bit of oil in the coolant - if so what should I look for - there's no water in the oil pan.
You didn't say what year engine?? If it's a 37 to 48 the
water pump gasket could allow oil from the oil lube holes
on the front of the block to leak into the water. After shut
down a small amount of oil could get in the water. The
pressure in the water system could push some water into
the oil if the gasket was bad in the area of the oil holes. G.M.
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Old 12-12-2015, 12:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

'52 v8 flathead with 37,000 actual miles on her. Runs great, great oil pressure, but coolant issues, and now looks like a bit of oil in the coolant. I'm making preparations to replace the head gaskets. Another thing I notice when I pulled the plugs the valves at the spark plugs holes look like new - shining! I've had the car for a year now and have put on it about 3000 miles.
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Old 12-12-2015, 12:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

That makes me wonder why the new head gaskets?
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Old 12-12-2015, 01:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

Some times a guy working on and engine will use the oil drain bucket and little oil stays in bucket then they dump the anti freeze back in and you see oil.
I had that happen to me and customer said oil in coolant.
I would drain the water and refill with new stuff.
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

Nope I use different cans for oil and coolant. Just got done driving the car before removing the heads and lost about a quart of coolant somehow. Didn't go in catch can so must be burning up and going out the exhaust - huh? I've been running without a pressure cap, but this last trip I put the 4# cap back on and loss of coolant was the results.
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Old 12-14-2015, 07:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

Removed driver side head - no cracks!!
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

update:
second road test last nite - looks good
torqued twice now - final torque down tonite.
I replaced both head gaskets - old ones were copper - no sealant on bolts, and some of the bolts were not very tight. So I would say the PO didn't do it right when they replaced the head gasket whenever that was!! AND no sights of any cracks!!!!! From the looks of the valves and pistons I have to say the heads were leaking coolant pretty bad - I think it started after when the temp kept spiking from the 2 sets of bad thermostats I put in. Maybe HUH? All I know at this point she's running great- not losing coolant - no snoking exhaust!!
Thanks to all who have helped out.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:19 AM   #12
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

A shiney valve usually means a "steam cleaned "one. Slight leak on gasket spraying hot water on valve ???
Merry Christmas looks like ya got it fixed ....
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:24 AM   #13
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

That's very good news Blu Dice. I curious, which head gaskets did you use?
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Old 12-23-2015, 01:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

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Originally Posted by BUBBAS IGNITION View Post
A shiney valve usually means a "steam cleaned "one. Slight leak on gasket spraying hot water on valve ???
Merry Christmas looks like ya got it fixed ....
Valves near spark plugs were white crusty. All 8 of them.
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Old 12-23-2015, 01:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: oil in the radiator

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Originally Posted by sidevalve8ba View Post
That's very good news Blu Dice. I curious, which head gaskets did you use?
Not the copper ones -
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