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Old 12-02-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
JtownJoe
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Question Head gasket follow up

Finally got the head off my 30' Tudor today & there was plenty of evidence of coolant in # 3 cylinder & an area of the gasket appeared damaged between the cylinder & water jacket area near the exhaust valve on #3. I will still examine the port & valve area closely but if all is well there that should solve the blown gasket issue. But another puzzling discovery is that #4 piston has almost no carbon build up as compared to the other ones. (Looks almost new) for a 4 year old rebuild, I have always noticed that there seemed to be little, if any, difference when I pulled that plug wire when running, but all others would slow down the idle. This seems to bear out my suspicion that #4 was firing weakly if at all. I had same 100# compression in that cylinder and of course switched plus & even p[lug wires in the past with no changes noticed. With the head off I verified that the valves are opening & closing correctly & I know it had great spark, any other ideas??
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

A totally clean piston top is a SURE sign of a coolant leak into that cylinder!!!! Bill W.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

Jtown joe, was your engine running fine prior to this discovery any knocks or misses? I have similar issue
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

if #4 was not firing as strong and the piston / combustion chamber are clean then you were getting coolant into that cylinder
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

BillW is correct, a perfectly clean piston top and cylinder indicates a water leak, also an easy and quick way of finding a suspected water leak is start by pulling spark plugs till you find one that is absolutly white and free of any carbon, a good indicator of a water leak into that cylinder
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

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Originally Posted by ford3 View Post
BillW is correct, a perfectly clean piston top and cylinder indicates a water leak, also an easy and quick way of finding a suspected water leak is start by pulling spark plugs till you find one that is absolutly white and free of any carbon, a good indicator of a water leak into that cylinder
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A totally clean piston top is a SURE sign of a coolant leak into that cylinder!!!! Bill W.
Bill W. and ford3 are both right on target. Cylinder misfire and a clean cylinder = coolant leak into cylinder.

Ed
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

Ran fine for last three years & then started to use coolant with no visible leaks & then started to miss badly but I ruled out head gasket problems when I got perfect compression readings on all 4 cylinders but looks like that was a miss leading indicator & I was getting water in the compression chamber anyway. I didn't do the holding compression test that might have shown that the pressure was leaking into the water jacket instead of holding the pressure.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

Thanx guys, for all the replies, I didn't know that was the an indicator of coolant leaking into the cylinder & if I don't find any cracks on a close examination of the block & intake & exhaust ports I'll be back in business with a new Fel-Pro gasket from Bratton's.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

Joe: Be sure to retorque that new head gasket. Run it for no more than 10 minutes and retorque those head bolts. , again after first spin around the block, etc. I put one together this summer and had to retorque 5 or 6 times before it finally stayed put,(stopped losing torque". Eventually those head studs will "set" in.
mike
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:21 PM   #10
Art Bjornestad
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

There is an exhaust gas test kit that shows if exhaust gas is getting into your cooling system. Perhaps someone can supply the name.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:38 AM   #11
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

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There is an exhaust gas test kit that shows if exhaust gas is getting into your cooling system. Perhaps someone can supply the name.
It's brand name is "BLOK-CHECK" Bill W.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

I'll look for that BLOK-CHECK, Thanx again guys!!!
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:33 PM   #13
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I'll look for that BLOK-CHECK, Thanx again guys!!!
Also, Joe,
Quick test for water in the oil: Hold dipstick on a 45 degree angle with a drop of oil hangin' on it, heat the drop with a match or a lighter. Yellow, smoky flame, O.K. If it sparkles & spits like a sparkler, you have WATER in the oil!!! Bill W. (Buster T., The Dog, reminded me of this trick!)
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:45 PM   #14
glenn in camino
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

Try a different distributor cap.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:15 AM   #15
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

Joe,

Is your engine set-up with the original style armored cable to the distributor and proper clamp and stud on #8 head-stud/nut ?

There were (at least) three different cable clamps (all with different thicknesses) & co-ordinated studs ( longer than the rest of the "short" studs). If the clamp is missing, or a "long" stud is used with a "thin" clamp, the head nut can "bottom"out" on the stud threads before it fully clamps the gasket, allowing leakage between cylinders #3 & #4, eventually resulting in gasket failure.

Went through this on my '28...
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:25 AM   #16
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

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Originally Posted by BILL WILLIAMSON View Post
Also, Joe,
Quick test for water in the oil: Hold dipstick on a 45 degree angle with a drop of oil hangin' on it, heat the drop with a match or a lighter. Yellow, smoky flame, O.K. If it sparkles & spits like a sparkler, you have WATER in the oil!!! Bill W. (Buster T., The Dog, reminded me of this trick!)

Bill !! that's another clever Homespun solution !!!
Thanks for that
I reckon that Buster T is a lot smarter than a lot of people What say You?

John Cochran
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

Joe,when a gasket leaks,it is always a good idea to check flatness of the head.

John
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: Head gasket follow up

I am running a FS Distributor & have a spare cap to try & I'll make sure of the clearance on the shoulder of the new Grade 8 studs & nuts. Thanx for the tips!!
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