Alum Cylinder head seeping coolant externally - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:48 PM
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Alum Cylinder head seeping coolant externally

I have a BBC that has Edlebrock cylinder heads, blower. It was built by a local highly reputable speed shop a few years back. Less than 3000 miles on the engine. Runs GREAT, but when it sits for a few months without running the passenger head leaks coolant externally... not much, about 1/4 cup over 4 months or so. I have pressure tested the coolant system in the past, and any loss in pressure over 24 hours is basically neglible. Should I be looking into re-torquing the heads and is this a concern that the head gasket could be on the way out? Also, something weird, I have a temp gauge for each head and this head always runs 25 to 50 degrees hotter than the drivers side head. Any thoughts?

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Old 03-22-2008, 07:08 PM
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A friend of mine has a set of AFRs on his 302 and they also his engine also has a slight weeping problem. He's retorqued his heads a couple times and that hasn't resolved the issue. I'd like to hear what others think as well.
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:12 PM
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Are you using ARP head studs?
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F-BIRD'88
Are you using ARP head studs?
I don't know, had the engine built by a localshop that builds engines for racers. I could give them a call and ask them, bt it's been a while.
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:42 PM
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Pop a valve cover off and have a look at the head bolts. ARP studs tend to leak/seep coolant as it tends to travel up the stud threads.
Have you located the exact place of the coolant leak?

Even BBC head bolts need thread sealer and a bit of gasket sealer under the head bolts to ensure coolant does not travel up the bolts.
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:58 PM
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If I'm willing to accept the slight weeping over the winter months is the condition something that needs to be addressed... could it be an indication of a warped head or dameged head gasket?
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:00 PM
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Coolant leak appears to be between hole 2 and 3 on the driver's side. Hard to tell as it leaks verrry slowly
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotRod60
If I'm willing to accept the slight weeping over the winter months is the condition something that needs to be addressed... could it be an indication of a warped head or dameged head gasket?
Could be a cracked block too. If the coolant is getting into the oil, thats not good. Very hard on bearings etc. Not a good lubricant.
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:06 PM
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Oil shows no sign of water in it and the coolant level stays up. Block was surfaced, power honed, washed, etc before assembly so I am hopeful that nothing has happened to it since, if I did I can't imagine why
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:12 PM
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external seeping coolant leaks over time with aluminum heads is common. a very small amount of good sealer will usaully cure the problem. most head gaskets now do not require retorque.

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Old 03-22-2008, 08:18 PM
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Thanks, Sam-Missile. I assume that sealant was used during assembly, but I wasn't there. The guys that built the engine build TONS of engines for racers, and they are very highly regarded around these parts. As long as I dealing with a normal situation I'm cool with that. The engine is in a show truck, and I can't imagine pulling it apart unless I have to (been there done that). Thanks, again
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Old 03-23-2008, 04:52 PM
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I've been told that new aluminum heads can sometimes be porous. I'm also told a can of radiator stop leak cures this...
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:07 PM
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Pull the bolts, or studs, and seal them with thread sealer. If that's too much to bother with, drop a seal tablet in the radiator and keep cruising.




Larry
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:52 PM
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I had the same issue on the passenger side with Dart Pro 1's with ARP studs and COMETIC MLS gaskets, studs were sealed very well. I retorqued the heads, still weeped but after a few short runups it went away.
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:33 PM
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GM makes sealing tabs you put in the radiator that should stop the weeping. Go to the GM dealer, get a pack of them, put the tabs in a container and crunch then up and pour the powder in the radiator.
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