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Old 05-24-2009, 09:06 PM
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catostophic failure

I have had a series of issues with this engine some of which are mine and others that are out of my control. My high compression 331 has been a PITA for a while. I finally got the fuel system worked out so I can run a constant 6 psi. I got my freeze plugs back in from when the coolant froze this winter. Was gonna take it to the family get together today when I decided to check the oil. I changed 2-3 months ago but haven't driven it because of the fuel pressure issues. The stick showed over full of milk.
I checked the radiator level too see how bad it was and it is full and under pressure. I started it last Friday when fixing the fuel issue. That leads me to believe that it is just a head gasket and not a cracked block.

I must have awesome luck. When checking fuel pressure last week, I also bought a new cheap compression tester. I only tested 1 hole #1 just to see what the cranking pressure was. I could only get 25-35psi. I thought it was crappy tester and had a bad connection at the air fitting. Not much time and by myself. This is also next to the freeze plug that popped out. Come on head gasket!

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Old 05-24-2009, 10:07 PM
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Hope you are right after helping to get your fuel system straightened out, but the fact that the low cylinder is next to a freeze plug pushed out due to letting it freeze up is not good, especially since you said it pushed out more than one. Head gaskets survive freezing with no problems, I would automatically expect the block to be cracked, or if luck is on your side just the head is cracked.

EDIT: To call them freeze plugs is a misnomer, the correct term is core plugs. The factory put them there so that they have an opening to get all the core sand out after casting the block. They are not intended to be a "freeze relief point" and they rarely save a block from cracking if you let it freeze solid.
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:36 PM
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I know about the casting it is a name. What is weird is that is I have started it and driven it short runs to the store (3-4 block) before I change the oil. I would think that the old oil would look bad if it block cracked from freezing.

I need to check the other cyclinder and see if it is the gauge or a bad hole. THe gasket could also cause it to leak. I know it is wishful thinking.

Edit: It pushed the front plug on both sides of the block. Not the plugs on the front by the water pump.
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_bo3
I know about the casting it is a name. What is weird is that is I have started it and driven it short runs to the store (3-4 block) before I change the oil. I would think that the old oil would look bad if it block cracked from freezing.

I need to check the other cyclinder and see if it is the gauge or a bad hole. THe gasket could also cause it to leak. I know it is wishful thinking.

Edit: It pushed the front plug on both sides of the block. Not the plugs on the front by the water pump.
When a block cracks from freezing, it often will not manifest itself as a leak of water into the oil until the block has fully warmed up.

You can check the block by pulling the intake- the block will crack (sometimes) along a portion of the length of the lifter valley, up on the cylinder water jacket.

Last edited by cobalt327; 05-24-2009 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:05 PM
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X 2 to what Cobalt said about the block not leaking until warm-up. They will also crack into a cylinder, which goes along with your low compression test reading.
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:57 PM
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Bummer. Knowing better, I still learned the hard way about freezing temps and water in a new engine - there was no need to try anything as both sides of the block got blown out.
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:06 AM
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I have 2 bolt 350 that needs refreshed. I hope I can use the vortec heads. Just a shame to loose a 68-69 327 camaro block.

I can still use the crank. I like the idea of a 327. Its a light car and more torque isn't really needed. It pulled 11.7's with 385hp. I wanted to rebuild it to more friendly c/r anyway.
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