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Old 08-09-2012, 08:08 PM
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Water in Crankcase problem

So here is the story...

I have a 350 in a '68 Nova, some street, some strip... the car was running fine, slight overheat issues in traffic but nothing to extreme. I noticed a small leak of water/antifreeze under my car and it was coming from the front seal on my water pump. I had an electric water pump (35+ gpm) waiting to be put on so I figured now was the time. I installed the electric water pump and started filling the radiator with water, flipped the switched and it drained the radiator within seconds. I did this more then twice and was wondering what was going on...

Next thing I know, oil and water are spewing out of my carburetor everywhere...THE ENTIRE ENGINE AND CRANK CASE FILLED WITH WATER. Now my grandpa and I were stunned... in that short amount of time the entire engine filled with water? There was NO water in the oil at all with the mechanical water pump on the car!!! I find it hard to believe that this much water could enter the engine on just the premise of a head gasket or intake gasket... I am hoping that neither my heads nor block are cracked but any ideas would be great.

Within the next day or so I will be pulling the motor and tearing it apart, for cleaning if nothing else all the way down to the block so I will see if it is the gaskets, but any other ideas would be great. Within in minutes... completely full up to the carb...

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Old 08-09-2012, 10:22 PM
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I was waiting for someone else to say it, but...this is a joke, right?
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:14 AM
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nope... this was an email sent to my cousin from his friend asking for help... he forwarded it onto me and I couldn't help but share with the public. He actually did this, I got more on the story and he took the hose to the radiator with the pump on and just kept going, wherever the leak came from it all ended up coming out the carb lol I guess he has some pictures, I am going to try to get them...
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:53 AM
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We were at the drag strip in the early 90's. We'd just made a run when at half track, the car popped hard out of the carb, and when it did so it blew the lower radiator hose off the water pump. Once we got back to the pits we reinstalled the lower hose then started fillin it with coolant. We noticed it was taking more and more then coolant started coming out of the top of the carb. What happened was the back fire caused it to rupture the intake gaskets so coolant was pouring out of the intake coolant ports and into the crank case until it had filled the entire engine up. So there's no need in stripping the entire engine down, just replace the intake gaskets. If you plan on street use and if you live in a rather hot climate I would not run a electic water pump on the street. The few horsepower it frees up aren't worth the headache of it constantly running hot in traffic as well as the other headaches that come with it.
However once you have the coolant flushed refill the crank with oil and do a full compression test. This will tell you if you have a blown head gasket and if further work will be needed.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:45 PM
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The OP didn't mention any backfire of motor problems other than slight overheating.

Regardless, I would have never figured that out DV, I'm surprised, thanks for the information!
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:36 PM
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So my cousin told me today that they removed the intake and the gaskets were perfectly fine and made proper seals against the intake and heads...

I told him to do a compression test on the cylinders to see if was a head gasket issue... was this correct? Well regardless, he did it and all cylinders were at 128-135 psi. Which seems very low to me all around... but they all were within 10 psi... so... idk, I am wondering and completely confused as to where he had issues water wise. Any other places where water flow is adjacent to the crankcase?

(Didnt see DV post before I told him to do the compression test, guess it was the right move, thanks DV!!!)


*Side note, he bought this engine from me about 6 months ago when i was thinking about putting 305 heads on it... you guys turned me down on that idea, so I built a 402 instead *

And I dont remember what the psi was on the cylinders when I built this engine 3 years ago but I ran 14.8s at 5280+ ft in altitude. Could of done with a beefier cam... but it all worked for me.

Last edited by tyhansen; 08-11-2012 at 12:03 AM. Reason: DVs post
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:49 AM
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Water in crankcase

If the head gaskets and intake gaskets do not show any signs of failure then Then its time for a tear down. Take the block and heads to a machine shop, tell them your story. They can check the block for cracks. Something had to happen when it ran hot. Maybe heads warped or cracked the block. Take a straight edge and feeler gauges check the heads and top of block. Good luck.
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:08 PM
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You got compression results that were consistent at least, did you do the test with blocked WOT? Not that it matters in finding the problem, but you may not have gotten the true pressures.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:12 PM
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What about the bolts for the water pump ? Are they a bit too long ?
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seven up View Post
What about the bolts for the water pump ? Are they a bit too long ?
How would that be an issue with the OP's problem?
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68NovaSS View Post
You got compression results that were consistent at least, did you do the test with blocked WOT? Not that it matters in finding the problem, but you may not have gotten the true pressures.
The carb and intake were off when the compression test occured according to my cousin so it should have gotten all the air it needed in order to have correct pressures. Right?

As for the bolts, they were not too long, so they couldn't have punctured into the crankcase if that is what you were getting at seven up.

I went down there today to check it out and help out, we took the heads off and the gaskets were fine, perfect actually... The heads showed no signs of damage or warping anywhere but I told him to take them down to get pressure tested anyway just to be sure. The heads are 882 sbc casting heads so they are "prone to cracking" as most say... they came with 2.02/1.60 valves and I had them ported when I still owned the engine. I have a set of 146 casting heads that he can buy but I was thinking about putting them on a 409 sbc...

I mentioned to him that he might as well pull the block and have them pressure test it as well, wouldnt hurt... but I sure am confused as to how that much water entered the engine in such short of time without already noticing a major problem with the engine.

Last edited by tyhansen; 08-11-2012 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:38 PM
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Glad everything looks perfect. Will be looking for your post on the cause of this mess once everything is checked out at the machine shop.
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