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Discussion Starter #1
My 454 has water/ coolant in the oil, but it isn't blowing steam out of the exhaust. I was wondering if that was a sign of bad intake gasket?
 

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I noticed that the intake has a pool of fluid beside one of the bolt holes. Does that mean the intake itself is bad? It's a weiand.
This is more commonly a badly sealed gasket or a intake bolt with no thread sealer on it thet protrudes into the water jacket of the head....coolant will come up around the threads of an unsealed bolt.

Intake gaskets are relatively cheap, replace the gasket with the proper one for use with aluminum heads and /or aluminum intakes(Fel-Pro Printo-Seal for example, not their Permatorque Blue striped) and see if it solves the problem.

If the gasket is meant for an iron intake application like stock gaskets are, it will often leak....compressability and rebound characteristics are not correct for the added expansion aluminum has when it heats up. several heat and cool cycles and then an stock gasket leaks.

There is a possibility the intake is warped out of flat on the sealing faces...but any crack should be plainly obvious to the naked eye.
 

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It could be depend on which bolts, it does show that the thread sealant has failed or the bolt isn’t tight to spec.

Aluminum anything should have a damn good washer between the underside of the bolt head and the aluminum surface. A hardened washer is a must for head bolts or stud nuts on aluminum heads; The same is my recommendation on aluminum intakes or an extra thick or doubled regular washers since intake bolts are not nearly so tightened as head bolts/stud nuts. The important things to remember is aluminum is softer than steel so without a washer the bolt head or stud nut will cut and remove the aluminum and this will add a false torque reading where it will appear to reach the proper torque without applying the proper stretch load on the fastener. The other biggie is aluminum expands more than iron or steel, without a washer or with a weak washer it will either deform the aluminum and or bend (cup) a thin washer.

The other thing is the Chevy has head and intake bolts that terminate into cooling jackets and oily interior spaces open to the valley. So the SBC Gen I and II and all BBC‘s must have sealer on all the head to block and intake to head fasteners. You will find that the factory applied Teflon on head bolts is woefully lacking in adequate protection of leaks and intake bolts come naked.

I recommend a generous application of either non-hardening Permatex or Teflon plumbers joint compound. Either of these perform the needed thread sealing and are a good approximate for factory torque recommendations given with engine oil lubricated threads. ARP fasteners are on their own planet, use their recommended sealers and thread lubricants. What I have found is the non-hardening Permatex is the universal solution it is resistant to oil or waterless coolants. Teflon plumbers putty can be dissolved in oil so it eventually will ooze oil around fasteners terminating into oily places. It is good against coolant mixes up to 50/50, higher concentrations of glycols will eventually wash it out and it will leak coolant past the threads.

Don't forget that the underside of the bolt head or the stud nut is lubricated to the washer, but as important the washer and it’s contact against the aluminum part is dry. Failing this you will get incorrect torque values that while read properly are not loading the fastener enough and your getting washer rotation against the fixed surface which risks damaging the softer aluminum. So we want the washer to stall against the part while the fastener head rotates against the washer.

These are basic instructions that should come with your aluminum parts but probably didn’t.

Bogie
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is more commonly a badly sealed gasket or a intake bolt with no thread sealer on it thet protrudes into the water jacket of the head....coolant will come up around the threads of an unsealed bolt.

Intake gaskets are relatively cheap, replace the gasket with the proper one for use with aluminum heads and /or aluminum intakes(Fel-Pro Printo-Seal for example, not their Permatorque Blue striped) and see if it solves the problem.

If the gasket is meant for an iron intake application like stock gaskets are, it will often leak....compressability and rebound characteristics are not correct for the added expansion aluminum has when it heats up. several heat and cool cycles and then an stock gasket leaks.

There is a possibility the intake is warped out of flat on the sealing faces...but any crack should be plainly obvious to the naked eye.
Thanks for the information. Do you think that leak could be causing the coolant to get into the oil?
 

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The best way to find the problem is by doing a pressure check then tearing into the thing. It could be a dozen things. You could be certain it is simply a bad head gasket only to find out that the head has a crack.
If you have milky oil I would not even mess with a pressure check. That is more of I am loosing coolant but the oil is good kind of thing. That could be as simple as a loose hose clamp. But once the oil becomes milky that is going to get down to the bearings and toast them. You might as well tear into the thing and start inspecting starting with the heads and working down.


Good news is that often this is just a gasket thing and maybe some new bolts. Often a few hours of work will save the engine if you catch it fast enough. If you don't catch it fast enough well you have the engine tore down and can make a guess free plan depending on where your at.
 

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Thanks for the information. Do you think that leak could be causing the coolant to get into the oil?
Water leaks either out to the open or into the lifter valley are both known possible problem areas from a bad intake gasket seal. You will often see both in the same location.
 

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It could be depend on which bolts, it does show that the thread sealant has failed or the bolt isn’t tight to spec.

Aluminum anything should have a damn good washer between the underside of the bolt head and the aluminum surface. A hardened washer is a must for head bolts or stud nuts on aluminum heads; The same is my recommendation on aluminum intakes or an extra thick or doubled regular washers since intake bolts are not nearly so tightened as head bolts/stud nuts. The important things to remember is aluminum is softer than steel so without a washer the bolt head or stud nut will cut and remove the aluminum and this will add a false torque reading where it will appear to reach the proper torque without applying the proper stretch load on the fastener. The other biggie is aluminum expands more than iron or steel, without a washer or with a weak washer it will either deform the aluminum and or bend (cup) a thin washer.

The other thing is the Chevy has head and intake bolts that terminate into cooling jackets and oily interior spaces open to the valley. So the SBC Gen I and II and all BBC‘s must have sealer on all the head to block and intake to head fasteners. You will find that the factory applied Teflon on head bolts is woefully lacking in adequate protection of leaks and intake bolts come naked.

I recommend a generous application of either non-hardening Permatex or Teflon plumbers joint compound. Either of these perform the needed thread sealing and are a good approximate for factory torque recommendations given with engine oil lubricated threads. ARP fasteners are on their own planet, use their recommended sealers and thread lubricants. What I have found is the non-hardening Permatex is the universal solution it is resistant to oil or waterless coolants. Teflon plumbers putty can be dissolved in oil so it eventually will ooze oil around fasteners terminating into oily places. It is good against coolant mixes up to 50/50, higher concentrations of glycols will eventually wash it out and it will leak coolant past the threads.

Don't forget that the underside of the bolt head or the stud nut is lubricated to the washer, but as important the washer and it’s contact against the aluminum part is dry. Failing this you will get incorrect torque values that while read properly are not loading the fastener enough and your getting washer rotation against the fixed surface which risks damaging the softer aluminum. So we want the washer to stall against the part while the fastener head rotates against the washer.

These are basic instructions that should come with your aluminum parts but probably didn’t.

Bogie
I trust Bogie 100%. I’ve always used permatex #2 for head bolts and intake bolts. If you have a coolant leak into the intake your spark plugs will be discolored. I know this from experience. Bad head gasket will quite often make bubbles in the coolant. Also the coolant will stink
 

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This sort of problem just happened to me the other day.
A little different than yours, but...

Under full throttle I got that coolant on the headers smell. I was going to town, so just took it easy and had no problems or leaks.
My motor is a fairly fresh builds with a couple thousand miles on it.
It would only leak about 3000 rpm and up. It was dripping off the starter.

I'm thinking the worst...
Bad head gasket, cracked block, freeze plug.
Pulled the starter, everything looked ok.
Pressure test, it started pissing at 15lbs.

Turned out to be a loose intake manifold. The back 2 right under the distributor vacuum can.

I am going to tighten them all up this morning. Hope the truck will be running by noon.

So, check the intake first. Hopefully that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think I found my problem. The intake bolt where the coolant was pooled up was loose. I put some thread sealant on it and torqued all the intake bolts to 30ft lbs... I sure hope this fixes the problem.
 

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I think I found my problem. The intake bolt where the coolant was pooled up was loose. I put some thread sealant on it and torqued all the intake bolts to 30ft lbs... I sure hope this fixes the problem.
It may take replacing the gasket....once they leak often no amount of retorqueing will make it reseal once the gasket has fluid tracks across it....
Just letting you know to be prepared
 

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Are you going to make it to Sumerduck anytime soon?
 
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