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Rebuilt Engine - Minor Head Gasket Water Leak

3349 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  camaroman7d
I just completed my first top-end engine rebuild (didn't pull the pistons and crank). The engine runs great (93 Chevy LT1 w/ Aluminum Heads) but there is a very tiny amount of water seeping out from the head gasket on both sides near the rear. It's barely enough to drip after about an hour of running the engine, but I can see it start to build up a little.

I replaced all the top-end gaskets with new Fel-Pro gaskets. Everything else seems fine.

I figure I have two choices to get rid of it.

1. Pull the headers and valve covers and re-torque the heads. I did it to spec (Haynes Manual) and in the increments and order the book stated. Perhaps my torque wrench is not calibrated correctly.

2. Or should I go the distance and pull the heads and replace the gaskets? I really really hate to do this.

I guess I could try #1 first and see if it solves the problem. But wanted some suggestions and wondered if I should just go the whole way.

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I think for piece of mind you should just take off the head and see exactly what is happening. If you just re-torque the heads it may prevent a leak for awhile, but the root cause of the leak will still be there and the gasket will have been weakened, for lack of a better word, by the existing leak. You may as well do it right, right now. Little problems turn into big problems if neglected.

I would check the intake gasket first? it could be leaking from it and running down the back side of the head?
just a question when you had the heads off did you have them surfaced, the rule I follow is anytime you remove an aluminum head do the surface or atleast have them checked, how about the block how was the surface on it sealing an aluminum head to an iron block is a criticle operation
possible intake manifold

Water wouldnt be dripping down from the intake manifold, on an LT1 car reverse cooling, means a dry manifold, even though LT1s are known for manifold leaks, oil is what would be comming out, check the head gaskets its the only safe way to find out what is really happening im getting ready to do the head gasket repair on my 96 ws6, already did the Intake wish the heads would have messed up then, good luck.
Borrow another torque wrench and re-torque the heads. If the second wrench click at the same point as yours then pull the heads if not maybe your wrench is just off a little. No need to pull the heads if the bolts are just not tight enough.

Why were the heads off in the first place?

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