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TR2/3/3A Head gasket leaking in two places

mallard

Luke Skywalker
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I thought I would be starting the engine today but after putting water in the radiator for the first time I found these two leaks. One is in the left front corner of the head and the other is coming through the threads on the rear head bolt. Head gasket used was a Payen from BPNW. I took a lot of time making sure the protrusion was correct on the liners. My guess is that's the gasket did not compress enough on the L front corner. Is there a coolant passage in that corner, and why would the coolant come up through the bolt at the rear, I've never seen that before?
 

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TexasKnucklehead

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If it makes you feel any better, one of my head bolts also had water seeping around it. -But not when it was first filled. It waited until the engine heated up while running. My leaking head bolt was outside the rocker cover. Plumbers use a phrase "it'll take up". And I didn't bother with the leak, and it "took up" on it's own. Since I finished the engine long before the body, I had a long time to think about how I was going to fix it. When the weather would change, and it would get hot in the garage, the head bolt would seep water around the threads. Not a lot, but it leaked for a few months before it just stopped. It hasn't leaked since.
 

Geo Hahn

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...Is there a coolant passage in that corner...

I don't think so. Are you sure the leak is from the gasket and not the heater fitting at the water pump?

I've never had a problem with coolant at a bolt but do recall hearing of others who dealt with that. But then I have never had those rearmost head studs loosened or out.
 
OP
M

mallard

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George I wish it was as simple as the fitting for the heater line. The picture does show some rust on the fitting but that must have been from sitting around. TK it's nice when something fixes itself. I pulled the head today and found the gasket was not compressed in the corner about 1/8". I was told by a local expert on wet liner engines that he has seen a few engines lately that have had leaks, and some of the gaskets were to thin. I will pull the engine this week and double check everything.
 

6TTR3A

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One of the oft overlooked prep things is distorted threads on the studs. If the threads are stretched, you get a false reading on your torque wrench. (ie: torque wrench says 80lb but true is 40-50lb. With the head off, clean the threads, take a new nut & run it all the way down the threads. Should go on smooth with just your fingers. If it binds it needs replacing.
Frank
 

sp53

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I had the same problem Keith and I think it was a thin Gasket. Perhaps it would be helpful to put some permatex on the stud so in the area where the stud passes through the water chamber it would seal better. I had one on the outside fix itself like TN did, and I contribute that to crud building up around the bolt and the low pressure of the water letting that happen. Let us know about a thicker gasket if you find one. I started a new engine myself. I hate to say it, but your block could be cracked at that stud, I guess. You have done such a beautiful job with this car that I hate see that.
 

PeterK

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Keith, not that this would cause leaking but are those head bolt washers correct? The nuts look like grade 8 and the washers look like an SAE grade 8, that's why I mention it.
 
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mallard

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I'm pulling the engine this week, ( not what I wanted to do). I found something else with the engine that may have created real big problems later. When I pulled the head #2&3 pistons had flakes of rust on them. When I removed the exhaust manifold I found rust in the openings. So I'm sure when I adjusted the valves about a month ago it let the rust fall on the top of the pistons and score the cylinder walls. So this leak may have saved me from a complete engine rebuild in the near future. I don't understand why so much rust formed in the head. It has sat in the car for 3 years after the rebuild. The head had all the common work done to it before being installed. I know I broke the Cardinal rule that you should always build the engine last when doing a long restoration. Peter the bolts, nuts and washers are original to the engine. I even had the nuts re-plated because I like them with the little circles on them. I know very anal. Thanks all for the replies, hope things go better this time.
 
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mallard

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John yes the car is Winchester, send me a PM with your email address and I'll send a couple pictures.
 

MadMarx

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I have not much hope for you.
Leaking through THIS stud is normally a sign for a cracked block.
A crack from the water jacket to the bolt thread hole.
In most cases this happens if someone tightened the bolt in the block. They normally get screwed in by hand and that's it.
If someone uses a wrench to run them down and tighten them then you add this torque + the head nut torque which is too much for the block cast iron.
You get a crack.
Be prepared to find an new block.

Chris
 
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M

mallard

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Thanks Chris for the wonderful news. You are correct the block is cracked at both the front and rear exactly like you describe. I picked up a very nice block today for a great price. I did put all the bolts in finger tight before assembly. I'm going to have my torque wrench checked out before putting the short block together. I did order one of your rear main seal kits today. It was not available when I originally put the engine together.
 

MadMarx

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Sorry to hear that.
Also to check on these block.
I several times found the water jacket "box" in not perfect straight position.
This leads to very thin thickness between the bolt and the water and this will lead to a crack. English precision you know. :-(
Maybe you had one of these failure blocks.

How to tighten a head on these engine (or better said, how I do it):

- as the manual suggested I tighten the nuts to 135 Nm
- Then I warm up the engine withtout throttle blip. 10 Minutes until 185F are shown
- Then I torque up HOT to 140Nm
- done

The good thing, you don't have to tighten the head again.

Cheers
Chris
 
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