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Question regarding coolant leaks in between heads and block

Joined
Apr 15, 2003
Messages
65
Location
Texas
Corvette
1962 rebuild in progress
I am getting ready to start my engine and was testing the starter and checking to see if I was getting oil pressure and noticed some seepage of coolant between the heads and the block on both sides of the engine. Not much just a few drops in a couple of places just enough to spot the garage floor. The engine has been rebuilt, as have the heads, compression is good and all gaskets and plugs have been replaced during rebuild. Looking for input before going back to various stages of a teardown to find the problem. Could the seepage be coming from the headbolts I am assuming thread sealer would have been used on the head bolts, possible poor seal on the head gaskets, check the torque on the head bolts? Any input or ideas would be appreciated.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
Corvette
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
I'd check with the rebuilder - it's mandatory to use non-hardening thread sealer on all the head bolts, as they protrude into the water jackets; coolant leaks between the heads and block on an engine that hasn't been hot-fired yet isn't a good sign. If you have leakage internally as well, you could hydraulic-lock the engine when you try to start it and bend a rod.
 

Stan's Customs

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2004
Messages
226
Location
Ft. Worth, Texas
Corvette
Project 1961....
I'm not sure I would rely on the builder at this point.

I would pull the head or have someone other than the builder pull it. Just to be certain what the problem was. (regardless what the builder said)....and before it was fired.

A visual should tell you right quick what the problem is..and you can look at all the head bolt threads for yourself (for sealer) as you pull the head..

Just my nickel's worth...Stan
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2003
Messages
65
Location
Texas
Corvette
1962 rebuild in progress
Pulled the heads today, all the head bolts looked good and the threads had the proper sealer, right now the head gaskets are suspect. Soooooo am going to put a fresh set of head gaskets on and see how it goes. Thanks.
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,332
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
This doesn't make any sense at all. Fresh rebuild so I'd think that the parts had been checked for cracks and the surfaces were good. With the head bolts sealed and new gaskets torqued to specs there should be no leaks, especially without any pressure in the cooling system. There is something strange going on.

Look everything over very carefully before you put it back together. I'd also fill and pressure check the cooling system before I started the engine just in case there is a hole someplace that shouldn't be there.

Tom
 

Stan's Customs

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2004
Messages
226
Location
Ft. Worth, Texas
Corvette
Project 1961....
This doesn't make any sense at all. Fresh rebuild so I'd think that the parts had been checked for cracks and the surfaces were good. With the head bolts sealed and new gaskets torqued to specs there should be no leaks, especially without any pressure in the cooling system. There is something strange going on.

Look everything over very carefully before you put it back together. I'd also fill and pressure check the cooling system before I started the engine just in case there is a hole someplace that shouldn't be there.

Tom

I agree...that's why I was wondering what type of head gasket was used. If they were shim type type gaskets...my money's is on a poor block deck surface. Seems like some guys will deck the heads but not the block... Composit gaskets will generally over come the problem ...but shim gaskets may not...especially if installed dry.

Stan..
 

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