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CMac89
08-19-2010, 04:06 PM
I was driving my '94 SC around today, and all of a sudden the car got very hot, so I pulled over. I made sure that my face was right next to the cap whenever I took it off and the radiator didn't have any water in it. I let it cool down and filled it up with water. Whenever I got home, there was an ancient gurgling in the overflow tank.

I immediately jumped to HGs as a problem, so I dug into it. Once I got over to the radiator drain plug, I realized that the head of it had broken off. The threads are still in the radiator and I can see wet spots, with a bit of corrosion around it. I don't want to replace headgaskets, if it's an easier problem, so I'm checking here.

I'm just wanting to verify that I'm right. If the drain plug was leaking, it would bleed pressure out of the coolant system and wouldn't create bubbling in the overflow tank. If the overflow tank gurgles it means there is more positive pressure in the coolant system; therefore, the radiator cap will open to bleed the pressure off.

I'm pretty sure I'm answering my own questions. What else do you guys suspect?

David Neibert
08-19-2010, 04:29 PM
I was driving my '94 SC around today, and all of a sudden the car got very hot, so I pulled over. I made sure that my face was right next to the cap whenever I took it off and the radiator didn't have any water in it. I let it cool down and filled it up with water. Whenever I got home, there was an ancient gurgling in the overflow tank.

I immediately jumped to HGs as a problem, so I dug into it. Once I got over to the radiator drain plug, I realized that the head of it had broken off. The threads are still in the radiator and I can see wet spots, with a bit of corrosion around it. I don't want to replace headgaskets, if it's an easier problem, so I'm checking here.

I'm just wanting to verify that I'm right. If the drain plug was leaking, it would bleed pressure out of the coolant system and wouldn't create bubbling in the overflow tank. If the overflow tank gurgles it means there is more positive pressure in the coolant system; therefore, the radiator cap will open to bleed the pressure off.

I'm pretty sure I'm answering my own questions. What else do you guys suspect?

Casey,

Leaking drain would allow air into the cooling system and could cause air bubbling up in the overflow when the motor was up to temp. But it would have to be a pretty big leak for that to happen. The leak would also become much larger once the engine warmed up and would be very apparent.

If you are getting combustion gas into the coolant, you should also be getting coolant into the combustion chamber and the exhaust. If that's the case, you should be able to smell the coolant in the exhaust.

From what you are describing, it sounds more like a bad head gasket than a leaking radiator.

David

Mike8675309
08-19-2010, 04:40 PM
if you lost coolant, it had to go somewhere. If it's not going out the radiator drain, then it went through the engine, either into the oil our out the tail pipe.

KMT
08-19-2010, 06:06 PM
Get your hands on a cooling system pressure tester and keep looking...

notime
08-19-2010, 07:24 PM
Napa sells a block tester. It contains a cylinder with a bulb on top and a fluid that will change colors if their are combustion gases in the coolant. You have to fill the cylinder with this fluid, remove radiator cap, start the car and sit cylinder into radiator fill neck. Make sure that the coolant does'nt come in contact with the block tester fluid and squeeze the bulb drawing the air from the cooling system into cylinder. The fluid should turn from a blue to a yellow/green color if there is combustion gases in the coolant. Not to positive on the color the fluid changes. It's been a while since I've used it.

CMac89
08-19-2010, 10:13 PM
I went ahead and jumped the gun. Unfortunately, I'm young and impatient.

I got everything down to the head bolts. Bought some head studs to help it out for future abuse. Last time I did an HG job, my shortblock went bad 500 miles later (the first time.)

This car's a virgin, so that meant I got to take off all of the retarded bolts that take 30 minutes to take off. It's rare to say something will be easier to put together than it will to pull apart.

I realized how much easier it is to pull the turbo car apart and respect it that much more.

CMac89
08-20-2010, 02:30 PM
Cylinder numba four!

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa258/CMac455/b3fd3389.jpg

Mike8675309
08-20-2010, 04:07 PM
weird looking gasket. Felpro composite, ford composite, someone's MLS?

XxSlowpokexX
08-20-2010, 04:17 PM
Back in the day they sold the graphite gaskets (Ford And Felpro) which I had the unfortunate opportunity to use..I blew them on my nitrous mustang in two days..They kinda look like those

XR7 Dave
08-20-2010, 10:50 PM
Back in the day they sold the graphite gaskets (Ford And Felpro) which I had the unfortunate opportunity to use..I blew them on my nitrous mustang in two days..They kinda look like those

You guys are dorks. Those are stock gaskets and they are all graphite composites unless they are MLS which those sure as hell aren't.

CMac89
08-21-2010, 12:10 PM
They're definitely stock gaskets.

Gonna machine and clean the heads up then put it back together. I told myself I'm not gonna internally mod my daily driver. Getting every mile I can out of this thing

fturner
08-21-2010, 12:35 PM
Whats wrong with the felpro's composites?... I'm running those in my car with no issues and I'm around 330rwhp or so running 14psi.

Fraser

CMac89
08-22-2010, 03:09 PM
There definitely isn't anything wrong with them to an extent. I was making over 400rwhp with those gaskets.

XxSlowpokexX
08-22-2010, 03:14 PM
You guys are dorks. Those are stock gaskets and they are all graphite composites unless they are MLS which those sure as hell aren't.

hmm my stock gaskets didnt look like that(may have been changed),,Regardess about 20 years ago both Felpro was selling "graphite" gaskets that looked just like those...They didnt work very well and then all of a sudden you didnt see much of them being sold....Dorky or not!

Mike8675309
08-22-2010, 07:11 PM
Whats wrong with the felpro's composites?...
Fraser

The real issue I have seen with the composites is that the inevitable head movement on our motors will break them down over time leading to coolant migration into the fire rings, eventually failure.

MLS gaskets are more resistant to failure from head movement:

Why PermaTorqueMLS?
You want to do the job right. So replace that MLS Head Gasket with PermaTorqueMLS by Fel-Pro. It's full-hard stainless steel material maintains its shape and compensates for thermal expansion and motion between block and head. Plus, strategically placed embossed beads eliminate leak paths, ensuring a consistent and lasting seal. It all adds up to a seal that's solid enough even for NASCAR competition

CMac89
08-24-2010, 10:50 PM
Well I put it all back together and fired it up tonight.

After it warmed up, I noticed coolant spraying on the bottom side of the radiator, strongly. I shut it off and inspected it, so I just assumed the radiator had a hole in the core somewhere. So, I took the radiator out of the turbo car and hick tied it in there.

I'm assuming this is where all of my coolant was going. The overflow tank was gurgling whenever I shut it off, too. Once I swapped radiators, it didn't happen. I don't know if the headgasket blew whenever it over heated, or what. I would say so.

I drove it around and it runs much cooler now. The only thing I didn't change were the spark plugs and the car's missing out because of that. Other than that, the car runs beautifully.

TbirdSCFan
08-25-2010, 11:33 AM
Cylinder numba four! Same as on my black car's HGs.