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Falcon20x
03-07-2017, 11:36 PM
I know, I know most of you are thinking so many head gasket treads already.

This one is not much different, except that I have either the worst luck or I'm just plain dumb.
Between three engines and five set of rebuild heads, I have replaced the head gaskets about 7 times.
The last head gasket job was done using a freshly rebuild ford short block with a set of freshly rebuild heads (see pictures).
I used ARP studs, sometimes with or without copper spraying the gaskets, for every jobs. Every head gasket job resulted in water getting in a piston and coming out of the tail pipes!

The only think I can think of is, either the place I'm using to rebuild my heads is screwing them up or
that because for the first run I always fill the radiator, and burp it, with water instead of coolant it is creating an issue. There still the option I'm just that stupid.
Please take a look at the pictures and let me know if you have any suggestions or tips. Thx 66820668216682266823

KMT
03-07-2017, 11:47 PM
Same piston? Just the one? How long does it take for the leak to turn up? Before or after the engine gets to temp?

Did you pressure test it after filling but before running?

Same intake manifold? What torque spec? Checked that spec after running?

Blocks decked? Heads milled? How much?

Falcon20x
03-08-2017, 12:01 AM
Same piston?Just the one? For this build I do not know. I have not started to tear it down yet.
How long does it take for the leak to turn up? Before or after the engine gets to temp? Seems to be before it reaches full temp. I will have to check.

Did you pressure test it after filling but before running? No

Same intake manifold? No.
What torque spec? Head studs 80 FT/lbs. Intake was torqued a little higher than recommended.
Checked that spec after running? No

Blocks decked? Heads milled? How much? Yes and yes Unfortunately I do not have the engine rebuilt and head specs anymore.[/QUOTE]

KMT
03-08-2017, 12:24 AM
I've seen examples where the heads and block being milled pushed the intake manifold mating surfaces out of spec, resulting in mismatch that leads to issues when fired up. At some point, the build either needs spacers and/or creative milling on the intake, or else the block/heads are just boat anchors.

Might mean doing some math to confirm, but that otherwise goes back to pressure testing after assembly and filling, before running.

How did you determine it wet a piston if you haven't torn it down? Locked up? One or more wet plugs...?

Just strange you've juggled all those parts and the same issue keeps turning up.

Falcon20x
03-08-2017, 01:04 AM
I just ran the engine. Water out the tail pipes on the ground (quarter size) rather quick. Before the thermostat opens, I think.
Of course bubbles coming up through the expansion tank at running temps. After engine shut down, I can also hear the water dripping in what I believe is a cylinder.

Not sure how to do the math since I do not have the new specs for either the engine or ether heads.
What is procedure for the pressure testing. that your referring to ?

KMT
03-08-2017, 01:26 AM
Autozone, as an example, loans a cooling system pressure tester (also cap tester). Just install the adapter instead of the cap, then pump it up no more than what the cap rating is and see what happens. With an internal leak, you would pull the plugs first.

Note the last time I used the pressure testing kit from Autozone, it didn't come with the right adapter to fit my SC's radiator, just the cap. I think other auto parts stores have their own tool loaner programs, so check around. I think Harbor Freight sells a kit.


An inspection camera can come in handy as well - stick the flexible camera into each cylinder and snoop around. I'd want to know how many and which cylinders are being wet before I tore it back down.

Machine shops sometimes have the gear to test cooling system channels in the test heads, block, etc. Might ask yours if they can help test parts, but I think it's an assembly issue of some sort, so testing in the car with the cooling system connected is a good place to start looking.

Good luck.

sam jones
03-08-2017, 06:40 AM
Good morning

Before assembling was the block and cylinder heads bores threads chased, taped or clean. The amount of "junk" in the threaded bores is amazing. I pay close extra attention to the cylinder

heads to intake manifold and the "short" engine block bolt/thread holes.

Leakage at the intake manifold coolant ports could give the indication of a head gasket leak. Was the intake manifold bolts threads chased? Was high temp thread sealant used? Did

you double check the intake manifold torque? Sometimes the manifold doesn't "settle" on the first attempt.

Falcon20x
03-08-2017, 08:26 AM
[QUOTE=sam jones;1107951]Good morning

Before assembling was the block and cylinder heads bores threads chased, taped or clean.The amount of "junk" in the threaded bores is amazing. I pay close extra attention to the cylinder

Threads seemed to be good as new. No junk found, the ARP studs went in nice and smooth.

The heads to intake manifold and the "short" engine block bolt/thread holes?

Leakage at the intake manifold coolant ports could give the indication of a head gasket leak. Was the intake manifold bolts threads chased? Cleaned but not chased Was high temp thread sealant used? Yes, I always permatex high temp thread sealant.

Did you double check the intake manifold torque? Sometimes the manifold doesn't "settle" on the first attempt. No but I will



Back to the intake gasket, I usually use gasket sealer around the water ports. This time, I used (grey) permatex water and thermostat sealer. Would that cause a problem? Should I not use any sealer at all?

sam jones
03-08-2017, 10:54 AM
Back to the intake gasket, I usually use gasket sealer around the water ports. This time, I used (grey) permatex water and thermostat sealer. Would that cause a problem? Should I not use any sealer at all?[/QUOTE]

Good morning

Everyone has there own preference (product) for sealant use. The gray permatex should not cause a problem. Gray pematex has a higher tensile strength than black and use in oil/transmission pans installations.


I use ultra black permatex (thin coat) to position and seal intake gasket/coolant passages. From FEL-PRO installation tips GENERAL INSTRUCTION INTAKE MANIFOLD GASKET "PRIOR TO INSTALL OF INTAKE MANIFOLD apply a dab of PRO LINE@ RTV Black silicone sealer where all gaskets and seal meet" FEL-PRO LINE RTV black is supplied with Ford 3.8L N/A and Supercharged head gasket set.

Tim Groth
03-08-2017, 11:29 AM
With ARP studs it's a final torque spec of 90...did you say 80? Might be the issue right there.

-Tim

DrFishbone
03-08-2017, 01:57 PM
I just ran the engine. Water out the tail pipes on the ground (quarter size) rather quick. Before the thermostat opens, I think.
Of course bubbles coming up through the expansion tank at running temps. After engine shut down, I can also hear the water dripping in what I believe is a cylinder.

Sorry if these seem basic...sometimes I get worried when I shouldn't...maybe you're doing the same? ;)

How's the engine running? Smooth or rough?

A little water out the tailpipes is a normal byproduct of combustion. Also, when heads are removed, it's not hard to get a little bit down in the exhaust manifolds and out the tailpipes.

If there is a little air left in the coolant system, it is supposed to end up in the coolant overflow....as long as it's not a steady stream.

I'm not sure about the "water dripping" sound though....I don't think you could hear water dripping in a cylinder though. As you sure you're not hearing the exhaust creaking as it cools back down and contracts (catalytic converters especially)?

XR7 Dave
03-08-2017, 05:32 PM
If you did have a HG failure, there will be water in the exhaust system. It will take awhile to burn out.

Moisture is normal on a cold start due to rich AFR. It should get better the longer you run it. Does this car have a tune or is it stock?

Air pockets are also normal on these engines. You need a lever release cap so you can burb the system when hot and let it draw coolant back into the motor as it cools. Usually 4-5 heat cycles are required to purge the system. A lever radiator cap is key to success with this.

80ftlbs is the correct torque value for the studs. High boost applications can go 85, but no higher otherwise you will stretch the studs making them single use, you will also risk pulling threads from the block, and it won't help it seal better.

Don't let the motor get hot. Always purge it and shut it off before temps reach 210 max until you have all the air out of the system. Keep the coolant level in the reservoir high so that it never sucks air by emptying the tank or you'll have to start the process all over again.

Once you have the air out then the coolant level in the reservoir will always drop to the exact same level when sat overnight.

I highly doubt you have a head gasket issue.

Falcon20x
03-08-2017, 11:00 PM
With ARP studs it's a final torque spec of 90...did you say 80? Might be the issue right there.

-Tim


I did go to 90 one rebuild but I stopped at 80 for this one

Falcon20x
03-08-2017, 11:01 PM
Back to the intake gasket, I usually use gasket sealer around the water ports. This time, I used (grey) permatex water and thermostat sealer. Would that cause a problem? Should I not use any sealer at all?

Good morning

Everyone has there own preference (product) for sealant use. The gray permatex should not cause a problem. Gray pematex has a higher tensile strength than black and use in oil/transmission pans installations.


I use ultra black permatex (thin coat) to position and seal intake gasket/coolant passages. From FEL-PRO installation tips GENERAL INSTRUCTION INTAKE MANIFOLD GASKET "PRIOR TO INSTALL OF INTAKE MANIFOLD apply a dab of PRO LINE@ RTV Black silicone sealer where all gaskets and seal meet" FEL-PRO LINE RTV black is supplied with Ford 3.8L N/A and Supercharged head gasket set.[/QUOTE]

That takes care of that thought. Glad it is ok

Falcon20x
03-08-2017, 11:10 PM
[QUOTE=DrFishbone;1107959]Sorry if these seem basic...sometimes I get worried when I shouldn't...maybe you're doing the same? ;)

How's the engine running? Smooth or rough? Very smooth. Idle around 750 rpm
Is
A little water out the tailpipes is a normal byproduct of combustion. Also, when heads are removed, it's not hard to get a little bit down in the exhaust manifolds and out the tailpipes. Yes but when the engine is warmed I have continuous vapor mix with exhaust gas. This is leaving a film of water on the ground

If there is a little air left in the coolant system, it is supposed to end up in the coolant overflow....as long as it's not a steady stream. seems to be pretty study when the engine is warmed up

I'm not sure about the "water dripping" sound though....I don't think you could hear water dripping in a cylinder though. As you sure you're not hearing the exhaust creaking as it cools back down and contracts (catalytic converters especially) I will try to post a video

Falcon20x
03-08-2017, 11:21 PM
[QUOTE=XR7 Dave;1107962]If you did have a HG failure, there will be water in the exhaust system.. It will take awhile to burn out. The previous engine has been out of the car for almost a year. The car is being stored inside. I would think that any water left behind has long evaporated. The car has not seen any real coolant since 2009 or before.

Moisture is normal on a cold start due to rich AFR. It should get better the longer you run it. Does this car have a tune or is it stock? Stock, not mods at all. For now that is

Air pockets are also normal on these engines. You need a lever release cap so you can burb the system when hot and let it draw coolant back into the motor as it cools. Usually 4-5 heat cycles are required to purge the system. A lever radiator cap is key to success with this. Two cycles so far, I will keep trying

80ftlbs is the correct torque value for the studs. High boost applications can go 85, but no higher otherwise you will stretch the studs making them single use, you will also risk pulling threads from the block, and it won't help it seal better.

Don't let the motor get hot. Always purge it and shut it off before temps reach 210 max until you have all the air out of the system. Keep the coolant level in the reservoir high so that it never sucks air by emptying the tank or you'll have to start the process all over again. I use a radiator cap with build in temp gage.

Once you have the air out then the coolant level in the reservoir will always drop to the exact same level when sat overnight.

I highly doubt you have a head gasket issue

potshotscott
03-08-2017, 11:45 PM
So I'm reading about air pocket comments on this thread. Isn't the bolt on top of the thermostat housing the place to burp the loop? It is the high point in the system.

DrFishbone
03-09-2017, 02:11 PM
So I'm reading about air pocket comments on this thread. Isn't the bolt on top of the thermostat housing the place to burp the loop? It is the high point in the system.

Yes

You won't get 100% out though.

XR7 Dave
03-10-2017, 08:26 AM
1.) A lever cap is the proper way to get the air pockets out. Get rid of the temp gauge cap. A lever cap is the ONLY way to verify that you have eliminated the air pockets. You must heat cycle the motor until a hot release of the cap nets you -0- air bubbles in the overflow.

2.) See #1.

Falcon20x
03-10-2017, 05:01 PM
Sorry if these seem basic...sometimes I get worried when I shouldn't...maybe you're doing the same? ;)


You nailed it!

Once again I will bow and give respect to the experts.
I followed Dave's advise. 6 heat cycles and almost no air bubbling up to the expansion tank.I did not think that 20% humidity would produce that much water out of the tail pipes.

DrFishbone
03-14-2017, 12:01 PM
You nailed it!

Once again I will bow and give respect to the experts.
I followed Dave's advise. 6 heat cycles and almost no air bubbling up to the expansion tank.I did not think that 20% humidity would produce that much water out of the tail pipes.

Glad you got it. :D

It's not so much the humidity that causes exhaust gas to contain water vapor....here is the basic chemical reaction that happens during a gasoline combustion event:

2 C8H18 + 25 O2 → 16 CO2 + 18 H2O.

;)