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#1062647 - 07/06/19 03:55 PM Oil soaked intake gasket adventure  
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mmc427ss Offline
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Over the past decade intake gaskets on the 427 SBC have been a problem. The Weiand 7525 single plane intake used in the build was port matched to the AFR 210 heads using a Fel Pro 1205 which is trimmed at the top of the runners to match the 210 ports. When the intake was port matched to that gasket there was only about 1/8" alum at the top of the intake ports. Over time the top of the gasket would push at runner corners of the gasket exposing the blue printoseal. The worst area was the 5-7 on the intake. Several years ago pulled the intake to replace the gaskets due to a lot of push at the 5-7. At that time had material added to the top of the 5-7 to increase contact there to 1/4", that fixed the push at 5-7.

Fast forward to this year, gasket push now at 2-4 with possible vac leak there, 5-7 area is good. A coolant leak that I can't find and higher than normal oil consumption and it's time to pull the intake again. Gasket inspection shows the coolant passage although not showing a leak aren't pretty, gasket push was well past time for replacement but the biggest issue was the intake gaskets were oil soaked more than 1/2 way up the gaskets and the head ports, valves, showed way to much oil be sucked into the ports.

The intake was taken to see my TIG guy, he built up 1-3, 2-4, 6-8 runner area so after milling there is now 1/4" or more contact at the top of the ports. After I roughed in the new alum added it was off to the machine shop to get the intake gasket surfaces milled.
There as several methods to check the gasket crush on the intakes. There is the wax wire, lead shot, lead solder crush methods to check crush from the top and bottom of the head to intake. Being I have the old gaskets taken off the engine and another used set replaced before I used my method to determine what the crush was. Checking at 6 places around the each ports groups and two places on the manifold ends it was determined that the .060" 1205 uncompressed was showing only about .002-.003" compression on the bottom and .007-.009" at the top of the ports. The machine shop was instructed to take .008" off the top of the runners. So a cut of .010" which trued the bottom and removed that .008" off the top, .002 off the bottom..

After a few hours with the Dremel and a carbide cutter, a drop of Tap-Free, and the welded exposed areas of the intake look pretty. There is now 1/4-5/16" gasket area above all the ports which should seal for a long time. Two coats of Hirsch engine black on the intake and will be ready for reinstall. But first will install a set of 1205s dry and install intake, remove intake and check the crush on the gaskets. Looking for a hair more crush at the bottoms than the tops which would be ideal. The opinions on how much crush vary, Vizard says bottom should be .005 tighter, Doug Meyers, the machine shop, say equal top and bottom. Hoping my method of determining the cut ends up being spot on. Also will need to address any intake bolt hole alignmnet problems on the test fit.

Have used GMs RTV several times on the china rail and coolant passages at the gaskets. Meyers and several others recommend a smear coat of The Right Stuff on both sides of the intake gaskets and china wall. The problem i see with that is working time is very minimal, just minutes before it's firming so installing the intake needs to be done very quickly. Hmmm, I do very little quickly anymore.

Another issue with the 1205s was the wall between the runners separating, moving. Doug says use the 1205 S3 gaskets which have a very thin steel inner core to prevent push and problem at the wall between runners. Years ago when I first had the push at the corners I tried a set of the S3s and couldn't get a seal at the bottom, engine smoked, After 300 miles removed intake and install 1205s again and everything was good, until now.

Have new Mr Gasket, Cometic, 1205 and 1205 S3 sitting on the bench, will decide which goes in for the future after a crush test. Sure hope all this work this time around nets a seal that doesn't leak coolant, doesn't allow oil to be sucked out of the valley, doesn't push at the passage corners, doesn't have a vac leak, and DOESN'T require me to pull the damn intake AGAIN.
Bob

#1062678 - 07/09/19 06:09 AM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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Update after a long holiday weekend.

Intake top of runners where the alum was added got a final dressing with the Dremel, some finish sanding, and two coats of Hirsch Black Engine Paint laid on. Hirsch engine paint is the best engine paint on the market. Good stuff, have been using it for years now. Even the AFR heads were painted with it 12 years ago and still look good.

In process of doing a dry torque down of the manifold using a set of 1205 intake gaskets to check the gasket compressed thickness. Will mike that set of gaskets and hope to get good numbers on compression. Also being the intake is a single plane you can see down most all the runner and check how the intake and head ports line up after the milling. Removing materiel from the intake will lower the intake to head port alignment. From what I can see down the runner they still looks acceptable.
Another check was done to measure the china wall to block gap that gets RTV to seal it. Very consistent .175" at three points, at #7 end slightly more, maybe +.015". So a nice bead 1/4" tall should seal those areas well.
When intake gets pulled tomorrow will check that none of the 12 bolts is rubbing against the intake bolt holes. All bolts went in with no problems but will clearance if necessary.

Hoping to see good uniform crush of the donor gaskets. Got my fingers crossed that we cut the right amount off the intake manifold gasket faces.
Will be able to make the decision on whether to use the 1205 or 1205 S3 gaskets when the intake gets installed for hopefully the last time for a while.

Went through the misc parts pulled to do the intake R&R.
Rotor phasing in the dist was very good, installed a new cap and rotor. Vac advance was checked and is still in spec. I only use the magnetic pickup in the Pertronics dist, no module. Had one of the weight pins for the centrifugal advance break a few year ago, everything good there now.
Bought a rebuild kit for the Mallory dead head fuel reg awhile ago. Pulled the reg apart and installed the new kit. Nothing wrong with the reg previously just thought I should throw the kit in to use it up.
Spent a little time on the Qjet looking for trouble, found none. It's an 800+ CFM I built and have been using for a decade now, lots of tricks done. Will not open it up, just bolt it back on and see if poor intake gasket seal was the cause of the sometime erratic A/F readings i was seeing. My guess is yes.
Bob

#1062700 - 07/12/19 05:02 AM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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After sitting almost 24 hrs with the manifold torqued down with no sealants the manifold was removed and the donor set of 1205s pulled. Miking the crush in 16 places, top and bottom of the gaskets crush is now + .002" max on average across the bottom on one side, +.002 max across the top the other side. HUGE improvement over the +.007- +.008" top was tighter on both sides. HAPPY, HAPPY.

The decision mas made to go with the 1205 S3 steel core gasket. It would help prevent deterioration of the thin gasket between the runners which has been a problem with the 1205. Fel Pro says a 1205 is .060", a 1205 S3 they say .065", actually miked thicker than that. Being I cut the intake faces about .010" on each side to correct the angle a .005" thicker gasket will offset the cut a little and help with intake to head port alignment.
Over the several Fel Pro intake gaskets installed on this engine have had to trim the gasket at the top of the port to match the AFR 210s. The 1205 needed to be trimmed, a 1206 gasket's port was to large, both in height and width to work on a 210 head.
A hand nibbler is used to cut back to the blue printoseal on the top only, the corners radiused with a round file. The steel gasket core of course is hard to cut/trim. If the gasket wasn't trimmed about .080" of gasket would hang down into the port. Fel Pro says the 1205 and 1205 S3 are trim to fit, So be it. Oh, by the way AFR basically says there are no gaskets that fit their final port size. I chose to port match the intake to the gaskets I made to fit the 210 head's ports.

Install time, will try to make if short.
Bought a fresh squeeze tub of The Right Stuff being it come highly regarded as the best sealant on the market. For all manifold installs for decades have used the GM RTV, great stuff too but decided to give the Right Stuff a shot at being king.
Once all the surfaces were prepped for install, applied a small bead around the coolant ports, a dab in the center of the gasket, and a bead around the lower half of the runners and half way up the port divider, this done on ONLY head side of the gaskets. Then took a stiff brush and spread all places out to thin the bead and ensure all areas had a coating brushing onto the surfaces.
Right Stuff setup time is quick. The gaskets are then stuck to the heads, the port opening up and down and fore and aft is aligned, The intake then carefully set down and being a single plane intake visual port and gasket can to checked. Has do that twice, one gasket slipped. All 12 bolts are then installed and in sequence snugged down lightly. this will allow the gasket to be installed on the heads.

Let that sit for 8 hrs then removed the intake. After another thorough cleaning brushed Right Stuff on only the coolant passage areas, a tall bead on the China walls and a brush coat on the bottom of the intake that the contacts the wall. No sealant on any to the intake sides of the ports. Intake was now placed with the thought of the +.002" high, the other .002" low crush reading from earlier. With gaskets glued to the heads, bolts just started, the manifold could be rotated slightly to improve port alignment and offset the minor .002" number, a win -win.
All the bolts were tightened in sequence to pull the intake down evenly. Again a visual into the intake plenum while doing this showed the good port/gasket/port alignment.
Being this intake makes the four center bolts impossible to reach and only a long arm 12pt 3/8" box can tighten them, torquing is a feel thing.
None of the 12 bolts were installed with any sealant yet, all dry. The ends will get neverseize, they are blind. The rest wall get thread sealant, previously have used GM on this engine with good results, Not exactly sure which of the six thread sealants on hand will be used yet.
The dist will be dropped back in along with most all the other parts except carb before bolts sealed and torqued down. Will remove/seal one bolt at a time to do this so manifold doesn't loose crush on the NEW gaskets.
Next is quickly install carb and fire up the engine within a few hours to get heat into the heads and intake. Then torque intake again. This way bolt sealant doesn't have time to take a set and influence torquing. Will go over the bolts several times engine hot and cold. Don't need to over torque just need to insure gaskets crush and no leaks.
Have done lots of intakes over the past 50 years, all except this engine were glue them up and bolt them down, check bolts once more and you're done. This is the 5th set of intakes on this engine. Welding more alum to the intake flange to double the contact area, milling the intake, checking gasket crush, all seem extreme, and expensive, to keep the oil out of the intake ports, stop the gasket push, and allow me not to do this again for a while. With UMI's King of Mountain a month away hoping this is the last hurdle to cross before that.
Bob

#1062702 - 07/12/19 02:11 PM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Quite a bit of work getting a good seal, but it sounds like you've likely got it nailed for good thumbs


Sometimes you just need a bigger hammer...

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1062715 - 07/14/19 05:39 AM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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Fri night, 2am, back together and ready to fire up.
Never-sezed the four end manifold bolts, the eight centers got a moderate full brush coating of GM gray RTV. Of the 6 thread sealants on hand it's my standby. Bolts removed one at a time and retorqued. All threads were very clean so hoping this prevents migration of that damn Mobil 1.

Sat morning, actually early, 8:30, filled the Qjet with some gas out of the power washer, pumped the gas three times and it fired right off and fast idled. Shut down, check for fuel leaks. Next timing light, vac gauge, fuel pressure gauge on the dead head regulator, and the two idle mixture screw drivers tie wrapped in place.
Restart, timing off by almost 10 degrees retarded, set at 17, attach vac advance, now 36 degrees at idle, dead on, adjust dead head to get 6 psi at idle, vac a little low, A/F is showing rich idle. Turn in mixture screws almost 1 turn to get back to 13.8, tweak idle speed to 750, 16" vac is now acceptable. Engine temp got to close to 170 circulated, happy with the tune, Shutdown and let cool for about an hour and double checked all the intake bolts and 50 other things I had apart.

All the coolant drained was caught and reused after running through a paint filter.
Refilling this engine with coolant was a PITA for a few reasons. The Dart engine block doesn't have a bypass hole for the water pump. The Stewart water pump is hard to get all the air out of it so it will cavitate maybe due to no bypass on the Dart block. The fix was to install a bleeder at the high point in the SS cooling system, the inlet to the heater. Much easier to bleed the system now. Added that bleeder many years ago, another good mod to the car.

Pulled off all but the idle mix tools, closed the hood and up the road a mile and back to the shop.Saw 14.2 A/F at 2300 in 4th gear. Pulled the air cleaner and adjusted the cruise A/F screw 1/2 turn lean. Back out to the 55 road and 14.9-15.0 at 60 in 6th, good, and steady. Will tweak on idle mix, speed, and cruise over the next week or so.

By the adjustments made to idle mix and cruise it's apparent the intake gaskets were leaking enough to influence A/F a good bit. Almost 1 full turn leaner at idle and that 1/2 turn leaner on cruise A/F are significant. Over the past 1000 miles was getting erratic A/F numbers at cruise and idle. From only a few driving miles today it looks like a winner. Will get some hours on the car this week coming.

If no vac leaks at the gaskets then no oil being sucked in there now. Engine used a 1/4 qt of Mobil 10-30 for 250 miles just prior, excessive. In a few days will change the oil filter and check the element for debris. I rarely change oil in this engine, just change filters and inspect very often. The Wix tall has got pricey these days, but cheap insurance at 15 bucks to change often. Finding stuff in the element isn't good, don't expect anything there now. Since changing the dist gear to composite, doing new valvetrain haven't seen much of anything in the filter lately.

Will be adding a cleaner to the gas for a while to see if it cleans up the intake valves and tops of the pistons. No idea which product to get yet. In my Astro I stick a small bottle of Lucas in the tank several times a year to keep the poppet injectors clean. That 4.3 has 280K, heads off twice, uses a qt every 1500 or so. Seafoam, Lucas, will dump something in the tank of the 86.

The real downer to the day was before initial start up the stainless exhaust, headers, bell housing was washed of any signs of a previous coolant leak. After the second test drive a check showed a little coolant staining on the exhaust again.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I turned out the lights and went home to cut the grass.
The old intake gaskets coolant areas weren't pretty after 5 years but didn't show a leak. So obviously the next concern is the head gaskets at the back of the block. It's not the head bolts leaking, Dart blocks have all blind holes for the bolts. So after 13 years of beating on this engine it looks like head gaskets and a freshening of the old AFR 210s gets put on the list of need-to-do. Wow, I'll get to do intake gaskets again.
Bob

#1062720 - 07/14/19 08:44 PM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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SSLance Offline
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Ugh... I'd be tempted to live with a little bit of coolant leak as long as it is just leaving the engine. If it's getting into a combustion chamber, then obviously that's different.


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1062725 - 07/14/19 09:13 PM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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The coolant leak started shortly after changing antifreeze from Pride Universal Gold 85 which I ran in all 5 cars for years, no problems. \
https://prideantifreeze.com/assets/pride_universal_antifreeze_v021015.pdf
It was only available at my local independent parts house which went out of business 2 years ago. Have run Prestone, Zerex back in the day on the previous fleet vehicles.
Looking for a replacement for the Pride. Zerex G-05 was bought, mixed with distilled water, system flushed, and very shortly after started the spitting. The G-05 is an HOAT type with stop leak technology. There in may lie the problem. ECO friendly with a stop leak.

Have dropped into the rad several crushed Bars Leak tablets to no avail.
Changing the clutch to look at the rear freeze plugs, intake gaskets to examine for leaks, showed nothing. From the area of the antifreeze spotting only one place left, heads.

Will drain out the G-05 and replace with something else, not sure yet what that is. Will try and milk the leak until the head R&R can be done as a "Winter project".
Bob

#1062728 - 07/15/19 01:10 AM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Liquid Bar's Leak, with the pellets!!


Leo Paugh
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POW*MIA
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If things improve with age, I must be approaching magnificent. thumbs
#1062731 - 07/15/19 04:26 AM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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While reading everything I can find about antifreeze found this lengthy, 2004 read, it's gives a good description of what the different antifreeze are. I'm sure the "what antifreeze goes in my car" question is much worse today but the same problem.
https://www.motor.com/magazine-summ...easy-being-green-or-yellow-or-orange-or/

The Pride Universal was a NON 2-EHA, the G-05 contains 2-EHA. It may be that the 2-EHA doesn't like plastic, gaskets.
Quote from above article: "The inhibitor 2-EHA poses another issue: It's a plasticizer (softens plastic), so it has been blamed for coolant passage gasket leakage. Softening (and the resulting distortion) was reported by Ford, which encountered gasket leakage problems when it tested a DexCool-type formula on its V8 engines. Ford also saw similar issues with other gasket materials. That killed the OAT coolant idea for Ford, which had used a DexCool-like coolant in the '99 Cougar V6."

Truth or just another opinion? Could that additive really cause a 12 year old head gasket to piss when system pressure is high, like 3rd gear at 4K and up.

A phone call in the next day or so to Coastal Chemical about Pride antifreeze may confirm Coastal is now making the PEAK Global Lifetime which is the same mix as the Pride Universal I was using. Didn't know much about PEAK until you look at the corporate structure/products of Old World Industries.

So looking like PEAK will be shopped for, in concentrate form. Appears to be the Pride I've used for years prior.
https://peakauto.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/PEAK_Global_FS_spec_sheet.pdf
Bob

#1062738 - 07/16/19 06:00 AM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Made numerous calls to Coastal this morning with questions until i finally got to talk to the tech/engineering guy. Yes, Coastal is an independent, not part of the Peak conglomerate. Yes you want to stay away from the 2-EHA additive, potential gasket leaks. Yes, it's hard to buy the Prime Universal 84, it's not a big boy. Yes the PEAK Lifetime Global is very close to the same formula as the Prime. Yes, the PEAK Long Life and the Zerex G05 do use the 2-EHA.
He first said the G05 is a very good Global and recommended it as a general coolant for most uses.

A phone call to Coastal's upstate Pa dist and I can pickup a gallon, or a case from them but they won't ship it. I'll be in their neighborhood next month while on the way to the UMI event. Not sure if I can wait that long to change coolant.

Finding someone who stocks Peak Lifetime has been difficult, but why not. Pep Boys, Napa, Zone, Advance even Wally World don't have it on the shelf. There is now about 10 different PEAK formulas on the shelves everywhere, but no Lifetime anywhere. E-mailed PEAK, hopefully they actually read email these days.

Drove the car 25 miles today after washing off any spitting of antifreeze underneath. Only jumped on it once in 3rd gear, a little spittle on the exhaust so still looking for the leaker. Checked all the freeze plugs, hoses, everywhere. Can pinpoint to the back of the head at the #8 but can't get a good visual there of the head gasket, to much stuff in the way. Can see a path on the bell toward that direction but would think you would see a spray pattern. Onward.

Change the WIX oil filter out tonight. Will cut it open after it's done draining. Buying an oil filter cutter was a good investment. Every motor head should own one. You can learn a lot about the health of an engine by reading the element.

Tweaked the idle mixture a little richer, cruise A/F a little richer, idle speed a tad slower, another test drive will follow to dial it in. Gotta love having an accurate A/F meter with a carb like the Qjet.
Bob

#1062743 - 07/16/19 03:38 PM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Surprise, got a reply from the Peak email this morning. Try special ordering the Lifetime from NAPA was the response. Also check with Walgreens, they sell Peak.
Bob

#1062754 - 07/17/19 01:47 AM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Walgreens had on the shelf one gallon of a green PEAK antifreeze, and a qt of Peak 10-30, but expected. Across the street is a Sonic, had the #1 with a sweet tea.
Highlight of the Walgreen visit.
So even though some stores

At my local NAPA after some digging through one of their catalogs we found the PEAK Lifetime Full Strength.There are 5 pages of antifreeze these days to pick from. Special order item and a case of 6 gallons needs to be bought. Order it after my friend at the counter said he'd buy two gallon to put in his 84 SS, 26K mile car. About 19 bucks a gallon will be the price, add two gallons of distilled water and not a lot of money to see if the pissing stops. So next is drain and flush the G05 out, hope for the best with the new PEAK.

Bob

#1062827 - 07/22/19 05:11 AM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Picked up my four gallons (two for the next car that needs fresh antifreeze) of Peak Lifetime on Thurs, 21 buck a gallon for concentrated, 2 bucks a gallon for distilled water, so $11.50 a gallon after mixing, not bad. Gold in color, typical for a Global antifreeze.

Being my Astro van immediately needs to occupy the space the 86 sits in, today was the day, Sun, to drain, flush and refill the 86. Of course I pick a day when it was 100 in the shade, on the workbench top surface I got 103 with the infrared gauge, the concrete floor was 93. Not the best day to do several hours of work on a cooling system with several trips up the road with heater turned on. The biggest problem was waiting for the engine to cool enough between rounds of flushing.
A knock sensor is used on the right side of the block to work with the Safeguard knock retard. Sensor was removed and a temporary pipe plug used to make flushing easier. On the left side a petcock makes block draining easy. Virtually all the old coolant and flush was able to be remove, collected.
Most notably was the amount of black specs removed, this is the remnants of the Bar's Leak tablets dropped in the system the past year or so. They seem to collect in the bottom of the block.
The purpose of the extensive flushing was to get as much of the G05 antifreeze and Bars Leak as possible out of the system. Used a Prestone Flush, liquid. The system was in very good condition so cleaning wasn't the priority, purging the G05 was the issue.
At the end of the day was satisfied that all the old is gone, new PEAK is in. Along with a bottle of K-Seal.

K-Seal? Is it really a good head gasket repair in the bottle? Have been chasing a small coolant leak for months. Spent a grand to look at the freeze plugs in the back of the block, a McLeod RST got installed. Pulled the intake to look at the manifold rear coolant passages, 500 bucks after welding and machine work on the intake, a few other parts too. The only leak place left is the back lower corner of the heads. Don't need, want, to think about pulling the heads until that can be a Winter project. K-seal?

Now the irony. My Astro has a bad head gasket. Smelled antifreeze recently, checked all the usual places, right head leaking at the same location I suspect on the 86. WHAT!!!!
Six years ago had to replace head gaskets on the Astro's 4.3, left head lower back corner. Had the Vortec heads cooked, valve job, leak checked and surfaced. And swore I would never, ever, do head gaskets on an Astro again. You do almost everything from under the dash, dealer was getting 1700 bucks for the job back then. Four years later I was there again doing head gaskets, same place leaking. WHAT!!!. Just pulled the heads and replaced gaskets that time, just a clean up with a Scotch Roto-disc.. Now here I am again pulling the heads for the third time to fix the other corner.
A bottle of K-Seal was dumped into the Astro last Weds. It appears to have sealed the external leak but I know the gasket's fire ring is junk at most likely #6. I get bubbles back into the recovery tank when I shut it off.
Fire ring was junk both times before on #5. Minor hydrolock occurred before the first time replacement but didn't bend the connection rod. Don't need to hydrolock the engine this time, Get the van into the bay, open my dictionary of four letter words and buy a case of Bandaids.

Do electric cars have head gaskets?
Bob

#1062833 - 07/22/19 04:00 PM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Originally Posted by mmc427ss
Picked up my four gallons (two for the next car that needs fresh antifreeze) of Peak Lifetime on Thurs, 21 buck a gallon for concentrated, 2 bucks a gallon for distilled water, so $11.50 a gallon after mixing, not bad. Gold in color, typical for a Global antifreeze.

Being my Astro van immediately needs to occupy the space the 86 sits in, today was the day, Sun, to drain, flush and refill the 86. Of course I pick a day when it was 100 in the shade, on the workbench top surface I got 103 with the infrared gauge, the concrete floor was 93. Not the best day to do several hours of work on a cooling system with several trips up the road with heater turned on. The biggest problem was waiting for the engine to cool enough between rounds of flushing.
A knock sensor is used on the right side of the block to work with the Safeguard knock retard. Sensor was removed and a temporary pipe plug used to make flushing easier. On the left side a petcock makes block draining easy. Virtually all the old coolant and flush was able to be remove, collected.
Most notably was the amount of black specs removed, this is the remnants of the Bar's Leak tablets dropped in the system the past year or so. They seem to collect in the bottom of the block.
The purpose of the extensive flushing was to get as much of the G05 antifreeze and Bars Leak as possible out of the system. Used a Prestone Flush, liquid. The system was in very good condition so cleaning wasn't the priority, purging the G05 was the issue.
At the end of the day was satisfied that all the old is gone, new PEAK is in. Along with a bottle of K-Seal.

K-Seal? Is it really a good head gasket repair in the bottle? Have been chasing a small coolant leak for months. Spent a grand to look at the freeze plugs in the back of the block, a McLeod RST got installed. Pulled the intake to look at the manifold rear coolant passages, 500 bucks after welding and machine work on the intake, a few other parts too. The only leak place left is the back lower corner of the heads. Don't need, want, to think about pulling the heads until that can be a Winter project. K-seal?

Now the irony. My Astro has a bad head gasket. Smelled antifreeze recently, checked all the usual places, right head leaking at the same location I suspect on the 86. WHAT!!!!
Six years ago had to replace head gaskets on the Astro's 4.3, left head lower back corner. Had the Vortec heads cooked, valve job, leak checked and surfaced. And swore I would never, ever, do head gaskets on an Astro again. You do almost everything from under the dash, dealer was getting 1700 bucks for the job back then. Four years later I was there again doing head gaskets, same place leaking. WHAT!!!. Just pulled the heads and replaced gaskets that time, just a clean up with a Scotch Roto-disc.. Now here I am again pulling the heads for the third time to fix the other corner.
A bottle of K-Seal was dumped into the Astro last Weds. It appears to have sealed the external leak but I know the gasket's fire ring is junk at most likely #6. I get bubbles back into the recovery tank when I shut it off.
Fire ring was junk both times before on #5. Minor hydrolock occurred before the first time replacement but didn't bend the connection rod. Don't need to hydrolock the engine this time, Get the van into the bay, open my dictionary of four letter words and buy a case of Bandaids.

Do electric cars have head gaskets?
Bob




Tough luck.

On the other hand, LS engines have dry intakes...


86 SS 6.0L LQ4, TBSS GEN IV intake, 92mm TB, 30lb injectors, Summit Stage 3 NA Cam, Stainless long tube headers, Stainless 3in exhaust, Microsquirt ECU, FABbot AR5 5-speed, Torsen LSD, QA1 Lvl 3 Suspension Kit, UMI Front & Rear Braces. Check out my build blog on Summit Racing's OnAll Cylinders https://www.onallcylinders.com/author/travis-jones/
#1062854 - 07/23/19 06:00 AM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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mmc427ss  Offline
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Yea, I thought about that, no oil down the LS gaskets.

Had the car out today for about 20 miles to circulate the sealer and stabilize the quantity of coolant in the system. A little cooler than yesterday, only about 90, car behaved very well, R12 A/C a pleasure. Engine temp was very stable and not effected by the A/C being on. I credit the Audocool fan controller for doing a great job controlling the rad outlet coolant temp. Seeing a 25-30 degree drop in coolant temp through the rad, about 180-185 in, 150-155 out.

Happened to look at the stainless tailpipes inside wall. They had turned a dry, medium gray since the intake work. Previously they were glossy and very dark, from the oil being sucked at the intake gaskets. Carb cleaner, Bon-ami and Scotchbrite got them down to stainless inside for a few inches. Will now keep an eye on the coloring and see what shows up there.

A bottle of Techron went in the fuel tank, time will tell if the oil deposits on the intake valves will disappear. Just need to pull the carb at some time to look at the runners and bore scope the valves.
Don't have a lot of faith in the medicine man magic in a bottle. The car now has a bottle of magic in the cooling system and one in the tank. Batting 500 would be a good thing.
Bob

#1062896 - 07/25/19 04:15 PM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Hunter79764 Offline
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SeaFoam might be a better option for the oil on the valves etc. That stuff seems to clean everything pretty well, especially sucking it into the manifold (and especially if you can make sure it gets to the area that was leaking).
Just make sure you chose the right weather conditions for the operation. Humidity and temperature don't matter much, but wait for the wind to blow towards a neighbor you don't care for. It makes quite a smoke show...


Sometimes you just need a bigger hammer...

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1062919 - 07/27/19 06:17 AM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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mmc427ss  Offline
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Not much time spent on the 86, a few short drives, one to get annual State safety and emissions stickers replaced. Still monitoring the recovery tank coolant level in the system and checking for stains on the exhaust system, the telltale signs. Looking good so far.

The Astro heads are off. One is good, the other is junk, it has the Vortec head crack at the exhaust seat in #5. First set of head gaskets failed at the coolant passage at #5, 142K, New Felpro gaskets, head bolts, heads refurbished. Second time heads taken off at 248K, failure at #5 again this time at the threads of the lower head bolt. Don't trust the sealant FelPro puts on the head bolts, it's not enough and in the wrong place. Now at 270K when heads pulled this week all the bolts threads looked real pretty , no signs of failing after 20K miles. Gasket was in pretty good shape at the previous fail point. Everywhere else on both heads and intake gaskets was very good. But now the problem is the cracked head. Don't think the crack was the problem previously, both times before were gasket failure or bolt sealant at #5.

Took the heads to the machine shop, yep, the left head has the dreaded Vortec crack. the other head is good. Checked for straightness, very good and surface very good, just reinstall right head. Prices are all over the place for a reman'ed head. Checked everywhere, the 1995 heads are a little scare. Looks like Rock will get the order and less expensive. Checked with two local machine shops for one on the shelf, NAPA and Advance not, Autozone can get one but 30 bucks more for the same refurber as Rock.
Just wish I had a kid who liked to wrench on his Dad's junk as he lays under the dash torquing head bolts. It takes me way to long to do these ugly repairs these days.

Monte content: While the Astro is down my daily is now my wife's O2 SS. A full optioned car, black with black leather, a very clean 125K, which I ordered new as a Christmas present for her. Of course the 86 then became my toy. We both came out ahead on that deal.
I could get use to driving the 02 everyday, although dated now it's a real nice driver. A set of Koni's on the corners would be nice, another 100 horse under the hood, but all in all beats driving around in an Astro van with 270K. All good things usually come to an end, soon will have the Astro back together, looking for that 300K mark.

Sat evening the 86 is going to a show which I attend once in a blue moon, maybe a 45 mile round trip. A little test for the cooling system leak. Hoping all is well.
Bob

#1062923 - 07/27/19 11:27 PM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Travis Jones Offline
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Travis Jones  Offline
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Ferndale, MI
The obvious answer is to LS swap the Astro van lmao


86 SS 6.0L LQ4, TBSS GEN IV intake, 92mm TB, 30lb injectors, Summit Stage 3 NA Cam, Stainless long tube headers, Stainless 3in exhaust, Microsquirt ECU, FABbot AR5 5-speed, Torsen LSD, QA1 Lvl 3 Suspension Kit, UMI Front & Rear Braces. Check out my build blog on Summit Racing's OnAll Cylinders https://www.onallcylinders.com/author/travis-jones/
#1062953 - 07/29/19 04:43 PM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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SSLance Offline
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SSLance  Offline
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Peoria, AZ
Originally Posted by mmc427ss

Sat evening the 86 is going to a show which I attend once in a blue moon, maybe a 45 mile round trip. A little test for the cooling system leak. Hoping all is well.
Bob



And?


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1062955 - 07/29/19 06:31 PM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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mmc427ss  Offline
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Dropping a SBC in a RWD Astro has been done many times, Jags That Run sold a kit to do that. An AWD Astro is another story. SBC, 2nd Gen LT1 has been done, even a BBC I've seen done in RWD. There are a few guys doing an LS but because of the confining width of the engine bay and the larger width of the LS it's not anything close to an easy swap and all but impossible on an AWD. Many times I thought about adding another 150 hp via a swap,

Cooling system working great, 90-95 degrees several days, R12 A/C working great, Autocool fan controller working great, hottest engine temp I've seen is 185. Haven't looked under the car at exhaust to see if coolant pissing has stopped. The K-seal has been in the 86 now for about a 100 miles, should have done it's job by now. When I pulled the Astro heads off I could find the K-seal in the coolant passages. I could smell a coolant leak on the Astro which was the start of the head pulling project. Adding K-seal to the Astro stopped the external leak, to bad it didn't fix the crack in the head. Hoping K-seal in the 86 buys me time to put the 86 head gaskets on the Winter to-do list.
Bob

#1063051 - 08/07/19 05:00 AM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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mmc427ss  Offline
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Peaked under the 86 last night, looks like the coolant spitting on the exhaust may be gone now. Will now need to make some serious hard pulls on a hot engine too verify that. Usually it's that blast in 3rd gear that coolant shows up on the exhaust
I'm very vigilant about monitoring the coolant level cold in the reservoir. It should be on the full line every time the engine is cold and was for a decade.

Ended up buying a cyl head from Rockauto for the Astro, had to wait a week for delivery but price was right. It was re-manned in Mexico, had a fancy sticker glued to the head, quality was good. Last Fri night did an all nighter, 7pm to 11am and got it running and out of the shop so the 86 could come in from under the maple tree. It needed scrubbed for the monthly local car show I try not to miss. Very happy with the way the Astro runs now. With almost 275K on the meter it pulls hard for the what it is, the 3.73s and 700R with a some mods help that 4.3 a lot, to bad the Astro weights 5K. Thirty years ago my son owned a Chevette, we toyed with the idea of putting a 4.3 in it, that would have been a fun car.

So Astro is all good and 86 seems to be presently ok. Hopefully the end of all these coolant issues with vehicles.
Oh, the tailpipe exits are coloring nicely, no signs of oil and a powdery medium gray color. Never expect them to be light gray, it's a carb.
Bob

Last edited by mmc427ss; 08/07/19 05:13 AM.
#1063367 - 08/29/19 04:48 AM Re: Oil soaked intake gasket adventure [Re: mmc427ss]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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mmc427ss  Offline
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This past weekend made a 530 mile round trip to the UMI King of the Mountain event in the 86. About 2/3 of that was cruise set at 70 mph. Normal tools, car stuff, in the car when staying local is minimal, a flashlight, a key for the wheel locks, a Element 50 fire ext in the glove box and a chair in the trunk for the wife. For the long trip to UMI I thought I should be a little more prepared for possible coolant loss, and a flat. A gallon of coolant, a qt of oil and a breaker bar along with my "race/tune" tote were put in the trunk. Happy to say the breaker bar and the coolant were not needed. Once back in the shop and sitting for a day added less than one ounce coolant to the reservoir. That makes me real happy! Worst case now is the car should be able to make it to the Winter before the thought of replacing head gaskets.

Oil consumption has been an issue with this engine right after it was switched to a Mobil 1 diet, more than a decade ago. For the trip the engine consumed a qt in 500 miles, not good, but at least it's not showing up as oily tailpipes like it was before the intake gasket replacement. There are no external leaks, the valve seals were replaced when the beehive springs went in. The JE pistons because of there short compression height have the oil ring located at the wrist pin, pretty sure this is the reason for the oil consumption. One of these weeks when I have nothing to do a re-ring should be done. There is no smoke out the tailpipes and virtually no blowby so that can wait.

Will be making a trip or two to the drags this Fall, no slicks, just passes to see if mph in the traps has dropped off. This will also show if coolant leaks are at the head gaskets when cyl pressures are peaked at higher rpms. Hard to make full blasts at WOT around here anymore.
Bob


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