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 Big Block head leak

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Bluebird57
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PostSubject: Big Block head leak   Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:22 am

Hi guys:
Anyone ever run into this? On the driver's side head of my new engine #7 cyl. I have developed a coolant leak. Some parties are convinced there is a crack in the head in a hard to reach part of the exhaust port there, others have suspected that one of the head bolts merely requires a special "shouldered" bolt. The leak was detected during a pressurization of the engine's cooling system. However it did not show up when the head was removed and pressure tested. Weird, huh?
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PostSubject: Re: Big Block head leak   Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:10 pm

Remove the exhaust manifold bolts, and put a coat of either Permatex RTV silicone or aviation permatex on the threads, and screw them back in, and then torque the manifold down. Some of the exhaust manifold bolts run clear through to the water jacket, and will leak if this is not done.

---John

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PostSubject: Re: Big Block head leak   Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:21 pm

John has a point I have had that happen before, Im sure glad my edlebrock heads does not have the holes all the way through, can really be a pain in the azz. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Big Block head leak   Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:09 am

Thanks guys. Much appreciated. For the record, the heads are 62 413 (low comp) castings.
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PostSubject: Re: Big Block head leak   Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:17 pm

Although not common, the early heads tend to crack right at the bottom between the center exhaust ports. This was more common back in the day when folks would run straight water in the cooling system and switch to antifreeze in winter. However, some cars were not switched in time and froze. Not saying this has happened here, but it has happened.


Check the exhaust bolts/studs first.
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PostSubject: Re: Big Block head leak   Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:49 am

this happened to my father who was always a ford man bought a road runner with a 440 he removed one of the manifold bolts only to see water running out of the hole, he quickly put the bolt back in and sold the car cheap for fear the head or block was cracked. this was a 12 second car running easy, he was quite upset once he learned more about them Embarassed Mad

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PostSubject: Re: Big Block head leak   Fri May 04, 2012 3:06 am

I thought you guys might like an update. It was a crack. It was sealed with JB weld at a machine shop and hasn't caused any more grief. So far. I normally don't like "band-aid" solutions, but it held up in pressure testing and when we pressurized the water jacket on the car. I guess I'll have to watch for a white cloud following me.
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PostSubject: Re: Big Block head leak   Fri May 04, 2012 3:07 am

oh, incidentally THANKS to all the folks who gave their input! It is appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: Big Block head leak   Fri May 04, 2012 6:14 am

Glad you got her fixed.

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PostSubject: Re: Big Block head leak   Fri May 04, 2012 9:52 am

You know JB weld is a great product, That is what I am going to use on my rear end housing, You know where the weld is at the center of the bottom. It does not leak enough to matter but I hate oil leaks especially with a car that you race.

I will have to pull everything and clean it out good and dry it with brake clean or something to get all the moister and everything first, It sticks real good when the part is nice and clean and dry. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Big Block head leak   Fri May 04, 2012 12:01 pm

58plym wrote:
You know JB weld is a great product, That is what I am going to use on my rear end housing, You know where the weld is at the center of the bottom. It does not leak enough to matter but I hate oil leaks especially with a car that you race.

I will have to pull everything and clean it out good and dry it with brake clean or something to get all the moister and everything first, It sticks real good when the part is nice and clean and dry. Smile

break clean is a great product to get all that greese out of there, should work great
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PostSubject: Re: Big Block head leak   Fri May 04, 2012 12:02 pm

Bluebird57 wrote:
I thought you guys might like an update. It was a crack. It was sealed with JB weld at a machine shop and hasn't caused any more grief. So far. I normally don't like "band-aid" solutions, but it held up in pressure testing and when we pressurized the water jacket on the car. I guess I'll have to watch for a white cloud following me.


Glad you found the reason why
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PostSubject: Re: Big Block head leak   Fri May 04, 2012 5:59 pm

Good new's on finding problem, get it fixed and on the road.
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PostSubject: Re: Big Block head leak   Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:35 am

bluebird ends up with aluminum heads? Whooda thunkit? Old news, which looks like I forgot to tell you all. The same head popped another leak, same head, different cylinder, and not a week or two later. At that point I said "forget it" to those heads. A friend was going to swap his cast-irons for a used set of edelbrock aluminum performance heads, so I offered to buy his old set. He took one of them off only to remember he had domed pistons. He offered to sell me the aluminum ones, which, all told, beat tracking down fresh cores and having them redone. So: a mild street build got a little less mild. I wonder if I'm gonna end up with a blower if this keeps up. I'd be happy if she'd just stop about now. The break pedal turned into a one armed bandit: never know what you're gonna get. It's an enigma that so far has even frustrated professionals. Although they think they're on to something. Hope so, my MN summer has almost burned down to half way.
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