how to fix this coolant drip

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how to fix this coolant drip

Postby bagged59 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:12 pm

so i have a slight coolant drip coming from the rear corner of the cylinder head. see attached pic. i was told to use bar's radiator stop leak but I'm not 100% for that. i have a pretty expensive aluminum radiator and i don't want it messed up. i know it says it's safe for aluminum. so do you think i should re-torque the head bolts? any insight would be great! thanks, paul.
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'59 Continental 2dr hardtop, burgundy, 460, AOD, 9" rear, 4-wheel Wilwood disc brakes, air ride, vintage air. purchased 7/7/06. Restoration in progress...
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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby TonyC » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:32 am

No leak from the head/block area is slight, unless it's a freeze plug...and even then, that can be a bear of a job. If it's coming from the mating area, no snake-oil additive will do anything about it, not even if it says it can seal cylinder heads. You can try retorquing the head bolts (in sequence, of course); but if that doesn't work, that means you've blown a gasket which needs replacing. That's a hard, yet not that hard, job; I replaced two cylinder heads very recently, despite my heart condition, without any help. You will only need to take one off; hopefully, a 460's heads are a bit lighter than a 462's. Follow the shop manual's guidance, you should be all right.

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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby bagged59 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:07 am

Thank you for replying tony! These heads are heavyyy. I did a compression test on #8 and #7 cylinders an they were within a few psi of each other. I bought a leak down tester too but I don’t think the coolant is getting in the oil. I changed the oil because the Edelbrock carb flooded so bad it contaminated the oil. I’m going to change it a few more times and check for coolant. There’s no contamination in the coolant though it’s very dirty. And there’s no white smoke at the tailpipe. I’m not happy about pulling the head over a painted fender
Paul
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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby bagged59 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:07 am

Double post
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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby action » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:47 am

Don't use the Bars stop leak.
At best it is temporary* patch and you will eventually need to pull the head.
At worse the cooling system will get a coating and loose some effectiveness to the point there are overheating issues.

*There will be a disclaimer stating it is only a temporary repair

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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby bagged59 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:47 pm

i pressure tested the cooling system today and found no leaks. thanks to scott at Wizard Cooling here in the suburbs of buffalo.

i ran the motor for about 5 minutes after changing the oil and filter. all of a sudden i see puffs of smoke from that particular area. so the leak is NOT coolant but OIL. i went under the car to get a better look at what was the culprit, the drip was golden. the drip would land on the hot exhaust pipe and smoke and turn black. so i have the Ford Racing valve covers with the rubber gasket and i think the oil is coming from that gasket. as i tighten the valve cover bolts, i can see the gasket start to squeeze out. so gasket searching i go.

an FYI, chrome browser doesn't play well with the photo upload function. had to use safari.
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'59 Continental 2dr hardtop, burgundy, 460, AOD, 9" rear, 4-wheel Wilwood disc brakes, air ride, vintage air. purchased 7/7/06. Restoration in progress...
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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby TonyC » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:21 pm

Hopefully it is that simple a fix; if you managed to trace the oil leak there, it should be. There really is no other way for oil to leak down, unless the head gasket has sprung a leak at an oil passage, which seems not to be the case here (it was with me, however, about four years ago).

When you replace the valve cover gaskets, make sure of one thing: See that the valve covers have as flat a mating surface as possible before putting the gaskets on. Tightening the bolts can warp the cover edges, thin as the metal is for valve covers, even non-stock ones, and not even new gaskets can seal that kind of leak. I always make sure my valve covers don't get warped by the bolts when I change gaskets; and if they are, I have to put in extra effort to flatten them out.

---Tony
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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby frasern » Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:28 am

A leak like that, in such a clean engine bay, would really piss me off! I don't like rubber V.C. gaskets, because I always get that same result. Others love them, so form your own opinion on that one. It is hard to see if the covers are tin, or cast aluminum, bent tin can be flattened, but aluminum could have formed a small crack near the bolt. I have found cork gaskets, with permatex #3, not silicon, to work best, and those load spreading spacers, if they will fit.
Over tight bolts are bad, under tight bolts are bad, hard to find a balance.
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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby bagged59 » Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:51 am

I just got a cork gasket. The valve covers are cast aluminum. Is permatex 3 safe for that type of gasket? And yes I'm really pissed.
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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby frasern » Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:23 am

#2 non hardening, is the old school grey stuff that has been around forever. It is hard to clean off, in future repairs, so leave it off if you like. It should seal without it, on aluminum covers, if it still leaks you could try that later. For older tin covers, I like permatex, others will have their own ideas. Silicon seems to soften cork gaskets, and they squeeze out over time. This is not proven, just my own observation.
Many newer engines use hard gaskets with silicon ribs, if that type becomes available for older type engines, they would be worth a try.

Edit; sorry, meant #2
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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby bagged59 » Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:30 am

Ok cool I got both permatex 2 and 3 here at Napa. Literally just picked it up lol
'59 Continental 2dr hardtop, burgundy, 460, AOD, 9" rear, 4-wheel Wilwood disc brakes, air ride, vintage air. purchased 7/7/06. Restoration in progress...
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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby action » Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:01 am

Silicone has other bad traits. Just not for this application.

In the 1980s Ford had issues with electronic engine control part failures when silicone was used. I believe it was due to sulfur content.
Not sure Ford EEC parts still have those issues but I do not use silicone on anything.
RTV does not have those issues


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Phoenix - Yeah, it's hot, however it's a dry heat
2006 Lincoln Navigator Limited 5.4l 3V
1996 Lincoln Mark VIII 2DR Coupe Diamond Anniversary 4.6l DOHC, 4R70W, 3.07
1970 Continental Mark III Triple Black 460 4v, C6, 2.80 (Used for Woodward Dream Cruise or just generally stored in Michigan)
1966 Lincoln Continental 4DR Convertible 462 4v, C6, 3.00
1966 Mercury Park Lane 4DR Breezeway 410 4v, C6, 2.80
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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby frasern » Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:45 am

Action: I was aware of the sensor issue, but thought RTV was also included. This is more in your wheelhouse, so I stand corrected. I still avoid it, unless specifically called for.
One issue I have with RTV, is sloppy use. Not only does it look bad, but when it squeezes out, it also squeezes in. I have seen blue and orange strings in the oil pan, and pickup screen, hopefully the filter will catch it, but if it gets into the oil galleries, that's really bad!. I think the excess #2 would dissolve into the oil, and not linger. Am I worried about nothing?
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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby action » Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:05 pm

RTV is kind of a generic label.

For this application there are no electronics.
For newer engines look at the sulfur content.

I went to the Permatex website to see about chemical content. Not really forth coming. The packaging may be a better source.

I have seen those strings too. The operator/tech does need to care about the job at hand. I do realize reading/following directions can get in the way of doing a job.
However for the inexperienced it is a good step to take.

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Phoenix - Yeah, it's hot, however it's a dry heat
2006 Lincoln Navigator Limited 5.4l 3V
1996 Lincoln Mark VIII 2DR Coupe Diamond Anniversary 4.6l DOHC, 4R70W, 3.07
1970 Continental Mark III Triple Black 460 4v, C6, 2.80 (Used for Woodward Dream Cruise or just generally stored in Michigan)
1966 Lincoln Continental 4DR Convertible 462 4v, C6, 3.00
1966 Mercury Park Lane 4DR Breezeway 410 4v, C6, 2.80
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Re: how to fix this coolant drip

Postby bagged59 » Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:53 pm

so when i pulled the valve cover today, the entire seal was dry except for the lower right corner where the oil was getting by.

as for the patch job, the valve cover had to be notched to fit the accumulator on the hydro boost. yes the weld looks like sh*t because these valve covers are made of sh*tty chinese aluminum. they are not cheap yet cheaply made. just go on summit's website and read the comments.
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'59 Continental 2dr hardtop, burgundy, 460, AOD, 9" rear, 4-wheel Wilwood disc brakes, air ride, vintage air. purchased 7/7/06. Restoration in progress...
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