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Thread: Blown head gasket or head?

  1. #11
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    I agree with your assessment. A piece of advice, spend a little extra and purchase a Felpro head gasket. There was a question that popped up last week about the head gaskets that come from Crown. I happened to have a Crown engine gasket kit sitting on the shelf. The head gasket seemed pretty thin to me. I've read that others have had issues with them sealing. Walck's Willys has a copper head gasket for $40.
    Last edited by gmwillys; 02-23-2019 at 10:40 PM.

  2. #12
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Copper Head Gasket ...

    In a later post gmwillys suggested:'

    "...Walck's Willys has a copper head gasket for $40...."

    When I rebuilt the '48 we had the head off several times chasing aw-pooh's and just plain dumb mistakes that people made. Good shop practice says not to try to reuse a head gasket. If it has been squeezed down - get a new one. Yeah - it costs $$$, but taking it back apart isn't cheap either.

    I'm not sure, no one can really swear to what happened, but the last head gasket might have gotten reused. After we got the truck running well, it developed a tendency to get a water ooze down the driver's side of the block between the head and the block. It did that as it cooled down - or if it did it while it was running that water evaporated so quickly I never caught it.

    There was a very slight indication that there might be a small internal leak, there was a miss on start-up for a minute or so, but not bad. A mechanic friend suggested a radiator additive that sealed head gasket leaks, so I dumped a can of that sludge in the engine. Of course the stuff said " ... wont harm engines or cooling systems ..." (kind of like "I'm from the guvmint and I'm here to 'hep yew...).

    After a bit the leak down the side of the block sealed off. The miss went away. I left the stuff in the cooling system. But, one day in January 2108 I took the truck out for a winter run, the thermostat stuck and I blew about a gallon of filthy brown river water sludgy coolant all over the truck. The stuff hit the fan, literally, and blew back all the way to the door panels! I'm still cleaning up that mess from places I missed last spring.

    You ask; "OK Senior Chief. What's the point of all of this story?"

    A. At $40.00 plus shipping, the copper gasket really isn't all that expensive. Although some folks differ, a gasket sealer is not a bad idea on old blocks. (GmWillys, your thoughts???)

    B. Fixing it right is cheaper in the long run, and:

    C. If you decide to cheat with a sealer, get it out as soon as possible. It will seal the thermostat stuck!

  3. #13
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    In my opinion, if the fix comes in a bottle, it's a bandaid. I have seen where block sealers have worked, but I've seen newspaper being used to fill quarter panel rust holes, before the Bondo was smeared in. I have used Silver soder flakes to "fix" a leaking power steering gear box, one night at the races. The input shaft was pouring oil, and we were up against the clock. It worked rather well, after the pump quit growling while eating the flakes. Didn't leak another drop while we ran it.

    In my opinion, I would buy the copper gasket. It will seal better than any paper material will. On a true copper gasket, they can be reused, if care is taken in removing the head. I wouldn't recommend it personally reusing one, but it can be done.

  4. #14
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    On the '72 Pinto I stuffed newspaper in the body cavities to hold the window screen while I smeared bondo over it. It kept out the water until I gave it to the kid across the street. Desperate times dictate desperate measures.

  5. #15
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Maaco and Earl Scheib were notorious for adding news print to their body work.

  6. #16
    Member Nemo von Klepper's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I think the head might be ok, but there might have been a crack in the block, running from a coolant jacket between the No. 2 & 3 exhaust valves. 53246892_10218475359935813_3989582146158198784_n.jpg52582477_10218475360135818_138439221290467328_n.jpg.

    I'm not sure if this is a deal breaker for this engine.
    If this engine is toast, I'm not sure what my next best option is. I'm tempted to build my own engine, but I don't know where to find an F-134 block. I'm tempted to build an L-134 since I can find a new block. I'm not sure how many of the parts would transfer.

  7. #17
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    That is a tough decision. Odds are, the crack is just the tip of the ice berg, as for how deep it goes. Welding what you can see, will do little to what you can't see. In my humble opinion, I would get a cheap head gasket, put it all back together, then purchase a good quality block sealer. This will prolong the engine's life until either the new replacement F head engines become available, (sometime in the near future). This will keep you enjoying your ride for the time being. A tip though, do not use your good radiator while performing the sealing process. Rig up a bucket or a barrel to circulate water through the block. Use the container as a heat transfer, so the engine doesn't get too hot. You don't want to clog your radiator with the material from the sealer. Do some due diligence on what product to use. I just picked the first one to come up. Research is the key.

    https://gobdp.com/blog/repairing-cracked-engine-block/

  8. #18
    You best bet is to find out if the block is cracked. My engine was a 1962 F134. Pull the engine out. This not too hard. A engine lift from harbor freight works just fine. You remove the engine from the top out and in my case through the cab. I have a FC model. Then get it boiled out and x rayed. That will tell you where the crack is. Mine was cracked but I could not find a new block. Then you can determine to switch engines but that leads to many new problems. How to adapt to the running gear. If you have a lot of hot rod shops you may get some help but you will still need a good mechanics to solve a lot of problems. I sent my block off to be welded. The company welded it, tested it and returned it in a week. It has been running several years with no problems. Modern welding is much better then 40 years ago. The company I used said my block was the smallest they ever did. They usually do large industrial engines. Finding a used engine my not solve the problem because you do not know what shape it in in. There is no point in installing a engine only to find it to is defective. You are dealing with 60 year old motors that received much abuse. So my advice is to repair what you have or install a new rebuild motor. Either way it is going to cost several thousand dollars. I did this to a FC so your engine removal will be some what easier.
    Last edited by Sebastian21; 02-25-2019 at 03:47 PM.

  9. #19
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Look down inside the threaded bolt holes and the coolant passage and see if the crack extends down into them. You might use a dental pick or some similar sharp pointy tool to see if you can pick up the crack.

    Oh, by the way, there was a post yesterday of a newcomer who had an empty F-134 block laying loose in the back of his CJ-2A

  10. #20

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