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Technical Antifreeze Coming Out Exhaust Pipe

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Richard Reed, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. Richard Reed
    Joined: Jun 17, 2016
    Posts: 175

    Richard Reed
    Member
    from Maine

    Before I can find a vacuum leak to deal with the high idle mentioned in an earlier post I have another problem. I mentioned earlier that I had antifreeze coming from the drivers side exhaust. I checked the torque and found it to be right on(60 ft lbs). I then took the head pipe off and found the center tube wet with antifreeze. I took #1,#3 and the next one to the right of #3. Antifreeze started coming out of the #3 bolt hole. The numbers are in the torque sequence. What do I do now? Will putting sealant on the head bolt keep antifreeze from getting into exhaust port again? I plan on pulling the head tomorrow.
     
  2. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 2,301

    RMONTY
    Member

    What engine? Head gasket maybe.....
     
  3. Shain
    Joined: Jun 2, 2016
    Posts: 51

    Shain
    Member
    from Omaha

    yep...head gasket probably
     
  4. Richard Reed
    Joined: Jun 17, 2016
    Posts: 175

    Richard Reed
    Member
    from Maine

    Its a newly rebuilt 59A. How would the head gasket being "blown" cause antifreeze to come up thru the head bolt?
     

  5. A head gasket by itself probably wouldn't cause that, but if you have antifreeze in your exhaust that means coolant is getting into the combustion chamber. There's three possible causes for that; blown head gasket, cracked block or cracked/warped head.
     
    RMONTY likes this.
  6. ^^^^^Either one is possible and it will require a teardown to determine the cause. Was sealant used on the head studs when assembled?
     
    RMONTY likes this.
  7. Wrench97
    Joined: Jan 29, 2020
    Posts: 554

    Wrench97

    Probably leaking up through the threads on the stud(block end) to seep out under the nut, but that won't account for the antifreeze in the exhaust.
    I remember hearing the old blocks never had the threads tapped fully and rebuilders using a tap to clean up the threads open the holes up enough to make them leak, non-ptfe sealants or RTV can be used to seal the threads.
     
  8. trey32
    Joined: Jul 27, 2014
    Posts: 297

    trey32

    Your supposed to clean up threads on a flathead block with stock bolts that have had flutes cut in them.
    Chasing them with taps ruins the thread sealing properties, that's what the Vern Tardel books tell me...
     
  9. Richard Reed
    Joined: Jun 17, 2016
    Posts: 175

    Richard Reed
    Member
    from Maine

    Pulled head this afternoon and it did not have a blown head gasket. I stuck a long rod in the bolt hole and it went in about 7" before it bottomed out. the threads on the bolt are only about 2.5". Not sure how far the threads go. If I had a fiber optic camera probe I would possibly see how bad the situation is.
     
  10. Drivers side cylinders are numbered 5678
    Passenger side are 1234
    So you have antifreeze coming from 6 or 7 .
    Doesn’t sound promising at all. Is there any way you could take some pics,,,that would help a tremendous amount .

    like the man said,,it is best not to run a normal tap through the holes,,,,Ford had super tight tolerance on the threads .
    Use an old head bolt,,,,,,,and almost all of the head bolt holes are wet .
    Only a few are blind holes,,,,,,maybe a couple on each deck .


    Tommy
     
  11. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,929

    alchemy
    Member

    Was the cylinder suspiciously clean? Like it had been steam cleaned by the coolant?

    Never tap a flathead head stud hole. They have a very tight tolerance from the factory and any common tap will enlarge them. Then you have weeping problems.

    There are a few places on flatheads where it's common for the heads to be corroded at a water port that is near the combustion chamber. The top corners are the worst. See if your head has any places like this.
     
    milwscruffy and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  12. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,092

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    Check it over real well. Look for cracks at the valve seats. Look for cracks and or pits in the cylinder. Sometimes these had voids and boring can break through a cylinder wall. The cure for a cracked or bored through casting flaw is a sleeve.
    You want to go back with studs. That way you can make sure the studs are sealed.

    It would have been nice if a compression test was done before the head was pulled. Reduced pressure in two side by side cylinders could be a positive sign. (Head Gasket)
    This really tells nothing. Of course water will come out if the bolt is removed.

    Don't Panic.
    Don't get mad.
    This could be something very minor.
    Inspect it well. Seal the studs, use fiber gaskets.
     
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  13. Pictures will really help us help you diagnose the problem. Can you take some with your phone or digital camera and show the area where you indicate the 7" depth and an overall side including all four cylinders? The 7" depth will tell us if it goes straight into the water jacket and help us tell you how to fix it.
     
  14. Richard Reed
    Joined: Jun 17, 2016
    Posts: 175

    Richard Reed
    Member
    from Maine

    I will take some pictures this morning.
     
    warhorseracing likes this.
  15. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,929

    alchemy
    Member

    I think ALL head studs are into the water jacket except for the single one in the middle which goes into the exhaust port. Maybe I'm missing a couple blind holes.

    Flatheads have been so abused over the years that there is a huge chance they have had their head stud holes tapped multiple times. It's hard enough getting a new stud with a ton of Permatex to seal, that I can't imagine getting a head bolt that will be retorqued multiple times to seal. Every time you give it a turn you break the seal. That's why I'll never use bolts. Always studs, glued in a with a lot of stinky brown Permatex.
     
  16. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,525

    Model A Gomez
    Member

    I recently put together the flathead in my coupe and even though I used thread sealant on the studs I had a little seepage on several of them. If you ae running aluminum heads 60 is too high, my Offenhauser heads called for 45 and you should torque flatheads in stages. I started at 25 , then 35 and finally at 45 if you pull then down to 60 the first time it puts a lot of stress on them. You should also heat cycle the engine several times and recheck the torque.
     
    brake1000 likes this.

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