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Technical New Member 46 Ford Coupe - Coolant dripping from bellhousing

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Old 46’er, Nov 8, 2023.

  1. Old 46’er
    Joined: Nov 8, 2023
    Posts: 18

    Old 46’er

    I am writing regarding my 46 ford coupe with 53k original miles. I purchased this car from a family member who owned for 10 years prior. It’s a fantastic car in great condition. I’ve been driving it a lot since I obtained it. I keep a pan under the car to catch any oil drip from the bell housing wick. Recently, I noticed some coolant in that pan. I have been mildly panicked ever since. There are no signs of coolant on the oil dipstick and no visible leaks at the heads. Anyone have experience with this or know what the source could be? I had the car at a mechanic friends place and he couldn’t find the sourc either. Are there freeze plugs or any other areas within the bellhousing that could leak. The car is not running hot. Any thoughts or directions on what to check are appreciated.
  2. carolina chevrolet
    Joined: Nov 14, 2018
    Posts: 198

    carolina chevrolet

    What engine is in the car ?
  3. Glenn Thoreson
    Joined: Aug 13, 2010
    Posts: 938

    Glenn Thoreson
    from SW Wyoming

    Oil from the bell housing indicates a worn/defective rear main seal not hard to fix. Even a worn front seal can cause oil to travel along the oil pan and land in the bell housing If it turns out to be the oil pump drive gear gasket ( much less likely ), it would require the engine to be pulled for a fix. Check the pan bolts for looseness and snug them up a bit. Do not overtighten them. If the gasket starts to squeeze out, stop. Coolant leak indicates a couple of things. Either a bad head gasket, a cracked head , or warped head. Before I did anything, I would re-torque the head nuts in the proper sequence (very important) to the proper torque ( 55 lbs/feet). That might cure it and save a lot of work. These V-8 engines did not have freeze plugs. Gaskets shrink and seals wear out over time. Do yourself a favor and get a manual from one of the parts vendors, such as and others. They will give you all the torque values, etc. A good investment. Good luck. :)
  4. 42merc
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 896


    If the car has a heater the coolant might be leaking at the hose connections, then dripping at the bell housing.
    chicken likes this.

  5. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 20,488


    Start with a thorough cleaning of the area, then a leak will be easier to find. Soapy stuff to dissolve the oil and crud, then a higher pressure rinse. Might make stuff get wet that doesn't like getting wet (distributor, generator, and voltage regulator), so it won't start til it dries out again. Make sure you park in a spot you can leave it for a while.
  6. chicken
    Joined: Aug 15, 2004
    Posts: 388

    from Kansas

    This is very possible. The hose connection at the RH head can leak and travel back along the block/head joint and run down the rear. Look closely.

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