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Hot Rods Ouch! - New Offenhauser Heads Leaking

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Deadweight, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. Deadweight
    Joined: Sep 2, 2009
    Posts: 50

    Deadweight
    Member

    During break in of my flatty I noticed a puddle forming under my car. It didn’t take long to notice where it was coming from, my brand new Offenhauser heads! I've heard of some heads leaking from one pin hole, but dozens, this is ridiculous.

    I contacted Speedway, and they said I could return them with a receipt. I bought these when I first started the build, and over the years and a move I lost the receipt, just my luck. So, it looks like a replacement won’t be possible.

    I've had the suggestions of smearing JB Weld over the areas (not going to happen), or grind out the leaking areas and have someone build it back up with weld. I figure welding that large of areas will cause major warping and mess up my compression ratio/valve clearance after resurfacing. Plus I dont know anyone who welds aluminum, so the costs involved of welding, surfacing, and pressure testing will add up quick.

    Not only am I PO'd that I get to buy new heads /gaskets, but those dozens of hours spent polishing till my fingers literally bled makes me want to cry.

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  2. time to contact speedway and send some pictures, your name should be on file or contact credit card company.
     
  3. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Gotta keep the receipt on high dollar items. Good luck with an exchange.
     
  4. summersshow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2013
    Posts: 899

    summersshow
    Member
    from NC

    I notice that they are even with the exhaust manifold... Were they already polished or did you polish them yourself?

    Talk to some welding shops... I know of a few guys that could weld them up without warping them...
     

  5. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,195

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :eek: OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
  6. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,097

    Marty Strode
    Member

    I have seen this before on polished Offy heads, the solution was to drop a couple of the sealant blocks that come with engine rebuild kits, in the water necks. Also pour some silver-seal powder in as well, get it warm. I would drain and flush the antifreeze, and use water only during this experiment.
     
  7. Deadweight
    Joined: Sep 2, 2009
    Posts: 50

    Deadweight
    Member

    Yeah, I polished them myself. What a horrible job, I've never seen castings so rough before.
     
  8. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,115

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Did you remove much metal when polishing them?
     
    bantam likes this.
  9. Deadweight
    Joined: Sep 2, 2009
    Posts: 50

    Deadweight
    Member

    Unless they use some sealing method after casting, I bet they would leak even if I didn’t polish them.

    It's just irritating that I have to spend money on getting new heads repaired, but I guess it just aint hot rodding unless you feel like tearing your hair out
     
  10. Deadweight
    Joined: Sep 2, 2009
    Posts: 50

    Deadweight
    Member

    Yeah more than I would of had to on a quality casting, but I estimate the thickness removed was less than a four sheets of paper thick
     
  11. DICK SPADARO
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,887

    DICK SPADARO
    Member Emeritus

    Try draining the coolant and refilling the radiator with water and start the engine and just get it slightly warm with the rad cap off. Stop the engine and add a radiator stop leak like Bars or similar, restart the engine and follow instructions on the package. This might fix easier than you thought.
     
  12. john walker
    Joined: Sep 11, 2008
    Posts: 1,109

    john walker
    Member

    was the block decked to make it smooth and flat? maybe the head gaskets are not sealing. maybe you should have the heads machined. something ain't flat and true.
     
    40fordtudor likes this.
  13. Grahamsc
    Joined: May 13, 2014
    Posts: 466

    Grahamsc
    Member
    from Colorado

    The scary thing to me is if they are that porose , are they leaking internaly aswell.
    I would give the chambers a good look when you take them off.
     
  14. I see this often in Alum race heads and blocks. My motor builder gives be a qube of "Stuff" that fixes it for good. Pin holes are common, no big deal. We never start a new race motor with any coolant in them for just that reason. Once everything is dialed and ready for run in we add plain water, get them up to temp and do a pressure test. If we have a leak we add a qube. Problem goes away. Any local good motor machine shop should be able to supply you something to do the job.
    The Wizzard
     
  15. onetrickpony
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 441

    onetrickpony
    Member
    from Texas

    For porous casting like that, I really like K&W Block Seal but be sure and follow the instructions. I have heard good things about the Moroso Ceramic sealant but I've never used it myself.

    Both of these product need to be used with water only, NO ANTIFREEZE! After the leak has sealed and cured then you can replace the antifreeze.
     
  16. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    you could try moroso ceramic sealer like we use on porous castings on race heads ( you must follow directions to a T ) , but that looks like the problem will only get worse over time or if you swipe it polishing it , a good welding shop should be able to lay some bead over it as long as he keep the head clamped down and lets it cool while clamped . but if one head does this I will not be suprised the other does it too soon .
     
  17. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    oh with the moroso stuff if you had antifreeze in the block it helps to add a little dishwasher or laundry detergent ( a tablespoon of cascade/tide works great ) in the washout to break any film the coolant leaves on the aluminum then rinse out real good . or you could try the waterglass trick
     
  18. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,966

    pitman

    Agree w/Richard. This is a disappointment, but not unsolvable!.
     
  19. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,948

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You are right. this sucks.
     
  20. paleot
    Joined: Aug 29, 2011
    Posts: 220

    paleot
    Member
    from louisiana

    Napa sell a sealer called blue devil, Best I have ever used!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a small block chevy with 10" freeze cracks down each side never leaked again.
     
  21. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,242

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Agree with the detergent wash, then water and a sealant. Not familiar with Moroso, (but would bet on it)
    I always used a product from the pharmacy. "Water glass" is the name, it's comprised of powdered egg whites. Old remedy...

    Who said "Head Gaskets"??? I also liked the one, "How much did you remove when polishing?"
    I would have answered, "Not more than 1/4 of an inch...if that..."
     
  22. May be obvious, but have you checked torque specs on everything after several heat/cold cycles? I'm assuming you have but thought I'd throw it out there.
     
  23. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy



    actually water glass is sodium silicate ( made from chemically treated sand ) they sell it at big box stores most of the engine sealers use it , but the problem I see is you have to get the head real hot for it to really work well . only bad thing about Moroso ceramic seal is you cannot use it with antifreeze the anti corrosion stuff dissolves it , but if you can use water it works great had some bad heads that seeped in the ports after porting work ( both intake and exhaust ) and the stuff fixed the problem until we had the heads cleaned ( then we epoxied them . )
     
  24. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    The Moroso stuff IS the water glass, I believe. Look at the instructions, but I think you can use antifreeze after the stuff has done its job. I think this is best path, given lack of receipts and the labor in polish. It would also give you a good shot at anything that you haven't seen inside the chamber. I've noticed that Offenhauser stuff made in recent years looks more like cement than aluminum...
     
  25. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,242

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I was considering the new Offy 2-jug intake on Summit, $204. Maybe it's not 'such a deal'...
     
  26. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
    gordy80128 likes this.
  27. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,018

    Rex_A_Lott
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You used to be able to buy the liquid glass, sodium silicate, at the drug store. Drain out the anti-freeze, and flush it till it runs clear. Add a little water, and crank the car, then add the glass and then more water. Just put the radiator cap on one notch, so it doesnt build pressure, and let it run for a few minutes. Put a window fan or something blowing on the radiator so it doesnt run hot and puke water. About 200F is what you're shooting for...hot but not boiling. You can even drive the car...about 30 minutes run time. Then drain it all out and let it set for a day or two before you test it with plain water. If the water doesnt leak, it should hold anti-freeze. No real guarantee this will work, but its cheaper that new heads. To me it would be worth a shot , but you may think differently. I have had it to work good, and then I've tried it and it failed.Good Luck!
     
  28. 4wd1936
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 851

    4wd1936
    Member
    from NY

    Moroso ceramic sealer works pretty darn well if you follow their directions completely. After the treatment you can use antifreeze but only after you have flushed everything and gone through their process. Good luck
     
  29. Deadweight
    Joined: Sep 2, 2009
    Posts: 50

    Deadweight
    Member

    [QUOTE=" I've noticed that Offenhauser stuff made in recent years looks more like cement than aluminum...[/QUOTE]

    That’s a pretty accurate description. When compared to my 8ba heads cast in the 50's, these looked like the person doing the casting didn’t know what they’re doing, or they just don’t give a damn.

    Is Edelbrock still doing quality casting these days? I know the super dual intake I have is one of the nicest aluminum castings I've seen, but that was made back when Vic Sr. was in charge.
     
  30. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,809

    Kiwi 4d
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Anti freeze has the ability to seek out any small leak. Straight water with some water wetter for an additive is not so prone to leak. Still these heads should not leak. Even if they were polished very aggressively the thickness here would not be compromised. Question is are they potentially porous on the under side?
    I have heard of new heads having pin holes in the castings on the block side but not the outside.
    As a band aid try a cube of "Seal well" well ground up well and put into a clean radiator and block with water only run it for a half an hour and check . This has worked for me on a troublesome flathead . Cheap way to fix before a knee jerk to pull the new beautifully polished heads.
     

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