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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you might recall that after my shortblock rebuild, I had coolant seeping up and pass the threads on the ARP head studs. I called ARP and they said it is not uncommon for studs in a water jacket to act like a wick and the coolant just works its way up the stud. I pulled the heads and all the studs and reinstalled them with pipe thread sealer. Pan and oil cooler was also pulled and oil lines blown out. Same result


Another call to ARP and they say it is not uncommon (I hear an echo
) to still have it leak even with thread sealer. They recommended Aluma-Seal which major engine builders they deal with also recommend. Guaranteed to stop the leak and not clog the cooling system
. Not wanting to pop for another set of OEM head gaskets, etc, I decided to try it last night. It worked
However, the engine had to idle for about 30 mins before it stopped leaking and of course, more coolant in the engine. So, I am going through the cleanup routine again.

I plan on doing a coolant pressure test to make sure I have no more leaks then put it back together and hope nothing is damaged.

Not very comfortable with the current fix so somewhere down the road I might pull the studs and replace them with bolts using the technique suggested in an earlier post w/o pulling the heads.

Anyone else ever experienced this? Any comments or suggestions?


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Scottie's GNZ
 

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I often use GM cooling system tabs to deal with leaky studs when reinstalling my engines. Maybe some people have a sealing formula that's foolproof, but it is a pretty common problem. As long as the head or block isn't cracked, it doesn't bother me!

Art
 
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Originally posted by Art Freeman:
I often use GM cooling system tabs to deal with leaky studs when reinstalling my engines. Maybe some people have a sealing formula that's foolproof, but it is a pretty common problem. As long as the head or block isn't cracked, it doesn't bother me!

Art

We thouroughly agree with Art's posting, having been thru the same situation recently.


When using head studs, and inasmuch as they are only hand tightened into the block, the need for added sealing ability along the threads can be critical.
We accomplish the seal by using Permatex RTV Black Sealer , P/N 16B. We apply a liberal coating of this sealer on the threads, but being careful not to overdose the application so as to prevent the excess from bleeding beyond the thread areas. If you are still not totally comfortable with this method, we also suggest using a dose of GM seal tabs. The Alum-Seal ARP recommends, probably works as well.
BTW, GM gives each vehicle, rolling off the final assemply line, a dose of seal tabs immediately prior to filling the cooling system.

Although we have never experienced coolant perking up along ARP head bolts, we also apply, during assembly, a minimal coat of the same RTV or the ARP thread sealer, just for posterity.


We happen to be doing this on a T/R motor today....

Paul



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Hey Scottie , I've been through this leaky thread sealant thing more than once and I found it to be a royal pain in the butt! To start with I assume you are speaking of a compound such as loctite liquid thread sealant . What I found was that you had to give the sealant 24 hrs to cure or else in very short order the ''sealed'' thread would start to leak. Now I know I took all the necessary precautions as far as clean threads etc. goes , but the stuff with anything beyond plain water just breaks down and developes little pin holes where it's supposed to be sealing the threads.I first noticed this problem with my outboard tranny filter. It would leak within a couple of days after cleaning and resealing , so after a few tries I went to the teflon tape and no more leaks.I have tried a product called HYLOMAR developed by Rolls Royce and have found it to be excellent on gaskets although I haven't tried it on threads yet.You might want to investigate that one for your own interests sake . Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the suggestion, folks.

I did a coolant pressure test and had one stud showing signs of seepage at 15#. My desperate mind told me the sealant was not yet effective because the engine only had a chance to idle. So, I replace the 16# cap with a 10# unit to do the initial road testing. So far, so good but I now know what a race leader means when referring to "sounds" on the last lap of the race
. Only drawback is that the engine runs a little hotter, as expected, and on a few occassions went up to 195*. I will leave it as is for a few more days then bump the cap up to 13#.

It takes a strong will to keep your foot out of it when breaking in a rebuild, but it feels STRONG! It is not over yet and I feel better but still do not consider the Aluma-Seal a permanent fix.

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Scottie's GNZ
 
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Am curious if going from a 15 lb. rad cap to a 10 lb. cap on your car was the reason for the temp. increase.
Where did you get it and what brand cap was it? We have never seen a 10 lb. cap, but have a 20 lb. cap. in the shop that a machine shop once told us to try on a T/R that was mysteriously loosing coolant without any traces anywhere. Needless to say it didn't help any.
From our experiences, there shouldn't be any difference in coolant temps. when using either a 15lb. or the 7lb. caps we exclusively use.
Please let us know if going back to the 15 lb. cap does in fact lower coolant temps.
I've had 7 lb. caps on every car I've owned since the 60's and have gotten away with it so far.

Ron

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Discussion Starter #8
Ron,

the 10# cap is a Gates, non-ST. I can get you the part # if you like. I put 80 miles (all street driving) on the engine last night in hi-60s weather and that left me scratching my head as the temp ran mostly at 185+ but fluctuated between 175 and 210. When it got up to 205+, it would take a decent stretch of green lights to get it back down to 180s. That is usually the indication of not enough air from the fan. However, this is the same combo (Griffin & 16" fan w/shroud) that took me through a FL summer w/o the temp hitting 190*.

Dropping from a 16# to 10# cap reduces the boiling point by 18* and since that is the only change..... Now that I feel the leak is properly sealed, I will up it to a 13# ST cap this weekend and see if it has any effect. I do not think the Safety Type cap makes a difference but the lowest ST cap they list is the 13#.

I discovered another problem that I need to keep an eye on. I am using a Martone FPR and it is not retaining the pressure. I set it to 45# for a Thrasher and after driving for a while it runs at 52#. I readjust it, then after a while it runs at 38#
Anyone ever experience that with their FPR? I popped a head gasket the last time I ran and now I am beginning to wonder, hmmm.

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Scottie's GNZ
 
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Originally posted by Scottie-GNZ:
Ron,

the 10# cap is a Gates, non-ST. I can get you the part # if you like. I put 80 miles (all street driving) on the engine last night in hi-60s weather and that left me scratching my head as the temp ran mostly at 185+ but fluctuated between 175 and 210. When it got up to 205+, it would take a decent stretch of green lights to get it back down to 180s. That is usually the indication of not enough air from the fan. However, this is the same combo (Griffin & 16" fan w/shroud) that took me through a FL summer w/o the temp hitting 190*.


<<<Scottie,
This is interesting info, because we actually never did coolant temp. checks before and after the 7 lb. cap install.
We just screwed them on, and never had a reprecussion such as yours. We usually go from the OEM cap to a Stant R-28 cap or Gates also makes a good one, but forget the P/N.
From our experiences here in the N.E. during the hot summer months which should be nearly similar to FL's climate's, we rarily see wide and rapid coolant temp. cycle spreads such as you report, unless a front-mount was in place , it was in the 80's and 90's, and the cooling system was marginal and in need of maintainence.
Unless I'm incorrect, and have been more than once,
I only thought the boiling point issue, was the only need for a higher cap.
It's stone cold up here now, but this summer, I will make a point of further researching the caps pressure and how it relates and affects coolant temps. under normal driving modes.
A further note, we modify the fan operation mode to turn it on high speed, every time it's turn-on is commanded.>>>

Dropping from a 16# to 10# cap reduces the boiling point by 18* and since that is the only change..... Now that I feel the leak is properly sealed, I will up it to a 13# ST cap this weekend and see if it has any effect. I do not think the Safety Type cap makes a difference but the lowest ST cap they list is the 13#.

<<<< Is this safety cap recommended for closed system applications?>>>

I discovered another problem that I need to keep an eye on. I am using a Martone FPR and it is not retaining the pressure. I set it to 45# for a Thrasher and after driving for a while it runs at 52#. I readjust it, then after a while it runs at 38#
Anyone ever experience that with their FPR? I popped a head gasket the last time I ran and now I am beginning to wonder, hmmm.


<<<<Yes and we have seen just about every brand or style FP regulator either puke, leak or lose metering accuracy. Nothing is perfect, period.....

The worst one's we have seen, are the totally stock appearing ones, where you adjust pressures with a mini allen wrench thru the vacuum port.

It might not be a bad idea to replace it with a known good one to insure that this is the problem.

As the cooling system integrity is of critical importance with a turbo or any car, lets follow this one thru to get some final facts.

Thanks,

Ron>>>>



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Ron's Custom Automotive
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The worst one's we have seen, are the totally stock appearing ones, where you adjust pressures with a mini allen wrench thru the vacuum port.
rut, roh... that's the exact one scottie has...

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Current Combo: Stock Turbo, V4, MSD50's, TH DP, JayJackson 62mm TB, 16position MaxEffort Chip.
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Discussion Starter #11
The Martone FPR that I am using is stock-appearing but has the adjuster on top and the vacuum port on the side. There is a definite 7# variance. Can you imagine this thing suddenly losing 7# at 20# boost in 3rd?


Ron, not only do I have a huge FMIC, I also have a large oil cooler and trans cooler in front of the radiator. However, like I said, I just went through summer with nary a cooling problem, so I will continue to work my way back to "normal". This weekend I plan on draining the coolant and replacing it with distilled water, Water-Wetter, RMI-25 and the 13# ST cap.

I know there will still be a little coolant mixture left, but what is the best way to get the most coolant out of the engine?


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Originally posted by Scottie-GNZ:
The Martone FPR that I am using is stock-appearing but has the adjuster on top and the vacuum port on the side. There is a definite 7# variance. Can you imagine this thing suddenly losing 7# at 20# boost in 3rd?


<<<<Scottie,

Absolutely possible... if the internal spring assembly gets weak or binds, preventing the diafram from properly re-acting to boost pressure, disaster is a possibility.>>>

Ron, not only do I have a huge FMIC, I also have a large oil cooler and trans cooler in front of the radiator. However, like I said, I just went through summer with nary a cooling problem, so I will continue to work my way back to "normal". This weekend I plan on draining the coolant and replacing it with distilled water, Water-Wetter, RMI-25 and the 13# ST cap.

I know there will still be a little coolant mixture left, but what is the best way to get the most coolant out of the engine?


<<< What we do is remove the two 1/8th pipe plugs loacted on both sides of the block and the radiator drain.. We also disconnect the upper radiator hose from the thermostat housing. Forcing clean water, via a garden hose, thru the small heater core hose that affixes to the intake manifold, will eventually find its way to the block drains, heater core, and radiator drains. Once you see pure water flowing from each port, start the motor and run it for 30 seconds or so. You will then see more residue from the system coming out... Repeat this 30 second proceedure till you see no residue flowing from the ports. Look into the top of the radiator and if you see some accumulated crud there, you can be sure that the botton rows are clogged much more and core replacement is required. Nick Micale sells a wonderful core for our radiators. <[email protected]>.
After the flushing and necessary repairs are make to the radiator, distilled water and RMI-25 is all you need to keep the system clean and free flowing for maximum cooling efficiency.
BTW, you can replace the two block drains with 1/8th npt petcocks which help simplify the next cooling system flush.

Ron>>>




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Small adjustable wrench.. they are square.

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Current Combo: Stock Turbo, V4, MSD50's, TH DP, JayJackson 62mm TB, 16position MaxEffort Chip.
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Originally posted by teking:
Now- how the heck do you get the drain plugs out of the block?? :) What tool?

Todd

Todd,


Believe it or not, you can buy a 3/8 drive special socket that correctly fits the plug.
Not expensive either, under 10 bucks if I recall correctly.
If you give me a call tomorrow, I'll pull it from the tool box and give you the P/N.
SK Tools is one of the sources..

Ron


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Dude there's no way an adj wrench will get my plugs out without breaking or rounding something- I've tried, they are in there :)

I'll try to call tomorrow, or you could just email the tool number to me at tek[email protected] or just post it here would be even better!

I may move the cam around again soon and would like to finally be able to properly drain the darn block.

Todd
 
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Todd,

The part you want is a Williams brand P/N B-409 3/8 drive socket. It is is a 9/32" square head socket. I'm sure S-K tools also makes the same version socket along with Snap-ON, and etc.
You may only need to use it once, but it's worth much more than it's sub $10 price-tag.
If you can't find one, let me know and I can get one to you.


Ron

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Thanks Ron; I'll add one of those to my collection. I was under the car last night, trying to figure out if the trans was gone or just the converter. Fortunately it may just be the converter this time; inside the trans pan was pretty clean. Anyway, looking up along the side of the block I couldn't see the drain plugs. I used to see them easily with the stock block, but either they are moved or non existent with the stage 1 block or the builder filled 'em in and painted over. Or I'm just blind :) Hmmmm.

Todd
 
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Todd,

Your could be correct that your block is not cast with the side drains existant in all of the 3.8 production blocks. Am not sure if any , some, or none of certain blocks had block drains.
If, in fact, your's does not have these drains, there is a method to completely get all of the old coolant flushed out. It's a little more complicated and takes a bit more time and work, but it's very effective.
If you're interested, I'll post this method also.

Ron

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Scottie, If you're wanting to run 45# base fuel pressure, just put a 237 regulator on there and forget about it. It's permanantly set at 43# base pressure. No worries, no hassles. You can find them cheap ($5) at u-pull-it yards.

Ron, I'm interested to hear about the other method of draining the coolant without 1/8" drain plug holes.

BTW: Has anyone ever tried teflon tape on the ARP head studs? I've had leaking probs too (fixed with seal tabs). But teflon tape works very well on other stuff. I can't see a reason not to use it on studs and crank them in a bit tigher than "finger-tight". If I r/r the studs again, I'm going to give it a shot.

-Mike
 
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