Head gasket leak

AA Ford Discussion Group relating to the repair and restoration of your AA Ford.
Chrism
Posts: 5
Joined: April 28th, 2015, 6:46 pm
Model Year: 1930

Head gasket leak

Post by Chrism » June 2nd, 2015, 6:25 pm

I had my 1930 AA engine rebuilt years ago. The engine builder used a copper head gasket which seeped externally several places around the head after the engine cooled down. A couple weeks ago I replaced the copper gasket with a premium gasket and torqued it per procedure provided with the gasket. The premium gasket stated it didn't require any extra sealant. It seems to have the same problem, maybe even a little worse.

Does anyone have some ideas on what to do next? Is copper with sealant better? Is there something I am missing...

Thanks! Chrism

JPP
Posts: 161
Joined: July 8th, 2011, 4:36 am
Body Type: 82-A
Model Year: 1929
Location: Townsend,MA

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by JPP » June 2nd, 2015, 6:45 pm

Hi, I have been in the same spot and while these leaks are troublesome, unless excessive they are tolerable. If they are not tolerable I have found that head gasket sealer additives cover the small weeping spots that cause these leakes and eliminate the problem. Not a fan of additives but they do work. Just a thought..

Stakebed
Posts: 1187
Joined: June 14th, 2007, 7:29 pm
Body Type: Grainbox
Model Year: 1929
Location: Illinois

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by Stakebed » June 2nd, 2015, 7:31 pm

Chrism wrote:I had my 1930 AA engine rebuilt years ago. The engine builder used a copper head gasket which seeped externally several places around the head after the engine cooled down. A couple weeks ago I replaced the copper gasket with a premium gasket and torqued it per procedure provided with the gasket. The premium gasket stated it didn't require any extra sealant. It seems to have the same problem, maybe even a little worse.

Does anyone have some ideas on what to do next? Is copper with sealant better? Is there something I am missing...

Thanks! Chrism
did your engine builder deck the head or at least check for flatness? what about the block?

I always use copper spray a gasket gasket adhesive on any gasket, havent had any leaks on modern cars nor model A (ive just ran my engine on a test stand)

ModelAkid
Posts: 478
Joined: June 3rd, 2013, 6:15 pm
Body Type: 186-B stake
Model Year: 1931
Location: SoCal
Contact:

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by ModelAkid » June 2nd, 2015, 8:48 pm

I always use some head gasket sealer when installing a head gasket, and on a flat head like a Model A I put a straight edge on the bottom to make sure it is not warped before I install it. Use the thinnest feeler gauge you have and see if it will go between the head & straight edge anywhere. I hardly ever have head gasket leaks. I prefer the copper/asbestos gaskets like the originals.

drtrcrV-8
Posts: 48
Joined: October 16th, 2013, 9:22 am
Body Type: open
Model Year: 1928

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by drtrcrV-8 » June 2nd, 2015, 11:21 pm

When replacing head gaskets, especially on a complete rebuild, it is a good idea to check the block for 'flatness' as well as the head! Yes, it is rare, but has been known to happen, & checking it 'now' only takes a few minutes, & is a lot easier than chasing leaks later!

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SteveK535
Posts: 37
Joined: October 14th, 2012, 5:26 pm
Body Type: AA Flatbed Dual Axle
Model Year: 1931
Location: Southeast CT

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by SteveK535 » June 3rd, 2015, 8:36 am

You should also recheck torque after several hours of running as it will relax as the gasket sets and the joint completes several thermal cycles. The premium gasket (I'm assuming its the steel silicone composite one from Snyders) is not a copper gasket, and directions say explicitly not to use sealant. I didn't and had some weapage initially, but after I re-torqued it seemed to correct itself.

SHELBY MESSER
Posts: 752
Joined: March 9th, 2009, 8:06 pm
Body Type: 75-A
Model Year: 1930
Location: Sacramento, Ca.

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by SHELBY MESSER » June 3rd, 2015, 3:37 pm

I've done a couple of things with great success. One is after checking and cleaning the block and head I use new motor oil all over the new head gasket. Then put the gasket and head on. The advantage of the motor oil on the gasket is to let the gasket spread out to where it needs to go. I have use this method for over 50 yrs. and don't know of any that have fell. That is on small engines, and engines from 1928 thru 1997, including some diesel engines. Try this I think you will be pleased with the results. Also I have sealed Must seeping head gasket with a can of PET evaporated milk. Just add a can to the water in the water in the radiator and drive it until (several time) 'til you do not see any seepage will not hart to just leave it in. What happens is the sugar in the milk will seep in the leak get hot and stop the leak. This is also very go to fix a cracked head or block. Good luck on your repairs :!: Shelby, Sacramento

birdacre
Posts: 425
Joined: October 8th, 2013, 2:37 pm
Body Type: AA express
Model Year: 1928

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by birdacre » June 3rd, 2015, 3:47 pm

i would just re torque the head gasket. many of the gaskets say that this must be done. who knows the car could be lactose intolerant and then you could have even bigger problems. strange liquids could start coming out any end and horrible burping through the carb. hope this helps.

SHELBY MESSER
Posts: 752
Joined: March 9th, 2009, 8:06 pm
Body Type: 75-A
Model Year: 1930
Location: Sacramento, Ca.

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by SHELBY MESSER » June 5th, 2015, 9:56 am

I would put the engine oil on a head gasket before I would use any gasket sealer on the market. I never wrote this to educate any one, I'll keep doing this my way. Naturally one would re tark the head nut a couple of times on the engine. I destroyed ONE model A in my over 50 years of working on and with the model A's . I bought a L-31 coupe out of Ca. back in 1982, Solid as a silver dime. Last year I pulled the engine out of my L '31 and sold it to the guy that I was restoring his E '31 coupe. While cleaning and painting I discovered that the engine was a factory rebuilt eng. after running the engine I noticed a water seep on head gasket above oil filler. I attempted to put head. The head must have been put on with JB-WELD. I wound busting the corner off,then from there the rest was in small pieces. Cleaned block, check and installed new head gasket with engine oil on both sides. (No education here!) your vocab. Shelby, Sacramento

Chrism
Posts: 5
Joined: April 28th, 2015, 6:46 pm
Model Year: 1930

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by Chrism » June 5th, 2015, 5:24 pm

Decided to pull the head, check flatness and use copper gasket with sealant applied. I cringe at the idea of putting any stop leak product in the radiator.

The copper gasket which came today doesn't have torque instructions. However the rebuild manual I have been working from says 45ftlbs then re-torque to 50 ftlb after a heat/cool cycle. Is that the typical procedure that you know of?

SHELBY MESSER
Posts: 752
Joined: March 9th, 2009, 8:06 pm
Body Type: 75-A
Model Year: 1930
Location: Sacramento, Ca.

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by SHELBY MESSER » June 5th, 2015, 6:57 pm

USE MOTOR OIL ONLY

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spectria
Posts: 1874
Joined: May 15th, 2008, 9:53 pm
Body Type: Mail Truck, Stakebed
Model Year: 1931
Location: Quincy, Ca.

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by spectria » June 5th, 2015, 10:06 pm

SHELBY MESSER wrote:USE MOTOR OIL ONLY
After at least a thousand different engine builds in my shop, as a certified machinist, I have to disagree with Shelby. I have never before heard this recommendation, although it may work in some situations, you should always follow the prescribed techniques for each Gasket application.
I almost always Copper coat spray every gasket that doesn't warn against it.

Some gaskets are not meant to wiggle as would likely happen with a lubricated gasket.

Sry Shelby...
Dave in Quincy, Ca. I love Pics!!!! Post them All!!! :)
Join the Ford Model AA Truck Club - membership form at http://www.fmaatc.org

SHELBY MESSER
Posts: 752
Joined: March 9th, 2009, 8:06 pm
Body Type: 75-A
Model Year: 1930
Location: Sacramento, Ca.

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by SHELBY MESSER » June 5th, 2015, 11:19 pm

You all do it your way I'll do mine my way. NO MORE efforts to to help :(

User avatar
tiredtruckrestorer
Posts: 307
Joined: April 20th, 2003, 7:09 pm
Model Year: 1931
Location: Orwigsburg, PA

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by tiredtruckrestorer » June 7th, 2015, 3:13 am

An old timer in our Model A Club told me they would put grease on the head gasket before assembly. I never tried it, but that's the way some did it.

Keith

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blgitn
Posts: 192
Joined: July 6th, 2013, 6:36 am
Body Type: 275-A
Model Year: 1931
Location: West Point, VA 23181

Re: Head gasket leak

Post by blgitn » June 7th, 2015, 4:19 am

One of my motor-mentors always oiled copper head gaskets too. :)
R/ Roger.

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