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Author Topic:   350 head stud water leaks, anyone...help!
rnoswal53
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted February 22, 2005 04:46 PM  
I just got the car running. During the breakin period I noticed water coming out the front stud above the number one spark plug. It was the short stud outside the valve cover. I took it out and put sealer on it and fixed that one.

After talking to a guy about building these 350's he told me he puts sealer on all the bolt/studs while rebuilding. I really don't want to pull them all and put sealer on them, unless they are all leaking, which they aren't. None of the other studs were leaking, but I don't know about the ones under the valve cover while the engine is running.

Are there the same bolt holes on all 350, well older with the split rear seal, that leak water? If there are then I would pull just them out and seal them. Do I need to borrow or rent a pressure tester and pump up the water pressure and see which ones leak?

If anyone knows which ones leak I would appreciate knowing before I find that the oil is milky and have to do them all. I did notice a little bit of milky oil forming on the top of the passenger side inner valve cover.

Thanks
Russ

nyimcamod8t
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 67
posted February 22, 2005 04:59 PM  
as far as i remember all the head bolts go into water jackets, thus all are gonna need to be sealed.

FlyNLoIMCA17
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 753
posted February 22, 2005 05:40 PM  
The milky substance on the underside of the valve cover (if it isn't excessive) is normal condensation. I have never put sealer on head bolts and never had one leak and I've built MANY engines. So to answer your question, I would get a pressure tester, hook it up to the radiator and if it leaks pressure then remove the valve covers while pressurized and looks for signs of coolant.

Hope that helps.

rnoswal53
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted February 22, 2005 06:26 PM  
Very interesting! Well, it is running methanol and hopefully it was just that one stud. I think maybe condensation? Could that be a possiblity? I never had that problem with other type engines. There seems to be a lot of peculiarities with the 350, even though it has been around forever.

Thanks
Russ

gould
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 730
posted February 22, 2005 06:43 PM  
I wouldn't risk it. Put the sealer on all the studs. It's cheap insurance, just because one isn't leaking now doesn't mean it won't leak later. JMO

Istock66
unregistered Total posts: 730
posted February 22, 2005 07:49 PM           send a private message to gould   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/QuoteBBBBBB
head studs allways leak.

you should have put thread sealer on them.

it should also be done to all headbolts allways.

I was told by a couple people the first time I used head studs to put sealer and put two aluma seals in the radiator right away.

If your worried about the ones under the cover leaking, just warm it all the way up shut it off and look, if they are leaking they will still be dripping a little and the water rolls right over the oil so it is very obvious.


NJantz
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 755
posted February 23, 2005 06:39 AM  
Twice in the past we have fought leaky headstuds. We even used the permatex white teflon sealer stuff and it still leaked. Added the MOROSO ceramic engine sealer and pretty much got rid of the problem.


rnoswal53
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted February 23, 2005 07:25 AM  
It has always amazed me about the Chevy small block. I seems like it needs so many things done to it to make it a viable race engine. I have been so used to racing a Toyota engine and having front and rear pulleys and flywheels fit without pressing them on or having to use pullers to get them off. Oiling has never been a problem. I don't mean to complain so much, but I wonder why there are some failings that haven't been fixed by GM without having to buy aftermarket everything to fix them.

I have heard friends tell me they have never had leaking in these same areas. I have had others tell me that they always build using a sealer of some sort and now I hear things like use radiator seal and sealer on all the bolts and block hardener and teflon tape and on and on.......

Oh well, I do really appreciate all the suggestions and I guess I will at least put sealer on all the long studs under the valve covers and just watch for leaking on the studs outside the covers. I know, maybe just don't run any water........lol...sigh.

Thanks again

Russ

leapinlizard
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 402
posted February 23, 2005 08:00 AM  
"I wonder why there are some failings that haven't been fixed by GM without having to buy aftermarket everything to fix them."


**** Union labor, at will EOE, lol

Corporate America engineers design things for there intended purpose. It works great for it's intended purpose but when you go changing the intended purpose...Have toyota engines been around for 60 years? What happpens if you take a 60 year old toyota engine and try to get it to perform five times greater what it was originally designed to do?

Dman
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 270
posted February 23, 2005 09:10 AM  
I worked on a lot of Toyotas in the 70's. They were turds.Oil leakin head gasket blowin
sun of a guns. But, They learned alot from GM and got better in a few years.

dgb
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 70
posted February 23, 2005 11:34 AM  
I've built quite a few engines and never had leaky studs until last summer. Ended up with water in the oil and spun a rod bearing because of it too. Better to be safe than sorry. Thread sealer: cheap - Spun rod bearing: expensive. I learned that lesson the hard way.

dirtywrench13
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 324
posted February 23, 2005 11:56 AM  
general rule of thumb on a small chevy engine,if it's not a main cap bolt, put sealer on the threads. anything smaller than a 5/16 bolt normally wont go through to water.

ALCOHOL
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 46
posted February 23, 2005 01:23 PM  
You may go your auto parts store and buy a can of block sealer or a bottle of Bar's Leak and put it in the radiatoor and run engine for a couple of races.Then drain it out and refill your radiator. Had a lot of engine builders tell me this.

rnoswal53
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted February 23, 2005 02:26 PM  
Thanks for the advice. I didn't mean to start anything with the Toyota comment. Each engine has it's own quirks and I know this. I know the engine has been around for a long time and I thank the aftermarket people for making this an affordable hobby, sort of..........lol. So it's radiator sealer and stud sealer time I guess. I know there are several out there that have never had any problems like this, but with my luck, if it can go wrong it probably will..sigh, and I already had it running too....

Thanks

Russ

zeroracing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1875
posted February 24, 2005 10:21 AM  
boy leapinlizard you sure like sticking up for those looser engineers. bunch of know it alls.

uforacing51
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 570
posted February 24, 2005 11:51 AM  
Hey dude, I have had the same problem as you. I used some sealer and it stopped. I also have got a new set of head studs and that cured it too. Some of these engines have been around since the 1970's. That was 30+ years ago. You may have a worn out bolt or a threaded hole that is getting enlarged and the block or bolt may neen replacing. In the meantime, I wouldn't panic, just use a new bolt or some sealer and stop the one. Keep an eye on the oil and take care of the others if any crop up. my bet is, its an isolated incident.

waltonjr1
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 516
posted February 24, 2005 02:11 PM  
Permatex, High Tack thread sealent. Resists antifreeze, oil, water and gas. Its in a little can at your auto parts. The stuff works.


rnoswal53
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted February 25, 2005 06:59 AM  
Hmmmmm I forgot about the permatex, I just ended up using ultra grey sealer on the threads under the valve covers. If the short studs on the outside leak I will fix them as they go.

I am really looking forward to racing a V8 for the first time, so thanks for all the help and advice. I just hope the freeze plugs don't pop or something because of me not saying some secret Chevy magic word or chant or something........lol..


Russ

dan murray
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 34
posted February 25, 2005 03:50 PM  
quote:
Originally posted by rnoswal53:
It has always amazed me about the Chevy small block. I seems like it needs so many things done to it to make it a viable race engine. I have been so used to racing a Toyota engine and having front and rear pulleys and flywheels fit without pressing them on or having to use pullers to get them off. Oiling has never been a problem. I don't mean to complain so much, but I wonder why there are some failings that haven't been fixed by GM without having to buy aftermarket everything to fix them.

I have heard friends tell me they have never had leaking in these same areas. I have had others tell me that they always build using a sealer of some sort and now I hear things like use radiator seal and sealer on all the bolts and block hardener and teflon tape and on and on.......

Oh well, I do really appreciate all the suggestions and I guess I will at least put sealer on all the long studs under the valve covers and just watch for leaking on the studs outside the covers. I know, maybe just don't run any water........lol...sigh.

Thanks again

Russ


For 20 years we have been honing the sbc balancers on all our race motors to make them a tight slip-fit. No pullers to get them off, no problem sliding it on. Never a failure. Isn't everyone doing this? I'm sure I'm not the only one who got tired of having to pull a radiator to make room for a puller tool.


crwchfj10
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 3
posted February 26, 2005 01:32 AM  
I have always used #2 Permatex non-hardening for the head bolts during assembly - (also water pump bolts) - easy to clean up when you take it apart - clean threads on bolt with wire wheel and just run a tap in threads so you get a proper torque reading when re-assembling - Hope this helps!!

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