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Old 01-12-2021, 10:57 AM   #1
Ordsgt
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Default leaking head gasket?

I was driving down the road 3 days ago in my 30 Tudor and noticed a foam coming out of Radiator cap. I found the level down about a quart and after adding more coolant (while running), I noticed a lot of small bubble like in a carbonated beverage. The small bubbles do not go away. I am guessing a head gasket has blown. I am used to seeing bubbles in coolant on modern cars when a gasket goes but much larger bubbles. Then again as it only has a 4.2 compression ratio and cyl pressures would be much lower is that the reason for small bubbles
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

Try re-torquing your head and see if it stops. Easy enouph, can't hurt, might help.
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Old 01-12-2021, 01:32 PM   #3
Jerry in Shasta
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

Also be sure the water pump packing is tight, could be sucking air past the packing.
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Old 01-12-2021, 02:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

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Try re-torquing your head and see if it stops. Easy enouph, can't hurt, might help.
Just be sure to torque only to 55 lbs.
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Old 01-12-2021, 02:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

On a related note don't fill the radiator like a modern car. Fill it about just to start to cover the baffle you see with the cap open, the baffle the overflow tube comes out of. Any funny exhaust...smell, steam, fluid?
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Old 01-12-2021, 04:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

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retorqued head and found 3 at 30 ft lbs. Took car for drive of about 10 miles ran fine no boil over but after arriving home checked radiator and the coolant looks like beer froth. As to the water pump it is the leakless pump with seals not packing. Looks like time to put a new headgasket in and true the head.
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

Changing the head gasket might just do the trick. However, when you have the head off, be sure to have it magna-fluxed to check for cracks and also see if the head needs to be surfaced. You need to do this to ensure you will have no leaks when you put it back together...

FWIW: If your head is cracked and not repairable, I would purchase the 5.5 head as a replacement. You will not regret it.
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

My foaming was from the head gasket leaking.
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

Did you have to change the head studs when you changed to the 5.5 head?
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

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retorqued head and found 3 at 30 ft lbs. Took car for drive of about 10 miles ran fine no boil over but after arriving home checked radiator and the coolant looks like beer froth. As to the water pump it is the leakless pump with seals not packing. Looks like time to put a new headgasket in and true the head.
Beer froth, I had that once in an mondern, I flushed the cooling system with some chemicals flushed again, put in fresh antifreeze all was good !
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

Radiator replaced 3 months ago all new antifreeze.
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Old 01-13-2021, 02:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

Auto parts store for coolant test kit.
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Old 01-13-2021, 03:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

Rocket1, am confused, coolant test kit to test for what?
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

Standard head studs will work with the 5.5 head.

I think post 12 is referring to the test to see if your coolant has any exhaust gasses.
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

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Did you have to change the head studs when you changed to the 5.5 head?
You don't have to change the studs, but many people do it's not too expensive to order new Grade 8 studs and nuts, and if you don't know much about the history of the car it's cheap insurance.
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

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You don't have to change the studs, but many people do it's not too expensive to order new Grade 8 studs and nuts, and if you don't know much about the history of the car it's cheap insurance.
Amen, Brother
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Old 01-13-2021, 05:58 PM   #17
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

$40 for new studs and nuts is not too bad as the new head is $325. I am pulling the head off this weekend and will have it checked at the machine shop. If no issues will put back on. If,on the other hand there is a problem I will order the studs and 5.5 head. I was wrong on the first assessment of the torque setting as there were 5 under 35 lbs. All five were in the front of the head for cyl 1 and 2. I don't think I need the exhaust gas test. I watched the coolant flow and the faster the engine ran the more bubbles it created. Besides it will give me a clue as to the engine condition. The man I bought it from ah it for 20 years and never had any work done. He stated that he and his wife drove it from Newport News Virginia to Ohio a few years back and had no issues. Hope no surprises
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Old 01-13-2021, 07:14 PM   #18
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

In the meantime I would suggest draining the water/coolant from the engine. You don't need any coolant leaking back into the cylinder(s) and possibly the oil pan while it sitting for the next three days until Saturday.
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Old 01-13-2021, 07:30 PM   #19
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

Not that this is the problem, it is just an observation. Head stud torque drops for a couple reasons, gasket compression, stud/nut stretch or the threads in the block.

I suggest when making a gasket change the stud holes in the block need inspection.

Some will cringe here, but I use a stud and hardened washers to test the block. Assemble and torque each hole location. If you pull the threads it is easier to fix without the head in place. It only took one motor to pull the threads on the final torque to learn that lesson.

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Old 01-13-2021, 08:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: leaking head gasket?

Good Evening...The head on a Model A Ford should be re-torqued once a year to 55 pounds if stock. Your head bolts were really loose...do you know when the last time the head bolts were re-torqued as part of your maintenance. When you change the gasket, torque to 55...drive 25 or so miles, let it cool and torque it again...some bolts will move...drive another 50 miles and torque it again...then go 100 miles and torque it one more time...it should be pretty stable by this point...then once a year...for ever...Ernie in Arizona...
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