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Water In Oil After Head Rebuild - 1955 V8 Poly
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samstrader
Posted 2023-10-09 5:12 AM (#632245)
Subject: Water In Oil After Head Rebuild - 1955 V8 Poly


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Location: Beaumont TX
I started my car after doing a valve job and immediately got water in the oil. The engine ran about 5 minutes and I would estimate a half quart of water went into the oil based on how much the oil level went up. The oil was very milky of course. The radiator cap was off so I never built up pressure in the water jacket. I never got up to full operating temperature.

The work done on the heads were all new valves, new valve seals on the intake valves, and all new hardened steel valve guide inserts. The heads were already clean so they weren't boiled in a bath or anything like this. The head and block mating surfaces are good and flat. I checked for flatness plus there was no water leakage before so I feel confident the mating surfaces are good. I worked slow and very careful and I'm pretty sure the head gaskets are put on correctly; and I used Best Gaskets from hot heads and they were definitely better gaskets that I took off.

While the heads were gone to the machine shop, I used a magnet to remove casting sand and mud and rust from the water jacket of the block. I scraped it some with a screw driver to loosen the debris and then lifted it out with the magnet. I got a cup and maybe more of this stuff out of the block and washed it some and could see metal instead of mud at the bottom of the water jacket. It looked good.

Does anyone have experience with water leaking into the oil from places other than the head gasket? I'm wondering if the new valve guide inserts cracked one of the heads or if I punched a hole in the bottom of the block while I was getting the mud out with the magnet. Of if there is some other place that water can get into the oil that I can't think of.

Has anyone successfully installed valve guide inserts on a 1955 poly head? Maybe there isn't enough steel to support pressing in the inserts after reaming.

Thanks for your help... Sam
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Rebels-59
Posted 2023-10-09 8:30 AM (#632246 - in reply to #632245)
Subject: Re: Water In Oil After Head Rebuild - 1955 V8 Poly



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Could simply be a Gasket issue..

Did the New Gaskets including Intake gasket Match the old gaskets , I think the first thing would be to remove the Intake and check the water jackets, As if Wrong or Nipped, water can and will go into the Oil ..
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Shep
Posted 2023-10-09 11:09 AM (#632248 - in reply to #632246)
Subject: Re: Water In Oil After Head Rebuild - 1955 V8 Poly



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Any water in the cylinders or wet spark plugs? Does coolant circulate through the intake manifold, another area of potential leaks.
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samstrader
Posted 2023-10-09 8:37 PM (#632252 - in reply to #632245)
Subject: Re: Water In Oil After Head Rebuild - 1955 V8 Poly


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Location: Beaumont TX
Thanks Clive and Dave.

I installed new intake manifold gaskets and they were an exact match and they were Best gaskets which I think are real good gaskets. I also put RTV on the 4 bolts that are drilled through to the water jacket. But I will pull the intake manifold and check. It's easy enough to do. I didn't think of the possible leak from the water jacket to the cylinders here. With the intake manifold off, I'll be able to check for damage to the intake valve seats too.

I'll also pull the spark plugs and look at the plugs and down into the cylinders. If there is a problem with the heads, I may be able to tell which head by looking into the cylinders when I have a high water level in the radiator.

Thanks for your help, I didn't think of this....

Sam
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Dan_in_MN
Posted 2023-10-10 3:28 PM (#632266 - in reply to #632245)
Subject: Re: Water In Oil After Head Rebuild - 1955 V8 Poly


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Posts: 20

Sam
Hope you get this figured out!
What's the history of the car? Was it running before you pulled the heads?
Please don't take this next question wrong. How much experience do you have with engines? At 58, I've had many failures putting me through the "school of hard knocks".
I don't think it's possible to punch a hole through the block without a lot of effort.

Edited by Dan_in_MN 2023-10-10 3:30 PM
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samstrader
Posted 2023-10-10 6:20 PM (#632269 - in reply to #632245)
Subject: Re: Water In Oil After Head Rebuild - 1955 V8 Poly


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Location: Beaumont TX
Hi Dan, The car was running before I decided to do a valve job. And there was no water leaking into the oil system. The reason I decided to do the valve job was because I had a excessive play in my valve stems. No 7 exhaust valve was so loose that it was making a lot of noise by blowing by exhaust gas. It was an exhaust leak under the valve cover. I pulled this head once before to work on the oil line to the rocker assembly. I put it all back together and didn't have any leaks or problems with the operation of the engine. I'm not a professional mechanic but I've been working on cars for more than 50 years with pretty good success. The most work I've ever done on engines is with this engine. Most other work was routine maintenance like water pumps, timing belts, valve cover gaskets and stuff like that.

I may have messed up on the head gasket but don't know how. My head and block mating surfaces were real flat and real clean. The head gasket can only go on one way and it's pretty easy to see which way. The alignment pins hold it in exactly the right place. After I put the head gasket on, I looked around the whole head at the gasket with a mirror and it was exactly flush with the head all the way around. So I don't see how it can be wrong but I've said this before if you know what I mean.. The head didn't settle down on one of the alignment pins right at first but tightening the head bolts with my fingers pulled it down OK. That is the only thing that didn't go perfectly correct but I don't think that's the problem. But it is the first thing I will check very closely when I take it apart.. I've been wondering is something was in the pin hole that kept it from going down tight but I have pictures and look at the hole and it looks clean.

The install went pretty good and I used a torque wrench on every bolt and felt good about the install. I was really shocked and depressed when the water drained into the oil pan. The sad thing is that I have to take it completely back apart to inspect it and it took me 8 days, or I spent 8 days very carefully putting everything together...

I know what you mean about the school of hard knocks and it seems like it usually takes me a couple of trys to get something right, so no offense taken at all. It is amazing how the smallest thing can really bite you hard...
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22mafeja
Posted 2023-10-11 7:48 AM (#632277 - in reply to #632245)
Subject: RE: Water In Oil After Head Rebuild - 1955 V8 Poly


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I know the feeling about nothing tends to succeed at first attempt...I think it get worse by age..
Did you check the compression ?
I Would think about leak testing the bad cylinder head at an engine machining shop when they are removed.
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samstrader
Posted 2024-02-22 6:25 PM (#633858 - in reply to #632245)
Subject: Re: Water In Oil After Head Rebuild - 1955 V8 Poly


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Posts: 443
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Location: Beaumont TX
I had to take a break on working on this car engine. A couple of weeks ago I decided to pull things apart and see what was wrong with the head or see what I did wrong. It turns out Dan in MN was right and I messed up.

When I installed the head gaskets in September, the head gasket on the driver's side didn't lay down real flat because the alignment pin holes in the gasket were too far apart. I filed on the holes a little and got the head gasket to fit better but I DID NOT ELONGATE THE HOLES ENOUGH TO MAKE THE GASKET LAY FLAT. The holes needed to be closer together by about .030" total. So, with the head gasket bowed up a little, I put the head on and torqued it down. This was a bad mistake.

The head gasket for the passenger side fit perfect and laid down flat. It was a perfect fit. It seems odd that a pair of head gaskets would fit different. I think my alignment pins are spaced the same on both sides of the engine because both old head gaskets fit perfectly. The old gaskets were Victor gaskets that were installed in 2011. I did not measure to confirm both sets of alignment pins were exactly the same, however. so I don't know why the two gaskets fit differently. The new gaskets were Best gaskets.

I remembered that the driver side head gasket didn't fit quite as good as the passenger side so I removed the driver side head first. There wasn't an obvious break or obvious damage in the head gasket. But I could see that the number 1 piston had some water spots on it. I could also see that the crush on the head gasket around the water holes near the number one cylinder were not crushed the same as the water holes on the other three cylinders. So I decided to change just the head gasket on the driver side and see how that worked out. It turns out changing the driver side head gasket fixed the coolant in the oil problem.

I ordered one new head gasket and new intake and exhaust gaskets. When I tried to install the new head gasket on the driver's side, the alignment pin holes were too far apart again and the gasket would not lay down right. Just to explain this better, when the gasket alignment holes were pushed down on the alignment pins, the gasket bowed up in the middle, over cylinders 3 and 5.

This time I used a Dremel and a small sanding disk (this small sanding disk was small enough to fit into the hole; actually it was about the same diameter as the alignment pin hole) and very carefully and gently sanded the holes in the gasket toward the center.. I elongated each hole by about .015" toward the center and was very careful to elongate just enough to allow the gasket to lay perfectly flat when the gasket was pushed down on the alignment pins. It was a totally relaxed fit so to speak.

I put everything back together and the engine runs good and the water stays in the radiator.

The lesson here is that the head gaskets must lay perfectly flat and relaxed on the engine before the head is installed.

Thanks for everyone's help with this. You were right Dan. I wasn't as knowledgeable as I though. This has happened to me before :-)

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