Blown Head Gasket - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 11, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Blown Head Gasket

I have a 69 Camaro, 406 small block in it, that was built this summer. It has about 3000 miles on it. It has Edelbrock Performer RPM heads on it. The heads were drilled for steam holes and has the correct head gasket on it.

I was out for about 45 minutes driving yesterday, and was close to home when I smelled anti-freeze. Not a real strong smell at first. Then I looked in the rear view mirror and saw smoke (found out later it was steam) coming out from behind the car. I looked at the gauges and had good oil pressure and the temp was around 195, which is normal. So, I hurried on down the road and got the car home. I was about 1.5 miles from home at this point.

I noticed that the power steering was a little difficult when turning and I was losing power. I was hoping that the power steering belt had come off or was slipping and burning. When I got home, I shut the car off and popped the hood. I couldn't see exactly where the anti-freeze was coming from, but I know it was below the head on the drivers side, between the number 1 and 3 cylinder. The motor mount was wet and anti-freeze was dripping underneath. If it had been on the passenger side I could have probably figured out exactly where it was coming out.

I checked the anti-freeze level after it cooled and it was down a little. I checked the oil and it was clean, no anti-freeze/water. So that was good. I figure it's either a head gasket or maybe a freeze plug. I was already going to take the intake off to fix an oil leak at the front of the intake, so now it looks like I'll be taking a few extra steps.

I'm really surprised as the motor probably doesn't have 3000 miles on it since it was built. Since it didn't run hot, I feel that unless the head cracked or something, the motor should be ok. Having a hot rod sure is getting expensive...

What do you think?

Rick
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 11, 08:00 AM
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Re: Blown Head Gasket

Did you check the freeze plugs?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 11, 08:32 AM
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Re: Blown Head Gasket

Could be as simple as a intake gasket, anitfreeze going down 1 of the valves.

Jeff G.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 11, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Blown Head Gasket

Haven't checked the freeze plugs. This was late yesterday afternoon and by the time the motor had cooled, it would have been sometime last night. But I'm going by Autozone on my way home today and use their loaner radiator pressure tester to see if I can find it. If it is the freeze plug, it's the one behind the motor mount. That area is where the anti-freeze appears to be.

The more I think about it, the more I think it is a freeze plug. The motor never started skipping or acting up. The power steering belt/pulley may have gotten anti-freeze on it and caused it to slip. No anti-freeze in the oil either.

I'll hopefully know more when I put the pressure tester on it. It will be a pain to change the freeze plug if it is the one behind the motor mount.

What would cause one to come out? The ones that are in it new, put in when the motor was cleaned/bored, etc.

Rick
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 11, 08:49 AM
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Re: Blown Head Gasket

Rust from the inside. Did you re-torque the heads while the initial break-in was finished, since alum heads, wait until the next day to re-torque?

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 11, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Blown Head Gasket

I bought the block from a good friend of mine. He had hot-tanked it, had it bored 30 over, put in new cam bearings and new freeze plugs. I can't recall seeing any rust as I washed and prepped the block right before assembly.

Then a friend of mine that runs a speed shop and I built the motor. He broke it in and had it for a couple of days afterward. I don't know if he re-torqued the head bolts or not. I would be surprised if he didn't.

Rick
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 11, 10:46 AM
Edm
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Re: Blown Head Gasket

If the freeze plugs are not fully seated or not installed straight they can come out over time. I usually put lock tight around the edges to help keep them in place. If a new motor sits for any period of time rust can develop very quickly.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 11, 01:11 PM
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Re: Blown Head Gasket

Compression test.

Dave
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 11, 06:54 PM
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Re: Blown Head Gasket

Quote:
I'm really surprised as the motor probably doesn't have 3000 miles on it since it was built. Since it didn't run hot, I feel that unless the head cracked or something, the motor should be ok. Having a hot rod sure is getting expensive...

What do you think?
Think?
I have never seen or had a street engine blow a head gas or a frost plug what ever in over 40yrs....the only reason for the ones I have seen is because of lazy workmanship and short cuts....AND it is ONLY when this happens things get expensive....
Heads and Decks Always skimed regardless
Frost plugs always replaced...regardless
Oil pumps always replaced regardless
Radiators always have header tanks removed and cleaned.
Everything is torqued
Everything is checked 2x checked , even 3x checked.

These are not high cost things to do compared to the overall investment in a new engine, and do not take much extra time to do....

But people still make a55 - u & me tions that things are right
penny pich the minor dollar items

And the result is in Murphys law....murphy happens to be your best friend IF you take the time to listen to him.

Stop taking short cuts , strip it down, check everyting, re skim heads decks, new frost plugs etc etc
Do it once do it right.

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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