'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

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bloodysalmon
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'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by bloodysalmon » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:54 am

On a recently fully refurbished engine, now in the TC, see that water is emanating from the 10 cylinder head nuts! Yes, believe or not the mere pressure of 3/4 inches height on the radiator tank is forcing a small amount of water to the top of the nuts making then rusty. It takes a few days but all the nuts are wet ... what the heck is going on? Not knowing the water-way design of the cylinder, could that be breached by rust ... if so, how could/can it let water to ALL stud?
Anyway seen or heard of this before; if so do let me know what your thoughts are please.
Chris Blood
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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by Steve Simmons » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:55 pm

Have you re-torqued the head?
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Marv
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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by Marv » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:09 pm

Seen something close once, MGA rebuild, had 5 or 6 "wet" head nuts. Probably would have seen them all wet if I had waited long enough. Drained the system and took the head off. Check the block with a parallel bar for flatness. Had the head checked by my local machine shop, it checked ok as well. Only thing left was the head gasket which was purchased through on of the usual suppliers but it was not their advertised top of the line. Bought a new premium copper gasket, lightly coated it both sides with "copper coat" torqued it down properly. let it set overnight, re-checked the torque setting again then started the car. After a brief break in, took the car for a 30 minute drive. Let it set overnight and re-torqued the head nuts again. No water problems to be had. That said, If your scenario were my car, I'd do the same sequence again. disassemble, check flatness on both block and head, steel wool any water discolorations on both and clean with solvent. Get a premium copper gasket, torque in proper sequence. let it relax and recheck the torque settings, fill it up and run it in, take a test drive, let it relax and check the torque once more. Whether you choose to use a copper spray is up to you, if you do, it is a light coating, not heavy. Good luck.

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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by bloodysalmon » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:05 pm

Yes, as a matter of course I have checked the head bolts for torques. Even if some where loose, or even off I wouldn't have expected to see ANY water through the head bolts/nuts ... but all of them!!!
There is something fundamentally wrong ... does anyone know if the head bolts do actually come in touch with a water gallery? If the gasket wasn't right surely only a few nuts would be contaminated and the same with the head? Does anyone have a diagrammatic view of the XPAG head please as this may help?
The whole block and head had been machined, upgraded and assembled by a local engine machine shop so I'm not convinced its an assembly problem ... I suspect its porosity ... hole in the water chamber, somewhere that is allowing water under only 4" height tank pressure to push up through the head bolts ... but why!?
Chris Blood
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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by frenchblatter » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:41 pm

Chris, where did the head gasket come from? Was it a proprietry make?
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bloodysalmon
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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by bloodysalmon » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:46 pm

Hi Norman, it came out a genuine old stock Payen TC XPAG gasket set, so I have no reason to suggest it isnt correct ... but if I have to remove the head and everything else it may have to be ... but logically I cant see how the damn water is surfacing through such tightened bolts/nuts!
Chris Blood
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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by SteveW » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:12 am

Hi Chris,

I've been thinking about how the water could get up the thread with so little head pressure. I dont know how the water gets to the threads in the first place, but once there, it could rise up along the threads by capillary action, so it wouldn't need any pressure. The height that a liquid can rise by capillary action is proportional to one over the radius of the tube, therefore a very small gap along the threads could easily give you enough height to come out of the top. Of course all of this presupposes that there is water getting to the other end of the threads somewhere.

Now time for the old joke - the cure for water on the brain is a tap on the head!

Steve

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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by Marv » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:59 am

Whether assembly error, bad gasket, flatness or other, you're going to have to bite the bullet and tear it apart. It's assumed negative, although you haven't mentioned it. Any water traces in the oil? Pull the studs an do a low pressure air check on each or fill each hole up with solvent or water and see if it drains down to nothing. If it is a porosity problem, your hope would be it's a head problem, not the block.

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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by Tom Lange, MGT Repair » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:36 am

The head stud holes are blind holes, and do not lead into any water passages. That means you have water coming from a water passage in the head and/or block, which means you have a sealing issue, probably based on torque.

Did you replace the head studs? They are an object of considerable stretch - too much when old - and cause all sorts of cylinder head and gasket problems. I have had people write to say that they have blown 3 head gaskets and have no explanation why, have re-surfaced and checked for flatness, etc.. I sell them a set of my ARP head studs, and they never had a problem again. It is very easy to miss a bit of stretch on a head stud, which can completely throw off the proper torque.

See mgtrepair.net for my ARP head studs.

Tom Lange
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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by bloodysalmon » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:01 am

Hi Tom, I can be 99% sure it is NOT the studs, all new along with washers and nuts, all h/t too.
Even if there was some stretch it couldn't be the culprit as only those stretched would be seeing water floating on the nut tops. It can only be a head porosity or crack or failure somewhere. As previous stated it looks like it'll have to be head off ... but not yet until I can figure out why and how its leaking!
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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by Steve Simmons » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:38 pm

I meant to ask if this was a stock head or aluminum. If aluminum, there is almost definitely a porosity issue.
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bloodysalmon
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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by bloodysalmon » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:16 pm

I can confirm it is a cast metal head. Who knows where the rust is most prominent and a likely area to seep water ... to all head bolts?
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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by Marv » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:33 am

Let us know what you find when you pull the head Chris, That's the only way you're going to know what's happening. :? :? :?

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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by frenchblatter » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:07 am

Chris, before you tear it apart why not run it for, say, a 100 miles and see if the water leak stops. It may be water left in the stud threads and it could dry up when all out.
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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by Tom Lange, MGT Repair » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:42 am

Chris - washers are not helpful on T-series engines, unless you have an aluminium head or unusually high compression with an iron head. Are what you used hardened steel, parallel ground washers? If not, they could well yield incorrect torque figures.

I would re-torque the head every hundred miles for 500 miles, and then see what you have. And be sure to use the correct re-torquing procedure.

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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by Mitchman2 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:39 am

Soft washers will give you false torque due to galling. Grinding (galling) soft metal surfaces requires more turning force showing more torque at the handle than is being applied to the fasteners.

I'd leave everything as is and re-torque without any washers.
Mitch

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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by bloodysalmon » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:07 am

Thanks for the input everyone. I don't intend to remove the head as yet. The washers used were sourced from Roger Furneaux so I feel they are right. I also cannot in any way see how washers of any kind can create the scenario I have! Even if the torque was'nt right (and I do'nt know what they are as I didn't assemble it) how can water emanate from the ALL 12 nuts, from where?
I hope to run the TC shortly, not done 2 miles as yet, no wings on, no lights etc ... so just feeling braver as I test drive it further. I have a show to go to 21st Sept so that's my goal to be fully operational well before then.

At the moment I'm using plain water in the rad, as its leaking as described. At some point I will put some rust inhibitor in and anti-freeze ... but not until I've sorted the leak. I still don't quite get it as the amount per nut is perhaps only a 'maltezer' amount over a week. There's no water in the sump although if I left it I'm sure water would drip down from the bolts/nuts underneath the rocker cover.
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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by Gene Gillam » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:38 pm

Chris...I have had water on a head bolt in the past...it was the one on the right rear. I used loctite on it and never saw water again. Since it’s all of your head bolts though I’d have to go along with the rest...either a head gasket or a torque problem. Another thought, does your head match your block, i.e., both banana or both round water passages? If a mixture you may be using the wrong head gasket and that could allow water leakage.

Or have you sorted it out already?

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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by Gene Gillam » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:38 pm

Chris...I have had water on a head bolt in the past...it was the one on the right rear. I used loctite on it and never saw water again. Since it’s all of your head bolts though I’d have to go along with the rest...either a head gasket or a torque problem. Another thought, does your head match your block, i.e., both banana or both round water passages? If a mixture you may be using the wrong head gasket and that could allow water leakage.

Or have you sorted it out already?

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Re: 'water on the head', no not that one, the cylinder head!

Post by bloodysalmon » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:48 pm

Hi Gene, no I haven't sorted it as yet. The problem still exists to my annoyance. It cant be a gasket oe head problem as why does every bolt/nut head see water settled on it! If it was surely it would be just a few?
I cannot vouch for the type of head nor gasket fitted as I didn't assemble; a local engine re-builder did who had done 3 Xpag engines for me in the past, so I have no reason to feel that it was wrongly assembled either.
I drove the TC around the block yesterday, about a mile. Got back and saw steam I think emanating from the rocker box(no filter connected at the moment) as it tries to evaporate the water away. It was quite steamy but could have been mixed with a little burning off of manifold paint and oil too.
I have a few other problems that is preventing me going on a long run at the moment. However, I have proved there is NO water in the sump oil
Chris Blood
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