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RE: Head Sealing Problem?

To: "'Russ Moore'" <>, "'Larry Young'"
Subject: RE: Head Sealing Problem?
From: Bill Babcock <>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 10:50:57 -0800
Squishy head bolts are bad. Did you reach full torque? Look for cracks
near the bolt holes. Some of them are inevitable, but you might want to
contact Gregg Solow for some of his trick slightly longer outside short
bolts. You need to drill the holes a little deeper and cut more threads
with a bottoming tap to use them, but they work great. If you've got
really strange feeling bolts you should consider helicoils and replacing
or inspecting the bolts. Might be a precursor to failure because the bolts
have already been stretched beyond yield. 

If you are using a shim steel gasket I think 100# is overkill. 

How hot is too hot? If you have a standard TR3 radiator system there is no
recovery for the water, if you fill the system and get it really hot
you'll always dump water into the overflow. Certainly test your radiator
cap, have the system sniffed for combustion gases. I've never used
dye--there's an analyzer that a lot of shops have that can do the test. 

I don't know how much you did to your engine, but there's have been
endless threads on FOT about TR3 cooling systems and radiators. They are
marginal for race-prepped engines. If you don't turn up any engine
problems and the symptom is from insufficient cooling, then get thee to a
really good radiator shop and have them make you a rad that will fill the
nose of your car. Most sanctioning bodies abide by the scca rules of the
period, and they permitted replacement radiators as long as the new one
used the original mounting points. You can stick in a huge modern radiator
and still meet that criteria. 

Other possible problems--too aggressive porting (look for cracks at the
bottom of the exhaust port through to the water jacket, and don't ask why
I know about this). 

If you're using a shim steel gasket, do the copper wire thing (lots about
this in the archives). 

-----Original Message-----
From: Russ Moore [] 
Sent: Wednesday, February 26, 2003 9:19 AM
To: 'Larry Young';
Subject: RE: Head Sealing Problem?

One of three things.
Not sealing at the head/cylinder area; not sealing at the base (figure 8
gaskets) or a fracture either in the head, block base or in a liner. 

Russ Moore

-----Original Message-----
From: []On
Behalf Of Larry Young
Sent: Wednesday, February 26, 2003 12:05 PM
Subject: Head Sealing Problem?

I'm trying to figure out what's going on with my TR3 engine.  Ever since I
rebuilt the engine, I've had a problem with it blowing water out into the
overflow bottle.  In a 20 minute race, it will blow about a quart into the
overflow.  It's also running hot.  I'm not getting any water in the oil.
I'm running a solid copper head gasket and used a block sealer after I
installed the head.  I also pressure tested the block and all was fine.
After the first race weekend, I checked for combustion leaks into the
radiator using a kit which has a dye in it.  The dye is supposed to change
color if combustion gases are present in the cooling system.  I couldn't
tell for sure whether it was changing color or not, so I retorqued the
head and treated it again with block sealer.  I did have to turn the nuts
to get the torque back to 100 lb and one stud felt a bit squishy, like it
didn't want to tighten up.  I gather from resent posts, that this is
abnormal.  It continues to blow water out the overflow.  I think I've got
a head gasket that leaks only under load, i.e. race conditions.  However,
others I've talked to aren't so sure. I'm thinking I need to pull the head
to try and figure out what's going on.  Any suggestions would be
appreciated. Thanks, Larry Young

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