Recently, I've noticed some coolant pooling on the engine pan under the carburetor. There is enough coolant to be concerned. I cannot be certain of the source, but I am fairly certain it isn't from the top radiator hose. It appears that it may be seeping from the valve cover and collecting on the engine pan. I haven't opened the valve cover yet to explore. Any thoughts on what I might need to do to diagnose the problem or what the problem might be? Thanks.
Weeping freeze plug most likely.
Dan, any chance you have a picture of the freeze plug and the locations of them? I'm not afraid to work on this, but a little apprehensive about jumping in without out knowing where I'm going. You've been great with pictures in the past, so I thought it was worth asking.
If the leak was under the valve cover the water would be going into the engine.
Here is a freeze plug photo from:
Some ideas on replacement of the plug in the same link.
Perfect. Many thanks. The center one looks dry, but the one toward the front and the one toward the rear are weeping/drooling into the valve cover area. I haven't removed the valve cover yet. Hopefully, the amount of pooling occurring on the engine pan indicates it is running down to the pan instead of traveling into the valves. Thanks to both of you for the quick diagnosis. I have my work cut out for me for the weekend.
I would not remove the valve cover when it is weeping or when you are working on replacing the plugs. You do not want water in the engine, that would create a whole other set of problems.
Just wanted to give a quick update and to say thanks to those who offered suggestions. It was, in fact, weeping freeze plugs as Dan had diagnosed. The front and rear plugs were both leaking. The middle one was nice and tight. My boys (ages 19 and 21) helped me remove all three of them fairly easily. Tapping and whacking them with a screw driver didn't work so we drilled a small hole in each plug, stuck a screw driver into the hole, and pried each of the plugs out. I found out that my dad had replaced them about 20 years ago when the engine was rebuilt, so removing them was probably much easier than for older engines that haven't been rebuilt. We tried using nickels as new freeze plugs. They looked pretty nice, but two of them developed very slow leaks since we didn't cup them quite enough and that prevented them from making a good tight seal. We ultimately used the plugs from one of the parts catalogs and used a little bit of sealant to make sure they were snug. They are working great and show no signs of leaks after about four weeks. Hopefully they'll last for another 20-100 years. If not, we now know how to replace freeze plugs.