This has been a frustrating project.
I bought a rebuilt motor for the T a few years ago and finally took the time to put it in the car.
The new motor was rebuilt with aluminum pistons, SS valves, new rear bearing cap, triple gear bushings and Kevlar bands.
I thought things were going to be great but life doesn't cooperate.
I wanted to leave it as a non-starter car but the first problem was that it was tight and almost impossible to start with the crank, so I put the starter in.
That worked great. I found that the mag was not working very good but I put that part of the project on hold so I could focus on getting it running..
I also put AC brakes on the car - but that is story for later.
Next I found that the head gasket was leaking out the sides.
I found that the head was not torqued very well and I could not stop the leaks with the correct torque so off came the head.
The head looked OK but the block had deep groves made by the fly cutter.
If it were the head I would have had it machined.
After considering the options I decided to try using heavy coat of copper spray with a new copper gasket and cross my fingers.
When I filled it with water and started it I found a small leak on the outside of the block just above the valve cover where a crack had been welded.
So I cleaned it up and used some JB weld.
It worked great - whoopee!!.
Finally I was ready for some driving!
The motor ran great and was strong. I couldn't believe how well it pulled the small hills near home and how smooth it ran.
When I went to adjust the Kevlar bands I noticed that there was a bit of milky substance on the hogs head just under the brake peddle and I got a sinking feeling in my stomach.
I drained the oil and it looked just like the oil in my Alfa Romeo GTV did when the little o-ring in the head gasket decided it didn't want to work.
I should have crossed more than my fingers!
I am going to try to torque the head again but I am afraid that the motor has to come out, the motor disassembled and the surface made smooth.
By the way we used new bolts when we changed the head gasket and originally torqued the head to 55 ft pounds.
After we warmed the motor up and let it cool we then when to 60 ft pounds.
I hope the block is not cracked!
I forgot to add that my son is doing a lot of the work with me and he keeps telling me that most of the fun is in working on the car.
Since I am 70 and he is 40 I should be happy that he is having FUN with me.
I wish that I had spent the time to have more fun with my dad!
Fred It may seem like a silly question, but did you check the bolt length before torquing the head.
You should be able to put the head on the block and finger tighten all the head bolts so that they all are in contact with the head if you can do that then the bolts are the right length and should torque enough to get a good seal on the head gasket. I wish you luck!
Excuse me my brain is ahead of my fingers that should read place the head on the block without a head gasket and finger tighten the bolts
They sometimes develop a crack between cylinders 2 & 3 that can leak into the valve galley and then into the crankcase. The crack can begin at the bottom of the water inlet port, run across the underside and into the freeze plug hole on the other side. Have a look there while you check it all out.
Years ago i had a tractor that made a little water which was not alot. I drilled and taped the drain plug and put a 6" pice of hyd hose on with a cap.The water/antifreeze mix had a place to settle out and maybe once every month or two i would drain it off.I explained the hose at my sale and the tractor brought good money!Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
45 to 50 is more then enough for head bolts. 55 to 60 you are going into the stripping threads danger zone.
I would do a lot of things before thinking of pulling the motor. Sealants, earlier suggestions, experiments, etc.
And black pepper!!
John M has it right. Since there is already water in the crankcase, take the time to find out where it is coming from. Pull off the side cover over the valve springs and also the lower cover under the rod dippers and fill the radiator with water. You may have to pressurize the cooling system a little. Somewhere the leak will show up. If water shows up in the valve chamber that's not real good news, probably a cracked block. If it comes down the cylinder walls past the rings, head gasket is likely the culprit. Since you have a history of head gasket leaks and torque problems, I would suspect that is the problem. For the best chance of success, make sure the head surface is good, have it milled if not. Make sure the bolts are not bottoming out in the block and use copper coat. Re torque several times until torque holds up. After something like this, several oil changes are required. For the first couple I use drain oil from oil changes on modern cars. Much cheaper that new oil and only temporary. I hope you don't have a turbo clutch in your transmission as water will destroy it. Good luck and keep the faith. Great that you and junior are in this together. I am 50 and my father 80. We work together on old cars every day.
I should have checked the bolt length before putting it back together. My bad
I will try the following.
I will pull the water inlet and look for a crack.
Remove one head bolt at a time and replace it with a washer under it to make sure they are not bottoming out and re-torque to 50 max.
And fill radiator with leftovers from last night's dinner in an effort to stop any leaks and make the garage smell better.
Depends on what you had for dinner last night! After a few day maybe not so much.
Pulling the water inlet isn't going to help find a crack. If there is a crack in the block, any water finding it's way to the crankcase would have to come from inside the valve chamber or through the bore/piston where it could run down into the oil. Any water leaking on the inlet side should just run down the side of the engine to the floor.
Another possibility is a crack in the combustion chamber in the head. Try resealing the gasket first and changing the oil as suggested first. If re torquing the head does not work you may have to pull the head and inspect it and the block more for cracks.
How much water is too much water? A small amount will hurt nothing.Often hot cold hot cold will cause a sweat inside engines but if it's green it ain't sweat.Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Ken This is not a small amount of water. It is enough to turn the oil milky with a warm motor.
I am hoping that it is as simple as the bolts bottoming out but expect it to be the finish on the block.
I am crossing my fingers, toes, legs, arms, and eyes while praying that it is not a cracked block.
With everything crossed I am having a hard time getting anything done but one has to do what one has to do.
And I need to remember that this is FUN!
I have repaired rough machining groves in the block with JB Weld. Removed head and cleaned top of block where head gasket sits. Glazed the rough areas with JB Weld and allowed to cure. Then carefully sanded top of block surfaces using a "Flat" block. Applied Copper Coat with new gasket, installed head and no problems to date. That was 8 years ago.
Saved a lot of work and the repair is doing great. Copper Coat is not sufficient when confronted with deep groves.
Thanks for the info
One of the guys at work suggested that I take a large fine mill file and draw it across the block to smooth it out. He said to use blue dykum to keep track of where I am removing material. I think the file and your plan to fill the deep groves will work.
I will have to remove the valves but that is easier than removing the motor.
This forum is great. It takes a few days and multiple inputs but eventually a reasonable fix comes up.
I finally had a bit of time an pulled the valve cover.
Jerry had right. It is leaking above the exhaust valve on number 2 and dropping water on the spring. It looks like someone tried to repair it with JB weld.
Given that a crack above the cover had been repaired by welding and needed to be sealed I suspect that I have a big problem.
I will try to get some pictures --
Do anything but pull the engine.....
Go to WallyWorld(Walmart) and buy some Alumiseal in the auto section at this point you should give it a try. Should work for you. Don't forget to shake the bottle well and pore it in while the engine is running, I would not. worry with changing the oil until you try it. For a bit of time 20 or 30 minutes will let you know how your doing with it. At this stage of the game get it sealed and have fun.
I have used Alumiseal with great results but i heat the mixture i use first and mix the powder in then put it in the car and run for a hour or so.Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
I have a friend who had an engine rebuilt by a Model T shop 15 years ago but he did not install it until recently. Water ran out the exhaust pipe, so obviously the block had not been pressure tested. Anyway, the casting was very thin (since new?) just under the #4 exhaust valve and it had corroded through. Bummer. The cause was probably a core shift at the factory or just sloppy work. I wonder how many of these one person was responsible for back in the day!
Just a question. After the initial leakage, when you replaced the gasket, did you drain and replace the oil? If you did not, your water in the oil could have happened at the same time the leak on the outside of the engine. Try an oil change before you pull the engine.
Norm - Good to check me!
Yes - we changed the oil after each step of the process.
We replace the oil after we got the motor in the car just before we started it the first time.
It was run for just a few minutes and we saw the head gasket leaking so we stopped, and changed the head gasket.
Then we changed the oil again just to be extra safe.
After driving for about 5 miles I pulled the hogs head to adjust the bands and found water in the oil. (milky oil)
Here are a few pictures...
Valve cover taken off.
Another valve cover off
Looks like JB weld!
JB Weld on valve Spring.
Was added after assembly !
More on spring
On the other spring --
Ouch. I hate being "right" about this. I also say to try the Alumiseal. At this point you've got nothing to lose.
I have another question!
Some of the valve springs are at an angle.
Is this common?
All of this on a Rebuilt engine? Yikes!
Fred, the crack in the water jacket above the valve cover occurs a lot on Model T blocks. I've got a couple of them that have been repaired by welding. The right guy with the right process and the right rod can fix them and save the block. JB Weld, at best, is a lousy temporary repair. It simply extends the time to a proper repair.
I think some of the JB is gunked up on the underside of the jacket, where the upper end of the valve spring sits, and has got the valve cocked over like that.
Jerry -- I also hate it that you are right
It looks like I purchased a 'pig in a poke" when I thought I was getting a good deal.
My wife is being a good sport about this and said I should spend the money to get a good motor.
The only question is should I have the "original correct number" motor rebuilt or get another one.
My son insists that the original one should be left alone.
He says that it is very special because it has not been rebuilt and it is only original once.
He adds that if I have it rebuilt and something goes wrong later it could be destroyed completely.
Yes This is the rebuilt motor I got a couple years ago.
It has new aluminum piston, SS valves, Kevlar bands, new triple gear bushings, and a new main cap. -- and a crack that was not advertised.
I sent an email with pictures to the guy I purchased it from saying that I don't think this is a normal repair, to help me understand why this happened and what can be done about it.
I'll give him a bit of time to respond and fix the problem before broadcasting his identity to the inner circle of friends on the forum.
In the meantime I am trying to figure out the next step.
I assume that the motor has to come apart - pistons, valves, crank, and cam out to do the repair.
(Look I correctly used the Oxford comma!)
Fred you said the engine ran well pulled hills etc., your son doesn't want the original motor rebuilt, So clean up the JB weld, get the valve springs straight, crank your engine get it warm pour in the Alumiseal and drive it around have some fun. Check the original engine out, cylinder bore, type valves and so forth. For those two things you don't have to disassemble the engine just open it by removing the head and inspection plate under the block. Check your rods for shims if no shims then I would consider based on your sons request & your wife's offer to have a limited refresh by a competent builder, aluminum Pistons, rebabbited rods, ss valves and get those replaced, with the exception of the Pistons and valves this would have been done anyway in the past if the engine had been used much.
"My son insists that the original one should be left alone.
He says that it is very special because it has not been rebuilt and it is only original once.
He adds that if I have it rebuilt and something goes wrong later it could be destroyed completely."
Well I have a different point of view. It IS the original and it SHOULD be back in the car. It may be (to some people) special because it is not rebuilt but Fred, you removed that engine because you could not USE it. I am not wanting to sound sarcastic but, how special is that?
Think about how good will you feel at car shows when you tell people that "Yes, it Does still have the original engine".
As to the possibility of a rebuilt engine developing a problem which could completely destroy it; I just can't envision a mishap destroying an engine beyond further repair.
I understand that you have been trying to get this engine "up" so that you could enjoy some of the dwindling touring season, I have been trying to do similar here. The suggestions of various block sealers May help to quell the water leak so that you could get in a few tours or, at minimum, some local "running around" and ice cream trips with the grand kids. My two cents worth, perhaps overvalued. Bill
I would search for another good block. Possibly you could re-use the pistons, valves, crank and cam. Check everything before re-using.
Try and find the correct year block and grind/re-stamp your engine no. on it. A good block should not be that expensive....may be much less than what you would spend trying to fix what you have.
Fred, those I've had that were welded, were empty blocks when done. However perhaps, if properly handled, the welding could be done while assembled. It seems there are more cracked model t blocks in the Northern states than a person might think. Of the 8 blocks I've got between my vehicles and garage floor, three are cracked in that water jacket area on one side of the block or other.
Fred, do a search for waterglass or liquid glass. I used a version of this on a pretty bad head crack in my TD-14 dozer and it lasted for years. PK
Your 2 cents worth is invaluable!
You have a good memory for an old guy!
You reminded me that the original goal was to put a temporary motor in the 19 while the original one was being rebuilt.
I should stay with it.
I'm going to see what I can do with block sealers and see about a "refresh" as John suggests.
The original motor is just a bit tired, therefore aluminum pistons, SS valves, etc. is what I wanted to do, so I need to stick with it if possible
I remember my dad saying that it still had the shims in it when we dropped the pan in the 50's and all he did was put it back on.
Thanks - Waterglass is sodium silicate. It works best when it reaches the hot combustion chamber and solidifies causing the seal. It might be hard to get it hot enough in the valve chamber - but it is worth a try if the alumiseal doesn't work
In my experience, waterglass works on external leaks as well as internal,gets hard on contact with CO2 (atmosphere) Dave
If you overhaul your original engine yourself you will know what you have. Your transmission is likely OK,its the most durable part of the power train.
Bumped to get it near the update thread because it has pictures of the poor JB weld application