2 weeks ago I decided that I had a head gasket problem with my '26 touring, so I pulled the head out. I took it to a machine shop, had it cleaned, magniflexed and milled (.007) which I thought was not back for a 90 year old head. Then last week I reinstalled it, but when I tried to start it wouldn't start. Next I found a small pool of water on the floor under my muffler, I took out the spark plugs and the tips were all wet. Next I pulled the head off and this is what I found. I'm just guessing, but that extra hole should not be there.
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated,
looks like it wasn't properly torqued or something else went awry with the seating/sealing of the head. I don't see any evidence of Kopper Kote or any other sealant. Did you use a copper sheathed gasket or a steel gasket with silicone seals?
am looking at your head and honestly nothing is jumping out at me.
The hole in the head, but not in the block is supposed to be there- it most likely was a way to clean out the castings at the factory. It shouldnt cause any trouble because the head gasket covers it completely.
Clean it all up (including chasing the threads), get a new gasket and some sealer. Torque it down as the diagram shows and enjoy!
I don't know how good the 26/7 blocks are cast in the USA but our Canadian ones had problems, they are thin walled inside the ports, crack and or rusting through in the valve ports is common.
Just some thoughts...
1. There appears to be a cracked between head bolt 1 in Ed's picture and the water passage.
2. It appears the head gasket is not a copper clad gasket. The asbestos type are not real good gaskets.
3. I would just use some grease to coat the head gasket with. I know others like Copper Coat but I had a bad experience with it several years back and won't let it back on the property.
4. Have you checked the top of the block for level?
5. Were the head bolts re-torqued after about 15 -20 miles driving? Maybe even another check after that too.
What kind of head gasket were you using? The red sealant line in picture one looks like one of those "self sealing" gaskets the vendors have sold. A friend and I both tried one and they did not seal all around. Removed and replaced with copper gasket with copper sealant and no further problems.
Wilbur has the issue IMO. Those composite carbon gaskets with the thin line silicone seal aren't the best for a Model T. The thin silicone seal is so thin, and the T head design already is thin in the gasket area around the cylinders.
That thin area is were most gaskets leak, just around the cylinder.
The fix is good flat surfaces, good metal gasket, using a metallic gasket sealer IMO, and most important, follow the bolt tightening sequence properly.
You want to draw down the center of the cylinder head first, to be sure the gasket in-between the cylinders is set fully, then alternate around the head with the other bolt tightening.
(Message edited by Dan_Treace on August 19, 2017)
My guess would be that the bolts bottomed out in the bolt holes keeping the head from fully seating. The bolt holes should be chased and cleaned to the bottom of the block casting with a drill. carbon, dirt and rust is your enemy when resetting a head especially after the head has been milled.
Before you install the head, check your bolt holes. Lay the head in position without the gasket and put in the bolts. If they go all the way in without the gasket, you know the holes will be deep enough when you install it.
I completely agree with Dan and anyone else who blames the silicone/composition head gaskets. They are the biggest gip trash that has been marketed to T enthusiasts in fifty years. I had a brand new rebuilt t engine and couldn' find or stop water leak into number three cylinder. Changed to Copper, coating both sides with light grease. No more problem. Sold the other brand new silicone head gaskets to the first sucker who made me an offer at Chickasha.
There are some varying differences in heads and gaskets, some have one large oval hole along with one small hole, some have two large oval holes and two small holes, I have a "T" head with one oval hole and one small hole with a matching gasket. I was in a local machine shop and a customer brought in a "T" head for machining and it was configured with a large oval hole plus a large 1/2" hole and one small hole. Obviously there were a variety of heads and gaskets manufactured and equally over the years many of them have been mismatched. I have no information on the history, however there are obviously differences.
Thank you, to everyone for taking to time to reply to my question. It was great to see all your answers this morning and I will follow your advice. Bill Harper also called me last night and we had a great discussion about what to do (Steve, Bill said the same thing and I plan on doing that next). As all of you have said cleaning the bolt holes is a major part of getting it right. I did try using a drill bit by hand and ran it in every bolt hole, it never showed any rust, grease or dirt. I think maybe I need to use it with a drill and put on some down pressure. The new head gasket I used was copper and I sprayed on 3 copper coats before installing. I also asked my good friend Dick Welch about it last Friday and Dick gave me some excellent advice as well.
Thank you again to everybody,
PS: on a positive note I did get Sambuca my '17 Canopy Express Delivery running a showed him in the Dunbarton Old Home Day Parade!!!!
In answering all those who replied to this post, I feel that I should have also said that with out the help of Ken & Paul LeBlanc, none of my 3-Ts would be running and on the road.
So a big THANK YOU, goes to those 2 very good friends,
The latest news from Houston.
After fixing, eating and kitchen clean-up of Sunday dinner, I when out to the garage. 1st. I torqued the head bolts on Sambuca and Seabiscuit. I was a little surprised that almost all needed some added torquing. Next I started cleaning Taurus's block, head, bolts and bolts holes. Then I placed the head on the block with no head gasket and hand threaded all the bolts down tight as has been suggested. Everything seems to have worked out fine. So I guess that I can think about putting in the new head gasket.
Happy day's are here again,
PS: I also think I found the reason for the lack of power going up hills with Sambuca. While tightening his head bolts I notice the my wolf whistle was loose, in fact it was broken and can not be tightened. That must be why I had to keep adjusting the carburetor all day yesterday.
Here's just a sample of what can be hiding down in the bottom of a head bolt hole ------
Steve, thank you so much. I did try to clean out the bolt holes with 1. a flat headed screwdriver, 2. with a hand held drill bit and 3. I used a new Q-tip in each hole. After seeing your photo, I'm off to the hardware store to buy the correct tip.
You bet ! 7/16-14 bottoming tap or this is what I use now - https://goodson.com/collections/cylinder-head-rebuilding-tools/products/bct-716- 716-head-bolt-cleaner
Steve, in my free time I had today, I worked Sambuca my '17. After Saturdays parade I had drained the oil and I needed to adjust the brakes and I tightened all the bolts on the oil pan inspection cover, most if not all required some tightening, some I could turn with my fingers. Which is what I did this morning. This afternoon I took him out for a drive and found that I had over tightened the brake and low bands. A quick shady stop on the side of the road and I had everything back to ship shape. Saturday I had noticed a lack of power on the hills. While checking things out I found that a wolf whistle had come apart, I have removed it and for now have duck tape covering the opening. I did get to the hardware store and bought a 7/16 x 14 tap and die. Hopefully tomorrow I can get back on the touring.
Thank you for your interest,