Warped Head?

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RubyEngineer
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Warped Head?

Postby RubyEngineer » Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:05 pm

I'm working on my first Cub and decided to refresh the engine since it was burning as much oil as it was gas, but it did run well and start easy. I followed the guides on this forum but I can't seem to get the head gasket to seal. I'll list the steps I followed below and what my tractor symptoms are.

*My tractor is a 1950 and the sources I found here said the early engines liked a valve lash of 0.013 cold so I set all valves there.
*cleaned engine block and head to ensure a clean smooth surface.
*checked head with a straight edge (48" metal ruler) and didn't see any obvious warps.
*cleaned out head bolt holes
*used 2-3 coats of copper coat on brand new gasket and installed with "this side up" facing up
*used permatex #2 sealant on brand new head bolts to seal the threads
*followed the torque pattern in the cub IT manual and went up in increments on torque. 10lb, 20lb, 30lb, 40lb, 45lb
*let it sit for 2 days to allow thread sealant and coppercoat to set.

When I fired it up this is what I saw.

*wet coughing sound out exhaust stack
"water spitting out exhaust
*#2 and #3 pistons wont fire and when I pulled the spark plugs they were clean.
*confirmed that I am getting spark to #2 and #3, put a screwdriver in boot and put the driver close to the plug and saw a bright spark, but with the water out the stack I don't think that is the problem.

I thought I may have not put enough sealer on the bolts so I tore the head off, cleaned the sealing surface and repeated all the steps above and still had all the same issues.

From what I have gathered here, is it possible my head is warped just enough to not seal well but isn't super obvious when checking with a straight edge? It is possible I didn't check enough points on the head because I laid the ruler from corner to corner and checked in an X pattern.
Is it time to buy a brand new head or is it possible I'm missing something else?

Eugene
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Re: Warped Head?

Postby Eugene » Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:32 pm

Don't know the exact cause of the problem. Check the head gasket, block, and head for indications of the problem.

Check to make sure the bolt holes thru the head are clean and that the bolts do not bind on the head when installing the head. ---- On a replacement head I found that one of the head bolt holes was a smidgen off. Drill to clean up the hole.

Head bolts cleaned. Head bolts in correct head location. Bolts are of a different length. My guess - that's the problem.

Set the head in place, making sure that it is set down flat, not tipped slightly.

Torquing down the head. Start with 35 ft.lbs. at the center bolt. Then go to 40 ft.lbs., then to 45 ft.lbs.

Nothing wrong with the bolt tightening pattern in the service manual. I use a circular pattern starting at the center bolt.
I have an excuse. CRS.

tst
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Re: Warped Head?

Postby tst » Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:50 pm

if 2 & 3 pistons are clean look between those 2 cylinders on the block and head area, that is where for 2 cylinders that are wet should be the problem

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Glen
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Re: Warped Head?

Postby Glen » Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:45 pm

Hi,
Too bad you did all that work to the engine, it should have worked the 1st time.
It sounds like you did everything right.
Did you check the new head bolts by turning them into the holes by hand, with the head off, and no sealer on them, the bolts need to turn in easily by hand so you get an accurate torque reading.
New bolts can vary, some can be too tight in the holes, some can be slightly loose fitting.
If you find any of those, and need a more accurate fit, I guess you would need to buy another brand of bolts, or run a die on them if they are too tight.

You might have 2 spark plugs that don't work, they can even be defective when new.
You could try putting in 2 other spark plugs.

It's possible you just saw water droplets that are normal out the exhaust. They have discussed it on here before, blackish water droplets land on the hood from the vertical exhaust Cubs, probably more in high humidity places, or cool temperatures, until the engine gets fully warmed up.

You could have checked the head going lengthwise with the straight edge in different places, and then going crossways in different places. :)

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ricky racer
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Re: Warped Head?

Postby ricky racer » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:36 pm

It appears that you did everything correctly. Checking the head with a straight edge showed the head was not warped so that should not be a concern. Is there any evidence of erosion between the cylinders?
1929 Farmall Regular
1935 John Deere B
1937 John Deere A
1941 John Deere H
1952 John Deere B
1953 Farmall Cub

bofahs
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Re: Warped Head?

Postby bofahs » Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:48 pm

Can't imagine why it would cause the problems you describe but I take issue with the use of sealants on head work. A new head gasket will conform itself to the mating surfaces, and also form a seal around the head bolts. I have always assembled all of this dry, after proper cleaning.

Also, anything you put on the head bolts is certain to give you a distorted torque reading. They need to be clean and dry.

As I'm sure you know, if you torque down a head gasket in the morning, then take it off to check something in the afternoon, you're going to need a new gasket and new bolts to do it right. Never re-use head bolts, like, at all. They only stretch properly the one time - after that, they are unreliable in torque. And the gasket itself is made to conform itself properly upon first installation.

So in this case, it's likely not "THE" problem, but to me, it presents "A" problem.

Sounds to me like you've got a valve stuck open, btw.

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Glen
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Re: Warped Head?

Postby Glen » Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:30 am

Hi,
The head bolt holes go into the engine water jacket, many people on here over the years have had problems with the head bolts leaking coolant up the bolt threads because they didn't use sealer on the head bolt threads.
Then the coolant seeps out through the head gasket and leaks outside the engine.
The coolant level in the radiator is much above the level of where the head bolt threads are.

I use Permatex Aviation Form A Gasket on the head bolt threads. It is a non hardening sealer.
It doesn't interfere with torqueing the head bolts when putting the head on. :)

BigBill
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Re: Warped Head?

Postby BigBill » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:02 am

When the block is out or the heads are off I check the flatness of the deck with a good machinists straight edge to make sure it’s flat. I use a flashlight on the opposite side looking for any light to shine through.
I found out from trial and error my system in doing headgaskets is to get the head milled .010” to clean and make sure it’s flat. I spray, thin coat the new headgasket with hi-tack sealer. I wire brush each head bolt on the bench grinder wire wheel. Wash them, I get a can of #2 permatex. I dip each of the bolt threads and install. I tighten the bolts from the center towards both ends evenly. I do this on every water cooled engine.

I had experience with over heating on my race car. I put a 396 big block Chevy into an older car. I installed a larger 409 3 row radiator and used a 180 thermostat solved that problem.
I'm technically misunderstood at times i guess its been this way my whole life so why should it change now.

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tnestell
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Re: Warped Head?

Postby tnestell » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:17 am

I once had a head gasket that leaked. The torque wrench I used was way off. So i guess I would check that before I would go any further.

RubyEngineer
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Re: Warped Head?

Postby RubyEngineer » Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:37 am

Thanks for the replies and good info. Update, I got cylinders 2 and 3 to fire. I accidentally switched wires 2 and 3 at the distributor cap so that is my mistake. It runs great now but I'm still shooting white smoke, that looks almost like steam, out the stack and excessive crystal clear water is dripping down the exhaust pipe. I will take a picture later and post it for reference. I need to read the forum rules on how to post pictures.

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ricky racer
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Re: Warped Head?

Postby ricky racer » Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:17 pm

Now that it's running well, let it run and see if the moisture issue dries itself up. It could just be condensation. Use it as is and just monitor the situation. Good luck!
1929 Farmall Regular
1935 John Deere B
1937 John Deere A
1941 John Deere H
1952 John Deere B
1953 Farmall Cub

Eugene
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Re: Warped Head?

Postby Eugene » Sun Nov 15, 2020 3:42 pm

Check for bubbles in the coolant. Radiator cap off, engine warmed fully up, closed off/plug up the radiator overflow - some how, fully top off the radiator.

If you are using antifreeze, the exhaust fumes should smell slightly sweet if you have a leak into a combustion chamber.

Condensation will evaporate in a couple minutes from the exhaust system after starting engine.
I have an excuse. CRS.


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