Leaking head gasket

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Leaking head gasket

Postby Cubbuilder » Sun May 14, 2023 3:03 pm

Hello everyone. Did a full restoration on my 1958 cub and have had a problem with leaking head gaskets. Replaced three times after overhaul and still find moisture when the tractor is cold. After warm up its fine. Head was rechecked the last time to ensure its flat and block was checked for cracks, re decked ect. Cannot find a reason why it has moisture coming out of the exhaust when starting which smells like anti freeze. Are these head gaskets not very well made these days? also used copper gasket every time with no success. Any thoughts on this?

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Re: Leaking head gasket

Postby SamsFarm » Sun May 14, 2023 4:27 pm

Did you use a Felpro head gasket?

Cubbuilder wrote:still find moisture when the tractor is cold.

Could you define that "moisture"?

Cubbuilder wrote: Head was rechecked the last time to ensure its flat and block was checked for cracks,

Was the head checked for cracks?

Cubbuilder wrote:Cannot find a reason why it has moisture coming out of the exhaust when starting which smells like anti freeze.

Did ypu apply sealer to the head bolt threads?

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Re: Leaking head gasket

Postby Glen » Sun May 14, 2023 4:35 pm

If you meant you used copper gasket spray, it should be put on as you are putting the head on, so the spray is wet. Don't let it dry before putting the head on and torqueing the bolts.

The head bolts need sealer on the bottom 1" of their threads, the head bolt holes go into the water jacket. Coolant can run up the bolt threads and leak out when there isn't sealer on the threads.
You didn't say if you put sealer on the bolt threads.
If you didn't use sealer, I would put sealer on them.
Antifreeze leaves a sticky film on metal, the metal should be bare so the sealer seals well.
Wash the antifreeze off the threads with water, like a garden hose with a nozzle, before putting the sealer on.
For the threads in the engine, drain the coolant, leave the drain plug out, and remove the head bolts, before removing the head, wash down the bolt holes with the nozzle, and let the water run out the drain hole.
That should keep all or most of the water out of the cylinders, if water got in any cylinder dry it with paper towels, and use compressed air to dry it, and air down the bolt threads to dry them. Dry the bolts too.
Wear your eye goggles when using the water and air.

I use Permatex Aviation Form A Gasket sealer, it is a non hardening liquid. They sell it at auto parts stores. If you buy one, stir it before use, it can settle in the can sitting.
Below is a picture.
After putting the sealer on, I would let it sit for a day before putting coolant in, so the sealer can harden some. Don't run the engine without coolant.
If it still has a leak after putting the sealer on, the engine might have a crack somewhere.
Cub Permatex.jpg
Cub Permatex.jpg (8.51 KiB) Viewed 182 times
Last edited by Glen on Mon May 15, 2023 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Leaking head gasket

Postby cdahl383 » Sun May 14, 2023 8:02 pm

Is it low on coolant after using it?

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