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scott12180

Oil Cooler on 1938 Super 8

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Hi All --

 

I have a 1938 Super 8 which I recently acquired.  The car had a blown head gasket (it was one of those composite types) which I am now replacing with an asbestos-steel one.  But while I am in there, I wonder about the oil cooler.

 

I've heard that these things can be a problem, but the references I've heard pertain to a 1934. Is the oil cooler a problem for leakage on the later cars, like my 1938?

 

If so, does anyone have a suggestion for blocking it off?  It seems that it's in series with the oil filter, so in order to block the cooler means I'd block the filter as well. 

 

And how would I know if my oil cooler were bad in the first place?  The previous owner said he found coolant in the oil, but I figure that's probably from the blown head gasket.  I don't know if I have a problem or not with the cooler, but don't want more coolant leaking into the oil.

 

Thanks ---

--- Scott

 

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I'd worry less about the oil cooler, and more about the block itself.

 

1938 Super 8's are well known for a manufacturing defect, something in the way cast or material used, and the blocks crack.  A lot of blocks crack.  As a friend told me, there are only two kinds of '38 blocks around, those that are cracked, and those that are getting ready to.  The most common crack is between valve seats.

 

I wish I didn't have personal knowledge of this fact, but unfortunately, I do....

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I have a 1938 super eight and the car has started blowing smoke or burning oil extremely bad. When I turn the car off oil runs out of the carburetor overflow with the gas. I have not taken it apart and just wandered if anyone may know what is causing this and what I need to repair

David Edge 9102581166

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The first generation 1934 oil cooler was prone to problems which were subsequently corrected.  The 1935 and later are very reliable even after all these years.  And if they do fail the answer is NOT to block them off but to replace the core with a shunt to permit the oil to continue to flow in the original path.  This is absolutely essential.

 

As to the just prior question about an overflowing carburetor, three common causes; (1) an electric fuel pump with excessive pressure, (2) a worn or failed carburetor needle and seat, or (3) a leaking (sunken) float in the carburetor.

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I can't think of anything that could cause oil in the fuel drain, but indirectly if you have a leaking needle & seat or a sunken float it could indirectly cause increased oil consumption; raw gasoline that ran into the cylinders, past the rings and into the crankcase would diluting the oil.  That would both thin the oil and increase the rate of wear on the rings and cylinder walls.  Sounds like you need to examine the internals on your carburetor.

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The overflowing gas, when the car shuts off, is normal on a '38 Super 8, although it baffles me why it was designed that way.  There are drain lines out of the bottom of each leg of the intake manifold, going to a common drain that's equipped with a ball check, and after running when the car is shut off, some gas will drain out of the intake.  If you're getting oil also, then somehow oil is getting past the rings, past the intake valve area (valve itself or cracked block), and into the intake manifold.

 

I'd say your engine should, at minimum, have the head removed and magnaflux the valve seat areas.  Dollar to a doughnut you'll find cracks.  I've been searching for a couple of years for someone to repair such a block, think I've found the correct person in the Boston area, plan to get my block to them soon.

 

The saying is that there are three kinds of engine blocks for a 1938 Packard straight 8; those that are cracked, those that will be cracked, those that have been repaired.

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The overflowing gas, when the car shuts off, is normal on a '38 Super 8, although it baffles me why it was designed that way.  There are drain lines out of the bottom of each leg of the intake manifold, going to a common drain that's equipped with a ball check, and after running when the car is shut off, some gas will drain out of the intake.

 

Here is a postwar article explaining why the drain was needed when it was reintroduced on some engines. Not that familiar with the manifolds on the earlier engines but perhaps the geometry is similar enough to the later manifolds the drains were installed for the same reason.  If manifold was long or essentially flat perhaps it needed different points to take care of that accumulation.  

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