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38 Buick Century Engine Reseal....


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My next project since I have some minor oil leaks is going to be to replace the pan, valve cover, and pushrod cover gaskets... I will be using Permatex Ultra Black (Oil resistant) and Permatex #2 Aviation sealant unless there is a better product out there... Some of you guys may be familiar with the Permatex #2 (Non-hardening) aviation sealant, it always remains tacky, and figured that if I use it on the side against the engine block all the covers (including the pan) will be easier to remove later on. A friend has suggested a mix of oil and graphite that would do the same, but I just don't happen to have any on hand...

 

I am open to suggestions knowing that these engines have their quirks, and being that I do not want to revisit any of these jobs, I welcome the experience of you guys that have worked on these Buick motors over and over... If there are any issues or tricks with any of these three gaskets that I should be aware of, I would appreciate a heads up! Thank you.

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If you are seeing oil around the sparkplugs or that area, there is a very good chance that oil is coming from the bolts holding the rocker arm stanchions.

 

On the pushrod side, the stanchion bolts are tapped through to the sparkplug chamber. That can allow oil to leak through.

If you have that problem, when you have the valve cover off, take those bolts out, one at a time, Clean the holes and bolt threads very thoroughly and on reinstallation of the bolts, coat the threads with sealant.

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If the oil pan is pressed steel, it is probable it is not flat along the mating edge but will be "dimpled" at the bolt locations as the bolts have been overtightened and compressed the cork gasket. Spend some time getting that edge perfectly flat.

 

Also, if the sump bolts to an inward flange, the bolts end in the crankcase and oil can work its way down the threads.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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  • 2 years later...
On 5/24/2018 at 2:38 AM, DonMicheletti said:

If you are seeing oil around the sparkplugs or that area, there is a very good chance that oil is coming from the bolts holding the rocker arm stanchions.

 

On the pushrod side, the stanchion bolts are tapped through to the sparkplug chamber. That can allow oil to leak through.

If you have that problem, when you have the valve cover off, take those bolts out, one at a time, Clean the holes and bolt threads very thoroughly and on reinstallation of the bolts, coat the threads with sealant.


thank you. I just found out i did. Are these bolts tightened with a specific torque ?

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Philipj,

X2 on what Spinny said !

You really should flatten your pan(sump).

I used all new gaskets from "Olson's", on my '40 Buick limited, and a LIGHT coat of Permatex #2 on each.

 

AND while you have the pan down, check your oil pump.

Here is mine, and it was leaking where the dark spots are round the edge.

I emoried it down flat and checked the clearance to the gears with "Plastigage".

Clearance should be NO MORE than .005" for getting a good oil pressure reading.

I put a THIN coat of #2 round the edge and cinched her down tight.

Mine wound up to be .0031" and I now have 30# at a hot idle, and 45# just cruising round town.

 

Mike in Colorado

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There is no torque spec I know of.  I just tighten "until it feels good".  The feel comes with experience.

However, you probably can find a torque spec somewhere for a Grade 5.  3/8-18 bolt.  I found one that says 23 ft.lbs.

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I'm on the same task and for less than $200 you can get a complete gasket set to reseal the entire engine.  That includes the head gasket that you may not need to use.  Resealing the engine allowed me to clean the interior of old gunk, check for clearances and possible damage.  Plus, there are many other leak locations that you can address such as the rear main seal, timing cover seal, fuel pump, valve cover, oil pump, etc.

Edited by kgreen (see edit history)
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