Nicholas3

31 Series 50 Water jacket gasket and cover

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Not sure I'm in the right place for this or not, but I'm gonna ask here and hope I get directed in the right direction.

 

I'm new to the Buick straight 8, first time working on one.  I have a 31 Series 50, I have to replace the water jacket cover gasket, so i ordered one online from Bob's Automobilia. Got the new gasket and started the task, when I took the outer steel cover off I found that I had a second thinner copper cover then what appeared to be a tar paper like gasket that covered the entire water jacket opening. The new gasket is a cork gasket that only goes around the perimeter of the opening. Being someone who is knowledgable about engine work to somewhat of a degree, I would assume it's ok to just put the new cork gasket and the steel outer cover on, not using the inner copper cover sandwiched in between. Am I correct in that assumsumption or should I find a full tar paper gasket and put the copper inner cover along with the outer steel cover.  Any help in or answer on this topic would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your help. 

 

Nick

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The outer water jacket cover is prone to corrosion and and then holes open leaking coolant.  The covers are hard to find in good condition.  One of the fixes was to put an additional plate between the cover and the engine block. I've seen stainless and plain steel used.  The flat plates do reduce the water flow around the cylinder walls.  I don't know that this causes a problem.  

 

If you leave out the copper plate that you found, carefully check your cover for pin holes.  I epoxy coated my cover on the inside and applied a thin sheet of hypalon rubber before the epoxy set up.

 

With the cover off, take the opportunity to clean the water jacket. especially around #8 cylinder,

 

Bob Engle

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Thanks Bob, upon further cleaning and inspection of the outer cover there are some pin holes. I thought that might have been why after I saw them. 

And yes I know what you mean by clean the water jacket especially around cylinder #8 all the gunk collected there. What a mess some 80+ years can create in there. Lol.

But I now have one more question, I noticed the screw holes for the cover go completely through the side wall, but some had, either by factory or some one in the past, what appeared to be welded nubs at the back of the screw hole. I assume in an attempt to close them from leaking. Should I as well try to close off the back of the screw holes, or will thread sealer work just fine??  

Thanks again for your reply, that definitely helped and clarified things for me. 

Nick

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I just checked two of my 32 old blocks and found no plugs in the thread holes.  I would be careful that the bolts don't bottom out on the plugged holes. I use the old standard FORM=A-GASKET on the threads.

On 32 engines, there is a copper washer on the bolts.  I apply sealant on the washers also.   

These are unpressurized  cooling systems, so there is little chance for leaks.

On 32 engines, there are two unusual bolts in the 2nd an 3rd holes on the top row counting from the back,  There is a linkage bracket mounted on these two bolts.  the bolts are hex stock with threads on both side of the hex head.  

 

Bob Engle

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