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322 odd oil leak question


demon452

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Ok I have a small leak (pic attached) I was assuming that these plugs in the head were/are for coolant? But as I wipe everything down and clean it I notice oil start to seap out around the plug and oil sits in the plug as well. 1st thought it was the valve cover gaskets so I replaced them and then straightened the flange on the covers. The straightening was the 2nd time I pulled them off as I didnt think the plugs were an oil gallery.

 

So am I correct assuming these are NOT for coolant?  I read on centerville that the plugs are not actually 5/8" and they have them made. I just dont know if these are the plugs he was speaking of.

 

Help and input is greatly appreciated. Everything is dry and oil free except for around these plugs.

 

Thanks in advance, Steve

20200425_061157.jpg

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Hey Steve,

That is a  freeze plug, so it’s just coolant behind that plug. The plug Russ mentions making is behind the engine. It looks like maybe it leaked down from the valve cover area and pooled. I’d use mineral spirits to clean the whole area and keep an eye on it. Sometimes coolant can seep out of the spark plug cover stud also, but that doesn’t appear to be happening. 

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I thought it was coming from the valve covers but I see no oil running down and nothing is wet with oil except around the plugs. Hard to see from the pic but there is some oil on the bottom of the plug. Which appears to be coming from the plug itself. That's what is confusing me. Guess I will try a paper towel and see If anything goes on there. I will degrease that area at this point.

 

Thanks for the clarity on the plugs that Russ was speaking about.

 

Steve

Edited by demon452 (see edit history)
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Looking at the residue of oil over top of the freeze plug it appears oil did come from the valve cover gasket. It ran down and pooled in the plug eventually filling up and pouring out down the side of the block. To be sure, if oil was coming from the freezer plug there would also be coolant as well. Plus, your cooling system would have oil contaminated mixture. 

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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The valve covers did leak at 1 time. When I bought the car they did. So I replaced the gaskets. Still leaking so I checked to see how straight they were. Well not so much. Straightened and put back on.  Well now it's just a very little but driving me nuts. 

Guessing I will just clean it alot better and keep an eye out. When I run my finger below the valve cover lip its dry. Looking at the staining on the head is deceiving. Its actually dry and has been wiped down.

 

How are the rubber gaskets compared to the cork? I am running the cork gaskets.

 

Thanks again

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I’ve installed both on various cars. The cork seems to be more forgiving of level imperfections. The rubber is “re-usable” if you glue it to the valve cover.  Don’t worry about the staining. Put the spark plug covers on and you won’t see it. 😜

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As noted by others the valve cover is leaking.  Hot thinned oil will not show much residue at the source, but will puddle below.  Those valve cover will bow in the center when over-tightened; use a vise to carefully squeeze them straight and parallel.  Clean the sealing surface to shiny metal with your wire wheel on a bench grinder, glue (weatherstrip cement) the gasket to the cover.  Usually no other sealer is needed, but I sometimes use a thin coat of RTV and let it dry, especially if I expect to be removing soon.  And I have used anaerobic sealer which works the best, but welds it in place.

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Core plugs, also called freeze plugs or Welch plugs, are used to fill the sand casting core holes found on water-cooled internal combustion engines 

 

Common usage of the name "freeze plugs" could be dangerous to your pocketbook if you were to rely on them (as many have done) to protect your engine in freezing temperatures.  Some of them may pop out if the coolant freezes but I have seen many cracked blocks with the "freeze plugs" intact.

 

Why not call them what they really are, what the manufacturers called them.  I have never seen the term "freeze plug" in any manufacturers literature.

 

As a safety precaution all cars and trucks should have at least a 50/50 mixture of anti-freeze and water in the engine and radiator at all times. 

 

Just saying.

Stay Safe.

core plugs.jpg

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I have seen these called frost plug, core plug and freeze plug. Research each and one will end up at the same place for the part, tool for removal/installation and how too. I'm not sure where each description originated but I have always heard and described these as freeze plugs. 

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Core plugs WERE NOT designed to pop out if the coolant freezes.  SOMETIMES they will pop out but many ,many times will not.  The holes in the casting were a necessity for holding the inner cores in place.  Hence the name CORE PLUG.

No designer/engineer would ever design a hole in a casting if it was not needed.  No foundry would undertake to cast anything with an un-needed hole in it..  They would be leaving themselves wide open if there was a failure in the casting.

Edited by Guest (see edit history)
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No oil in coolant what so ever. I did straightened the valve cover lips using a straight edge to make sure they were true. Originally they were pretty bad. The lip on the head were cleaned down to bare metal. Now i did not use any type of sealant on either mating surfaces. I will try what you recommend "old-tank". Probably use on both surfaces as you stated.

 

Thanks

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1 hour ago, demon452 said:

No oil in coolant what so ever. I did straightened the valve cover lips using a straight edge to make sure they were true. Originally they were pretty bad. The lip on the head were cleaned down to bare metal. Now i did not use any type of sealant on either mating surfaces. I will try what you recommend "old-tank". Probably use on both surfaces as you stated.

 

Thanks

 

As another posted, sometimes the sides of the valve cover bulge outward. Check yours.  Use a bench vise or similar to squeeze the sided back if bulging.

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13 hours ago, avgwarhawk said:

As another posted, sometimes the sides of the valve cover bulge outward. Check yours.  Use a bench vise or similar to squeeze the sided back if bulging.

 

Of course, you could always install these and forget about all of that finicky bending and tweaking...  ;)

 

valve-covers-53-66-buick-v8-nailhead-fin

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