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I recently bought a 1935 LaBaron coupe, I feel like I was in the right place at the right time to purchase it, I am extremely happy to have it.  I have spent many hours sorting it out to get it in driving condition as it sat for 4-5 years?  I want to tour with it, not show it.  It still has a few issues that I will attend to shortly.  The biggest issue it has (had I hope) was that every time I started it up and let it warm up it would dump some water out of the over flow tube on the radiator.  At first I just thought it was just trying to find it's happy spot in the radiator but every time it would dump water regardless of fluid leave in the radiator,  it was not running hot at all, in fact it runs about 160 most of the time and on a 95 degree day it would run about 180-185.   I finally decided to take the heads of, I felt that I must be pressurizing the radiator with combustion.  After inspecting the gasket, heads and block there were two spot the could have possible been the problem, the water passages are very close to the cylinder bore and had eroded a little making the head gasket seal very close to the water passage.  Another issue is the head was held down with cap screws and not studs.  So the torque on a 7/16-14 vs 7/16-20 would be about 1,200-2,000 pounds force on the gasket depending on your torque on the bolt or nut.  I am hooping this will be the remedy on my problem.  I purchased the studs from ARP, and will use the correct  7/16-20 acorn nuts.   

My question to you is.  Would you use something like JB weld to reduce the water hole size and re drill it or try and silicone bronze TIG weld it.  I have fixed a few things with silicone bronze and I'm a good TIG welder, but not comfortable doing it myself, but I have a good friend that is the best welder I have ever seen.  He fixed a 1933 Chevy block for me with silicon bronze I was going to throw away.  Just curios if anyone has had an issue similar to this?

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Edited by AB-Buff (see edit history)
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  • AB-Buff changed the title to The 35 LaBaron Coupe issues

Do NOT JB weld that block. Heads on those cars are known nightmares. Also, use NOS gaskets, not reproduction if at all possible. That block needs to be cleaned and flushed. Do NOT run ARP studs. Your asking for more trouble than you realize. Ten to one you have bad heads.............

 

Before disassembly you should have done a chemical test for CO2. Too late now. Also common problem with this car is drawing air past the water pump causing air binding........on shut down it expands and pushes coolant out the overflow. The car looks very familiar to me...........like the one I knew in Fort Lauderdale back in the late 80’s. They are fantastic and reliable drivers.........but it takes time and money to get them reliable.

 

One more comment......if you weld or braze on that block, you will be looking for a new one. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Lets see, I got a lot of I should have and don't??? 

So if the engine did not have a heating issue why would the heads be bad? 

What's wrong with ARP studs?  they are designed to stretch and maintain the torque.

So no JB weld and do not TIG silicone braze the block.  So just leave it alone? Are you familiar with that process? 

 

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You asked for an opinion. I have fifty years of experience on pre war multi cylinder cars, and well over a hundred thousand miles of driving them. You are pushing water, and want to weld on a block that is irreplaceable. You haven’t even determined the cause of the excess purging, yet you pulled the engine apart already. You are  prepared to close up coolant holes in heads and blocks which makes no logical sense. The cars ran fine when new, didn’t overheat, and didn’t push water and didn’t have head gasket issues.  Properly diagnose and repair the car, don’t modify the cars coolant passages because you think there is design flaw when there isn’t one. It’s a neat, rare, unusual car that is very drivable when new and today. I have about two or three thousand miles of windshield time on an identical platform.........

 

I recommend you pressure test the heads while they off the car. Also I would pull the water pump and rebuild it with modern seals instead of packing, it will prevent air entering the system. A CO2 test would have eliminated any head gasket or head issues.......for less than the cost of the reproduction head gaskets. It would also prove  if the pump was sucking in air by process of elimination. It’s likely your heads are reproductions, as several shops have made them over the years and it’s rare to see original heads still on a car. Replacing the studs won’t fix anything, and it’s likely to cause problems if not done properly. 
 

The cap screws and not studs comes from the heads binding on the factory studs causing the heads to become impossible to remove. If it has the new heads it’s likely they were designed to use the bolts. The electrolysis sticking the heads on this engine are legendary.........again, see Matt Harwood’s thread on this engine. In the 70’s and 80’s a special cutter to slide over the studs and cut away the head was made so the heads could be removed in one piece. It was common in the old days that they were literally chiseled off.
 

Was this the car from Southern Florida? 
 

Looks like Egge pistons...........likely the motor was done quite a while ago.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, I am an old fart also with 50 plus years of old car experience, this is not mu first rodeo.  You just relied don't do this and that without any suggestions so I asked why.

I think you misread my Post, I am not going to close up any water passage, re read my post, the thought was to fill it and re-drill it so there was more meat next to the cylinder to get a better chance of head gasket sealing.  Other Lincoln owners have suggested this to me as a good fix, I am still thinking about it.  The car runs excellent does not overheat, just pisses water out every time it runs regardless of the temperature, it's never been over 185, it's getting pressurized not over heating I thought I said that. No I don't think there is a design flaw.....

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No worries....not trying to be difficult. If you wanted to modify the block, the proper repair would be to stitch it and re-drill it. (No heat.) If possible compare a factory gasket to a modern reproduction to see if they are identical. Since you were no over heating it’s unlikely you were dumping combustion gasses into the system. It doesn’t “find its level”.............as most car do in several heat cycles. Combustion gasses would tend to constantly push while driving. You didn’t mention foaming.............another possibility causing it to air bind. 
 

 

What would I do now that it’s apart? 
 

Pressure test the heads.......not easy, but worth while. Check them to see if they are flat.

Rebuild the pump. If you see lots of scoring on the shaft it’s likely drawing air.

Run plain water while trying to diagnose the water pushing. Anti freeze and water pump lubricants tend to cover up air binding  issues. The symptoms of air should get much worse with plain water........

 

I would use a scope to look inside the block........it looks like you may have sediment in the system. See Matt Harwood’s Lincoln thread on a cracked block and head stud issues. He used my stitcher to fix his block. I would flush the system with evapo rust heated to 180 degrees. Unfortunately, you may have to reassemble and try it without finding a definitive answer to what was causing the issue. The “go to” guy on these engines passed away a few years ago.....(Ernie Foster)....I’m not sure if there is anyone around who has done dozens of these engines anymore. Can you give a more detailed account on the water pushing out? Volume? Time? Ect.

 

 

 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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On 1/16/2021 at 6:16 PM, edinmass said:

Since you were no over heating it’s unlikely you were dumping combustion gasses into the system. It doesn’t “find its level”.............as most car do in several heat cycles. Combustion gasses would tend to constantly push while driving. 
 

That's exactly the diagnosis that lead me to pulling the heads, you can see 2 spot where combustion may have crossed over to the water passage.  Replacing the cap screws with studs (studs are originally what Lincoln used) will put more force on the gasket and hopefully seal.   

 

 

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I have a set of Ernie Foster heads and may use them, I was saving them for another project but I may never get to that one.  The heads that were on the car appear to be original and in excellent shape but  I will probably go with Ernie's .  I have some steel NOS head gaskets that I will use.   The water pump looks excellent inside, it was rebuilt when the heat exchanger was replaced a few months ago.   As far as scoping the block, there are 3 large holes that apparently held the core when these were cast, you can fiscally look to the bottom when yo look in them. These cylinder block have no sediment and look extremely nice inside the water passages.  I have tried Evaporust on a few things and was not impressed with it, I don't think I need to run anything trough this anyway as it look great inside.  

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I also decided while I have tall the manifolds off to have them redone.  Originally they were coated with porcelain.  That looks extremely nice but has a tendency to crack and pop off.  I was told by a number of Lincoln guys if you want to drive it just do them in Ceramic, it looks good and wont's crack of pop off.  Because I will never show this car seriously and want to drive and tour with it I went with the Ceramic.  You can see a before and after.  I will post a finished picture when they are installed. 

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Lynn, that's a fantastic car you found. I'm very excited to see it back on the road! I am obviously watching this thread with great interest. Have you considered blocking off the exhaust crossovers under the carb? The guys at the Canton Car Museum, who know Lincolns about as well as anyone, told me to tap the holes in the manifold and use a plug to help keep the carburetor cooler, which I did. I don't know if it helps because of the limited driving I did in my car before taking it apart, but it certainly can't hurt on a model that's prone to heat issues.

 

Crossover7.thumb.jpg.abacc4e01cd20434eb9be7dc21a01340.jpg  Tapped1.thumb.jpg.05149717b2c22701b8b914033cd8ff39.jpg

 

Where did you buy the acorn nuts you're using? I can only find them for like $4 each, which is ludicrous. And how long are the studs you used? My engine had three different length studs in it when I pulled it apart so I don't know which one is correct. Do you use slightly longer ones for the spark plug wire conduit mounting studs? So many little details that were wrong on my car that I need to correct but nobody knows the answers...

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Matt.......don't get too cheap on the nuts. The stud issue is the nut can bottom out and thus not give correct clamping force. So EACH stud must be measured without a gasket or washer with the head in place............and if they are too long, you get to remove them and cut them down. It's a LOT of work to do right. And there isn't a stud in the world that is correct length, so you must buy longer and cut them down.....then measure them, and go back and forth......hoping you don't pull the threads out of the block. Shallow nuts will bottom out ever single time......and you also have to check and adjust the length for the washers..............Having made both head bolts and studs for pre war cars by the thousands and sold them.......I know how much work it is. Also, most acorn nuts are made of Chineesium shit material........so they need to be tested to destruction to be sure they won't fail............seen it 100 times. We made all our nuts, bolts, and studs on CNC machines.......they came out fantastic.....but were not cheap.

 

Earnie's heads are great. I sure miss my old friend. As far as manifolds, we Jet Hot coat them. Works fantastic for drivers. My 36 Pierce 12 has 25K and thirty years on them, and they still look new. Porcelain is only for show cars.........and only lasts a few thousand miles.......maybe. I agree with Matt to block off the exhaust port heaters. We routinely do it on Cadillacs. 

 

One last comment..........usually combustion gasses that push water will leak internally when parked, causing the cylinder to wash down making them easy to spot......not 100 percent of the time...........95 percent. My guess is water pump or oil cooler if it has one......I can't remember, had my 37 Brunn back in the 80's. 

 

Did Ernie supply bolts with his heads? Last time I was at his shop he was doing a batch of them........but I just can't remember. Also, if you run studs..........think about milling the holes just a bit bigger around all the studs to be sure they won't bind in your lifetime. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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On 1/18/2021 at 10:28 AM, Matt Harwood said:

Lynn, that's a fantastic car you found. I'm very excited to see it back on the road! I am obviously watching this thread with great interest. Have you considered blocking off the exhaust crossovers under the carb? The guys at the Canton Car Museum, who know Lincolns about as well as anyone, told me to tap the holes in the manifold and use a plug to help keep the carburetor cooler, which I did. I don't know if it helps because of the limited driving I did in my car before taking it apart, but it certainly can't hurt on a model that's prone to heat issues.

 

Crossover7.thumb.jpg.abacc4e01cd20434eb9be7dc21a01340.jpg  Tapped1.thumb.jpg.05149717b2c22701b8b914033cd8ff39.jpg

 

Where did you buy the acorn nuts you're using? I can only find them for like $4 each, which is ludicrous. And how long are the studs you used? My engine had three different length studs in it when I pulled it apart so I don't know which one is correct. Do you use slightly longer ones for the spark plug wire conduit mounting studs? So many little details that were wrong on my car that I need to correct but nobody knows the answers...

 

Thanks Matt I am pretty exited about it.  I have about 500+ miles on it just messing around and sorting it out, love to drive it. I took a couple of photos of the studs, they are 3.250" long.  With that length I think you can use them every where.  There are only two of them on each side that are a little longer and that's the two you refer to that hold the spark plug conduit bracket, it's like .125-.187 longer.  I think with this stud length they will work in all the holes, as edinmass said you have to check each one to make sure the acorn nut doesn't bottom out.  As long as you have 1  1/2" the tread diameter threaded into the in the block you will be fine

 

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I got the Acorn nuts from Ray Theriault in Connecticut, I believe he has more, they are more than the ones you found but they are the correct shape and polished.  I was planning on blocking the exhaust off from the intake cross over.  I was going to drill and tap it but I think a blank gasket will do the job.  I have some gasket material that has a metals core, its used for head gaskets and manifold gaskets (at least that's what it says on the tech sheet) so I'm going to make the two big oval gaskets that connect the cross over to the two manifolds and make two blank ones for the old exhaust ports, there really isn't any pressure there having them both blocked, there no place for it to go.  As long as it doesn't burn out I'm good.  we will see, if it does I will plug the intake side, easy to take off and on.  When sorting the car out I had 4 thermocouples on a readout that I could monitor in the car.  I had 1 on the water inlet just after the water pump, 1 on the water outlet at the Y at the top of the radiator, 1 on the fuel inlet to the carburetor at the float bowl and one on the oil filter.  The one on the fuel at the float bowl ran pretty hot, like 130 F (95 degree day) at 140 ethanol starts to go from liquid to the gas state.  That's when I decided to make a new carb insulator block for under the carb and plug those two exhaust cross over holes in the manifold.  It's a good this to do.

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Edited by AB-Buff (see edit history)
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21 hours ago, edinmass said:

Did Ernie supply bolts with his heads? Last time I was at his shop he was doing a batch of them........but I just can't remember. Also, if you run studs..........think about milling the holes just a bit bigger around all the studs to be sure they won't bind in your lifetime. 

John Kocsis took over everything Ernie was doing, he still has heads made per Ernie's specifications.  To my knowledge he doesn't make the acorn nuts.  That is really good advice about giving the stud a little more clearance, hadn't thought about that.  That is the issue when trying to take one of these heads off that been on for a long time that had a little water seeping in past the threads, makes a long day of in taking them off... or week or more!

Edited by AB-Buff (see edit history)
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You can use an adjustable reamer to do the holes........the aluminum will cut easy, no chance of a machine grabbing it too hard. Just do them by hand. I would use the copper head gasket spray on the gaskets from Permatex ............and I would use number two Permatex on thr threads. First time around on start up, I would run water with cutting oil........easier to clean up than antifreeze........no mess, and almost no cost. Works great till you get things sorted. It can go right down the drain in the event you have to drop the fluid while dialing in the car. Where are you located?

 

One last note....read Matt’s thread on his car......and the joy he has had dealing with R&R the studs........The late Lincoln’s can be a challenge to your checkbook and sanity. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I’m kind of fussy.........I would probably install the studs, and try and slide the head on. Ernie was clever......so I expect he possibly allowed some extra material to be removed. I would want the head to slide over all the studs EASILY............so I would figure from the standard factory holes .003-.005; probably closer to three. I would look at the head gaskets after they go over the studs..........they shouldn’t bind...or be too loose. As they say in the movies.......make it “just ever so.....”.

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I purchased Ernie Foster heads from John Kocsis in 2019 along with acorn nuts and washers.  I think he was down to his next to last set of nuts and washers though.  They were beautifully made and plated.  I used the same new studs with slightly longer studs for the spark plug conduit brackets.  The heads slide down around the studs with plenty of clearance.  I permatex coated the studs and used a new head gasket that John supplied with copper coat sprayed onto the gaskets.  No problems so far.  My Lincoln runs nice and cool unlike the 35 I used to have with cast irons heads that always ran way too hot.  

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I was wondering about the copper coat. When my dad was around, we started building engines back when I was four, it was a long time ago we always used to paint them with a metal paint either silver or gold. But the paint had to be a metallic or metal in it. It always seem to work, I’ll have to buy a can of that and spray it on something to see if I like it. I don’t want to bond the heads in place, they can be hard enough to come off after 5 to 10 years. Thanks Chuck!

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I had to install these heads twice as John's machine shop forgot to weld closed the casting plugs.  The heads came right off even with the copper coat although they hadn't been on very long.  I suppose the heads might bond after running for awhile.  

 

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