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 Coolant drips right into oil pan when filling?
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deez nuts
Two Feathers

72 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2018 :  12:58:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm having some frustrating problems with my build and since I don't have much experience with Pontiacs I really hope someone here has seen this problem before.

I have a 461 stroker which started life as I believe a 71 year block, then I used the 6x-8 heads that originally came with my car (77 T/A). I used the timing cover and everything from the 77 block which I believe should work without issue on all 400 blocks?

The engine is all together and in the car and when I started to fill the radiator with coolant it began to make a strange sound. It sounded as though the coolant was dripping through the bottom of the radiator, through the lower rad hose and somehow ending up filling the oil pan. I checked the dipstick and sure enough I'm filling the oil pan with coolant when I dump it into the radiator. I promptly drained everything and obviously did not turn the key.

Has anyone seen this before and does it make any sense? I'm new to the Pontiac world so is there something obvious that I would be missing?

Corncob2061
Sitting Bull

USA
165 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2018 :  03:04:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gasket must be leaking between the front cover and the block? Make sure you have all the bolts in and tight. Front cover is the same between engines. How much coolant did you put in it before it leaked? Gasket wise, the lowest place it could leak into the engine is the front cover, next up head gasket, lastly the intake manifold.
Jay
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deez nuts
Two Feathers

72 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2018 :  03:09:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Corncob2061

Gasket must be leaking between the front cover and the block? Make sure you have all the bolts in and tight. Front cover is the same between engines. How much coolant did you put in it before it leaked? Gasket wise, the lowest place it could leak into the engine is the front cover, next up head gasket, lastly the intake manifold.
Jay



I had not even put in a full gallon and it started to leak. And just to make sure I'm not misunderstanding you, you're saying the gasket that seals the timing cover to the block is leaking at the bottom?

When I replace this, is there a specific gasket that you recommend?
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Corncob2061
Sitting Bull

USA
165 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2018 :  03:28:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The coolant ports go from the water pump through the front cover and into the block. I can not think of a gasket that does not work there. I will uses silicon sometimes as an extra precaution, really should be fine with or with out it though. To leak that soon it seems more likely a bolt was missed,not tightened, or the gasket shifted on assembly. Could be some corrosion on the front cover is causing a leak too.

If it leaked that soon it must be between the front cover and the block. Most of the coolant capacity is in the engine block.
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Corncob2061
Sitting Bull

USA
165 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2018 :  03:31:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nothing to leak from the bottom, coolant has to get up to the water pump first before it can leak into the engine pan. Jay
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deez nuts
Two Feathers

72 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2018 :  03:34:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So like I said I'm new to Pontiacs. I realize now that I made a mistake when installing the water pump. I just bolted the water pump to the cover and it looks like theres some type of plate that goes between the two? I don't remember putting that piece in. Could that be my problem? I wouldn't think the coolant level would be high enough for that to be a problem since I had the problem before even getting one gallon in.

I feel like an idiot
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Corncob2061
Sitting Bull

USA
165 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2018 :  03:51:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It is not that obvious, can see how that could happen. You might not need to pull the front cover off then. Just inspect it put the plate on and make sure you catch all the bolts. The back plate would not leak into the engine, but it could keep the front cover from tightening up.
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deez nuts
Two Feathers

72 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2018 :  04:09:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Corncob2061

It is not that obvious, can see how that could happen. You might not need to pull the front cover off then. Just inspect it put the plate on and make sure you catch all the bolts. The back plate would not leak into the engine, but it could keep the front cover from tightening up.



well the plate goes between the water pump and the cover not between the cover and the block right? I guess I don't understand how that plate missing would cause the problem?

I'll make sure all the bolts in the timing cover are tight and then I'll have to find where I can buy that plate. I just have an OEM style 11 bolt water pump I'm pretty sure.
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Corncob2061
Sitting Bull

USA
165 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2018 :  09:52:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was thinking without the plate one of the bolts or studs could have bottomed out before the cover sealed against the block. If it looks like everything was pulled tight you will have to pull the front cover.Jay

Edited by - Corncob2061 on 02 Aug 2018 09:53:23 AM
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deez nuts
Two Feathers

72 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2018 :  8:53:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Corncob2061

I was thinking without the plate one of the bolts or studs could have bottomed out before the cover sealed against the block. If it looks like everything was pulled tight you will have to pull the front cover.Jay



That actually makes total sense. I'll start by getting that plate and installing it and making sure everything is tight and then see if I still have the problem. Obviously I should replace the gasket between the cover and the block but if I tighten everything down and don't have the leak when I'm just dumping coolant in a non-running engine then at least I know I found the issue.

Thanks for your time helping me out. I really appreciate it. I'll report back once I have the plate installed.
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