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Old 09-15-2023, 01:54 PM
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Default Water Leak from Head Stud

Just got my rebuilt engine running and I pulled the valve covers off to check lash and noticed water oil milk shake around the drivers upper rear head stud. (First pic) I torqued the heads again and drove probably 20 miles and just checked after sitting for two weeks and came across this.(2nd pic) These are pre 2002 e heads. New felpro 1016 gaskets. Could my head bolt hole actually go into the water jacket?

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Old 09-15-2023, 02:00 PM
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When we dynoed my current motor in my 78 over 2 days there was so much condensation overnight it slightly milkshaked the oil in the valve covers when we went to swap rockers.

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Old 09-15-2023, 03:40 PM
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On a factory block all the head bolt holes are blind.

If I recall right on the first production IA blocks the lower front pass side head bolt hole is open into the water jacket.

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Old 09-15-2023, 04:10 PM
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It's common for the first design heads to crack and leak water there. It could also be leaking from the head bolt boss if there is a crack going into the water jacket. Sometimes when installing a head bolt heli-coil the drill can break into the water jacket .

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Old 09-15-2023, 04:18 PM
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Its a factory 1973 block. I had these heads on the previous block and didnt have this problem. Itís definitely not condensation as it is only in the drivers side and that my second pic shows that its literally straight water, like the oil separated up and out the drain. All that is new is the head gaskets and a different 1973 decked block.

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Old 09-15-2023, 08:53 PM
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Maybe someone ran that stud down too hard, causing a crack into the jacket. Seal the threads on that stud using commercially available sealer. Solved!

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Old 09-15-2023, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAUL K View Post
It's common for the first design heads to crack and leak water there. It could also be leaking from the head bolt boss if there is a crack going into the water jacket. Sometimes when installing a head bolt heli-coil the drill can break into the water jacket .
I think this is spot on. Crack in head bolt boss.

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Old 09-15-2023, 10:31 PM
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Yes, the early E-heads had issues in that area. We ended up sleeving those two inner holes and the center outside hole with thin wall SS tubing glued in. Then I machined the top of the 10 bolt holes for step washers. That took care of it. It is a fair amount of work. You have some easier options to try first. I would put a radiator pressure tester on the system with the valve cover off and try to verify the exact leak point. If it's just that one stud, remove it as mentioned, and put some sealer on it and re-torque. I like Permatex aviation form a gasket for this job. Sticky liquid non-hardening sealer. If you don't like that, pipe sealant with teflon is a decent alternative. If you PM me, I can send you a couple cartridges of a miracle sealer you put in the radiator. It is not commercially available, only to radiator shops. It is an amazing sealer. Finally, I would reduce your radiator cap to a 7 PSI cap if your car doesn't run over 210. That will take a little of that failure point.

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Old 09-16-2023, 08:45 AM
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I know I have tubes in between the intake ports, but I am not positive about the others. Thanks guys ill report back after testing.

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Old 09-16-2023, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
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I think this is spot on. Crack in head bolt boss.
Thanks.... Congratulations on your new build. That thing is going to make some steam!

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Old 09-16-2023, 05:25 PM
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Thanks.... Congratulations on your new build. That thing is going to make some steam!
Thank you Paul!!

I'm super happy with the results. Brad did a great job on it for me.

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Old 09-16-2023, 05:50 PM
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Thank you Paul!!

I'm super happy with the results. Brad did a great job on it for me.
Agree.... Please keep us posted as you dial it in.

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Old 09-18-2023, 07:13 AM
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Agree.... Please keep us posted as you dial it in.
If all goes well I plan to be out testing spring of 2024.

Jeff

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Old 09-18-2023, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAUL K View Post
It's common for the first design heads to crack and leak water there. It could also be leaking from the head bolt boss if there is a crack going into the water jacket. Sometimes when installing a head bolt heli-coil the drill can break into the water jacket .
is there a date code or part number to detect the older heads?
was it just an e-head issue or other aluminum heads?

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Old 09-18-2023, 09:37 AM
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is there a date code or part number to detect the older heads?
was it just an e-head issue or other aluminum heads?
Not sure about date codes or casting numbers. But they are visually different from the outside. We had some of the very earliest castings from Edelbrock for use in the Grocery Getter drag car. After a few removals and installs, the problem began to show up. We had a direct contact with Rick Roberts, chief engineer, and reported issues to him. They of course had others with similar experiences and made a decision to revise the casting for the next run. The improved castings had the column under the head bolts enlarged and the end stud location under the valve cover was left taller, on the same plane as the center stud location and not down in a deep counterbore. The revised head takes different studs, longer ones. That seemed to take care of the majority of the cracking issues on the ends. Taking the time to install step washers is a good idea in E-heads that will be coming on and off frequently. The last version of the heads received the heart shaped chamber and the thicker columns under the head studs. I doubt any further development will happen with the Edelbrock Pontiac head as Rick Roberts, PHD was fired before the ink dried on the paperwork when the Industrial Opportunity Partners bought the company. It's all about fast moving shiny parts now. Niche markets don't typically produce large profits.

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Old 09-18-2023, 10:24 AM
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If I did have a crack in the head, is it most likely in the top of the head near the counter bore? Is there any repairing that can be done or am I screwed?


Last edited by spectramitch; 09-18-2023 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 09-18-2023, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
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is there a date code or part number to detect the older heads?
was it just an e-head issue or other aluminum heads?
The change date was 3/15/02 ..... Mike covered how to ID the different heads.

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Old 09-18-2023, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
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If I did have a crack in the head, is it most likely in the top of the head near the counter bore? Is there any repairing that can be done or am I screwed?
If you picture taking a socket attached to an impact wrench and going to remove the rear head bolt under the valve cover, now pull the impact towards the front of the car, where the socket contacts the head is the area the head may crack. IDK how else to explain it. I hope that makes sense.

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Old 09-18-2023, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
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If I did have a crack in the head, is it most likely in the top of the head near the counter bore? Is there any repairing that can be done or am I screwed?
It's in that general area. Again, I would like to see you put a radiator pressure tester on it before removing the stud or the head. Just as it sits now. You should be able to see the source of the leak. If not, then I would just seal the stud in the block and re-test. It is always possible the water is wicking up the stud from a tiny crack on the block stud hole. We may be assuming it's the head because Edelbrock did have some issues with them in that area. "A test is worth 1000 expert opinions". Hope you find it.

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Old 09-18-2023, 05:40 PM
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I always thought the redo was just so there were not so many different length head bolts like the early ones. I've got early on my 78 as well as the IA motor and "knock on wood" no leaks! And my first set KRE tubed the crap out of them pushrod tubes and head bolt holes in the common wall. Kind of a shock when I got them back!

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1981 Black SE Trans Am stockish 6X 400ci, turbo 301 on a stand
1965 GTO 4 barrel 3 speed project
2004 GTO Pulse Red stock motor computer tune 13.43@103.4
1964 Impala SS 409/470ci 600 HP stroker project
1979 Camaro IAII Edelbrock head 500" 695 HP 10.33@132 3595lbs
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