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Cracked Block??

Posted By lazylnm 10 days ago
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lazylnm
Question Posted 10 days ago
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First time poster here although I've been reading for the last few months.
I'm trying to figure out where I am in restarting a stalled restoration.  The car is a '55 Glasstop 272 3pd Overdrive that I've owned for 50 years last summer.  I started a frame off in the late '80's got burned out and discouraged and career/life took over in the mid '90's.  Part of the the discouragement was that we had a severe cold snap down to below zero, lost power for a few days and next thing I know there was an ice waterfall out the right front portion area of the block.  Figured (hoped) that I had popped a freeze plug.  And so it sat for 20+ years.
Here is what I've done this past week - pulled the generator and done a visual inspection of the engine - no signs of water leakage on the outside, freeze plugs appear solid, no stains or discoloration of the new engine paint.  Drained the oil - it looks like it is brand new - no white sludgy stuff, no water.  The engine turns over easily - simply put a ratchet on the crank bolt and turned it over a couple of turns.  Bipassed the heater lines and looped it between the water pump and the intake manifold and installed an air pressure test valve that I used in our house.  In applying air pressure, it gets up to 4-5 lbs and starts gurgling inside the block.  It will get up to 8-9 lbs but won't hold any pressure.  I figured that if the water jackets were intact, I should be able to apply air and have it hold.  Is there something I don't know about?
Haven't pulled plugs or done a compression check yet.
Thinking that my next step is to either tear off the top end or try to start it up.
Comments and suggestions - but please, don't beat me up - I've been doing that to myself already - for a long time
Thanks for the input
Mike

55 GLASS TOP
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Welcome Mike, I doubt if anyone will chide you for your oversights, we have all been there. That being said did you only have water in you engine no antifreeze ? Is it possible the water you mentioned was from another source condensation posssibly. Also is it possible you are loosing air pressure through the radiator cap. the way I read it you still have the upper and lower radiator hoses hooked up or is that where you are putting the air in. I am sure you will get a lot of other reply’s keep us updated as to your progress.
lazylnm
Posted 10 days ago
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Hitting on all eight cylinders

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IIRC it was straight up water left over from starting it up before the body went back on the frame.  Then again - my hands smelled a bit like old antifreeze after I was poking around under there this afternoon.  I opened the pet cocks this afternoon and got only a few drops of water.  I probably drained the block after I test ran it but frankly, I don't remember.
I thought about rotten hoses and bad radiator cap but the gurgling seems to be coming from around the 1-2-3 cylinder area but deep - which matches what I remember about where the ice flow originated.  Also, I would expect more of a hissing if one of the hoses or cap were leaking - plus I'd feel or smell it.  Ditto the hissing if it was a crack.  This is gurgling kind of like blowing bubbles underwater.  My compressor is set at 80psi and I build only 8-9psi on the gauge.  It's pretty quite up to 5 or 6 psi then it's like the dam broke and air escapes.
The air is escaping somewhere - blown gaskets maybe?  Hence thinking that pulling the top end off may show something.  I could pull off the radiator hoses and plug up the fittings just to eliminate the radiator out of the equation.
Thanks for the reply
Mike
lazylnm
Posted 10 days ago
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Hitting on all eight cylinders

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BTW - is that a B&W '55?  That's what mine is..........
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If you need a block, I have a standard bore 272 block you can have for free.  It's in Central Florida.
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I guess you should pull all the plugs and put the air into the cooling system and listen at each opening then at least you will know for sure. Then I guess pull the head on that side and see if the block is cracked or if the head gasket some how has been compromised. It’s real nice that you have been offered a new block I hope you do not need it. Yes I also have a 1955 “Glasstop” I have had it for 40. Years and I have made some lulu of mistakes along the way with my car.
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...severe cold snap down to below zero, lost power for a few days and next thing I know there was an ice waterfall out the right front portion area of the block.  Figured (hoped) that I had popped a freeze plug.  And so it sat for 20+ years.


Just a reminder, a core plug is not meant/designed as a freeze and/or expansion plug. It is merely a plug to close the opening(s) of a core after removing casting sand. If one is very lucky, the plug may allow pressure release for freezing/expanding coolant. If the freezing takes place within the core, it will most likely damage something.

Was the engine fresh or used?


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You might also try filling the Cooling system and sticking the air hose in each spark pug hole see if the water bubbles out the radiator cap opening.
charliemccraney
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If water frozen like a waterfall was coming out of the engine, then it seems like it should be apparent if it is a cracked component.

It might be easiest to fill the cooling system and do a pressure check.  With it full, if there are any leaky areas, water will come out under pressure.


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Hi, first you are among friends who have all had awkward moments in their past.
Try to ID your problems and what you want to do. 
How important is saving the block? Visual? DO NOT do something
like dis-mantle your engine that will not allow other tests to be made like taking off the heads BEFORE trying 
a compression check. If the starting system and battery are available can you check for oil pressure? Before
using the starter? Are the rocker arms moving?

The advice you get will largely depend on HOW WELL you explain thing. Pete














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