Engine - Coolant leak into the exhaust manifold | Page 11 | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Engine Coolant leak into the exhaust manifold

Discussion in 'Tech & Repair' started by zzyzzx, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. rbailin

    rbailin FEOA Member

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    I would strongly consider bringing the head to a machine shop and having it milled as little as possible ( < .003"). I can't tell from the excellent close-up photo whether there's minor pitting or if it's just dirt. But I figure that the milling cost is about the same as the cost of a new head gasket plus bolts plus your time to re-do the job. You could also get an opinion on the exhaust manifold.
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  2. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    It seems to be cleaning up nicely. The bottom is not warped or anything, but here is a closeup of the problem areas (circled in purple) with some pits that I feel are potentially the real problem. I should clean them out and infill with JB Weld or something else that can take the heat:

    [​IMG]

    That bolt hole in the lower left corner of this picture is where the broken bolt was. Otherwise I am not sure if these two spots are really close enough to anything to warrant any attention.
  3. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Exhaust manifolds are still available new for these cars, and the cost would be about the same as milling one, or close enough.

    [​IMG]
    ATP 101244 $64
  4. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    If the problem areas don't connect anything to anything they shouldn't matter. Look for pits or low areas connecting the water passages or "fire ring" of the head gasket to each other or other passages.

    The mark from the old "fire ring" comes really close to the coolant passage, but doesn't quite enter it, so that part is okay.
  5. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    OK, so you are saying that I can ignore the places circled in purple, and concentrate on inspecting the places circled in red:
    [​IMG]

    If so, that seems like a not optimal design, or casting.
    the cylinder next to it is almost as bad.
    Having said that, it seem prudent to fill in the places circled in purple as shown here:
  6. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Do you know if that head had already been milled?
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  7. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  8. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    To me both the red and purple circled areas are okay, just barely since the sealing parts don't quite extend to the erosion and water passage.

    Ford permits only a really tiny amount of material permitted to be milled off. I am guessing that this may be due to the fact that removing more will increase the compression ratio more than an allowable limit, and the same for the camshaft timing.
    The emissions approval might have demanded very tight tolerances for these.
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  9. rbailin

    rbailin FEOA Member

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    If the head was previously milled, the machine shop should have stamped the amount on the outside of the head, usually near the camshaft gear (e.g., "003"). If it was warrantied, there should also be an overheating indicator attached in the same place.

    Felpro sells a copper shim spacer for these engines to compensate for removing a lot of surface material from the head or block. On the head, there are shallow depressions on the intake side to indicate the maximum amount that can be removed.
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  10. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    I put one of the bolts through the cylinder head and counted 17 threads sticking through. I can easily run the bolts down into the engine block 19 threads. Not taking into account the size of the head gasket (around one complete thread) I have no idea if this enough of a margin then torqued down, but I certainly hope so.
  11. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Im sure it will be. The bolts dont stretch even as much as a single circle of the threads.
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  12. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Still haven't put it back together yet, but when I compare the old Fel-Pro gasket to the Mahle that I bought, the cylinder openings on the Fel-Pro are a few mm bigger in diameter to the point where I wonder how it could have possibly worked! I mean, the cylinder openings on the Fel-Pro are that much bigger than the cylinders themselves.
  13. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I checked Rockauto, and the Felpro head gasket is listed to fit from 1981-99 Escorts, i.e. 1.6, 1.9 and 2.0.
    The 1.6 has a bore of 3.15", 1.9 is 3.23" and 2.0 is 3.34".
    So obviously if the gasket fits the 2.0 (including overbores) it is going to be pretty sloppy on the earlier, smaller bores.

    Someone brought up the subject of the head gasket bore a couple years ago, so I did a bit of checking on the Rockauto site and ordered a few "manufacturers closeout" gaskets that were listed only for the 1.6, to use on my bigger bore engines, as I think it is better to have a gasket bore closer to the cylinder bore size.

    Felpro is presumably trying to save money by only making one gasket for several engines. I also found that their valve cover gasket didn't fit so well on my 1.9 SEFI engine, at first I thought for the same reasons. However Rockauto shows their VC gasket as only fitting the 1991-96 1.9 engine.

    I checked the Mahle HG listing on Rockauto, and sure enough, it shows an application only for the 1991-96 1.9 engine (although I don't know why it won't work on the first generation 1.9).
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  14. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Removed the oil dipstick tube to make it easy to reinstall the cylinder head.
    Now how do I get the dipstick tube back in?
    it doesn't seem to want to go. I think it's because the intake manifold is in the way. Presumably it can be done with that installed?
    It was easy enough to remove.
  15. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    All I can suggest is to clean it well with fine steel wool or similar, and put a thin layer of grease on it to help insert. But make sure it's aligned correctly before pushing too hard.
  16. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    What's the correct alignment? I suspect that is the real problem.
  17. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I think I was able to push the dipstick down into the block, with its top end sticking out from between the central space between the inlet tubes. But Im not above bending it a little bit to line up.
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  18. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Got it in. Wire wheeled the tube near the bottom, then greased it. Then stuck a stubby Philips head screwdriver into the top part and pushed down. I hope the lack of RTV doesn't cause a leak.
  19. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Good to hear. I am sure there will be no problem with leaking, as the joint is well above the oil level and the crank case is generally under a slight negative pressure due to the PCV system.
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