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Re: [classicrv] Re: 440/3 Boilover After Shutdown

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  • Henry Blair
    If you have never taken a 440-3 head off, you may not understand how a blown head gasket reacts. These are very high quality metal gaskets that, as a rule,
    Message 1 of 18 , Oct 3, 2006
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      If you have never taken a 440-3 head off, you may not understand how a
      'blown' head gasket reacts. These are very high quality metal gaskets
      that, as a rule, do not really blow. What happens when a 440-3 engine
      overheats is that the head warps and the gasket no longer makes a
      heat-to-block seal. The adjacent cylinders, with no seal between them,
      then pressurize the cooling system. Rarely does much oil get into the
      system, but if you start a cold engine with the radiator cap off, you
      will quickly see that the coolant begins to foam.

      I just had the same issue with a 440 in a 77 Chrysler custom that I
      built. When the heads were removed, the places where the head gasket
      sealed were shiny, and dark where the coolant had leaked. Having the
      heads surfaced is not that expensive, but you may want to have them
      rebuilt while you have them off. I think I read where you had a 192
      degree thermostat. From my experience, this is too high. Try a 180 degree.

      Henry

      Eric wrote:
      >
      > What is the temp of your stat ? ......
      >
      > "jrhendrsn" <jrh@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > My '73 440/3 has developed an aggravating problem. It can idle, run
      > > down the highway, up hills and keep a fairly constant 210 degrees. No
      > > overheating problems at all when running. When I turn it off it
      > > overheats (shown on the gauge) and boils over. It lets out more
      > > coolant than usual if I have opened the heater inlet and less if it
      > > idles for about 5 minutes but there is always some amount of
      > boilover.
      > > I have 16-18# caps on the filler and the radiator but it only leaks
      > > from the actual radiator cap. What can cause this?
      > >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • jrhendrsn
      ... I am not sure of the thermostat temp but 190 is my best recollection. I will check the manual because I try to keep everthing to original specs when
      Message 2 of 18 , Oct 3, 2006
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        --- In classicrv@yahoogroups.com, "Eric" <namvet67a1f@...> wrote:
        >
        > What is the temp of your stat ? ......

        I am not sure of the thermostat temp but 190 is my best recollection.
        I will check the manual because I try to keep everthing to original
        specs when replacing parts.
      • jrhendrsn
        Air pockets are a definite possibility. I had the timing chain replaced and was not involved in the reinstallation of the radiator. Would the temp be OK when
        Message 3 of 18 , Oct 3, 2006
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          Air pockets are a definite possibility. I had the timing chain
          replaced and was not involved in the reinstallation of the radiator.

          Would the temp be OK when driving with a blown head gasket? It seems
          like that would cause overheating while its running.

          If I see bubbles when it is running...is this a sign of trapped air,
          blown headgasket, money flying from my wallet or all of the above!! 8^)

          --- In classicrv@yahoogroups.com, "Joel B. Chappell"
          <joel.b.chappell@...> wrote:
          >
          > You definitely have steam pockets in the system... have you drained and
          > replaced the coolant without purging air out of the system? You are
          > definitely getting air/exhaust pressure into the cooling system
          either via a
          > blown head gasket, or other means. Let the truck run with the
          pressure cap
          > off and fill the radiator right up to the neck...then look for bubbles.
          > Joel B. Chappell
          > 21 Billings Street
          > Milford, NH 03055
          >
          >
        • jrhendrsn
          Would drilling the thermostat eliminate the need to find all the places to vent trapped air?
          Message 4 of 18 , Oct 3, 2006
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            Would drilling the thermostat eliminate the need to find all the
            places to vent trapped air?

            --- In classicrv@yahoogroups.com, dxxx cxxxxx <dc_mopar@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi, one thing i forgot to mention, (reminded by the
            > comment on air pockets) thermostats used to come with
            > a bleed hole in them, lately they come solid. i always
            > drill a 1/8 hole in the flat part of the thermostat,
            > this allows the air to bleed out and then you can fill
            > the system completely when cold.
            > Doug
            >
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          • dxxx cxxxxx
            yes, however since the hole is small, you will need to top it off several times after the air bleeds out and the water level equalizes. when the radiator stays
            Message 5 of 18 , Oct 3, 2006
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              yes, however since the hole is small, you will need to
              top it off several times after the air bleeds out and
              the water level equalizes. when the radiator stays
              full without going down, the block and radiator are
              full to the top. Doug


              --- jrhendrsn <jrh@...> wrote:

              > Would drilling the thermostat eliminate the need to
              > find all the
              > places to vent trapped air?
              >
              > --- In classicrv@yahoogroups.com, dxxx cxxxxx
              > <dc_mopar@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi, one thing i forgot to mention, (reminded by
              > the
              > > comment on air pockets) thermostats used to come
              > with
              > > a bleed hole in them, lately they come solid. i
              > always
              > > drill a 1/8 hole in the flat part of the
              > thermostat,
              > > this allows the air to bleed out and then you can
              > fill
              > > the system completely when cold.
              > > Doug
              > >
              > > __________________________________________________
              > > Do You Yahoo!?
              > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
              > protection around
              > > http://mail.yahoo.com
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >


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            • Henry Blair
              After a number, 5 or less, of cycles all of the air will be purged from the system. The question is Is your coolant foamy when you run the engine with the
              Message 6 of 18 , Oct 4, 2006
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                After a number, 5 or less, of cycles all of the air will be purged from
                the system. The question is "Is your coolant foamy when you run the
                engine with the radiator cap off?" If so, you have a head gasket that
                is not sealing. If not, your block cooling passages may be clogged, the
                worst problem you could have other than a block that is cracked
                internally, not likely. I see no reason for using a 190 degree
                thermostat unless you are in a very cold climate. Is your oil milky
                looking?

                Henry

                jrhendrsn wrote:
                >
                > Would drilling the thermostat eliminate the need to find all the
                > places to vent trapped air?
                >
                > --- In classicrv@yahoogroups.com <mailto:classicrv%40yahoogroups.com>,
                > dxxx cxxxxx <dc_mopar@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi, one thing i forgot to mention, (reminded by the
                > > comment on air pockets) thermostats used to come with
                > > a bleed hole in them, lately they come solid. i always
                > > drill a 1/8 hole in the flat part of the thermostat,
                > > this allows the air to bleed out and then you can fill
                > > the system completely when cold.
                > > Doug
                > >
                > > __________________________________________________
                > > Do You Yahoo!?
                > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                > > http://mail.yahoo.com <http://mail.yahoo.com>
                > >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Henry Blair Jr
                I have driven one of these engines over 5,000 miles with a non-sealing head gasket, and the engine remained cool. The damage was done when the head warped
                Message 7 of 18 , Oct 4, 2006
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                  I have driven one of these engines over 5,000 miles with a non-sealing
                  head gasket, and the engine remained cool. The damage was done when the
                  head warped initially and the seal was lost. When running, the flow of
                  the coolant, even though its efficiency is reduced by the air in the
                  coolant, is enough to cool the engine. When the coolant is not flowing,
                  the heat is not being transferred through the radiator. Air pockets go
                  away on their own, usually after a low number of cycles. They are
                  reduced by the hole in the thermostat, but can still be present. I
                  usually count on air and watch the engine for the first few cycles.

                  Bubbles, or foam, are a sign of a head gasket that is not sealing. Here
                  is a tip. Use a Felpro fiber head gasket the next time. These gaskets
                  are a newer technology and will expand and contract between the two iron
                  surfaces better than the metal head gaskets. Always use a fiber head
                  gasket on an iron engine with an aluminum head due to the different
                  coefficients of expansion, and thus, a higher need for temperature
                  flexibility.

                  Henry

                  jrhendrsn wrote:
                  >
                  > Air pockets are a definite possibility. I had the timing chain
                  > replaced and was not involved in the reinstallation of the radiator.
                  >
                  > Would the temp be OK when driving with a blown head gasket? It seems
                  > like that would cause overheating while its running.
                  >
                  > If I see bubbles when it is running...is this a sign of trapped air,
                  > blown headgasket, money flying from my wallet or all of the above!! 8^)
                  >
                  > --- In classicrv@yahoogroups.com <mailto:classicrv%40yahoogroups.com>,
                  > "Joel B. Chappell"
                  > <joel.b.chappell@...> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > You definitely have steam pockets in the system... have you drained and
                  > > replaced the coolant without purging air out of the system? You are
                  > > definitely getting air/exhaust pressure into the cooling system
                  > either via a
                  > > blown head gasket, or other means. Let the truck run with the
                  > pressure cap
                  > > off and fill the radiator right up to the neck...then look for bubbles.
                  > > Joel B. Chappell
                  > > 21 Billings Street
                  > > Milford, NH 03055
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Henry Blair Jr
                  If you have never taken a 440-3 head off, you may not understand how a blown head gasket reacts. These are very high quality metal gaskets that, as a rule,
                  Message 8 of 18 , Oct 4, 2006
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                    If you have never taken a 440-3 head off, you may not understand how a
                    'blown' head gasket reacts. These are very high quality metal gaskets
                    that, as a rule, do not really blow. What happens when a 440-3 engine
                    overheats is that the head warps and the gasket no longer makes a
                    heat-to-block seal. The adjacent cylinders, with no seal between them,
                    then pressurize the cooling system. Rarely does much oil get into the
                    system, but if you start a cold engine with the radiator cap off, you
                    will quickly see that the coolant begins to foam.

                    I just had the same issue with a 440 in a 77 Chrysler custom that I
                    built. When the heads were removed, the places where the head gasket
                    sealed were shiny, and dark where the coolant had leaked. Having the
                    heads surfaced is not that expensive, but you may want to have them
                    rebuilt while you have them off. I think I read where you had a 192
                    degree thermostat. From my experience, this is too high. Try a 180 degree.

                    Henry

                    Eric wrote:
                    >
                    > What is the temp of your stat ? ......
                    >
                    > "jrhendrsn" <jrh@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > My '73 440/3 has developed an aggravating problem. It can idle, run
                    > > down the highway, up hills and keep a fairly constant 210 degrees. No
                    > > overheating problems at all when running. When I turn it off it
                    > > overheats (shown on the gauge) and boils over. It lets out more
                    > > coolant than usual if I have opened the heater inlet and less if it
                    > > idles for about 5 minutes but there is always some amount of
                    > boilover.
                    > > I have 16-18# caps on the filler and the radiator but it only leaks
                    > > from the actual radiator cap. What can cause this?
                    > >
                    >
                    >


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Jack Rabon
                    When the coolant is circulating, little air bubbles will be moved along until they congregate at the high point in the system. That would be at the top of the
                    Message 9 of 18 , Oct 4, 2006
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                      When the coolant is circulating, little air bubbles will be moved along
                      until they congregate at the high point in the system. That would be at
                      the top of the radiator, right where the neck & cap are.

                      As Henry said, after several thermal cycles you will purge all of the air.
                      Thermal cycle is heating up to normal, then cooling after use.

                      Here is where the coolant recovery tank is quite helpful. In the old days,
                      you just left the fluid level down a bit in the radiator top. Put in too
                      much, and it would be lost the next time the engine was warm, as the
                      coolant expands when it gets hot. You checked the level when the system
                      was cool. So you always had air in the system, at least at the top of the
                      radiator.

                      Modern systems use an overflow tank to catch the expanded coolant, and feed
                      it back into the radiator as the system cools. Air bubbles are expelled
                      through the overflow tank, which is vented to the atmosphere. The radiator
                      always has a full charge of coolant.

                      You can add an aftermarket tank to your older vehicle. Low cost kits are
                      available at Autozone & other chain auto parts stores.

                      And BTW, the radiator moves a lot more heat by conduction than by
                      radiation. So why is it called a radiator?

                      Jack

                      -----Original Message-----

                      Re: 440/3 Boilover After Shutdown
                      Posted by: "jrhendrsn" jrh@... jrhendrsn
                      Date: Tue Oct 3, 2006 6:22 pm (PDT)

                      Would drilling the thermostat eliminate the need to find all the
                      places to vent trapped air?
                    • dxxx cxxxxx
                      Yes the air will purge itself in a few cycles, but until it does it has to overheat and open the thermostat with steam. drilling the hole is just something i
                      Message 10 of 18 , Oct 4, 2006
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                        Yes the air will purge itself in a few cycles, but
                        until it does it has to overheat and open the
                        thermostat with steam. drilling the hole is just
                        something i do to prevent this. i was just passing
                        this along, as it saves time over topping off the
                        radiator several times as well as preventing the
                        initial overheating. this is obviously not the problem
                        with this engine, as it happens every time.
                        all engines get heat soaked when the flow stops after
                        it is shut off, some coolant transfer to the overflow
                        container is normal. if the heat or boilover is
                        excessive, there is probably a pressure leak in the
                        cooling system that can be as minor as a bad cap, or
                        as major as a cracked block, with a blown headgasket,
                        crack in the middle of the possibilities. if the block
                        is cracked, there would be a good possibility that the
                        head gaskets are blown bad also, and the event that
                        caused it would probably be memorable. in the absence
                        of a water leak except the boilover, the head gaskets
                        seem the likely culprit.
                        depending on the severity of the leak, and the usage
                        of the rig, it may be worth a try to do a flush and
                        put in some block sealer. sodium silicate, also known
                        as "liquid glass" is the main ingredient of several of
                        the hardcore bock sealers, and is available in pure
                        form from most pharmacies. (quart jar about 13 bucks)
                        i know of several cases where it sealed severly blown
                        head gaskets, and one was driven from California to
                        Arizona (where it was parked to live in it) with no
                        problems. the one caution: it glues everything
                        together really well, so if you do tear it down in the
                        future to repair or rebuild, it won't come apart easy.
                        Doug

                        --- Jack Rabon <rabonj@...> wrote:

                        > When the coolant is circulating, little air bubbles
                        > will be moved along
                        > until they congregate at the high point in the
                        > system. That would be at
                        > the top of the radiator, right where the neck & cap
                        > are.
                        >
                        > As Henry said, after several thermal cycles you will
                        > purge all of the air.
                        > Thermal cycle is heating up to normal, then cooling
                        > after use.
                        >

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                      • jrhendrsn
                        The oil looks fine. This weekend I will check for foamy coolant and if that is negative on to the many other suggestions you folks have given me. With a
                        Message 11 of 18 , Oct 4, 2006
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                          The oil looks fine. This weekend I will check for foamy coolant and if
                          that is negative on to the many other suggestions you folks have given
                          me. With a little luck, Monday I will be writing back about my bad
                          radiator cap (A little wishful thinking never hurts) 8^)

                          This is a great group and I thank all of you for your responses.

                          Thanks,
                          Jim

                          --- In classicrv@yahoogroups.com, Henry Blair <henryblairjr@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > After a number, 5 or less, of cycles all of the air will be purged from
                          > the system. The question is "Is your coolant foamy when you run the
                          > engine with the radiator cap off?" If so, you have a head gasket that
                          > is not sealing. If not, your block cooling passages may be clogged,
                          the
                          > worst problem you could have other than a block that is cracked
                          > internally, not likely. I see no reason for using a 190 degree
                          > thermostat unless you are in a very cold climate. Is your oil milky
                          > looking?
                          >
                          > Henry
                          >
                        • Henry Blair
                          There is also something new from Barr s for head gasket repair. Sodium silicate will seal, but it, as all other head gasket repairs in a bottle, can stop up
                          Message 12 of 18 , Oct 4, 2006
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                            There is also something new from Barr's for head gasket repair. Sodium
                            silicate will seal, but it, as all other head gasket repairs in a
                            bottle, can stop up radiators, and if the passages in the engine are not
                            clean, engine passages. I have used this stuff for years when I could
                            not get proper parts for farm equipment engines. I would first use an
                            aggressive flush to clean the radiator and block so that the small
                            openings would be at their cleanest. I use it twice as long as
                            suggested on the container. I then run a water pump lubricant through
                            the engine for a period of time. This helps the head gasket sealant
                            stick to fewer placers. Then comes the "water glass." The melting
                            temperature of this stuff is over 750 degrees, so it usually flows
                            freely, and with proper preparation has little effect on clogging clean
                            passages in the engine and the radiator. The water pump lubricant is
                            just a conservative step to keep the stuff from sealing where it should
                            not. When the engine overheats at the specific places, head gaskets, as
                            Doug says, sets for perpetuity or close to it. I personally have not
                            seen it heal a cracked block, and do not think it would, unless the
                            crack was in a high temp area. Head gaskets are usually no problem.
                            Work out before you later disassemble the heads from the engine. The
                            best way I found to remove the head is to hit it with a 3 lb hammer to
                            break the glass after all of the bolts are loosened. If sodium silicate
                            is used, I would suggest that the block be cleaned and surfaced by a
                            machine shop so that the glass can be fully removed.

                            If it is a head gasket, or two, it may be better to byte the bullet and
                            remove the heads, have them rebuilt, and replaced. If the engine is
                            junk anyway, or funds are not available, use water glass and go for it.
                            In a low compression industrial hemi running an irrigation pump, it
                            lasted 8 years and was still running perfectly when we sold the farm.

                            Henry

                            dxxx cxxxxx wrote:
                            >
                            > Yes the air will purge itself in a few cycles, but
                            > until it does it has to overheat and open the
                            > thermostat with steam. drilling the hole is just
                            > something i do to prevent this. i was just passing
                            > this along, as it saves time over topping off the
                            > radiator several times as well as preventing the
                            > initial overheating. this is obviously not the problem
                            > with this engine, as it happens every time.
                            > all engines get heat soaked when the flow stops after
                            > it is shut off, some coolant transfer to the overflow
                            > container is normal. if the heat or boilover is
                            > excessive, there is probably a pressure leak in the
                            > cooling system that can be as minor as a bad cap, or
                            > as major as a cracked block, with a blown headgasket,
                            > crack in the middle of the possibilities. if the block
                            > is cracked, there would be a good possibility that the
                            > head gaskets are blown bad also, and the event that
                            > caused it would probably be memorable. in the absence
                            > of a water leak except the boilover, the head gaskets
                            > seem the likely culprit.
                            > depending on the severity of the leak, and the usage
                            > of the rig, it may be worth a try to do a flush and
                            > put in some block sealer. sodium silicate, also known
                            > as "liquid glass" is the main ingredient of several of
                            > the hardcore bock sealers, and is available in pure
                            > form from most pharmacies. (quart jar about 13 bucks)
                            > i know of several cases where it sealed severly blown
                            > head gaskets, and one was driven from California to
                            > Arizona (where it was parked to live in it) with no
                            > problems. the one caution: it glues everything
                            > together really well, so if you do tear it down in the
                            > future to repair or rebuild, it won't come apart easy.
                            > Doug
                            >
                            > --- Jack Rabon <rabonj@... <mailto:rabonj%40bellsouth.net>>
                            > wrote:
                            >
                            > > When the coolant is circulating, little air bubbles
                            > > will be moved along
                            > > until they congregate at the high point in the
                            > > system. That would be at
                            > > the top of the radiator, right where the neck & cap
                            > > are.
                            > >
                            > > As Henry said, after several thermal cycles you will
                            > > purge all of the air.
                            > > Thermal cycle is heating up to normal, then cooling
                            > > after use.
                            > >
                            >
                            > __________________________________________________
                            > Do You Yahoo!?
                            > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                            > http://mail.yahoo.com <http://mail.yahoo.com>
                            >
                            >


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