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vikinneys
01-15-2009, 10:51 PM
If you got some time I have an involved question...
My season ended early with our 2001 X-Star. Problem... Bent Intake valve in cylinder #3. Took it to the dealer to figure out the unknown problem at that time, and they found water in the cylinder. they also discovered water in the oil but there was no water in the oil on the lake. The mystery was they never found the other half of the valve keeper. They could only guarantee a complete new block, and a bill for $800 to tell me what was wrong. I decided to take it home and repair the head and see if that would fix it.
After we got it back together it ran like a charm! Everything was great I got it out only 2 times before I had to winterize it.
The Questions: 1. There was an oil leak between the head and the block. Does this mean the head gasket is leaking? I included a pict with arrows where the oil is.
Question #2 Is it possible there is still water getting in the cylinder? How can I tell? I included a pict of the plugs I pulled while winterizing. Left to right cylinder 1,3,5,7.

Laurel_Lake_Skier
01-15-2009, 11:36 PM
What did you do to repair the problem? Was it just a matter of replacing the #3 intake valve? Did you determine what caused the first valve to go? Was the head itself checked for possible problems? It is possible that you are leaking oil or water from the cylinder head water jackets (cracks) or the gasket is not sealing. If all plugs were replaced at the same time, your picture of the spark plugs shows something is still not right in that third cylinder. It looks VERY lean or could be getting "steam cleaned" as the engine runs. Also #5 looks quite rich. How was the engine running before you pulled the plugs?

Did you install new gaskets with the head? What is the red ring around the head bolts......RTV?????

vikinneys
01-16-2009, 12:21 AM
Great questions! thanks for your help! I did have the head resurfaced and a new intake valve. Did they check for cracks? mmm I will ask about that. Did not figure out what happened to the first valve except the fact there is no other half of the valve keeper maybe there never was one? Did get a new head gasket.

Red ring, yes RTV.

JimN
01-16-2009, 12:44 AM
What is the red stuff around the bold head? Did you use any kind of gasket sealant on the new head gasket? You shouldn't. The4 gasket should have a thin bead around the perimeter, and that should be sufficient, along with properly torquing the bolts. Speaking of which, what kind of torque wrench did you use- beam or clicker? A beam type is not accurate enough for much more than, well, not much. A good clicker type is needed for this, unless you have access to the kind that has a digital readout for torque angle. What was the pattern for tightening the bolts and how much torque? Technically, the fasteners shouldn't be re-used. Did you put gasket sealant or oil in the bolt holes?

CameronCarey
01-16-2009, 09:25 AM
water in the cyl in any significant amount will show up on the plugs (it makes the plug look like its burning lean).....if it gets in the block it would show up as a white milky layer in the oil........pulling the valve cover is usually the quickest way to diagnose if water is getting into the oil as the valves get a heathy oil bath and have lots of places for gelled (oil/water mix) lubricants to stick........

I've never heard of a head gasket leaking oil without leaking something else first.........you have water under some pressure ........air under allot of pressure going through the same gasket...........those usually would leak first.

are you sure that oil isn't coming from the valve cover ?

vikinneys
01-16-2009, 09:55 AM
JimN your smokin me out! :) Red Stuff around the bolt - RTV that is the gasket sealant I used for the head bolts. I did reuse the bolts but did take the time to clean out the threads with a tap bolt. I did find the proper pattern to tighten the bolts. I did it a bunch of times increasing the torque each time. Torque wrench... Ya the beam! :(
Question: Could I get a click type torque wrench and check the bolts in the spring? Could I take one bolt out at a time and use the proper gasket sealant on the head bolts?

Cameron - At first thought the valve cover gasket and replaced it after the first outing, but on the 2nd run still had the leak.

Thanks for the help!

JimN
01-16-2009, 11:16 AM
JimN your smokin me out! :) Red Stuff around the bolt - RTV that is the gasket sealant I used for the head bolts. I did reuse the bolts but did take the time to clean out the threads with a tap bolt. I did find the proper pattern to tighten the bolts. I did it a bunch of times increasing the torque each time. Torque wrench... Ya the beam! :(
Question: Could I get a click type torque wrench and check the bolts in the spring? Could I take one bolt out at a time and use the proper gasket sealant on the head bolts?

Cameron - At first thought the valve cover gasket and replaced it after the first outing, but on the 2nd run still had the leak.

Thanks for the help!

Gasket sealant doesn't go on head bolts, either, especially on the threaded part. The way bolts hold is through friction and tension. I would bet that if you checked the torque, it would be all over the map, not consistent from bolt to bolt. The friction in the threads and bolt shoulder share in the resistance to backing out and used/heat cycled bolts are different, metallurgically, from new ones. A bolt will stretch when it's under tension and while it is somewhat elastic, its hardness can change after being used. The more extreme the working conditions are, the more this matters but it can still happen in a situation like this. As far as silicone in the hole, if there's enough of it, the bolt will pressurize it and since a liquid can't be compressed (yes, I know but it's an incredibly small amount), the weakest point can blow out at the back of the hole. This means that the castung (block) can break and the backside is in the water jacket.

If anything is used on the thread, it would be engine oil (blind hole) or sealer (water jacket) This will have to be cleaned out completely before installing new bolts.

http://www.boxwrench.net/specs/chevy_sb.htm

If you have water in the engine, it needs to be fixed now. An oil leak can wait, but I would pull the head to make sure the gasket hasn't been compromised and replace any gaskets that have been separated. Gaskets are cheap, broken motors aren't.

vikinneys
01-16-2009, 12:26 PM
Ok so I need new bolts and maybe gaskets, but how can I know if there is water in the cylinder? I know there is no water in the oil!

Bellinghamster
01-16-2009, 11:41 PM
Crank the engine with the plugs out... but "prepare" for a rusty shower all over everything on that side of the boat if there is water in there.

thatsmrmastercraft
01-17-2009, 12:28 AM
Ok so I need new bolts and maybe gaskets, but how can I know if there is water in the cylinder? I know there is no water in the oil!

If you are going to remove the head in question, and you most definately should, you will be able to inspect the cylinder. Do not crank the engine prior to removing the head. You can avoid the shower that way. When you look into that #3 cylinder, it may not have any standing water left, but if water were present, there will be a water mark on the lower part of the cylinder wall where the water was.

Looking at your plugs, you definately have a problem affecting #3 and #5 cylinders. The "washout" as previously described is clearly there on #3, and there is compression loss on #5 attested to by the dirty sparkplug (the cylinder was not getting hot enough for efficient combustion). Most likely there is a gasket problem, however there may still be the original problem which could range from damage to the head, block, or the initial problem was the head gasket.

As far as the missing valve keeper, I wouldn't worry about that too much. I have lost larger items down carburetors such as large wingnuts and washers which, while being run with the air cleaner off, managed to vibrate loose and go through the engine and exit via the exhaust valve without any damage (lot of luck though).

The bent valve is still a concern, and makes me wonder if that didn't cause a crack in the head or block.

Good luck. Keep us posted.

Laurel_Lake_Skier
01-17-2009, 11:11 AM
Ok so I need new bolts and maybe gaskets......
If you pull the heads, you WILL need new gaskets. Gaskets should not be reused once they have been compressed.

CameronCarey
01-17-2009, 06:17 PM
reading the rest of the comments i agree the best thing to do to insure that you understand the problem is to pull the head

I would suggest inspecting the cyl for signs of water as suggested..........if there are any signs of water intrusion and you cannot identify the cause (head gasket/crack/block crack) take the head to a machine shop and have them use some form of crack inspection ........dye penatrant tests are usually inexpensive and may reveal a crack in the cooling passages on the head.........also check the head to insure that its not distorted significantly from flat and that the valves are seated properly.

Once you know all the parts to be installed are good install the head again

head gaskets should be installed clean with no sealant. make sure you use a marine head gasket......they are made by the same company as there automotive cousins but they do not contan metals which corrode as easily.......

I usually start by using a tap or thread chaser to insure there are no burrs or other contaminants in each head bolt hole in the engine block....... then use acetone or laquer thinner on a shop rag to wipe down the mating surfaces to insure the mating surfaces are perfectly clean

lubricate the bolts light oil(WD 40) torque them in at least 3 steps with the manufacturer recommended tightening pattern....... 1/3 prescribed torque 2/3 prescribed torque and full torque using a clicker type torque wrench (Lowes sells a clicker wrench under the Kobalt name of great quality for a good price) . ........if its an aluminum head you must check these torques again later......typically after the engine has been warmed up.........then again after 10 hours........with iron heads........a second check is not required but never a bad idea.