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Thread: 289 V8 head gasket corrosion, potential failure?

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    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    289 V8 head gasket corrosion, potential failure?

    Looking at the top edge of the right-side head gasket, I see corrosion from front to rear of the gasket (notice the white powdery corrosion in the images). Should I be concerned? Should I remove the head(s) and replace the head gaskets? Or just keep an eye on things?
    By the way, I removed this engine from my 1964 convertible as it has been running warm, so I removed the core/freeze plugs and pipe plugs to clean out the crud (and there was a lot of it).
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    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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    President Member (S)'s Avatar
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    The head gaskets are exposed along the edges, so it is hard to tell if that is coming from the inside out, or just from the outside. If you inspect a new head gasket and consider how it is made and how it is technically submerged in oil and water and subjected to the torque of the bolts and the heat and pressures...... It just was not designed to last 20 years or more............ Some of these are how old now? Just replace them.

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    [QUOTE=Milaca;1122367]Looking at the top edge of the right-side head gasket, I see corrosion from front to rear of the gasket (notice the white powdery corrosion in the images). Should I be concerned? Should I remove the head(s) and replace the head gaskets? Or just keep an eye on things?
    By the way, I removed this engine from my 1964 convertible as it has been running warm, so I removed the core/freeze plugs and pipe plugs to clean out the crud (and there was a lot of it).

    Is there any sign of leaking antifreeze on the exterior, any unexplained loss of coolant or oil?

    If the answer is no, leave it be. A bit of corrosion on the exterior edge means nothing. If it bothers you, clean it off with a toothbrush and soapy water.

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    Why worry about it..?
    The engines out, replace the gaskets "now" while it's easy. Makes no sense not to in my book.
    Then...you won't have to worry about it, just drive it without that concern.

    Mike

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    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Van Veghten View Post
    Why worry about it..?
    The engines out, replace the gaskets "now" while it's easy. Makes no sense not to in my book.
    Then...you won't have to worry about it, just drive it without that concern.

    Mike
    Agree with Mike......since you are concerned about it, now is the best/easiest time to replace those head gaskets. And if you use the shim style, you don't have to (according to the Shop Manual) retorque the head bolts later on. Don't forget to adjust the valves when you get the heads back on.

    If you pull the heads, at least replace the valve seals unless they have been done recently. But watch out for the "might as wells" and be prepared for the (good) chance that you will see other things that you want to investigate.
    Paul
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    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1lark View Post
    . But watch out for the "might as wells" and be prepared for the (good) chance that you will see other things that you want to investigate.
    I know exactly what you mean. I'm afraid that the removal of the heads may be like opening a can of worms as I might then find that the valves could use a regrind. I want the car back on the road within a couple of weeks but I don't want to neglect things that will require repair in the near future. I need to at least replace the timing cover crank seal before reinstallation as the engine has been slinging oil out the right-side of the car for some time. I'm leaning towards replacing the head gaskets...I'll get some on order tonight. Thank you all for your replies.

    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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