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opened a small can of worms

1221 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  zeke67
I have alot of old crusty oil from my valve covers, on the intake manifold, down the transmission, over the timing chain cover, and all around the oil pan. (It came this way when i bought it)

I thought I might replace the intake manifold with an Offenhauser (that I bought really cheap) and address the oil leaks (valve covers, and maybe from the rear of the intake manifold ) then. But I was advised here on the forum to not use the Offy for cruising use (it's a single plane Port-O-Sonic). This is a budget car for occasional use. It's rough, but I do what I can when I can. I debated about putting a Performer manifold on, but if I change to Vortec heads (since this motor has unknown nmileage on it), then I might as well wait on the manifold until that time. So I decided to just do the valve cover gaskets for now.

I don't know where the previous owner got the engine from, but it was completely painted in Blue paint, including the intake manifold and bolt heads. Anyway, I pull the valve covers off (which had loose bolts on the driver' side- no surprise why it was leaking oil there!) and find orange and blue paint chips in the head. Maybe it flaked off the manifold when I pulled the valve cover off. Anyway, I put a new Napa cork gasket with some silicone in the cover.

Then I pulled off the passenger side, removing the smog pump bracket for clearance. There was orange paint chips in this head. and some gritty sludge. Oh, and they are 462624 heads. Anyway, I carefully lifted the chips out and noticed also on the rear of the head casting, there is a big gouge out of where the gasket is supposed to seal. :confused: No surprise why the oil is leaking on that side too!! (good reason to get the Vortecs now) So I dab some permatex on there and put a new gasket on that side too.

Anyway, when I get around to putting the water pump and intake manifold bolts back (from the smog bracket removal), one of the intake manifold bolt thread in the head is buggered and so now I HAVE to pull the manifold to chase the threads to reinstall.

Advice? Money IS an object, otherwise I'd order the Vortecs, new manifold, new valve covers, and be happy (but extremely broke).
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well, I couldn't even get it started, so i think I'll be able to keep the same size. I will definitely HAVE to pull the intake, since this hole is right in the middle of the intake, next to the carb.

so I'm wondering, since I'm pulling the manifold off, AND the heads are 462624s, AND the casting isn't level, AND the paint chips from when the block and heads were orange, should... what now (Vortecs). or, since I was driving it fine, just fix the threads and drive it.
just got a small cash bonus from work yesterday. should I get a 2101 performer intake manifold then (especially since I would need to get a carb adapter and carb studs for the Offy ~ $30-40)?
OK, I so this morning I decided to skip the fancies, just fix the threads and drive her. So I was able to spend some time tonight, and started to clear out the plug wires, mark the distributor for ease of reinstallation, examine the carb linkage for later removal of the intake manifold.

Then I decided to just try the bolt 1 more time. Checked the bolt threads, which looked totally clean, so I thought, I'll try it again.

Nope. Not even biting. So I was wondering if maybe some of the paint-chips or other gunk got in the hole (or even if the head might have been heli-coiled when it was rebuilt) - so I dragged the bolt against the side of the hole to see if I could fish something out. wouldn't you know it, a small piece of metal, sort of like a sliver, except it was U-shaped was stuck to the bolt and fell off right in front of my face!

I didn't even stoop to try to see what it was, I just tried the bolt again to see if it would bite. I was able to thread it in by hand about 1 - 2 threads, so then I tried a wrench on it gently. Tightened right up!! Woohoo!
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I wanted to post some pics of the 'gouge' but I guess I need it URL linked. anyway, upon closer inspection, it's less goug-y and more like a casting impection?
it looks like someone took a 1/4" drill bit and drilled down into the casting directly on the gasket surface. about 1/4" down. Weird. And it has the Chevy orange paint deep in the hole.

Anyway, I tried to fill it with some black RTV when I put the new valve cover gasket on. It still leaked.

So I mixed some JB Weld and filled it*. Let it sit for 24 hours, reinstalled the valve cover with some spreader clamps, and wow! it worked! Next project...

* I know I might get flamed for this fix, but hey, it's a driver, it has 624 heads, engine is of unknown mileage, and I'm on a (serious) budget.
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