Blown head gaskets?! - Rolls-Royce and Bentley Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Blown head gaskets?!

Picking away on my 1974 acquisition...

Noticed the previous owner ran Evans waterless coolant. Was wondering why. Then noted I have a small leak of coolant. But only when car is running. Pressure tests fine at 15psi. I am thinking I have a blown head gasket! That is likely why the PO ran Evans.

Anyone have any perspective on this? The coolant appears to drip off around the bellhousing area. How many hours is replacing both head gaskets??


- Jason
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 01:25 AM
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I'm not familiar with the coolant you mentioned. However, considering your heater supply and return hoses runs from the engine bay through the firewall, it's quite possible one of those hoses could be leaking coolant onto the bell housing. Take your time and inspect the area carefully and confirm if indeed the coolant is or is not coming from the cylinder head.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 09:36 AM
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But doesnt waterless coolant have a higher "seep rate" than water? ie will leak where standard coolant wont ??
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 01:59 PM
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Hi Jason Sounds like something is amiss here. The pressure tests should be around 1-2 psi, not 15 psi as you have measured. This is because Evans coolant has a boiling point of 368F which means at normal engine running temperature of 200 - 210F (ish) there should be no system pressure. This is why you can safely remove the radiator cap on a hot engine. Could it be that water has been added to the Evans coolant at some time? I would not be too worried about the previous owner's motive for using Evans waterless coolant. It is used by many owners as an enhancement to the cooling system rather than in an effort to "cover things up". Regards changing the cylinder head gaskets: Make absolutely sure you need to before doing this. Judging from other owners experiences who have written on the forums, they often find the cylinder heads are very difficult to remove. They tend to become "welded" to the studs. Geoff

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 05:01 PM
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I would perform many tests before assuming the head gaskets are shot. The scope of work regarding head removal and everything involved is best left to someone with RR experience. You will find it practical to do other procedures because the block is exposed such as checking the for cam wear, waterpump bearing, valve work and so on.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 01:25 PM
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I usually pressure test my cars to cap blow off rating. After all that is a worst case scenario. If it does not reasonably hold that pressure the leak will quickly manifest itself. If it is not visible it is either leaking into the interior through heater or into engine through blown head gasket. I start car and if pressure goes up then gasket must be blown as water jacket is receiving combustion pressure-hopefully not.
I had a radiator leak at top joint between core and top header tank, requiring an exchange unit although the car was running fine but it could have been catastrophic in a traffic snarl up.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 01:34 PM
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You can get test kits that "sniff" the coolant to see if there are combustion gases present in the cooling system. That's what I use to test head gaskets on my cars. Never tried it with RR yet!

Basically it's a syringe with a bulb on the end that draws air from the expansion bottle through liquid that changes colour if there are exhaust gases present.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.

Just an FYI, I am a professional mechanic and own my own shop. Also an ex-Ford engineer. So, I know a lot (but no one knows everything!)...

The coolant loss appears to be either via the head gaskets or perhaps some freeze plugs. I will investigate further.

As far as the Evans coolant, my understanding is that is doesn't create steam pressure and thus operates under reduced pressures. As such, any coolant leaks might be minimized by using it. That was just my operating hypothesis. Doesn't mean I am correct.

If the heads need to come off, I am not afraid of the job, just looking for perspective from anyone that's done it. I've done Ferrari V-12 rebuilds, etc. so I can pretty much handle anything. Machine shop would take the heads and do that work...

- Jason
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 05:23 PM
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If there is an extremely rapid build up of coolant pressure...that's not a good sign. I've noticed that you can actually smell the exhaust gas in the might check for that?

The Evans not at issue here, in my opinion. I am, as we speak, facilitating changing my car to Evans. It greatest asset is ZERO corrosion. It also does not pressurize your cooling system, so not volcano eruptions and exploding hoses. The lack of pressure is also a relief to your radiator and heater core. I believe it also has a more consistent cooling of the system metals.

Evans is more likely to leak than water mixtures.

Let's assume it's a verified blown head gasket? I would investigate those 'head gasket repairs' in a can. A good friend of mine had his engine blow up, aluminum engine, blown head gasket. I suggested these type products as 'what's to lose'? $20?

He ran with the idea and researched all available products and selected the one that impressed him most.

That was 4 YEARS ago and his car is STILL going! Daily driver type thing and we live in the extreme desert where today it's 121F.

Please do not disregard theses products! They can work!


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Any idea which product? Also, would it work with the Evans coolant??

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