real engine builders, Need your help...

Discussion in 'The Comp Buzz' started by arnold3001, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. arnold3001

    arnold3001 Member

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    My name is Jeff Arnold, I am Jerry's oldest son.

    My Dad and i worked on and he built me a S/ST S10 truck. The good news is, its fast, and its super fun to drive. The bad news is I keep breaking it... when my dad was still here we were figuring out lots of things. Now that he has passed Scott and I are having a lot of struggles.

    We could use some help from you guys. Its an SBC 400 cubic Inch. We are getting water in the pan. I bought the cleaviet (sp?) gaskets. we hoped that would fix it, We called ARP and the said torque the head studs, 40#, 60#, #70... that didnt work

    so here is why we need help. we couldn't get all the studs to 70#. Do we need to helicoil them all? if we cant get to 70# is the block junk? are the gasket bad? what should we check first?

    Our 70s and 80s, drag race friends are willing to help. My old Dad built the engine like a comp car ...we will keep googling answers, and youtube too, but I knew you guy can get us on the right path.

    My Dad loved racing against all of you, He always thought D3 was the most challenging division.

    thanks in advice for the advice,
    Jeff and Scott Arnold
     
  2. Steve Peterson

    Steve Peterson New Member

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    It could be a lot of things, but assuming there's no cracks or pin holes anywhere... water getting by the head studs on a stock block is very possible.

    Is the block a standard GM 400, if so the head bolt holes are not blind; the stud bottom is open to the water jacket. I don't torque studs into the block, they can be screwed in hand tight then snugged up using double nuts. Are you using a good thread sealer? The ARP white paste will not work here. Use Permatex #2 Form-A-Gasket Sealant part number 80011 (2C). Use it on the stud bottom and top threads, under the washer, and under the nut. A non-blind hole will need a good thread sealant applied.

    I don't normally post, but I appreciate all the good Arnold comp memories.

    All the best and good luck.
    Steve Peterson
     
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  3. Steve Peterson

    Steve Peterson New Member

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    One other thought... after the previously mentioned prep, and then attempting/doing the actual head torqueing: use the normal sequence, step method, and values. If you can get close to the final #70, and are using a good head gasket, the clamp should be sufficient.
     
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  4. arnold3001

    arnold3001 Member

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    it is a standard GM 400. We were using the white paste.

    so okay, this is helpful. Ill get the permatex. thanks.

    and yes, we are going to check the block for holes and cracks. currently searching for a replacement block as well.
     
  5. todd scheerer

    todd scheerer Member

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    If you are getting water in the pan, you are also getting milk in the valve covers, and water in the oil returns of the heads, correct? That's common when the head studs/bolts are not sealed, as Steve covered. The 400 blocks will eventually get cracks at the head bolt holes between the cylinders, or the steam holes. Close inspection of the top of the cylinders will show small cracks running down from the deck. When I was running the Super categories using 400 blocks, it seemed every year or two I needed a new block due to cracked cylinders. Switched to aftermarket blocks with blind head bolt holes and never had another issue with water in the oil. Paid for itself in a couple years.
     
  6. arnold3001

    arnold3001 Member

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    Todd, Yes, milky all over the valve train.
    That is what I need to know, I have been debating that aftermarket block.
    THANKS!
     

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