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Help me fix my pro-street Cobra Jet engine
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Help me fix my pro-street Cobra Jet engine - March 16, 2012, 03:23 PM

Here is what's up...

I recently bought a sleeper car with a built 429 Cobra Jet (bored and stroked), fuel injected and all the good stuff. It's got less than 3k since rebuild, and the mother...effer... Enginetech head gasket on the driver's side has started leaking (coolant level drops everytime I drive, no water in engine oil, low compression on cylinders 7 and 8, high pressure in cooling system in minutes). The guys over at Legend Motorworks in Alexandria (only shop in the area that seems they would know how to work on this kind of engine) said they would change both head gaskets for $500 + parts. That is a great price and totally affordable. However I would like to be an active part of the job, to learn more about V8's, but I don't think they would let me assist while they work (understandably too).

I have experience on motorcycle engines and European car engines, but none on an old-school V8 and I just like doing things myself and learning how to do so. In theory it should all be much simpler, but the truth is I would much rather have someone around that knows exactly what to do and learn, than to make mistakes on a 500hp engine... I'm willing to pay, but I want to be part of it to learn more about how to work on these engines. I have a garage and a decent selection of tools (I'll buy whatever is missing).

Any takers?


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March 16, 2012, 03:26 PM

Do you know that the deck on the head and/or block is good?


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March 16, 2012, 03:29 PM

He will not know that until he gets it apart. If it is a cast iron block it should be ok. It is the heads he will have to worry about.





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March 16, 2012, 03:49 PM

Block and heads had been machined and leveled prior to reassembly, I seriously hope it's just a faulty gasket.


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March 16, 2012, 03:53 PM

No fluid went into the engine right?
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March 16, 2012, 04:05 PM

Nope, changed oil and filter to make sure and there is ZERO contamination.


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March 16, 2012, 04:08 PM

Here is what I have observed so far:

- the engine runs like a champ at a constant 190 degrees
- gives no smoke/vapor ever (cold start, hot start, idling, revving, heavy load, hard acceleration... Nothing...).
- no clear smell of coolant in exhaust
- no water in the engine oil
- no visible leaks anywhere
- coolant level drops by inches every time I drive
- top radiator hose becomes hard when engine is hot suggesting high pressure in the system
- Spark plug number 7 is sort of corroded with dark grey deposits
- Compression on 1 to 4 is good, 5 good, 6 good, 7 a little low, 8 half of the good ones
- reacting liquid test suggests exhaust gasses are present in coolant when engine is running.


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March 16, 2012, 04:09 PM

Actually I did observe some smoke today when idling some minutes after starting the car, but as it warms up it goes away, might just be condensation on exhaust system, not sure


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March 17, 2012, 07:55 AM

Small amounts of coolant can burn off with out giving many signs of actual coolant burning. Do you have an air compresser? Might want to do a leak down test before pulling the heads off so that you at least have an Idea of where it is leaking from. I would put money on the #7 & 8 holes are leaking through a coolant passage.

Unfortunately just because the heads were milled before they were installed doesn't mean they are still straight.

I sent you my number in a PM. Text me and we can work something out. Good news is it sounds like you only have to pull one head.





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March 17, 2012, 11:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubbs View Post
Good news is it sounds like you only have to pull one head.
Bad news is you still have to pull damn near everything off the top of the engine.

If you are concerned about the quality of the head gaskets, it may be worth pulling both heads and replacing them for piece of mind since you're going to be in it that far anyway.


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March 17, 2012, 11:22 AM

I was thinking that.... it's 8 bolts more...


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March 17, 2012, 12:19 PM

you need this to fix the compression problem:






























jk


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March 17, 2012, 12:28 PM

I was like "wtf man, really?" lol


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March 18, 2012, 10:40 PM

Great day today: met Dubbs (thanks dude!) and found out there was no problem with the car's engine but just a freak leak from one of the hoses, whoo-hoo!!!


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March 19, 2012, 07:24 AM

Good times yesterday. Im glad it turned out to be something easy to fix.





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