This weekend I finally got the time to haul the boat home from the storage yard. I've gotten some email suggesting that the timing plate cover is leaking, so I wanted to check that, but first I wanted to check the cooling system pressure. I pulled all the plugs, and couldn't find any water in the cylinders like last time.
So I used some 1/2" steel rod and hose clamps to plug the inlet hoses. Then my dad poured water into one of the outlet hoses until the engine was full of water.
Then I put a pressure gauge on one of the outlet hoses, and hooked up my compressor to the other outlet hose. I set the regulator on the compressor to 20psi and hit the lever.
Right away I heard some gurgling. I looked around, and there it was: water coming out of the #3 cylinder spark plug hole.
Probably not a good thing. We ran the piston up to the top of the cylinder -- water stopped. Ran the piston back down -- water started. Hmmm. This is the same cylinder I found water in last time I pulled the heads. But when I put the heads back on, I swapped them side-to-side, so I know the head is not the problem.
Diagnosis: cracked block at #3 cylinder. It fits with what the previous seller told me, that he found water in the oil when he first put the boat in the water at the start of the season, probably after leaving it on the trailer in a New Jersey winter with water in the block.
So I figure I'll get a used block and transfer everything over. This will give me a chance to get rid of that nasty rod knock. Plus, after all those years of reading buildup in Hot Rod and
Car Craft, I've never built anything bigger than a VW flat four. Should be fun.
Any suggestions on where to find an Olds 455 block?