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Thread: Alcohol question

  1. #1
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    Alcohol question

    I have a 68 Camaro with a 496 BBC. The car runs 10.50s launching at an idle with foot brake with 110 octane gasoline. Now I have a major problem. I noticed the radiator was really low and the oil level really high. I drained the oil and left the drain plug out. When I started filling the radiator with water it started coming out of the oil pan. I pulled the intake and there was no signs of anything leaking so I carefully replaced the gasket set and put it back together. Same thing, pour water in the radiator and it comes out the drain hole in the oil pan. I know I could have a cracked head or bad head gasket but the circumstances make me think even worse. Maybe a cracked water jacket in the block. If the block is cracked I have a question. I don't know a thing about alcohol other than it runs a lot cooler and so forth. My question is would it be possible to run the car on alcohol with a dry block (no coolant). I know I would have to watch the oil temperatue of course and would probably have to pull the car back to the pits from the finish line or should I go ahead and rebuild the entire engine with a fresh block. The motor only has about 40 passes on it. None of the cylinders are effected by the water leak. It sounds great and runs great. But when I pour water in the radiator it goes straight to the oil pan. If the block is cracked would the alcohol thing be within reason or a stupid thought? Any good advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE Swiley383's Avatar
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    I would have the block and heads pressure checked and go from there.Don't know if anybody running a dry block for bracket racing. Check your heads and deck with a straight edge. Did the problem start recently or has this been a on going problem?

  3. #3
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE Swiley383's Avatar
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    One more thing to check place your head gaskets on the block and make sure everything lines up correctly. I would do the same on the heads may even put the bolts thru the heads to check the water jacket alignment. Seems like I saw a artical some where about head alignment with water jackets being a problem with a certain brand of aftermarket heads.

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    Never had a problem before. Had not ran the car in a a few years but started it regularly. Always ran pure water and water wetter at the track and then drained it and put antifreeze in before winter and circulated it with the electric water pump. After changing the intake gaskets and still had water going in the oil pan I looked through the heads with a good light for water in the camshaft area but there wasn't any. If a head gasket was leaking or a head was cracked I would think it would have to be leaking into the camshaft area. I have to wonder if there was an area in the block that held water and wasn't displaced with the antifreeze and then busted the block somewhere around the cylinders. Water will run into the oil pan as fast as I can pour it in the radiator. I work out of town a lot and we may have gotten a freeze before I put antifreeze in it. Last time I had it at the track everything was fine. Something happened since then. As bad as the leak is I think there is a good chance of the block being busted. I was just hoping to find a way to keep racing without having to build another motor. I may go ahead and pull the heads and check them including the things you mentioned. I just have a bad feeling about not finding anything in the head area as bad as its leaking. I've never tore down an engine that sounds so good. I really appreciate your response.

  5. #5
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    I forgot to mention the heads are original with the block out of a 1977 truck a one ton probably since it is a four bolt main.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE curtisreed's Avatar
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    I have seen quite a few guys run alcohol and dry blocks, but they were all injected and towed their cars. I personally wouldn't do it, but have seen it done successfully. I run alcohol but use a carb.

    Curtis

  7. #7
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE oldandtired's Avatar
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    I would drain everything and remove all the water jacket plugs in the block and heads. Slowly add water to the radiator. As water starts coming out of the lower holes (and not running out the oil pan) you can replace the water jacket plugs. The the theory is the more you add, the higher up the crack/leak.

    If it's a low end crack, consider block fill up to the bottom of the water pump holes.

    Your quote "I work out of town a lot and we may have gotten a freeze before I put antifreeze in it. Last time I had it at the track everything was fine. Something happened since then. As bad as the leak is I think there is a good chance of the block being busted."

    Any chance a son, nephew, or neighbor took it for a ride while you were out of town? Your description of water running out the bottom as fast as you pour it in sounds fatal.
    Dave
    http://www.racingjunk.com/profile/343797
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke

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    I've seen guys do things successfully that didn't work so good for me. That's just my luck though. But your answer is one I was looking for and makes me want to try it with a carburetor. I don't have a lot to loose. If it tears up hopefully I won't hurt my high dollar Lunati parts (crank, rods, pistons, roller lifters and rockers). Right now my shop is full of stuff, a lot of which I need to get rid of (two asphalt karts, two four wheelers, seadoo, Polaris Ranger, and two old motors on stands). It's hot here in Oklahoma right now and with some health issues at my age (60) right now I just can't get myself motivated to work around all the stuff in my shop. I was getting ready to load the car on the trailer when I pulled the dip stick and found the problem. Now that I can't right now until I decide what to do has really got me wanting to get back to the track. Thanks

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    Partially filling the block is a good idea. Only problem is I will have to pull the engine to do it. With a leak this bad I'm actually afraid some of the filler will end up in the oil pan if I don't. But pulling the motor would probably be the thing to do. I may pull the motor tonight, then pull the oil pan, add water and see where it comes out. Thanks for the suggestion.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE Swiley383's Avatar
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    Sure sounds like the block is busted. Depending on where and how bad a sleeve my be able to fix it. I have seen some blocks that were able to be sleeved that I thought were junk.


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