Pin-Hole Oil Leak Below Upper Coolant Pipe - Please Advise (1 Viewer)

Joined
Apr 16, 2006
Messages
1,149
Location
Cardiff BTS & Tahoe
I’ve been cleaning and watching what appears to be a pin-hole leak in the side of the head below the upper coolant pipe. Leaking is slow but consistent. There is always a small puddle of engine oil under the front end after driving.

I realize I can replace the head, but not sure I want to spend the $$. Are there other less costly options...? Can this type of crack/hole fail catastrophically if I ignore it?

PXL_20201204_221426989.MP.jpg


PXL_20201204_221320838.MP.jpg
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
2,714
Location
Charlotte, NC & Alexandria, VA
Any crack in a casting subject to repeated heating and cooling cycles can progress. If by fail catastrophically, you mean will the head split apart, I doubt it. It's already leaking and it' supposed to be oil-tight, so that's a catastrophic leak in my opinion. It can be welded, but it has to be removed and then machined, and that cost is likely more than a used head.

a search for "cast aluminum cylinder head welding repair" will give you some background. I used to work in the gas turbine industry and they weld castings all day long (those castings are just to large and valuable to scrap), so I'm familiar with the process and yes it can be done, and done well. However, there are just too many good head castings available to make it worthwhile, IMO.

If it was me, and I was on a budget, I'd clean it really well will a mild acid and apply JBweld (or similar) and watch it for a while. If it's just weeping, you may buy yourself some time. I'm not sure I'd trust it to get me miles away from civilization and back again, but that's just me.
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2006
Messages
1,149
Location
Cardiff BTS & Tahoe
thanks for the info.
its been recommended that i clean it up real good and post a few more hi-res photos. so, i will do that today to identify better the extend of the crack/pin-hole.
by catastrophic, i mean that it can't be driven. i can put up with a leak, but don't want to get stranded on the side of the road or on the trail.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom