Help! My Engine is Cracked!

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JPGoebel
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 1:33 pm

Help! My Engine is Cracked!

Post by JPGoebel » Wed May 29, 2019 1:41 pm

Hello all,

I'm rather new to the Packard scene. Last Friday I bought a 1955 Packard Patrician. It's a lovely car, but when, on my first tour around the area with the car, I was caught for two hours in terrible traffic, the engine overheated (due to, as I later found out, a pinhole in the radiator). I found a spare radiator for sale and installed it, only to find white smoke billowing from the right tailpipe, and antifreeze dripping from the side of the head. I am in horror, and completely at a loss for what to do. Can it be saved? Are there rebuilt engines available?

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated; I've always wanted one of these splendid cars, and I'm ready to jump off a bridge if I've just ruined the one I finally got a hold of.

Many thanks in advance,

JPGoebel

Dave Czirr
Moderator
Posts: 4961
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:30 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Help! My Engine is Cracked!

Post by Dave Czirr » Wed May 29, 2019 2:19 pm

Welcome, and sorry to hear the bad news, didn't your temperature gauge readings give you a clue of impending problems?

First thing to determine is if the crack is in the cylinder head or block, or both. If the former, it's easy enough to find a replacement head and swap. If the block, cracks can often be fixed but usually at a much higher cost than finding a used engine and having it rebuilt and installed. Occasionally rebuilt engines will appear on the market but not as a matter of routine availability from inventory.

Hope you saved your old radiator, pinhole leaks usually easily and inexpensively repaired.

Good luck.

Howard56
Posts: 1117
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:35 am

Re: Help! My Engine is Cracked!

Post by Howard56 » Wed May 29, 2019 2:32 pm

You didn't mention the part of the country you are in to try and get one with reasonable freight but a 352 V8 as used in a 55 Patrician should not be hard to find if it does turn out you need a block or complete engine. There is one listed as a 56 352 on ebay now although it is painted like it might be a 55. https://www.ebay.com/itm/1956-Packard-M ... SwZblc3rTs That one is located in MS. Mike Dulinski in Minnesota should have several. Both would probably need rebuilding but that is to be expected of any engine you don't know a history. Ross Miller in MD might have a good used one with a known history and Kanter in NJ had several not too long ago. There are others.

JPGoebel
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 1:33 pm

Re: Help! My Engine is Cracked!

Post by JPGoebel » Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:44 pm

Many thanks for your help, and I've good news - the block isn't cracked after all! The head gaskets are merely bad! That's no small chore to change out, but still far better than needing a new engine.

So, I've a new question: can I reuse the head bolts? I know on modern cars they're usually a one-torque-only deal.

Thank you again for your insight,

Dave Czirr
Moderator
Posts: 4961
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:30 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Help! My Engine is Cracked!

Post by Dave Czirr » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:10 pm

Glad to hear the good news.

Yes, reuse the existing head bolts. One-time fasteners came long after Packard was gone from the scene.

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