UPDATE! Runnin Hot
Well, you're already tearing it down but for reference one test is the following. Pressurize the cooling system to about 15 psi. Remove the spark plugs and let the car sit with the cooling system pressurized for an hour or so. Disable the ignition system then crank over the engine while looking at the spark plug holes in the heads. Coolant that leaked into the cylinders will shoot out of the spark plug holes. It's not a sure fire method, but works most of the time. Another method is a simple chemical test for any combustion vapors in the radiator. The kit is about $30 dollars from parts stores like Napa. Best of Luck.

I could still do this. Not that far in yet. Eusa_dance
Although not definitive, those were the two basic tests we use to perform when checking for combustion gasses getting into the cooling system. The chemical test I mentioned check the vapors in the cooling system for combustion gasses. The chemical test tool I have I purchased from NAPA. If you have a tool to pressurize the cooling system I would try that first. When possible we would warm up the engine first. If you see coolant come out of a spark plug hole you are certain there is a problem.

The number 1 cylinder is a bitt low and suspicious. It's at the point where you would start effecting the idle quality. If you end up pulling the heads. When they are being cleaned and resurfaced have the shop check the valves to be certain they are sealing.

I wanted to throw this out before I forget. It certainly has some symptoms of a blown head gasket so I am not trying to discount that. But, I know cooling system flushes will create foam. Was the cooling system flushed recently and not thoroughly rinsed out? Also, most of the Bar's Leaks sealant additives will make the coolant brown in color, in case any was ever added to the cooling system. Lastly, check the radiator cap. If you invest in a cooling system pressure tester they usually include adapters to pressure test radiator caps. The radiator caps fail to hold their rated pressure quite often.

I agree with Mike - I would do more checking before a teardown
At least a flush and re-fill. The new thermostat might be moving more water and mixing up old debris. You said the car sat for years so it would probably have rust in the system.
If the radiator was over-filled it will spit up too

Also if you pull the heads - check the valves, if they are Ford valves they need to be replaced with a new single piece valve.

Some good advice there. I went on and put what I had pulled back on (vacuum lines plugs etc) and will flush and fill it again just to be thorough. I feel like I did get every thing rinsed out well but that could be a very good possibility. I didn't even think about the stat making things muck up but that is a defiantly a great point. I'll do a bit more digging.
(07-30-2015, 12:06 PM)DNA Wrote: and saw some foamy coolant on the ground. I opened the cap and it looked like foamy chocolate milk.

A teardown might be premature. Since the car has set for quite a while I would imagine that several coolant changes are in order before the coolant maintains it's proper color.

Can you document where the foamy coolant on the ground came from. Was it out of the overflow?

Tearing into the top end will yield it's own benefits BUT if it there is residual rust in the block, your next run will yield the same foamy chocolate milk.
Yeah it was out of the overflow. I just finished draining the radiator and the coolant looked good and green except right at the end. Flush and clean underway.
Good catch on the car sitting for a long time. I completely missed that. I agree, the brown color was likely from rust.

I don't know how others flush a cooling system. The simple drain and refill sometimes doesn't work very well. Here is what I do. When I flush a cooling system I back flush it by temporarily installing one of the flush kits that has a plastic Tee fitting and garden hose adapter. I usually install the Tee fitting after the cleaner has been in the motor and it's ready to be flushed out.

1. Using your choice of cleaners, after the cleaner has done its work and is ready to be flushed out. (Note that most cleaners are to be added to a system with water only and not coolant. So you may need to first drain the antifreeze than add the cleaner and refill with water only.) Remove one end of the heater hose that the Tee fitting attaches to. This is usually at the heater core end. Double check which heater hose to use for a Cleveland. For other motors it's simply the heater hose going into the intake manifold.

2. Attach the Tee to the removed end of the heater hose, then add a temporary piece of heater hose from the Tee to the heater core.

3. Carefully remove the radiator cap and drain the system through the radiator drain valve to try to catch the majority of the bad stuff.

4. Attach the garden hose to the Tee fitting. Then with the radiator cap still removed flush, flush, flush, letting the water, remaining coolant, and grime come out of the top of the radiator and hope your neighbors don't frown at the water running down the drain.

5. After flushing the system simply remove the Tee and temporary hose, and reconnect the heater hose.

6. After back flushing the system will be full of clear water. So drain it through the radiator drain valve and refill with 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water (distilled water helps slow down corrosion)

7. Last, hope all the old freeze plugs and gaskets are still good.Thumbup

The only reason I like to remove the Tee fitting when finished is because back when I worked at GM dealer we had a couple of cars towed in because the plastic Tee fitting for flushing broke.

I did several flushes until it was draining clear and put in cleaner with water. The cleaner says for best results you should drive the car for a few hours. I'll do that with a careful eye on everything.

Having that one cylinder down still concerns me though. I had planned on pulling the motor and refreshing it over the winter. If the compression doesn't drop over the next couple of weeks I may just hold off till then.

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