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Ford_Service, Ford/Lincoln Svc & CR manager
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 4725
Experience:  Ford - Lincoln dealership service manager
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I have a 1970 351W that overheats. Here is what I know:

Customer Question

I have a 1970 351W that overheats. Here is what I know: timing is correct,([email protected] and pointer at 10 degrees), new radiator, engine is hard to start, plugs are bone white. Had this problem with the original 2bbl carb and intake before switching to aluminum intake and 4bbl carb. I suspect a vacuume leak somewhere but have not been able to find. Power steering booster? Car is 1970 Ford XL convertable with factory air. Water flow through the radiator is good as seen when the cap is off. Do not hear any "hissing" anywhere indicating a vacuume leak. Head gaskets reversed to block water flow through motor? Please point me in a direction!
Thank you!!
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Ford_Service replied 1 year ago.
Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. Yes, the head gaskets could be reversed. The question I have for you is how are you determining that the engine is overheating? Via the temp gauge or via a means of measuring the actual coolant temperature?
It is possible that you have a head gasket issue...not reversed, but deterioration of the gasket is allowing pressure to enter the cooling jacket. The compression pressure will over-ride the water pump and cause the coolant to slow down. There is a tool that uses compressed shop air to determine head gasket seepage into the cooling jacket. The tool screws into the spark plug hole. Manually crank the engine to close the intake and exhaust valves and apply the air to the cylinder. If the radiator has bubbles in the coolant, the head gasket is seeping and needs to be replaced.
It would be prudent o know that when the engine overheats, is the radiator the same temperature all the way down from the top, and from side to side. If there is ANY temperature difference (hot top, cold bottom), replace the radiator.
Finally, bone white plugs indicate a too lean condition. You may want to rethink the jet sizes on the 4 bbl carb if this is possible on that particular carb. If you are using a 'hot' coil and plugs, you can expect the plugs to be reasonably white.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reply.
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