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Discussion Starter #1
Hopefully the right place to post this. Looking for some advice from the Ford experts here.

The setup: 1947 Jeep CJ2a with a rebuilt 289 pushing out through a NP435. Radiator is new Ford OEM radiator sized for this motor (might be a mustang rad). Electric fan pulling through the rad.

Finally got it on the road after lots of issues - some motor related some not. Been a long build. Anyway, been having issues with it overheating in the driveway or a quick trip around the block. Finally got it knock (I thought) by pulling the plug on the water passage in the intake manifold and letting the hose run in the radiator until it stopped belching air. Then I put the plug back, started it and topped the rad off occassionally as it burped more air. Ran fine in the driveway for a half hour with no overheating issues. Took it around the block with no overheating issues.

Two issues - that may or may not be related:

1) Last night my son took it on its "maiden voyage" and went to the gas station to fill it up (about 2 miles). No apparent issues. Gauge stayed stuck on 180/190. Ran great. He then decided to run to his buddies house to show off. About an 8 mile trip. Gauge stayed right where it belonged. When he got there he shut it off and got a big puff of steam from under the hood. Decides "that's not right" and heads home. Gets about 1/2 mile, comes to a stop to turn and engine dies. Calls me. I run up there do a quick check and other than being a bit hot and low on oil, seems fine. Top off the oil and head home. Get about halfway there and it dies again at a light. Push it into a parking lot. Temp shows correct and oil pressure is fine.
Poking around and happen to touch the upper rad hose - it is cold. WTH? Bottom hose is cold. Uh-Oh. Pull the cap (because it is cold too) and the rad is DRY. Bought 3 gallons of water at the convenience store we were next too and it took all three. Put the first one in slowly as it boiled as soon as it hit the motor. Eventually got all three in with occasional starts of the motor to get it circulating. Let it run a bit with three gallons to see if there were leaks etc. Nothing. When I shut it off to clean up before heading out it immediately fountained out of the rad cap - like a foot tall fountain of water for about 3 seconds. Closed everything up and headed home. Seemed fine.
So, what is happening to the water? Where is it going? Oil is clean so guessing no cracked block or blown head gasket (at least not between the water and oil passages). Any ideas?

2) During all this last night I noticed "Vapor" from the valve cover breathers when engine is running and hot. I can't tell if it is oil vapor, water or whatever. Is that normal because it was so hot? Should I not run breathers and do something else? I've run breathers before without issue, but have never had a Ford of this vintage (1965 289 based on serial number).

Here's a picture of the setup (sorry only one I have with me of the engine):
3113473
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Water or coolant? Going out the exhaust? If it's just water you may not see any residue wherever it's going. Temperature gauge won't read correctly if theres no fluid in the system either. Are you sure it was full?
Just water at this point, hadn't gotten around to replacing with coolant after getting it bled out and running. I am as sure as I can be that it was full. I pulled a plug in the water jacket on the intake and put a hose in the radiator. I let it run for a couple minutes to make sure that a) I had flushed it well; and 2) I had gotten all the air I could out. After that I put the plug in (while the water was still running) and started it with the cap off. I let it run for half an hour with occasional top offs on the radiator if I noticed it bubble and the level drop. No problems.
 

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Did you build the engine? Screwing up the orientation of the head gaskets is a common source of maladies. Similarly, an incorrectly installed thermostat can cause some frustrating issues as well. For a fresh start, I always run the engine with the rad cap off and let the system purge any air - it's a wise idea to implement a catch can system as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
"orientation of the head gaskets"? I didn't build the motor, but I did pull the heads to inspect before putting it into the Jeep. It's been a bit since I did that, but not entirely sure what you mean.
 

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"orientation of the head gaskets"? I didn't build the motor, but I did pull the heads to inspect before putting it into the Jeep. It's been a bit since I did that, but not entirely sure what you mean.
"orientation of the head gaskets"? I didn't build the motor, but I did pull the heads to inspect before putting it into the Jeep. It's been a bit since I did that, but not entirely sure what you mean.
The head gaskets have an arrow or say front on them. They will fit either way but block the water passage if it is on backwards.
 

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Ok, gotcha. At this point I won't swear that I got it right with all the weirdness that is going on. Thanks for the tip on what to watch out for.
 

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Hopefully the right place to post this. Looking for some advice from the Ford experts here.

The setup: 1947 Jeep CJ2a with a rebuilt 289 pushing out through a NP435. Radiator is new Ford OEM radiator sized for this motor (might be a mustang rad). Electric fan pulling through the rad.

Finally got it on the road after lots of issues - some motor related some not. Been a long build. Anyway, been having issues with it overheating in the driveway or a quick trip around the block. Finally got it knock (I thought) by pulling the plug on the water passage in the intake manifold and letting the hose run in the radiator until it stopped belching air. Then I put the plug back, started it and topped the rad off occassionally as it burped more air. Ran fine in the driveway for a half hour with no overheating issues. Took it around the block with no overheating issues.

Two issues - that may or may not be related:

1) Last night my son took it on its "maiden voyage" and went to the gas station to fill it up (about 2 miles). No apparent issues. Gauge stayed stuck on 180/190. Ran great. He then decided to run to his buddies house to show off. About an 8 mile trip. Gauge stayed right where it belonged. When he got there he shut it off and got a big puff of steam from under the hood. Decides "that's not right" and heads home. Gets about 1/2 mile, comes to a stop to turn and engine dies. Calls me. I run up there do a quick check and other than being a bit hot and low on oil, seems fine. Top off the oil and head home. Get about halfway there and it dies again at a light. Push it into a parking lot. Temp shows correct and oil pressure is fine.
Poking around and happen to touch the upper rad hose - it is cold. WTH? Bottom hose is cold. Uh-Oh. Pull the cap (because it is cold too) and the rad is DRY. Bought 3 gallons of water at the convenience store we were next too and it took all three. Put the first one in slowly as it boiled as soon as it hit the motor. Eventually got all three in with occasional starts of the motor to get it circulating. Let it run a bit with three gallons to see if there were leaks etc. Nothing. When I shut it off to clean up before heading out it immediately fountained out of the rad cap - like a foot tall fountain of water for about 3 seconds. Closed everything up and headed home. Seemed fine.
So, what is happening to the water? Where is it going? Oil is clean so guessing no cracked block or blown head gasket (at least not between the water and oil passages). Any ideas?

2) During all this last night I noticed "Vapor" from the valve cover breathers when engine is running and hot. I can't tell if it is oil vapor, water or whatever. Is that normal because it was so hot? Should I not run breathers and do something else? I've run breathers before without issue, but have never had a Ford of this vintage (1965 289 based on serial number).

Here's a picture of the setup (sorry only one I have with me of the engine):
View attachment 3113473
Do you have a PVC valve ?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did you build the engine? Screwing up the orientation of the head gaskets is a common source of maladies. Similarly, an incorrectly installed thermostat can cause some frustrating issues as well. For a fresh start, I always run the engine with the rad cap off and let the system purge any air - it's a wise idea to implement a catch can system as well.
After pulling the heads I am 99% sure I had one backwards. The head gaskets have printing on one side and blank on the other. I didn’t notice until I started to put the new set on that when you properly orient the gaskets so the “front” labels are toward the front of the block that one is “printing” up and one down.
I would not be surprised if I put them on printing up on both sides the first time. Looking at the set I pulled off, the stains support this.
So there are water jackets at the front of the block and at the rear. If I had one of the gaskets upside down, then I would have left one open at the front and one at the back and blocked the opposite. Guessing that would have prevented proper circulation.
So, why do the gaskets block off the water jacket on the front of the block? Seems like all 4 should be open. Right?
Also, as a sidebar, since the gaskets I pulled off were undamaged, I took the heads to a local rebuilder to check them over. He ended up taking off 0.006 on one and 0.010 on the other to bring them into true. Seems like that would have been a contributing factor to the water disappearing.
 
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