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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone know what all this mess might be? When I was doing my head gasket job I found the thermostat housing was empty...some of you gave me your explainations on why it might have been gone.

Today when I was putting everything back in I went to attach the thermostat housing with new stat to the head and noticed the hose was bulged for about 4" below the housing and was pretty stiff. I took the hose off and found all this packed in behind what I have been told is a restrictor. Any idea what it all is?

It seems to be a mix of what feels like course saw dust and metal flakes the are about half the size of a pinky finger nail.

There are a few stray strands of metal that are longer and thinner but in all the pile was a bit bigger than the size of a golf ball.

As always...thanks for the help with another CSI moment in my garage.
 

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This could be the remains of your block drain plug.

I had the same collection of material when I rebuilt my engine this spring and found the brass/bronze block drain plug had "melted" away on the interior of the plug. It still sealed but when removed it could not be rethreaded in the block.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This could be the remains of your block drain plug.

I had the same collection of material when I rebuilt my engine this spring and found the brass/bronze block drain plug had "melted" away on the interior of the plug. It still sealed but when removed it could not be rethreaded in the block.
I guess it could be...but if it was then the plug had been replaced and no one caught this mess. When I drained the block to take the head off the plug was in really good shape. I'm thinking something from a past failed waterpump might make more sense...the one I just replaced didn't look that bad (unless you can't see that kinda damage at a glance).

Any thoughts on it being some kinda aluminium seal product that flaked off the interior?
 

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Hard to guess just from the picture but it does kind of resemble what pieces of an old gasket would look like after I've scraped it off the head or block.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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My guess is a mix of stop leak and head gasket material. Maybe somebody tried to fix the latter problem by adding the former?

What's the history on this car? What did the head gasket you pulled look like?
 

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My guess is a mix of stop leak and head gasket material. Maybe somebody tried to fix the latter problem by adding the former?

What's the history on this car? What did the head gasket you pulled look like?
The car is new to me. I bought it knowing it was overheating and it needed a head gasket, possibly a water pump. The previous owner only had it for a couple years (bought it from his boss) and couldn;t be sure how long the guy he bought it from had it. It was clear that he didn't take care of the car...although he did have the good sense to pull over and have it towed when it overheated on him.

The gasket was is seemly perfect shape but I am a novice. It was completely intact but didn't put up much fight at all when I popped it out.

Motor mounts were shot and the fan had snapped off a blade on the face of the radiator...visible surface damage but it pressure tested fine...any chance the blow could have knocked some leak stop from the interior of the radiator (assuming they had used it at some point).

Car has had some goofy stuff going on...the thermostat was taken out and I found a clip that is meant to hold the dipstick tube to the cam cover jammed in the plenum hose...it was inches from entering the engine and causing unimaginably nasty things I presume.

Anyway. I guess I'm just trying to avoid finishing up all this work only to have something go haywire from more of this stuff somewhere else in the motor.

I will say that the coolant I drained was dark and nasty from the oil but I didn't see any signs of this stuff in it at all.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Quite possibly the remains of a previous head gasket that disintegrated, then. Maybe the head was easy to take off because the gasket was pretty new to fix the *previous* head gasket which wasn't really fixed properly...

You're replacing the water pump, head gasket, and thermostat so that should take care of the majority of the cooling system. If I were you I'd try to flush the system out with as much water as I could and also backflush the heater core before reassembling

If you have the radiator out it's worth doing a good backflush there too (and maybe a professional cleaning or even recore).
 

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Are the chips magnetic?
Looks to me like swarf from a milling machine. Possibly from a machining operation?
I once had casting sand in an oil passage of a short block I purchased. Figured it came loose when they boiled the block. Made a real mess....and the engine builder was not happy.
Bob
 
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