Water rail gaskets (or lack thereof)

Well much as I’d like to sit back and relish in the fact that I identified my leak (the heater control valve), unfortunately it was not to be. :woozy_face:

I was about 100km away from base when I started to lose coolant at the rate of about 1 gallon per km.
Managed to creep to a pal’s place about 10km away, consuming about 8-10 gallons of water along the way. I diverted through a residential neighborhood and thanks to folks letting me fill my containers, made it to his place without overheating.

The rear water rail gasket had failed and coolant was coming out pretty fast. When the car cooled down we removed the manifold bolts and slid the intake manifold back to get access to the rail. Three of the bolts came out (a bit rusty), but the last one froze in the bloick and snapped off. More on that nightmare later.

When I pulled the rail, there were no gaskets between the rail and the block, just sealant. I’m wondering if this was a factory delete or if some PO replaced the rail with no gaskets?

The rusty and stuck bolts were (in my opinion) caused by coolant getting to the bolts, due to a lack of gasket.

Anyone pulled a water rail and found the same, i.e. no gaskets, just sealant?

Gaskets were definitely added on reassembly BTW!

I think snapping those bolts is pretty common. I know one of mine broke back when I disassembled my engine.

Its been quite a while now, but I don’t recall a gasket there. Don’t quote me on that though! Either way, it sounds like your repair should be good as new.

Been there, done that. There wasn’t any gasket there either in my case just sealant. So I got two gaskets-made for the X300 models) from ebay and installed them. I didn’t have any problem removing the bolts. That side of the gasket (3rd picture) went against the engine block. I asked my friend and he told me to install it that way because that side has to get the heat from the engine.

If the rail was factory fitted without gaskets Brett, it is DEFINITELY better than new!

Funny thing is, the parts catalog shows gaskets throughout the range (86-94) and continues to show them on the AJ16 x300 cars …

Nice gaskets there Joe!

I just cut my gaskets from the blue gasket material made for water pumps. My mate (who finally got the broken bolt out for me) draw-filed the flanges, re-tapped all four bolt holes, heli-coiled them all and giped the gaskets plus the new bolts and fitted a new B__D hose too. She ain’t gonna leak there again. EVER!

Good job Larry and mate! Are the new bolts the same size as the originals after the heli-coil inserts were installed?

It was basically my mate Jim that did most of the work, he was a real lifesaver. He used the original size bolts for the rail, I think they were from his own parts car’s intake manifold, so nice and clean. He used top quality stainless inserts.

Of course we had to remove the hood, the intake manifold and everything else on the left side of the engine to get access to the broken bolt and do the re-tap.

I can’t take much credit for the assembly other than “I think that bit goes here” stuff and cutting the gaskets and doing hose clamps up …I also cut a gasket for the throttle body just for fun.
Interesting that the EGR port was clean, was expecting mountain of carbon as it’s been about 5 years since I cleaned it out.
Last time it was so plugged up so badly I couldn’t even see that there was a port there, just saw the mountain. :grin:

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