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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was in the process of switching lifters on my engine and noticed this line of white powdery substance under the head along the mating surface of the block. I have no clue what it is. The engine is a stock block/ bottom end explorer motor. Just did an HCI swap but has been sitting for a while. Started and ran for only minute or two due to an upper end knock that the best I can figure was a lifter issue.

Any idea what this substance is? It is a soft powder- not gritty at all
20210501_172120_HDR.jpg
 

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Al3O2

look at any Al components in engine bay, like a bracket or such
 

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has been sitting for a while
As Indy is getting at, it's been sitting, perhaps condensation was there which then created corrosion of the aluminum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I knew some wise ass would say something about cocaine.

Wouldn't corrosion be ON the aluminum head instead of the block surface? And no, I do not see anything similar on any other aluminum components.
 

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Seeping coolant. It evaporates as fast as it seeps thus leaving the white powder. This happens over a long period of time. You will not even notice any real drop in coolant level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There was no coolant in it until the day I started it. According to the date stamp on the video, that was March 7th. Then it was distilled water and a bottle of radiator flush.

Bottom line is - Should I be worried or just clean it off and run it?
 

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I knew some wise ass would say something about cocaine.

Wouldn't corrosion be ON the aluminum head instead of the block surface? And no, I do not see anything similar on any other aluminum components.
you set yourself up with an obvious question. Did you think someone wouldnt see the joke?
 

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Aluminum will corrode like that when in contact with a dissimilar metal like stainless, etc. That corrosion could be between the gasket layer too.

ks
 

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Galvanic action between the head and the block and the head gasket is the separator plate holding the electrolyte. I would be kinda curious what the coolant PH level is. You might have the equivalent of a lead acid or a nickel cadmium battery which are both chemical PH opposites from each other. That's pretty much what Kevin was referring to. Pretty well known to guys that work in the aviation maintenance field with aluminum and magnesium alloys and salt water environments. And I'm guessing Indy has some experience being a ship guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There was no coolant in until the day I started it. That was March 7th according to the date stamp on the video I recorded. It was distilled water and a bottle of radiator flush that I put in it at that time.

The bottom line here is - is this an indication of something I should worry about or should I just clean it off and run it?
 

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Send it.
 

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I was going to ask about your water purity next, but you just covered that. I too suspected it was either aluminum or calcium oxide. you could have the metal coming from the radiator as well, again galvanically as mentioned. Dissimilar metals, conducting liquid between them all.
 

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I actually have a small piece of sacrificial zinc placed down in my radiators to aid in slowing the loss of aluminum in the system.
 
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