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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all.

I've got a '68 Cougar with what seems to be a decent amount of oil in the coolant. When I first got the car, I went to flush out the cooling system and got a ton of brown, sludgy liquid coming out. No idea how long it had been since the previous owners did anything to the system, so I flushed it out pretty thoroughly, and still had the same problem. Eventually I replaced the thermostat which was shot, and the radiator itself, which was also leaking and full of questionable gunk.

Long story short, with the new radiator and thermostat, I went to flush out the system one last time to get whatever remaining sludge was in the system, and although it is not nearly as sludgy in viscosity, i still have a brown tinge to the runoff, and what seems like traces of oil. I'm thinking it might be the head gaskets, but am not positive. Wondering if anyone else out there has encountered the same problems and found a solution. Thanks.
 

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I think I would agree with it being head gaskets but that is with out looking at the engine. How many mile on it. What engine? What do the plugs look like? and do you see anything in the oil?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The engine is a 302, but the original owner swapped out the factory engine with a '78 after the original had valve problems. So its a 1978 302. Odometer reads 94,000 but the guy I got it from (i am the third owner) did not know how many of those miles were on this current engine. I replaced the plugs and wires last year, and have not driven it since doing so. As far as the oil itself, I couldn't really tell any difference, but again, I don't really know what I'm looking for either..
 

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If it is a 78 does it have aluminum heads? I don't know much about them either but have heard that the aluminum heads can warp and that would lead to bad gaskets and water issues. I am sure you will hear soon from someone that knows a bunch more than me!
 

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Iron heads. NFN, but the sludge can have an oily consistency without engine oil actually being in there. I would flush it a few more times and see what happens after that.
 

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Try Dawn detergent. The BLUE stuff.

OH, don't feel too bad. I've been dealing with this SAME ISSUE for2 years. I'm finally going to take the heads off and have them checked out.

GOOD LUCK!
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, i'm not sure what to do. I may try flushing it one or two more times, but in the end I'll probably end up replacing the gaskets anyway, just because i've replaced so much on the car already. at least the gaskets are cheap...

Thanks for all the info, everyone. I'm sure i'll be back soon with some other problem.
 

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IF it's brown and gooky, it could just be a ton of rust and junk built up from old/lousy antifreeze - they do have lubricants in them you know - which can give the "oily" appearance. Like Bob says, flush it out good a few times and see what you have then. A good degreaser wouldn't hurt anything if you flush it out too before you refill and put in new antifreeze. Most people don't change out the antifreeze often enough and it does become acidic over time.....so freshen it up every 2 years or measure the PH at least.
 
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