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1961 Continental - Oil In Cooling System

Have discovered heavy oil contamination in cooling system, no visible coolant in oil, although oil level is low. Was there a common cause for this? I remember 292 Chevy in-line 6 having a similar issue, cause was crack in block between oil passage and coolant passage, not visible, in casting itself.




Hi Ken -

We hate when that happens. An issue such as this always requires accurate diagnosis and I am sure that you already know that. To answer your question, we have no knowledge of a common point of failure on these 1961 Lincoln engines that would cause that to occur. We have seen the usual head gasket failure that many engines can develop and sometimes cause engine oil to enter the coolant passages but before diagnosing you need to be absolutely sure that the oil that you see in the coolant is actually engine oil. The radiator in a 1961 Lincoln commonly has two oil coolers built into the side tanks. These are a transmission oil cooler and a power steering oil cooler. A leak in any one of those coolers could contaminate the coolant. If you are quite certain that the oil in the coolant is indeed from the engine oil please call our office and ask for Erik. We would like to ask you some questions about that car in order to help you pinpoint that leak.