Holes in back of timing cover? what are they for?


Founding Member
May 24, 2002
i had a leaky timing cover so i replaced the gasket..now i have coolent in the little valleys of the timing cover again

i noticed on both sides where there is coolent there are small holes in the timing cover where it looks to be leaking from...it dosnt squirt out when its runnning...all i did was fill the rad. and the pass side had some coolent coming out...shut motor off and tightend water pump bolts a bit...and it stoped..now its been siting a few days and there is coolent in the little valleys on BOTH sides...and now i see there is a small hole on the drivers side in the same location?? what are these for? why is there coolent leaking out of them??...can try to get pics if needed...

after three water pump gaskets and a timing cover gasket i just cant seem to keep coolent IN SIDE where its suppose to be
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pics would definately help. The only holes I remember being there are where the water pump bolts to the top of the timing cover...

If you're having trouble w/ gaskets, I had the same problem. I bought a $13 can of "the right stuff" at autozone, followed directions and it hasn't leaked since.

Are you sure it's not your thermostat housing that's leaking?
Tc gaskets (most autopart store gaskets in general) suck, but the tc ones especially. Use rtv intelligently and you shall never leak again.

Some of the TC covers have dipstick holes on either wing. This is on the lower part of the TC cover, right? You need to plug those things.
i used RTV...and pluged the dip stick hole..these holes are small....if you look at the top of the TC, if you look at where the coolent ports are..on both sides is "dips" down and there a small "valley" on each side...thats where the holes are..you can hardly see them cause they face rear word but if i put my finder behind there i can feel them ..can only see them while standing to the side of the car looking down with a light
here is a pic of a new cover..if you look at the coolent passages there are three holes around it..but one of those holes on each side isnt a bolt hole..thats where its leaking



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Mine leaks from those holes too. It never drips water on the ground and has done it for years, not really a problem if you dont mind looking at the puddles on the timing cover once in a while. There's a guy on here that goes by cardudeusa, he told me how he fixed his. Drain the coolant down till its below that level and not leaking. Clean the holes the best you can. Carb cleaner and a small wire brush should do. Fill them with JB weld and wait for it to cure before putting coolant back in. You should have no more leaks and you dont have to take anything apart.
i thought of that..but how do you use JB weld? i also thought of cleaning it and packing a bunch of RTV down in the holes...but i didnt want to plug them if they are there for a reason....but i see no reason other then to tick me off....but yea..when the car is running it dosnt drip or spray out or anything...problum is there hard to see..let alone get to...just odd my stock motor never had puddles like that and it has 100K on it..factory pump to

only thing i can think of is mabe on earlyer fords that used the same cover...they might of had dowel pins for the water pump for alignment?? only think i can think of, of why the holes are there....
Well, some genious thought the coolant passage was a great place to put the bolt stem boss. So if you pull those two bolts, coolant comes spilling out. There must have been a really good reason to do something that crazy
stem boss?? what do you mean? so they are like ...hole to releave presure?....can you elaborate some? want all the info on them i can get before i deside to plug them, check my factory motor, it has them also and coolent never came out?
The radiator cap is the "pressure relief system" for the cooling system. It's springloaded and the cap rises and lets coolant pour into the overflow tank. Plug them little holes and be happy. Stuff some quickweld in there.

I was saying that the bolts thread into an area where coolant is flowing. The "hole" is where the bolt slides into before it hits threads in the block=stem boss
the old water pumps used to have bolts that went through that part of the timing cover (60's-70's), if it really bugs you that bad, most of the newer made timing covers have blind holes-I just did one recently, had the same problem...annoying as hell.
I had this problem, In the gasket set I bought there were three (water pump to timing housing) gaskets to choose from, I chose the wrong one. Took it apart and put the right one in, problem solved. In my case the coolent really poured out. It could be a case of the wrong gasket :shrug:
Crazy... It sounds like you used the 351W gasket.. I did that a long time ago, with the same problems.

I have never had this problem with those holes in the timing cover. It should never leak out of them even if they are "holes" if that water pump/timing cover gasket is good, and sealing around the water ports correctly. My .02