I have a cracked motor block. It is cracked on the drivers side above the #1 cylinder and also on the same side near the firewall. I now have the engine out of the car to repair these cracks. I have read in past threads that some people solder up the cracks. What kind of solder should be used when doing this?
Have you considered JB Weld? The navy has used it to repair cracked blocks. I have used it once on a aluminum Cadilac block. Held for at least 5 years that I know of.
Talk with the JB Weld people.
Dont forget to drill small holes at the ends of the crack to ensure it does not crack further.
Soler will work, heat the area first.
Alternatively, you can stitch weld with a nickel rod, but be careful, temps must be below 150 or above 1500......peen regularly...best tried on a scrap piece of cast iron first.
I would do a stitch repair first, then use JB Weld.
My method disagrees with what most other have said. I've been doing it this way for 30 years and have not had a failure yet. Your milage may vary. Try it if you like.
I use 50/50 solder, acetylene torch (propane is not hot enough), a small grind stone in a drill and Tintite (a flux made for cast iron).
The cracks are caused by water freezing. They are NOT stress cracks in the iron block. I do NOT drill them, no need. Grind a small "v" the length of the crack. Clean the areas adjacent to the crack. Tin the block very well. The "v" and next to it on both sides. Use a wire brush to held the tinning process. Don't worry about filling the "v" at this time. After tinning the crack go back and fill it with solder. Use a fine pointed acetylene flame and heat only the area you are tinning or filling. Do this correctly and you won't need JB weld or any of its relatives.
Here are pictures of the technique Jack does for soldering, the heat source used here by Tony C. who wrote this article is MAPP gas, gets plenty hot too, propane won't do cast iron soldering.
Are you using silver solder?
50/50 Lead solder.
If your any good with a tig welder they make a nice rod for cast,weld about 1/2 and walk away from it for an hour,it is a cold weld but a permanent one, it has worked for me on several. The only ones I do not mess with is the ones that crack on the top of the lifter galley, throw it away and find a better block.
I agree with Jack, his is the method I use. There is no pressure in the Model T cooling system. The solder works great with out haveing to get every thing to hot. Ni Cad rods are iffy at best, you better know what you are doin' and I trust no one but myself for these repairs, not saying others can't do it, I just don't know anyone around here. Have fun, KB
I've done several of them with solder, which I like because it has the ability to flex a bit if needed. One of them has been running for at least a dozen years now. Just don't tell the guy who says you can't tin cast iron that this works. =) One thing I do is to use a metal cutter to clean the crack rather than emery or an abrasive which can embed in the cast and cause a spot where the solder won't stick.
I've used JB Weld on three blocks, one held permanently, one held for about 4 years and one held only a few months. The difference was the amount of JB Weld I applied. One was V ed out about 1/4 inch at the top of the V and 1/8 inch at the bottom. It held permanently. The others were V ed out less. These were all cracks in the water jacket on the driver's side. Imbedding window screen in the JB Weld helps.
Unless its a 15 or earlier block I would not repair a cracked block. Blocks are every where like fleas, I have 50 of them. How many do you suppose are at Chickasha every swap meet. Every welder will tell you they can fix your block, maybe they can, but why take a chance when blocks are so plentiful? If you do decide to repair your block and its starts to leak, drain it and go to a drug store and get a quart of SODIUM SILICATE. That usually stop the leaks. the one exception to using a crack block is the valve seats. I find that maybe close to 50 percent of blocks have cracks around the vlave seat. They can be easily repaired with a new valve seat.
I just went through 4 Low heads. The first three had been welded sometime and look good but leaked like Niagra Falls. I finally found one that had not been welded on and its working great.
Libby Flats Parking Area with a few of the 75 Cars on one of the Colorado/Wyoming Tours. Note this was June 28th.
Dave, this is a rebuilt block. The machine shop discovered the cracks after cleaning the block and "fixed" them by cramming some fibre crap into the cracks. They claimed that it was used in race cars and would never leak. Just as I though it has failed and now I have to repair something that was "fixed."
Has anyone tried this product to repair cracked engine blocks??
Castaloy looks like the very definition of solder, just a fancy name. Melts at 500F and is not welding.
Jim, I agree but have you tried to buy leaded solder. The EPA took it off the market.
Its readily available at McMaster-Carr
Not to diverge, but you gave me the opportunity
They didn't just throw the cracked ones away before they had wire fed fancy flames or electrowelding jigs. They actually had a simple home brew that worked with 100% efficiency provided it was not a torsional structural need to the patch.
Iron filings, some sal-amonic acid, and a few other houshold bits...made a putty paste, scuplted it smooth on apply and the next day other than looking a little 'rusty' - crack all gone and never opened up again
Those of you who have houses built post WW2 but before about 1965 that have steel main beam, set on a block pilaster, same stuff...that goob at the bottom holds it all together and handles the 4 season shifts without letting go.
I have never done an old block with a jacket crack with this myself, but wouldn't hesitate a try if I had to. I have done a head abackbone crack with it, oh...some 30 years a go now,not even a weep, and am actually struggling with myself as that engine now is out and needs total overhaul, and I really want to use the same head...lol...but now is also the time to swap it if I'm ever going to.
No heat involved, it generates it by itself and physcally bonds itself to the Carbon of the parent. Yeah it IS rust, chemically modified rust, but good tight rust that stops rusting once it cures I've posted the formula for it several times before, never heard if anyone else has ever tried it
I checked on eBay for 60 40 solder and it listed over 200 sellers. Not a problem finding it. For potable plumbing tin antimony solder (lead free) is recommended.
I have to agree with Stan when it comes to cleaning or "V"ing out the crack. Using a cutter is way better than grinding on cast iron, for the same reason that Stan said. Grinding will indeed leave deposits in the porus cast iron that will make it harder to get a good bond. It's the same with welding cast iron with a nickel based rod. I usually use a gouging rod to make a chamfer in the crack. That also helps clean out any impurities and helps to preheat the weld area. Dave
I have to disagree with the method you have described because if the average person has never done this sort of thing will end up doing more damage to their engine than the small leak you encountered.
As seen in these two photos of before where a customer/inexperienced machine shop tried to fix the cracked area(JB weld) and after where we fixed it permanently by stitching it.
Whereas you mentioned a crack in the water jacket you may be able to repair it with solder but also be aware that the area in question may be rotted out as well and soon as you put heat to it. "poof" you have a hole. There are capable machine shops that can do the crack repair for you and you'll end up with a better repair.Just my two cents.
Thanks for the info and photos of the stich repair. It looks like a far more substantial remedy.
The complete stitching procedure is not explained very well by J and M Machine. Is the final photo showing epoxy patches or welded patches? The first photo shows some sort of plug in the lower center area, with three holes drilled in a row and then plugged with something.
Looks clear to me, the first photo is the restoration done incorrectly where the engine restorer(the incompetent restorer) used JB weld,epoxy. The second photo shows where j and m,as explained, correctly stitched the cracks.
James: Thank you for asking.Hopefully I'll educate someone before they damage a good engine.
In regards to the first two Model T pictures shows what damage was caused by the prior owner/rebuilder as they used JB weld and some form of lock pins and also tried welding. I can say they tried everything but didn't know how to use any properly.
The Process in the second picture "Isn't welded nor any sealer used. These are threaded tapered pins.The part is drilled and tapped along the crack as well as across the crack and brings the cracked area back together making the piece secure again.
They have a buttress thread on each pin and instead of a 60 degree thread pitch it is 120 degrees.
It is proven that one pin installed between two pieces of steel will take 250lbs to rip them apart.
You don't need to Vee out the part or heat it or glue it for that matter.
The two pictures I have shown are what we experience on a worst case as someone tried to fix it and failed.
Since this is a 1912 block it had to be saved.
Here is another example of someone welding the head and the cracks go through the weld and welding actually made the head crack worse!
That's why I disagree with welding or putting focused heat on old castings.We had to cut the damaged area out and make a piece from castiron and stitch back in. Whereas had it been brought in before they welded the head, would of been a lot cheaper and quicker repair.
The crack repair we do is done cold so there isn't any stress induced to the parts repaired.
If you'd like to read more of how it's done you can click on this link.http://www.locknstitch.com/Metal_Stitching.htm
It depends on what you need and what it is worth. The last one I did was a pretty tired engine from a 1923 truck that was leaking along the bottom edge of the water jacket above the water inlet side of the block. We turned it upside down, soldered the crack and had it back in the truck in about three or four hours. This old truck probably doesn't run twenty or thirty hours a year -- a couple parades and hauling the grandkids around the park at Christmas. It didn't need a complete tear down and stitching along with a huge repair bill. It just needed the water to stop leaking. Everything has a price of time and money. For many engines, a complete "best possible repair" is needed. For many engines, something to stop the damn water from leaking is what is needed. That is what we did, it works fine, it has held for at least six or seven years and cost about half a day's work and a couple bucks worth of solder. The old guy I did it for is happy with it, as am I.
The fun thing about Model T's is that there are many ways to fix problems.
What is best for your situation varies.
The guys at J&M machine are professionals motor guys and know the "right way" to fix a motor.
On the other hand one can take "short cuts" such as JB Weld, solder, bubblegum, sodium silicate, oatmeal or green pickle relish and get away with it for awhile because a T motor is not highly stressed.
Just be aware that if you take a short cut it may not last very long or if the problem is in a highly stressed area you could end up with a motor that is in two parts.
Guys like Stan have made shortcuts work so they are not all that bad for the corect situation.
I have 19 guitars, the two latest are Peerless custom made flattops with the best electronics I can afford in them. You don't even want to know what they cost. I'm playing through a Genz Benz Acoustic Pro 300 amplifier that lists for about two grand. I'm playing a Horst Schicker 3 star 59 gram Sterling Silver mounted fiddle bow that probably cost more than a premium rebuild of a T engine. On a Scott Cao Amati model fiddle with a custom pickup system. Most people don't need all that to play three chords and sit around the campfire and sing Koom Bay Ah or whatever it is they are doing with their instruments and couldn't tell the difference between a $5000 Schicker bow and a hundred dollar one from the local music store. A $500 guitar and a $100 fiddle bow is fine for them. My ten year old protege' Savanna is playing a better guitar than most adults will ever have in their hands.
Same thing with T engines. A lot of people do not need their engine rebuilt to top, exacting standards that they would have to take a mortgage out on the house to pay for. If the only way to fix an engine was to do it the finest possible method and damn the cost there would be a lot fewer people in this hobby.
Woops I forgot to mention solders --
Eutectic tin-lead solder (63/37) that melts at 183 C has been the standard in the electronic industry for years.
For higher temps people used 90/10 solder that has a solidus of 265 C, silver solder that melts at 430 C, or gold-tin that melts at 280 C.
These would not work for most electronic components because they can not be heated over 240 or 250 C without damage.
The feds etc. were convinced that the lead caused health problems so they mandated it be removed. (Actually a world wide lead free imitative know as RoHAS)
Some of the alternatives were as bad as or worse than lead.
After a great deal of work the electronic industry is now using SAC solder - Tin/Silver/Copper - that melts at 217 C for most applications - except some military and medical devices that still use tin-lead.
The 217 C liquidus of SAC causes process control problems because solders require temps about 30 C over the liquidus to make good joints - leaving only a few degrees before some components are damaged.
All this techy stuff helps me to remain employed but also forces me to make numerous trips to China. (For those that are interested do a Google search on my name and you'll see why I'm in demand.)
PS -- I would run away from tin antimony solder because it was proven to be a bit dangerous.
We had an early Mercury engine repaired by having several cracks "Stitched" up. I did not observe the "Stitching" procedure used. I do know that the repaired engine leaked like a sieve. It leaked so badly that we scrapped the block. If you try "Stitching" to save a scarce engine block or head investigate the machinist's work thoroughly and get an iron clad warranty. We have had several cast iron blocks, transmission housings and cylinder heads succesfully repaired by shops specializing in furnace welding cast iron. I have had success in using nickle rods to weld thin cast iron sections like foot rests for antique barber chairs. An added benefit was only a little grinding and buffing was needed to remove all obvious traces of the repair. Repairing cast iron parts is neither a cheap nor easy process.
I had an overhead repaired with the stitch method and didn't like it, just couldn't get it in my mind that it is OK to put many threaded plugs in that each exerted pressure on the crack and had no "glue" factor. Russ Potter repaired a block for me with silver solder and I couldn't be happier (a 26-27 block that was cracked in the common water jacket area just above the valve chamber).
I can "stick" about any metal together with various welding methods but won't touch a block or head with brass--it contaminates the metal pores and way too much heat. No epoxy either---with solder you can finish it off with a scaler (needle gun) for a good finish if that is important. If it is really expensive and important the cast welding method in a forge is the only way to go--I have a DO Fronty that was repaired this way at a cost that would buy an couple of unrestored T's.
If you want a real challenge try to repair a cast wood burning stove like a "pot bellied stove". Something about being burnt with carbon and heat makes them unweldable for me. Tried about everything. On tractor parts nickel rod on cast works just fine for me with no cracks on the side of the weld if it is "V'd" out well and done in small spots. I use a Miller AC / DC welder set on DC (for just about everything).
Exterior cracks are fine for me but a combustion chamber is probably beyond me unless it is something that can be replaced easy. I agree that it doesn't take much to fix things to work again if it isn't really rare. The last Fronty I picked up had about half a lb of lead sweated on the side to cover a freeze crack--I melted it out to have a look see but won't touch it myself--it needs someone more tallented than me because the cast is pushed out about 1/4 inch. I can stick it back together to hold but don't want to try to move the swelling.
How many of you have actually tried soldering an engine block? How did it hold up? I do not want to cause a hole to form or make any new cracks by heating the block too much.
At the shop we soldered cast iron but it's not a good idea for a total soldering novice.
We welded enough blocks and heads over the years to know that MOST can be successfully welded including a John Deere 60 head that was cracked through the exhaust seat into the water area.
Once we had an early IHC sheep nosed truck in the shop in which the cylinder block had suffered from hard water.
That one we had to plate with steel, gasket and a bunch of screws as no welding rod would stick to that iron.
Could it have been welded? If engine was taken completely down it could have been gas welded with cast iron filler but sometimes there's a limit as to how much money to throw at something.
If rarity dictated an absolutely top quality repair it would be a different story.
Stephen I have soldered the water jackets and heads that were freeze cracked with good results. Would not use the prosess for parts that were under stress. You don't have to use as much heat to solder as you would with welding or brazeing. KB
Can some one show me what these tapered pins look like? I see what looks like 3 plugged holes across the crack. Is each plug seperate or is it a staple of some kind? Apparently it works I just don't understand how.
I don't understand the lines of pins that go across the crack, if that's what they are. I looked at the Lock and Stich web site and see the "Locks" that go across the crack. Is that what I am seeing in the photos above, or are those "Pins" going across the crack? Or did the original crack already have the other cracks going across it?
Here is a site that shows the pins and some really nice photos of examples and how they are installed.
Lots of good info here
I have used JB Weld with success for 15 yrs plus on Model T and hit-n-miss engine blocks. I used it only for small cracks nothing like in the pics that have already been posted. I just "V" out the crack and then sandblast it clean. Using Mapp Gas I warm the area slightly allowing the JB to flow into the crack. After the JB starts to set-up I texture it like the rest of the block. It has worked well for me, just my 2 cents worth doing it this way.
I'm glad everyone has their thinking caps on.
This is what typical lock pins look like.
Aluminum repair pins also.
The way we repair the cracked areas is that we drill and pin across the crack to pull it together. Sometimes we use the "bridges" which are stamped steel locks, or we drill and pin it as a commenter said "Looks like staples".
Another commenter mentioned that"The pins would induce stress to the block ."
Let me say that by drilling and pinning the cracks the repairs are done cold so there isn't any induced stress to the part and actually stop the crack from going further since we are drilling both ends and relieving the stress.
Another commenter said that he "had a block stitched and leaked like as sieve."
We pressure test the blocks after we repair just to make sure there aren't any other cracks in the blocks or porosity. Magnafluxing is only good for surface detection where the pressure testing would find the porosity.
Also someone mentioned the overall cost to do this method versus JB weld or Soldering.
To answer this question "People who are bringing the engines to a Professional machine shop want the work done permanently and not hap hazardly."
As with any machine work you have to know whom your dealing with and as another person mentioned what's the success rate and warranty?
One commenter mentioned taking it to someone who's had experience such as "Russ Potter" where he's been doing it and knows how.
I'm not saying that our way is better but if you haven't done something before,know and understand the consequences. I have shown two worst case examples of what we've seen and been able to repair.
J and M,
The lock and stitch website showed a type C and a type L pin, I think it was. One (L type) acted as a wedge and actually tended to spread the crack. The other (C type) pulled the crack together as it tightened. Is type C the one you are using to "Pull it together"?
i have soldered the cast iron blocks of many vehicals with long term success ...i use a method much like that described by jack putman ...also very similar materials (i use "tinning butter" for tinning ...this is available thru "eastwood supply")the stich method is also very good but is subject to the same conditions of a rusted block being too thin to tap correctly to get a proper repair...i have also done emergency repairs on cracked blocks by draining coolant,hooking a shop vac. to the upper water outlet and using a non-volitile cleaner ,clean cracked area and allow to dry,and while under vacuum i apply some sealing agent to cracked area ...this is at best a temporary repair but has been used with sucess ...like stan says ...cost is often the deciding factor...Merry Christmas all gene french colorado
I have a 12 block with a couple freeze cracks that were repaired by Lock N Stitch in Turlock, the folks who make the product, and it really turned out nice. Hard to see but the crack ran horizonally from just to the right of the number boss to under the raised circular boss. One ran vertically thru the number boss toward the water inlet hole. You can see the number 6 in the engine number was affected. Not cheap but a darn good repair. They also installed their brand of thread inserts in the head bolt holes and they're better than anything else on the market.
One issue that has not been addressed. You need to have enough meat in the block to hold three threads for the pins to hold. Sometimes, the wall thickness on blocks in the area where freeze cracks occur have become too thin from rust and the pins are not an option.
Richard;If the area of the repair is too thin we would cut out the area in question and install a piece similar to the Chevy head that is shown in a prior posting. To answer your comment; That's what got me to post here as I didn't want an engine to be damaged by someone not doing a job properly.Typically on Model T engines we sometimes have to put pieces in on the manifold side as the block is thin there.
Again, cost would be a consideration as time is money but it would be a permanent repair.
Hal: we use the C style pins and some of our own manufacture as we don't want to induce stress we want to eliminate it.Thanks for asking.
It's not a Model T block but a similar repair could be made. Actually, once I tried cast iron welding (with cast iron rod & the associated flux), I can't hardly see repairing with anything else. Here's some photos of a repair on a 1-cyl REO cylinder. It was preheated for about 2 hours with a weed burner, welded (with the weed-burner still going) and then post-weld stress relieved with the weed-burner for a couple hours. It was taken from there directly to a 30 gallon trash can partially filled with garden vermiculite and then vermiculite poured on top to cover it. This was insulation for letting it cool slowly. Twenty four hours later when we took it out of the vermiculite, it was still too hot to handle without gloves. It is now ground and looks like nothin' ever happened to it.