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  • Welding Cast engine block crack

    Hi All,

    I am in need of some sound advice for welding a crack in a cast engine block. It's on a JD 2640 diesel tractor. I have already welded exaust manifolds with success but those could they could be replaced with out any trouble if I screwed up . The crack was caused by the replacement of the electric heater element. I had to heat the block to loosen the plug that held the element, really hated to do it but..... The crack is about a 1" long(yes it's leak coolent). What I'm figuring on doing is drilling a hole at the end of the crack then grinding small groove the length of the crack. Now, I have some of Hobarts Nickel 55 3/32 rods, are these the right rods to use? Suggestions? I know I have to preheat but what about post heating? I have an car engine block to practice on before I try it so I'm game for any suggestions.

    I considered JB weld, NOT!!! Also considered Bars leak,I know it would work but I want it fixed permently.

    I have a Hobart stickmate LX, a Miller mig machine and an old Lincoln generator/welder AC only(my favorite ). Been welding on farm equipment with tremendous success for the last 25 years, no formal training, but did have some help from a professional welder years ago.

    Thanks,

    Bill

  • #2
    Bill,

    I guess if you need the block heater, you're jockeyin' them cows in cold country. I think you have the right rod for the job. Preheat will probably be necessary. Just a brain fart: could you refill the block with pre-heated coolant after the weld is completed and start the engine? Once the temperature gauge came off the peg a little, you could shut er' down and let the engine's natural colling rate take care of the post heat?

    Hank
    ...from the Gadget Garage
    MM 210 w/3035, BWE
    HH 210 w/DP 3035
    TA185TSW
    Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange
    Avatar courtesy of Bob Sigmon...

    Comment


    • #3
      Crack picture

      Thanks for the response. Even better, I can get the engine up to heat, remove the coolant, then heat it up some more with the torch. I know it won't take long to weld. Weld it, put the coolant back in while still hot, then start it, no problem keeping heat in it after it's running. Natural cool down, no problem.

      Take a look at the picture Hank and let me know what you think.

      Bill

      Comment


      • #4
        You could braze weld it. It would be less risky and should fix the problem. I read is a book ages ago about 'Cold arc welding' with a stick welder. I saw a pic of it used to repair an enormous crack the length of a Cast Iron block in a tractor. I can't remember all the details but someone else may.

        Andrew
        Andrew.


        CIGWELD Transmig 250 Remote!!
        Weld NZ 160amp DC pulse/DC Tig / Stick
        Telwin Bimax 152 Mig
        NZIG Handi AC Stick
        NZIG Comet 3 O/A Set

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        • #5
          Just my 2 cents worth!!!

          Being a retired heavy equipment mechanic I have welded cast iron blocks, heads etc. The filling of the engine block w/coolant and bring up to temp sounds good.....BUT...I have found that if there was liquid present before welding ( I know you are gonna drain the block before welding ) that welding tends to draw the liquid to the crack. Hence ya gonna have pin holes in your weld from the ever present leftover liquid...can I get an Amen

          From the Cool and Dry, Dry, Dry Flatlands of Texas,
          danny.......not tryin' to be a "know-it all"
          If you want it I got it
          If I ain't got it I can get it
          If I can't get it I can make it
          And if I can't make it then you don't need it

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SteeL_ButcheR45
            Being a retired heavy equipment mechanic I have welded cast iron blocks, heads etc. The filling of the engine block w/coolant and bring up to temp sounds good.....BUT...I have found that if there was liquid present before welding ( I know you are gonna drain the block before welding ) that welding tends to draw the liquid to the crack. Hence ya gonna have pin holes in your weld from the ever present leftover liquid...can I get an Amen

            From the Cool and Dry, Dry, Dry Flatlands of Texas,
            danny.......not tryin' to be a "know-it all"
            Oh yes an Amen is in order here. By all means keep it dry and clean nic 55 is a good choice I also like the nic 99 rods work realy good on blocks and heads trans cases.Repaired many of all the above through the years.
            It's only a mistake if you don't learn from it!!!!! Wrenchbender
            Miller 250 Buzz
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            Meco Weld master
            Very old smith smoke axe
            Hobart 400 DC portable
            Hobart porta feed 17 and a lot O' udder stuff

            Comment


            • #7
              Thats exactly what I was looking for: EXPERIENCE!!!! I'm glad I found this site. I learned the hard way about welding pipes or anything else with liquid in it. Didn't take long to learn it either. That's when I was young and dumb(teenage years).


              I'll let you guys know how I make out with the repair, probably tackle that tomorrow.

              Need some suggestions for a plasma cutter for farm repairs, 1/2" steel max.

              Bill

              I'm located in SE Pa. right out side of Phila.

              Comment


              • #8
                another amen.use air & blow nozzle to dry the crack up after the block is drained to try & avoid residue from heat evoporation of antifreeze ect. in the crack. the crack will olso have to be welded to the very edge of the hole or the coolant will follow the crack left on the inside machined surface to the outside.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cowjock
                  Need some suggestions for a plasma cutter for farm repairs, 1/2" steel max.

                  Bill
                  Miller Spectrum series, really nice units. Go to www.millerwelds.com and check out their plasma cutters. (the Spectrum 625 should suit your needs quite nicely).
                  Proud owner of Bushwacker Mobile Welding
                  Pictures

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                  • #10
                    IMO, the best way to weld a cracked block is to take the engine out of the machine

                    The next best way is to "cold weld" using a specialty electrode like Harris 94. Here's a quote from their booklet:

                    Harris 94 is superb for cladding, buildup and joining cast iron. Its fast freeze characteristics make it ideally suited for "cold welding" in all positions, even vertical and overhead. Use Harris 94 on thin-wall parts, housings, machine bases, motor blocks, etc.

                    Procedure: Use AC or DC, reverse or straight polarity, with a short arc. Prepare the weld area by cleaning and beveling. Use CHAMFER ARC for grooving. Tack weld cracks and drill small holes at each end of cracks to stop further cracking. While preheat should not be necessary, for ultimate machinability, preheat to approximately 400ºF. Stringer beads are preferred; however, slight weaving may be used. Skip or back-step weld. Short deposits no longer than 1 1/2" are recommended. Peen each bead while still hot to stress relieve. Allow casting to cool slowly.


                    The secret to this repair is to first U-groove the crack, all the way to the bottom (drain all coolant first). Don't Vee-grove - that acts like a wedge. Drill each end of the crack. Run short stringers along each side of the crack but not over the crack. You want to "butter" the walls of the U-groove. After each short pass, let the block cool until you can just touch it with your bare hand - about 200*F interpass temp, max.

                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                    UTP makes a similar electrode called UTP8 Softflow. Their "UTP Welding Guide" has a detailed description of the cold welding process, but their field reps can explain it even better. Any welding supply store that sells UTP will be happy to put you in contact with the field rep.
                    http://btwusa.com/html/support.html

                    It's really pretty easy - BUT - you cannot get in a hurry
                    Barry Milton
                    ____________________________

                    HTP Invertig 201
                    HTP MIG2400

                    Trailblazer 302, Spoolmatic 30A, Suitcase 12RC
                    Clarke Hotshot

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      dont know if it was mentioned but make sure u drill a small hole in the end of the crack or it will continue...
                      Smith oxy-outfit, Lincoln SP170T mig, ESAB 875 plasma, Dynasty 200DX, Power MIG 350 next
                      Dan's page

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by precisionworks
                        IMO, the best way to weld a cracked block is to take the engine out of the machine

                        The next best way is to "cold weld" using a specialty electrode like Harris 94. Here's a quote from their booklet:

                        Harris 94 is superb for cladding, buildup and joining cast iron. Its fast freeze characteristics make it ideally suited for "cold welding" in all positions, even vertical and overhead. Use Harris 94 on thin-wall parts, housings, machine bases, motor blocks, etc.

                        Procedure: Use AC or DC, reverse or straight polarity, with a short arc. Prepare the weld area by cleaning and beveling. Use CHAMFER ARC for grooving. Tack weld cracks and drill small holes at each end of cracks to stop further cracking. While preheat should not be necessary, for ultimate machinability, preheat to approximately 400ºF. Stringer beads are preferred; however, slight weaving may be used. Skip or back-step weld. Short deposits no longer than 1 1/2" are recommended. Peen each bead while still hot to stress relieve. Allow casting to cool slowly.


                        The secret to this repair is to first U-groove the crack, all the way to the bottom (drain all coolant first). Don't Vee-grove - that acts like a wedge. Drill each end of the crack. Run short stringers along each side of the crack but not over the crack. You want to "butter" the walls of the U-groove. After each short pass, let the block cool until you can just touch it with your bare hand - about 200*F interpass temp, max.

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        UTP makes a similar electrode called UTP8 Softflow. Their "UTP Welding Guide" has a detailed description of the cold welding process, but their field reps can explain it even better. Any welding supply store that sells UTP will be happy to put you in contact with the field rep.
                        http://btwusa.com/html/support.html

                        It's really pretty easy - BUT - you cannot get in a hurry
                        Thanks Barry. Thats what I was talking about. I'm glad someone else had heard of it. I was starting to think I was all wrong.
                        I've never had the need to use it so far. But Its useful knowledge to add to the repertoire.

                        Andrew
                        Andrew.


                        CIGWELD Transmig 250 Remote!!
                        Weld NZ 160amp DC pulse/DC Tig / Stick
                        Telwin Bimax 152 Mig
                        NZIG Handi AC Stick
                        NZIG Comet 3 O/A Set

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would groove it then weld it. I have a feeling you might have to weld a small scrap of metal over it. The piece that screws in has a taper and will try to open up the crack as you tighten it.
                          ______________________________________
                          Bakery Mechanic
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                          "Why do i ask such difficult questions? 'Cause i know the answers to the easy one's!"
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                          • #14
                            Skooter -

                            Glad that you found that helpful. Repairing a cracked CI block is one of my favorites ... An average repair on a small crack will earn $300 to $500.

                            I try to quote a price before starting a job like this. Lots of farmers figure $50 to $100 is plenty. Which is about right if they take the engine out of the tractor & bring it to my shop
                            Barry Milton
                            ____________________________

                            HTP Invertig 201
                            HTP MIG2400

                            Trailblazer 302, Spoolmatic 30A, Suitcase 12RC
                            Clarke Hotshot

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by precisionworks
                              Skooter -

                              Glad that you found that helpful. Repairing a cracked CI block is one of my favorites ... An average repair on a small crack will earn $300 to $500.

                              I try to quote a price before starting a job like this. Lots of farmers figure $50 to $100 is plenty. Which is about right if they take the engine out of the tractor & bring it to my shop
                              Sweet.

                              I enjoy doing repairs. I don't get to do nearly as many as I'd like.
                              Man I hate doing quotes for jobs. Most things usually end up taking a bit longer than you plan. I think Murphy has something to do with it.

                              I had to build a pool hose box for a guy a few weeks ago. It was 3600x500x500mm (LxWxH). He wanted it to double as a bench seat with the lid down. About 30m of steel tube went into it. Then I put decking on the floor and the outside was skinned in plywood. After sanding and painting.. well a whole lot of work had gone into it. More than he was expecting. We nearly gave his wife a heart attack when we handed her the invoice . It was not at all cheap. But thats what you get when you order a custom made item.

                              Andrew
                              Andrew.


                              CIGWELD Transmig 250 Remote!!
                              Weld NZ 160amp DC pulse/DC Tig / Stick
                              Telwin Bimax 152 Mig
                              NZIG Handi AC Stick
                              NZIG Comet 3 O/A Set

                              Comment

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