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crack in 6/1 head

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Hi all

 My new to me 6/1 has a crack in the head water jacket, not sure how to go about fixing this. It would be great if a bit of jb weld would stop the leak, but my thought are to take the head to a machine shop and see what can be done.

Any thoughts..thanks

i see the crack in the exterior.  Does the crack bridge anything internally, like to the crankcase ?

You could grind a V into in, along the length and try epoxy on the fresh bare metal, but many epoxies weaken at 200F, where you want to have the head running.  add the inevitable oil, maybe some weld may hold, if you can get a cast iron weld artist

cast iron welding is not particularly difficult, it just takes some patience and prep

as mike stated, V notch the crack well, drill a small hole at each end of the crack
preheating in a bbq grille doesn't hurt either

your local farm store or welding supply shop has what they refer to as cast iron rod for stick arc welding, i prefer a nickel rod myself

the trick is to weld short stitches, maybe a half inch at a time, then quickly using your chipping hammer pien the living crap out of the weld, i use the chisel end of the hammer and run the chisel perpendicular to the crack, and i hit it moderately hard, and maybe 50 times per stitch.  the goal is to expand the weld a bit so it doesn't have time to shrink and pull a crack open.  then stitch the next section, wash/rinse/repeat until done.

sometimes there will be grease/oil or other crap polluting the weld, so don't worry how it looks on the first pass.  just do your best, then grind it back down into a V and reweld it, the second time it will weld up nicely... just remember to pein( or is it pene, pien?) well after each stitch.  when you are done you can grind the weld flush and it will not look the worse for wear and it will work.  if you have a pin hole seep afterwards, just add a little water glass to seal that up and you will be good.

i assume the crack was caused by frost/freeze damage, if so generally this type of crack will not result in a structural problem.

over many years i welded crack castings of all sorts, from cylinder heads, and blocks to 60k lb tulsa winch cases, and countless gear cases.  its not difficult to do, just take your time and remember to stress relieve ever stitch immediately after welding it, with the hammer,  work it over well and bob's your uncle.

wait, i am bob!

bob g

ps. i finally was able to see the picture, and am concerned about the crack running out into the core plug pocket, that will be a much more difficult crack to weld to the end because it ends in the core pocket.  in this case, i would drill an eighth inch hole at the other end of the crack, remove the core plug, and weld up as best i could, then with a dremel tool and a carbide burr re-establish the core plug pocket and install a new one with some sealant, then i would use the water glass for sure.  an off the shelf product that works is K&W block seal, it comes in a copper colored can.  follow the directions on the can and it will seal off any remaining issues. 

cracks that run into core plug pockets are particularly difficult to work with, but well worth the effort.

Thanks for the replies,

 I went with the JB weld repair, the crack after further inspection runs from one side wall to the plug and continues, on the other side of the plug to the side wall. I used a small paint brush and cut the bristles back to make it stiff, then used it with brake cleaner and compressed air to scrub the cast iron clean. With the brush I was able to scrub the JB weld in and down the length of the crack. Head is running 190f-205f, JB weld is rated to 500f. The engine has been run for 8hrs under load so far and the repair is holding.

 This is not a ideal fix, but the crack running into the plug made the repair with welding look expensive to have a machine shop repair.


I used my TIG welder and 308 stainless rod to successfully weld up a fully broken Listeroid starter motor bracket. Cast, I'm sure, from the very same high quality alloy as the rest of the engine...  Not only was it incredibly easy, it's held up for years. I've even over-stressed it by cranking the engine without the compression release engaged. No issues.

Just guessing here, but I have a feeling the cast iron they use contains materials from recycled Dodge Ram's, Crown Vic's and obsolete container ships. I think India does recycle about 20-30% of the worlds ships.


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