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1920 DB cracks in block - advice needed

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One thing gets fixed and then another problem arises... Isn't that how it usually goes?! :-)

Actually, I think I have come to finding the problem for my overheating issue...

I found that I have three cracks in my block. One from the number 2 exhaust valve over to the cylinder, one from the number 3 exhaust valve out to the outside edge of the block and one from the number 3 exhaust valve over to the cylinder... sigh...

The good news is that I had the honeycomb radiator boiled out. It can now go about 12 miles from cold until it overheats. Before it was about 3 miles, so that is a big improvement with the increased cooling capability.

So... any advice on the best way to fix this? The engine runs GREAT, so it will be a shame if I need to junk the block and start all over - but maybe that is the only way. If possible, I would REALLY like to take care of this WITHOUT removing the engine from the car, for obvious reasons. Do any of those "head and block sealer" products work at all on non-pressurized systems?

And keep in mind that this is in the combustion chamber area, not on the outside of the block. The strange thing is that I get NO steam out the back and NO water in the oil. But I know it is leaking a little bit. It must just collect on top of the piston or find its way down the exhaust or something?? Who knows. Either way - the cracks are very small, but nonethless they are still there.

I am fairly mechanical but welding or other "machine work" types of things are definitely beyond my capabilities. If it is even possible for a shop to weld or fix this, can I just remove the hood, radiator, and head and trailer the car down, or are they going to need the entire block completely stripped of all engine parts and out of the car? I fear this will be the case, but I eagerly await your opinions.

Thank you to EVERYONE who has been so kind to help me through the past 5 months and the adventures I have had with this car! Hopefully I will be able to work through this and have some more fun to tell you all about down the road!

- Travis


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I personally would not take the block apart to be fixed. If I went to that much trouble i'd just get another block. With it cracked at the exhaust valves I'm thinking I'd put in the best sealer and hope for the best. MAke sure you don't block up that clean radiator, maybe sudstitute in aa junker as you have to run the engine with the sealer to activate and circulate it.Might want to look at Ebay for a complete engine to swap, they're usually pretty cheap.

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I would not waste my money and time on that block. What you have is an engine that was run hot at some time in it's life which could have caused these cracks. The compression of the cylinder is pushing hot gas into the cooling system and causing the radiator to over flow. the pressure of the cylinder gasses will keep the cracks free of any obstructions as well as radiator sealent. My advice would be to find a different block and use the internal parts from this engine as it would be much cheaper to rebuild a good block as to spend alot more money and hope your old block is fixed

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Travi, there is an earlier post on this web site on 7/31/07, where a similiar cracked block eas discussed. There were a couple of methods described on repairing cracks in the block. That involved a crack of the outer side of a block not the internal combustion chmber portion. I suggest you follow Brian' advice, hold an appropriate funeral, use ti for a boat anchor, and find a good block.

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