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Cracked block?


Rogillio
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Last night I started up my '27 Dodge. It ran for about 15 seconds then died. I looked at the engine and there was a constant stream of water flowing from under the carb....out from the intake manifold. Later, water and milky oil came out.

Before starting it I had added about 2 gallons of gas. But since I thought the last time I added gas I put too much lead additive I did not add any this time.....so maybe the fuel was too hot?

If the block is cracked, is the engine shot or can it be repaired?

I have a line on another motor for $800 but it is ceased up and so is an "unknown".

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No, we found a hairline crack in the head.

i found a shop locally that works on vintage cars and have the Dodge loaded on a trailer to take it in tomorrow. One of the cylinders was blowing a little oil so I was gonna rebuild anyway....now I have no other option than to tear into it. I bought this car as a project car and a learning experience but I with the cracked in the head and maybe other cracks,mi decided to let a professional do this part. I feel a little guilty....like I'm cheating. But I want to preserve a piece of history and not ruin it.

Another subject....the mechanic suggested converting to a 12v system. I said I wanted to keep it original. He said it is totally reversible.....makes it easier to start and maintain.....light shine brighter.....

I said I'd think about it....right now I just want yo get the motor running again.

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Oh, and the mechanic said he'd machine the head....get a little more hp. And he use hardened valve seats so and make it so I could run unleaded fuel.

He charges $70/hr flat rate.....and next month they are going up to $80/hr....so I guess I'm 'lucky' I'm taking it in now.

I found a '27 DB motor, trans and rear end on CL for $750. It is seized up though. The mechanic advised me to wait....said if it's been seized up for a long time it probably is a boat anchor.

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I find some mechanics have fixed ideas. You will always get those who will advise you to change to 12 volts but if you want to keep the car original then I would keep it at 6. Yes, the starter (which will work on 6 or 12) will spin the engine over faster but I have found that if you have a motor in good condition and the heavier 6 volt battery cables then there is no problem with starting. I would imagine the starter ring gear and bendix also get an easier life. Remember also that if you go over to 12 volts not only will you need to buy a new battery but maybe an expensive generator, change all the light bulbs and ignition coil.

What your mechanic probably has not thought of is that these engines were running happily on un leaded long before leaded fuel was introduced so in my opinion, unless you do a high mileage, hardened valve seats are something of a luxury. Another point I would make is that you want to be a bit careful with skimming the head. Yes, it will give you more power but spare a thought for the bottom end which is splash fed. The reason these engines have such low compression ratios is that pressure fed bearings had not yet been introduced for production cars; when it was, then higher compressions were possible. Vibration in the 'B' engine caused Dodge Brothers to introduce the 5 bearing 'C'. Of course the head needs to be machined flat especially after the repairs which may have caused some distortion but you don't want to take off much if you can help it.

Ray.

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Guest DodgeKCL

It a total fallacy that changing a car or truck from 6 to 12 volts will make it start and run better! Stay to hell away from this mechanic,he doesn't know what he's talking about. I have cars and trucks running their orinigal 6 volt systems and they are start and run their electrics just fine. A 6 volt system runs at 8 volts and not at 6. He most likely does not know this because present day mechanics know nothing of the older 6 volt systems. WWII was fought on 6 volts. The Allies seemed to have faired pretty well? My headlights burn "white" and the starter turns over the engine just as quickly as my modern iron does on 12 volts. I can go to a cruise and after 2 hours hit all the switches and buttons and the engine will start after just one turn. In the Spring after it's Winter snooze, a 6 volt car will start in about 6 turns,every time,every Spring. I find the reason people want to replace their 6 volt systems with 12 volts is because they are given erroneous information by illiterate mechanics. The only reason Detroit changed to 12 volts was to reduce the copper content of their vehicles by half. The same reasoning is used by the aircraft industry to run 24 volts system. The aircraft only has to carry 1/2 as much copper as 12 volts. That's all! The same wattage ,or horsepower to use the older term, is required to turn over the engine whether you're using 6 or 12 or 24 volts. It's simply a combination of current and voltage to give you that power. 6 volt sytems require more current to make up the power and hence thicked copper wires. (It's called "circular mhos" believe it or not. Notice it's "ohms" spelt backwards. Thats' because it's conduction not resistance.) Modern mechanics talk 'voltage' now because that's all they need. They pay little attention to current. Yet the older mechanics if you notice talk about 'current' when describing the electrical sysytem. They used to have a device that pierced the tar on the top of a battery to load each cell and check for current production NOT for voltage. And as we all know 6 volt wires have to be 2X as thick as 12 volt ones and connections have to pristine because any resistance through corrosion reduces current flow. And it's current that runs a 6 volt system. But it is a fallacy that 12 volts will make a new car out of a 6 volt one. You're invaribly covering up poor wiring and poor connections and possibly looking for a fire in the not too distant future.

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I understand....I am an electrical engineer with over 27 years of engineering experience. I think someone has put power cables on the car that were intended for a 12V system. I have some very fine, multi strand welding cables that have I may make cables out of.

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The mechanic pulled the head off my motor. He found some small cracks but nothing catastrophic and he believe he can fix the small cracks be found as they are in low streess areas. He said there connector tube between the exhaust manifold and the carb on the other side of the block was missing and that area has dirt dobber nests, stones and such like a mouse has a home there at one time. This would explain the high condensation on the carb. He sent the head to a machine shop for repaid and flattening.

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Those pistons look clean:confused:

You will have noticed that the exhaust has been blowing past the manifold gaskets. If you look at the mating surfaces on the manifold you may see that they have been worn thin. This is a common problem. I tried gaskets with a wider surface but my manifold had also been previously broken and repaired, so nothing seemed to work for long. Ron Lawson in Oz. eventually came to the rescue and found me a better manifold.

You will find the water pump suffers from incontinence - well it is getting on a bit!..Ron also found a replacement water pump because mine had rusted out but that is another story.....:)

Ray.

Edited by R.White (see edit history)
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