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How to and who can repair a cracked engine block

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During the previous owners winter storage...My early sleeve valve engine apparently had water freezing in cast iron block and resulted in a crack somewhere in the block. Heavy white smoke comes from exhaust and radiator bubbles while idling and bubbling increases with acceleration. There is no water in the oil or oil in the radiator so far. I Who and where should I consult as to correctly repairing this. Any response would be greatly appreciated. Repair company or individual that can repair this in Ohio,Pa.Ny.Mi,IN or states near preferred.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

When I was a kid an old guy recommended that I go to a pharmacy and buy some 'waterglass'.

I put some in the radiator and it worked.

Probably not a proper repair, but I was about 16 and had no money to speak of.

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Try searching block repair on a couple of the old Ag engine/eqpmt sites (ytmag, smokstak, there're lots)---farm eqpmt stands a lot so they come up with a lot of cracked stuff when they forget to drain or it doesn't drain completely..

Jack's Waterglass's been mentioned before; you can search that for comments...

Can't comment on Knight engines but you'll find some ingenious repairs being made......

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What about the head gasket?

I agree with the above.  I don't think it is a head gasket, but a compression check will show you which cylinder(s) are dammaged.  Once armed with this info you can open up the top end and take a look. I am assuming the head is removable.  If not then proceed with proper diligence and care.  Cast iron can be stiched with good results in most cases.  As said above, a good repair will really hurt the bank account so be ready for it.

 

Robin

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There's a whole lot more going on inside a sleeve valve cylinder than a piston going up and down.

Do the compression test first.

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Lock-n-stitch is in Central California, and they work wonders.  See their excellent website for a description of their process --

http://www.locknstitch.com/index.html

 

When I used them a few years ago, they were the vendor of choice for casting repair for (1) the Northern California Caterpillar distributor and (2) Waste Management (trash collection conglomerate).

 

If that's too far to ship, ask them if they have a licensee of their process nearer to you.

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There is a good chance it is a head. The willys Knight had a head for each clinder and siphon tubes which siphoned water from a pocket in the head when the water was drained. These often plugged because of dirty cooling systems. You can make an adaptor for the spark plug hole and pressurize each cylinder to find the leaking cylinder. Depending on model some parts are available.

Jerry

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When I was a kid an old guy recommended that I go to a pharmacy and buy some 'waterglass'.

I put some in the radiator and it worked.

Probably not a proper repair, but I was about 16 and had no money to speak of.

 

I think "waterglass" is the stuff that they used in the oil during the cash for clunker government program a few years ago.

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V OUT THE CRACK ,CLEAN  WITH  BRAKE CLEANER AND USE J-B WELD AS PER INSTRUCTIONS[LEAVE A HEAT LAMP ON IT OVERNIGHT. WE REPAIRED A MAJOR CRACK ON A TAURUS YEARS AGO AND IT WORKED. I THOUGHT IT WOULDN'T  BUT I WAS WRONG. IT'S WORTH A SHOT.

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 I assume the parts in question are cast iron?  Proper repairs to cracks in cast iron cylinder blocks or heads is time-consuming and costly and should really only be considered if no replacement parts can be found, almost regardless of price.  Generally the part must be heated to a very high temperature, then special welding rods are used and then the part allowed to cool at a precise schedule of so many degrees per day.  And finally the part will probably require remachinng due to warpage during the extreme heating cycle.  The only place I know of that is familiar with sleeve valve engines (Minervas mostly) and routinely does this type of work is Automotive Restorations in Lebanon, New Jersey.

Edited by Owen_Dyneto (see edit history)

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i agree with owen dyneto.......  especially about where to repair.  automotive restorations just repaired the marmon wasp for the indy 500 museum.  Parnelli Jones blew the engine a few years back while taking the car out for a spin on the track

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I used to be in the boat repair business and we would see a lot of cracked jacketed manifolds and blocks.

I don't recall ever having a satisfactory welding job done.

The old guy that was supposed to know what he was doing didn't.

Being a dealership I found that trying to save these parts was not worth the trouble. Replace with new.

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I agree with Owen Dyneto; I was in the shop when the block from that Marmon Wasp from the Indy 500 museum came in - the museum  had it "repaired" else where and it just cracked again next to the 'repaired' weld that had been done . I followed the way Automotive Restorations worked on the block over numerous visits , replaced sections that were cracked with new sections and heated the whole thing up in a huge oven/forge they have to do the necessary work. Last time I saw it the crank and cam shaft were back in it and gears on and you could turn it with one finger it was so smooth and the restoration was EXCELLENT. Quite an operation and competent skilled craftsman work there, in all phases of restoration. The owner just doesn't restore cars but has his own collection he drives ranging from brass era to classics in the thirties. This is the same shop that restored the 1937 Chrysler Imperial Town car by LeBaron that was W.P. Chrysler's car and has been to numerous shows over the past 2 years.

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to continue on walt g's comments.   i saw and heard the marmon wasp engine running.   what a sound!!

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Most people do not want to look into a Knight double sleeve valve engine unless they have to..   The individual junk heads even of the same model WK engine may have different material junk heads.  If they are cast aluminium alloy there is always a possibility that corrosion in the water jacket pocket that surrounds the centre tube ( which has the spark plug at the bottom) could leak enough water to cause that problem.  Tom Hogan had a spare engine for his big 66 Roadster,  for which I rebuilt the junk rings with molybdenum wire-feed coating, which cured its compression loss and stopped its smoking habit. Several of the aluminium junk heads were corroded enough to leak water;  so we used the full set of cast iron heads that were fine.  If you do have to cast and machine new heads of aluminium.   You need to consult Sir Harry Ricardo's text book  "The High Speed Internal Combustion Engine",  which was the basic text book in universities on heat engines for generations of mechanical engineers.   Gabriel Voisin made his first prototype sleeve valve car with a small but significant design error.  In 1920 it ran perfectly well without detonation on the rubbish low octane fuel of the day, with unprecedented power and economy because the compression ratio was around 8 to 1  !  You have to choose what characteristics you want and what performance you would like.  A steeply conical combustion chamber gives less power at a lower compression ratio with great smoothness.  The radius/curvature to the flat annulus which the piston crown approaches closely at Top Dead Centre gives good turbulence. you will get better power and performance If you choose a much flatter cone,  and better fuel economy;  but the "squish" turbulence may be greater than ideal, and the running will be perceptibly a little less smooth.  In the early 1960s, Phil Irving was the guest at the monthly meeting of the Vintage Drivers' Club in Melbourne.  Phil had produced one of the most successful Formula 1 Racing engines ever,  based on a stock production aluminium cast General Motors  V8 engine block.   When someone asked him a question about modifying 1920s engines for better performance, his answer was brief.   Phil said that you can go to a lot of trouble and expense to make alterations; but you may well discover that the designer was right in the first place.  With a sleeve valve engine it is likely to be safer to do that than with a poppet valve engine.

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