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Exhaust manifold repair


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Amazing . . . .  And Matt thought his Lincoln was in sad shape. 

 

I have seen videos of the stitching process, but now I have to ask. You said that some of these were MISSING PIECES(!)   

I can see fitting two original broken halves together, but where are you getting the new material when something is missing? 

 

There has been discussion of the different versions of cast iron.

Is there a need to try to match the age or alloy of the original iron to replace a missing segment?

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If there are missing pieces, I either just use cast iron stock , or make a pattern and have a piece cast. If it is not critical for appearance and the customer wants to cut cost, I have even used steel plate.

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Heres a question, Does the engine have to be taken apart to do stitching ?  On a Buick Nailhead it has developed a crack in the water jacket.

Can it just be done while the engine is still together ?

IMG_2310.thumb.jpeg.01edd891b7a7a2f137d66897d48928cb.jpeg

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On 10/6/2020 at 7:21 AM, Paul S said:

The manifold might be a candidate for oxy/acet. torch welding with cast iron filler rod.

Paul,

 

Exactly what Frank said. Can you post your contact information or send me a PM so we can discuss ?

 

Thanks

 

Dave

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1 hour ago, Bill Stoneberg said:

Heres a question, Does the engine have to be taken apart to do stitching ?  On a Buick Nailhead it has developed a crack in the water jacket.

Can it just be done while the engine is still together ?

IMG_2310.thumb.jpeg.01edd891b7a7a2f137d66897d48928cb.jpeg

 

Yes. That's the main reason we collectively decided to have the block stitched instead of trying to find a replacement block--no need to disassemble the engine since the process is cold. As long as they have access to the affected area with their drills and taps, they can stitch it with the internals still in place. I did remove the engine from the car, of course, but the bottom end was untouched. The repair held 45 PSI for two days, so it was obviously tight. Once the block is painted, it will be 100% invisible and permanent.

 

Block5.thumb.jpg.bf2eafc77ebefe0ed65581103967684a.jpg  12660.thumb.jpeg.a82b66d1f9a03c9b500f888335295dfa.jpeg  12714.thumb.jpeg.ea8e2f0869f036171471abbba6bb4dfb.jpeg

 

12670a.thumb.jpg.b4485a219ab1591da57ab7819b76418c.jpg  12717.thumb.jpeg.e6b04464fc4b414fed2103c36c47a976.jpeg  12716.thumb.jpeg.e072aaffd0418581988040a95f34450b.jpeg

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The engine does not have to be dismantled unless there is something in the way. It can even be done in the car if it is possible to get to it.

4 hours ago, Bill Stoneberg said:

Heres a question, Does the engine have to be taken apart to do stitching ?  On a Buick Nailhead it has developed a crack in the water jacket.

Can it just be done while the engine is still together ?

IMG_2310.thumb.jpeg.01edd891b7a7a2f137d66897d48928cb.jpeg

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I really hope it holds. The real proof will be how it survives a few heat/cool cycles. I'm not convinced that welding/brazing can survive on any cast iron part that needs to move around as much as exhaust manifolds on an inline engine. It's going to be ultra-critical that the manifold is installed properly with correct surfacing, proper spring washers, and careful attention to torque specs. I paid $1200 for a repaired manifold that seemed good until I started driving with it:

 

Before (professionally repaired):

s-l1600d.thumb.jpg.9a9e693cc612a0fe7b1352264fccfbdd.jpg  s-l1600b.thumb.jpg.999ead3e18912a1e6d75753bbdc0a99f.jpg  s-l1600k.thumb.jpg.6ae59e061c6bf782e5e518cd4cb5c5d2.jpg

 

Installed on the engine:

DSC_3364.thumb.JPG.3b65a45d1dc81a4566d7dbb4d1aeacbb.JPG

 

1200 miles later:

1425156210_2019-03-0215_12_28.thumb.jpg.51f35cb6bb88a371cc514bc4359b209e.jpg

 

Before it went in the trash:

DSC_3357a.thumb.jpg.9e16219c8f535ea04acd35e38aeac5f2.jpg

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

I really hope it holds. The real proof will be how it survives a few heat/cool cycles. I'm not convinced that welding/brazing can survive on any cast iron part.........

 


Matt.....I agree. They didn’t even sand blast the manifold before the welded on it...........unless it was clamped, clean, and heated the chance of it holding are very small.......especially over time. 

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it was ground, clamped to a plate and heated to 900 deg. for welding, stress relieved at 1000 deg. and cooled slowly also reheated between welding, unless you were here while I was doing it . I do not need comment's on how I did it. 

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49 minutes ago, Paul S said:

it was ground, clamped to a plate and heated to 900 deg. for welding, stress relieved at 1000 deg. and cooled slowly also reheated between welding, unless you were here while I was doing it . I do not need comment's on how I did it. 

 

 Paul, looks good.  I am betting it will hold .  Has to be better than it was. Good for you.

 

  Ben

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17 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 Paul, looks good.  I am betting it will hold .  Has to be better than it was. Good for you.

 

  Ben

Thank you !!!!!!

 

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Living close to Paul and his also talented son Jr. and seeing his work both completed and in progress and the variety of projects he's undertaken my bet is on the manifold not the nay sayers...........Bob

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6 hours ago, Paul S said:

it was ground, clamped to a plate and heated to 900 deg. for welding, stress relieved at 1000 deg. and cooled slowly also reheated between welding, unless you were here while I was doing it . I do not need comment's on how I did it. 

 

This is THE reason I usually stay out of these threads.

I've heard entirely too many times "I heard........." or "You can't weld cast iron" or whatever other words of wisdom too many times.

Reminds me of a time in the shop when I was straightening a school bus driveshaft.

A customer walked in and asked what I was doing and I told him to which he replied "You can't do that".

Mind you I was the 3rd generation to own this machine/welding shop.......I replied "I wish we had known that 25 years ago, we'd have stopped doing it"....... :rolleyes:

I wish I knew how many manifolds we gas welded over the years.

 

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Let's talk about welding cast iron.......and also giving a customer a guarantee that it will hold up. There is no professional restoration shop that will weld on a manifold and guarantee the work.......NONE. Now, you can weld cast iron....and done properly it will work depending on the application, casting, method of welding, and about fifty other variables. I have seen many manifolds welded....and the ones that don't crack and fail again are for the most part post war units. They are also shorter and less stressed than the pre war units that are mostly attached to the intake to heat the fuel and are 36 inches long. Repaired manifolds can not be porcelainized as it will not stick to the repair. Fact is there is NO shop that I know of that will guarantee welding any cast iron........unless it's some common part that has zero core value and is easily replaced. I have had my post war tractor manifolds welded successfully, but the simple question is......why are there so many reproduction manifolds available for antique cars? Because welding is a poor option, and not a correct fix. For the time, effort, and money spent on welding on junk you can usually have a new product in hand. My guess is that Buick manifolds haven't been done yet. A pattern for the manifold in this thread can be easily made.......it's rather a simple casting.........and it sure seems there is a market for them. Yes, I have done manifold runs and know what's involved..........the worst part of reproducing manifolds is the headaches of selling them. When a manifold fails, and it's successfully welded......how long the repair will lasts is  unknown...........if failed once and rest assured, there is probably a 90 percent chance it will fail again soon. I don't do work like that. As a back yard project or shady tree mechanic repair its a personal choice. A repair worth doing is worth doing correctly.....and welding on cast iron manifolds is NOT a correct repair. My best to all, and to each is own. 

 

PS- I didn't take a photo of it, but recently we just did the manifolds on our Cadillac. All six of them........yup, the car has six cast exhaust manifolds that take countless hours to remove and install. It's a job I only want to do once. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Of course I am wishing the manifold a long and happy repaired life but will continue to look for a spare or parts car with a good one still attached. The 31 and 32 , 60 series exhaust manifolds are unique and a fast count shows 55,135 60 series Buicks produced. I am not sure  what the market would be for new castings but I would be open to a reproduced manifold if anyone with a supply has one or is considering making a run. I missed a couple of engines removed for hot rods so I do have hope on a spare. 

 

Thanks for all the help.

 

Dave

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With luck the weld will hold forever, but even if it only holds till you find a good used one it will be a good enough repair to keep you driving......if it holds forever, having a good used unit on the shelf is your best insurance.......I was wondering how many different manifolds and series permutations there were in the 30's Buicks. Sounds like a bunch of them, and probably why they have not been made yet. Sadly hot roders  have become a good source of hard parts the last 25 years.......but it seems new builds of them are also slowing down. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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A few years ago I looked into having a run of '41-42 large series dual carb Buick exhaust manifolds made. They looked simple enough and at a glance it was possible that they were nothing more than mirror images of each other. Sadly, that was not the case. Once I talked to the foundry and the machine shop that would finish them, it was looking like $2500-3000 per pair, and that was before any mark-up for resellers. I didn't think there was much market for a set of 3500-$4000 manifolds for those cars, much as I needed them for myself, and the up-front investment would have been massive. Can it be done? Sure. Economically? Yikes.

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18 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

A few years ago I looked into having a run of '41-42 large series dual carb Buick exhaust manifolds made. They looked simple enough and at a glance it was possible that they were nothing more than mirror images of each other. Sadly, that was not the case. Once I talked to the foundry and the machine shop that would finish them, it was looking like $2500-3000 per pair, and that was before any mark-up for resellers. I didn't think there was much market for a set of 3500-$4000 manifolds for those cars, much as I needed them for myself, and the up-front investment would have been massive. Can it be done? Sure. Economically? Yikes.

 

 

Thats the problem with all reproduction parts today. We will often advertise a possible project to see what response we get......then make the numbers work for the people who sign up..........and we figure a zero profit on the first batch. Lately we usually make only three or four for the shelf. We also tell people it's a one time and one chance project. Three years later they call looking to buy a part at the "in" price we did for the first batch of sign ups. Usually the parts are long gone, and if not....the last one on the shelf is the most expensive one to buy. The trick is to buy all the consumables when they are available....so you don't spend years looking for something when your car breaks down. Even tires today are only made in runs every few years.......and its possible to get put on back order while they accumulate enough orders to make the next run.............it happens all the time. 

 

PS- None of this makes any financial sense.......you got to love it.......or it will drive you crazy.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

I got the manifold back from Paul and it looked great. It was real close to being flat but I took it to a recommended machine shop for their advice. The shop owners first comment after looking it over was "who ever welded this knew what the hell he was doing". He did take a little off to true it up, the biggest problem was setting up the straight 8 manifold on his machine.

Going to start putting it back together with the graphite oil mixture and correct washers. I am going to put it on just  tight enough to seal and still move around as needed.

 

Dave 

 

 

Edited by Dave39MD (see edit history)
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