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Water jacket advice and block opinions sought '31 Auburn


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Still trying to sort out my 1931 Auburn engine issue. 

Block is cracked in exactly this location at the valve guides ( it is , after all , the same basic casting! ) :



I finally pulled the water jacket cover off to see how ugly things were inside the block as I'm considering sending it off to try and lock stitch the cracks.

Here is what I found:



As you can see , the area directly in front of the water inlet pipe is the most heavily affected. Not sure what to make of that. I do know that #5 cylinder was previously sleeved .

I did try the 'quick fix' of Irontite to try and deal with the crack without success.That stuff is now mostly lying in the bottom of the block as a sort of powder. I suspect that Irontite doesn't workswell on unpressurized systems since there is nothing to force it into the cracks!

Thoughts on continuing or looking for another block? IT' interested that the worst afffected area is right in front of the water inlet.

I'd like to keep the original l block if at all possible


On the water jacket cover issue. The one I took off is copper plated over steel . They did not come from the factory that way so I'm pretty sure that it has been repaired in the past.

What's missing from the water jacket is the distribution plate . Most of cars of this era had these plates and they are the first thing to rust way and disappear so they typically don't get put back in place. I understand that is one reason why the rear cylinders might run hotter on restorations since the coolant 'short circuits' to the front of the block.

Here's one from this Packard posting:




So I fabricated a distribution plate out of stainless following the instructions of another owner who had a photo of an old survivor water jacket. Notice the front of the plate is pinched to stop the coolant follow from 'short circuiting'.


If you've lasted this long  in reading this lengthy post congratulations, here is the question:

I have a copper plated steel water jacket that I need to attach a stainless steel plate to. How does one do this?

1) solder it?

2) weld/solder some studs or maybe even stainless t-nuts to the cover and bolt it on .

3) Breakout the JB Weld and epoxy it in place . It should stay at a temp that is within its application range.

I should mention the the water jacket itself has taken on a 'banana' profile that will just add to the fun .

I was going to Glyptal the unpainted copper plated areas to stop any galvanic corrosion issues as I understand that can be an issue with that type of repair.


Thanks in advance.




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Thanks for the replies.



I could try and fabricate a second plate but that area is already prone to sealing challenges and another plate would just double the fun with another gasket .

Plus I've already spent time ( you would think lining up 39 holes would be easy but it isn't ) and dollars on what I've got . Definite Plan B though if I can't get this to work.



Any thoughts on soft solder and flux for stainless?

I was concerned about what heating up the copper plate to soldering temps would do to the plating ( IE might cause separation)  but I guess it isn't much different than the bottom of a kitchen pot!

I think silver solder would be overkill and might actually damage the plating. but I do have some lower temp silver solder alloy for jewelry.

Neverhad any success with silver solder other than to turn everything into a hot scorched mess.


I did a similar repair to another cover by channeling my inner tractor mechanic and using jb Weld between the glytpal painted inside cover ( not plated)  and the stainless plate because,well, I had already sprayed the cover , it was pretty and I didn't want to redo it. My confidence in that repair is waning!



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