Need your expert opinion

Discussion in 'General IH Tech' started by ddedman, Apr 3, 2012.


  1. ddedman

    ddedman Farmall Cub

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Kalispell, MT
    This posting does not apply to IH in anyway so if it needs to be moved please do so. I am currently working on a 1925 American Lafrance fire engine. This truck was original to our fire department from the factory and was mothballed in 1986 due to a cracked head. Come to find out all three heads are cracked and will need repaired. Here is the problem, these are a cast head so you simply cant weld them. They have to be properly heated, welded and cooled to prevent further crack. I had a local man with a vast amount of experience doing this however the cracks only worsened or new cracks appeared. I am toying with the idea of epoxy to seal the cracks which only affect the outer jacket and not the cylinder wall. What are your experiences with this type of ordeal if you have them. You cant purchase these things and when you do find them they are $$$$$$$. For those of you in Texas, there is a Texas fire museum that is rumored to have new cast heads available but I cant seem to get in touch with them. Maybe someone here knows this museum and can help me out..

    http://photobucket.com/KFD25LaFrance
     
  2. Robert JetFxr

    Robert JetFxr High Wheeler

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,645
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Somewhere in the middle of Montana
    Put a Binder motor in it and be done, you have enough on your plate. But if it is only the water jacket not combustion chamber I have seen folks that have had good luck with high quaility block sealers. The kind you pour into the water system and run engine until the engine get hot and seals up. I had a guy I used to work with that sealed up a cracked head on a 5.0 Mustang that lasted for several years and then sold the car that way. I really don't see you guys doing any cross country junts with the truck anyway. Besides you really don't have a lot to loose by trying it:D
     
  3. User Name

    User Name Farmall Cub

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    north county, ca
    If you absolutely want to weld it, the proper way would be to drill holes and stitch the weld hole to hole(like a shoelace). Preheat it and bury it in sand when your done (if possible). Welding cast is a crapshoot for the best of em'. Good luck
     
  4. Dennis Bernth

    Dennis Bernth Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2001
    Messages:
    5,968
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Mill Creek, IN.
    If it's not carrying a ton of pressure (which I doubt with the age, before pressurized cooling systems I would guess) I'd go with JB Weld. I know it's kind of a joke, mentioned in the same breath with duct tape, but the stuff works. I've patched up holey gas tanks with it, and I did use it on an old Cockshutt tractor on a block crack. I welded what I could, but it was still seeping pretty good, so I ground the weld down, put on a layer of JB, let it harden well, and no more leaks. You have nothing to lose, it's not going to hurt the casting any, and it's easy enough to remove if you come up with a magical way to get the heads welded that will really work.

    As far as the block sealer that Robert mentioned, I doubt it would work; I think those depend on pressure to force the sealer out the crack where it builds up and plugs the hole. No pressure, no sealing action. For under ten bucks, try the JB Weld, I think you'll be happy.
     
  5. kb'sforme

    kb'sforme High Wheeler

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,014
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    houston,tx
    Give me all the info on the motor. And I'll try to find the source for heads down here. Other wise depending on your budget. I would check out the nearest foundry that does sand casting and ask them to make you some. Since you still have the oem they can use it as a blank to build the mold. It may be pricey but you would have new heads.
    As a last result ship they to me. I can weld cast very well.
    I would ask what process did the guy who tried to weld them use?
    Ask 20 welders how to weld cast you'll get 20 answers.
    A lot of people. Believe a high Nickle rod on an arc welder is best but I diss agree! The crack must be stopped at both ends with a hole as stated. The pre heat and post heat. The best process with a optimal heat effected area is OA welding. Using a high heat flux and a true cast rod. I have done this on several engine parts and never heard back from anyone that it didn't hold. So find some one familiar with gas welding and have them do it.
     
  6. ddedman

    ddedman Farmall Cub

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Kalispell, MT
    Yeah I agree. Theese things didnt have any pressure and it sill uses the splash style oiling system. I do believe that the guy doing the work heated the head in his "oven" as in made for this operation oven and OA welded just as KB mention. What was not done was the holes being drilled and the ends of the crack. Sometimes its hard to argue with an 80 year old ruff and tuff farm boy who is working for free mostly. Im thinking currently JB weld is the way to go. Cant hurt to try it. The heads remove fairly easily.
     
  7. Eric VanBuren

    Eric VanBuren Lives in an IH Dealership

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Messages:
    6,011
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Maple Valley , Wa
    Stop drill the cracks and JB weld. I've did that to a water jacket on a 302 block many years ago and it's still holding fine.
     
  8. mike4514

    mike4514 Binder Driver

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Hudson, WI
    Just outside of town here there is a shop that is known for repairing cast. They mostly do old, aircraft, automotive and marina cast head and jug welding repair. This is all he does. If you call, ask for Buck. Hes a great guy and a streight shooter. He has repaired several block and heads for us in the past and does great work.


    Crow Custom Cast Welding
    castmetalwelding.com
    (715) 425-6653

    364 Ruthie Ln, Hudson, WI

    http://www.castmetalwelding.com/Marine_Engines.html
    http://www.castmetalwelding.com/Automotive_Engine.html



    With NO guarantee, mention to him it is for a Fire Dept., he has donate work to our department before.......just sayin'
     
  9. Doc Stewart

    Doc Stewart Content Team Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Messages:
    8,593
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA 94066
    In college, a classmate towed an Alfa Romeo out to Calif from Ohio in the dead of winter. Coolant was not right and the water jacket on the fancy engine cracked. We glued it together with Devcon - a precursor to JBWeld - and raced it at Riverside. It was still working when he drove it back to Ohio.

    Are you familiar with SPAMFAA? Fire engine people. Lots of good info and contacts.
     
  10. ddedman

    ddedman Farmall Cub

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Kalispell, MT
    Thanks for the replies. We have decided to go with the epoxy route. I actually belong to the American Lafrance Owners Network forum, however, that place is relatively dead. That forum is tied to SPAMMFAA.
     

Share This Page