Crack in block - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 28th, 05, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Crack in block

Went and fired up my Camaro(ZZ4) yesterday and water started leaking
from the left side. I was close to tears since then engine has less than 250 miles on it. One question I would like some feedback on is could I clean up around the crack and have someone TIG weld or is it a loss? I am trying to avoid the inevitable pulling the motor apart and purchasing a new block.. Any advice would be appreciated..
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 28th, 05, 07:07 AM
 
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Re: Crack in block

If the crack is on the outside water jacket there are several ways that can be repaired.When welding on cast iron you have to pre heat the block or the crack will keep moving. If the crack is small you can pin it.

My first step would be to remove the engine and tare it down and have it wet maged before any thing to see if it is cracked anywhere else.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 28th, 05, 07:30 AM
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Re: Crack in block

I've seen head bolts leak coolant. Might want to check them first...just a thought.

Marty Lake
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 05, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Crack in block

Thanks for the feedback. I looked at it closer today and it is approx 3 inches long about 1 inch below the deck. Too close for comfort. Will have to replace the block.. Still not sure what caused it. I drained all of the water several months ago. I am still in tears over this... $3400 down the drain..
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 05, 06:05 PM
 
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Thumbs up Re: Crack in block

Heck, clean the crack about as good as you can get it after you drop the coolant level down a bunch AND slap some good old JBWeld on the outside of it!

(I'd use some lacquer thinner or CRC Brake Klean to get her about a spotless as I could!!)....

Let it set up over several days and drive her after filling the rad. back up!

pdq67



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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 05, 06:25 PM
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Re: Crack in block

If it didn't freeze, what caused the crack? Is it out of warranty? It could be a bad casting to start with. Was it ever overheated? I feel for you, that has to suck. Blocks don't just crack for no reason. See if you can havi it sonic checked and see if it is a thin casting. If so you may be able to get GM to swap you for a new one.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 05, 06:31 PM
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Lightbulb Re: Crack in block

I've seen a block welded before with a nickel rod...I think it was nickle. It was not the water passage though, it was a hole caused buy a broken rod in the crank case (four cyl engine). It can be done, and I think that the fact it is in the water passage is a plus. The heat from the welding won't be passed on to the cylinders. It will probably be passed to the deck of the block though. I would talk to a couple of reputable welding shops to make sure you have exhausted all options. I'll find out about the nickle rod.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 05, 08:39 PM
 
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Smile Re: Crack in block

Please do a search for JBWeld here, Team Chevelle and SGCOG sites before you get carried away.

pdq67



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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 05, 09:14 PM
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Re: Crack in block

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdq67
Heck, clean the crack about as good as you can get it after you drop the coolant level down a bunch AND slap some good old JBWeld on the outside of it!

(I'd use some lacquer thinner or CRC Brake Klean to get her about a spotless as I could!!)....

Let it set up over several days and drive her after filling the rad. back up!

pdq67
While I might try to get gm to replace it... if they wouldn't, i wouldn't hesitate a second to pick up some JB... absolutely notihing to lose!





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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 05, 10:52 PM
 
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Re: Crack in block

pdq67 and JimM are right. See if GM will replace it, if not JB Weld will do the trick. Just make sure it is extremely clean and dry mix it according to the directions and you just saved a bundle. After it sets up you can grind it and rough it up and paint over it so it wont be such a noticeable fix while in the car. I think Indy Cylinder Heads do head and block repair and I know others do I just cant think of their names if you really want it welded. I know it takes someone that really knows what their doing when welding cast iron. (if it is cast iron?)
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 05, 10:58 PM
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Re: Crack in block

If you want to try an easy out (like JB weld) I would suggest picking up a container of Copper Block Weld. This will stop the leak and it is semi permanent. It does work and work very well. Personally for a beater car I would do it, but not for your 1st gen Camaro. That is a brand new engine 250 miles, I would want to band aid fix it. JB weld "might" stop the leak, but it is not gong to prevent the block from cracking more. Bite the bullet and do what it takes to fix it. I wouldn't weld it either, mainly because of where the crack is. You will have to machine the deck, and the price will start going up. Not all welding shops will do cast iron. Get a quote and see if they will garantee the work. I would hate to see you spend $500 to repair that block (welding, machine work, gaskets, misc...) and then have more problems. Compare that to the cost of a new block.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 05, 11:08 PM
 
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Re: Crack in block

Just to clarify I would see if GM will replace the block 1st. Second choice is to get a new block. 3rd is if you cant aford to replace the block then JB Weld. The best fix is not JB Weld but it is a fix none the less.

Last edited by TexasPerfProd; Dec 29th, 05 at 11:24 PM.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 05, 06:31 AM
 
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Thumbs up Re: Crack in block

Yes, JBWeld is a "shade-tree" way of getting by and several of the guys have done this to their motors and posted about their successes in the past.

I'm "old-school/shade-tree" and so wouldn't hessitate to use it b/c I have ran cracked headed motors for several years using waterglass, (i.e., sodium silicate), to stop the leak a couple of times through the years and years!!

pdq67



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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 05, 12:44 PM
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Re: Crack in block

Did you drain the block as well as the radiator? I can't believe it just cracked without freezing....

I've also heard to drill a hole at each end of the crack to keep it from cracking further.


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 05, 10:05 PM
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Re: Crack in block

I had a block crack in the same place, I couldnt get jb weld to work so i took the engine out and cleaned the crack with a grinder (just the surface) then pre-heated with a butane torch then welded with a mig, cool it down slowly, then I put jb weld on it and let it dry overnight. It held for five years till the engine blew. May not be the best way to do it but it worked.

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