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223 cracked head repair

 
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GlennYale



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:10 pm    Post subject: 223 cracked head repair Reply with quote

I have 1940 Special Six that has crack in head leading to #4 spark plug. Continuously weeps until coolant level in radiator drops to level of head crack. I plan to remove head, inspect and have repaired. I do not believe coolant leaks into cylinder at this time.
Thoughts?

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Larry
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:00 am    Post subject: Cylinder Head Repair Reply with quote

My favorite Pontiac! I have a 2519 Chevy body 4-door sedan.

Before my comments below, be sure to check with our expert Pontiac Flathead Tech Advisor, Charles Bolten at: Bolten2@aol.com

Cast iron repairs can be a little tricky. Mostly because there aren't many "old times" versed in cast iron welding any more. If you have a good welder, "V" grinding on both sides should be fine. However two questions pop up. 1) resurfacing the head afterwards and 2) how the crack impacts the spark plug hole.

As for antifreeze, it does fry bearings, but the tiny amount you are describing is probably burning off way before reaching the oil pan.

Before I did this, I would do some serious hunting for a new head. I realize these parts are getting harder and harder to find, but with the millions of Pontiac sixes built with many years interchangeable, you should be able to find one.

Check with Windy Hill, French Lake, or RPM Motorsports all three being in Minnesota. Also check with California Pontiac Restorations (see ad at the right). They have lots of older parts. As a matter of fact, Rich the owner is in love with '39 and '40 Pontiacs!

Oddly, the Hollander Interchange Manuals split right at 1940 (between volumes). However they do show the 1937-'40, while different (in some ways?) having all the bolt holes lining up. The next book shows 1941-'54 as all interchanging with just higher compression rations as the years went up. I don't know from these listings if something changed in 1941, but people like Rich should know. A later one would make a real hot rod with higher compression, but better get a firm answer before trying. I'll check some more too.

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GlennYale



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Larry, I was able to source a head from French Lake. Will mag particle test before buy.
I will also send email to Charles Bolten. My question is can the leak from the non visible crack 2 inches long be stopped with a polymer of some sort. Head is off and appears crack is localized in the top of head where only pressure is from the water pump. No antifreeze in any cylinder. I could apply polymer fix, reinstall head and run. Hopefully no leak from repair or by reusing original head gasket. Sound reasonable?

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Larry
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:18 pm    Post subject: Cylinder Head Reply with quote

I would assume that if the crack is "non visible" that it was located through testing of some sort. And if it is non visible, I wonder how you could repair it. Are you thinking of grinding access to it ("V" grind along the crack)? Surely I would stop drill it on both ends. But grinding and drilling on something you can't see may be a challenge.

All that said, if you accomplish that, the mention of "polymer" is confusing. I'm guessing there are strengths of that material ranging from household plumbing to the space shuttle. I would find someone to braze it and be safe.

Now if the new head checks out, I would use it and forget all this other stuff. A crack in those old heads is pretty rare. The new one should last forever.

Using the old head gasket again...? Only of it is very new. Otherwise, no. Don't go through all of this and skimp on the gasket. Not worth an additional tear down. They are available in many places (I sold some on eBay a few months ago).

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GlennYale



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:12 pm    Post subject: 1940 Pontiac Sport Coupe with Coach in head Reply with quote

Based on all the info I have gathered, I will go with a new used head that has been magnafluxed. Also will use new gasket.
Re the crack. Clearly visible as it weeps coolant. When dry I can not detect crack.
Do you have a source for the gasket. I know Kanter has complete engine gasket set.
Thanks for the help.
I have many questions as I dig into this car. Expect my
posts.

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Larry
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:07 am    Post subject: Cylinder Head Gasket Reply with quote

I would try California Pontiac Restoration (see their ad to the right). They will (should) have an individual gasket for you.

Keep the old head and if ever needed, it can be repaired. Don't throw away anything! I wish I had kept all the "take offs" from these old cars over the years.

Yell with any questions. I have a '40 and lots of experience (good, bad, or otherwise) with them.

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GlennYale



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:11 pm    Post subject: 1940 Cracked Head! Reply with quote

I was successful finding a used head that has magnafluxed OK! Being shipped to me now. Also found a local old timer who did stitch repair of the fine crack. He magnafluxed the head to identify length. Crack is only to the water side. Stiitch repair was done and head holds 40 psi. Cost of repair was $150.
Flatness was measured and found out by 0.009”. I will have it machined flat and use new gasket.
If you want this reference for others I will send along this old timer’s contact info.

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Larry
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:23 pm    Post subject: Head Repair Reply with quote

If the fellow doesn't mind, I would ask you to just add his contact to your post. That way anyone who sees the title might check to find help.
Thanks!

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