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Technical HELP! Cracked 216 Chevy block.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by DRD57, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,970


    I've got a car in the shop with a 216 Chevy engine that has a crack in the water jacket on the left side of the block about an inch and a half above the oil galley that runs down the lower left side of the block.

    We've tried TIG welding it with nickel rod but the heat causes additional small cracks in the area.

    Is there any way to fix this without removing the engine from the car?
  2. Cosmo49
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,267


    The fix, IDK. If numbers matching is not important be on the lookout for a full pressure 235 or a 261. Both those engines plug in easily and give you freeway capability. Your 216 can handle freeways if aided by a higher differential (lower numerically), overdrive, etc.
    Nailhead Jason likes this.
  3. Heat it and find the ends of the cracks, then drill an eighth inch hole at the ends of the cracks. Weld toward the holes. Don't weld it more than a 1/4 inch at a time peen the shit out of it. I still prefer to stick weld cast iron but I'm old.

    Chances are that the other cracks were already there, a crack in cast iron that you can see is often just to let know that there's a problem.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  4. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,641


  5. Daddy_O
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 481


    ^^^^^ Ditto to what 'thrirtytwo' said. ^^^^^^^ Not sure how accessible the crack is, but years ago I had one, sounds like in a similar area. Ground "V" into crack with angle/die grinder. Filled with JB Weld and allow to setup properly. Ran good without leaks after that.
  6. A good time in your life to update to a 235 or 261.
  7. slinginrods
    Joined: Oct 6, 2008
    Posts: 422

    from florida

    It's junk. Been there tried it using the prescribed methods. Doesn't last

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  8. Vimtage Iron
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 552

    Vimtage Iron

    To try to have a good weld it just about has to come out to get repaired,usually sent to a shop that does this,American cylinder head in Oakland does this type of repair, but its not cheap, they heat the whole block, weld it, and let it slowly cool, pretty costly repair, I had a 4 cylinder tractor head welded there a few years ago and it ran about 700 $, as suggested you might look into a 235 to replace it.
  9. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,320

    Dan Timberlake

  10. ol-nobull
    Joined: Oct 16, 2013
    Posts: 1,640


    Hi. Well dang. If you were close enough I would give you my old engine & you could salvage the block and some other good parts. It went down 3 years ago with thrashed timing gears & pushrods, etc. & I just decided to put in a 235. Old engine is just sitting here gathering rust, dust & bugs.
  11. Yeah, any kind of welded repair on cast iron is difficult and expensive. The places that know what they're doing charge by the inch and the last time I had it done (many years ago) it was $100 per.

    You used to see some machine shops that 'pinned' cracks with success. Start at one end of the crack, drill/tap a hole and thread in a bolt. Cut it off near flush and peen the end. Repeat, overlapping the next hole with the previous one by about 1/3 the diameter. Repeat until you get the other end. There's a few tricks (sometimes sealer is used on the bolts, and don't tap the holes too deep; you want the bolt to bottom out, not thread all the way in) and it doesn't always work depending on the thickness of the material or if it's more than a 'simple' crack. Works best on thicker castings. Leaves a somewhat obvious repair unless you machine it flat, but can work.
  12. doyoulikesleds
    Joined: Jul 12, 2014
    Posts: 293


    Now that you tried to weld it the only option you have is to replace the block
    clem likes this.
  13. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 6,110

    A Boner

    ^ this.....with insert main bearings, not babbitt like in a 216
  14. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,563


    Another If you were close enough, I have a 48 216/235 shortblock(not sure which) out of my grandfather's old 48 1 ton in the shed that needs a new home. I saved it when I put a 235 in the truck.
  15. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,633

    from Chino, Ca

    The later 216s had insert main bearings and the early, pre 1953 235s. are the same as 216s (see Mr. 48's reply)
  16. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,400


    It can be stitched and laced. I did the one in my '39 in the early '70's and no leak since then.
    I ran straight water in it until it rusted all the way up as I recall. I used malleable iron machine screws, drill, tap, screw in, cut off mostly flush peen, drill tap peen and repeat again and again. Drill slightly into the one you just installed so that it 'locks'. I know they make tapered threaded stock for this process.
    This outfit makes some kits
    good luck
  17. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,274


    Brass will work but it will need to be laying flat when you braze it. Drill the ends of the crack and v it out. As a last resort water glass.
  18. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    Member Emeritus

    You need to find someone who does farm equipment, or diesel truck repair work that does welding. Those farm implements and deisel truck parts are't cheap; so repairing them is the easiest/cheapest route. Don't attempt it yourself, and mess it up further, as you're finding out with additional cracks. BUT, if it can't be repaired, I have a conversion setup that allows you to install the later style six up against the 40-54 Chevrolet car 3 speeds. Even the smallest, late model six, a 194, will run circles around your 216; a 250 will make you a believer for sure. 194 six 120HP/177TQ; 230 six 140HP/220 TQ; 250 six 150-155HP/235TQ; your 216 six 92HP/176TQ. JMO and offering.. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  19. 24 Dodge
    Joined: May 2, 2010
    Posts: 717

    24 Dodge

    sunbeam don't want to be stupid but what is water glass ?
  20. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope

    Waterglass. or sodium silicate, is a compound also known as liquid glass.Used to be used to preserve eggs, dip them in a solution and let dry, it kept the air out and the eggs would last a lot longer. The oilfields use it in drilling mud to seal porous formations. In a leaky block, it seeps out the cracks then solidifies when the engine gets hot. I have used it many times, works most times. I put it in a Y-block that had leaking head gaskets. Sealed it up, but when we finally decided to tear it down and fix it right, the heads wouldn't come off! They broke before they came loose. ECZ heads, too, damn it!
  21. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,578

    Rusty O'Toole

    Can be stitched with threaded pins or JB weld or a can of Bar's Leaks in the rad.

    Here is Jay Leno demonstrating the stitch technique on an amazing exploded 100 year old fire engine. There are other videos showing engines more like yours, and how the job is done.

  22. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,123


    poerkandbeaner, I quite like your replies with humour and sound advice. I presume your advice on drilling an eight inch hole at th ends of the crack is either a failsafe way in which you would not have to try to repair the block or humorous. Or perhaps a typo? LOL
  23. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,274


    If you drill the ends of the crack the crack will not grow any more.
    clunker likes this.
  24. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,123


    I know that but EIGHT inches? Won't be a lot of the block left in that area!
  25. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,082

    from California

    well, with an 8 inch hole at each end of a crack you won't have to worry about the crack anymore.
  26. Toqwik
    Joined: Feb 1, 2003
    Posts: 1,308


    They make a product that comes in a blue plastic bottle, it's called blue something. Anyway that stuff is amazing. I have used it on 5 ot cars and it works every time. It's not cheap, like 50 bucks a bottle but it always worked for me. There are utube videos on it.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  27. Toqwik
    Joined: Feb 1, 2003
    Posts: 1,308


  28. elba
    Joined: Feb 9, 2013
    Posts: 624


    I would try some aircraft fuel tank sealer made by Pro Seal . I have stopped many leaks with this sealer. It IS tough and very hard to remove. It will not be bothered by water, oil, gasoline and will not come off in your water jacket. It can be bought at Aircraft Spruce and other distributers. Area must be clean and oil free before applying sealer .
  29. I had a 216 head which was pinned this way (before I got it), cleaned it up and shaved a little, ran well & didn't leak. I only persisted with it as 235's are hard to come by here.
    You could probably score a full pressure 235 in the U.S. for less than the repair of the original 216.
  30. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414


    I bought a 67 Chevy 2 with a 194 six cylinder that had been parked with straight water.
    it cracked between the freeze plugs. I was going to do a v-8 conversion so I drilled the block at the ends of the crack , ground it out. Took some nickel rod and ran 3 stringer beads with an old Lincoln buzz box. Filled it up with coolant and a couple those GM stop leak pills and danged if that old 6 ran for 2 years until I got my 350 built and painted the car. Drove it from Arizona to Arkansas pulling a uhaul trailer. Weld em up. Don't be scared. I never even pulled the engine out of the car.

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