You are Unregistered, please register to use all of the features of Homesteading Today!    
Homesteading Forum

Go Back   Homesteading Forum > General Homesteading Forums > Homesteading Questions

LinkBack Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.
Old 02/11/04, 07:16 PM
Posts: n/a
Anybody ever fixed a cracked engine block with JB weld?

OK, the engine block seems to be cracked on the Volvo. So before we call the junk yard, I see that the JB weld site and the quicksteel site both mention fixing cracked engine blocks as something they do. anybody ever actually done that or know someone who did? I did use quicksteel to repair a hole in the metal of a refrigerator freezer box. The refrigeration guy assured me it was nonfixable, and wouldn't work. I tried it anyway and had him fill it back with freon...been working for three years so far. It is worth a try anyway, I won't haver that much to lose and much to gain.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/11/04, 07:31 PM
comfortablynumb's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
Posts: 4,808
whats the block made of.... iorn or aluminum?
you can try brazing with a special alloy like this;

Last edited by comfortablynumb; 02/11/04 at 07:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/11/04, 07:58 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,278
JB Weld

I am a big fan of JB weld. If you can get to the cracks (and are sure that all the cracks are external, not internal) you should be able to repair the engine. Clean it off well, grind out the cracks a bit and fill them with JB Weld. Let it cure and you should be good to go. Also, a good welder can braze the block if he can get to the cracks. The max pressure is going to be about l4 pounds so the job does not have to be all that stout. (We are assuming here that this is a cast iron engine.)

If the alternative is junking the car/engine, what have you to lose?
Reply With Quote
Old 02/11/04, 08:20 PM
Posts: n/a
There is an old trick where you use witch hazel to fix freeze crack in cast iron blocks, but you first have to make sure that every bit of antifreeze is out of the system, perhaps someone else will know more about this fix.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/11/04, 08:21 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 51
Volvos have cast iron blocks as far as I know. JB weld should work. If its just a hairline crack that "weeps" coolant an even easier fix would be radiator stop leak, Bars-Leak to be exact. I had an old Chevy truck with a cracked block and head that would weep coolant. One application of bars leak did the job for several years. When you change the coolant, if you do, replace the bars leak if the leak returns.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/11/04, 08:22 PM
Shrek's Avatar
Singletree Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 10,738
I fixed a dragstrip nova with JB and raced it all season.
"I didn't have time to slay the dragon. It's on my To Do list!"
Reply With Quote
Old 02/11/04, 08:39 PM
Posts: n/a
If the crack is on the block and is not at the mating surface of your exhaust manifold, yes it will work. There are many cold weld products out there some are imo better than JB for ease of use but it will work.( I don't like quicksteel)
Make sure you clean the area off completely removing any paint,grease, oil,anti-freeze and so on. Allow weld to harden overnight before usage!!
I have used cold welds on engines and sterndrive boat tranny's and have worked well if applied properly and given ample time to harden. A competent welder can also repair this for you as was mentioned by a previous poster.
Is this a coolant passage leak?? If so was it caused by freeze cracking??
If it was make sure you replace your coolant!! Good luck!
Reply With Quote
Old 02/11/04, 08:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 73
Ensure the crack(s) are very clean and dry along with the sorrounding area's. JB weld works well and should do the trick nicely. Have used it on 600 lb. steam systems that are still holding up well. You really have nothing to lose.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/12/04, 08:42 AM
Posts: n/a
[QUOTE=Unregistered]If the crack is on the block and is not at the mating surface of your exhaust manifold, yes it will work. There are many cold weld products out there some are imo better than JB for ease of use but it will work.( I don't like quicksteel)"

Could you be a bit more specific with the better product selections and why? From reading the site information it appears Quicksteel has slightly better specifications on some things, so I wondered if they had a downside? The auto parts store had a new product by the Bars folks, but it required draing and filling and draining and filling the engine, seemed like more trouble and more expensive than repairing from the outside where the crack can be seen.
The new stuff isn't even listed on their web site, the auto store just got it in and said no one here has tried it. Anybody think of a reason I can't try both? I'm thinking we try to fix the leak externally and then after that cures run the internal stuff in case we missed somthing.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/12/04, 09:00 AM
Posts: n/a
Horse pucky

Horse pucky. If you are going to wind up scraping the car out to a salvage yard you might give the old old remedy of adding horse manure to the radiator.

The fine fibers of the digested material will cog/block the leak and seal it off. How much do you put in? Just enough to do the job without creating other flow problems. Haven't a clue in other words.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/12/04, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 526
Yes, you can repair cracked blocks and get years of service from it, I've done it a number of times. If the crack is just on the water jackets and is large you can drain some of the water out, pack the large cracks with cotton, when the engine is hot pour the metalic block seal in the radiator and let the engine idle until the leaking stops, shut off the engine and drain water out making sure you get it all out, let it set up all night before using. This also works for inside cracks that lets water get into the crankcase. You can use the JB weld to smooth it out and shore up on the outside, this is good stuff but have to be sure the surface is ultra clean, I use hot soapy water and then sand lightly before applying.
I have a 1963 Deisel tractor that has been running since 1972 with a patched block, inside crack and outside. The water jacket seeps a little sometimes but no big problem. If you fix it and decide to sell, do the right thing and tell the buyer.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/12/04, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Indiana
Posts: 989
Well I don't know about engines, but I do know that my dh lives on JB Weld and duct tape. He used jb weld and bread ties to fix my glasses-but b/c I needed a new rx anyway I only wore them a week. He used jb and duct tape to fix my passanger side mirror on my neon-lasted 3 years. He used the tape only to hold it until it was dry. He uses JB on just about everything.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/12/04, 11:53 AM
Posts: n/a
Could you be a bit more specific with the better product selections and why?
Well not really, I used quicksteel on a radiator before and I just didn't like it and sometimes JB can be a little hard to grip. The Quicksteel DID WORK on a rather large hole I just didn't like working with it. I really shouldn't have knocked it because it did work.
Any good two part epoxy with a 2-5 minute work time will work. I recently used a 60 sec set epoxy to repair a copper water pipe, hot water side of the line. It was at a fitting connection and was not something I felt like taking apart and doing the right way (not my house) So I used epoxy and was done in 3 minutes. Hasn't leaked in months. If you can find MARINE-TEX that is pretty good and is what I've used for stern-drive repair. Its like JB but has a better initial hold. I would say go ahead and use a small amount of a stiffer epoxy like JB or quicksteel to FILL the crack let it harden and then bolster the outside of it with a more liquid epoxy. Bars leak will work for GASKET and PIN-HOLE leaks only, Horse manure is for fertlizing( unless you want to plant flowers in your engine ) Just try it, the AREA MUST BE DRY AND CLEAN or it will not work.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/12/04, 12:13 PM
chickflick's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 575

Did it, worked for a while... just fix it right the first time. 1991 Ranger still sitting in yard... HOWEVER.. if you just want the vehicle for farm use, etc... I'd say do it. Just don't go too far in too hot of weather.
Spoiler ALERT: For those of you who've never read Steinbeck's "East of Eden".... timshel means "thou mayest".
Reply With Quote
Old 02/12/04, 12:32 PM
southerngurl's Avatar
le person
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 6,244
I was just reading a organic gardening from 1977. Here is a letter that was in it, odd, but interesting. I have zero knowledge on vehicles and what not, boring.

Dear Editor,
Last October I hadn't put antifreeze in my Satoh 650 tractor, and when the temperature dropped to 19*, the engine block cracked. Not wanting to spend $250 for a new head for the moreor or $19 for a fast welding job, I took a friend's advice and fixed the crack using the whites of two eggs and half a can of condensed milk! I mixed the milk and eggs together, poured the mixture into the radiator, whick still had some water in it, and let the tractor idle for about and hour. the milk makes the sides of te crack sticky, and the egg wites stick to it. The hotter the eggs get, the the harder they get until they're hard as rocks. Six months later my tractor doesn't leak one drop of water in the oil and it has run as good as new. It sounds unbelievable, but it works and if it worked for my cracked head, it should work on any tractor.

Roy S. Gordy
Ringgold, Georgia

The 7th Day is still God's Sabbath
Layton Hollow ADGA Nubians
Have a few reservations left for 2016!
Reply With Quote
Old 02/12/04, 12:57 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: colorado
Posts: 4,382
Haven't tried it on a cracked block, but DH used it to seal a cracked radiator on the pickup. Lasted over a year!
Reply With Quote
Old 02/12/04, 02:40 PM
rkintn's Avatar
mean people suck
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Back in NW TN
Posts: 2,244
Hubby used JB to fix a leak on the radiator of our 73 Olds with a 455 engine. Haven't had a bit of problem since and it runs like a charm.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/12/04, 02:48 PM
HermitJohn's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 8,055
First choice weld it with nickle rod. Second choice is to weld it with nickle rod. You can try epoxies and may work for while. If just a seep or getting white smoke, drain your radiator, rinse your cooling system with water to get out all antifreeze. Use the old egg glass stuff, sometimes called liquid glass. Probably called something else in auto store, but it will be clear and probably have glass in name. Can buy it cheapest at pottery supply, think they use it as some sort of mold release or something, but easiest just to stop at AutoZone or wherever and pay the $6 for little bottle. It will be about most expensive radiator seal on shelf. Dont know why as its pretty cheap chemical. Add the jar of this to radiator and fill up with water. Run until leak stops and no white vapor from exhaust, making sure you dont run the cooling system dry in the process. Can leave it like this during summer if you want, but when you need antifreeze again, drain the system and rinse before adding antifreeze. This stuff reacts with antifreeze, but what has already hardened to fill crack wont react.

I've seen old tractors go years and years using egg glass and my neighbor, Chuck the drunk, drove some little GM car with quad four engine for months after using this stuff, then sold it to a relative. I imagine he forgot to mention that he had used liquid glass in radiator. Hope they drained it before adding antifreeze for winter.
"What would you do with a brain if you had one?" -Dorothy

"Well, then ignore what I have to say and go with what works for you." -Eliot Coleman
Reply With Quote
Old 02/12/04, 02:49 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 678
The author of the book How to Live Well On Virtually Nothing, Edward H. Romney, claimed that J.B. can fix this and more. I don't remember the details, but I do seem to remember that a cracked engine block was fixed using this stuff.

Here is a web page of the author:

I hope this helps.
Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
Reply With Quote
Old 02/12/04, 03:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 73
Unregistered User...Belzona is a better product, better than JB weld. And why...molecular metal can be machined. Such as turned, drilled, ground, milled. But very expensive.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:15 PM.