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  • Engine: Never before.

    Today I saw something I had never seen before. I was cleaning a head from my newly acquired V8, 63 259. I had it in the media blasting cabinet and was blasting away when I thought I saw a line of permatex that was stuck to the mating surface of an intake runner. Having let the dust settle, or get sucked out, I opened the cabinet to inspect the line and it turned out to be a crack.

    Anyone got any ideas about how it got there, how to fix it, or should I not be concerned?
    Last edited by ; 07-02-2011, 01:28 PM.

  • #2
    Sometimes the crack can be welded, but it may be cheaper to find another head. I don't recommend using a head with a crack in it. The last 3 digits on the head should be 570 which is a fairly common head. I see that you are in the LA area, so someone around here should have a good head available. Bud


    • #3
      I have posted a photo as you can see above.

      I was thinking because of the location I might get away with some type of filler. It is, after all, not under any pressure but under vacuum. As long as there is a permanent type of oil and fuel resistant material that can be filed it should be fine or am I just dreaming?

      A weld might come later as I was going to later, after running the engine and sorting out any bugs, put larger valves and port the runners.


      • #4
        Heck, that looks like it can be repaired easily with Pyro-putty. Check it out at ... The high temp stuff is ideal for this type of repair and this area doesn't get as hot as the exhaust. Of course, a replacement head would be a good idea, too.
        64 GT Hawk (K7)
        1970 Avanti (R3)


        • #5
          I would toss it. You can find other heads at Bud Gruver's yard sale on July 16 at 1685 Mc Garry St. Los Angeles. It is right near the corner of Washington Blvd. and Alameda St. West of Alameda off of Washington Blvd.


          • #6
            I will be out of town that weekend so it's a no go. Why throw away an otherwise good head? I have many heads although not the 570's. So, I could use these 570's and get some work done on some 555's. If the 570's prove to have no leaks after some compound I might get it welded while the valves, head shave, guides, seals etc.. are getting done. If Bud would sell a 570 in good original condition head pre-sale I would consider it but price is mounting for just a swap in job.


            • #7
              Looks like that baby was dropped on it's head. ;>)

              Yes, the CASO fix will work and probably run forever.

              No, I wouldn't do a full valve job, much less a performance build on a cracked 570 head.

              Maybe, find out what Bud or someone else in SoCal will sell you a head.

              jack vines


              • #8
                I always shyed away from blasting a head clean thinking some grit would be stuck somewhere that would eventually find its way into the engine to do some unspeakable damage.

                The shop I always used repaired a head on a Buick 430 for me with epoxy and it ran for years with me and I can only assume did well for the subsequent owner also.



                • #9
                  bige: That is not the only cleaning I will do. It's to make it clean for me to handle. Next I will remove the valves and wash it all down. Clean the oil galleries and water jackets. Sand will come out of the casting even if I did not put it there. I have pulled sand and wire out of blocks and head. I note your concern.

                  PackardV8: I thought so at first and wondered if I had dropped it myself. After looking closely I see that it is a casting fault. there is a raised part of the crack in the port and the casting has expanded apart. Strange things are afoot. No sign of physical damage, no blunt or misshapen edges. It has pulled away and the surface is on a new plane, small but noticeable. I will run it with some compound and find another for the HP parts and work if it is a problem. It's a shame but an extra few dollars will be well spent on the new head.


                  • #10
                    I have seen this on some other castings in the past. I believe it is a “knit” line that cracked either because of impurities or improper fusion due to a temperature issue of the molten metal at the “knit” line. A permanent fix would be to have a machinist “pin”the crack (drilling a series of holes along the crack and inserting pins into the holes). Since it is on the intake side I would feel very comfortable undercutting the crack and filling it with a suitable epoxy i. e. Marine-Tex, Devcon, or Belzona. I once used Belzona (don’t remember which flavor) to repair a part on a steam turbine. Neal
                    Last edited by Neal in NM; 07-02-2011, 09:19 PM.


                    • #11
                      Skybolt, Call Pat Drnec who is here on the forum. He has some spare parts and may have a head you could use. Also, go to your local club members as almost any pair of 259 heads would be better than a risky fix of damage like this. 259 heads are dime a dozen in Southern California. Do some shopping as it may surprise you how plentiful and cheap they are. Good luck on the project.


                      • #12
                        Sky -

                        Looks like the head or maybe just part of it got cooled too quickly. Possibly got a spray of water or oil during it's original cool down period and din't open up until a few days/week later.
                        Otherwise known as a "stress fracture".
                        There doesn't appear to have any dents on it from being dropped or hit with something. To crack that much...there would be a VERY noticible dent on the gasket surface.

                        On one hand...if you needed to "just" get the engine running, a JB weld type epoxy would work fine and probably last another million miles.....
                        An the other hand, as others have suggested, either use another pair of your heads or find another 570 head from someone willing to sell one if you really want to build the engine correctly.

                        Espicially if you plan on having "work" done to them.

                        Don't waste any money on having it welded... It'll cost way more thAn it's worth to have it done correctly.

                        As far as sand blasting long as you spend some time cleaning the parts well with a good solvent and a wire brush in the ports and some high pressure water in the water passages...there isn't gonna be any more sand than what may have been there from the original casting process..!
                        Just clean the things you sand blast VERY well....after...the sand blast.

                        Have fun with your build. If you need a hand, I'm right around the corner,,


                        P.S. - it might be advisable...if you're gonna do a nice job of restoring the seats and guides, to do some casting flash and sharp edge removal from the ports. Espicially the intakes. It's work you will feel.
                        Last edited by Mike Van Veghten; 07-02-2011, 10:38 PM.


                        • #13
                          How far down the ports do the cracks go?

                          If relatively shallow, their mischief potential might be more of a potential vacuum leak from the intake ports to the outside world. That's the kind of repair a ferrous metal filled epoxy ( for closer thermal expansion match) applied to a carefully excavated groove) would be well suited for.

                          I'd probably use some dye penetrant ( About $30 for spray cans of the two key components from a weld supply store) while grinding to confirm I got to good metal. Cleaning the fresh ground surface with alcohol before applying the epoxy is a good idea. Some products would recommend abrasive blastng the bonding surfaces as the best prep. There are stories of grinding wheels smearing the free graphite in lesser grades of cast iron. Could be true.


                          • #14
                            Sky -

                            I'm in the middle of porting some cylinder heads.
                            Well this evening, I ran into something I've never "may" be related to your situation.

                            I've got the intakes just about complete, so I started in on the exhaust ports.
                            Picture a port...any port, now picture that port with "extra..." material poured into the roof of the port. Not just a little bit, but it's probably .07"/.08" thick...and about 2/3'ds the length of the roof of the port.
                            I'm really hoping it's not a problem like what you have there, that someone "saved" that head from the scrap pile by seeing a problem and just pouring some hot cast iron into the port...! I really hope it was just a scraping of sand off of that ports sand plug...!

                            I'll dig into it tomorrow and see what happens.


                            ***Extra material outcome noted above. I ground out the extra material (with my toe's crossed..!) and all seems fine. Got the final radius formed and all looks well. I was a little concerned as I was watching the chips coming off of the surface..!
                            I'll double check with my Sonic tester when I hit up a few other areas during the week.
                            Last edited by Mike Van Veghten; 07-04-2011, 08:37 PM.


                            • #15
                              Funny thing Mike, Lional Stones Avanti back in 74 had a crack in the same place. When we removed the manifold the piece just fell off.