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Tow Rigs and Trailers Hey, not all of our Jeeps are great on the highway. Post here for tech related to getting your XJ to the trailhead.

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  #1  
Old October 19th, 2005, 09:42
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repairing cracked cylinder head (aluminum)

Subject vehicle is my DD, 94 Escort (stop laughing.....it gets like 40+ MPG ) 1.9L with aluminum head. It developed a <<tiny>> crack in the #2 spark plug galley about 1/2 way down that looses coolant when pressurized (hot). It's not leaking into the cylinder as of yet, but I'm sure it'll spread if not attended to. Is it possible to repair, or should I be looking at repalcing the whole head assembly (contains cam, valves, etc....)

Trying to do this low budget, but also need some reliability. Reman heads are in the $550-$600 range, which puts that option out unless I hit the lottery.
Thanks for any advice in advance,
Jeff
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Old October 19th, 2005, 09:53
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Re: repairing cracked cylinder head (aluminum)

You could probably find a junkyard/auto salvage head and have NAPA or another machine shop go through it for cheaper than $600. (I just tried looking locally and couldn't find one, so I'm not sure on prices) Although, those Escort parts can be expensive. I cracked the aluminum oil pan on my parent's '95 Escort, and the local yard wanted close to $200 for a used one.

Last edited by prb24; October 19th, 2005 at 09:55. Reason: added text
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Old October 19th, 2005, 10:05
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Re: repairing cracked cylinder head (aluminum)

Yeah, I do have the junkyard option which I'm gonna check out (and will go that route if my head cannot be repaired). It's just that since it's an OHC/OHV head, I may end up with a bad one (albeit a cheap one), and according to the manual the "squish" height (critical) will change with a different head. If I keep my orginal, I know the innards are in good shape, and the piston/head clearance won't change any.
Thanks for the info!
Jeff
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Old October 19th, 2005, 10:19
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Re: repairing cracked cylinder head (aluminum)

Without seeing a pix of where the crack is, I can't say. I have done quite a bit of repairs using the high zinc content aluminum brazing rods. It melts at a few degrees less than the normal aluminum, but has more strength. It's the stuff you see at the local fair where they are welding holes in pop cans. The stuff really works.
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Old October 19th, 2005, 10:59
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Re: repairing cracked cylinder head (aluminum)

Now that's some encouraging news
I'll try to get a pic this afternoon so you can see where I'm talking about. Boy I sure hope it can be repaired.....

I've never seen a pop can welded at a fair, tho. I gotta get out more!
Jeff
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Old October 20th, 2005, 05:05
75SV1 75SV1 is offline
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Re: repairing cracked cylinder head (aluminum)

Why not look in the phonebook for an auto weld shop. Some do repair aluminum heads. Aluminum heads are suppose to be fairly easy to weld up. Cast iron heads are a different game. You have to heat them up and keep them hot during and after the welding.
Tom
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Old October 20th, 2005, 05:34
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Re: repairing cracked cylinder head (aluminum)

I'm gona run it down to the machine shop today and see what they say. Here's a couple pix of the problem, but they're not too good. The leak is about 1/2 way down the spark plug hole, on the left. You can see a small amount of coolant that has leaked out, puddled up at the plug base Vehicle has just shy of 160K miles on it.
Jeff




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Old October 20th, 2005, 10:30
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Re: repairing cracked cylinder head (aluminum)

Just got back from the machine shop. It's a pinhole, not a crack, and the owner said to JB weld it (really!).....clean it down first with brake cleaner, then put a couple of coats of JB on it. It only has to hold the coolant pressure, 16# in my case, and it's not leaking into the cylinder.

Think I'm going to try that and see if it works (and for how long). Meanwhile, I'm gonna pull a junkyard head ($29.95) and stash it JIC the JB doesn't work.

Sound o.k.???

Jeff
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Old October 20th, 2005, 21:42
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Re: repairing cracked cylinder head (aluminum)

well if you have a temp fix and your not in dyer need of the part now why not start your hunt for a new motor the has to be one in a junk yard or on e-bay. that way you can get a good running motor and not mess with anthing about the head.

ps that thing is dam clean for 160k
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