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Thread: CuSi On Engine Block

  1. #1
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    CuSi On Engine Block

    Has anyone tried to mig or tig braze an engine block? I've had good luck recently with silicon bronze on cracked cast iron stuff.
    I bought a Dodge diesel yesterday and didn't notice that it has a block that is notorious for the water jacket walls cracking due to pressure and cavitation. There are no signs of cracks right now but I seem to have Murphy's Law luck with vehicles.
    Some people pin the crack but it seems like brazing would be an acceptable method, doesn't it? I've heard of people repairing exhaust manifolds with CuSi, this area definitely won't get that hot.

  2. #2
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    Re: CuSi On Engine Block

    Do not try to braze or weld that 5.9 block. What year of diesel did you get. I am presuming you are talking about the infamous 53 block. Do a search on dodge diesel 53 block. Then check to make sure your truck hs that block. I have owned a 97 dodge with the 53 block for 20 years . It has not cracked. Not all the 53 blocks were effected. The issue is from blocks cast in mexico that had the cooling jacket core shift in the mold when it was poured. Not all of them did. If it ain't broke don't fix it. If it is cracked I would use the stitch-n-lock kit to repair it.

    There are no if ands or buts , if you try to weld or braze it it will become unfixable. The problem is that the block will be very thin in the cracked area but have thick sections near it. If you try to weld or braze it the thin section will expand but the thick sections will not and it will cause more cracks from the stresses.
    Last edited by thegary; 06-22-2020 at 04:41 PM.

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  4. #3
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    Re: CuSi On Engine Block

    Quote Originally Posted by thegary View Post
    Do not try to braze or weld that 5.9 block. What year of diesel did you get. I am presuming you are talking about the infamous 53 block. Do a search on dodge diesel 53 block. Then check to make sure your truck hs that block. I have owned a 97 dodge with the 53 block for 20 years . It has not cracked. Not all the 53 blocks were effected. The issue is from blocks cast in mexico that had the cooling jacket core shift in the mold when it was poured. Not all of them did. If it ain't broke don't fix it. If it is cracked I would use the stitch-n-lock kit to repair it.

    There are no if ands or buts , if you try to weld or braze it it will become unfixable. The problem is that the block will be very thin in the cracked area but have thick sections near it. If you try to weld or braze it the thin section will expand but the thick sections will not and it will cause more cracks from the stresses.
    Yes, it's a 53 block in a 98 Ram. I didn't know that any 12 valves came with 53 blocks until today. There aren't any visible leaks now and I have no intention of doing anything unless one pops up.
    That makes sense, I figured there why most people used the lock n stitch method, just didn't know why.
    Appreciate your input!

  5. #4
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    Re: CuSi On Engine Block

    I've been out of the loop for some time, however, while driving and repairing diesel engines I've noticed that they (diesel) have a problem with cavitation. I was instructed that the cavitation happens with the diesels while operating vibrate from the internal explosion causing air bubbles forming on the cast iron blocks. Those bubbles let go and when they do that they carry a tiny piece of the cast with it. The engineers developed some stuff called NALCOOL that treats the coolant and reduces this problem. Does it stop altogether, I don't know. I've used the product in all of my diesels and didn't have a problem with cavitation. Piece of mind,,,YEP. just my 2 cents.

  6. #5
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    Re: CuSi On Engine Block

    The 53 block problem only affects the 24 valve Cummins between 1999 and 2001, as far as this website states. http://www.cumminshub.com/cummins-53-block.html
    In response to the cavitation concerns, this generally doesn't apply to the 5.9 Cummins because the cylinder bores are integral to the block, not sleeved. Cavitation happens with wet sleeve engines like PowerStrokes and CAT engines when the coolant additives that prevent cavitation are used up.
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  7. #6
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    Re: CuSi On Engine Block

    Cast Iron hasn't much tensile strength at all. ALL WELDED METAL SHRINKS. As the welded portion shrinks, the portion that stayed cool will not. As cast iron is very porous, it gets lots of impurities. This makes it difficult to get good fusion. You have to try repeatedly to get a good bond.

    I'd suggest opening the crack wide enough to "butter" both faces with 308L stainless TIG before you attempt to join them. Let them cool before joining. Keep the whole thing hot a while.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  8. #7
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    Re: CuSi On Engine Block

    Quote Originally Posted by gwoade View Post
    The 53 block problem only affects the 24 valve Cummins between 1999 and 2001, as far as this website states. http://www.cumminshub.com/cummins-53-block.html
    In response to the cavitation concerns, this generally doesn't apply to the 5.9 Cummins because the cylinder bores are integral to the block, not sleeved. Cavitation happens with wet sleeve engines like PowerStrokes and CAT engines when the coolant additives that prevent cavitation are used up.
    Many believe this but it is not true some late 97 and early 98 12 valve have the 53 block. I know because I have one. It has not given me any problems .

  9. #8
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    Re: CuSi On Engine Block

    Not saying they can't have the 53 block, just that the problem shouldn't affect the '97 and '98 trucks. I have a '98 12 valve with a 53 block and it also has no problems.
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