Well... got the boat home and finally got the owner enthused enough to spend a day actually working and cleaning on it. While looking it over, I see that the block is cracked freeze plug to freeze plug on both sides (300 ci Buick), and my first thought was Oh Poopy, gonna have to swap this out. Next thing I noticed was a fiberglass patch in front of one of the freeze plugs, with it closing over the hole for the freeze plug.
That got me thinking... this drive doesn't need a closed system to keep the water inside at at a specific level. In my understanding, the water source is the body we are floating on, it goes in, cools the engine, then goes out. Hmmmm....
What do you all think about tearing it down to make sure the only damage is to the outside of the block, then welding the block (Been welding my entire life so I think I can stop the spread and stabilize the block without any problem, I've done it on a street motor), and if that's ok, running the engine in it now?
If it was to be a car motor, I wouldn't worry too much, I'd either swap it out and update it, or pull it, weld the cracks and put it back in when I was satisfied with the repair.
I'd just like you all's input since I know so little about what I'm going to run into if I try doing that. Please remember we're talking about a 26 YO guy, making just over minimum wage, 2 kids, and trying to fulfill a dream of a project with his son, so it isn't feasible to grab a crate engine and dump it in there. I'm just involved because I love him, and offering technical advice, tools, and maybe some sweat to help him do it all himself.
I'll prolly go a little beyond that Madprops. I planned on tearing it down to see if it's cracked internally because if it IS cracked, I'll sell what's good on e-bay as parts, if it's not cracked, then that's when I'll try to stabilize the cracks and close them up enough to not fill the hull as the water circulates. Either way it looks like a tear down. I just know that if I have to swap out the block, I'm going to have to build a tripod set up to get that engine out of the boat and replace it. There's no way my engine hoist will work to swap it out. I was wondering if anyone else was running an engine with cracks, if it was a semi normal situation to deal with when it comes to boats.
I've patched some, welded some and anchored some. Most of the time the crack is just on the outside of the block, only once did I find one inside after a dye job. The JB works good if you can get it really clean and dry, there is no pressure on the system. If you welded for a career I don't have to tell you about welding cast and the cracking after.
Good luck, let us know how you come out.
thanks 63, that's the way I'm leaning right now. Having to wait for Rick to want to work on it, so I doubt if much gets done this winter unless his buddy comes in from the Army and gets him inspired into tearing it down. Funny how kids are like that, they want it until work is involved, then it just sits there until someone else wants to work on it and they get to have fun