This truck was in a accident and the damage extended up and into the cast iron engine. This truck is in a bay of a truck auto body repair shop. This truck repair shop is huge and has 15 bays. They are so good at what they do, damaged trucks come to them from several states around Florida. Look at how many trucks are lined up waiting for its turn to get it's auto body repaired, not mechanically repaired. That shop is another 800 yards away. This truck has already had a brand new cab installed. Now before the new front end is installed, its time to fix the engine block that is broke. And then the refrigeration unit will be next
. This shop is amazing. They installed the new cab without having to pull the engine out. I wish I could of seen it done. Below you can see the corner of the block is broke off where the AC compressor bolts on at the same junction
as the thermostat and water hose flange mount. They tell me, if I can't fix fix the broke cast iron engine block, the entire engine will have to be pulled out, a new block purchased, and all the parts swapped over, before they can reinstall the new engine block. They say that will cost in excess of $20,000. They really want that block fixed. Jacksonville has over 30 welding shops. But they called me even though I'm in St Augustine. They were willing to pay me the extra travel time because they insisted it had to be fixed right the first time.And this is a mobile welding job. Me and my tools came to them because to tow this truck to my shop, and then back to their shop, would have cost more than the welding bill. Insurance is paying for all repairs, so doing it right can be afforded. The huge AC mounting bracket that holds the compressor and other accessories, would not be strong enough with only two bolts. It must have three bolts in it to be considered strong enough for normal duty again.
Look where that arrow is pointing, another crack. I can't do a good job welding on a dirty, oily porous cast iron surface. It must be ground or cut away until I'm down to virgin clean metal. So I cut away and grind off all the contaminated surface metal. Its funny. I actually remove a lot more metal so later when I'm done welding on it, it will be a lot stronger than if I had not removed that extra metal. I use special heating and cooling techniques which I wont go into detail here, because I don't want to teach my competition why they keep failing. I also use very special welding alloys
which will remain nameless and out of the pictures. So I've replaced the missing metal with new even stronger metal. Now we've got to grind off the excess and leave new flat surfaces, and drill and tap a new bolt hole.
Two planes resurfaced, one more to go. Our welding alloy
is a slightly different shade of metal. If look close, you can see where the two different metals join each other. Here the camera view and lighting is just perfect to see where the two different metals are solidly fused together. Now comes the nightmare of drilling a new hole in the same exact location, and no deviance is allowed or the bolt won't line up with the hole after it goes through the bracket.This is a nightmare because the new
alloy is significantly harder and tougher than the original cast iron. This extra strong alloy prevents cracking later as cast iron is famous for. This super strong weld metal is a nightmare to tap or drill. We had to sharpen our drill bit every 1/8th inch of forward progress
. Four hours to drill and thread just one 3/8 diameter, 1 1/2" deep hole. Virtually ridiculous. But the super strong welding alloy is one of my secrets of success I won't share with the other welding companies. This simple little job wasn't so simple or small. It took us all day to do this. But that's why they hired me, they didn't want someone who was going to be in and out in a couple of hours at the expense of it cracking later on under operating stresses.
Now the bracket is installed that the new bolt hole secures. That bracket holds things off to the side and above it simultaneously. It just had no room for weakness on a truck designed for a million miles. In the picture above, see another bracket bolt hole is broke? That bracket is a bolt on and can just be replaced easily and at low cost. So that one did not need cast iron welding. To replace the engine block by itself was over $20,000, not counting the
labor to remove the engine, disassemble it and remove all the components), then install all the components on the new block, and reinstall the engine.As you can probably imagine, this was one very happy customer since the engine block repair was a total success.We do a lot of engine welding. I also weld on cast aluminum blocks. So if your looking for cast iron welding in Jacksonville or St Augustine fl, you may want to remember us. Or if your looking for any cast engine block welding, I'm still your welder.