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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2021, 05:05 AM
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Default Need advice, and possibly an engine block for 302 Ford

About 2-3 years ago, the engine in my GT40, built around a 1968 Ford 302 Mexico block, was exposed to a hard freeze, and blew its freeze plugs out. They were replaced, and the cooling system and engine pressure-tested to 22lbs without leakage. However, the engine had not been actually run, and today, following a carburetor rebuild, we fired it up and ran it for a while in the garage. After we shut it down, we noticed a small amount of antifreeze weeping out of what looks like a crack near the front of the block. This is on what would be the passenger's side of the block, but in my car is the (RHD) driver's side. It was a small amount, but it IS coolant. The engine ran fine, once we woke it from its rather sound sleep. It did not overheat or anything of that kind.

I'm trying to figure out what to do next with it. Can this be repaired? The crack is most likely from the water jacket at that front cylinder to the outside.

If it's not advisable to try to repair it, what do I replace the block with? The rotating assembly in this engine is very good quality- all SCAT forged pieces-, the heads are AFR 185s, the engine was built by a very good local shop (Burtonsville Performance Machining in PG County, MD) The engine has MAYBE fifty hours on itd- all those pieces are basically new. If I had to replace the block, I would want to just reuse all the present engine pieces excepting the engine block.

This is not on the engine builder. This isn't their fault, btw. It's mine, for not recalling that I was running distilled water in the car and for forgetting to drain the engine and cooling system.

So- suggestions much appreciated, and JimmyMac, if you have the perfect replacement block for this car, GT40P1149, please DO let me know. I know you have a garage the size of the Royal Albert Hall totally full of GT40 parts..... if you have something you can be persuaded to part with, I'd be ecstatic. That goes for anyone else who might have a suitable item.

Happy holidays, all. And, for what it's worth, she sounded great
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:42 AM
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I cannot answer whether the block that you have can be repaired, I will leave that to others. If you are not able to find another used 302 block, then I would suggest going to the Dart Iron Eagle block. All of your other components will fit. The block comes unfinished and requires honing and some other minor machining. You should be able to hone it to fit your pistons. The block is identical to the 289 and 302, with the exception of improved cooling and it is beefier. Thee are two Dart Iron Eagle blocks available, the more robust Iron Eagle weighs about 195 lbs and is made to withstand 1,000 HP. The SHP Dart Block weighs about 165 lbs and is made to withstand 600 HP.

I just bought an SHP for my 289. It is way stronger than my 1965 six bold block was. My engine builder figures that they way underestimated how much HP it could withstand. Here are a few pictures. By the way, I run distilled water in mine as it is a dedicated race car and therefore I cannot run antifreeze. At the end of each season I drain the water and then install some antifreeze for the winter, as it is very difficult to fully drain the water and I worry that some may be trapped and freeze. In the spring I drain the antifreeze and flush with water.

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Last edited by 1795; 01-07-2021 at 05:46 AM..
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Old 01-07-2021, 06:19 AM
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The SHP will hold close to 1000 hp.
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Old 01-07-2021, 06:32 AM
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I know this is not a for sale thread but I can HELP you with another original bore March,27 1969 block and crank if you decide to go that route.
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Old 01-07-2021, 08:23 AM
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First you need to heat cycle the engine several times and make sure that is the only leak.

Second you need to visually see the blocks crack. One to make sure it is cracked, and two to locate the crack.

If it is cracked on an outer jacket, here is how they used to fix them back in the day. Think Model A Ford. You locate the two ends of the crack. Go a 1/4" past the ends and drill a 1/4" hole on both ends. These prevent the crack from continuing to propagate. Now you tap the holes and screw a brass plug into them. Then you drill a hole next to the plug, but allow it to overlap into the previous plug. Tap and install the next plug. The next plug locks the previous plug into place. Repeat until the crack is completely filled with plugs. Adjust hole placement more or less to make the last plug come out in a reasonable spot.

All plugs must be tight enough not to leak, as they are all locked and not moveable when done. Then grind smooth. It makes a relatively strong fix, but a non-broken block would have been better.

I have heard of using this technique with steel, where you cannot get a deep penetration, then welding over the top. There are some very good glues that could be put over the top today.

Certainly not ideal for a race car, but you have nothing to loose but time if you want to try to save the block.

use pipe plugs and pipe thread. This is so the threads taper and seal the water leak.

Last edited by olddog; 01-07-2021 at 08:27 AM.. Reason: PS
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Old 02-27-2023, 01:24 AM
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Surprised to see such a clean engine. So what did it end up with? Did you have to replace the engine?
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