• Peter S30
    28 June 2008 at 19:48 #47389

    I received the information from my engine workshop that there are cracks in the lower part of my DB 3l block (picture will follow).

    Who has experience with welding this (by a specialist of course), did it last, or is it not recommended with this block

    Alternatively I am looking for a used but good block.

    Last alternative would be a new block (Tim Stamper or others). Who went this way and what are the experiences ?

    Thanks for advice

    30 June 2008 at 07:45 #47390

    I had a bad crack in the block of my 2 Litre as well as 4 cracks (not uncommon) in the aluminium bukhead of the car.
    They were all perfectly repaired (using a “cold stitching” method) by Surelock, tel. 01572 722051 mob. 07768 366070.
    You don’t have to bring your engine to them, they can do the work at your place, in my case I didn’t even have to remove the engine and bulkhead. They travel anywhere to do the job and are also frequently at LMB – the highly praised Lagonda experts in Belgium.
    I can highly recommend them – the work they did for me is perfect and was all done within a day.

    Colin M34
    30 June 2008 at 21:12 #47391

    Hi Folks,

    I have heard nothing but good reports about Surelok. This seems to be the consensus of opinion. My 16/80 came with a bill from them for stitching my block and it seems fine.

    My 2 Litre has a crack at the back of the block where the camshaft tunnels join the water jacket. I stuffed some ‘Mr Plumber Leak Fix’ in there and have never had a problem!

    Good luck Peter, you seem to have landed in the deep end!

    Colin M34

    Peter S30
    1 July 2008 at 18:33 #47392

    Finally I received a photo, the cracks are in two of the thin block parts at the upper end between the liners, see image

    I feel inclined to leave it as is, what do you think?

    or any welding without heating the block (laser?).

    This part is so thin that I do not think the stitching would work here?

    Attached files

    Peter Reeves
    3 July 2008 at 10:44 #47398

    Hi Peter why don?t you email these photos to a number of specialist companies and see what they have to say about possibility of repair. Most of the classic car mags have name and e-mail details of repair companies.


    3 July 2008 at 18:22 #47400

    HI Peter You would be very lucky to find a second-hand 3 litre block that is not cracked in this place, I would leave it. John.

    Mark Whitehead
    4 July 2008 at 06:01 #47401

    I agree with reevsey, email the photo to specialists.

    Peter, can you tell us all a bit about the history and condition of your 3 litre, as I imagine we are going to see lots of images of split or rusted or frozen or broken components in the months to come.


    Peter S30
    14 July 2008 at 10:34 #47414

    The car is only 3 months with me now. I only drove it 10 miles when purchasing it, I was aware of the problems with the engine already then.

    Some history:
    Engine VB6H/593
    Chassis LB290/1/182
    Series II DHC (one out of 3 or 4 but there is always a way to count a Lagonda as almost unique..)
    floor change gearbox
    Delivered 5.2.57 to a Mr. Cash
    after that I have some but not all owners, the last owners before me bought it in 1981 and the next 1995. It had a body restauration and bare metal respray before 1995.
    The last owner (B61) told me he never drove it over long distances because it seemed not reliable. I assume the engine had problems at least over the last 10 years. One liner looked like replaced and was sticking out a bit to much over the block.
    The odometer reads 35000 miles, (may be 135000 or anything else)

    In the mean time I collected some info on block repair:

    many of these engines seem to have these cracks
    some say it can be left like that but the shop that is intended to do my engine says the would not because the sides of the block would move and the head gasket would leak (water probably)
    welding seems a big risk to get distortion of the whole block, needing rebore and non standard thicker liners
    a long screw through the block at this place is not possible because of limited space
    new blocks are expensive and may distort after first use (any experience?)
    another used block would be fine if can be found at reasonable price and without cracks
    we think about putting dowel pins/register pins (what is correct in English?) between block and head to prevent that the block sides can move outwards

    Yours, Peter

    Colin M34
    14 July 2008 at 10:44 #47415

    Hi folks,

    Peter wrote “we think about putting dowel pins/register pins (what is correct in English?) between block and head to prevent that the block sides can move outwards”.

    I interpret this as the method that Surelock do with cold metal stitching and strongly advise that this is thoroughly investigated before the engine restorer does anything . Take a look at http://www.castingrepairs.com/.

    You never know, they may say “Oh yes another one of these, we did 5 last year…..”

    Comments from others please, I am only giving my thoughts…..


    Peter S30
    14 July 2008 at 13:11 #47417

    Dear Colin,

    thank you for the link, yes I thougt about it and will contact some of these metalock or stitching companies, but I think that they can use this technique only when there is enough material to drill holes and put these special screws for stitching in. The broken piece between two adjacent cylinders is so thin (see image), I think it does not work here. The only possibility to use these metalock techniqes here would be to cut out that part, make a new and stitch it were you have more material to do so (closer to the sides of the block). But this is a big job too.

    My idea was 4 cylindrical pins fitting precisely in bores in head and block but fixed only in one side so the head stays removable.

    further ideas and experience welcome

    Colin M34
    14 July 2008 at 17:36 #47418

    Hi Peter,

    The plot thickens!

    I think we are all agreed that no heat should be used, and it looks like it will have to be new material to replace the thin metal. Surelock mention many cases where they cut back thin material to sound metal and replace with new cast iron plates shaped to fit the hole. However, as mentioned, this might not be appropriate in this case.

    Whatever the solution, good luck


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