Reply To: Cast iron repair recommendations

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Try Lock-n-Stitch in Turlock, CA (south of Modesto on US 99). Their entire business is casting repair. They are (or were, at least) the vendor of choice to Waste Management (trash conglomerate) and the Northern Calif Caterpillar distributor. Their process is thoroughly explained on their website,

Perhaps 8 yrs ago they repaired my Series 80 block, which had a couple of small valve seat cracks + a monster crack that went from the #2 exhaust valve seat across the deck and into the #2 bore to a depth of 2-2.5 inches. They strongly urged me to NOT sleeve that cylinder if at all possible (I didn’t). They pressure tested the repaired block to 30 psi, so they said. I had to use a coarse hone followed by a fine hone on #2 cylinder bore. I used the same pistons, and used fine hone on the other 5 cylinders, then new rings, of course. I have at least 2-3,000 miles on the engine with no indications of further cracking. Including hard seats for exhaust valves, the bill was a little over $600, but that was 8 or more years ago–a pleasant surprise.

They are true professionals, and casting repair is ALL they do. I’d use them again in a heartbeat.

When planing your S80 head, take just enough off to make it flat. The mating surface of the head was arguably too thin from the factory, and the head has probably been planed half a dozen times over the years. Be sure to use a dental pick to get all the crud away from the studs where they emerge from the block, so you get a proper seal. Suggest you use a copper sandwich gasket (rather than a composite one) and give each side of the new gasket a couple of coats of aerosol gasket copper (I use Permatex’s product), following the directions on the can.

Good luck and please keep us posted on the results!