I am rebuilding my Ford 9N tractor engine after a series of unfortunate events. After replacing the cam and timing gear, my original block cracked along a corner stud hole all the way down to the water jacket while trying to put it all back together. Apparently this corner has been brazed before and after noticing several other cracks around the valves and cylinder walls decided to get another block. The engine was due for an overhaul anyway.
I found another block on the net that was cleaned up and had recently had two cracks "stitched" between the the valves and cylinder walls on the #2 and #3 cylinders. I took the block to an engine machine shop to have a valve job and sleeves, and they found another crack approx. 3" long in the water jacet between the freeze plugs. Machine shop was leary of repairing it, saying that it would cost upwards $150 to $200 to pin it and weld it up and even thin it might not take. They were also leary that the "stitches" would not hold up once the sleeves were installed.
question #1: Can I get by with epoxying or brazing the water jacket? If so, which would be the preferred method. If I epoxy, I have read about drilling out the ends of the crack, how deep should you drill them, 1/8" ? Or, should I just leave this to a machine shop? (I'm not going to spend $150 on this repair though). Some posts I've read seem to indicate that this type of crack is not that big a deal.
question #2: Concerning the stitches. The previous owner of the block touts the shop that stitched the block have been in business for over35 years and know their stuff concerning these type of repairs. What is your take?