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  • Waterglass (sodium silicate)

    I have an old Ford tractor I am restoring. There is a small inaccessable crack in the head. It showed up when I was machining the valve guides. Years ago (back in 0 -1) we had a product called "waterglass" . If I remember right it was used as a treatment to fill small cracks in almost any cast iron water jacket. It was mixed with the coolant I think. Most importantly, it worked. Has anybody seen it around lately? Is there a substitute maybe?

  • #2
    See your local farm supply. This stuff was used for candling eggs. I used to buy it for rads also. It works great unless you spend lots of time on rough gravel roads.
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

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    • #3
      gunsmith, waterglass ( sodium silicate)is still around,just have to look for it, I suggest finding an older non-chain auto parts store with good help. We used to buy it off the BSR trailer at the track. BSR Racing Products has a web site and you could probably order it fron them. Also if you have a large Egg farm nearby you could stop and ask them if you could buy a little ( they store eggs in it). If you live where it freezes you may want to look for something else, because I don't think it mixes with anti-freeze, just water. Good luck!

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      • #4
        As far as sodium silicate goes it isn't just a matter of walking into the drug store and asking for some sodium silicate. One company that makes it lists 25 different formulations with widely varying properties. I don't think the type used to preserve eggs will work, for instance. The head possibly can be "stitched".

        http://www.locknstitch.com/Metal_Stitching.htm
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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        • #5
          Ooops..I didn't really notice the cracked head part. I've only used it in rads. Good point...the old mechanic that told me how to do it was very specific about draining and cleaning the antifreeze out of the systen first. This was the glass used for eggs. I don't know how it would work in the much hotter environment near a combustion chamber. I worked with a guy who is a master at stitch locking cast. The big problem may be drilling the holes accurate enough if it's a tricky area. If it won't see too much heat you could try JB weld. We've used it on cracked blocks and heads on oval track cars for years. Also there is supposed to be some new ceramic sealer out there now that works well. I've never used it but the local auto parts guys tell me their customers like it.
          I have tools I don't even know I own...

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          • #6
            Ask for K and W block sealer at your local auto parts. It has the sodium silicate in it, along with who knows what all else

            Tim

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            • #7
              I guess you guys all came from the same back road I did. I think that is were we used to get it for our flat heads. Right from the chicken farmers. It had completely sliped my mind. Unfortunatley this is a last resort thing. There is no access to the small crack. It only shows up under a pressure test back up in the exhaust chamber. Waterglass will probably be the answer or some modern version of it. That JB weld?? I have heard about it and even seen some in action. I may try it if it can stand the heat. I know the waterglass can.

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              • #8
                A person I knew once, tried pouring Quaker Oats in the Radiator to stop leaks.
                He said he was told to try it.

                Not a smart Man.

                And no! Not a relative either.

                Tom M.

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                • #9
                  On Myth busters, they tested a myth, they put some eggs into the radiator of a car, and it sealed up a leak in the radiator. Ofcourse its a temporary fix.

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                  • #10
                    Years ago, (20 or so) I had a leaking head gasket. I used a product by Moroso. It was call ceramic engine seal. Probably the same stuff. It worked well after I shoved a toothpick into the offending hole in the head gasket to slow down the leak long enough for the magic mystery liquid to cure. I ran the car for quite a long time after that with no adverse effects.
                    Arbo & Thor (The Junkyard Dog)

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                    • #11
                      "On Myth busters, they tested a myth, they put some eggs into the radiator of a car, and it sealed up a leak in the radiator. Ofcourse its a temporary fix."

                      Was that episode called "car-capers" bill
                      all the best....mark

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                      • #12
                        Gun Smith---There is a repair process that I have been involved with called "metal locking" The people that do it can do some very complicated repairs. A lot of industrial engine shops did metal locking. It is a common repair in the industrial gas engine repair shop.
                        Bob Scott

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                        • #13
                          Which model of Ford tractor? (Just curious.)

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                          • #14
                            Black pepper will also work in a pinch, just temp. fix ,not log term.And yes egg whites work as well, both have been Super Speedway tested and approved.

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                            • #15
                              Pgrmdan: It's a 1953 Ford Jubilee. I have heard of the egg cure. Rbjscott: I was sort of hoping there might be somthing new to try. Do you have any more info on the process "metal locking"? Let see now, oatmeal, eggs, leave out the pepper and add brown sugar and raisins. A damned good cookie.

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