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394 thermostat housing corrosion

394 thermostat housing corrosion

Old April 30th, 2018, 06:58 AM
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394 thermostat housing corrosion

I got around to pulling the water neck off the 394 this weekend. LOL yea this casting was "weeping" a bit. Once cleaned up the damage was a lot more visible. Pretty bad corrosion.

I've got an add in parts wanted for one - 1964 4 barrel 394 please.

I'm pursuing a another avenue also though. Seeing as I work for a company that sells 3D metal printers I'm trying to get a favor done. Maybe I'll be the first guy running a custom printed titanium water neck soon. I'll keep you posted ...
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Old April 30th, 2018, 08:44 AM
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I may be in the same boat. Got the '63 out of the garage Sat and found a coolant puddle on intake around the housing.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 10:59 AM
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A couple of skim cuts on a milling machine would clean that right up.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 12:22 PM
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Those are holes Paul... I don't think milling it will help those.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 12:44 PM
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I didn't see the holes at first.

When I changed the thermostat on my 64 Olds 98 years ago, I apparently used a 5 ft. breaker bar to tighten the bolts. This caused one of the flanges on the thermostat housing to crack. Luckily I was able to get it repaired by a welding shop. Perhaps a good welding shop can repair that?

Let us know if you get some time on a 3D printer.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 01:50 PM
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Yea the mating surface is no problem! The top is paper thin and holed. The underside pic doesn't show as well, but its really ate away in here. Maybe a really talented welder could puddle something in there, but I think the whole top would just melt off.

It can be fixed, anything can. But I hope my other plans work out first. I AM taking this car to the homecoming come hell or high water, so I got 6 weeks get it done.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 05:55 PM
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Modeled it accurate first. Except for the part number it's perfect.
I could make a few concessions to the shape for the sake of 3D printing. Then again I'm trying to talk another buddy into milling me one, so in that case I could change it bit differently to make it easier.
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Old May 1st, 2018, 01:33 PM
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I made a flange from 5mm steel, took a 3mm welding tube bend, made those two fit together real nice with some grinding and cutting (not that big a job). Then a collegue helped me tig it together. At first glans you will not know homemade even though it is an inch higher than the original housing.

Maybe this idea can help you
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Old May 2nd, 2018, 11:19 PM
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Avoid highly acidic coolant.
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Old May 3rd, 2018, 05:54 AM
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If I couldn't find one, I would clean the inside real well and coat it with JB Weld. I think that would work and would be invisible. JB Weld is some pretty tough stuff.
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Old May 3rd, 2018, 06:17 AM
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The JB weld has been suggested, but I don't trust it to survive the heat cycles and eventually end up inside my engine. From working a tool shop I'm lucky enough to have a few better options.
The search for another has at least introduced me to my local OCA chapter and some Starfire people, so that is nice. I may yet locate one, but most seem to have ended up like my picture in post #1. So...
a. Mine is at the welder. I think he can do it, it will be ugly but functional.
b. The 3D print is a go, but too early to report back on that.
c. Like Jan did, i can make a replacement. Now that it's modeled I can CNC it. jsut need some machine time somewhere.
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Old May 4th, 2018, 12:33 PM
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Thinking back to some old tech bulletins circa 1963-64, one came out that specifically warned against using Peak brand antifreeze in 215-equipped cars due to aluminum corrosion. Mebbe shoulda extended that to 63-4 394 that had aluminum timing covers and t-stat housing?
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Old May 4th, 2018, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rocketraider View Post
Mebbe shoulda extended that to 63-4 394 that had aluminum timing covers and t-stat housing?
I've been trying not to think about the Timing cover.
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Old May 4th, 2018, 03:24 PM
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I've got one from a 2 bbl, but since it goes straight up the center and not at an angle there must be something in the way on the 4bbl engines?
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Old May 7th, 2018, 05:25 AM
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From older threads I've read the 2 bbl and 4 bbl are different. The air cleaner points straight forward on the 4 bbl car, that's the only thing in the way though.
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Old May 7th, 2018, 05:35 AM
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That's good that you were able to meet some local folks involved with the OCA. It's always good to have contacts.

If the welder you gave it to can fix it that would definitely be the most permanent fix. The good thing about JB weld is it can be more easily sanded and contoured so it wouldn't look as ugly. I can understand your hesitation to use it though given that it could break apart in your water jacket.

Let us know how it turns out.
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Old May 7th, 2018, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MichiDan View Post
From older threads I've read the 2 bbl and 4 bbl are different. The air cleaner points straight forward on the 4 bbl car, that's the only thing in the way though.
OK, it must be the air cleaner snout that's in the way. I can post pictures of this one if you'd like. Its from a 1961 and is also aluminum. John
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Old May 7th, 2018, 10:36 AM
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John, lets see it please. Pictures of the 1964 4 barrel piece are at the top of this post.
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Old May 7th, 2018, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jandk View Post
I made a flange from 5mm steel, took a 3mm welding tube bend, made those two fit together real nice with some grinding and cutting (not that big a job). Then a collegue helped me tig it together. At first glans you will not know homemade even though it is an inch higher than the original housing.

Maybe this idea can help you
And it took roughly 2 hours all in from finding the right pieces of steel etc etc till finished product.

Great if you you can fabricate it in one of the other ways
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Old May 11th, 2018, 06:16 PM
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OK, here's the piece from a 1961 2bbl 394. Let me know if you'd like to see close-ups of any areas, or measurements.










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Old May 13th, 2018, 06:52 AM
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Wow, that piece is significantly different. Not just the neck angle, I think even the bolt spacing is shorter. Would not work on the the 4 barrel manifold. Thank you for pictures.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 10:19 AM
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I've got a few pictures for you guys. This is the 3D printed 394 thermostat housing. They left out the coring, but all in all a very accurate replica. This is from a nickel-chrome alloy material, and it's heavy. Very dense.
The rougher areas were down facing areas in the machine, which need a support structure during the print. I can clean these up a bit as what you see is basically right from the machine.
Excited to get it installed this weekend.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 10:54 AM
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That's cool!

I imagine it would be prohibitvely expensive to get time on a 3D printing machine though. That's good that you knew somebody that could "hook you up." Give us pics once you install it too.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 05:25 AM
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Installed and functioning well.
Yes - I'm afraid this is very expensive technology today. There are low end plastic printers now but metal printing has not reached that market. The powders are expensive and hazardous too. The welded original actually came out OK, so I'm keeping that as the backup for awhile.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 10:18 AM
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Interesting thread, that 3D printed part is very cool. Can you give us an idea of what something like that would cost? Can the per unit cost be reduced if a larger number were produced? I seems like this would be a popular item in the big olds community...
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Old May 21st, 2018, 10:35 AM
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For future corrosion prevention, I would install a zinc anode rod (sacrificial rod) I have one in my cars and they really work.
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/f...-_-flex-a-lite
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Old May 21st, 2018, 04:25 PM
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Liking this thread. That 3D printing is real nice. Wish I understood it better.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 05:59 PM
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Very cool thread! Is there a 3D printer that can print a rubber part? If so, We need to talk! I am in need of getting something made.
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Old May 22nd, 2018, 07:22 AM
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There are many plastic materials that can be 3D printed by a variety of methods. Some are very "rubber-like", and likely fine for what you need.
Last I knew there were something like 300 companies in the world making 3D printers. The better machines are priced out of our reach, but there are service bureaus around that will happily print a part.
To start you need a CAD model, and that is something I can help with. I am afraid I've used up my machine time though.. don't want to press my luck there.
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Old May 22nd, 2018, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by MichiDan View Post
There are many plastic materials that can be 3D printed by a variety of methods. Some are very "rubber-like", and likely fine for what you need.
Last I knew there were something like 300 companies in the world making 3D printers. The better machines are priced out of our reach, but there are service bureaus around that will happily print a part.
To start you need a CAD model, and that is something I can help with. I am afraid I've used up my machine time though.. don't want to press my luck there.
I have a question but understand, this question is from someone that knows nothing about this, could be a stupid question.... Do they make a scanner that can 3D scan a part to a CAD model?
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Old May 22nd, 2018, 09:11 AM
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Yep. Scanning parts is a very popular way to get a model for a 3D printer. Scanning creates a point cloud file, which is basically a triangulated mesh. CAD users like me don't like mesh files, as they are very hard to make or change without special software. But for going right to a 3D printer they are fine.

The accuracy of a mesh file can be quite good. The nature of a 3D print is that it is made in layers, so depending on how the part is oriented in the machine you will see some very small lines on it as the layers build up. They can be minimized but not eliminated. You can see them in my part.
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Old May 22nd, 2018, 10:57 AM
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I was able to look at some prototype parts made from a 3D printer for work. They send me some printed parts now and then to do testing in the field. The lines on these plastic parts are very extreme but are also not anything that will ever be used for anything other than test fitment. I assume the smaller the lines he higher quality the printer maybe? I have never been able to watch them print the parts but hoping to this October.
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Old June 20th, 2018, 05:45 AM
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Look what just popped up on E-Bay ;
https://www.ebay.com/itm/153067436476?ul_noapp=true
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Old June 20th, 2018, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Charlie Jones View Post
Look what just popped up on E-Bay ;
https://www.ebay.com/itm/153067436476?ul_noapp=true
That's the one! The opening bid is less than I paid to have my original welded up.
However, my spiffy 3D printed replacement performed perfectly on the 160 mile round trip to the Homecoming last weekend. So luckily I am all set now.
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Old June 20th, 2018, 11:52 AM
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Michidan, I saw your car there and it looks good, glad the housing held up.
Steve
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Old June 21st, 2018, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jensenracing77 View Post
Very cool thread! Is there a 3D printer that can print a rubber part? If so, We need to talk! I am in need of getting something made.
I'm sure there is but where I work we commonly make molds for rubber parts, that's even better!
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