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Can this be fixed? Cracked 3.2 Engine Case Around Drain Plug

Hello Pelican Parts brain trust!

I bought a 911 at auction which came as-is. Unfortunately, the engine case damage was never identified or described on the auction. It looks like something smacked the bottom of the engine pretty hard.

As of 3k miles ago, this was a very healthy engine so it would be unfortunate if this had to be pulled all the way apart for new engine cases.

What do you guys think, can it be welded? Or am I in for a rebuild?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Old 03-21-2019, 04:19 PM
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Yes. But stripping the engine to the bare case to do it would be the only way to do it. (EDIT - the BEST way to do it.)

The worst way to do it would be a can of brake clean and some JB weld.

New cases........ might not be easy to find.
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:31 PM
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Glad to hear, thanks for your thoughts! I meant "new to me" if I needed a new case.

Haha, I'm not desperate enough to use JB Weld and am planning to pull the engine to do a deep clean and check. Should be a good time to get the case tig welded.
Old 03-21-2019, 05:07 PM
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Ouch! Is that from over tightening the drain plug??
Old 03-21-2019, 05:38 PM
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Interesting to speculate on what kind of a blow could cause a crack like that. Which direction did the force come from? Did it hit the steel plug, so as not to leave obvious marks on the aluminum? Could dropping or otherwise hitting upward on the flange do this?

I think you'll feel better with it tigged inside and out after everything is checked to be sure it is true enough.
Old 03-21-2019, 05:42 PM
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Wow, it's amazing what some people are capable of. That case will have to be bolted together with both perimeter nuts and through bolts before it's welded on the outside. The crack will have to be grooved with a burr and cleaned to remove all traces of oil prior to welding including heating the crack with a propane torch to drive out any traces of oil from the casting. The only way to weld the inside would be to bolt the case half to a steel plate jig along the bottom perimeter to prevent warping. If it's grooved properly on the outside that shouldn't be necessary as the weld will penetrate to the inside assuming you find a good TIG operator.The drain hole will have to be re-tapped. Good luck.
Old 03-22-2019, 04:06 AM
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Must be some recourse for a find like that?

Good luck either way
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Old 03-22-2019, 05:06 AM
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Easy fix for a good job shop, tear down motor throw it in parts cleaner or ultrasonic? Spray area with dynaflux crack check or similiar product. ( sometimes crack extends more than the eye can see without dye). The job shop will take care of the rest not a big deal or difficult job for a good welder.
Old 03-22-2019, 06:43 AM
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Thanks for all the responses guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JedinDetroit View Post
Ouch! Is that from over tightening the drain plug??
Who knows, in reality, it was probably a multitude of things but that might be what started it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt Fricke View Post
Interesting to speculate on what kind of a blow could cause a crack like that. Which direction did the force come from? Did it hit the steel plug, so as not to leave obvious marks on the aluminum? Could dropping or otherwise hitting upward on the flange do this?

I think you'll feel better with it tigged inside and out after everything is checked to be sure it is true enough.
It didn't have any obvious marks on it which makes the whole thing really confusing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boosted79 View Post
Wow, it's amazing what some people are capable of. That case will have to be bolted together with both perimeter nuts and through bolts before it's welded on the outside. The crack will have to be grooved with a burr and cleaned to remove all traces of oil prior to welding including heating the crack with a propane torch to drive out any traces of oil from the casting. The only way to weld the inside would be to bolt the case half to a steel plate jig along the bottom perimeter to prevent warping. If it's grooved properly on the outside that shouldn't be necessary as the weld will penetrate to the inside assuming you find a good TIG operator.The drain hole will have to be re-tapped. Good luck.
Right? What you described is what all my research has led me to. Now to find a good welder and get the engine out of the car...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sp_cs View Post
Must be some recourse for a find like that?

Good luck either way
All the auctions sell their cars as-is so it may be difficult to recoup anything. The ECU was also missing, which is annoying but pushes up plans to go with a standalone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpmulvan View Post
Easy fix for a good job shop, tear down motor throw it in parts cleaner or ultrasonic? Spray area with dynaflux crack check or similiar product. ( sometimes crack extends more than the eye can see without dye). The job shop will take care of the rest not a big deal or difficult job for a good welder.
Old 03-22-2019, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sp_cs View Post
Must be some recourse for a find like that?

Good luck either way
I don't understand why there "must" be some recourse. It was an as-is auction.
Old 03-22-2019, 12:55 PM
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Sorry if my last post sounded harsh.

Gabe - sorry about your misfortune on this.

I once purchased a long block 2.4 T motor at an estate sale. The owner said it was tired. When I got it home I found it had dropped a valve and holed a piston. It was more than tired...it was in a comma...I'm still in the process of trying to wake it up.

Hope it all works out.
Old 03-22-2019, 01:02 PM
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could that be from jacking the car? I always fear this when I lift the back end of the car at about that exact spot.
Old 03-22-2019, 01:12 PM
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My advice before welding is to dowel the 2 halves together across the main webs and bolt the case together. Otherwise you may have a banana shape case half after finishing.
Old 03-22-2019, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcfaul View Post
could that be from jacking the car? I always fear this when I lift the back end of the car at about that exact spot.
Nah, it's not from jacking.

It's interesting that it's cracked through the drain plug boss and not around it as though a tapered thread plug had been installed and torqued to 11ty billion foot pounds
Old 03-22-2019, 05:18 PM
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Are the drain plug threads in the case buggered? A welding job could be finished with installation of a Helicoil for the proper plug. I did that on a well known aftermarket drain circle plate (previous style) with deep aluminum fins - the boss inside was only half a boss, so there really weren't enough threads to hold much torque. It is the seal ring which keeps the oil in place, not the threads.
Old 03-22-2019, 08:58 PM
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Not sure why anyone would screw with a turd like this when my repro cases start delivering in June. Sure, there are 36 people in line ahead of you to get one but I sure as heck would want to wait to get a good case rather than repairing that one. Shameless plug, but that is what my cases are made for.
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Old 03-23-2019, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
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Not sure why anyone would screw with a turd like this when my repro cases start delivering in June. Sure, there are 36 people in line ahead of you to get one but I sure as heck would want to wait to get a good case rather than repairing that one. Shameless plug, but that is what my cases are made for.
Are you reproducing 3.2 cases?
Old 03-23-2019, 06:37 AM
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JB Weld.

If its not leaky drive it like you stole it and wait until you need to formally address it.
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Old 03-23-2019, 06:46 AM
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"Not sure why anyone would screw with a turd like this when my repro cases start delivering in June."

Maybe because he'd rather spend maybe a couple hundred vs. $5K?
Old 03-23-2019, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germaneighter View Post
Sorry if my last post sounded harsh.

Gabe - sorry about your misfortune on this.

I once purchased a long block 2.4 T motor at an estate sale. The owner said it was tired. When I got it home I found it had dropped a valve and holed a piston. It was more than tired...it was in a comma...I'm still in the process of trying to wake it up.

Hope it all works out.
All good! My fault for not getting the car inspected ahead of time. I probably still would have bought it anyways. Hope you got a good deal on that 2.4t motor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcfaul View Post
could that be from jacking the car? I always fear this when I lift the back end of the car at about that exact spot.
I doubt it, I'll find out more information when it's torn apart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Harvey View Post
My advice before welding is to dowel the 2 halves together across the main webs and bolt the case together. Otherwise you may have a banana shape case half after finishing.
Is it any better to weld it that way than with the short block assembled?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter M View Post
Nah, it's not from jacking.

It's interesting that it's cracked through the drain plug boss and not around it as though a tapered thread plug had been installed and torqued to 11ty billion foot pounds
Lol, those were my thoughts too. Could have been overtightened at some point and then had an impact...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt Fricke View Post
Are the drain plug threads in the case buggered? A welding job could be finished with installation of a Helicoil for the proper plug. I did that on a well known aftermarket drain circle plate (previous style) with deep aluminum fins - the boss inside was only half a boss, so there really weren't enough threads to hold much torque. It is the seal ring which keeps the oil in place, not the threads.
They probably will be after it's welded together. Can probably just be tapped after that rather than helicoiled though. Not sure there is enough meat to drill and tap a larger hole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catorce View Post
Not sure why anyone would screw with a turd like this when my repro cases start delivering in June. Sure, there are 36 people in line ahead of you to get one but I sure as heck would want to wait to get a good case rather than repairing that one. Shameless plug, but that is what my cases are made for.
Haha, believe me! I've been following your thread on rennlist for months (I have a 993 too). I'm not ready to do a more powerful build yet. I think the car would be too fast for me on a track and I want to learn with this one as I go. I imagine that I will go down that path at some point. Thank you for doing what you're doing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 996AE View Post
JB Weld.

If its not leaky drive it like you stole it and wait until you need to formally address it.
I think it's almost as easy to have someone tig weld it with the case together and is a more permanent solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boosted79 View Post
"Not sure why anyone would screw with a turd like this when my repro cases start delivering in June."

Maybe because he'd rather spend maybe a couple hundred vs. $5K?
At this point yes... but it'd also be nice to grab one of those cases for $5k now and sit on it for a future build than $9k in the future.
Old 03-23-2019, 04:37 PM
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