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Discussion Starter #1
Is there a reliable way to fix the gash a failed water pump bearing can allow to happen? I have a 1-1.5" gash in the block through to the oil galley. I need to know if it's fixable somehow (reasonable work) or if it's scrap. Thanks. What a suck day!
 

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Probably need to know what car you're talking about.... but generally speaking the water pump is not adjacent to the block...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Probably need to know what car you're talking about.... but generally speaking the water pump is not adjacent to the block...
It's a '95 900 SE Turbo. The pulley cut through the aluminum in the side of the block. It may be the timing chain cover, regardless it's an oil leaking hole in the side of the engine that needs sealed.
 

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You have to replace the timing cover. It's not a fun job, but that's what has to be done. It can be done in the car, at least, if you want to undertake the job. This would be a good time to replace the timing and balance shaft chains, and all of the chain guides, too.
 

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You have to replace the timing cover. It's not a fun job, but that's what has to be done. It can be done in the car, at least, if you want to undertake the job. This would be a good time to replace the timing and balance shaft chains, and all of the chain guides, too.
I don't understand why the cover has to be replaced and can't be repaired. Is there a specific reason?
 

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It's hard to get anything to stick to a piece of aluminum that's constantly getting splashed with oil. I don't think anyone has successfully repaired one of those gashes long term.
 

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Yeah, no competent welder is going to try and weld aluminum that's been living in oil all its life. Definitely not the first time this has happened, and the consensus is pretty strong you need to replace that cover. But, you don't need to replace the engine, or the engine block. Just the cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That makes me really consider selling it at this point. I imagine the cover is a major task to do. I'm not sure I physically can tackle that job. I appreciate the input, I have some thinking to do.
 

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Not the above recommend proper repair, but I sealed the timing cover in place using UltraGray Permatex after cleaning area with carburetor cleaner then 100% isopropanol (e.g. IsoDry gas line anti-freeze). Also replaced the water pump. So far no leaks from cover. There are special alloy rods used with propane torch that allow you to patch aluminum if you remove the timing cover and thoroughly clean it. Youtube has videos if you search on "aluminum brazing with propane torch".
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not the above recommend proper repair, but I sealed the timing cover in place using UltraGray Permatex after cleaning area with carburetor cleaner then 100% isopropanol (e.g. IsoDry gas line anti-freeze). Also replaced the water pump. So far no leaks from cover. There are special alloy rods used with propane torch that allow you to patch aluminum if you remove the timing cover and thoroughly clean it. Youtube has videos if you search on "aluminum brazing with propane torch".
Thanks wal, I may try something similar. I have a lead on a good cheap car that won't last long, so it's a tough decision. She was a reliable car for years, but reaching the point that random things are failing. I'm sure the alternator will be next, the A/C is struggling in the AZ heat, the locks are getting slow....it just seems like it may be time to find a new, more physically capable owner for her...
 

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I'd be tempted to let it drain down overnight clean it really well, alcohol clean, then use JB Weld on it. There's no pressure there, so if you can get it clean, it should work.

Is it just a narrow slit or a big gouge?
 

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I'd be tempted to let it drain down overnight clean it really well, alcohol clean, then use JB Weld on it. There's no pressure there, so if you can get it clean, it should work.

Is it just a narrow slit or a big gouge?
It's just a slit. I was considering JB Weld, but unsure about it after all the replacement recommendations. I'll probably try it.
 

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Was about to happen to my 2.3 A/T. I thought it was pulley, so replaced pullies, still sounded like bad pulley, so I take it to Saab shop and says my tensor arm was bad and pulley grinding on timing chain cover and about to wear a hole. Guy said my work replacing pullies and going to short belt was fine, just bad arm.

Arm seemed fine, so I guess its hard to tell during repair.

Moral of story, spend the extra to get new pulley AND arm package.

Good news: chain covers should be in junkyards

I wouldn't bother with JB Weld etc. Welding shops will do a proper weld repair for cheap.
 

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IME, JB Weld will melt when exposed to hot coolant for too long. Turns into a mushy goo. Tread carefully!

If you are contemplating a hack, I think Wal's RTV option is probably the better choice. It just needs to stand up to 15psi
.. not a huge amount.
 

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I dunno that it melts.... maybe it's the liquid interaction though. I did an alloy Saab oil pan and found a 3" crack in the flat bottom. It wasn't through the pan (definitely no evidence inside) but apparently someone must have come down on something at some point and caused a fracture. It had to go back on that day so I put a line of JB Weld on it and let it harden. It was still solid as steel when I pulled that pan 45K later.
 

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I dunno that it melts.... maybe it's the liquid interaction though.
Oil doesn't seem to bother it. Gasoline does, and it seems coolant does. I tried using it to repair a couple thermostat housings and in both cases it turned to mush. Peeled off the housing and I found goo floating in the reservoir. Personally, I don't think I would try it again.
 

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I actually repaired this same problem with welding. The previous owner of my 9-5 had this failure and someone had tried sealing it with rtv of some sort. I removed the motor to replace the transmission and pulled the cover and took it to a friend to weld. He did a great job, and it hasn’t leaked in 30k miles since. The rtv was not holding which was part of my decision to pull the motor and address the front cover at the same time as addressing the trans. The car made good oil pressure at the time and I was hesitant to get a used cover when I had a good working one (but with a hole).
 
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