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TR2/3/3A TR3/4 head crack, can it be welded


Jedi Knight
Country flag
The thread on welding a manifold has me now asking about a head crack and the option of having it welded.

I have a TR2 head on my TR3 but I have a spare TR3/4 head that has a small crack between the intake and exhaust valve openings.

To all you welding experts out there, can this crack be repaired?

The cost of shipping a new or used head any distance might exceed the cost of repairing this head (if it can be repaired). The head will have to be rebuilt but I was about to do that anyway when they magnafuxed it and found the crack, at which point I decided to leave the TR2 head in service even though the ports do not match the intack manifold.



Jedi Knight
This is a tough call.
The repair proceedure may exceede the cost of finding a servicable used head. But to answer your question, Normaly this type of crack can be repaired. To read an article about repairing such a crack {Methods used}. click here Read the portion of this article that refers to Furnace welding and Flame spray welding. You can contact one of the reputable Automotive machine shops in your area to inquire as to whom they recomend to do this service.
I hope this is somewhat helpful.
P.S. On further thought on this subject, this is one of those repairs I would not attempt without the proper equipment. That bieng an oven capable of reaching the recomended pre heat temp. Nor would I leave it to anyone that did not have the required skills and equipment to make such a repair. What im saying is DO NOT try this at home.


Jedi Knight
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Thanks for the reply Kerry. I think I have some hunting for a reputable shop to do over the winter. There is no way I would attempt his sort of repair myself. I am a big DIY guy but this is simply not something I would take on.

I am feeling a very strong urge to paint the engine bay in that car and this head replacement is just a fall out of that.

I guess I should also look seriously at finding a servicable head in the area.

Don Elliott

Obi Wan
Adrio - You might possibly pay less to buy a brand new aluminium alloy head than to have this one welded. I think I saw them advertized by Moss in England.


Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
IMO, sell the cracked head to some other crazy, and buy a good used original. You should be able to find a crack-free head (in need of rebuilding) for under $150.


Jedi Knight
there is a place called, lock & stitch, i think. They know what they are doing and can fix it. Not everyone can do this properly. I would scope out a head on e-bay first. Welding cast iron can be done but it is expensive to get it done right.I've heard that the cast iron heads are better than the aluminum ones because the coolant passages are larger.


Jedi Trainee
Unless the cracked head you have has had a great deal of work that you don't wish to lose, ie polished, matched ports. I think I would just keep a look out for another one. While technology has improved, welding a head or header, anything exposed to those temps, is a bit of a crapshoot. Just look everywhere, club mags, ebay, hemmings, craiglists, etc. Usually a couple a month show up. Remember if your trying to remain with stock compression with a normal headgasket, the thickness of the head between the valve cover and headgasket surface is about 3 and 5/16".


Jedi Trainee
Another option is to leave the crack. Not all cracks need to be repaired. Flathead Fords for example, they came from the factory well cracked, and it doesn't cause them any problems. I'm not intimate with your head and the particular crack, but many cracks can exist without growing or causing trouble.

That said, I would not bother with building up a cracked head.


Jedi Knight
If you can't find a replacement head, try a shop that rebuilds diesel engines. They repair cracked heads, between the valves, since the heads are so expensive.

Geo Hahn

Country flag
FWIW, my TR4 head was just recently off and I was surprised to find that the head had cracked & been repaired somewhere in its diatant past. Not the same location as yours, actually a possibly non-critical location as it is between to coolant passages:


This is a rather sophisticated repair -- my machine couldn't have done it but they said the repair was still just fine. BTW, also found the pistons were oversized to .040. I suspect all this may have happened before the car left England because of some strange things in the registry numbers and other evidence that the car was built about 6 months prior to the recorded build date and had its commission number reassigned. I may never know the whole story but next time I'm in the UK I may try to get a look at the factory records for the build (yes, I have the BHMIT cert already).


George, that's what's referred to as a 'stitch' repair, previously mentioned. An excellent method.
I like to overlap the plugs a bit more than that when I do it.
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