My 48 Cub has a busted block

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My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby fl37 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:20 pm

Found out in the engine machine shop that the lower right ear on the block is completely broken off. Looks like it was cracked and repaired with JB Weld.

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This is my first experience restoring a Cub. Thought I was home free until this glitch happened. I understand that this flange is notorious for cracking and causing oil leaks. I wonder how many of the members of this forum have had this problem. I assume that it's not possible to weld on the block since it's cast iron or cast steel. And there doesn't appear to be much meat near the break to do a decent weld. Looks like that block is scrap.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
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Re: My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby Hengy » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:25 pm

Unfortunately, you are correct. That block is toast. With the ear broken completely off, it is going to be impossible to get a good weld there, even if you are an expert in welding cast iron. That area is structural in nature, so it has to be strong. The good thing in this case is that you didn't spend money to rebuild the block and THEN crack it.

Another member might had a bare block that they could sell you and you could use your internals to complete the engine (crank, valves, etc), or you could look on the classifieds and see if you can find a good running replacement engine... just beware that you might still have to do some work on a used engine to make it "top notch"... Some yes, some no...

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Re: My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby Barnyard » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:13 pm

Since you didn't fill out any profile info as to where you live it is hard to say the where to look for a block. Your best bet is to check with JP Tractor Salvage in Missouri or Hamilton Bob in Ohio. Both are sponsors of this site and are good people to deal with. Links to their websites can be found at the bottom of this page.
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Re: My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby Smokeycub » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Wow - that is a scarry thing to behold. Sorry you have to endure that. My block is cracked in the same area. I was fortunate enough to discover it before it broke clean off. Someone had brazed it before I got the tractor but it still leaked a little oil, I couldn't figure out where the oil was coming from at first. When I tore it down is when I discovered how significant the crack is. They did a good job brazing it, both inside and out, it has been that way for a long time. Not wanting to risk any further damage I reinforced that ear with a brace that runs from front to back. A couple guys on this site have made the braces commercially for both sides of the engine and there are some threads about this subject. The point is these braces are a great idea whether you hava a crack or not, especially if you have some rough terrain or a FEL.

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Re: My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby fl37 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:24 pm

Thanks for the feedback.
Smokeycub--nice braze. Unfortunately for my complete break, brazing will probably not work since that ear carries half of the bolster load and is in a high load area.
Barnyard--I'm in Northern CA, Tehama Co. Not many Cubs listed here on eBay or Craigslist. I found that busted 1948 Cub on CL from a neighbor. Cash deal--as is terms.
Hengy--I'm not sure I want to go for an older Cub like my 1948 because of that known failure point. I understand that IH beefed up that part of the block in the late 1950s or 1960s, but I haven't been able to track down any definite information on that mod in any IH literature or manuals. From photos of late 1960s IH Cubs I notice that the ear is a different design and appears to be more robust.

Any feedback is appreciated.
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Re: My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby calcub » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:16 pm

Check the San Francisco Bay Area Craigslist.... there is an ad for what looks like a parts tractor with wheel weights with an ask of

$550. Worth giving a call and is only a 3+ hour drive for you to Gilroy.
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Re: My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby calcub » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:21 pm

sorry for the multiple posts.... must have had a stutter finger!

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Re: My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:31 pm

I got rid of them.
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Re: My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby Smokeycub » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:25 pm

fl37 wrote:Smokeycub--nice braze. Unfortunately for my complete break, brazing will probably not work since that ear carries half of the bolster load and is in a high load area.


I didn't mean to imply you should braze it. My intention way to say that engine braces are a great idea and well worth putting on no matter the condition of the "ear".
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Re: My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby fl37 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:19 pm

Understood. I considered trying to braze that ear onto the block but none of the weld shops around here would try it since they couldn't guarantee the work because of the severity of the break.
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Re: My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby glennhuff » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:25 pm

I'm several hours away, but PM sent anyway.

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Re: My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby PVF1799 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:53 am

Send a PM to Art C. He has good blocks for sale - That being said he is New England.

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Re: My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby Clark Thompson » Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:26 am

I have welded many blocks with the exact brake.. It can be fixed with special cast iron welding rod. If done properly will be stronger than it was originally. I am sure in your location you can find a real old time welder to weld it.
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Re: My 48 Cub has a busted block

Postby dickcub50 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:06 pm

I may be able to help. Have two cubs that are parts cubs.
Both may have good blocks. One is a bare block, the other
is together. Send me a PM.
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