I had planned to make internal repairs to the cracked ear on Smiley but decided to try something new that may be of more help to others. This repair can be removed and used on another tractor if desired in the future.
This repair is made mostly of 1/2 x 2 steel with an added secondary spacer of 1/2 x 1.
It begins with a lug attached to the front mounting bolt. The lug is spaced away from the casting by a washer, although it doesn't show.
The second piece is another lug at the rear. The mounting flange of the starter accounts for the odd angle.
The stretcher is held temporarily for tack welding. Note the arrow pointing out the spacer washer.
The assembly was removed for final welding and another member was added to prevent flexing under the expected heavy pull.
This glaring pic points out the important space. The bolts are tightened very tight and the crack appears to be closed tightly. This remaining space will be carefully measured and a suitable shim (or shims) added so the bolt will still do its primary job of holding the tractor together.
I don't really expect this patch (I won't call it a repair) to prevent any leakage but it should help a lot. There won't be any fear of the crack getting worse.
You can tell how Smiley feels about his new lease on life! And to think... I nearly took his hood off.
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