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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think my front cover is international or pre early 99 because it has the actual coolant temp gauge on the front cover. The engine is in a early 99 truck but I don't think it's factory. I currently have the engine pulled over the front cover being cracked. I was wondering if anyone has had a front cover cracked like this. It's the top side of the oil cooler mounting location. Engine was out last winter and oil cooler was rebuilt at that time. Just cracked a few weeks ago.

I have another front cover to use but they are expensive. Does anyone think a machine shop can weld this up and be used in the future or is it trash?
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About anything can be welded. I was told at one time that International and Ford front covers were different as far as mounting for the oil cooler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know that at some point the reservoir has a screened and not screened gasket. Also only certain covers have the place for the actual coolant temp gauge. Picture shows the location.
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A friend of mine is Jeff Decker. He owns Decker Welding. He has a huge operation. He employs many employees, all of which have decades of experience. They do AMAZING work. His operation is so large, it’s in a massive a warehouse. He has another as a machine shop with the latest stuff. They have been on the Discovery Channel.
You could UPS it to them.
They are located in Cockeysville Maryland.
I know that no one is better and you will not be disappointed with the quality of their work.
If interested, let me know that you want to talk to him first with questions and or concerns. At that point, I’ll call him, give him the background and have him treat you with kid gloves.
 
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You definitely what his level of expertise with it being a critical aluminum engine part. You don’t want to risk drawing, warping or changes in clearances. That would be a disaster especially if you put everything back together and the engine back in.
 

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Here's a pic of the front cover from a 99.5 (engine build date late December 98. - truck build date 1/99). That plug on the left side is where your temp sender is. Your pic is upside down.

The screened gasket for the HPOP reservoir came much later than '99 and they're not compatible with early front covers or HPOP reservoirs.

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The reason why front covers get cracked there is; improper removal/ installation sequence of the engine oil cooler.
When removing ALWAYS remove the bolts that hold the oil cooler to the front cover first.
When installing the oil cooler; Always mount the bolts to the block first.
Failure to follow the above sequence causes hang weight on the front cover, risking what happened here.
Poor front cover. They have feelings too. Now it has to take a trip to the doctor.
 

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You definitely what his level of expertise with it being a critical aluminum engine part. You don’t want to risk drawing, warping or changes in clearances. That would be a disaster especially if you put everything back together and the engine back in.
Curious whether your friend did this repair, or is going to? Reason is, it appears to be extremely difficult, with expected costs to match and high probability of failure. A good, lasting repair would be most impressive indeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Curious whether your friend did this repair, or is going to? Reason is, it appears to be extremely difficult, with expected costs to match and high probability of failure. A good, lasting repair would be most impressive indeed.
I talked to a local machine shop and he stated that because it's such a big job to change the front cover he wouldn't even want to attempt to weld. I will just hang this one on the wall. I have a new/used cover in the garage now. Just waiting to get over covid and I'll put it all back together.
 

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I talked to a local machine shop and he stated that because it's such a big job to change the front cover he wouldn't even want to attempt to weld. I will just hang this one on the wall. I have a new/used cover in the garage now. Just waiting to get over covid and I'll put it all back together.
Best decision, I think. And hey, looks impressive on the wall too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Not sure if this would need a new post or if it still applies. The old front cover that's cracked that I'm replacing has a check valve made I to the inside of the cover and the later model front cover in replacing with doesn't. Does anyone have any idea what the purpose of it is? I'll post pictures.
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Is that a check valve or a nozzle? You say it's on the inside of the cover. Does it attach to an oil passageway? Could it be there to spray oil on the timing gears? Reminds me of the gear oiler on a Chevy 235 motor.
 
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