1951 327 Thunderbolt cracked block

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Navy Packard fan
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:01 am

1951 327 Thunderbolt cracked block

Post by Navy Packard fan » Mon May 10, 2021 5:52 am

So.... sad story, my head gasket blew a few weeks back; ordered the part, got the head off easily, and lo and behold, on close inspection, I have not one but two cracks in the block. One from number four cylinder to the exhaust valve and one from number six to the intake valve. Frankly, I was shocked. Car has always been quiet and smooth. It burned some oil, but never more than a quart between oil changes. Absolutely no indication from the car that this problem was lurking beneath the head.

I'm torn on whether to try an locate an old block and replace / rebuild the engine from there, or to (I know this will make some members cringe) order a crate motor from GM or Ford and resto-mod my car.

I'm leaning towards the latter, if for no other reason than I'd be replacing one old engine with another 70 year old engine. Anyone ever attempt replacing a cracked block with one from a donor car?

Dave Czirr
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Re: 1951 327 Thunderbolt cracked block

Post by Dave Czirr » Mon May 10, 2021 6:24 am

Sorry to hear about the cracks, likely resulted from running low on coolant at some time in the past. You didn't say if you have a 5- or 9-main bearing version of the 327; the former are rather plentiful, the 9-main version used in the Patrician are harder to source. Sure, lots of folks have done engine swaps with similar Packard engines. Really the only significant obstacle is assessing the conditiion of the replacement block before you purchase it.

Navy Packard fan
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:01 am

Re: 1951 327 Thunderbolt cracked block

Post by Navy Packard fan » Mon May 10, 2021 6:46 am

Dave, Yes, it's the five-bearing engine. Starting to call around now and see what's within the realm of the possible. Fingers crossed I'll locate one, I expect this will take a while. Will keep you posted on the progress.

Prudence
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Re: 1951 327 Thunderbolt cracked block

Post by Prudence » Mon May 10, 2021 7:45 am

Good Morning...You might private message Ross Miller and ask him about repairing the cracks in your block...it seems to me that such cracks are repaired quite often in collector cars...if all else is well...certainly worth a phone call...and perhaps a much less expensive fix than an engine swap...Ernie in Arizona ;)

Navy Packard fan
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Re: 1951 327 Thunderbolt cracked block

Post by Navy Packard fan » Mon May 10, 2021 11:07 am

Ernie - Thanks for the lead - although I couldn't find a Ross Miller in the user index. Do you happen to know his user name? Thanks!

Dave Czirr
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Location: New Jersey

Re: 1951 327 Thunderbolt cracked block

Post by Dave Czirr » Mon May 10, 2021 6:08 pm

I think its been several years since Ross last posted or visited this forum. He is a member of The Packard Club so if you're a member, check your membership directory. His business name is Speedwell Garage in Maryland. Ross is very heavily focused on the 50s Packards and should be a very worthwhile contact.

Navy Packard fan
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:01 am

Re: 1951 327 Thunderbolt cracked block

Post by Navy Packard fan » Tue May 11, 2021 12:13 pm

Oh wow... yes I know of him, I’ve enjoyed many of his You Tube videos. Thanks for the lead!

Wat_Tyler
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:57 am

Re: 1951 327 Thunderbolt cracked block

Post by Wat_Tyler » Fri May 21, 2021 3:25 pm

Hope you found a solution for your engine woes.

There is a guy on another forum who has a 327 free to a good home. Just come-n-get-it. That's the easy bit.

The hard bit is, he's in Amarillo, which is why it isn't in my barn.

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