What Engine Block to Start With?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: What Engine Block to Start With?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 11:46 am:

When I went through our TT nearly 10 years ago, it was a "budget" job. I got it running just fine, but.... It is an '18 year model truck I think, with a May 1923 engine. I'm considering finding a block and building an engine/transmission the "right way", so when the inevitable happens I can just swap out the engine/transmission and keep going, then rebuild the current engine at my leisure.

So, understanding that purity is not important here since I don't know for sure what year the truck is anyhow, what year block should I start with? Is there any particular performance, reliability, or other difference between the various production years that I should take into consideration? I intend to keep things pretty well stock, i.e., coils, timer, no water pump, etc., but I would like to add period some period enhancements such as outside oiler. A starter is not important to me as I don't use the one I have now, but I consider a generator and battery for lights important safety features. I will do most of the wrench work myself, but babbitt, decking. boring, etc. will be professionally done. Also, I realize an early open valve engine is not a practical choice just due to cost alone, and I wouldn't want to waste one on this truck anyway.

Thanks for any comments!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul O'Neil on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 12:49 pm:

I'm not sure there is any right answer to this question. The '26/'27 engines have some improvements and some might go in that direction.

For my own project I had a pile of parts that someone has assembled rudely into a car. In searching out new parts for the project, I decided to go in the direction of the body. The body is an early low steel slant windshield runabout. I located a block consistent with that and built my engine accordingly.

You might look for an '18 block and build your motor that way. I'm not sure about any differences in quality or performance, possibly others might speak to that.

Vintage Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George_Cherry Hill NJ on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 01:13 pm:

Since asking for opinions...

Not interested in being close? Then go for a 26/27 power plant. you can always block off the starter hole.

Better crank design (even though this crank fits into earlier). Better crank material (ditto), the extra 2 tabs on the hogshead and the angle braces take most of the hairpin eventual fatigue effect out of the crank/tranny with a tight 4th main. Braking is 50% 'improved' with the wider band. You also get wider pedals if you're big-footed. A 4-dip pan for lot's easier back conn-rod access (the 4-dipper itself is a liability over the '23 and earlier 3 dipper (but all the other stuff makes up for it).

Just thinking off of the top of my head when 'purity' is not an issue.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By joe bell on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 01:23 pm:

I like the 26-7 block also but tend to find cracks between 2-3 lifter side or cracks from exhaust valve into cylinder. I do not know if castings had changed that much or cars where run a whole lot more to cause the cracks? I do know that I will not buy a 26-7 block if I can not pull the valve door and head, I have been burned TO many times from not doing it!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 01:31 pm:

If you have Bruce's encyclopedia on disk, see pages 483-494. Lots of info on changes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 09:39 pm:

As I recall, there is good reason to believe that your TT is earlier than most. For that reason alone, I would try to get the truck closer to being right. If you want to make it an'18, get an '18 block and just sort of keep working it that way. Or get a 1919/'20 two valve cover block and make a good '19. Of course, you may prefer to keep demountable pneumatic tires all the way around.
Just me.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 11:30 am:

Thanks to you all for your thoughts. After reading them, reviewing Bruce's encyclopedia, and thinking it over I'm leaning toward Wayne's suggestion. Using an '18 block would sort of tie things together.

I can always use a later "improved" crank, the bigger brake drum isn't important to me due to the fact that I have Bennett brakes on it and there's no transmission brake cam on the Bennett pedal anyhow. The only thing I'm uncertain of is getting enough electricity for reliable bright lights, brake lights, and turn signals (all of which I consider absolutely necessary items, period accessory or not).

Thanks again!!


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