No casting date on engine blocks?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2010: No casting date on engine blocks?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steven G. Williams on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 10:57 pm:

Does anyone know when Ford stopped putting the casting date on the engine blocks?
Thanks!
Steven


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 11:56 pm:

Generally before 1921 model year.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 07:59 am:

Guys,
On Canadian engines in Australia, I don't think they ever stopped putting the casting date on the blocks, and the hogsheads too. In 1923 the letter A was substituted for the year, with the month and day included in the ring as above. 1924 was B, 25 was C, 26 was D and finally E for 1927.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 03:49 pm:

WOW! You guys are driving me crazy --
I didn't know about the casting date so I had to run to the garage and see what was on my 1919.
The motor number says that it was assembled on July 30, 1919 and the casting date is 7 28 19.
The casting hardly had time to cool before it bacame a motor.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steven G. Williams on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 04:23 pm:

Dan, if I understand you correctly, the photo you posted shows a round casting date "emblem". My older cars have the date embossed on the block, and no round casting like your example. So somewhere prior to or around 1921 Ford quit even using that round casting? Everything after 1921 had no casting date in any form, and the only way to identify the age of the engine is via engine number?
Thanks,
Steven


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Sundstrom on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 06:13 pm:

After reading this discussion I checked my block. It was easy as it's sitting on my workbench in the process of being assembled. My car engine number, assembly date is 8/20/20. The casting date is either 6/17/20 or 8/20/20 (I think it looks more like 6). Fred, if it's an 8 than we have the same lead time from block cast to final assembly. Also the head on my car has the same type date boss on casting and appears to be 2/8/19 although this could have replaced the original during the life of the car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Deichmann, Blistrup, Denmark on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 07:31 pm:

John - in 1920 and the next few years Ford produced Model T's at their maximum, so no luxury allowed like storing blocks for weeks.
I clearly see the casting date as August 17 1920. That makes 3 days to cool the block, bore it and poure the babbit and prepare that. That the head was done the day before assembly makes also sense. Actually it would realy be a coincidence if the head was replaced with one that was made the day before the original assembly of the motor.
Its the original head. Take care of it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Luke Dahlinger on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 08:30 pm:

Fred,

Your Motor has the same birthday as Henry Ford. That's pretty cool!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce Peterson on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 08:35 am:

I have a 1919 engine that has the full size casting date, same as was used 1913 - the beginning of the little circle casting date. My guess is that there might have been some overlap between the two date marking methods at the Highland Park foundry.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 10:55 am:

Motor and Henry born on July 30 - now that's a good reason to party!:-)

The 7 28 19 on my 1919 block is the full number that Royce mentioned not the circle.

I'd bet that Henry didn't wake up one morning and decide to change all the tooling to the round circle in one day.
He most likely used the old tooling until it wore out completely.

It would be interesting to see if there waere any non-circle blocks from 1920.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By "Hap" (Harold) Tucker - Sumter, SC on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 11:31 am:

I agree with Royce that there easily could have been some overlap when Ford USA produced blocks with the serial number either way. Ford often had an overlap when things changed just because it took a little while to change the processes, brief the different crews on the process etc. And in many cases the process would be phased in with a trial to see how it worked and then to convert everything over. Changing the casting date style would have included changing how the date tag was made (round instead of a strip – I don’t know if it was stamped or the numbers were put in by hand). They may have used the same hole that held the previous strip or the change may have required the hole to be move a little to make room for the disk – I’m not sure from looking at pictures. It was a lot easier and probably accomplished much quicker than changing the block casting to accept the generator. But the documented overlap for non-generator blocks and generator style blocks ran for approximately six months. The first Ford USA starter - generator block was made Dec 11, 1918 (see: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/doc18.htm ) while the last non-starter non-generator Ford USA block was made May 28, 1919 (see: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/doc19.htm ).

Steve ref your comment that after the casting date on USA blocks was removed “the only way to identify the age of the engine is via engine number.” If the block was replaced in a car or truck, the Ford dealers had been instructed to stamp the original car or truck’s serial number onto the new block and many garages followed that same procedure. In the case of a replacement block usually the engine block would have been produced later than the serial number indicated (although it is possible for an earlier casting date replacement block to have been used – in general they tend to be later than the serial number). In my very small sample size of 6 blocks in the garage two of those appear to have been replacement blocks as the casting date is later than the serial number. So in addition to the casting date and serial number you can use changes in the block to also approximate the date range of a block or engine. See the list of Cylinder block changes along with the dates – (the dates shown are normally for the drawing change and not necessarily the implementation change) at: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/E.htm#eng2 under engine block changes. Note it also shows another example of overlap – where it says for 10-18-1921 “New design (one valve cover) to be run at a rate of 100 per day.” This would mean the other engines during that time continued to be produced with the two valve covers.

And remember the casting numbers and serial numbers were changed by people and they sometimes make mistakes. In the early Ford Data Base for the Pre-T Fords there are shipping documents for the same serial number car to different people at different times. Either they were entered in the ledger wrong or the person stamped them wrong. And the picture below shows that just because the worker messed up a casting date they didn’t re-melt the block and start over – they would have used it. Note the photo below is for a 1912 block and that is the correct location for the casting date for that time frame but it was installed upside down [from Bruce McCalley’s “Comprehensive Model T Ford Encyclopedia” page 16 of the 1912 section – used by permission to promote our hobby and available at: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/mccalley.htm ].




And finally at the thread at http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/31484.html and a similar discussion Bruce posted, “ In an extensive search I did years ago I never found an engine with a casting date later than December 1921.” Has anyone found a casting date on a USA engine beyond Dec 1921?

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and l907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 12:01 pm:

I have a 1913 block just like the one pictured above. It is obviously a block cast in 1912, and resembles the one pictured above. The casting date is illegible, but you can still see the two little screws on each side of the date. The interesting thing is, this block has an April engine number, and hasn't been restamped either. Must have been at the bottom of the pile?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 07:28 pm:

This is one of the last Canadian block casting date years, made about 6 months befor the moodel year changed and the number was replaced with a letter A.

22


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John A Kuehn on Saturday, December 25, 2010 - 08:15 pm:

Here is a June 21 block. This is for my 21 Touring project. Does anyone know what the R stands for? Am I reading this correctly?
Thanks for any help. block number.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce Peterson on Saturday, December 25, 2010 - 08:32 pm:

This is my 1919 engine 3307642 with casting date 8-12-19.



I wonder if Dans engine is actually a reserialized engine with a 1921 casting date 7-9-1?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By CoreyWalker, Brownsboro, Texas on Saturday, December 25, 2010 - 08:41 pm:

John, I've posted a pic of my 21 engine before, it has the R as well. It's a replacement block, no serial #. Don't know why they would add an R, except for, and this is purely speculation on my part that maybe the police or DMV would later question someone on why their vehicle had a 1919 serial # but a 21 cast date. Probably not the reason but all I could think of.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Patterson (Aust) on Saturday, December 25, 2010 - 09:01 pm:

Slightly O/T, but....
The Canadian Casting dates and the actual shipping dates weren't at all consistent.
Some were shipped within a couple of days after the casting date and others about a week later.
Our Anastasia's powerplant has a casting date of 18th July 1921 but from her C320*** engine number she wasn't shipped until about 30th October '21. More than 3 months later.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John A Kuehn on Saturday, December 25, 2010 - 09:24 pm:

Thanks Corey for the info. I bought the 21 engine last year at Chicksha for my 21 Touring since I didnt have an engine for it. So in a way it will be a "replacement engine"!
So if my block is a replacement engine I am guessing it was stamped with the original engine's serial no? So in that case it could have sat around for no telling how long and replaced as needed and then stamped for a 21 T whatever that could have been.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Perkins on Sunday, December 26, 2010 - 10:26 am:

This is my speedster engine # 2905772 casting date 2-11-19, looks like Royce P.'s.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace on Sunday, December 26, 2010 - 11:36 am:

Well, if we're showing off '19 blocks...here's mine :-)




casting good enough to see the single slot screw heads that mount the daily changing serial plate to the block die...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce Peterson on Sunday, December 26, 2010 - 12:43 pm:

Neat, that one is three days after mine!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John A Kuehn on Sunday, December 26, 2010 - 06:17 pm:

Here is 8-8-20 block with a replacement country style serial no. Not sure what the engine came out of but if going by the center punched serial no. it would be for a 13 T.
20 block


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George...Cherry Hill, NJ on Sunday, December 26, 2010 - 06:37 pm:

Concerning the 'R' in the casting symbol, I'll go out on a limb with a guess and it is only a guess based on the evidence so far shown here.

The Rouge foundry blast furnaces went on line starting in 1921 and with it the beginning of the move where Rouge became the manufacturing site, and ultimately Highland Park assembly only.

It would stand to reason that there would be overlap for a good period as the blast furnaces at Rouge were of a different technology than Highland. They would probably want some evaluation time before transfering all foundry operations over. Rather than need a serial number look-up as to legacy issues, my guess would be the 'R' stands for Rouge and a quick visual as to source.

Find an earlier block with the 'R' on it, and this idea falls completely apart. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By "Hap" (Harold) Tucker - Sumter, SC on Sunday, December 26, 2010 - 11:41 pm:

I suspect that George is correct (unless of course we find out the block or blocks with “R’s” were cast before the River Rouge began casting blocks. I have been trying to find additional information on when the River Rouge Factory began casting engine blocks but I still do not have a good date with a month for that. But at: http://www.fordmotorhistory.com/factories/river_rouge/blast_furnace.php it shares that one of the blast furnaces – the one named “Henry Ford II” dates back to 1920 (but it did not give a month).

And at: http://www.fordmotorhistory.com/factories/river_rouge/iron_foundry.php it states that the River Rouge Plant Iron Foundry
“When completed in 1921, Albert Kahn designed, this steel frame structure, situated about 350 feet east of the Turning Basin Slip, was probably the most impressive single unit of the Rouge. The largest foundry of its kind in the world, it not only poured 2,000 tons of castings each day but housed an impressive machining operation as well. The entire operation was so highly mechanized by a series of conveyors and tracks that little physical labor was necessary. Cupola cars brought huge ladles of molten metal direct from the blast furnaces located on the west side of the foundry where it could immediately be cast into engine blocks. After cooling the castings were routed to the machining department where after 43 different operations they emerged as Model-T engine blocks. By 1922 the foundry was casting 7,700 motor blocks daily for Model T's and Fordson tractors, a figure which increased to 10,055 in 1924.”

What I haven’t been able to confirm is what month did they start casting Model T blocks at the River Rouge? If it was after Jun 1921 then John’s Jun 1921 bock with the circle date and the “R” was not produced at the Rouge. Does anyone have an “R” casting date prior to Jun 1921? I also wonder if they were casting the blocks and shipping them to Highland Park for machining prior to the machining capability at the Rouge?

As I posted on a previous thread –http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/130763.html?1268914884 I think it is highly unlikely that Ford would track the casting of blocks to be machined for replacement engine blocks separately from blocks that were going to be assembled and dropped into a vehicle. That would have been a lot of extra work and book keeping for very little if any gain.

If the picture Dan posted is actually for Jan 7, 1919 then the overlap for the “casting date in a line” and the “casting date in a circle” for USA engines had an overlap of at least seven or eight months. Note that the number “9” appears to have another number in front of it which I believe is a “1.”



And so far I don’t know of any 1912 or later casting date that only used a single digit for the year. [The Canadian casting date did start using a single letter for a year sometime during 1923 according to Bruce (pg 539 of his book and also his CD]. Based on the single occurrence of the “two digits” I would think that would be the year and not the day or month. Perhaps someone knows of an exception to that [seems like there are many other times Ford made an exception to something]? Also I believe the photo of the Jan 7, 1919 casting date was originally posted “By Phil Mino on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 07:43 am:” I don’t have a link to that posting but that is what my word document shows. And Phil tends to pay attention to details. We could drop him a note and ask if he has any additional information about the engine – i.e. in an original car or found in a parts pile etc. ?

Lots more still to discover and confirm. And as George said, if the “R” appears on the engines prior to the Rouge starting casting them – the “R” must be for something else.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and l907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


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