I remember reading somewhere(maybe on this forum) that the Fronty head is considered by some, more "fragile" that the Rajo 8 valve head. I'm building up a '26 touring for just that, touring. I would like a little more power when it comes to carrying a full load and crawling up hills. Seeing as how I'm not enthused about tearing down for a couple of years at least, I really don't want to use a head that might be "fragile". What is fragile?
I believe that statement was made in either the "Fast Ford Handbook" or perhaps "Speed and Sport" in the editorial comments. I don't agree that the Fronty is more fragile than the Rajo. There are several errors in the editorial comments in these books.
But you don't need either a Fronty or a Rajo to build a strong touring Model T Ford, but either would be nice.
I have a Rajo 4v in my stash. Looks like the Riley 2 port. It has 2 valve covers. Anybody running one of these?
Who made more overhead setups back in the day. Frontenac or RAJO?
Roof/Laurel also made OHV set-ups, but without hijacking the thread Im fairly sure that Frontenac and Rajo are the more popular.
I've got one of those animals, and it does look like a Riley. I'm in the process of building up a '13 speedster, and decided to use my 4V Rajo in it. It would be fun to compare the 4V and 8V heads against each other on identical cars. I wouldn't lay odds on which one would come out on top. Having played with both, but at far different times, I couldn't remember that much difference. I've got the 8V Rajo going in my '26 touring, so there's no way to compare the two......Byron
The RAJO heads were cast at a famouse tractor company foundry and are bullet proof. The Frontenac heads are rather tender because of questionable quality control when they were made.
Go to a field meet some day and count what is out and about and running well, then make a judgement call. There is a reason that RAJO is a well known name.
Most people are loyal to one or the other--I am a Fronty guy. The Rajo heads seem a little heavier to me but with both most damage seems to be from being frozen. Most of these heads were ran hard and abused but hopefully the crank or trans let go before the head did!
To support the Fronty's--they ran at Indy for several years in different configurations but as far as I know, no Rajo ever ran Indy.
Really it is just "do you like Coke or Pepsi?"
I like both coke and Pepsi. My Rajo 8V and Fronty are within 7 lbs of each other. I was surprised to learn of the Fronty being of the fragile nature, as I've ran both of them, including the Rajo 4V, for many years. And that was after my dad had ran them starting in the late forties. The Fronty is still alive and well, thank you......Byron
I like both Coke and Pepsi. Actually there is a small weight difference between the 2. My 8V Rajo is around 7 lbs heaver that my Fronty. My dad ran both of these Rajo's and the Fronty from the late '40's until I received them after his passing in the late '80's. I have fond memories of helping him build various T's (now called speedsters), and later getting to drive them around the farm in Kansas. I first learned to drive one of these T Bug's (the bug had fenders, speedsters did not)at about 10 years old, to go get the cows for milking. I remember having to put a pillow behind my back so I could push the left peddel hard enought to not ruin the car, as my dad would say. Fond memories, those days.
If I had to choose between Coke and Pepsi, I'd take Coke. But, I'd really rather have Dr. Pepper over either of them. Influenced by those Texas neighbors, I suppose.
Hey Byron, how about this?
Or talk to Tim about his "Tour Package" engine.
For my money for a touring, I'd go with a Z or Reeder head.
There were several models of Rajo, and I've heard that the 4V F head is not a fast one.
There are four models of the same basic Fronty head. The T (touring), S (sport), and R (racing) heads are same except for compression. The SR is dual intake. The fifth model, a DOHC (16 valve?) DO Fronty head is probably fragile.
I've heard something about cracks. Our R Fronty head has had a leak out the #4 exhaust, which I control with Alum-a-seal. In over 50,000 miles, a rocker arm broke and an intake valve leaked. I ride it hard, but not racing. Other than that, it seems like the head gasket takes to leaking around #4 every couple of years.
Dan McEachern, please bring a head gasket to Bakersfield next month.
Funny you should mention. Talk about head gasket problems, This is my second teardown is as many years. This was what was in my '26 touring. It might go back in, depending on how I feel about my new sealing technique. I guess maybe I'm lucky, because I've not had any problems with my Fronty F (yet).
I ment to say Fronty R head.......Byron
The 4 valve Rajo was intended for extra power in trucks and heavy T's. It has a real nice sized intake valve and 1 1/2 to 1 rockers but has a low compression ratio. While I never CCd the head, the measured compression with regular pistions was about 55 PSI with both a high head and a 4 valve Rajo. You should be able to use high top pistons to increase the compression ratio.
If you are looking for a "touring" head, I would not worry about doing any overhead valve setups.
Just run a Z head, or one of the aluminum heads like a sherman or something.
The overheads add an un-needed complexity if you are just planning to use the car for touring.
One of these Fronty's has a Rajo cover on it--sort of like a Pepsi with a Coke cap! I don't think either a Fronty or Rajo is "fragile" unless dropped or frozen, not too much to break except a rocker arm or crack a valve seat it if gets too hot but a stock block can do that also. What is "fragile" is the lower end of the T motor with the extra power.
The DO heads tended to crack valve seats but they were ran flat out for many miles--maybe 500. Fronty made one last head--the "stagger valve" DO for the model A block. This head had intakes and exhausts on each side instead of being a cross flow with all intakes on one side and all exhausts on the other. This was to equalize the cooling of the head. Of all the years I have chased this equipment around I have never seen a "stagger valve" or a photo of one and have only HEARD of one that remains.
Rajo made a DO but it is assumed to be a modified pattern of the Galavin.
Tim, How about bringing your "Stash" to Centerville so the "Multitudes" can share in your dream? We'll provide a man with a Smith and Wesson to stand guard.
Tim; I saw a stagger valve (Cragar I believe ) 25 or 30 years ago on a Track Roadster that was on display in a museum. I think the museum was the Forney museum in Denver. The spiel was that this would increase the turbulence in the penthouse chamber, resulting in a smoother flame front in comparison to the normal penthouse chamber. They also had a cut away of a Hal DO engine with 5 main crank and block.
In adding a little something to this discussion thread, I think if Byron is looking for more power with less hassle then a better flathead like the Z head or if he is purist, a Waukesha Ricardo head would be an excellent choice. (Less moving parts = less trouble, just ask Henry Ford?) I have mussed with the idea of a
Waukesha head with a set of Riley Multi-Lifts and more exotic carburation such as a complete Stromberg OF setup for all round performance with an overhead like concept. As far as I know, the great thing of the Waukesha head or the Z head is not the idea of high compression, but rather that of a better and more effective burn pattern than a stock Model T head.
For an overhead that is pretty much a simple straight bolt-on, the Rajo 4 Valve is a good choice as it will add to the breathing ability, though the exhaust is stock, however you could run with an accessory dual exhaust like Don Lang sells. The 4 valve will not be too hard on the stock crankshaft. However, once you strap on a 8 valve overhead, like either the Rajo or the Fronty, you now invite complication. The stock crankshaft will just not be able to keep up to a top end that is putting more horses.
(Tim Moore is one of about 5 fellows in the world that I believe are authorities on Frontenac overheads, so I would put some good stock into whatever Tim says about Fronty's).
Every company has time proven favorites. On the Fronty side, my limited understanding is that the Fronty R,S and T were all good strong runners. The Rajo 4 Valve and the Model C-35 8-valve were 2 good reliable overheads, that were used on cars and trucks a lot. .. Just my 25 cents put into the tray.
As you speak....
I dont know the reserve.
I've had a Waukesha Ricardo head sitting on my shelf for over 20 years. Maybe it is time to let it go to fund my speedster project. I wonder how much the value is these days?
Richard, I bot one 4or 5 years ago for $250 and I really like it! The one on e-bay right now must have a $300+ reserve on it. John
This is the Waukesha Ricardo head that I replaced with the Rajo 4V, On my speedster. I can't tell much difference in performance. But the WOW factor is much more with the 4V. Along with it being a 4V with the twin rocker covers, it appears that not many T guys have ever seen one. I keep getting chastised about having a "A" engine in it, until I tell the know-it-alls to take a closer look (really enjoy that)....Byron
Glenn, thanks for the heads up on the head that is on T-Bay right now. This one slid under my radar some how. I think most fellows will value the head close to what they would need to pay for a new Z head. Hence, you usually do not see them go over $400-450 unless someone has a real crush on one.