Just received this PM: "Hi Rick, are you the go to guy for some Frontenac info? I'm getting ready to pull mine off and need to know what I don't know! Anything to watch for? What are recommended valve clearances? should I replace head bolts with new? I bought a new head gasket from Lang's. Any wisdom appreciated."
I don't know why these good questions aren't posted here first. Although I have thousands of miles and a rebuild on my R head, I don't consider myself a go-to guy. And I'm running out of energy for one on one answers.
If you're unwilling to replace the bolts with studs, any other advice I offer won't matter.
Save your energy, Ralph. Off for vacation at Bahamas soon?
Thanks, Roger. That Bahama cruise turned out to be a ripoff. It took a lot of pressure from younger son to get our money back.
My big trip will be to Bakersfield next month. It's not exactly a vacation spot, but a great place to find old and new friends. My weight has stabilized between 155-160, so I may have strength longer than appeared a couple of months ago.
Ricks Our prayers are w/ you and the family, I met you at Chickasha several yrs ago, I was riding a grasshopper lawn mower w/ trailer up front, I purchased a 4 dip pan from you set-up for an A crank. I also talked to you on the Great Race in St Charles, Mo yrs ago.
Hey Ralph -- One sure way to keep from losing weight is to eat more doughnuts and milkshakes. Anyway that works for me.
Bailey delivered the front brake parts to Chickasha and made the handoff. Thanks, Bailey!
Diane & I hope to see you at Bakersfield next month, Ralph ! Stay well !
Enoff of me: how about somebody answering the guy's questions?
Yes, John, I remember you at Csaw in '04, but not in St. Charles '98. I just sold that pan you swapped to me about ten years ago.
Mike, I eat, and drink Ensure+ all day long, barely keeping even. Try drinking Ensure instead of milkshakes. Ice cream has some deadly ingredients.
If he is removing the head. Check to insure it is flat, maybe needs decked, Check the clearance on the valve guides, check the valve seat and valves, maybe a light lapping or a valve job. Run valve clearance .012” to .015” would work in most set ups. Check spring pressures. A good cleaning and paint, and should be ready to go.
My 2 cents worth, If you want pass on my Email and I would be happy to answer any questions he has email@example.com
I'm another happy Fronty user but no real expert beyond what works for me.
Like Ralph I prefer studs rather than bolts. Easy to seat for full thread usage in the block as well as easy to get in and out. I use a new cam and set both intake and exhaust valves to .012 cold.
As far as checking the head while it's off - nothing unique that I'm aware of - check for flat, cracks, worn valve guides . . . the stuff you would check on any head that has valves in it.
Yes studs will be better when it goes back together to hold the head gasket (with proper touque and re-tourque). The 2 front studs for a model A head will work fine if you order all required. Clean the holes in the block with air and a bottom tap, set the head and start the studs being double nutted on top to bottom them out--NO VICE GRIPS.
I hate to see a valuable Fronty milled if not necessary, every person that takes off metal gets closer to the water passages and ruins it. When I put my first on I was at my grandfathers garage with the head and told him I was going to have it milled--he hollered "Bull S---" and threw it on his bench. He took a large file and dressed the bottom of the head and some shinny areas around bolt holes smoothed right off. I installed it and have never had a problem.
The clearances of .012 is just what I would use. A caution would be to make sure that the valve springs are only Fronty and don't have T Ford springs shoved down inside as that can make way too much spring pressure and break rocker arms. Another "must" in my opinion is to loc-tite the bolts that run through the rocker shaft stands. I have had them come loose and if that happens your valve adjustment will be off but you can quickly crack the shaft stands (I have fixed many for people) or break the rocker as the entire assembly begins to rock on top of the head.
Besides those points just check the valve guides and valve seats while you have it apart, it should run a long time if kept cool!
Thanks Rick for posting & everyone else for your comments! I'm rebuilding a Paco bodied speedster & it came with the Frontenac head. This is my first experience with this type of head on a T. I have no history on the engine, so I figure it would be good to give it a good going over while the cars apart. What should the spring pressure be, I have a spring pressure gauge? I'll post a picture of the valve train to see if you guys think it's correct. I really like going to studs, make good sense to me!
(Message edited by adminchris on March 25, 2014)
Here's a couple of pics of my head, does it look like the normal setup? the serial #T3371T and also Has a "M" ground into head, anyone tell which head I have? Thanks, Bob
(Message edited by adminchris on March 25, 2014)
Four types of heads were offered in the type shown.
Type T, S, R, and SR. S/R numbers located over the water outlet normally Your number apears to be the T type. Hard to tell from the pictures but it looks like all the right stuff.
The T series is the mild/low compression version of the Fronty but still a real good head. The big difference between it and the 'S' speedster head is the compression ratio. If you feel a need for speed you can use high top pistons and make up most or all of the difference. I used mine (a T series like yours) with stock pistons and a stock T crank for a while and liked it. After that crank broke, I put in an 'A' crank and the higher domed pistons. A very nice combination in my world.
In 2012 I broke a valve spring, bummer. I removed a few springs from the head and did some measuring. The relaxed length is 3", valve closed length is 1.75 and valve open length of approx 1.385 (Stipe 280 cam and 1.5 to 1 rockers for approx .365 lift). The spring wire diameter is .135.
These are pretty soft springs - valve closed pressure is 45 lbs and valve open pressure is 62 lbs. (Using my magic bathroom scale so probably +/- a few pounds).
I was not able to find any springs on the retail market but was very fortunate that Jerome Hoffman had a spare set of springs that he was willing to sell.
Hopefully, your springs are all good. Likely most important is that they be relatively soft by modern standards and fairly consistent in pressure from one valve to the next.
As stated your head is a T series and rated at 65lbs compression but you can pump that up with pistons. Regardless it will give you all you want, be quick and quite dangerous!
Your rockers appear to be Fronty but the shaft stand caps look like flat stock. I am a bit puzzled as the original caps would be round to match up with the stand as half the shaft needs top support. This isn't a big problem to make proper and I have done it with split pipe cut to leingth and drilled on top. I can't see the stands themselves but assume they are factory.
I would change the shaft caps to look better and as I said loc tite the assembly down...if the top end gets loose and rocks around you can quickly split and damage the stands and break rocker arms. The stands are cast and I have fixed many of them but the rockers are forged.
I am no expert in anything that matters but do have lots of Fronty experience...have had dozens of them and only kept the very best. I do own at least one of each T, R, S, SR and 16 valve dual overhead, some in multiples and a complete NOS single cam SR motor along with a Green OHC on a SR head. This equipment isn't for everyone as they are loud, fast, can shoot fire and go way too fast but period correct and hard to find, really hard to find that hasn't been damaged and adulterated by previous owners.
Thanks again and keep the info coming, this is like a crash course! I spoke with Mike B today and he was a wealth of info. I will be pulling the engine down to check it over in a couple of weeks so we'll see what surprises await me. I understand it has a Model B crank? Here's a few more close ups of the valve train.
(Message edited by adminchris on March 25, 2014)
Now that I see the caps from the side they will work fine.
Thanks Tim, with you holding all the heads, no wonder they are hard to find! I am going to switch to studs, I noticed that some of my head bolts aren't even graded bolts. Any recommendations on best place to purchase these so I'm assured of getting best quality?
OPPS, one last question (for today), what if any would have been the proper color of an original Frontenac head? Thanks, Bob
I have a Model T Fronty head which needs valve guide replacement. Anyone know where I can get them? They are 3/8" ID, 0.625" OD, overall length 3.25", 0.625" length is 1.75".
Check with SBI valves. They have a PDF online. Offer a lot and I think you may find something.
IF you have to put in new guides any way, look at the new Big Block Chevy valves that use a slightly smaller stem size. A lot easier to find then the larger size the Fronty takes, cheaper too!
One more time, anyone know correct color paint was used on the heads? Best place to buy QUALITY head studs? Thanks, Bob
No clue on the correct paint color. Studs - you can get the long Model A studs from Snyder's or any of the other Model A vendors. Any other good nut and bolt supplier should have them as well. The ones from Snyder's are 5 3/4" long with 3/4" of course thread for the block end. A 6" length would be just fine if buying from a bolt supplier.
Larry, the valve guides aren't too hard to make if you have acccess to a metal lathe. I made the ones for mine out of some surplus grade 8 one inch in diameter that came from the rear spring pads on an old dump truck. (International) I have about 5000 mmiles on this set and still work fine. Art in Pahrump
I cut up an old flywheel as a source for cast iron to make stuff like this.
Still have about half of it left.
Just wondering, are Fronty heads supposed to have a OHV Cover?
Yes, should have a cover. For more info and pictures check out http://www.nwvs.org/Technical/Frontenac1923Catalog.pdf
Lang's and other vendors have them available. http://www.modeltford.com/item/VC-F.aspx
Haven't seen your name here in years, Art. How you been? Been driving your T much?
Does Heidi still have her Macaws?