In a recent thread there was mention of a Joe Morris Model T crankshaft. I thought this curious as I have one….one that I had made 27 years ago. It is a fabricated counter-balanced crank made of pieces assembled by shrink fitting and TIG welded. I think these cranks are peculiar to California as they were made in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains and advertised in local swap meets. I post this thread to see if there is any current information on them and who still may have them. They were the early fully counter-balanced cranks available before the forged versions appeared. Wish I had a photo because it is a nice piece of design and work.
In my humble opinion they looked much better than they really were. The TIG welding did not penetrate deep, there was no deep weld prep. The welding reduced the shrink fitting.
When Joe Morris was alive, he had the crankshaft fabricated in a machine shop near where he once lived.
I fabricated a crankshaft for my 1910 two cylinder REO. The weld prep went to the root of the weld joint. It is still holding up well.
The lack of weld fusion is the main problem with Joe Morris crankshafts.....Also, the counter balances are too small compared to the SCAT crankshafts.
I wonder if silver brazing would work. It is incredibly strong in a properly done "sweated" joint
In a previous thread it was mentioned that there have been several crank failures. Were these due to shrink fit/ weld failures? Or, what was the failure mode. The failure I had was the break of the output flange at the rear main. It was due to a stress riser created by absence of radius at the transition...or possibly an alignment problem. Testing showed that the 4130 material was not heat treated.
The two I seen did not break the rod journal.....they broke out a section where they were once pressed in to which connects each journal. Your could see there was "No" weld depth....the TIG weld looked wonderful from the outside surface.
I also think silver brazing would have worked much better in a properly sweated joint.
The crankshaft for my 2 cylinder REO was made in sections using 4130 and stick welded with 4130. I tried using TIG but due to the thickness the torch wanted to melt. After each section was welded, straightened and stress relief I proceeded to weld the next section. My weld preps were 1" deep. After finishing the different operations, the crankshaft was heat treated to RC32 final machined and ground. I don't think it will break.
This thread doesn't seem to be getting much action....probably because it all happened nearly 30 years ago. The crank was produced in a small machine shop in San Andreas, CA and designed by a local hobbyist. I suspect everyone involved is gone now...except I met the machinist at the Turlock swap meet several years ago. Anybody still there?
A good friend (Bill Ottemann)is still running a Joe Morris crankshaft in his 1911 T touring. Due to the two subject crankshafts that broke in other local members cars, he has bought a Scat crankshaft.
I remember Bill complaining that his Joe Morris crankshaft was bent and did not run true when he received it. This should not happen with a new crankshaft. He straightened it and was not impressed with the strength. Looked much stronger than it really was. The machining and TIG welding looked great outside. SCAT did it the best way!
Material selection and assembly process are design elements. This sounds like a bad design with good workmanship on the failed idea.
I don't know about *bad design* or *failed idea*...particularly coming from someone who has never seen one of these cranks. All I know is that I have been running one for 30 years in a performance T engine and so far....no problems. Run in several speedster runs (SCVMTFC). Perhaps I should take it out while I am ahead and save it for some kind of a museum.
I just am looking for some more history and experiences.
John, Thanks for stepping in , Wow looks like a great power plant.
Multiple reported failures. Non heat treated 4130. I don't need to see one. It's a grenade waiting to go off in that lovely engine of yours.
I am a SCAT crankshaft owner by the way. I have not heard of any failures. Lots of them in service.
I would do a SCAT today, but this crank was the only thing available 30 years ago (except Shur Mike and Model A, etc.). It all seemed like a good idea at the time....worth a try.
John- I have a JM crank that was in my '14 touring when I bought it 25-30 years ago and it promptly broke at the rear flange. The reason for the break was pretty obvious after teardown- VERY sharp corner in the fillet. To Joe's credit, there are numerous 2 cyl Reos running today with his crankshafts in them as Joe was the go to guy for many years if you owned a Reo. He extended the same "technology" to the T cranks later on. As far as my crank, I machined an entire new rear main journal and flange and replaced the broken one, reground the new rear journal and put it back in the motor as a spare. My understanding was that many of these cranks had flange failures similar to my experience and the solution they implemented was to make the flange thicker rather than address the root problem. It would be interesting to hear from others with faiures.
Very interesting...you will see from an earlier post on this thread that I had the same failure. They repaired it with a new rear main/flange piece with a radius and a thicker flange. I suspect that they didn't want to put a radius on the grinding wheel...and make the journal larger. More grinding. That's the same one that is working today.
Last year, I seen one of Joe's REO cranks with a loose throw. It was ready to let go at any minute.
When 2 cylinder REO crankshafts break.....very bad things happen quickly. The bottom of the crank case ends up in the street in pieces.