Open valve block

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Open valve block
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 05:18 pm:

I purchased an open valve block at the Lau sale Saturday and am trying to date it. Both the motor number and date have been filed off. It could be 09 to early 11. I do notice casting mold number 5 on the body of the block and wonder if that is helpful in dating it. Any information or differences in these early blocks that would help me determine the year would be helpful.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 05:33 pm:

Here's an interesting fact. On one of the rails, I found stamped in tiny numbers, 15671 which corresponds to Jan or Fed 1910 motor number. Perhaps a former owner who filed the date and motor number wanted to preserve the real number for history and stamped it on the rail. Perhaps he had visions of making up an 09 and was going to "recreate" a number and date in the future. The motor was rebuilt many years ago, but had not been run. The reason I still question what year the block was made in spite of finding this number is because the last two numbers on the date above the water inlet appear to be 11 and appear not to have been filed off, although admittedly its difficult to say for sure. Also I have never seen a casting mold number 5, only numbers 1 thru 3. Got me to wondering. Any help or thoughts would be appreciated.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Trent Boggess on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 06:38 pm:

Hi Richard,

I worked on an '11 Open Runabout several years ago that had a similar problem with the serial number. It was a 4 digit where a previous owner had ground off the first number, and the pad under the first number to make it look like it was a '09. A check with the shipping invoices showed that the car was an original Open Runabout whose original first number was a "3". When we rebuilt the engine we had the number pad returned to its original size and stamped the number "3" back on as the first digit.

This was a late February 1911 car with an open valve block, late 1-piece pan, and a square hole transmission cover. The number on the side of the block was a "5" just like yours.

So I suspect you are right about this being an early '11 block.

Good luck on capturing the original serial number.

Respectfully Submitted,

Trent Boggess


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Hatch on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 08:52 pm:

Richard: I have 2 1911s. # 48222 and # 50037. Both have the #5 on the side. Dan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Fischer - Arroyo Grande, CA on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 08:58 pm:

Seems to me that I was told a long time back that the serial number on a gun, even when filed off, could be recovered by some forensic means due to the effect on the grain beneath the stamped surface.

If that's true, maybe the original stamped number on the engine could be recovered.

Dick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter B. Ratledge on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 09:47 pm:

Richard, I agree with Trent and Dan.I feel that the block is a early 1911. My freind George is
restoring a 1911 Torpeado. It is a open valve engine. I will check his block and see if he has
a 5 on it. I have seen two or three open valve
engines with the no 5 on them.
My 1911 is late and has the oil fill timer. The
motor no is 84473. It does not have 5 on it.
I would have loved to be at the sale. It would
have been nice to have seen, you ,Kim Keith,and
Larry.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 09:56 pm:

Just curious. Does anyone have a pre 11 block with the casting mold no. 5 embossed on it?

Also has anyone seen an authentic open valve block without the horizontal casting line about an inch above the bottom rail? Mine has no line, although the casting appears grainier in that area above the rail.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Fischer - Arroyo Grande, CA on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 09:57 pm:

A quick google search turned up some information on recovering filed-off serial numbers. The focus of the link below is on restoring filed off serial numbers on guns, but there is an anecdote on somebody who used the same chemical to verify whether the engine block in a Camaro was original to that particular car.

Looks like a small bottle of the etching solution (gel) costs about $20.

http://www.csitechblog.com/2011/07/how-crime-labs-restore-obliterated-serial-num bers.html

Dick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Perkins / MN on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 10:26 pm:

I also recall as a youth we could buy "coin date", some sort of mild acid etching solution we would put on Buffalo nickels (notorious for having dates worn off) to recover the date.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warwick Landy Traralgon Australia on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 10:28 pm:

Richard,
I don't know of many if any?? pre 1911 blocks that feature the casting date above the water outlet. Someone may correct me but I think pre 1911 blocks are dated by number only? I agree with the other guys, you appaar to have one of the last series of open valve blocks,of the 1911 year.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Owens on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 11:37 pm:

Royce had several good pointers about early blocks. There seams to be different casting bosses for early, a parting ling above the pan bolts and a few other ways to help tell what you have. Maybe Royce will chime in and fill in the blanks. Scott


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Hatch on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 01:31 am:

Just so you know. Both of mine are open valve. I forgot to put that in the post.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 07:41 am:

Looks like a typical late 1910 - early 1911 block to me. This is a similar block in the 40,000 serial number range belonging to a fellow named Mark when the photos were taken years ago. The date code on that block was 2 9 11:



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 08:41 am:

If you look at those *filed off* numbers you will find that they are *ground off* with the edge of a grinding disc. These appear to be deep cuts...no way to extract the original numbers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John C Codman on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 09:11 am:

John, I'm not sure about that. It would depend upon how serious the owner is about recovering the original numbers. When a number is stamped into cast Iron (or any metal) the molecules displaced by the stamping tool have to go somewhere. The metal on the sides of the stamped number is compressed. There is a process by which the compression can be measured and the number recovered. My guess is that it might be pricey, but it can be done.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By charley shaver- liberal,mo. on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 09:13 am:

Richard! i would save the pad buy sand blasting it then building it up with solder then restamping it.charley


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 09:44 am:

All helpful and informative. Please continue this interesting thread. Charlie, question for you. How do you heat the pad area before soldering? Is there a risk of cracking? I was thinking about using stick epoxy the same way if I can retrieve the actual number. Don't know if I am enough of an artist to recreate the date stamp.
If it weren't for the small number stamped on the rail I would wholeheartedly agree with others the date of the block is 1911. I am still bothered by the number, though. Why would someone stamp a number that corresponds to a motor number in 1910? I suppose there could be any number of reasons, but the logical guess would be he was trying to preserve the original number for posterity. Hard to say.
If there were any way to determine that no. 5 casting mold was used only in 1911, the issue would be settled.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By charley shaver- liberal,mo. on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 10:29 am:

use a soft flame and care not to get it to hot and you must use asid core solder. i have solder up lots of cracked blocks and that's how i build up the left frt on the open valve blocks Charley


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By stuart clipson on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 10:36 am:

my 1911 open valve engine no. 40013 has a casting date of 12/27/10 withe no. 5 cast in the block. for what it's worth


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Duane Epper on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 11:29 am:

Richard, My 1910 Touring had a 11-21-1910 assembly date. The serial number is 33327 with a block casting date of 7-26-10. It also has the number 5 on the side of the block.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Spaziano, Bellflower, CA. on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 12:17 pm:

As far as recreating the casting date stamp on the block, if a suitable block could be located with a date stamp in the correct range, a simple mold could be fabricated by using Bondo.

First, make sure the date is legible enough to transfer into the mold. Next, the donor block must be thoroughly cleaned and then coated with mold release covering the area of the date stamp and surrounding area. Meguiar's makes a high quality mold release in paste form. However, there are many brands on the market. The release should be applied following the directions on the can and should be applied in several layers.

Next, a mold can be fabricated by mixing a batch of common polyester auto body filler and applied over the date stamp plate, building the filler up enough to completely cover the plate plus a little extending about an eighth of an inch past the plate on all four sides and building the filler up about a half to three quarter inch thick. Dams of the desired thickness could be placed around the area to retain the semi-liquid, uncured filler. The dams can be made of wood and fastened to the block using double-back tape.

When the body filler has thoroughly cured and hardened, it can be carefully removed by using a tongue depressor sanded on the end to make a wedge. this will help to pry it away from the donor block.

Now that a mold has been made, this mold must be released. Because the new mold has depressed area, I recommend a spray-type release. Again, there are several types available on the market.

Now that the new mold has been prepped, a metal-filled epoxy resin, such as J-B Weld can be mixed according to the manufacturers directions and, while still in a semi-liquid state, poured into the mold filling it to just slightly above the rim of the mold. This will be the back surface of the new date plate and can be sanded flat when the resin is thoroughly cured.

The next step is to THOROUGHLY clean the block that will receive the new plate. Once this is done, a thin layer of metal-filled uncured epoxy resin can be spread over the area of the block that will have the plate applied to it. Apply the new plate over the uncured resin and gently pressed down, allowing the excess resin to squeeze out around the new plate. The excess resin can be removed while fresh by using the radiused end of a popsicle stick. The popsicle stick has a smaller radius than a tounge depressor and will look (in my opinion) better.

If I lived closer to you, I'd do it for you. I have an extensive background in plastics and mold making. I've done this many times before.

One thing I cannot stress enough. Make sure that the donor block is THOROUGHLY RELEASED! If you don't, the filler will stick the the donor block. If the donor block isn't yours and the engine is in someone else's car, well, you just may not remain friends with that person for very long after that.

Hope this helps.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Martin Kauper on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 12:40 pm:

My first post here, so sorry for butting in. Richard, I've found (in collecting data on Edison phonographs) that old serial number stampings can often be mis-read. Often poor stamping, wear on the surface itself, poor eyesight and/or viewing conditions will affect the interpretation of the number.

Sometimes a "4" will look like a "1" if the stamping or lighting is bad. If the person transcribing the number doesn't know what the proper number for a 1911 engine would be, he'd probably accept the number as he reads it. If that number you have really begins with a "4" then that would certainly put it in 1911 territory. Just my two cents worth.

Regards,
Martin


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 01:08 pm:

Welcome to the forum, Martin :-)
Richard, Does it have babbitt in the mains? That would set it as a spring 1911 produced block. According to the encyclopedia the babbitt in the upper part of the mains started in january/february 1911 at about #38,263 while the enclosed valves didn't come until april and wasn't in all of production until june, so #45671 could have been an open valve engine, maybe this one?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 02:28 pm:

Wow, some great info here! Roger, the block saddles do in fact have babbitt. However, I have seen many 09-10 blocks bored to accept babbitt in the saddles. Since this engine was rebuilt and the babbitt is new throughout, it is unclear as to whether there was babbitt there originally. By the way, very interesting observation about the number 45671, I will recheck to see if the 1 is an off struck 4. If so the mystery would be solved beyond doubt. Warwick, interestingly, of the two other open valve engines I have, motor numbers 22326 and 27897, the first has no date embossed above the water jacket, the second does. The date is 5 21 10. It would appear that some motors prior to 1911 did have the date embossing. Perhaps the introduction of dates came sometime between the two numbers, or perhaps the dates were used in some castings but not others.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 04:41 pm:

Cheap and dirty, but works well.
For aesthetic repairs only to cast iron. I have taken a magnet over to where my grinding wheel is, and picked up an amount of steel grindings from the surrounding area. Mix that (about 1/3 JB, 2/3 steel grindings) with JB Weld into a paste. It builds up and forms fairly well to repair details. I had a '15 block that someone made a lousy attempt to alter back to a '13. I wanted it as a '15, so repaired the casting date by dobbing and shaping the number using a toothpick.
For slightly larger aesthetic repairs, I mix the JB Weld with a small amount of steel wool. The steel wool sometimes needs to be pressed and clamped into place. Afterwards, it can be cut and filed to shape.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter B. Ratledge on Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 09:12 am:

Richard,I checked my friend's block. It is a open valve with casting date of 2-18-11,Motor No-54174,with a 5 on the block.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Hatch on Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 09:15 am:

Richard: Check that Date Peter posted. Just the same as my two cars. Dan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 11:34 am:

I examined the crankshaft of this car, and although it is a later crank, someone stamped the number 15671 on the nose of the crank. That is the same number that appears on the block rail. This was done, no doubt, to identify this crank with the block. I am still puzzled why someone would stamp the number of a motor built in early 1910 if it were not to preserve the original number. However, I have to concede what appears to be number 11 in date embossing and possibly the number 5 cast into the block suggests the block is an early 11.
Now what to do?
I have a narrow one piece pan and narrow hogshead. Jan 11 cars had such features, suggesting I could build a motor for that time frame and it would be correct. However I see that the casting dates on blocks for that time frame are 1910, not 1911. Blocks with an 11 in the date were stamped with numbers corresponding to dates well beyond the time narrow pans and hogsheads were used.
Since I want to use the narrow pan and hogshead, there is no benefit from an originality standpoint whether I stamp the block early 11 or 10 or even 09. Either way would not be 100% correct because the date stamp says 11. If I did go with 10 or early 11, I feel comfortable I can find a 6 rivet rear end that would be correct. Not so with an 09 build. That would suggest 10 or early 11 is the way to go. But building an 09 is tempting. BTW I already have a 1910.

So, what would you do?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Paulsen - McPherson, KS on Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 10:44 pm:

This has been a very interesting discussion. To add to the confusion....my father's 1911 Torpedo has engine #425xx, dated 1-17-11 with "3" on the right side.
In looking at the other open valve engines we have the 1909's serial number pad is 1 1/4" long as the 1910's and 1911 are 1 1/2" long.
It seems the pattern number on the right is sequential, our 1909 is 1, and all 3 1910's (157xx, 216xx and 222xx) are 2 and the 1911 is 3. The 1911 is the only one with a date on the left.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Saturday, October 31, 2015 - 01:06 am:

Yes, both my 1910 block number pads are about 1 1/2" long. The pad on the mystery block is the same. The 1910 block numbers are in the 22XXX and 26XXX range. Their casting mold numbers are 1 for the earlier and 3 for the later.
Chris, going from the date and motor number on your 1-17-11 block, any block with a 1911 casting date would have a motor number that corresponds with a car assembled in March 1911 or later. From what I read, it is questionable whether any cars built that late had a narrow pan and hogshead or one piece spindles, although cars built through July did have 6 rivet rear ends.
It looks to me like those open valve blocks cast in 1911 were only used for about three or four months, since they were phased out in June.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rod Barrett - Anderson, IN on Saturday, October 31, 2015 - 04:33 am:

Here is my Feb 1910 casting. Engine # 16k. It looks like a 3 with a dot on each side.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Parker on Saturday, October 31, 2015 - 12:03 pm:

Rod shows one of the characteristics of an early block. The casting line that appears on both sides of the block just above the castle nuts.

Does that casting line just above the castle nuts appear on all 09-11 blocks? Is it gone by 1912?

There was a thread about a year or so ago where that and other attributes of early blocks were pointed out. Very interesting thread Richard and thanks for starting it.

Ken in Texas


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Darel J. Leipold on Saturday, October 31, 2015 - 02:04 pm:

My 1910 engine in my May T has a Feb. casting date. The cast number is a "1" with a dot on both sides. The serial number is 241xx.

24216


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Helf on Saturday, October 31, 2015 - 10:34 pm:

Just a little bit more on open valve block dating. I have a very nice original early February 1911 assembled touring car # 374XX, casting date 12-2-10 with "5" cast into the passenger side of the block. The invoice states: wide pan and transmission cover. The transmission cover is square hole and the front axel has one piece spindles. When I look at Richard's casting date I could mke the case that the year is "10", thereby making good use of the narrow pan and transmission cover. Clearly in February 1911 both narrow and wide were both being used during assembly.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robbie Price on Thursday, November 05, 2015 - 08:52 pm:

My 46XX 1909 block has a number 2 embossed on it.

Robbie


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Thursday, November 05, 2015 - 09:24 pm:

My 188XX '10 block has a number 3 on it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dale Kemmerer Medford, Or on Saturday, November 07, 2015 - 09:37 am:

fwiw My engine 101xx assembled Sept 11, 1909 has a 1 on the right side


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dale Kemmerer Medford, Or on Saturday, November 07, 2015 - 09:38 am:

oops that number is 102xx


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Saturday, November 07, 2015 - 10:05 am:

From what I gather here, the number 5 casting embossing didn't come into existence until late 10. Also the number boss for 10 and 11 was longer than that used in 09. Also the date embossings were used on some blocks but not others during the period. Any other differences in non water pump open valve blocks?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Saturday, November 07, 2015 - 10:56 am:

The are a few '12s around with the rh boss, and a six digit engine number.


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