I took a punt and bought a 1917 block through an internet auction. I didn't pay much for it because the seller said that someone had planed the block so much the valve seats had gone!
I think I might have hit the jackpot and bought a replacement block that is unused. What do you all think?
Perhaps a factory "reject" that was never finished for one reason or another and that never made it back to the melting pot?
Don't think a factory reject would have made it all the way to New Zealand.
It does not appear to be an original Ford block - it does not have the date in the right place, and no Ford script either.
Probably a replacement block from an aftermarket source. Does not appear to have been finish machined so there may well be some fatal flaw.
Why do we instantly jump on the "reject" bandwagon?
It already has poured babbit so it can be argued that it made it past final "machine tolerance" inspection. At this point, I would say that any flaw - if there is one - would be a crack of some sort. If it were mine, I'd sand blast it, and then have it checked for cracks. A fatal crack would be in the main bearing webbing or around the cast points where the webbing intersects the outer wall of the block. Beyond that, most anything else can be fixed.
I am not on any band wagon - if it were mine I would be doing a pressure check and magnaflux before proceeding with any other work. If those pass, then I would be looking at whether the block is dimensionally the same as a Ford factory block.
There is a reason it has not been finish machined - we need to know the reason if we are going to spend money.
I agree that it needs to be checked out. Well, hopefully, Nevin will let us know what he finds.
Royce, Check out the '17 block in my car. It doesn't have the Ford script either, and the date is in the same place as the mystery block.
Compare it with the '23 block I have lying around.
I say unfinished aftermarket block
The problem with that is that my car must also have an aftermarket block in it, stamped with a serial number that matches the Canadian Ford records with the casting date.
My understanding is that IPCO produced the only other aftermarket block, and they had an obvious casting on the top right hand side of the block.
I think these are both Canadian Ford blocks.
measure the distance between the top of the manifold ports and the top f the block. On a December 1916 block I have that distance is .250" or 1/4 inch that would tell you if it has been decked too much
A Canadian '17 block for sale on ebay.
James, not saying the block can't be used, just offering an opinion as to why it may have never been finished. It appears that with the exception of the missing valve seats that considerable work has already been done to simply not finish it unless there is a defect or machining error (cylinder bore too big, etc), that would cause it to be rejected.
With that said and not claiming to be knowledgeable how Model T engines were originally machined, would the babbitting be done near the end of the machining cycle? I'm sure that many of the machining operations (drill, tapping, boring the cylinders, etc) used a cutting oil which would have to be removed prior to babbitt. Just curious. Thanks, Joe
And no one has mentioned that there is paint on this block??
My eyes are old but to me it looks like it was a start to a re-build, blank valve inserts and brass welsh plugs fitted.
Also Canadian heads in that 1917 period came out with no scripting as well.
It's hard to tell, but in the picture it looks like there is or was an engine number stamped above the water inlet. also the water inlet looks a bit corroded in the lower left corner indicating that it had been used in the past. Also from the appearance of the babbit in the pictures it looks like it has had a crankshaft in it. Have you checked the size of the cylinder bores and whether they are out of round or tapered? This could give you an idea whether they are worn or have been rebored. As Frank noted, there could have been valve inserts installed.
Anyway, a check for cracks would be in order, and maybe you have a good rebuildable block.
I noticed another thing. The picture of the valve ports looks like a gasket had been used at sometime in the past.
First thing to do. Check for cracks.
Second, compare with another good block.
Dimensions, valve guides, If the block has been milled to much its easy enough to tell by eye or compare with another block.
Has it had a head on it? If you have a head check it out. Simple stuff to eliminate whether you can use it before you spend money on it.
Nevin, a few observations.
The lack of script and Made in Canada cast into the block is consistent with others of the same vintage I have seen.
Above the ports on the side of the block there is way too much material for the block to have been decked enough to eliminate the valve seats.
In your second photo the no 2 exhaust seat appears to have a curved line around the left of the seat, and another line around the inside of the port. Might this indicate that a set of inserts has been fitted? They are not the modern type made of different material, but may be cast iron like the block. Perhaps a good cleanup will reveal more.
Allan from down under.
Replacement block, never had the valve seats milled because It may have been utilizing an overhead valve accessory 8 valve head.
ED, that's a nice theory, if blocks without valve seats cut were ever available as replacements.
Allan from down under.
It does indeed look like valve seat inserts were fitted, but the work was stopped before the new seats were ground. Check the condition of the valve guides and ream them oversize if needed before grinding new seats. Good luck
Hi all. I spent a while cleaning the deck up, and some of you are bang on. It has valve seat inserts fitted. This block has been planed and covered by a protective coating that looked like rust. There is no stamped number so maybe a replacement block or the number machined off.
The engine has run, and it looks like a valve has come apart and damaged a seat. You can feel the damage at the bottom of one seat. There is no lip in the bore, and everything else looks good.
I'll sit on this one in case the motor in my van dies, and then really see what I have.
Thanks all for your advice.
Great posting! This is a "new" to me puzzle piece. I believe it fits in the puzzle box with the title "when did Ford of Canada begin having their own blocks cast?" I suspect they did a small portion while they were still sourcing the majority of the raw casting from Ford USA. And from memory of a few sketchy sources, I suspect the Rome Foundry in the USA may have been supplying some of them. That is all still to be confirmed or corrected.
It does not appear to have the "Made in USA" chiseled off. Clearly it does not have the casting date in the normal USA location. And there are two other similar blocks shown in the thread – the one in our speedster and the one on e-bay. [By the way where is the one on e-bay located? I.e. are all three in New Zealand? And do you have the link so I can capture some other photos? ] Allan shared that he has seen similar blocks (I would assume in Australia).
Any other similar blocks? Ones that do not have the Ford script and it is not ground off? Ones without a Made in Canada or USA ground off or left on it? Ones with a casting date in the lower right hand part of the left side of the block? And please confirm that your blocks are the two door valve cover style or not.
So much more still to re-learn and document.
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Those are the only two '17 blocks that I have. Both are twin valve cover blocks and the block on ebay is in Australia.
Thank you for the update and the link. The block on E-bay in Australia is C135912. It is also a 2 valve cover block. The casting date 11 3 17 is shown below:
The serial number C135912 falls in the range of Jul 31 1917 to Jul 31 1918. And closer to the Jul 1917 than the Jul 1918 number. And yes, it is highly suspect that the serial numbers all end in "00" etc from Jul 31, 1913 to Jul 31, 1919 but hopefully they are still representative.
The Australian e-bay block appears to be the same style as Nevin's two 1917 casting date blocks.
And an earlier posting on when Canada cast or had cast their own blocks see towards the end of the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/396585.html?1383170787 especially starting with By David Chantrell - Adelaide, Australia on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 05:01 pm and going to the end.
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Hap, here are some more Canadian numbers for you, from engines in my possession. None of these has the Ford script, nor made in Canada, nor made in USA ground off. All casting numbers are low on the pan rail on the left hand side of the block.
engine no casting date
C130 186 11-31-16
C163 611 4-12-18
C230 583 12-17-19
The latter two fit nicely into the typed list you posted, but the first one is way out.
Allan from down under.
Later blocks in my possession.
Look at the last two casting dates and once again, that list is out...unless I am wrong, and that happens.
Allan and Nevin,
Thank you for the additional information. I spent too much time looking at the Fronty head on e-bay. Then looking at the Waukesha Ricardo. And then finally remembering that my wonderful wife has already let me purchase my Model T gifts/spending through Christmas for Model T purchases. And now I am running short on time. My bad.
But ref Allan’s first engine C130 186. That number fits between Jul 31, 1917 #121,000 and Jul 31, 1918 # 170,000
But if I’m reading your post correctly, you shared the casting date is 11-31-16. But that would be Nov 31, 1916. But November only has 30 days in it. Yes, the person changing the date on the mold could have made a mistake – or perhaps the number could be read as something else? If you have a chance would you please post a photo of that one? No rush – I have a feeling this investigation won’t be solved this week!
Your next number was just a casting date. Does that mean the engine number is blank?
And I sure wish you had said the C230 583 with the 12-17-19 casting date had the date in the normal USA location. Oh well – for about 24 hours I thought maybe only the 1917 blocks had the date location at the lower area on the crankcase. But your numbers and casting dates have shown that was a wrong guess.
Nevin, would you please confirm that the other engine serial numbers you posted have the casting date to the right of the water inlet?
I look forward to discovering more about the Canadian engines and their casting date locations etc. But it may have to wait until this weekend.
Again, thank you both so much for the additional details.
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Why don't you clean up the block and make it look real pretty, then wait about 3 months and post some nice pictures. I bet you will get a completely different flavor of comments.
First up, here is a pic of the damage that I believe was the reason for the valve seat inserts.
Another view. Compare it to the thickness of the other seat in the top left corner of the pic. Is this a satisfactory repair?
Pictures of my spare blocks for Hap.
Interesting...looks like the 1917 block may have had the 'Made in USA' removed.
No, that looks more like a blanking plate in the casting pattern, the edges are too perfect for a grind-off job.
I took it that Nevin was stating that the Made in USA had been eliminated so it didn't show.
In other words made in USA to go to Canada.