Gen III Antique Auto's "Green Thunderbolt" engine build has been recovered and loaded onto http://www.tfoye.com
Ouch, that was a mess you started with
Has It run well without gasket trouble since '09?
I'm thinking about setting up a '28 Chevy head on a T engine myself - a friend is about to cut a few steel adapters.
I wonder if Neal Jern's family still have some spares like gaskets to sell?
I sure wish whomever coined that phrase of "Poorman's Rajo" would have called it something else !!!!!!!!!!
The Chevrolet brothers did make the Frontenac head, so why not make a wannabe RAJO from a Chevy head?
Poorman's whatever brand is still a misnomer. Real and repro heads (thanks Mark Chaffin) are pretty easily available and the expense associated with the Chevy head conversion isn't much if any less thab going with a head designed for a T. It may be amusing to make the conversion and have it run but there are potential challenges in that process and saving money rarely occurs. A buddy had one set up on his car and when the gaskets didn't blow it was really strong but cooling and reliability were significant issues. Other folks appear to have good luck with the setup but I doubt they would claim they saved much money.
Roger - As you said, the Chevrolet brothers made the Frontenac head, and a common expression "back in the day", was,....."Fronty Ford"! So, why not,.... "Rajo Ford",....??? So's 'zat better Steve?
I just wish people "out West" here would quit saying, "Rah-jo", when in reality, it's correctly pronounced,.... "Ray-jo"! Having grown up in the Chicago area which is very close to Racine, Wisconsin where Joe Jargersburger was from, I'm pretty sure I'm right" (....only thing I'm not sure of tho', is how to spell Jargersburger! Might be Jargersberger, however, he's dead, so,.....
Does anyone have a schematic/print for this adapter? It seems simple to make the adapter plate, if you had the dimensions. I would guess that i could get these from the gaskets, but it wouldn't be very exact.
any help would be great
I'm with you Harold. I've also heard it pronounced:
I also think Ray-joe is correct, although an argument for Rad-joe or Ruh-joe could be made if you pronounced the town something like Ruh-seen, which I have heard.
Roger I ran that car harder than my modern ones for thousands of miles in several states and never touched it. Once a year I sprayed "miracle lube" on the rockers that that's it.
Sorry about the dead link on that page - it's been fixed now.
Do you have any photos of the plate you installed? There have been several different plates made over the years with different approaches to the cylinder hole. I have seen offset cylinder bore and had one that the hole was just straight thru.
Roger, Neal had his gaskets made by BEST gaskets, (as I was told by him). I think they are in the Los Angles area. Don
I was going to put together one of these units many years ago. I acquired the Chevrolet head but never moved further. It has become clear that it is yet another project which will not be finished and the head needs a new owner. Oh well.
I work for a guy on a Chevy head in a 26 roadster. Getting the front water neck sealed is a headache. Performance is decent but not for people inclined to race. Maybe I would be more impressed if it was in a lighter car. I built one of these with an Olds three port head and sold it, still waiting to hear how it runs. The one advantage I see with this setup, other than the price, as compared to original overheads, is you can build the adapter thin enough to come up with a compression ratio that can take advantage of the better gas we have now.
Speaking of the pronunciation of Rajo, here is what I know. I had a Rajo model B head for sale on ebay a few years ago. Joe Jagersberger's grandson contacted me and we talked about it. He's into newer hot rods but wanted one of grandpa's heads. He told me in no uncertain terms it is Ray-Joe. That's what grandad called them. He doesn't have anything from the T heads but has all the drawings and patterns for a trick head that Jagersberger designed for the 216 Chevy.
Erik, how high would you dare to push the compression ratio with a standard babbitt bottom end and moderately improved oiling, like a high volume oiler from the hogshead to the front?
(And good luck on Sunday )
The one I built was 6:1 with a T crank. I think that's about what the Thunderbolt kit gives. The thing about these or any overhead is that they just look cool. A well built flathead will keep up with them until higher speeds where the higher volumetric efficiency of the overhead kicks in. By then you are going real fast for a model T.
I wrote an article with pictures of all the parts for Secrets magazine in ? 2006 /2007 ?. I'll try to find it.
The Chevrolet Bros. had nothing to do with the Chevrolet automoile past 1912. One of the brothers helped design the first Chevrolet for Will Durant who, when he left His General Motors in 1911, bought the Little Auto Company and had one of the Chevrolet bros. design an auto for him. It was a large car and nothing like the model 490 that helped Chevrolet Company expand. Then the Chevrolet Co. took over General Motors through buying a lot of GM stock. The Brothers went on to make the Frontenac head. Durant went on to form the Durant Motor Car Co. 1922. That company closed in about 1930 and Durant went on to run a small company or two. His grandson lives near St. Paul, MN and has been in our store.
Having owned rocker arm, single stick and dual overhead cam Fronty's plus assorted Rajo heads a 1928 Chev 2 port dirt track car, and a Galivan 2 cam car, I believe I can speak with some hands on knowledge of quality and material of early racing heads.
Rajo heads were far superior to Fronty's, in material and construction. The aluminum used on Fronty's was very sub standard and is nearly impossible to weld, and after nearly 100 years the aluminum is full of pot holes and cracks. Their iron castings were no where near the quality of Rajo due to their metallurgy.
I believe the reason Rajo's were of higher quality is that all casting was done at the Case Tractor Company foundry. They had an excellent reputation for quality, fit and finish. Joe Jaggesburger the founder of Rajo was the son in law of the President of Case, therefore the connection between Rajo and Case.Having worked welded and machined on both, I much prefer the quality of the Rajo's. The name Rajo is made up from the city where they were manufactured, Racine Wisconsin, and the 1st 2 letters of Joe's name, hence Rajo.
Now for the "poor mans Rajo. I believe these heads are of better quality and design than either Rajo or Fronty. I run one on my 1928 2 port sprint car and the quality of the material and design is excellent. You can tell the quality of a casting after it has been machined. The surface should be smooth and a very light cast iron color and no dark spots in the machined surface. The Chevrolet head had has all of these qualities.
So I too am offended that these conversions are refered to as the "poor mans Rajo", They are acutally superior in materials and design. We need to come up with a suitable name for these conversions. Any suggestions??????? how about the "Better man's Rajo"
My take; There are some of us that do not have the cash to lay out for a new or used RAJO and doing the 1928 Chevrolet conversion is doable. There is the factor of getting an overhead (the 28 having larger valves) and being just just plain cool along with thinking and problem solving of fitting everything together.
No matter what some say, the conversion should come in under what even a bare RAJO head would cost and can be done in bits to spread the cost out. I know there are some that their dad or granddad got RAJO's, Roof's or others back in the day when no one wanted them and there are some that have the pockets to buy new or used. There is a place for everyone.
Guess we could call them just what they are;
"I have an Chevrolet overhead conversion" (someday).
I worked on a guys Model A speedster with the Thunderbolt conversion, let me tell you that guy is not poor. That engine sounded great running and left me drooling and wanting to do the conversion even more then before.
brass car guy - How about "Rajolet"? (pronounced with a "long A" like the correct pronunciation of Ray-joe)
We had a club member here in the PNW who successfully utilized a Pinto OHV head on a Model T speedster. Anybody else ever heard of that particular conversion? Hey,....at least that keeps it "all-Ford", right?
There are thousands of different car makes and models out there that had up wards of 100 HP engines. They all had babbitt bearings, and did very well. Non-detergent oil was mostly all that was available. Bearing failures were definitely not helped because of that. Today we have great synthetic oils for dry start ups because of non daily use. Babbitt held up fine under great horse power, and will today, as long as machining tolerances were not compromised by cheaper prices, and you get what you pay for. There are electric generators still used today with bearings under great weight and stress. Here is the website. I know a little T Ford model with 80 hp withstands thousands of miles and years of continuous driving on long runs including Alaska tours, and yet another on the great endurance runs.Also the cheap rods and main bearing work out there are poorly done with lead base babbitt, and poor tolerances in crank grinding and bearing machining. There was not a single auto manufacturer that used lead for bearings. You can scratch it with you're finger nail!! Not tin based babbitt!! Lead came into the picture when all steel and tin was needed for the war effort. Here is a over kill of stress, and it is still working well and very much used today!!
Not sure I would classify Kris' Pinto head Runabout a "success", Harold. It had cooling issues and the combustion chambers were "a mile off".
I would like to see that build - is he still around?
No - he passed away a couple years ago - not sure what his widow did with his "stable" of autos.
Hmm now you have got my interest. I actually have available the Jern drawings for the adapter plate. I also have several 28 Chev cylinder heads.
I think I will look into making an adapter plate just for the fun of it. Might make an interesting winter project, like I have nothing better to do.
What I did not like about the Jern design was he screwed the head bolts into the adapter plate to mount the head. He counter sunk the bolts to mount the plate onto the block. It seems to me that there might be a better way to go. Keep tuned.
You have to counter sink the bolts that hold the plate to the block. Many of them are under the Chevrolet head. It is standard to mount the Chevrolet head by just mounting to the adapter plate. I don't think there is any other way to do it.(?) Depending on clearance, studs might be a better choice for the head to plate mounting.
Steve Tomaso - Thanks for the info Steve. Never really saw Kris' speedster with the Pinto head run and I didn't know about the cooling issues. Maybe that's why I never saw it run or really heard much about it, huh? If the combustion chambers were such a poor match, might be that the coolant passages from block to head were also a poor match and therefore inadequate and thus the cooling problems. Too bad that doesn't work out because Pinto heads would certainly be readily available!
You have to heat the plate and re-torque a few times before putting the head on.
I'm with Walt on this subject - P.O.S. conversion IMO - did one !