Has anyone thought of making an aluminum starter cover for us smaller folks to handle and would it be worthwhile? MEL.
Are you talking about the "hogs head", the casting that covers the transmission, including the starter? The original hogs head was aluminum but Ford went to cast iron, I assume, to save cost. The early Model T's did not have a starter, of course.
To cast and machine an aluminum hogs head would require making a pattern for the sand casting mold. The pattern has to be a little larger to allow for the shrinkage in the aluminum when it solidifies and cools. Then the casting has to be cleaned and machined.
Another option is to make the hogs head using 3D printing. This process has come a long way and we are using 3D printed parts in our machines where I work. It might be strong enough, depending on the material and would certainly be light weight. You would have to make a CAD model first. There would be minimum machining needed.
Anyone who did either option would have to be willing to spend some time and money. I am not sure what the market is so it may not be possible to recoup the cost.
A local club member modified his original alloy cover to take a starter so his wife could drive his 1912 T. He machined suitable blanks to weld to the cover and it worked really well. I have no idea of the time he had in the project.
Allan from down under.