Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Model A (1928-31)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-25-2020, 10:29 AM   #1
Magoo2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: NJ
Posts: 54
Default Frankenengine

I inherited 4 model a engines. All in various stages of disassembly. I have no history on these engines. They are basically taking up space in my shop. I was thinking of taking various pieces off each of the engines and trying to make one running engine as a winter project. My main concern is the crank and Babbitt bearings. What exactly should I be looking for when inspecting them. Im not looking to having the babbitt repoured and line bored. Am I wasting my time or is this a realistic option?
Magoo2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2020, 10:59 AM   #2
Jack Shaft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 903
Default Re: Frankenengine

Completely realistic and rewarding if you end up with a runner..it takes study, patience, a certain amount of skill and the ability to use and read measuring tools. Ive found two axioms that help....

1. most engines that come to you partially torn apart were abandoned by the previous mechanic due to damage or cost of repair.

2. about one in every six engines I've torn down are true candidates for re assembly.. the other five end up like the ones you have,half torn apart,waiting shop time or scrap.
Jack Shaft is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 11-25-2020, 11:19 AM   #3
alexiskai
Senior Member
 
alexiskai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Mebane NC
Posts: 761
Default Re: Frankenengine

If you have the precision measurement tools, you'll be able to assess the crankshaft and bearings decently. The tricky (or at least time-consuming) bit will be detecting cracks in the blocks. Harder without knowing why each one was torn down initially, what the last guy was looking for.
alexiskai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2020, 11:52 AM   #4
Jack Shaft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 903
Default Re: Frankenengine

Pressure testing is important. vital on V8's..I took the time to run up some block plates..
Attached Images
File Type: jpg thumbnail - 2020-07-15T195305.762.jpg (96.8 KB, 151 views)
Jack Shaft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2020, 04:28 PM   #5
Synchro909
Senior Member
 
Synchro909's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 5,386
Default Re: Frankenengine

Lucky you, Magoo 2. 4 engines! I have been looking for a while for a fairly complete engine to rebuild.
As has been said, if you can get a running engine out of what you have, you will get a great sense of achievement. It will take a fair amount of measuring and analysing to get there but you could end up with a decent motor for minimal cost.
__________________
Yesterday is History.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Enjoy Today.
Synchro909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2020, 07:34 PM   #6
Jack Shaft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 903
Default Re: Frankenengine

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Babbit flakes and cracks..babbit is tinned to the bearing caps but pinned to the block,dont be alarmed if the babbit is 'loose' on the block side.
The hydrodynamic principle applies,.001 inch clearance per inch of journal, so an oil clearance of .0015 is optimal, though .002 to .0025 will work. Shims can be used if the bearing is tight, main caps can be sanded (evenly) if the bearing is loose. Plastigage is easy to use to check the clearance. When fitting mismatched bearings is important to use prussian blue or impression fluid to determine high spots across the bearings, and scrape them to true..

Fitting bearings is an art, not a science.. don't ship a bound crank, keep check and fitting till it turns free.by the same token, dont ship a crank thats too loose,if its above .003 it needs sanding at the minimum, repoured at the worst..mains poured by a reputable shop price varies,out here in the peoples republic of california it cost 750 the last time I had it done.

I have 6 a engines, 1 b and 2 diamond b's..the diamonds stay,the rest can go..
Jack Shaft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2020, 08:55 PM   #7
David R.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 378
Default Re: Frankenengine

I took the engine out of my AA mainly because all the oil passages were plugged with 40 year old goo. It had really good compression. The babbit looked good but a little loose. Too much end play in crank also so I decided to go ahead with full rebuild. After removing I found a freeze crack in water jacket. I’ve gone through two more engines and hope #3 block is better. Hindsight now, I wish I had adjusted bearings, soldered some babbit to thrust bearing, lapped valves and JB Weld on water jacket. I would be driving now. Last two I took apart had junk babbit. I think the babbit job will cost me about $500.
As it is I’m still waiting on machine shop to check out the #3 block.
David R. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2020, 10:05 PM   #8
Jack Shaft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 903
Default Re: Frankenengine

It all depends on how much you actually drive..an AA where I live might see 100 miles.a.year. due to the local traffic,the idiots would make it miserable..a worn but in spec. engine would be fine..I drive my modified A like a modern car,it has the power and gearing to keep up with the morons..it relies on a fresh 'hopped up' engine to compete.Long distance touring is in the future plans will build a diamond B for that..the key for a happy wallet is doing your own work.
Jack Shaft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2020, 08:00 AM   #9
David R.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 378
Default Re: Frankenengine

I do everything myself that I can. The front axle, brakes, steering, clutch, transmission and all engine parts and accessories have been cleaned, rebuilt and painted etc.,. and waiting on machine work to put engine together. Still have to address radiator and fuel tank and rear axle. Fortunately there are plenty of backroads near me to travel so traffic shouldn’t be too bothersome. I’ll create a parade every now and then I’m sure. Happily my rear axle has high speed gearing, so I should be able to get 50 mph down hill with the wind at my back.
David R. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2020, 11:35 PM   #10
dansluck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Nevada
Posts: 113
Send a message via AIM to dansluck Send a message via Yahoo to dansluck
Default Re: Frankenengine

David R, I have used a Bronze rear main thrust washer from Berts. Part #6336 a little pricey but works well.
Good Luck
Dan
dansluck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2020, 07:13 PM   #11
David R.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 378
Default Re: Frankenengine

I already melted the babbit out of the rear main cap on that block to use on another engine or I would consider addressing thrust and put it together. I had a ‘28 block I thought was good but discovered cracks between valve seats and bore on one cylinder. A ‘31 block is at machine shop now. Hopefully it’s ok.
David R. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2020, 07:23 PM   #12
McMimmcs
Senior Member
 
McMimmcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Posts: 941
Default Re: Frankenengine

My lesson learned. I purchased 3 engines that were supposedly candidates for rebuild. Mechanic refused all three for various reason. He said the reason they are in a shed or garage is because there is something major wrong with them. Lesson learned.
McMimmcs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2020, 07:39 PM   #13
jerrytocci
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 45
Default Re: Frankenengine

It is do-able and fun.
jerrytocci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2020, 07:56 PM   #14
Chuck Sea/Tac
Senior Member
 
Chuck Sea/Tac's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Between Seattle & Tacoma
Posts: 2,028
Default Re: Frankenengine

Quote:
Originally Posted by McMimmcs View Post
My lesson learned. I purchased 3 engines that were supposedly candidates for rebuild. Mechanic refused all three for various reason. He said the reason they are in a shed or garage is because there is something major wrong with them. Lesson learned.
If you went by that reasoning, then the only engines that are rebuildable are ones from As being hotrodded and the chassis is sold off.
I think some engines just needed more repair work than the car was worth, say in he 50s or 60s. Sure some are not rebuildable, and over time, theyve been picked through, with the better ones used.
I have several that are decent candidates for rebuilding, although theyve only been pressure tested, and visually inspected so far.
Chuck Sea/Tac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2020, 08:04 PM   #15
Jack Shaft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 903
Default Re: Frankenengine

Some are prospects, some are suspects.. I attempt to turn the odds in my favor by only buying complete, untouched A engines, I've found that the last guy who took it apart and put it back together with a few bolts is a pretty smart fella.
Jack Shaft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2020, 08:55 PM   #16
David R.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 378
Default Re: Frankenengine

The ‘28 engine I gave $50 for. Block might be repaired if you stitched cracks and sleeved one cylinder It has a useable crank and camshaft. I had a generator I rebuilt that has a bad armature. Turns out the armature in the $50 engine was good so I came out ok on it. The 31 was a complete engine for $300 but he wouldn’t take any money for it until I find out if the block is good. I could still use my ‘30 block if I had to, and repair freeze crack in water jacket.
David R. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:49 PM.