13 Aug 2013
In case someone gets this Email without seeing the article on the new Model A engine, the article can be found at: http://www.modelaengine.com
If anyone has a question, concern, comment, suggestion, or wants to get on the update list, please let me know at email@example.com and I’ll do my best to resolve the issue.
This project is still alive but progress has been slow.
I apologize for the length of time since the last update.
A lot of little things have happened since the last update.
The good news is that progress is being made. There is no bad news.
Everything that has happened has been for the good, but not noteworthy enough to write a new update.
The New Model A Engine is a development project, and Lodi Iron Works is a production facility.
Development and production have different requirements and that has been the problem.
There was very little communication between Lodi Iron Works and myself between casting #10 and casting #21. I took the number of castings to be cumulative in phone calls, but the actual number of castings may be a much smaller number.
I need to thank Mike Frank (LIW Production Manager) for solving the porosity problem in the wall where the manifolds mount by rotating the mold 90 degrees which in my opinion allowed the water jacket core to out-gas through the water passages between cylinder block and head.
When Lodi Iron Works became ISO certified, it was a different way of doing business. Being ISO certified means that workers have specific job instructions, work to procedures, and are responsible for their actions. If a problem arises, they work as a team to figure out what went wrong to correct the problem. Implementing ISO is not an easy task and there are lots of little problems until all workers understand the importance of ISO and comply.
Casting #23 is a candidate for machining as reported earlier.
Casting #24 had the timing gear cavity out of place, but otherwise was good as reported earlier.
Since I had not been to Lodi Iron Works for some time, I was an observer during core assembly and mold making for casting #25. I saw deviations from the procedure and took notes.
Casting #25 had a broken wall between the water jacket and a port core that was out of place.
A brainstorming meeting was held at Lodi Iron Works to discuss the results of casting #25, discuss my notes regarding my observations, and discuss what needs to be done to fix the problems.
For casting #26, I was a participant with the making of the core assembly and mold. Everything went good until the mold was closed. During closing, the cope (upper part of mold) bumped and broke the core assembly. The long tapered alignment pins were not being used.
A meeting to discuss alignment pins resulted in a new alignment scheme to align the cope and drag on mold closure. It has been implemented and consists of 3 tubes embedded in the drag that align with 3 tubes in the cope. 3 long T pins are dropped through the tubes in the cope and extend about a foot below the cope. The 3 T pins then align on the 3 tubes in the drag and the mold closes without any wiggle room to break the core assembly.
Casting #27 had 2 problems. There was a small hole and seam between the water jacket and exterior on the driver’s side, and there was little and no wall between the water jacket and valve chamber. Lodi Iron Works took several photos during the core assembly, and in discussions, I learned that the pour was interrupted and observed from the photos that wingbolts were not used to position the valve chamber core. Lodi Iron Works and I need to meet and talk about how the pour cannot be interrupted and how the valve chamber core needs to be located per the procedure with wingbolts.
Every casting attempt costs money. Lodi Iron Works and I share costs based on what caused the failure. I have offered to pay for the next 4 casting attempts if I can assemble the cores and supervise closing of the mold.
The next step will be to have cylinder block castings machined. I need several good castings in a row before I commit to having the SolidWorks machined model converted to machine language for a Mazak with pallets or equivalent.
Connecting Rod, Main Caps, and Crankshaft
Good castings (1st attempt good) of these parts for the new Model A engine have been made on the automated line at Lodi Iron Works and are awaiting a good cylinder block casting so all can go together to machine shops for bids on machining.
The material used to cast these parts was Meehanite SP80 (80-55-06). This material is close to the material that is used for similar parts in modern engines. This material is also used for suspension parts, gears, and highly stressed parts in new cars.
The next update will be when something noteworthy happens.