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Wisconsin Engine Experience Needed

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Does anyone, in this group, have experience, own or know someone who owns a Wisconsin "M" or "P" series 4 or 6 cylinder T head engine?  As a comparison, what are some engine sizes for Simplex, Alco, Lozier and other large makes (both 4's and 6's)?  I have not run across very much regarding the above mentioned Wisconsin engine types.  Literature would be good if anyone could direct me to a source or person.

Al

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My Great Uncle worked for Simplex as a machinist. For a general idea of tolerance and assembly policy, the cost of an improperly machined flywheel  came directly from the machinist's pay check the first time. The second mistake cost their job.

 

However, machined parts that were considered seconds were placed in bins. Those parts were upgraded to firsts and the end of production runs to complete cars. He was with Maxwell when Chrysler took over and stayed with them into the '30's. He always warned me to be careful of late production cars and a good point to keep in mind. Check your manufacture dates.

 

Bernie

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Just a note for those who may be interested in custom pistons needed for one of our antique engines.  I checked EGGE, Carillo, Keith Black and Ross as possible piston suppliers.  I found that Keith Black, a subsidiary of United Machine, does not at this time build custom pistons.  They are trying to get set up to do so in the near future, it may be worth a check back.  They have their shop in Douglas Ariz.  Next, EGGE does do pistons, we all knew that, but they are more money and 5 week turnaround.  Carillo can also do the king sized pistons but are about the same money are EGGE.  Lastly, I checked with Ross Piston.  They were the least money and shortest turn around time.  This is my learning at this point in time.  I need to have the Wisconsin Jugs cleaned up to determine exactly what sized piston to have made.  More later on this subject.

Al

PS:  The Wisconsin is a 5-3/4" X 7" engine

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Al, Many piston makers can make pistons in the bore size you require. The problem you are likely to run into is none of the ones that machine forged aluminium blanks (all of the racing outfits) will have any that are long enough to make your pistons the correct length. 

 

All modern pistons are quite short and machining them from longer blanks would add quite a bit of time to the process, plus bigger blanks would cost them more, hence the short blanks.

 

I have rebuilt a number of Wisconsin's and they are well built engines. 

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We use Diamond pistons in 34-36 Auburns. Aries is also a viable supplier.  

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Hello "T" head and Curti,  I have also checked with Arias.  They say it may be possible, to build 5-3/4" OD pistons, but over-sized rings may be a problem.  It appears that Ross is still likely the best option for new custom forged pistons.  "T" head.... I checked with Arias and also Ross.  The length of the piston was mentioned in each case, Arias having the shorter forging.  I do not see that a slightly shorter piston would be a significant issue.  Please describe the pros and cons of having shorter piston, especially in this engine that will have all the torque at low RPM's.  I see a slight advantage with a reduction on rotating mass.  Which version of Wisconsin engines have you worked on.  Do you happen to have a handle on any loose parts for the big Wisconsin engines?

Al

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Al, Many piston makers can make pistons in the bore size you require. The problem you are likely to run into is none of the ones that machine forged aluminium blanks (all of the racing outfits) will have any that are long enough to make your pistons the correct length. 

 

All modern pistons are quite short and machining them from longer blanks would add quite a bit of time to the process, plus bigger blanks would cost them more, hence the short blanks.

 

I have rebuilt a number of Wisconsin's and they are well built engines. 

Yup. I have found this to be very true. Dandy Dave!

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Hello "T" head and Curti,  I have also checked with Arias.  They say it may be possible, to build 5-3/4" OD pistons, but over-sized rings may be a problem.  It appears that Ross is still likely the best option for new custom forged pistons.  "T" head.... I checked with Arias and also Ross.  The length of the piston was mentioned in each case, Arias having the shorter forging.  I do not see that a slightly shorter piston would be a significant issue.  Please describe the pros and cons of having shorter piston, especially in this engine that will have all the torque at low RPM's.  I see a slight advantage with a reduction on rotating mass.  Which version of Wisconsin engines have you worked on.  Do you happen to have a handle on any loose parts for the big Wisconsin engines?

Al

The problem is not always the overall height of the piston, but the centerline of the wrist pin to the top of the piston. Dandy Dave!  

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Ross was the only company able to supply us with a set of pistons for a '27 Kissel. Still a family owned business and very nice folks to work with. We tried Egge and their patterns for that particular size piston had burned up in a small fire they had. Coincidentally, several other well known companies we contacted also had their patterns for that size piston burn up in fires, leading me to believe that they actually sourced their piston blanks from Egge. Ross made us a beautiful set of forged pistons. Way overkill for a low compression Kissel engine but they were the only alternative we could find at the time.

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Good Morning fellows,

The desk help at Ross were very amenable and looked at all options in order to provide me with the best 5-3/4" OD piston option available,  We then discussed the total length of the piston after he affirmed that he could meet the compression height (center line of writ pin to top on piston).  I would be a bit more nervous, about using a shorter piston design, if the Wisconsin were designed with a short stroke high RPM crankshaft, (side angle pressure may be may be higher if that were the case).  However, most current high RPM race engines use very short pistons.  If someone has some real experience with T head design engines, pistons and compression, speak up please.

Regards,

Alan

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I am surprised there are so few piston suppliers for this size. There are quite a few natural gas, spark ign. engines for pipeline compressor stations at least this size.  Lots of diesels as well but they will be much too heavy.  T heads from this era were very low compression by modern standards. And any O.E.M. pistons would have been cast iron. You can probably raise the compression a little; might require a dome, todays gas is way better than the teens. And the lighter weight of an Al. alloy piston cant hurt either. T heads have such a large combustion chamber that it is hard to achieve much compression.  Its one of the reasons they did not develop all that much H.P. despite the large displacement.

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Hello David,  Thanks for your taking time to respond and share a reference for Piston MFG. in OZ.  I have sent an email with specifications and inquiry for a price quote.  Lets see how they compare with US prices.

Al

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