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WTB: 1000ish ci engine for Speedster project


Chase392
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Hi guys,

 

       I'm trying to gather parts for a Speedster project and I trying to locate a suitable engine first... I'm really hoping to find a near 1000 cubic engine, either a firetruck V12 or a big flathead six. I'd definitely be interested in the 906" Seagrave V12, the LaFrance 754" Senior V12 or one of the larger Hercules sixes, the HXC or HXD.

 

Looking for a complete assembled engine, doesn't have to run, would take the chance on a stuck one at the right price. Would really like to find something will dual ignition for the cool factor.

 

I'm in Houston and would prefer to find something in weekend road trip range.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Chase 392;

 

Here are a couple of photos of the Seagrave V-12 for sale at an estate sale in the Orlando, Florida area.  Let me know if you're interested.  If you are, I'll try to get some pricing info on it tomorrow.  I don't know what size (cubic inch) this engine is, but if you'll let me know how to determine that, I'll let you know.

 

Here are the photos:

Seagrave Engine 2.jpg

Seagrave Engine.jpg

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Well, if you want a real V-12 that has tons of torque and power, there's one in Tyler, Texas for sale, not that terribly far from you.  Running and complete.  You can complain about the price, but for an engine this size and this power, hard to beat at anything under 10K.

 

"1941 Seagraves V-12 motor. Running with only 300 hours. Clean, good oil pressure. This engine is in great condition with two early style Delco-Pierce distributors. Located near Tyler, Texas. $7,500. Call Jerry Ball @ 903-987-1776. "

 

If that doesn't interest you, then I respectfully will comment that you need to get more serious about your project.  And, there aren't many engines out there that approach the 1000 cubic inch mark, so you might want to rethink that requirement.

 

I have no connection nor interest in this motor, just passing information along.

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Capngrog,

 

      That is one of the smaller Pierce Arrow derived Seagrave 12s.... the much larger "J" engine which was 906 ci is not a true flat-head, it is a side-valve with the rockers mounted vertically between the banks of cylinders. The 906 is easily spotted because it has 12 round plugs on the bottoms of the heads which allow removal of the valves. IIRC the distributor is also mounted on the front of the bigger engine, and I also believe that one of the sets of plugs is driven by magnetos vs. dual distributors on the later engines.

 

I would be interested based on price.... but wary of trusting someone to ship. I saw someone else on the general forum is looking for the small Seagrave parts specifically... 

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3 hours ago, trimacar said:

 

If that doesn't interest you, then I respectfully will comment that you need to get more serious about your project. 

 

Trimacar.... I will respectfully take that subtle jab and keep looking for other engines. The engine in Tyler is almost certainly one of the small P-A based 12s... and yes I may be complaining but I still think its overpriced. I don't expect to trip over one in a salvage yard and pay scrap price for a gem... but I'm also not going to pay out the nose just because.

 

Running 906 motor for 3k:

 

http://www.transmissionadapters.com/good used stuff.htm

 

Rolls Royce Meteor ( a Tank "Merlin" ) for $5,750

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/282091058916?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

There was a running, driving Seagrave firetruck 25 miles from me on Craigslist last month for $8,500.... had the same engine listed above for $7,500.... I'd link to it but the post has been deleted.

 

Small LaFrance V12 in a fire truck.... likely won't meet its reserve, currently at 4k:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1956-American-LaFrance-800-Series-Pumper-DRIVES-PUMPS-GREAT-/381688408254?forcerrptr=true&hash=item58de66e8be:g:~1QAAOSwzJ5Xdctd&item=381688408254

 

The ALF above is the just one I found the fastest.... but there are at least half a dozen listed on the internet right now going unsold for 3 to 5k.....

 

I'd prefer not to buy a firetruck just to rip out the engine and scrap the rest..... firetrucks are not my cup of tea but there are many enthusiasts out there that work hard to save them and restore them... IMO its kind of jerk move, but at the same time I'm not about to pay double for an engine just because somebody else already pulled it....

 

I am serious about my project.... serious enough to play the long game and wait for the right engine at a reasonable price. 

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Ahh T-heads,

 

   Truly magnificent monsters.... my first thought was to try and find a big ALF or Seagrave T-head, but I figured getting an engine just a bit newer would be easier.... I may have been wrong about that though ;)

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The ALF speedster we did, even weighing almost 7000#, was easy to drive and frighteningly fast. The owner, before he passed, drove it 50 miles from his home in Philadelphia to the Macungie show and back home. 4 miles to the gallon. We lathed 97 pounds out of the flywheel to quicken the response. It now weighs only 124 pounds. It sold at Hershey last year and is now in a museum in Missouri. We were going to build another for a different customer but the fire truck he bought as a donor is too complete to tear apart. The donor for the speedster pictured was a decrepit ladder truck that would never have been restored. There are more old fire trucks around than can be sold, especially big ones. Yes I believe the ALF engine is actually 850 cu in but we bored it out quite a bit and rounded the number off to 1000 cu in. The wheels and tires were the biggest and most expensive challenge. The pic of it on the show field was Amelia Island '09.

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I am also building an Alf based speedster.  Mine will be based on a 4 cylinder and I will either use the original Alf 570 CID "T" head or the Wisconsin 727 CID "T" head.  I am more or less building a 'poor boy' Simplex.  My project will not weigh in at 7,000 lbs. but more likely 5,000 lbs.  I have been back and forth on the wheel issue also.  I scrounged up a set of #6 Buffalo hubs, caps and wheel centers (to use with 27" Firestone rims) and have considered putting my car on wires.  The tire size will be 37x5.  I suppose the result would be a safe enough wheel????  I am also considering using the 27" Firestone rims and having wood wheels built.  What is your thoughts Restorer 32?  

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CHASE382 You're right in that flatheads in your CID rang do seem to be limited to Herc; if your V12s seem out of reach, and you're not wedded to flatheads, there are several larger OHV 6s in your range, with Wauks 779 and 817 already in fire truck dual ign installations. Drawback might be th3y don't wind up very tight---145GKB-779 and 145GZB-817 max Permissible RPM 2400; altho I assume T-heads'll be slower--don't have anything on weight, but WEHS could advise.

There's also a Herc HXE=935, but all the HX's are HEAVY--4050lbsfor "open type power unit" with "base type oil pan" (industrial engines with cast iron oil pan doubling as base of engine) and appears to include an inst panel and gauges, but no sheet metal hood/housing... Truck type sheet metal pan would save a bunch, but the 4050 is WITHOUT 80lbs electricals and 460lbs clutch...you could drop to one of the RXs---RXLD=558 for 1650lbs plus plus per a 1957? brochure....

Jerry Biro at herculesparts.com would be the person to talk to re' Hercs; he's highly--highly--regarded in the industry; he'd be honest with you and you can rely on his advice.                                                     With sympathy,  Bud

ALSFARMS: Which Wisc do you have?? I don't have many CIDs, and I'm too lazy to run formulas, but looks like should be a D4, M or P???

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Bud,

  

      Part of my engine difficulties is that I have never seen any of the engines I am hunting for in person... I have to guess physical size based on pictures. My location makes a build of this sort particularly difficult as the scrappers came through my area with a vengeance about 15 years ago... there are simply no old "junkyards" left in the Houston area. Houston was much smaller in the 20's and 30's and much of the historic areas have simply been erased. The suburb I live in dates back to the 1890's but nothing from that time remains... no place for a derelict ALF or Seagrave to hide waiting for me to find it.  

 

Searching locally has mostly been a miss.... there was a gentleman selling a Hercules RXLD a few months ago that I missed. It was stuck but it was cheap. In the state I was able to locate one old firetruck for sale, a 1927 Seagrave Suburbanite that was probably too complete to chop up and IMO, overpriced. It had a smaller Continental engine and large truck style rear axle, and was still halfway across the state.

 

1000 ci isn't really a requirement... but it sure does roll off the tongue nicely :) I do pretty much have my heart set on a flathead though.

 

My build inspiration is Jay Leno's 1917 Fiat Botafogo:

 

 

DSC_0169.JPG

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Hello Chase 392, If the above picture is of the Jay Leno Fiat  speedster, it sure does not look to be a flat head design to me?  It has overhead written all over it...... the valve arrangement.  That engine would be nice to watch run with all the motion going on!

Hello Bud,  Your guess is correct, I have a Model M Wisconsin.

Al

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3 hours ago, alsfarms said:

Hello Chase 392, If the above picture is of the Jay Leno Fiat  speedster, it sure does not look to be a flat head design to me?  It has overhead written all over it...... the valve arrangement. 

 

Al,

 

    You are correct, the aero engine in Jay's Fiat is OVH, but it is shaft driven OHCs with exposed valvetrain.... very period IMO. A more modern OHV arrangement just won't do.... a big flatty or T-head fills the bill nicely... although the narrow 60 degree ALF or Seagrave V12s would probably not spoil the lines of the car....

 

If I could find or afford one of the massive ALF or Seagrave T-heads, that would actually be my first choice.....

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On 7/8/2016 at 1:08 PM, alsfarms said:

I am also building an Alf based speedster.  Mine will be based on a 4 cylinder and I will either use the original Alf 570 CID "T" head or the Wisconsin 727 CID "T" head.  I am more or less building a 'poor boy' Simplex.  My project will not weigh in at 7,000 lbs. but more likely 5,000 lbs.  I have been back and forth on the wheel issue also.  I scrounged up a set of #6 Buffalo hubs, caps and wheel centers (to use with 27" Firestone rims) and have considered putting my car on wires.  The tire size will be 37x5.  I suppose the result would be a safe enough wheel????  I am also considering using the 27" Firestone rims and having wood wheels built.  What is your thoughts Restorer 32?  

I would think that if you are using a 4 cyl those wheels would be fine. We kind of reverse engineered our wheels. First we found tires that would carry the weight and look good. We ended up with tires originally designed for the Wingfoot Express. To get away from the 12" wide ALF rims we purchased new 24" tractor trailer wheels. We had them sliced in half and took out enough material to narrow them to 6" and had them welded back together. We then had thick steel rings rolled and welded in to adapt the new rims to the original wood wheels. The rims were then powder coated. With the new rims, machine work, powder coating and tires the cost was almost $1200/wheel. Like a lot of these projects the fun was in the doing. 

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  • 3 months later...

A local tow truck operator has a very heavy duty tow truck for hauling transport trucks and dump trucks. I believe he bought it army surplus. A few years ago he bought a brand new gas engine for it, also army surplus. It would be the kind of engine you describe, new in the crate, I believe he paid about $2000 for it.  Not really relevant but a local surplus dealer used to have a jet engine in his yard. It goes to show, you never know what will come up for sale. But it might be worth looking into the government surplus sales.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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