roger england

Engine number help please

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I'm looking to buy a Buick Mastersix engine which has the serial number 2172207. I'm hoping its a 331 cu in engine dating from 1929 or 1930. Could someone give an expert opinion please?

mastersix.jpg

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1929 engine numbers started with 222 for the Standards, and 224 for Masters.  1928 started with 196 for Standards, and 199 for Masters, so this would be a 1928 (Sorry but there is a typo in the judging manual for the engine numbers in 1928.  120 and 128 series should be 1990500).  

625229341_engineandserialnumbers.thumb.jpg.1318610510a88d512bbff55008ee1041.jpg

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1928 Master is a 274 Cu inch

 

Buick named their six-cylinder cars "Buick 6" from 1916 through 1924, and in 1925, divided them into Standard 6 and Master 6.[1] The Master 6 was renamed Series 121 and 129 in 1929 and Series 40 in 1930. All were powered by a Buick Straight-6 engine, with multiple body styles, and starting in 1926 used the newly established GM B platform, which it shared with Oldsmobile. Although Buick produced mostly four-cylinder cars in the teens and early '20s, as it had been doing, the new six=cylinder cars became more common. Buick first made six-cylinder cars in 1914, with a 331-cubic-inch engine, which was originally a racing engine, later used in limited production as the Series 50. The 331 engine was dropped in 1916 and replaced with the much smaller 40 series engine, starting with a 224-cubic-inch in 1916 and 1917, the 242 engine from 1918, increased to 255 in 1924, increased again to 274 for 1926 through 1928. The engine was increased again to 309 for the Series 121 and 129 in 1929 and Series 40 in 1930, after which all six-cylinder engines were suddenly dropped and all models of Buick were equipped with the legendary Straight 8, starting in 1931 and for decades thereafter.

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What Hugh says is gospel. http://www.carnut.com/specs/gen/buick20.html

 

The 331 engine was only made in 1914 to 1916, the model B55, C55 and D55, all they did was add a third jug to the two-jug 221 engine of 1914. Same 3.75 bore by 5 stroke. Jugs were cast in pairs so 3 jugs is 6 cylinders instead of 4.

 

Buick in 1914 was pis$ed off about Cadillac and their huge "type 51" car with the electric-start V-8, so to show off they made a monster 331 engine with an electric start. It didn't sell. If people wanted such a huge car with such a huge engine they went for the Cadillac.

Edited by Morgan Wright (see edit history)
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I realize this is an old thread, but I thought I would add some clarity.  The 1930 Buick 50 and 60 series cars had a 331 C.I. motor.   Both of these series are viewed as 'Master' whereas the 40 series is considered to be 'Standard'.  Having said that this nomenclature is accurate for the 1930 model year only.  Beginning in 1931 the 50 series is a smaller, base model car.  The 1930 60 series car is recognized as a full classic by the CCCA and is the equivalent of the 90 series beginning in 1931.  The best way to identify a 331 series motor is by the cooling pipe mounted on top of the head on the drivers side of the engine.  The picture from the original poster is taken from the passenger side and it is impossible to determine what this is based on the photo alone.  The engine from the Master series car in 1929 visually looks the same as that in 1930, however the bore is smaller, giving it a smaller displacement.

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