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2-cyl Maxwell engine block


Steve Rinaldo
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Hi Steve - just a couple of questions to get the ball rolling here and hopefully someone  else will jump in. .

 

Have you had the engine running and if so have you driven it for awhile or just on trial runs?

 

Where is the crack located ? Metal can be welded or stitched, cylinders can be sleeved, etc. Old two or even four cylinder engines with gravity water systems are pretty forgiving.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Steve Rinaldo said:

I just out found out that the engine block in my 1909 Model A Maxwell engine has a non repairable crack. My question is are 2 cyl. Maxwell engines interchangeable? Does anyone have or have any leads on where I might find one. Thanks, Steve

 

My question is WHO told you it's irreparable and there is more than one way to skin a cat.

I dealt with enough unobtainium to know.

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I agree.......it’s most likely repairable. Do NOT weld in the block. Get it stitched. Post detailed photos, and several of us here can make recommendations. Depending on location you may or may not need to rebuild the entire engine. 

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To answer some of the questions posted here goes:

1. The part that is cracked  is the crankcase.

2. The guys that are are two of the best in the country and I trust their recommendation for a new crankcase.ebuild

3. this is a fresh rebuild and the problem appeared on the initial test drive.

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My advice is do NOT 'throw it away' if it cannot be repaired at present.  Welding/metal fusion technology keeps evolving, and sooner or later, someone will find a way to repair these 'impossible to weld' engine blocks. 

 

When we are seeing a three-figure or more difference on certain cars with  'matching number' engines, there is incentive out there to come up with the technology/technique to repair them.

 

Craig

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Welding, Cast Iron

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Antique & Classic Casting Rebuilders specializes in the "Fusion Welding" method in the repair of anything made of cast iron, including, (but not limited to)
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I have 50+ years of experience and do all of the work myself. I have total control of the process & quality

I was in the diesel engine component reman industry for 30 years & the automotive cylinder head business for 13 years

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My story & pictures of my work are on my website: accastingrebuilders.com

   Kelseyville, CA,
 
   

BET THIS GUY CAN DO IT FOR YOU...........................................................

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Steve,

    I agree that the old oil soaked cast aluminum alloys have been virtually impossible to weld.  However, I also agree with others that it is worth saving until either adhesive technology or welding techniques become available to fix it. 

Meanwhile, I suggest you post your need on this HCCA site:  https://hcca.org/classifieds.php?want

 

 

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2 hours ago, Steve Rinaldo said:

To answer some of the questions posted here goes:

1. The part that is cracked  is the crankcase.

2. The guys that are are two of the best in the country and I trust their recommendation for a new crankcase.ebuild

3. this is a fresh rebuild and the problem appeared on the initial test drive.

 

 

Difficult problem......... can you post a photo of the area? Is it structural or just an oil leak? I am never a fan of a temporary fix or band aide. Sometimes on a very early car that won't be driven much, it is a good way to go till you can find a used engine.......its amazing way turns up over time

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Yes...aluminum is a problem. I have a welded aluminum crankcase in my shop right now. The car threw a rod and blew two or three major pieces out one side. Had I seen it at the time I would have pronounced it unrepairable. It was welded and the weld is actually very good but the attendant warping of the casting means that both the camshaft tunnel and the main bearings have to be rebored and oversize bearings made. It's a tremendous amount of work. That said, Edinmass has a lot of experience with metal stitching and has seem many "unrepairable" castings back into long service. Casting repair is a specialty in its own right and you owe it to yourself to have it looked at by someone who does that sort of work exclusively.

 

There were two aluminum alloys in use at the time for crankcases. The weaker of the two is probably weldable, albeit with a lot of prep (like having the case vapor degreased). The stronger of the two, usually only used on very expensive cars, is effectively unweldable. I suspect this is the reason that Simplex crankcases and transmission cases are considered unrepairable when they crack. I don't know what alloy Maxwell used but it is likely it was the less expensive one. Metal stitching, if done by a really competent professional, is a much better alternative.

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I wish I could post all the repairs I have done to major league cars......but trust me, no one who owns a multi million dollar car wants it in the public domain that the block of head has been repaired. I’m currently helping out on two eight figure cars that have crack issues. Interestingly both owners had “their guy” who could fix it fine.........now I’m involved and getting it done right.........

 

When you car engine is made of us obtainium you need the best people in the world fixing it.....they don’t come cheap, but they are worth EVERY PENNY!


 

PS- I don’t make the repairs, just supervise the best guys who can do the job.

 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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This is not an uncommon problem in the early Maxwells. Networking with other owners will help and I'm sure you are investigating all options.  As to your original question, there are some Maxwell experts out there who can respond to that, but my recommendation is to discuss the problem with Steve Bono in NY.  You should be able to connect through HCCA but call me if you can't connect and I might be able to assist.

Terry

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11 hours ago, Steve Rinaldo said:

The crankcase is an aluminum alloy so I don't know about welding?

 

There are a lot of broken Bugatti aluminum crankcases running just fine with welded aluminum cases. Getting all the oil out of the pores is job one. 

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23 hours ago, Terry Bond said:

This is not an uncommon problem in the early Maxwells. Networking with other owners will help and I'm sure you are investigating all options.  As to your original question, there are some Maxwell experts out there who can respond to that, but my recommendation is to discuss the problem with Steve Bono in NY.  You should be able to connect through HCCA but call me if you can't connect and I might be able to assist.

Terry

Steve, give me a call about a lead on an engine.

Terry

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By the way, many brass era/early Franklins have had to have recast crankcases - I have seen a few that are really sketchy even after repair - fine for limited use, but that is about it and anyone passing them off to another person without mentioning - there is a special place for them to go upon their death. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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Sidenote:  on regular occasion I stop into Zakira's garage in Cincinnati - they work on my horrendous whatever project at the moment and I see vintage Miller after Miller race engine go through the shop - and my impression is there were designed for exactly what they needed to do, but not for any more and not for any time - my point is that most have been welded and welded more to have continuing issues and reach a point where have to just have to be replaced.  My second point is repair first, but do not rule out recasting - it will be expensive, but I guarantee a few other people will need and that will help offset cost (you may also find someone re-invented the wheel prior to you and already has the casting or at least the molds) matched to really setting you free to use the car. 

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YES MIKE, THE JUGS COME OFF EACH SIDE AND ARE SLIGHTLY ASKEW FROM ONE ANOTHER. SIMILAR TO A bmw BOXER MOTORCYCLE ENGINE.

THE ENGINE PUTS OUT ABOUT 14 HP. as mentioned, jugs have been reproduced in the past, but the main crankcase is a large undertaking and a run of say, 10 may never sell out.

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I imagine a run of newly cast crankcases might well sell out.  Steve Bono has a 2-cylinder REO whose crankcase broke one too many times.  He looked at the cost of casting new ones and gulped pretty hard.  Then he got the word out he might have some made, was anyone interested?  He ended up having made, and selling, 23 crankcases.

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