Track and wheel have recently undertaken the rebuilding of a Ford Jeep engine using one of the newly available cast blocks from the United States. The build was extremely interesting as it is unusual to ever rebuild a wartime engine on a new cast block. The quality of the block was great although we were surprised by the amount of cleaning required before work could start. This should not really have surprised us! The block came complete with valve guides, core plugs and all holes drilled and tapped. All of the valve seats had hardened guides already installed. Standard size pistons and rings were fitted and as the crank from the old engine turned out to be a CJ range balanced crank (very smooth running), we had to create an oil feed for the front cam drive as well as deciding whether to keep the existing chain drive or replace it with a direct cog drive as per the Hotchkiss units. We opted with our client to retain the chain drive and turned up a brass oil sprayer which screwed into the front plug hole of the oil gallery. This gives a healthy spray onto the chain. The original crank shafts have an oil way drilled through them to do this same job.
We experienced a couple of minor problems with the head studs leaking water despite our having applied “normal” amounts of thread sealant and a small cooling issue which we resolved by speaking to the manufacturers in the States. By refitting the head studs with more thread sealant the problems were solved and it is clearly worth using a standard radiator sealant with a newly cast block as there were two of three very minor weeps which stopped when this was applied. Obviously new blocks don’t have any internal scale to fill these small weeps and this was confirmed by the manufacturers.
The new engine runs superbly! We ran it for ten miles before changing the oil and filter, and then went through a normal running-in procedure. The engine runs sweetly, has plenty of power and our client is delighted. The jeep is ready for another seventy five years of use!
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