Author Topic: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine  (Read 1556 times)

Equipe4x4

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1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« on: June 28, 2020, 02:47:55 »
Hi

I'm hoping that someone on here is able to help.  A 1937 AC has come up for sale near me in the USA.  It has been sitting for 15 years because the engine block is porous (it has the original Cats paw engine).

Is it possible to still find engine blocks for these vehicles? If so, what are likely costs and are there engine re-builders that can rectify a porous block in the USA? How hard is it to find spares? If she were restored, how much could she be sold for?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 02:49:44 by Equipe4x4 »

administrator

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2020, 08:14:10 »
It has the wire mesh grille so more likely to be '35 rather than '37 - '37 cars have vertical chrome slats.  If you can find the chassis number we can be more definite.  There should be a stamped plate on the front bulkhead at the rear of the engine bay, prefixed 'L'.  It's also stamped on the outside of the right hand chassis rail near the front.

Two of our advertisers can offer advice on engine rebuilds in the UK - some of our US contacts may be able to help with local engineers:
http://www.ac-6.co.uk/
http://www.ac-project.co.uk/

New blocks are available although a more common form of repair is to remove the old water jacket and fit a replacement casting. 

Check the auction sites for values.  It depends very much who is there on the day.  The body style is a Drophead Coupe.  DHCs generally don't fetch the same prices as the Sports or Sports Tourers but nevertheless have a following.

Robin A Woolmer

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2020, 11:36:20 »
That is a great looking drop head & certainly worthy of repairing, as the administrator has indicated a typical solution to the block corrosion is to replace the water jacket, yes new PVT blocks are available!
The water jacket conversion will enable the engine to be acceptably working but it does generally require the main journals to be overhauled as the remainder of the block will distort, in addition the Cats paw engine has a water passage at the front of the block which also corrodes & is not replaced as part of the water jacket replacement.
The water jacket work can be carried out by a competent machine shop using a replacement water jacket casting which can be supplied, also a set of instructions can be supplied describing the work to be carried out, i am sure you have very competent companies near you!
There are people in the UK that can do the work, it will be costly & will mean the shipping of the engine etc.
If you would like further help with the supply of a water jacket casting i can assist, a company called Hawk Cars can supply the casting, but i would suggest the engine is inspected carefully before starting.
The car certainly looks worthy of returning to the road in working condition.
I am one of the people indicated above & make completely new engines for pre & post war AC Weller engines, the cost of these would probably not be justifiable for this particular car even though it looks a very nice car!

Robin     

Jam2

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2020, 07:54:35 »
I had rather assumed that replacement water jackets were usually required when the jackets had suffered excessive corrosion and were no longer structurally sound,  if the problem is solely porosity could this be cured with resin impregnation under a vacuum?

Robin A Woolmer

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2020, 09:11:23 »
Blocks of this age suffer from serious loss of structure inside the water jacket, often the columns around the studs corrodes badly which facilitates the studs to corrode & jam in the drilling's also loss of sealing area at the joint face with the head, wax impregnation cannot solve that issue! Water also passes up through the gaps with water getting into the oil in the top of the head, this is much worse with heads that have the bridges!
Studs also develop corrosion notches around the joint area so considerably weakening the studs which often shear on attempting to remove them!
The PVT block have a vertical water passage at the front of the blocks which also corrode, PVT water jacket replacement does not solve that issue.
It will be essential to take the head off the engine to determine to what extent the block is corroded, Wax impregnation would require the total strip down of the engine anyway so all the options can be considered then!

Robin     

Equipe4x4

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2020, 17:31:02 »
Thank you all for your responses.  It is promising to hear that the vehicle can be repaired.  I know that it is a difficult question but, worse case scenario, what do you think it would cost to get roadworthy (new block versus sleeves).  As the car hasn't been used for 15 years, I'm sure that everything else needs to be gone through.  Any idea what would be a fair price to offer the seller given it's current state?  Thank you!

Robin A Woolmer

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2020, 10:46:57 »
Equipe4by4
These cars need to be purchased & used by enthusiasts wanting to own them & spend time working on them, parts & facilities are available to fix most problems, but do not expect to make a profit in the process.
This car looks superficially in generally good condition & there are solutions in respect to the engine porosity, most of which can be carried out by competent engine repair & machine shops, Club members are willing to help, but i do not believe you should expect them to guess prices for the car or the costs of repair particularly remotely!

Robin   

bennettpg49

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2020, 13:23:34 »
just noticed a fully re-built cat's paw engine, minus carbs, for sale at Brooklands Enginecraft, £15,000. tel (UK) 01380 584966.

Old Crock

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2020, 13:53:17 »
just noticed a fully re-built cat's paw engine, minus carbs, for sale at Brooklands Enginecraft, £15,000. tel (UK) 01380 584966.


Link below, yes, this is ALL very interesting:

https://brooklandsenginecraft.co.uk/ac%20weller%20engine.html
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 17:12:22 by Old Crock »

GSouthee

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2020, 16:36:20 »
I think it would make a very nice hotrod, say stick a chevy straight 6 in it so it  keeps the 6 layout.  G
Nothing is impossible, but sometimes it takes a different approach. Now anyone got a big hammer?

Big col

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2020, 20:23:25 »
I have / am just doing one. From the picture it looks far better than my starting point. Cost as regards a rebuild being viable are wholly dependent upon the state of the chassis, Ash frame and the aluminium body panels. Factor in labour cost and it will soon all add up. If the Ash frame is rotten then it is time consuming to cut out and repair. If the aluminium has not stood the test of time well then it will need annealing in order to work with it, again time consuming. The chassis and wings (fenders) are steel so straight forward enough. If it’s 1937 then it will probably have a Moss gearbox so bits can be sorted. I have had to do the whole lot including the full engine £15000 per lava And have professionals do the frame and body work so mine, in no way, will ever retrieve it’s cost of refurbishment. From what I see You have there it appears to be a straight forward tidy up to keep its pertina and if it is then happy days and it may be doable with very little financial loss if the work is done for love rather than money.
I might be rough but I’m slow as well.

Equipe4x4

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2020, 02:06:36 »
Thank you all for your input.  I am going to view the vehicle on Sunday and will take a load of photos.  Is there anything in particular I should be taking photos of?  If I decide not to purchase the vehicle myself, I will help the owner with the sale.

administrator

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2020, 09:59:30 »
It would be very helpful for our records to know the chassis and engine numbers.  The chassis number will be in the format LXXX stamped  on an oval plate on the firewall.  The original engine number will also be there but many engines have been exchanged between cars and the number is also stamped on the block on the top of the dynamo mounting flange on the right hand side.  The format will be UMB XXX.  Other prefixes may be UBS or UBSS.  There may also be another number such as 6, 6 1/2, 7 etc after the prefix which indicates the compression ratio.  As an example the engine in my car is stamped UMB 6 1/2 646.

Equipe4x4

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2020, 17:24:49 »
As stated, I viewed the car yesterday.  It seems to be in very good condition and was clearly well looked after.  It was procured by the current owner (who has unfortunately passed away) in 1976 from a dealer in the UK (it had been restored in the UK then or a little earlier).  Further, the engine number matches the information on the oval plate (see attached photo).  Fortunately, the owner was a hoarder and kept all of the documentation relating to the vehicle.  I could only seem to upload one photo on this site.  Thanks

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Re: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2020, 09:03:31 »
L575 is shown in the register as a 1937 2 seater drophead coupe, so a minor mystery why it's fitted with the earlier mesh radiator grille.  It has been in the USA since at least 1998.  Nice that it still has its original engine and that the owner has saved all the documentation. 

To attach more than one photo, after you have selected the first one click (more attachments) and you will then be able to continue adding pictures.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 09:11:31 by administrator »