Author Topic: 1937 with Cats Paw Engine  (Read 320 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.