COBRA - COpper BRAzed Engine (Tin Block)

Is it tin or cast ???????

spdbgy2000 8/24/01 7:06 pm

How can I tell by looking at an engine if it is a tin or cast block, and is there a way to tell the year of a motor, thanks again jason

crosley52 8/24/01 9:39 pm

I think the easy way to tell is that the name CROSLEY is cast on the Iron block driver side top just below cam cover and the tin engines have nothing there.

Jim_Bollman 8/25/01 12:30 am

Once you see a tin block you will realize how easy they are to spot. I posted 2 pictures in the #2 Default Club folder (see below). The fastest way is the water jackets are not removable. The valve cover is different the gasket goes in a recessed area of the block and the cover has just a straight edge that goes on the inside of the block on to the gasket. The cast iron has a flange on the cover and goes out over the block. The location of Crosley is a little less dependable since some late Crosley derived cast iron blocks don't have Crosley on at all. The Tin normally has Crosley on the water jacket on the spark plug side of the engine. Jim...

rsrendfeld 1/2/01 11:29 pm

I know that there were problems with the Copper Brazed block that led to it being replaced by a cast iron block but I recall reading a post that someone - Crosleycupcake? - is restoring a car that still has it's original Cobra engine. Is there some way to protect the engine from rust problems? Is it possible to Restore a damaged or deteriorated tin block. I would guess that it would be possible to cut out damaged sections, fabricate replacements and solder/braze/weld in the new parts but it would be very difficult. Ron in Indy

vc30323 1/3/01 11:52 am

Ron -- Re info on the Crosley engine: I researched and wrote an article on the subject which was published as "Lloyd M. Taylor: Brazen Idols." Automobile Quarterly, July 1995. Maybe a library in your area has a copy, or back issues might be available through Automobile Quarterly. Hope this helps, Jim Hockenhull

rsrendfeld 1/5/01 10:08 pm

Jim Hockenhull Indianapolis / Marion County Central Library had the July '95 Automobile Quarterly in the stacks. Took longer for me to photo copy your article than it took for the library page to bring it to me. Your article, "Lloyd M. Taylor Brazen Idols" is definitely the right place to start. The article answered my questions about the beginnings of the Crosley Engine. Thanks for telling me about it. Now could anyone tell me about any similar articles that would trace the development of the cast iron engine and it's evolution after the car line came to an end. Ron in Indy

The Mighty Tin - Short history of the COBRA engine.

Tin Block Tips

peterasellers – 8/11/04

I have recently purchased a tin block engine and would like any input about how to keep it from self destructing. What can be done to preserve and prolong the life of this icon?
Bill3924G – 8/12/04
I use water pump lubricate in the radiator. Double the amount it calls for. It protects the block from rusting.
Use antifreeze mixture in it, never just water.
JimBollman – 10/31/06
Never run it low on water and be careful not to over heat it.  Running it hot can cause warpage and leaks. Along the same line be sure it is flushed clean inside.

SamN - 12/16/08
NEVER USE TAP WATER OR WELL WATER IN "TIN BLOCK" ENGINES
  **************USE DISTILLED WATER ONLY****************
 These "tin engines" were used extensively by the U.S. Military in WWII, with never a failure due to pin-hole rust-thru. That was because the field manual for servicing these engines was followed religiously, and it specified DISTILLED WATER ONLY. Why? Because the mineral content in undistilled water caused some sort of electrolysis that substantially shortened the life of this engine design. Use that with a really good antifreeze/rust inhibitor (like Prestone), and change  the coolant every year, and your engine should out-last you!