viper1941 2/23/00 7:31 pm

Unless I find more the first of the finished photos, the boat in the background is a Y class Crosley powered dad broke 100mph in that boat. The pics really don't do justice to the finished product...It was quite a stunning little car...pretty quick too! My dad wouldn't put a wild cam in it for me but he did other things to it. a 2bbl carb, tuned exhaust,no muffler,wico mag, and a balanced steel crank. It would turn upwards of 6000rpm when stock Crosleys came apart at 4500 or so(due in part to weak cast iron cranks and cast iron pressure plates and springs coming apart). He fitted an international harvester tractor clutch with a reduced diameter flywheel and bell housing which mean't I could really smoke the tires...I remember a buddy of mine had a 47 ford flathead that couldn' catch me in a drag...That was saying something as the transmission was,as you all know, a crashbox. I became very good at double clutching...OOPS! I babble.....This club and seeing all the photos sure does bring on waves of memories... Later... Viper

Jim_Bollman 2/27/00 8:21 pm

Viper, Just wanted to clear up your statement about Crosley engines coming a part at 4500 RPM. I agree the cast iron cranks were prone to breaking I have a few broken ones myself. In general they hold up pretty well, I would not be afraid to run a stock engine up to 5000-6000 RPM from time to time going through the gears. With only the addition of a cast steel crank I would do it on a regular bases without much concern. I regularly run my Crosley at 55 mph which is over 5000 RPM. Through experimentation I have found that the stock valve train floats at around 7800 RPM (not recommended). Jim...

viper1941 2/28/00 7:39 am

Jim...There were 3 cranks manufactured for Crosley engines. Two by Crosley and one after market for performance applications...The two by Crosley were a cast iron crank and a (spelling may be wrong..naugular cast iron.) This was a slightly hardened version of the original...Trust me, if you had a cast iron crank, you didn't routinely rev much over 45-4800 very often...That crank was replaced as the original very early in the development of the engine...You didn't find many in the cast iron block engines after 1949(dates are foggy)...The hardened crank could take revs in the 5-6000 range without problems... The third was a forged steel crank that NEVER came apart...valve float, the weak point was the little keepers, one had to use hardened ones to keep valves from becoming pistons above 7000 revs routinely...also, the springs could be replaced with those from another make engine(the name escapes me at the addition the springs from the military application engines(aircraft) had extra firm springs (and as a info note the blocks had two s and gear driven mags off the cam at the front of the block.) The army(b4 airforce,) spent a lot of money trying to develop the engine to military aviation use, but abandoned the effort before the cast iron block was fully developed. Yes there were 2 plug tin blocks around. Viper

chuckhk1941 2/28/00 10:35 pm

In pulling engines apart I've found 3 versions of the cast crank--2 with the counter weights ground for balancing-both with different front splines. One requires a spacer behind the gear,one does not!!the third has the counter weights drilled,not ground. All have the same part #. NONE ARE STEEL --so we have more confusion?????

viper1941 2/29/00 6:27 pm

Confused? You won't be after this episode(to paraphrase the series Soap)...The steel crank was not a Crosley factory item. It was strictly a performance part obtained thru racing and high performance parts suppliers...The best crank from the factory was the nagular iron(spelling?) crank. Probably one of the two types that you have found was one of them...I do not remember how to tell them apart...but hitting them with a tuning fork seems to come to mind, but I'm not sure what to listen for if that is it...Probably some marking on them of some kind...I'll ponder it for a bit and maybe I can be of better help.(Damn...I really hate it when CRS kicks in) Still confused? Tune in tomorrow. LOL. Viper

trainnut2 2/29/00 6:43 pm

There were 3 types of cast cranks made while Crosley was in production. There was also a nodular iron crank, also called a cast steel crank, and a steel billet crank. There was also a company in Italy that made steel billet cranks, and other high performance parts for the Crosley racers. I totally agree with Jim, about the cast cranks being able to take high revs. I used to use Crosleys for go-karts when I was a kid, and we abused those cars badly. The valves would float, and protect the crank from breaking. It wasn't till we started to shave the bottom of the cylinder assy to get more compression that we started to blow them apart, and when they blow there's no salvaging any parts! I just recently tore down my 49 Crosley wagon that I used as a kid and found that the crank was a nodular iron one, and still could be used, and I beat that poor car badly! Barry

Jim_Bollman 2/29/00 10:19 pm

Well if we keep talking about cranks long enough we may solve this problem. Part of the problem is knowing if we are talking about the same type cranks or not. I believe there were at least 3 cranks made by Crosley in post war production. I think there was a poor cast iron in the early production years, this is also when a large number of the engines were made so a lot of these cranks were around. I think the next cast iron crank is the one I said was OK and could take a fair amount of abuse. In the military engines and in the late production years (1951-52) they used what I call a cast steel crank. This crank has a nicer ring if you tap it and has a tapered nose to add strength to the splined part of the crank, the rest doesn't look much different than what I call cast iron. I have never seen one of these cranks broke and try to use these in all the engines that I build or use. I have also seen the racing cranks people have talked about that look like they were machined out of a solid piece of steel. A lot of cranks are broke at the front bearing because of a bad gear adjustments for the tower/distributor gears. I bought a Super Sports, years ago, after test driving it and noticed a small tick in the engine. When I tore down the engine, expecting a bearing problem, I took the crank out in two pieces broke diagonally across a counter balance. Jim...

speedoo51 3/1/00 11:01 pm

I'll add a few cents more...I think some cast steel cranks needed a spacer between the front bearing and the dist/oil pump drive gear. Cast iron ones, the gear was shouldered on the splines. I think I read that Nick [Braje] said that industrial engines [at least some] used a Forged steel crank. The company in Italy was Nardi, And Webber in the U.S.. The webber was either a stroker [with overbore near 60 cu. in.] or available in stock also. I find the aero engine fascinating, is information-pictures available? I used to get over 30 mph in first, if you figure the overall gear ratio, it comes out at around 9000 rpm. I think I shimmed the valve springs but I got some CRS too....I didn't do it often but when I did the engine developed a very loud clanging noise, but still would run 30. Oil pressure was ok so I figured it must have hammered a wrist pin bushing out. I think back now, what a scary kid I must have been! No fear, no brains; I pick the latter!!!! Bill, you had some experimental engine pieces and photos at Kent? Viper, you break many driveline parts? Seb.


Crank Pictures & Latest Theory

Jim_Bollman 3/5/00 9:28 pm

I spent Saturday morning doing a study of all the cranks I have, that were out of engines. After much scrounging and digging around in my junk I found 10 cranks, without dropping any oil pan. I have posted pictures to help us start talking the same language on cranks. See Below. Feel free to send pictures of different cranks that you may have. Things I learned: Of the 10 cranks, 8 were the same style including 3 broken ones. They are stamped PC-741 on the first counter balance. I think this is the early, probably through 48 or 49, crank. This is when they made the most engines and therefore probably the most survived. The only crank out of 10 with a drilled counter balance was one of the broken ones. Anyone else keep any broken cranks? Would you check to see if they are this style or not? The other two cranks have thinner throws. If you measure the thickness of the counter weight with a caliper along the edge on the side of the counter, the PC-741's are roughly .35 inches the later are about .30 inches. The two later cranks have D205215 stamped in one of the center counters. Since I only have two of these and they are slightly different more input would be good on this style cranks. One of these later cranks has a squared off nose where the bearing drops down to the spline just like the early cranks. It has the D205215 stamped on the 6th counter weight from the front. It has a tag that looks like it is screwed on (it was a tag on the master that was used to make the molds) with B151 on the 5th counter. I don't know if this is a unique number or not. Anyone have any cranks like this one? The other late style crank is what I always call a Cast Steel. What do you call it? It has a tapered nose where the bearing drops down to the spline. It has D205215 stamped on the 5th counter weight from the front. The tag that looks screwed on is on the 4th counter weight and is K102. This last crank is the style I have in several of my engines that are in cars and is known to be a tough crank. One last observation, the 2 military generator engines I have, have 6 threaded holes on the flywheel flange, all the cranks I have out of engines only have 3. The picture of the broken cranks includes a crank that was in a running engine, I actually drove the car before buying it. It had a slight tick that I thought was a bearing. This was before I had very many spare parts and no extra cranks. I was not happy when I tore the engine down. Ok that was my Saturday morning, look at your cranks and see if we can add to this information. Jim...


silkytwo_99 3/6/00 1:27 am

I have a info sheet put out by James Broadwell. He ran hot class H Crosley specials back in the late 50's or early 60's. To quote from his sheet: Crankshaft: Most Crosley engines as found have cast iron cranks. These are not usable. Later model engines have either cast steel or forged cranks which are usable. The forged steel cranks are identifiable by the fact that the throws are machined on both sides and the outer diameter. Both cast iron and cast steel cranks show the casting marks on the throws and can only be identified from each other by "sparking". This consists of holding a portion of the throw against a grindstone and observing the color of the sparks, dull red for cast iron and white sparks which have a tendency to break up, for the cast steel. If you use a forged shaft, I strongly recommend the use of "white" bearings which were those having a silver-like color (McQuay-Norris). If you sue the cast steel, then I would recommend the bronze color bearings (Federal Mogul). This is old information but maybe it is still good today. Mike Smith

viper1941 3/8/00 9:21 pm

Confused? won't be after this episode...After talking with my brother whom being almost 4 years younger than me, and as he was around the Crosley scene a little longer than me, and as his memory probably is a little better, here is the straight scoop (?)....Crosley had only two types of cranks from the factory...cast iron and (again spelling) naugular iron. Now, there was one cast iron crank designed first and put in the tin block engines...then when they found out they were failing due to harmonic vibration...they tried several fixes...balancing, lightening them, etc...add that to the fact that more than one sub-contractor was manufacturing the cranks, no wonder you have more than one type of cast iron crank...then about the time the cast block hit the market (give or take)...they introduced the alloy cast iron crank (naugular) Neither I or my brother can remember what that stood for except that it was a higher grade crank with maybe nickel or low grade steel thrown in, but the fact remained that it was still a cast iron crank...and it probably did have a nicer ring to it(remember my previous statement about tuning forks?...The third of course was the forged steel after mkt you see?...we are all probably right Who woulda thought that after 50+ years that the little engine that could, would still be cussed and discussed...A little you know that an Italian Co., bought the rights to the engine and tried to develop it further? Was in the late 50's or early 60's. I don't really know too much about brother threw that in. Later guys Viper

speedoo51 3/9/00 10:27 pm

Nodular-the higher the content, the stronger the casting. Cast steel is just that, not have the carbon content of cast iron, there for softer and not brittle. Will bend more before breaking. Does not wear as well as cast iron. Must have been at least three cranks [re:342] as I have several articles written by those involved with the Crosley engine for some type of racing in the 50's & 60's that say cast iron, cast steel, and forged. I believe the forged may have [and probably was] been in severe duty industrial applications. Did you know that Crofton advertised a 53 cu. in. version; .125 larger [2.625] bore, same stroke rated at 35 HP. I have the literature but don't know if they were actually produced. I'm pretty sure Aerojet-General continued to produce the engine after procuring Crosley, but if Crofton, Fageol and others [?] bought the rights and produced the engines or merely put their names on them or in what chronological order they were in I'm not sure. Can someone put it in order? How bout it Bill? And thanks for getting "cranked-up" Saturday morn...Did you get my "E"? Seb.

speedoo51 3/15/00 9:13 pm

I had one more thought, many sheet metal engines were probably changed over to cast iron and so will still have an early crank. I had several cast iron blocked engines and none had what is now described as a steel crank. Where is everyone?


What Year for What Crank

phil39_2001 8/15/00 8:43 pm

Just found the photos of various cranks used postwar. What model years were the various types of cranks used? I have a '49 but never noticed the number on the crank when I had it apart.

Jim_Bollman 8/15/00 10:27 pm

I'm still collecting information. I do know that most military engines have the cranks with the tapered front (picture 4), the best of the cast cranks. I have also seen this crank in some late 51-52 engines. When they switched from the original cast iron to the intermediate style is not clear. My best guess is the original crank was used in the COBRA tin block engines and when they redesigned for cast iron block in early 49 they switched to the intermediate style crank. Remember that a lot of COBRA engines were converted to cast iron blocks so a cast block doesn't mean a better crank. Also engines have been swapped around a lot since the cars were built so the year of the car doesn't mean much about what engine is in it. The engine Serial number gives you an idea, but they number consecutively after mid 47 so you can only get a rough idea. The tapered style cranks I have found in standard engines all had serial numbers in the 6 digit range. The 1946 engines start with CC46 and early 47s had CE47. Hope this helps. Maybe other will add their findings. Jim...



h_mod 8/19/00 11:20 pm

Am stripping down an old Elgin outboard. Carbs are twin Tillotson (?) into a log manifold. Entire exhaust/intake manifold is water cooled - or warmed, depending how you look at it. Any idea of dates of manufacture? Crank itself has curved tapered reduction to nose. Rear of crank has a single nut holding on the flywheel. This nut is itself toothed, and a connector to drive shaft is slid onto it. The counterweights have a "cast" look. On the 2nd CW edge a fake ID plate is cast in saying "A18". On the other side is a cross with one arm bent followed by "2". On the 1st CW the label "PC872" appears. This may be the so called nodular iron crank referred to by James Broadwell. The oil pump is the HD, fatter type. Main bearing webs are also fatter. Elgin may have been sold by Sears, but I have no idea when. Anybody know?

for365nc 8/20/00 12:24 pm

Elgin was definitely sold by Sears. Believe they were manufactured by West Bend. Check out the Antique Outboard Motor Club Inc. web site at I think you'll find answers to a lot of your questions.

Jim_Bollman 3/03/02 7:19 pm

Resent information I have found indicates Fageol built the Elgin engine for Sears. Jim...