PDA

View Full Version : Funny symbol stamped on engine



Stude4x4
11-27-2006, 12:43 AM
Hello,

I have three 1962 289s. As I was rebuilding one of them I noticed a symbol stamped next to the engine number. You have to look close but its on the same pad as the engine number. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? I know in 62 they had some trouble with cranks and I'm wondering if it means that they're undersized. It looks trapazoidal in shape and some have a single digit number stamped in the middle. Thanks.

Jake

-Home of John Studebaker-
http://community.webshots.com/user/Stude4x4

Roscomacaw
11-27-2006, 01:11 AM
It's a "keystone" - shape-wise.

Not to be confused with a "cloverleaf" which was an indicator of a replacement block - or on some truck engines - it signified a heavy duty engine.

Anyway - I'd like to know the significance of it myself. I have an Avanti RS block that has keystones on it too. Maybe Dwain or Bob P. will have an answer.:D



Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle!!

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

Roscomacaw
11-27-2006, 08:31 PM
In the front of one of my truck parts catalogs it states that the "cloverleaf" symbol is indicative of a HD engine. BUT - it also says that HD engines are numbered differently (talking trucks here - there's no HD engine options listed for cars)so just seeing the first digit of a truck engine's serial number would tell you what it was - both HD AND displacement.;)

I've seen both symbols and there's no mistaking a cloverleaf for a keystone.

Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle!!

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

Transtar60
11-27-2006, 11:05 PM
Mr Biggs, I think the distinction is that an HD engine would have a cloverleaf and an engine number when installed in a truck at the factory.
A replacement HD engine assy would only have a cloverleaf. THIS Information is in the bottom of page vii of the 57-61 Truck parts book,but the 62-64 truck books page vii doesnt mention the cloverleaf just the HD engine numbers. But in the engine section,it describes the cloverleaf HD engines and the components that make it so.(Bottom of page 16). I have heard and seen the keystone symbol on V8s but have not found explanation.

3E38
4E2
4E28
5E13
7E7
8E7
8E12
8E28
4E2
59 Lark
etc

Roscomacaw
11-27-2006, 11:38 PM
We're in agreement on the Cloverleafs Charlie (although I confess I was of the notion that a cloverleaf meant replacement block - period), but yeah, it's the Keystones and the numbers in them that I don't know about.[?]

Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle!!

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

Transtar60
11-28-2006, 10:00 AM
Yeah it would be nice if there was some one who could enlighten us on the Keystone. I thought I read some thing somewhere about that symbol but where and what eludes me now.



3E38
4E2
4E28
5E13
7E7
8E7
8E12
8E28
4E2
59 Lark
etc

Roscomacaw
11-28-2006, 02:05 PM
OK, I just got off the phone with Jon Myer. I know that he's seen what I call a keystone and I asked him to shed any light that he might have on the subject. Probably Jon's looked at as many Stude engines as anyone I know.[^]
He's of the opinion that the keystone and the "cloverleaf" are one in the same. It's just that folks from places other than Pennsylvania (the Keystone state) don't know WHAT to call that symbol and it kinda sorta LOOKS like a cloverleaf. Heck, maybe even the folks that put together the parts books didn't rightly know what to call that figure [8]
By his judgement - noting the info in truck parts books as has already been mentioned - it denotes a replacement Heavy duty short block. Of course, these are showing up in cars occassionaly, but this might be that SASCO (and subsequently, Newman & Altman) sold HD short blocks without bothering to make the distinction after they ceased building new Studebakers. MAYBE customers ASKED for a HD block even if it was gonna end up in a car. I know I'd have chosen that if I could have.;)
Truth is, the only thing that would be different about a HD short block assy would be the HD rod and main bearings (HD "Tri-metal" they called them) and an aluminum cam gear. Everything else would be regular issue parts - block included. If it was a long block (heads included) it would have had the roto-cap valve rotaters as well the HD exhaust valves and springs that went with them.
I have a block here with a Keystone symbol on it. I'll try to get a photo to share.

I also asked about the number stamped within the keystones. While he acknowledged that there appeared to be "something" stamped within the symbol, he was never sure just what it was - number or letter. I offered that the one I have has a number in it. I'll confirm that if I get a photo later. Either way, Jon wasn't sure what the significance of that digit might be.
He also said that from what he'd seen, if an engine bore a Keystone near where the serial number's supposed to be - it's usually duplicated at the rear of the block - near the distributor hole. Jake, maybe you'd wanna check this block you have to see it that's the case here. I DO know that's the case with mine.

Jon also said he has a couple of engines around his shop that have the Keystones that never got an engine number stamped into them. Obviously, whoever did the swap didn't care or didn't have some number stamps to do it with.[B)]

Literal interpretation of "Keystone" explains it as the center stone of a stone archway. It's wedge-shaped so as to perform it's intended function as well as "locking" the arch to the surrounding structure. As such, it holds the rest of the arch stones in place and helps to support the weight of the wall the arch is set into. Pennsylvania is known as the Keystone State, because early residents saw their state as the "Keystone to the arch of Democracy" given Philly was home to the early federal govt.
There's no mention where the word even suggests anything to do with a 3-lobed leaf like clover or any other foliage! So, we're back to the guys putting the parts books together having the liberty to call it as they saw it. A Cloverleaf![8D]

Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle!!

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

Stude4x4
11-28-2006, 05:23 PM
Well, Mr. Biggs, I believe I am more confused now than when I started this post. This "keystone" is only on the front (by the engine number)on my '62 and '58 289s. But, on my Avanti engine that symbol is on the front and back and the number inside the symbol is different on both keystones. I have several engines with this symbol and some have it on both sides of the block and some do not. However, none of these engines have the HD Al cam gear. I'm not sure about the bearings because the engines are together. I hope you can post a picture of yours Biggs and I'll try to do the same.

Jake

-Home of John Studebaker-
http://community.webshots.com/user/Stude4x4

Roscomacaw
11-28-2006, 07:11 PM
I think you can clearly see the keystone in this shot. This is at the rear of the engine - beyond it is the B112 serial number that seems to say this engine was prepped to R3/4 standards by Paxton in it's life.

http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/906179/2006/11/28/DSC00011.JPG

Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle!!

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

55studeman
11-28-2006, 08:53 PM
Very interesting thread here. More input and pictures are needed.

To throw my $0.02 in, I was checking out some blocks that someone was selling in my area. He had one that he was keeping that was mixed in with the others. I went over each block, 4 of them, copying serial numbers to look up more info on the blocks.

The one he was keeping was a full-flow 289 (i.e. late block), BUT it didn't have a serial number!! Instead it simply had a symbol. I read on the forums, a long time ago, that this meant that this block was a replacement block and told the guy what it meant and then I didn't think anything of it.

The symbol was NOT Keystone likes Bob's picture, it was "clover leaf". It was looking something along the lines of this "<(o)>" in type writer talk. BUT it was very dark, lots of grease, and my memory didn't capture the symbol very well. There was no serial number after it, and no I didn't look at the back of the block near the distributer...I didn't know until now that the factory stamped there.

The symbol I saw was not like the picture Bob put up so I think Myer may be wrong about people misinterpreting them.

It would be great if someone would post the cloverleaf for the benefit of all of us. I'd go back and take a picture of the block but it'd be a real hassel to me and the other guy who has it.

This discussion still hasn't defined what the Keystone means. Anyone? Anyone out there know? Maybe Jim Pepper or The Thoms brothers may know...might need to call them up if they're not viewing the forum.


One last thing

quote:
Transtar60 wrote:
A replacement HD engine assy would only have a cloverleaf. THIS Information is in the bottom of page vii of the 57-61 Truck parts book,but the 62-64 truck books page vii doesnt mention the cloverleaf just the HD engine numbers. But in the engine section,it describes the cloverleaf HD engines and the components that make it so.(Bottom of page 16). I have heard and seen the keystone symbol on V8s but have not found explanation.

That block I looked at was full-flow, i.e. a late block. According to the info from Transtar, the truck book doesn't mention the cloverleaf for the late blocks only engine numbers....but this block had the symbol but didn't have a number, interesting huh?

E. West
"The Speedster Kid"
Sunny Northern California
Where the roads don't freeze over and the heat doesn't kill you.
And an open road is yours to have -only during non-commute rush hours 9am-4pm and 7pm to 7am (Ha, ha, ha)

Stude4x4
11-28-2006, 09:23 PM
I am wondering if maybe the "keystone" symbol is just an inspection stamp. Since some have seen the same symbol on other parts maybe it isn't really significant. If it is just an inspection stamp, then why different numbers in the center? And why do some have two stamps and others only one? And why do some blocks have no stamps at all?

Jake

-Home of John Studebaker-
http://community.webshots.com/user/Stude4x4

55studeman
11-29-2006, 08:30 PM
Anyone have a picture of the cloverleaf to post? Please. That way it can be seen and people will know the difference between it and the keystone. Like I said earlier, I saw one but it would be a lot of effort for me to go bother the guy who has the block.

Also, what about the keystone? There doesn't seem to be any definitive answer yet as to what it means.


E. West
"The Speedster Kid"
Sunny Northern California
Where the roads don't freeze over and the heat doesn't kill you.
And an open road is yours to have -only during non-commute rush hours 9am-4pm and 7pm to 7am (Ha, ha, ha)