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"Seasoned" Blocks

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  • #16
    I guess I will put the salt and pepper and the ketchup bottle back in the kitchen .
    Bez Auto Alchemy

    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


    • #17
      Studebaker did NOT "season" their castings. After a brief period of cooling, the castings went to shakeout then were sent down a long cooling conveyor line that ran down the outside of the south side of the foundry. From there they went to the cleaning room. Castings were ANNEALED before machining. This served to eliminate hard and soft spots in the castings due to cooling differences in metal thickness. As far as castings being "frozen" the temps involved aren't low enough to be effective. Cryogenic treatment of parts for racing use has been proven to be effective but it involves soaking the parts in liquid nitrogen (at temps around -300 degrees F) and returning them to room temp over a period of hours. There is often a heat cycle involved in the process. While some manufacturing business' have the lead time and space to leave castings to age out in the elements, neither Studebaker nor their competitors did. In the case of castings that were in constant production (as opposed to batch production) the lead time was usually a matter of days or weeks between pouring and installation. FWIW, Powermatic, a manufacturer of quality wood working equipment was one of those companies who left fresh castings to weather for several years before use.
      Last edited by R2Andrea; 10-10-2010, 02:48 PM.


      • #18
        Could this be referring to that red paint-like coating they put on the inside of the block to seal it?

        I seem to recall talking to a guy into go-carts a few years back who talked about having the aluminum engine blocks frozen to very low temps as some sort of process to improve the strength of the metal. Could have been BS though. Studebaker was always broke so I bet even if this worked they would have scrapped the process.

        For what it is worth the casting dates on my Champion block and head are only a week or two before the build date on my production order. I bet the metal was still warm from machining when they assembled that engine.



        • #19
          "Cryo-freezing" is used on rifle barrels where absolute accuracy is paramount. It's a very exacting process which freezes the grain within the steel and makes for a straighter, more accurate barrel. It's a slow and expensive process so few are done, but for certain uses it serves a good purpose.

          I can see where it can be useful for automotive purposes, but casting techniques have improved so much it probably isn't really necessary except for specific purposes like racing. The costs involved for mass production are likely too high for too little return in longevity.
          Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.


          • #20
            I believe that the red-orange coating inside the block and lifter valley is actually GE "Glyptal" paint which is another old racer's trick that Stude used on all their engines... not sure why Stude used it but the explanation I've heard is that it smooths over roughness and porosity in the block casting and helps oil return to the sump from the heads more quickly. And we all know that a Stude V-8 needs all the help in that department that it can get!

            55 Commander Starlight


            • #21
              The glyptal paint was as much for rust prevention as anything. Stude service blocks sat in midwest humidity in unheated warehouses for months and years. Unprotected surfaces rusted. Even up here in the northwest, the pressure wash machine we use has a caustic solution. If cast iron or steel isn't immediately rinsed carefully, it will flash rust within an hour. We wash, rinse, machine, paint the cast surfaces and oil down machined surfaces in the same day.

              Years back, painting the inside of the lifter valley and the underside of the crankcase had a brief fad among hot rodders. Today, in most race shops I've visited, they spend hours grinding off any casting flashing and smoothing rough areas, wash everything three times and then build on bare iron or aluminum.

              jack vines


              • #22
                I remember reading that the Chapparal racing cars of the '60's were built using used chevy blocks taken out of school bus service, and then built into racing engines.

                I finally have a Stude I can drive! (sort of)
                1962 GT Hawk, 4 speed, a/c