Building an engine without a head...

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Shaner
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Building an engine without a head...

Post by Shaner » Wed May 15, 2019 7:57 pm

Has anyone ever built an engine out of a solid block of metal with no head?

Basically, cut out the valves and installed everything that would be in the head, but eliminating the head...if that makes sense.

Intake is still there, valves are still there, valve springs, camshaft... just no head gasket and head bolts...its all one piece.

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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by GARY C » Wed May 15, 2019 8:02 pm

Shaner wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:57 pm
Has anyone ever built an engine out of a solid block of metal with no head?

Basically, cut out the valves and installed everything that would be in the head, but eliminating the head...if that makes sense.

Intake is still there, valves are still there, valve springs, camshaft... just no head gasket and head bolts...its all one piece.
Years ago someone made a headless horseman... :)

What you are referring to was Fords idea behind the Flat Head engine, the "head" per say was more like an access panel to install the needed parts and hold a spark plug.
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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by prairiehotrodder » Wed May 15, 2019 8:05 pm

i was actually thinking about this recently. If a motor could be built where the pistons install from the bottom of the cylinder, eliminate the head gasket and bolts and the head is all one piece with the block. I think i started wondering about this as i did the head gaskets on my piece of junk buick rendezvous with a 3.4 V6.
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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by Dave Koehler » Wed May 15, 2019 8:13 pm

Look up any number of radial aircraft engines.
I suppose you could bolt something similar to a basic crankcase.
Is it doable? probably
Is it feasible? not in the least.
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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by stealth » Wed May 15, 2019 8:18 pm

I saw a video of Mack trucks engine plant from years ago where they loaded the piston and rod from the bottom...

I rembers thinking...would you look at that..lol
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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by Baprace » Wed May 15, 2019 8:19 pm

I think Offenhauser "OFFY" engines are built with cylinder and head as one piece. Pistons go in from the bottom.

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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by exhaustgases » Wed May 15, 2019 8:31 pm

Solid block of metal? I guess its going to be adiabatic. With no head it will be an open hole, so it would have a head just not removable.
So yeah nothing new under the sun there.
The pictures load kinda slow, here is an integral block and head engine, it was mentioned above.

https://www.hotrod.com/articles/assembl ... gine-step/

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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by BILL-C » Wed May 15, 2019 8:33 pm

Cylinders and head are one piece on Offys. No head gasket. Same with many older aircraft engines.
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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by MotionMachine » Wed May 15, 2019 8:35 pm

Bentley had 4 valves per cylinder, roller cam and rockers, integral head in the 1930's.

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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by PackardV8 » Wed May 15, 2019 10:13 pm

Casting the head and block as a unit was quite common in the early days. Several of the Harry Miller designs done by Leo Goosen, including what became known as the Offenhauser, were done this way.

Just imagine the difficulty of achieving a precision valve seat when working up through a small diameter cylinder (the Miller 91" straight-eight has a 2.200" bore diameter) and at 45-degrees. There's literally no line of sight; it had to be done by feel.
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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by modok » Wed May 15, 2019 11:16 pm

Offy's, airplanes, old motorcycles. Common pre-war.
Most recent one I can think of is a honda "5 horse" little 160cc guy.
split diagonal crankcase, one cam lobe runs both valves, 25lbs total, very interesting.
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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by digger » Wed May 15, 2019 11:32 pm

I think bmw's last f1 engines the cylinder head and crankcase were a single piece

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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by SchmidtMotorWorks » Thu May 16, 2019 1:32 am

exhaustgases wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 8:31 pm
Solid block of metal? I guess its going to be adiabatic. With no head it will be an open hole, so it would have a head just not removable.
So yeah nothing new under the sun there.
The pictures load kinda slow, here is an integral block and head engine, it was mentioned above.

https://www.hotrod.com/articles/assembl ... gine-step/
Very nice set of images there.
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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by emsvitil » Thu May 16, 2019 2:02 am

Air cooled aircraft engines have a cylinder/head that bolts on to the crankcase.
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Re: Building an engine without a head...

Post by Leftcoaster » Thu May 16, 2019 2:21 am

English designer Brian Hart produced a monoblock 16v 1459cc four cylinder turbo engine specifically for F1

By 1984 the 88.0 mm bore x 61.5mm stroke 415T was producing 825hp at 10,500rpm

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