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Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

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Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  xtal_01 on Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:28 pm

I was just making up a list of parts to order and I saw that some of the new cox engines have a cast aluminum body. They say something like "superior heat dissipation" ... is that true? Or is this just a cheaper way to build a motor?

Just curiosity

Thanks ..... Mike
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Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  ticomareado on Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:38 pm

It was a relatively brief (time span and numbers produced) retro effort at pressure casting a crankcase with product cost cutting as primary aim. It failed in that regard due to excessive production rejects. I don't know anything about cooling theories related to the matter.
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  Mark Boesen on Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:57 pm

...from what i know/heard, it was a cost move as the machinery to turn the extruded stock was sold off or no longer feasible, there were more than normal 'off center' cast cases, but most were fine.

Mudd?
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  Oldenginerod on Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:42 am

Typical of die-cast, I expect that these cases were probably a little more fragile than the extruded version, but there's no reason to assume that quality and durability isn't as good as any of the numerous other 1/2A engines produced this way. I also imagine that the cast case would be a little lighter as well. As for improved heat dissipation, this could well be the case, with the cast-in strengthening gussets acting as cooling fins. I'm not sure how necessary this would be and doubt that it was their original intention when designing them.
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  Surfer_kris on Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:16 am

To me the casted ones wear out a faster, and they could really benefit from a bronze bushing (a retrofit that has been used). During the break-in of the engine there is a lot of black goo coming from the crankcase front, and this only stops once the crank is really sloppy in the bore.

I don't think that they have any advantages for the end user...
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  KariFS on Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:31 am

I read a story that the cast case was an attempt to save costs. But it was soon found out that the extruded version was both easier and cheaper to manufacture after all. The RC Bee was the only ”stand alone” engine to use the cast case, it was a short-lived model too, quickly replaced by the Dragonfly.

There is a lot of cast cases out there, so there were probably big plans for it. Were they used in product engines, or are they all just surplus?
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  Ken Cook on Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:37 am

Larry Renger came to Philadelphia and he got together on a Thursday evening to have dinner with a bunch of our club members. I had this same discussion with him as to why the die cast cases. His response was , I thought they threw all the s#^t out. He certainly wasn't a fan of them.
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  Tee Bee on Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:55 am

I've been leary of those cast-cased .049s for years, having read about various problems with accelerated wear as already mentioned. Oddly enough, my sizeable Cox collection doesn't include any of those, so I have no experience with them. I've been tempted to try one of those Pink Panther versions from Cox Int but never caved in because....it's pink. Smile. Maybe I should try it with a HD crank and a drilled out backplate. Call it a Killer Panther, Pink Death, Sissy Bee, or Nitro Tuscadero. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Sorry, I'll cut back on the caffeine now.

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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  KariFS on Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:05 am

This is the only cast case in my household:



I also have thought about getting a couple of those cases for some kind of a custom build. It might look nice polished Huh...
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" Call it a Killer Panther, Pink Death, Sissy Bee, or Nitro Tuscadero. Yeah, that's the ticket!"

Post  ticomareado on Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:34 am

Call it a "Pussy Hat Bee". We need more wymin in the hobby.
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" Call it a Killer Panther, Pink Death, Sissy Bee, or Nitro Tuscadero. Yeah, that's the ticket!"

Post  ticomareado on Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:35 am

Put a bronze bushing in it and call it a "Zizz Wheel Bee".
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  rsv1cox on Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:20 am

Are we talking about the St. Patty's day green thing in the center, or is that a different animal?



Got it in a bunch of parts years ago and I'm thinking about making something out of it. A demitasse perhaps because I can't get a good fit with a standard Cox .049 crankshaft.

Bob
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  NEW222 on Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 am

I would believe that yes, they are talking about that St. Patty's day green thing in the center.
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  KariFS on Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:56 am

Bob, regarding the crankshaft fit on the green thing, it looks like it’s painted, is it painted inside too? That would ruin the fit.
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"Are we talking about the St. Patty's day green thing in the center, or is that a different animal?

Post  ticomareado on Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:26 am

What's next? A Chinese diesel tractor engine for your MG?
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  rsv1cox on Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:57 am

ticomareado wrote:What's next? A Chinese diesel tractor engine for your MG?  

Smile - Actually the early MG engines were tractor based.

Kari, there is some trash in the shaft end that could be removed. I think most Babe Bee parts would flesh it out.

Bob
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  roddie on Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:16 pm

Casting (as in traditional "sand-casting") small engine crankcases without sleeves/bushings installed, won't yield a very long service-life. Cox did well with their extruded/billet aluminum crankcases and hard-anodizing process. The fact that we're still running Cox model-engines some 50 years later.. is a testament to superior engineering/design.

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So is there still a market for 049 engines?

Post  xtal_01 on Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:26 pm

So I guess the question I ask is there still a market for 049 e engines?

In my day (late 60's early 70's), I could go to a hobby shop or a quality department store ( in Buffalo, Two Guys comes to mind) and they would have a selection of Cox and Testors u-control airplanes and cars.

I don't even know where I would find a hobby shop around here now ... the places that call themselves hobby shops are really craft shops and might have a few plastic models if you are lucky.

You guys said there were a large number of these engines made .... would there be anywhere near that market today?

I ask because it seems strange to go through all the work of designing a casting in hopes of saving a bit of money. I would think the making of the molds would be very expensive.

If I were given the project and had productions numbers of maybe 100,000 I would just program a CNC machining center to spit them out. No special tooling and you could use stock material.

I might be wrong but I would think the body would be one of the cheapest parts. The piston / cylinder gets expensive just because of the tight tolerances.

Mike
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Forgot to ask .. picture of cox factory?

Post  xtal_01 on Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:27 pm

I forgot to ask ... does anyone have pictures of the cox factory? It would be interesting to see what equipment was used in the day to produce these engines.

Mike
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  roddie on Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:51 am

xtal_01 wrote:I forgot to ask ... does anyone have pictures of the cox factory?  It would be interesting to see what equipment was used in the day to produce these engines.

Mike

Here's a few that I have..









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Cox factory

Post  ticomareado on Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:56 am

You couldn't do this in Kalifornicado today.
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  rsv1cox on Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:17 am

Thanks for sharing those pictures roddie.

Lot's of expensive, heavy duty, precision equipment required to produce such a tiny engine. I would love to see the assembly line putting them together. Probably lots of ladies with small steady fingers.
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  balogh on Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:41 am

xtal_01 wrote:I forgot to ask ... does anyone have pictures of the cox factory?  It would be interesting to see what equipment was used in the day to produce these engines.

Mike

This is what that once busy gem factory looks today at 1505 East Warner Ave. in Santa Ana....converted to a County of Orange, Social Services Agency...when I visited there some 4 years ago, the receptionist still remembered there had been a "toy factory" there before.

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Cox "Toy Factory" to Orange County, Califas DSS building

Post  ticomareado on Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:44 am

So many nuggets of irony to chew on with that, so few teeth.
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

Post  balogh on Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:46 am

I did not mean irony here...just a fake nostalgia of someone who could not have even enjoyed the heyday of COX from behind the former Iron Curtain...
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Re: Why the cast aluminum body on new engines?

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