Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Riley 4 Port Alloy Head

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by MarkF, Aug 15, 2020.

  1. MarkF
    Joined: Jan 7, 2020
    Posts: 23

    MarkF

    I have an alloy 4 port Riley head and I'm looking for some info. It's old and unfinished and has a huge inlet manifold. It all appears to be in good condition but the machining was never finished. Anyone have any info? I'm after any history and any dimensions for rockers etc. so parts could be made to get it finished.
     

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71, Lepus, KiWinUS and 2 others like this.
  2. BLACKNRED
    Joined: May 8, 2010
    Posts: 323

    BLACKNRED
    Member

  3. waxhead
    Joined: May 11, 2013
    Posts: 1,173

    waxhead
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from West Oz

  4. Where are you located?
     

  5. xix32
    Joined: Jun 12, 2008
    Posts: 510

    xix32
    Member

    WOW ! That's a rare item. I owned a normal cast iron one once, but never knew any were made in aluminum.
     
  6. moonlight graham
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 158

    moonlight graham
    Member
    from wyo

    Most likely a later casting like mine. They've been casted several times over the years and mine was casted by Vesco I believe in the 1980's. Im interested to see its cast for Winfield carburetors and not the easier to find Stromberg's. The Riley runs like a scalded dog and is actually faster than my flathead roadster.

    Geoffrey
    IMG_0560.jpeg IMG_0561.jpeg
     
  7. MarkF
    Joined: Jan 7, 2020
    Posts: 23

    MarkF

    Thanks All,
    I'm advised from the octogenarian that owned it that it's from late 30s early 40s but hey who knows for sure. I'm told that George Riley moved to the 4 port in the late 30s and began casting in alloy shortly after that, I believe the alloy example in the Museum of American Speed (photo below) is classed as a Riley manufactured head. The oxidization of the head and manifold shows aging but again who knows for sure......more importantly I would like to find the rockers etc. or dimensions to machine them, thanks to all for your assistance with this and hopefully someone will have a lead on info.

    Many thanks,
    Mark.
     

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71, winduptoy and KiWinUS like this.
  8. 20200815_192631.jpg 20200815_192656.jpg 20200815_192730.jpg Riley's were all cast iron before WW2 the alum ones after the war. If it's one of those Riley made the spark plug inserts are steel. The one stud hole near the water pump goes thru the water jacket. Vesco and Butlers still used the original patterns but Butler made some changes like fixing the pattern so the stud didn't go thru the water jacket. Photos are of one of Butlers rockers. Length is 3 5/16 ,width is 2 5/16 , height is 1 3/8, shaft hole is 5/8 These are all rough casting sizes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  9. MarkF
    Joined: Jan 7, 2020
    Posts: 23

    MarkF

    That's excellent information and thank you for the rocker dimensions as it's a huge help. Do you know if it is possible to source rockers or is making a set the only option.
     
  10. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,163

    51 mercules
    Member

    Where are you at? That looks a lot like mine. If you look at my album My Riley 4 Port I have more pic's there. I can give you some history of mine. Mine was cast by George Butler who had the original patterns from George Riley, I think he got those from Vesco. George Butler sold the patterns a few years back, but i don't know to whom. They were selling them in a model a parts house behind Colton Auto Parts owned by Rick James. Somewhere I have a sells pamphlet.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
    kidcampbell71 and loudbang like this.
  11. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,163

    51 mercules
    Member

    My bronze rockers![​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  12. I believe you will need to make your own. Very little 4 port stuff out there. The one in the photo goes to an unmachined Butler I have. If you are not going to use Winfield carbs I would be interested in the intake as long as the intake ports are 1 3/4 and it's not for D size Winfields.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  13. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,811

    The37Kid
    Member

    Are the springs just normal springs or is there a cup type deal in the aluminum bore? Never seen this much info on the Aluminum Riley 4Port, had a cast iron one dated 1934 back in the 1970's. That Intake is setup for Riley side draft carbs I believe. I'll dig out my Riley book and post what I find tomorrow. Bob
     
    kidcampbell71 and loudbang like this.
  14. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,163

    51 mercules
    Member

    Here's few more pic's of my Riley for comparisons.
     

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71 and loudbang like this.
  15. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,811

    The37Kid
    Member

    [​IMG] Rockers look so much better than the early ones, do they get pressure oil some how? Bob
     
    kidcampbell71 and loudbang like this.
  16. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,163

    51 mercules
    Member

    George Butler improved the rockers! There are a couple threaded ports on the side of the head to bring the oil up. It's pressurized. Here's a pic I borrowed from the HAMB . I talked to an old racer and he said they soaked a sponge in oil? Don't know if it's true or not.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
    kidcampbell71 and loudbang like this.
  17. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,811

    The37Kid
    Member

    Felt pads soaked in oil were common back in the 1920's - 1930's, most races were 20-25 laps. Bob
     
    loudbang and 51 mercules like this.
  18. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,163

    51 mercules
    Member

    Cool!
     
  19. I use felt pads on the 35 head in my roadster. Can go roughly 100-125 miles before I need to re oil them. 20200115_140058.jpg
     
    kidcampbell71 and 51 mercules like this.
  20. Binger
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,718

    Binger
    Member
    from wyoming

  21. hardtimesainit
    Joined: Jan 24, 2009
    Posts: 454

    hardtimesainit
    Member

    Hey Mark,
    Someone asked...where you located. Good question, as if your close to anyone here, you can come inspect/measure/pictures, etc, eh..

    There are some parts out there yet. I passed on a nos set of riled rocker parts when this canada guy started playing games. They ended up in Oregon. My opinion, most stuff still in existence is in possession of OLD timers and collectors.....I've seen it myself.

    Yours may be a Riley or Butler clone or other clone. I have a nos alloy 4 port with manifold by...Norman Frick. Both polished. I sold off several original cast iron Rileys...due to no available rocker parts. If you know a casting foundry guy, I'd have the bronze type cast. I believe that Butler made his rocker version of bronze.

    As you know, parts are missing from yours. For what its worth, the original springs/valves were set up with readily available model A parts...a good thing, eh ! My Frick is set up that way., and has pressure oiling. Frick was genious.
    This is interesting if you have side draft Riley carbs, of which there were two sizes....small 11/2" throat; 2" throat.
    Riley used STROMBERG parts...easily available..smart man, indeed ! The 2" were mainly used for racing, whereas the 1 1/2" were ONE of first editions and used for racing. I was told, by the old experts (who had never seen, let alone run these carbs) that you can not run these on street. I have and they do work! You need a stout banger for sure to make use of them.

    The oiling was via felt pads on original RILEY cast iron heads, however, small oiling ports were also added in each rocker tower. My cast iron original 4 port had BOTH. These ports are for adding pressure oiling...a good idea for longevity. I bought the last nos pads/tower gaskets from an ford parts place in Los A.

    My cast iron Riley, with large 2" racing carbs/manifold was assembled by George, as was his custom....when selling to a customer. Sequentially numbered carbs boost this 'story'. Mine was/is used /jetted for fuel, but that is easily changed for gas. I have some both jetting somewhere. Proper jetting is , of course , important. An invaluable source of information about George Riley and his carbs business is in the book. I had three new books but sold one to a friend. This book is scarce, to say the least.

    For a number of reasons, neither of the two 4 ports have been run...health being most of why, now age added.

    My cast iron Riley has a serial number (indicating birth date 35...I think. Havent looked at it for years). On original cast iron heads, most anyway, this number is located where the water pump attached. I say on most heads, because I had one cast iron head that had NONE !
    Trivia...Riley made TWO different cast iron 4 ports....huge intakes and smaller intake ports. Huge were 2" +/- .
    Smaller...about 1 3/4"...better one and last made of the two. The 2" could be 'fixed' (couple ways) for smaller intake port size, however, I just sold it to someone with machine skill and equipment.

    Somewhere, I have information for possible source of parts. Or maybe dreaming again !
    If wanted, I'll add pictures of heads/carbs.
    Rick
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
  22. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,811

    The37Kid
    Member

    There is a Third cast iron Riley, the intake ports were on top, for true down draft carbs. Sold mine to a Bonneville Legend, sure would like to buy it back. Bob
     
  23. MarkF
    Joined: Jan 7, 2020
    Posts: 23

    MarkF

    Hey Rick, thank you for your reply and excellent information. I am based in Carlow, Ireland, now you'll understand my difficulties with parts......I bought the head to run on my B in my sprint car project. I sent the engine to England to get shells fitted and the shaft drilled to get pressure feed to the rods.

    From earlier advice it sounds like the head I have is possibly a Butler cast as the single stud hole beside the water pump flange is fitted with a steel sleeve through the water jacket.

    The manifold and ports are 1 3/4 bore.

    The push rod holes look narrow, were these opened up to a larger size prior to assembling? Same with the oil feed to the valve train, on mine the feed holes are not bored. Any advice on completing this woul be greatly appreciated.

    I have a good foundry near by, I'm going to try to copy the rockers in the photos kindly sent earlier in the conversation my fear is that if I get it wrong I will do damage and I want to avoid that.

    Many thanks for your information if there is an accurate drawing of a rocker arm I would be extremely grateful to see it.

    Mark.
     

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71 and 51 mercules like this.
  24. MarkF
    Joined: Jan 7, 2020
    Posts: 23

    MarkF

    Would anyone have or know of anyone who would 3d scan a rocker? Or have a rocker to sell? I discussed it with the foundry today and they think it's an easy part to make. Any help with this would be appreciated and would get this racecar and its 4 port back on the track.

    Mark.
     
  25. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,163

    51 mercules
    Member

    Here's a cool book if you can find it, it's out of print. Here's also a flyer from a shop that used to sell Butler Riley's, it was behind Colton Auto Parts. I'll ask around on the Rocker.
     

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  26. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,163

    51 mercules
    Member

    You might want to try H&H Antique they had several Riley's at the Big Three Swap in San Diego. [​IMG]
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  27. MarkF
    Joined: Jan 7, 2020
    Posts: 23

    MarkF

    Again many thanks all for your excellent information. I will try track down a copy of the book. What year is the brochure from?

    I'll call H&H today to see if they have a rocker they would sell or scan.
    I'll keep you posted.
     
    51 mercules likes this.
  28. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,811

    The37Kid
    Member



    Get one on eBay right now @$45.00 plus postage. Bob
     
    kidcampbell71 and 51 mercules like this.
  29. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,163

    51 mercules
    Member

    Brochure is from the 80's. Dan Iandola did an article for Rod & custom several years ago that has some good info, also there is a small book
    "Building the 100 MPH Model "A" Ford" By Geo. Riley
    , I think that one is being reprinted.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.