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Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Moderator: Mod Squad

Would you buy a valve cover if Offenhauser made it?

YES! Definitely
7
29%
Maybe, depends on price
10
42%
Maybe, other reasons (please specify)
1
4%
No, just not interested
3
13%
No, price
1
4%
No, other reasons (please specify)
2
8%
 
Total votes: 24
Rusty_Old_F250
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Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #1 by Rusty_Old_F250 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:41 pm

Hello gents,

I've been thinking about cast aluminum valve covers for our beloved 240/300

So the other day I called Offenhauser to ask if they would consider making one. I had a chat with the very nice fellow who answered the phone, who just happened to be the CEO of Offenhauser! (It was pure coincidence!) We chatted for a while and I asked him if he was interested in making a valve cover for the 300-6. He said he'd look into it, especially since they already make intakes.

Cost would be in the low $300 range

My purpose in making this post is to gauge interest in it, what do you say? I've created a poll, please feel free to comment below with any questions/concerns

Also, I need to say I'm not affiliated with Offenhauser at all, I'm just a 300 fan who would like to see this happen -Sam

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #2 by CNC-Dude » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:36 pm

There are already vendors here on the forum creating products for these engines such as this. Just look at the ads at the top of the webpage for details. Also, Offenhauser doesn't make valve covers very well for in lines. There are dozens of threads on the Slant 6 forum with almost 100 complaints of warped gasket surfaces and leaking because of poor QC practices. This is also common on the Chevy 6 valve covers as well. So for those in the know, Offenhauser would not be the first, second or even third choice for people wanting one.
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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #3 by SteveP » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:50 pm

$300+ for a valve cover? No.

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THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #4 by THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:20 pm

I recently consulted with a chap who is tooling up to cast some.

Personally, I like the look of welded up aluminum ones. I like the smooth surface of a good grade of aluminum sheet and all the pretty welds remind me of some performance race engines. I'd sooner have one welded up than pay $300 for a cast one. The last time I looked at a price on the Clifford valve cover they were $260.
FORD 300 INLINE SIX - THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN DRAG RACING

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #5 by Shorty » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:49 pm

welded ones wouldn't crack if they were not perfectly flat. I need to practice with my tig then I can make one of these and maybe a pan for my c6 too.

would .125" be thick enough? 6061 a "good grade"?
85 F150 on 78 bronco frame C6 np205 welded dana44 front, trussed posi nine inch rear. EFI exhaust manifolds into one 2 1/2" rolls on 35x12.5x15 Maxxis Trepador.

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #6 by THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:10 pm

Yes, I have made them from 1/8, 6061 half hard (bendable). But I made the gasket sealing surface from 1/4" thick, because in spite of my best efforts to eliminate distortion I had to plane the mounting surface down on a belt sander to restore its flatness.

You can see one on my avatar car.
FORD 300 INLINE SIX - THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN DRAG RACING

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #7 by Rusty_Old_F250 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:10 am

I appreciate the feedback, keep it coming, I'd like to get at least a couple dozen votes on the poll.

I hadn't heard about the quality control issues, that is interesting. I'll ask them next time I call. I believe they use a milling machine with fly cutter to surface their covers ( video from their instagram feed) which if covers are turning out warped, makes me wonder if there is stress in the casting that is being relieved as it's cut, causing the warpage. A belt sander might (ironically) be better.

Sam

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #8 by arse_sidewards » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:40 am

Shorty wrote:welded ones wouldn't crack if they were not perfectly flat. I need to practice with my tig then I can make one of these and maybe a pan for my c6 too.

would .125" be thick enough? 6061 a "good grade"?


It's not a load bearing part. .125 for a valve cover would be fine. If you want a tall oil fill neck like an EFI cover and want it to tolerate abuse then toss a gusset on it (though you probably don't need it). I agree with what FTF said about the gasket surface. You could also do what Ford did on the oil pan and use some steel strips bolted on top to force it back to being flat.

For a transmission or oil pan on a frequently street vehicle I would consider nothing less than 1/4 aluminum. 3/16" or thicker steel would make me happier. You never know when you'll run over wildlife or something that fell off a truck or other debris in the road. For the time and effort involved in fabricating a pan you may as well build something that will be bomb proof.

Rusty_Old_F250 wrote:I appreciate the feedback, keep it coming, I'd like to get at least a couple dozen votes on the poll.

I hadn't heard about the quality control issues, that is interesting. I'll ask them next time I call. I believe they use a milling machine with fly cutter to surface their covers ( video from their instagram feed) which if covers are turning out warped, makes me wonder if there is stress in the casting that is being relieved as it's cut, causing the warpage. A belt sander might (ironically) be better.

Sam


Any old horizontal, mill, vertical mill or surface grinder in ok shape and operated properly should be able to get suitable flatness for a gasket fit. The casting must have a lot of stress in it if it's so out of shape after being finished that the torque of the bolts cannot flex it flat enough that the gasket can do its job. It's not an insurmountable problem if you know about it. There's a ton of quick and easy ways to check for flatness. What probably happened was they didn't catch the problem at first, did a production run and didn't figured that they has shipped out of spec parts until most of them were in the warehouses of Summit, Jegs, et al. From that point the cheapest/easiest way to solve the problem is to let the customer figure it out and promptly provide a replacement. The catch is that a certain % of people with a leaking valve cover will flatten it themselves and a certain % of those will complain on the internet about it and there's nothing you can do from there.
1994 F150 4x4 8ft, engine is basically stock.

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #9 by CNC-Dude » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:58 am

This is an ongoing issue they have known about for years. The slant 6 guys did a special group buy direct from Offenhauser on three or four separate occasions and had a high percentage of them warped so bad they weren't usable on each buy over a several year period . There was also a YouTube video of a guy from Inliners that shows how warped the Chevy version is and he throws it over his shoulder and you hear it crash and bang around on the floor as he laughs and calls them blankity blank garbage. He has owned many different Offy valve covers for the Chevy inlines over more than 10 years and they all have had the same issue, some decent, but most garbage. Plus, they will not allow use of roller rockers. And they are made overseas.....These might not be issues you are aware of, but it is really old news to the inline crowd. Offenhauser just doesn't have the same quality they started out with 70 years ago, and they really haven't had good quality for a long time. The last new product they had was in the 70's. So they are a no sale at any price to the inline crowd.
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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #10 by Rusty_Old_F250 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:19 pm

Interesting, I am not sure about past runs, but currently they're casting parts at their own foundry, and then finish machining them at their shop.

Sam

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #11 by Rusty_Old_F250 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:45 pm

I just received confirmation that all parts are 100% USA, cast and finish machined in LA, and always have been. If any overseas parts show up with their name on them, they're counterfeit.

If anyone has had issues with quality control they'd like to hear from you, you can get in touch via their website: http://offenhauser.co/

Sam

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #12 by CNC-Dude » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:20 pm

Their group buys were made direct from Offenhauser on all occassions, so no chance of counterfeit products. I'll let the Slant 6 guys know that they may need to re-address their issues with them.
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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #13 by Rusty_Old_F250 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:13 pm

Much appreciated!
Yeah a group buy like that definitely rules out counterfeits.

It's funny how this all got started, I notice a picture they posted on instagram of an intake being milled on an old horizontal mill, so I checked out their feed and saw more old machines (at the time I had a 40's/50's era Cincinnati horizontal mill) and so I subscribed, more to see the machines than anything! They probably have 30-40 vintage delta/rockwell, walker/turner etc drill presses, all in immaculate shape. Some setup as drill presses, some with tapping heads.

Sam

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #14 by MushCreek » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:38 am

I'm still waiting for someone to make a cast valve cover. I've read that some folks are 'working on it', but I've yet to see one. I'm ready to click 'Buy It Now' when the opportunity arises.

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #15 by CNC-Dude » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:25 am

Correct, there is one in the works as the ad banner at the top of the webpage here clearly announces. But this isn't an overnight process and takes much design engineering and R&D to perfect the product.
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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #16 by Rusty_Old_F250 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:12 pm

CNC-Dude wrote:Correct, there is one in the works as the ad banner at the top of the webpage here clearly announces. But this isn't an overnight process and takes much design engineering and R&D to perfect the product.


Very interesting! I took the time to google Marshall, (is that your project?) I've noticed the banner before, never realized it was connected it to a new valve cover, since the banner doesn't lead to anything.

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #17 by 1952ford » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:57 am

YES well worth it.
Lots of "Well we are going to make one" but nobody does unless it is a custom deal.
The answer is Yes interested.
Just not sure there is enough ford Big Six lovers to cover the cost

I bet they make a nice cast valve cover with nice looking ribs

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #18 by 1952ford » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:58 am

MushCreek wrote:I'm still waiting for someone to make a cast valve cover. I've read that some folks are 'working on it', but I've yet to see one. I'm ready to click 'Buy It Now' when the opportunity arises.


:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #19 by CNC-Dude » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:54 am

Rusty_Old_F250 wrote:
CNC-Dude wrote:Correct, there is one in the works as the ad banner at the top of the webpage here clearly announces. But this isn't an overnight process and takes much design engineering and R&D to perfect the product.


Very interesting! I took the time to google Marshall, (is that your project?) I've noticed the banner before, never realized it was connected it to a new valve cover, since the banner doesn't lead to anything.

Sam


Yes, that is mine. The ad banner shows a valve cover in it so I thought that would be pretty clear as to what it is implying. There is an advertisers sidebar to the right side of the screen that shows all the advertisers this forum promotes and endorses. There may have been other enthusiasts on here in the past that had intentions to make products, but I don't think they were intending to make a professional production run out of them, just only one offs for themselves.
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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #20 by ivonius » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:27 pm

Yes definitely if Offenhauser. I love everything they have ever done. I'll buy two!
..bunch of Audis, + building a 67 Triumph Tr4a with 4.9 Ford. Gone but not forgotten: 66 Jaguar XKE (4.2 L6), several Triumphs (TR6 2.5 L6) , a couple of MG's, Datsun 280Z (2.8 L6), 64 Valiant Wagon (225 slant-six), three 57 Chevy's, 62 Impala, two Corvairs, etc; Worked high school & college at a Ford dealer as a mechanic (1968-1974). -Do all my own work

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #21 by Rusty_Old_F250 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:17 pm

Re-posting to bring this back to the top

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #22 by Fordman75 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:18 pm

If I buy an aftermarket valve cover I want a nice classic looking finned aluminum valve cover. I personally prefer no logo on it. Just a nice clean finned aluminum cover.

CNC-Dude I appreciate the work you have put into & are putting into your valve covers. But I just don't care for the look of them. They look a little plain to me. Not enough fins and I don't want a huge logo on mine. It's just my personal preference.

If I'm paying for the valve cover, I don't want to be advertising for the company. I liked the Clifford valve cover except for the big box in the center of it with their logo and some minor QC issues. I've actually milled the logo off one of their valve covers. But then you are left with a big open area. If the company isn't sponsoring me by giving me the parts I don't want their logo plastered all over my engine( unless it says FORD ) . :D Yes I have ground the logo off intakes and other parts.


The fabricated covers can look good on some race engines. They look a little plain to me for a street engine/hot rod. I like the fabricated look better if it retains the original shape of the valve covers. I've seen some that they went with straight sides. Those just end up looking like a stretched sbc valve cover to me. And those look horrible to me.
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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #23 by MushCreek » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:24 am

I swear if I had the CAD/CAM software, I'd make one out of billet! It should be possible, technically.

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Re: Testing the waters, potential for new cast aluminum valve cover.

Post #24 by CNC-Dude » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:55 am

Ted, I understand about the brand recognition. However, historically unbranded items like valve cover, side covers and even intakes have failed to be popular choices to hot rodders, because that was always the bragging rights for faster hot rods with statements like "After installing my Edelbrock heads, I was able to outrun your car that has Offenhauser heads!", or some similar comparison. That's one reason unbranded performance parts don't last, because they don't build any credibility or reputation other than being mostly cheaper and lesser quality. It costs the same to produce a branded part vs. an unbranded part, so why risk wasting your investment on a no name product concept that has never been successful historically. I know a guy that just paid almost $5000 to have a valve cover pattern made including all the CAD work for another inline engine. Would you risk spending that much money on a product that has no name is in a brand driven industry such as the automotive and performance industry? Unless you just have deep pockets and don't really have any expectation of recouping any of your investment, its a bad risk.

MushCreek, I had thought of making a billet valve cover also, and I easily can with my 3D model, but it would just drive the cost up too much on a niche market that isn't really going to spend a lot of money to begin with. So I thought i'd take the approach of keeping the item cost at a more consistent cost that others have already established in the industry.
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