Model A & B

Ford Garage

Valve Cover Variations

1928-31 Model A:

Pictured above are the typical Model A style valve covers. These are machined cast iron covers.

The early upper cover A-6520 was used until May 1929, when the oil outlet port was lowered slightly to reduce oil consumption, and the oil pipe was lengthened to accomodate.

The lower cover shown in the pic above is the later A-6520 and was used from 1929 until end of production. This cover has the oil outlet port in the lowered position on the cover.

Pictured below is the detail of the oil port design found on some very early 1928 valve covers. This cover has six round holes instead of the typical three oblong slots. Also note that the attaching bolt holes are spot-face machined, not as-cast as typically found.


1928 Model A Experimental:


Engine from the Rick & Steve Sturim collection!

Pictured above is an experimental Model A block and valve cover Ford produced in very limited quantities from May through October 1928.

At first glance this looks like a Model B engine, however it is a Model A block with Model A sized valve cover and main bearings, etc., and without any fuel pump provision.

These engines may have been produced for the purpose of studying oil consumption, which was a major effort in Ford engine development at that time, or possibly as a means of studying potential product and manufacturing cost reductions.

The elimination of the oil return pipe, revised valve and lifter oiling, and oil return method are designs which found their way into the improved Model B engine for 1932.


1932-34 Model B:

Pictured above and below is the typical 1932-1934 Model B valve cover, B-6520. This is a machined cast iron cover. The Model B cover is physically larger and not interchangeable with any Model A valve cover.

Note that there is not an oil outlet port on the cover, and the engine uses no oil return pipe.

Also, the oil is routed from the oil pump to the main bearing feed holes in the block through a channel formed by both the block and the valve cover casting along the inside bottom.


Model B Magnesium:


Valve cover and pics from the Troy Quinn collection!

The pic above is the unusual B-6520-M die cast magnesium Model B valve cover submitted by Troy Quinn.

This magnesium valve cover is a genuine Ford USA experimental part, and the only example I am aware of. The cover has the Ford part number formed on the inside by the die cast mold as shown below. Also note that the part number suffix is '-M', indicating an experimental manufacturing part.

At my next opportunity, I will investigate any remaining drawing records at the Benson Ford archives for this part number.

It may be that this was a limited production part Ford was evaluating for potential cost savings. Though magnesium is a premium material cost over iron, the magnesium cover is die cast and requires no foundry operations and no secondary machining operations and generates very little casting or machining scrap.

From January 1931 until November 1932 Ford also produced some experimental die cast magnesium timing gear side covers, as described in a related web page listed below.


More related web pages on Ford Garage:

  1. Model A Oil Return Pipe Variations
  2. Model B Russian GAZ Valve Cover  
  3. Model A & B Timing Gear Side Cover Variations
  4. Model A & B Camshaft Gear Front Timing Cover Differences

December 2016