Hudson's Big Brother - HALL-SCOTT ENGINES

KTRONKTRON Posts: 80Member
edited June 2015 in OFF TOPIC

I recently had the opportunity to save an iconic piece of American History, a Hall-Scott Model 177 gasoline engine. For those that have never heard of Hall-Scott, they were a manufacturer of plane, bus, truck, marine and locomotive type gasoline engines. They were located in Berkeley, CA, and built the finest engines America has ever seen. Founder, Elbert Hall & Bert Scott strived to build highly dependable, rugged, high performance engines. Mr. Hall & Mr. Scott competed with Vincent Packard, Ferdinand Porsche, Scripps, Sterling, Waukesha, Wisconsin and other big names in engines at the turn of the 20th century. Elbert Hall was one of the first to adopt the overhead valve engine design, which he pushed forward, bringing about the overhead cam engine design, patented the semi-spherical combustion chamber, built the first V8 engine, as well as the first reliable aviation engines. Elbert believed in redundancy, and precision machining. His engines would run when all others failed. Before WWII if you wanted power you bought a Hall-Scott!

This engine is really interesting because its not one rare engine, its two! This engine started out as a model 175 Hall-Scott engine, 5" bore, 6" stroke, 707 cubic inch displacement, overhead cam, semi-spherical combustion chamber, forged aluminum 7 ring pistons (5 compression, 2 oil control) with an inherent redundancy built into everything! What intrigued me most was that it was designed as an airplane engine, it has a split crankcase like an old McCormick Deering/Minneapolis Moline engine. The engine has liquid cooled main bearings (7 of them), three oil pumps, so it can run on its side or upside down and it has an aluminum crankcase! Hall-Scott advertised the 175 engine as 186hp, and they produced 415 of them. My engine is serial number 300410, just about the last model 175 off the line! (Suggesting an actual manufacturing date of 1937) The 175 was produced from 1928 to 1937 and for whatever reason it sat for five years before a fire municipality requested a Kenworth fire truck with that specific engine. The fire department ran the truck with a 4 speed Brown Lipe 6440 overdrive transmission and a 1250 gallon per minute pump. Only thirty of these engines were installed into Kenworth trucks. Hall-Scott did not win the bid to use these engines in military aircraft, and Packard engines were used instead. These aluminum, lightweight engines were chosen by Brill/Crown, and many found their way into buses. In 1956, one year before Hall-Scott was purchased by Hercules, my engine was rebuilt and transformed into a model 177 engine, which is the same basic engine with a 5-1/2" bore, 6" stroke and 855 cubic inch displacement. The 177 engine was rated 203hp @ 1800rpm, and 690 lb/ft torque at 800rpm with a single 2-1/2" Zenith #5 carburetor. In dual carburetor form it was 245hp @ 1800rpm, and 830lb/ft torque @ 800rpm. Just 173 model 177 engines were made. The cylinder jug and head were replaced to convert the engine from one model 300 series engine to the other. The casting date on the cylinder jug is 3-14-46, ten years before the engine was overhauled by Hall-Scott. The fire truck accumulated 381,000 miles before overhaul and has 38,760 miles on it since rebuild. These are million-miler engines, so 38,000 miles is absolutely nothing for one of these engines. With help of my new friend at the Hall-Scott museum, we were able to find a lot of great information on this engine. Its a marvelous engine, all aluminum, with exception of the cylinder jug and head, the machine work is impeccable and the design is quite ornate. I am literally in love with this engine. I am going to polish up the valve cover and crankcase, and paint the cast iron (cylinder jug/head) red. The water pump is bronze and lots of pieces are copper/brass. The air-maze air filter I may reline with copper perforated metal to give it a real sharp look. I am thinking about eventually putting it into a 1950 Corbitt D-808 truck.


There are only seven known examples of model 177 engines in existence; two are in a museum, one in pieces in a private collection, two 177's are in a yacht in Wisconsin, one is situated in a Franklin Roadster, and I have the other. There are likely only a handful of model 177 engines remaining in Fageol/Brill/Crown buses/Kenworth trucks.

 

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If there is any interest, I will post more. I have started to accumulate lots of Hall-Scott information, including some about the Hudson Built Hall-Scott engines,

Chris

Comments

  • Ducor KidDucor Kid Posts: 220Expert Adviser
    Chris,
    I drove a Crown school bus that was powered by a Hall-Scott engine laying on its side.
    It was a used bus that replaced a Gillic that lost a bus vs crane accident. It run great for being 20 plus years old.

    Larry
  • PaulButlerPaulButler Posts: 842Administrator
    Chris,

    Great story ; please do post more as you dig it out
  • bob wardbob ward Posts: 1,051Senior Contributor
    Very interesting story, thanks for sharing.
  • RL ChiltonRL Chilton Posts: 5,131Administrator, Moderator
    Thanks for posting.  Look forward to future post and pics of your work.  Congratulations on a great find!
  • KTRONKTRON Posts: 80Member
    edited September 2015
    I have not been able to work on my Hall-Scott engine as much as I had wanted to, but I have made some progress I can post. Back in July I pulled the valve cover and cleaned off thirty to forty years of hardened sludge/tar and oil from the underside of the valve cover. To get an idea of the scale of these parts, the valve cover is 45" long, and the valves have a 3/8" diameter stem with a 2-1/2" diameter head!  To my surprise everything under the valve cover looked pristine! The camshaft lobes looked great, and all of the valves and valve springs were in-tact and in good aesthetic and working order. I can't tell you how many over head valve engines I have pulled apart, only to find bent valves and slinky valve springs. As you can see I have a lot of cleaning up to do! The engine typically holds nine gallons of oil, so as you can imagine there is dirty greasy oil throughout the engine which needs to be cleaned up and removed. I imagine the last time this engine had an oil change, paraffin based oil was still on the shelf at the corner store!  Needless to say, the engine turns over with great oil pressure. Without an ignition system wired up, the engine pegged my 100psi oil pressure gauge at cranking speed. Unfortunately I glanced over an open 1/8" NPT oil gallery port when I was cranking the engine, and oil shot up with great force coating the ceiling of my garage! After cleaning up the mess, I buttoned the engine back up, and spent the afternoon removing oxidation from the cast aluminum valve cover. I think it looks pretty sharp! I cannot get over how beautiful and ornate this engine is. This engine is just so meticulously refined for its age; from the tapered slip connection tri-partite exhaust manifolds and intricate aluminum castings to the shouldered crown nuts and safety wired fasteners. Just sitting in the presence of this engine gives you a glimpse of the mastermind that Elbert Hall was.



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    Chris
  • KTRONKTRON Posts: 80Member
    I was actually lucky enough to source a pair of original Hall-Scott porcelain emblems (a universal sign of power)  which decorated the hoods of Kenworth and other over the road trucks in the 1940's and 50's, as well as the engines original sealed (oil filled) finned Delco-Remy 12volt coils.

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    And with a little luck, I may be able to get my hands on this factory dual carburetor intake manifold :)

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    Chris
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3,609Senior Contributor
    That's going to look great shoe-horned into a  Hudson!
  • KdancyKdancy Posts: 2,362Senior Contributor
    I have a picture of a 53 Hudson with a cummins diesel installed. What kind of weight is the Hall Scott?
    Awesome engine, love the history!
  • RL ChiltonRL Chilton Posts: 5,131Administrator, Moderator
    edited September 2015
    Lookin' good, Chris!  Look forward to more progress pics.  Love the valve cover all cleaned up. You know you've got a big coil if it's got cooling fins on it!  ;)

    What's the story on the dual intake?
  • 48rob48rob Posts: 53Member
    What an engine!
    I look forward to the next report and pictures.

    Rob
  • SuperDaveSuperDave Posts: 3,361Senior Contributor
    Think it'll fit in a Jet?
  • charles4dcharles4d Posts: 488Expert Adviser
    i think its from a boat
  • RL ChiltonRL Chilton Posts: 5,131Administrator, Moderator
     A Jet boat. 
  • LanceLance Posts: 794Member
    If I remember reading correctly, during the late 1930's and early 1940's  was about the time that Fred Duesenberg was selling Hudson/Hall Scott 8 cyl engines.  That would have been a very formidable salesman with a very formidable engine.
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