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Formulation of AMC cast iron

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flyamerican View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flyamerican Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Formulation of AMC cast iron
    Posted: Jan/23/2014 at 8:37pm
Everyone knows that AMC engines used high-nickel castings that were better than the other guy's casting, right?  Well, maybe not.  I can't find one shred of evidence, in many hours of research, on why we think that.  All that I find are opinions and hearsay.  I also find the same opinions and hearsay about Chevy, Ford, Cadillac, Studebaker, and probably any other make of engine.  The only solid data I could find was where one guy on a Stude forum produced a factory document that stated the mix for the blocks - no nickel at all.  We all want to believe our AMC stuff was better than the run of the mill stuff from the big 3, but I bet we'd all rather know we are factual in saying so!  I've been sent to a specific publication for the data by one of the icons of our hobby, and it was a dead end.  Another icon says he's sure of the fact that AMC used an alloy, but can't verify the source.  To qualify the data, I'd want it to be from a genuine AMC source document (probably not a sales brochure) or info based on quantitative testing of actual AMC blocks and heads.  I know I'm opening a can of worms here, but it would be nice to know once and for all if this "high-nickel" talk is fact or myth.  Specifically, I'd like to try to get the answers to the following: 1) The formulation used for Gen 1 V8 blocks and heads, 2) The formulation for Gen 2 & 3 V8 blocks and heads, and 3) Were the I6's the same formula?  I ask about the heads because of various claims about the seat hardness, and because the color of the metal in the casting of my factory 360 block is a very different color than that of the original 291C heads.  I hope someone out there can enlighten us!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SnakePlissken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/23/2014 at 9:35pm
Some makes you mention had lower nickel in some of their engines. The 2.5 GM Iron duke, for example was one of them. Certain year 305 Chevrolet's were low as well. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote M+M Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/23/2014 at 9:38pm
I have spoken to a few metalurgists regarding this topic as well as the actual purpose of nickel which creates tensile strength(flexibility) Not "hardness".... I am talking with one of these out of Atlanta and will be sending samples cut from various heads/locations/castings etc. They have already debunked all the high nickel content myths in the chevy world such as the fabled 10 10 20 blocks that were even published in books etc as being high nickel hi po etc. They all agree that the high nickel myths are one of the biggest misconceptions and misunderstandings out there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fast401 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/23/2014 at 9:55pm
Just ask a machinest about tooling life when they do AMC engines.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M+M Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/23/2014 at 10:02pm
Originally posted by fast401 fast401 wrote:

Just ask a machinest about tooling life when they do AMC engines.  

What would you like to know??LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote M+M Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/23/2014 at 10:08pm
Forget the word Hardness.... as someone said... Glass is HARD as heck, but would make a lousy engine block... Tensile Strength... Strength and Flexibilty, Cast Iron by itself is extremely Hard, but very brittle, easy on tooling, add a little nickel and a few other alloys to the matrix, its not as brittle and becomes "tougher" but is it hard to machine AMC?? Absolutely not, HSS and Carbide walk through it like butter, just like the others..... how much factual nickel is in the AMC matrix and what does different castings test out at... we shall find out. Then we can take those numbers and compare to other brands matrix. And at the end of the day what will all this accomplish... absolutely nothing really.LOL Its just easier to debate and dish out keyboard beatings with actual facts.LOLLOL

Edited by M+M - Jan/23/2014 at 10:23pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Budwisr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/23/2014 at 10:32pm

The AMC grey iron used chromium to improve hardness and strength. It takes very little chromium to improve the hardness and strength of grey iron as opposed to nickel which takes a much higher percent. Chromium also improves the temperature properties of grey iron. I beleive only all out race engines used high nickel content as it is expensive and very difficult to machine.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Class Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/24/2014 at 7:53am
From the AMC blueprints for the 951 casting 401 block. This may not be applicable to the rest of the AMC engine line.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Budwisr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/24/2014 at 8:54am
Originally posted by Class Guy Class Guy wrote:

From the AMC blueprints for the 951 casting 401 block. This may not be applicable to the rest of the AMC engine line.

 I've read that AMC used the same specs across it's engine line. That may have changed at some point when their production went up. From what I've been told, anything over .35% chromium is extremely high and graphite needs to be added to prevent "hard edges".

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buzzman72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/24/2014 at 11:23am
I talked once with a fellow who had worked at the International Harvester foundry at their now-defunct Louisville, KY works.  He said that, since the foundry and the assembly plant were on the same premises, a lot of the "recycles" that went onto their steel came from the plant.  It was his OPINION--and I stress the word OPINION-- that their cast iron likely had a higher content of steel in in than what the metallurgical engineers had intended.

I would wonder if other foundries had similar stories, as far as their "recycles" are concerned.  I know the "recycles" would affect the content of their castings, but I have no idea to what degree.

Anyone here have any foundry experience to add?
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