Friday, February 3, 2012

The R-1830 "Twin Wasp" Radial Engine Crankshafts Journey Through Buick.

Besides the reflection, this is a good view of the liberator crankshaft. On the wall in the rear is a Liberty crankshaft from World War I which Buick also made.

Here we see a fully assembled crankshaft undergoing the fine balance that was required, so as not to have the engine tear itself apart from torsional vibration.

A lot of inspection took place on every part of the Liberator engine. In this photo we see (at left) the crankshaft and (at right) the prop-shaft.

This worker is loading a crankshaft with a powered lift because they are very heavy. This crank does not have the splines cut in yet.

This worker is cleaning out an oil gallery on a journal. I read somewhere that they did this with vinegar.

Notice all the micrometers and dial gauges, this is another inspection area.

I see a lot of different size plug gauges in use here. Some appear to be thread gauges. So I think this procedure is being done for the dampers and counter weights that will take care of any vibration in the finished engine. Are these workers inspectors, or a combination of both assembler and inspector?

Here were seeing many parts being either chromium or nickel plated. At the left we see the articulating rods then beyond that we see the prop- shaft and next to that I see a crankshaft that is showing plugs in place on the throws, so no plating can get in those locations where the dampers will be installed..

Here is another worker performing the (by hand) balancing of the crankshaft throws.

Here we can see on the crankshaft throw (at the left) that the dynamic damper and (damping) counterweights are now installed.

I think we are seeing the first step in determining the counterweights that will be installed.

This is another tough one, but I think these men are doing the final sizing for the dynamic pendulum damper. I see one workman with a dust mask and the many cone shaped collectors coming from the work bench, could be used for collecting any fine residue. I can see what looks to be some master patterns on the work bench.

I think this is just another (of many) inspection stations. The counterweights or dynamic damper has not been installed yet.

This actually looks like lathe work being performed on the vertical side of the crankshaft throw.

I'm thinking that this machine was used for straightening the crankshaft after all the various machining operations.

This may show the final grinding or polishing on the crankshaft throws.

Rough grinding on the vertical surface of the crankshaft throws.

This and the photo above I believe shows the final milling on the horizontal surface of the crankshaft throws.

This looks like the first rough grinding on the journals.

First milling being done on the crankshaft.

Here is a fully machined crankshaft before final assembly
This photo I took at the Sloan museum in Flint, Michigan shows the location that the crankshaft will assume in the "POWER SECTION" of a Liberator engine.

Heat treat furnaces.
First the heat treating in these large furnaces and then the raw forgings head for plant #31
Here is the raw forging after the hammer has done it's work.

Checking the billets.
Here you can see the first roughed in billet made of chromium-nickel-molybdenum steel that will become the heart of a Liberator engine. These will be forged into shape on the giant hammers in plant #03.

This aerial view of Buick shows the two plants that did most of the work for the Liberator crankshaft during WW II. Plant #03 was where the original forging took place and plant #31 was where most all machining and assembly took place. The following links show the Weston -Mott factories 1, 2 & 3 where all this work took place during World War II :

The Weston-Mott Factories At Buick

Weston-Mott Demolition 1946

Army Air Force Training School

Buick At It's Battle Stations

Liberty Crankshaft March 1919

Factory #31 1941

B-24 Liberator

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