Grey Motor

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This is a WIP originally submitted by T:

Grey 138 cu in Holden Six Cylinder Engine. Photo by Stock EJ.

Grey Motor History:

Early Grey Motor History:

Submission by Dr Terry (Bebbington)

1. All Holden Grey motor blocks were cast at Fishermans Bend, with the except of the hand-full of prototypes. 2. Similarly all Grey cranks were forged at Fishermans Bend, except the prototypes. 3. The prototype blocks were cast in Michigan USA (by the company CWC), not in Canada. 4. There were several changes made to block castings over the years, but a major change occurred at Eng No. 37832, where the cylinder walls were reduced in thickness for improved cooling. The change in welch plug size also occurred at this time. In those days casting techniques weren't as precise as they are today & cylinder bore centering was always an issue. Obviously some improvements to this were made between 1948 & 1951 when the 'improved' block was introduced. 5. Speaking to many old speedway & racecar engine builders of the era, their aim was to find an well-centred early block (with the thicker cylinder walls, which they identified by the welch plug size) to gain maximum bore size. They had no concerns with overheating as you would in everyday traffic usage & besides by the time they bored out the block it would have had thinner walls than your average stocker. They often bored a dozen or so blocks before they found a good one, which didn't go thru to the water jacket. 6. I have seen a picture of the CWC casting logo, which David Hayward has mentioned, but that was many moons ago & I'm damned if I can locate it now. You could understand how it could be mis-read as CWO. 7. I've never seen anything in official literature or in the flesh to prove the existence of a Canadian block. 8. If I was building a performance Grey motor nowadays, I would find a good EJ block. As others have said it is 15 years younger, most likely would have 15 years less water corrosion damage & made using more improved techniques than in 1948.

Regards Dr Terry (Bebbington)

Grey Motor Engine Numbers:

Submitted by FB_MAD on Mon, 13/03/2006 - 23:44.
If its any help and briefly speaking the grey motor engine numbers were
FE/FC "L" prefix then a number
FB/EK "B" prefix then a number
EJ "J" prefix then a number
FX/FJ were just straight numbers with no letter prefix although some FJ's did have a "U" prefix then a number.
A history of
can be found here.

Coolant Loss:

Grey Motors have Welch Plugs behind the Side Plate that can leak Coolant into the Oil.

Grey Motor Tappet Adjustment:

Submission by Jacks.
To adjust Tappets correctly the engine should be HOT, Remove the air cleaner and rocker cover then if you restrict the oil flow from the "OIL BLEED HOLE" where the connector is at the two halves in the middle of the rocker shaft, then this in turn would stem the flow of oil dripping from the head and going onto the floor etc
The engine at a slow Even idling, adjust the clearance between the rocker arms and ends of the valve stems (check for the recommended specification)
Grey Motor Oil Thrower Plate. Photo by JUICED. Click to Enlargen.
Grey Motor Oil Thrower Plate. Photo by JUICED. Click to Enlargen.

Important Note:

For the correct clearance, assume that the rocker arm contact face has been machined that there is no valve stem impressions on the rocker arm contact face as the feeler gauge will give a false reading.
Don't forget to remove the restriction after the adjustments to the tappets, the top cut out of an old rocker cover, is good as well to keep the oil at bay Refit rocker cover, and at if need be fit new rocker cover gasket, Don't over tight the screws keep going around and just nip them evenly.

Rocker Oil Supply:

The Rocker Oil Supply in a Grey Engine is fed to the Rocker Gear by a Pipe located behind the Side Cover.
Grey Motors have Welch Plugs behind the side Plate that can leak Coolant into the Oil. Click to enlargen. Photo by Stepto and Son.
Evidence of a blown Head Gasket or a blown internal Welch Plug behind the Side Plate in a 138 Grey Motor. Photo by Scott4571. Click to Enlargen.
A blown Head Gasket or a failed Welch Plug behind the Side Plate could be a cause of Coolant Contamination in this 138 Grey Motor.  Photo by Scott4571. Click to Enlargen.
The Side Cover removed from a Grey Motor showing the Pushrods and Rocker Oil Supply Pipe. Click to enlargen.  Photo by Stepto and Son.
The Pipe in the centre of the Image shows how the Oil Supply is fed to the Rocker Gear from the Block Galleries. Click to enlargen.  Photo by Stepto and Son.

Adjustable Tappets:

Grey engines used solid lifters as standard and so used adjustable tappets. Hydraulic lifters were fitted from red engines on.

To Carry Out These Operations:

The engine is cold so rotate the crankshaft, clockwise.
Check that No. 1 piston is at T.D.C. on the compression stroke, then turn No. 1 Inlet Valve rocker arm to get the zero clearance between the valve stem and the rocker arm, you should be able to feel this by hand as you will notice that all the side play of the push rod has been eliminated.
Then when you get to this position you then turn the rocker adjusting nut by an additional Half Turn to bring the tappet plunger to the midway position of its travel.
Then do the same to the Exhaust valve while still at the No 1 Cylinder.
Then repeat the same same adjustment to the remaining cylinder's the rockers will now no longer need any further adjustments. Refit rocker cover and if need be, fit new rocker cover gasket, Don't over tight the screws, keep going around and just nip them evenly.
End of submission by Jacks.

===Benefits of Falcon Rocker Gear:===

Submission by Oinks308.

When I owned my FX Holden it had a Speedway motor fitted to it and when we fitted the cam up I accidentally mixed up 132 Pushrods with the 138's (they're shorter) and came up with no way to lock down the adjusters, one day at the old Car Dump I stumbled across a set of Rocker gear from an early 60's Falcon long motor (144ci/170ci?) and I oiled up the Grey's Rockers and threaded these directly into them.

They are a self locking hollow nut and work brilliantly, no more struggling with a ScrewDriver and Spanner over tightening them and closing the gaps, just a twitch on the socket or ring spanner and it was adjusted, a fluke on my part but a brilliant mod to an otherwise awkward way of adjusting the Rockers...

Maybe this could help some old Side Platey Nut out of a bad situation?
Think of this; Shorter PushRods would surely mean less chances of bending under high Rev's? (Which was how I ended up having to change my pushrods originally, 132 to 138 can have its draw backs and yet... advantages... ;{)
End of submission by Oinks308.
Grey Motor Pushrods. Photo by Stock_EJ. Click to Enlargen.

Grey Motor Pushrod Lengths:

FX-FJ 10.305" / FE-FC-FB 10.4" (+/- .015") / EK-EJ 10.212" (+/- .015")  

Manifold side of a 132 Holden grey motor. Click to Enlargen. Photo by THS Automotive Project.


62_EJ's Shed

Valve Lifter Thread

Grey Motor Oil Slinger Thread

Water In The Oil Thread

THS Automotive Project's Shed

Grey Motor History