Data plate from a Melrose Park Buick engine.
A view of the almost completed factory in Melrose Illinois. This is a south facing view.
Buick executives and military brass looking over some of the numerous parts of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Liberator engine. There were 863 different parts for the R-1830 engine with the duplication of parts used in the completed engine being 6,266 total parts per engine.
Parts being laid out in their respective sub assembly’s at Melrose. Click here for another view.
This machine would shrink the steel barrel of a piston cylinder to the aluminum head. The barrel and head were attached by the screw and shrink method. Both of these parts were made in Flint but sub assembled in Melrose. As stated earlier, the final machine work on the barrel was done at the Melrose facility. It is estimated that 50% of all machining and assembly was shared between the Flint and Melrose plants.
The three parts of the crankcase creating a single engine crankcase. This is called the “Power Unit”. The assembled crankcase is now painted in dark green. At the bottom is the blower section. At the top is the cam component. This unit is actually six different sections.
Part of a crankcase being inspected and the break-in room. You can super enlarge just about any photo on this blog for viewing small details. The way this is done is a little different depending on which browser is used.
Wire loom sub assembly. This photo was obviously taken at the exact same time as the one below, judging by the reflection in the upper left corner. Another view.
The tracks that these assembly stands moved along in remind me of the old craft method of assembly..see this photo.
The break-in room with 84 test stations. Here is where the engines would have what was called a “Green Test” which would last for six hours. Once this test run is done the engine is completely disassembled and the parts checked for any defect reminiscent of the way Henry Leland did the Cadillac engines during the late teens and early twenty’s . Once the engine is reassembled it is sent to the final test cell and run for a further three hours to make sure it is producing the power it is required to. Notice the slip coupling in place on the prop shaft of this engine. This allowed the alternator to run at a constant 900 RPM. no matter what the actual speed the engine was running during the initial break-in run. You can super enlarge just about any photo on this blog for viewing small details. The way this is done is a little different depending on which browser is used. Notice the soda bottles under the engines when you enlarge the photo.
Packaging engines for the trip to Willow Run Michigan. The huge Ford bomber assembly plant where these engines are headed was so near to the Melrose factory that no protective vacuum packaging was required. The vacuum packaging was for engines going into storage for future use. Links: Maintenance and service manuals complete. World War II Archeology in England R-1830 “Twin Wasp” Radial Engine prop-shafts Journey Through Buick. B-24 Liberator Liberator Engine work at Buick. Buick At It’s Battle Stations