Subject:RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: 1917-19 Hendersons numberig Date:Sat Aug 14 12:17:25 2010
Response to:3011
Hello Ross it is me pat from Bendigo I like seeing your bikes you have done a great job on them. do you still have the big motors around?

It has been great to get such feedback to my original message through this forum and from others. Thanks to all who responded.
My background has been in restoring a Detroit 17 engine and Chicago engine which after what has been said I would say is a late 18 as it had to be shipped by early 1919 to Australia. The basic difference between the two is that the oil inlet to the 18 is high on the bottom sump pan compared to half way with the 17. This was no doubt to fit in with the Excelsior internal breakrod connected to the clutch lever. One person suggested that the production models started from September of the preceeding year. This would account for my 2H numbering starting late 1918 in line with the new Z models with the increased cylinder capacity and fit in with the Ballock numbering. I can only assume that the 2H was only put out to get rid of stock as the Z model was the main focus and what better way to do than by exporting it. It would also explain why it seems that there are not many around. My chief concern has been to positively date it as a 1918 bike to fit in with our Australian requirement that only bikes manufactured befor Dec31 can be regarded as Veteran. Up until recently it has been the only pre 1920 bike rallied in Australia for the last fifteen years. I am working on two 19's and over the next two years possible another six will be restored in Aust.

I have oftened been asked what is the value of a 17-19 Henderson. We are in a world market now so if any one could give an appoximation of the bike as in the photo in my article the forum has under photo's of models I would be glad to hear from you.
One last question I have is how could I reduce blowback as I have kept original cast iron pistons with new rings and I know there is some wear in the cylinders? I am loathe to use new aluminium pistons and to bore the cylinders. It runs well so maybe I am asking too much.

Thanks guys for your feedback
Ross weymouth

Pat thanks for the positive evaluation. Normally someone is jealious or upset with me and shows his anger by not paying money he owes to me that was agreed on in a gentlmans agreement.
The key word to my first comment was latent as defined by hidden. For instance "latent heat as used in thermodynamics" my minor.
The changes in the core boxes and drag used in the Detroit bikes give their time period away. Those different years are not indicated by some alphanumeric text. True professional pattern makers are typically eccentric and proud of what they have done so they indicate the changes of years by repairing pattern wear and leaving suttel indicators. The only way to figure out a pattern maker is to get another pattern maker to examine his work.
A pattern like Henderson engine cases is high profile and patter makers can,t resist leaving their marks and yearly changes. An example of latent indicators is the primary machining locator bosses on the KJ upper case. They are so obvious but still so hidden people look at them all of the time and never know it.
I'll save someone the trouble and admit that college math and engineering courses were my highest grades but my highest english score was C-- but normally D's.
So I'll summerize my pattern comments by saying the devil is in the details when it comes to patterns.

Russel I admit as many do you are brilliant however I hate to say it but Steve is correct I own many Detroit Henderson's and have about a dozen or so here to be rebuilt in the weird years of post 1917 Henderson did odd things I talked with Mike Smith about this when he came to visit me. He asked me why so many of the bikes myself and Mick sold him were all mixed up? I told him after many years of grabbing 100% original bikes Mick and I had made the guess Henderson shipped them that way allot of Henderson's that are found between 17-19 have mixed pot-pure' of parts from different years I also found out other than dates like Steve has said the casting numbers have no change to them why I do not know I discussed the fact with Rotten Richard Morris Like he said they were moving at the time and got rid of spares the motor is the same other than in 19 the gen came on the front of the motor and it increased to 70 c.i. round fenders and smalls..Between all of our Detroit collections we have noticed the castings are the same. If we could get mick to weigh in it would be great I know and have pictures of his 100 plus Detroit's he owned He has also built more Detroit motors then anyone on the planet. I will call him tonite to get him to write in.


Steve your not correct, I don't have a stack of cases in front of me at this time to examine and point it out but the date information is part of the castings. It is latent data but it is there but I am the first to admit that I don't know everything about castings...bottom pours, hot tops, hanging pockets, loose patterns, stack pours, zip slip and don't forget when to use potatoes.

Russell, you are apparenly not familiar wih the Detroit Henderson case castings. Unlike, K, D and KJ, the Deroit cases do not have casting dates. Even though, the brothers sold to Scwhinn in 1917, the blocks for 1918 and 1919 carry the same part numbers in the books. There were either sufficient cases cast in 1917 to carry over or the 1917 patterns were used as Schwinn and his engineers contemplated the new K bike for model year 1920. The upper case carried a boss on the left side of the flywheel for a stamping. The engine number was also stamped on the thin flange above the timing gears with a corresponding stamping adjacent on the timing cover and the pan was stamped as well. There were also multiple internal stampings of the engine number on main bearing caps, obviously to insure a matched motor on subsequent tear downs and rebuilds after initial assembly.

Im trying to answer this from my phone so if the message is mixed up you will understand. This wont help with your original request but it may be of interest. Yo have seen the alphanumeric data on you upper and lower case that has a date with it. That cast in date does not help you much as it was pattern and casting information. Those large parts were cast in large lots every month or so. also there were multiple patterns involved that could cause further confusion without the pattern identification numbers. So you could have a case from last year with everything else being correct. I hope this at least interesting. I have posted more information on this subject in an earlier posting under my name. Sorry i dont have the post number, Russell----- ORIGINAL MESSAGE FOLLOWS -----
Ross, the quick answer o your question is that no accurrate numbering system from the factory exists today. The closest list known was one prepared by Ballock, a St. Louis dealer, that you may have seen. The 1917 models never carried a letter designation on the motor. I owned one that was 87xx and have never seen or heard of a '17 motor reaching five digits. Ballock shows the 1918 models o carry an "H" prefix and the '19 models "Z" or "2Z". I did have a case with the "2H" as you, so that numbering sequence obviously existed. I've noticed frame numbers all the way up to KJs but I've never been able to figure out a correlation with the motor number.Some years ago, I had an opportunity to look through the contents of the Schwinn Library that were transferred to the AMA Museum. I specifically looked for annual production info, serial numbers, numbering sequences,etc but could not find any. While many of Will Henderson's original plans for the Detroit years models were saved, there was scant little other info except for a few catalogs. There wasn't much of anything for the '18-19 years period. While more info existed for K model and up, it wasn't as much as to be expected and there seemed to be a "hole" in it for the period '25-26. Starting with K model and later, I think the Ballock list becomes fairly accurate based on the bikes and motors I've seen over the years but it would be nice to have more factory data.This is the best I know but perhaps somebody can add more. ----- ORIGINAL MESSAGE FOLLOWS -----Hi,I have only recenly got onto this forum as I thought it was only for KJ's. I noticed the forum had the article on my restoring the 1917-19 down under. Since that article got around I have restored the original engine and am now working a second 1917/18.The reason 1919 was mentioned in the article is that there is a numbering system around that has a 2H engine put out in that year. I dispute that as the sumps on my 2H were made in May 1918 and the bike was first registered early in 1919 and it would have taken up to two months to be shipped to Australia.If any one has acurate numbering for the 1917 to 1919 bikes with both frames and engines I would be keen to get a copy. The numbering on the frame I am currently working on was rusted out, hence my query.