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Thread: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

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    Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    A looooong time ago someone here asked if an F-163 out or a forklift was the same as one in an SA200 and denrep suggested (from experience I would guess) that there is or likely may be some differences with regard to certain block and bolt hole machining. I would venture that Alfred clued him on this as he typically comes across as the smarter of the two.

    That being said, I acquired a "low hour rebuild" F-163 out of a Clark forklift a number of years ago which has just been sitting undercover waiting for the opportunity to see what challenges lie in wait if a conversion to an SA200 were to be attempted. There are the obvious such as a completely different front cover/governor/water pump arrangement that includes an auxiliary drive for the lift hydraulic pump and lack of an oil fill in the standard SA200 block location. On the Clark, the oil fill is on the right side (as viewed from the fan end) of the front cover. As for the governor, the camshaft driven, ball type used for the Clark operates the opposite of the typical Pierce/Hoof of the SA200 in that its operating lever moves in the opposite direction of travel. In other words, if connected to the normal SA200 carb linkage, as engine speed increased the governor would continue to move the throttle to full open position thus unable to limit RPM to the required 1500-1550. This could be addressed by reversing the position of the lever on the throttle shaft but the Clark also lacks the break-away required for use with an idler. And then there's the water pump that has its inlet on the governor side which would require a radiator outlet modification in order to use. Not a viable option IMO.


    So, fast forward to a couple months ago when I acquired a coupe red face machines in a barter deal that have F-163s of which one I was able to get runing (but turned out to burn a little oil) and the other was a bust in that its block requires all (4) cylinders sleeved and intake/exhaust seats installed/replaced in order to be useable. However, it provided the correct front cover, crank pulley, governor and mag to name a few required pieces for a conversion.


    I'll be posting up a total of 15 initial photos in 3 posts so if you'll hold off with any questions/comments until all 3 posts are up you may get your answers automatically.


    The biggest challenge is the standard oil fill location. Without the Clark front cover, there's no reasonable way to fill the crankcase.

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    Thanks to Brink M.E's FIL that provided the machining services to provide the required 1.495" opening in the oil fill tube boss in the Clark block. Machining started with a centering tool (lower left) followed by a pilot (lower right) and then a 1-15/32" bit that everybody just has laying around. Finished to size by "honing" with flap type sanding drum (no photo).

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    Oil fill tube from bad block installed in place by interference fit and Permatex Aviation #3 sealant.

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    Next issue was to address the needle bearing bore for the live idler shaft of the Clark front cover arrangement. In retrospect, the bearing (no photo) could have stayed in place with the 1-5/16" welch plug I used or if removed a cup style plug used instead seeing as the oil feed passage (red line) from the front main bearing (red arrows) had to be drilled/tapped/plugged (again - no photo ) to prevent oil pressure/flow loss thru the drain hole located in the back of the needle bearing bore (light area shown by blue arrow).

    The other item shown here is locating the 7/16-14 threaded hole for the required front cover bolt. The comparable bolt for the Clark front cover is just left of the bearing bore. The hole was located by securing the SA200 front block plate to the block and using a transfer punch to mark it for drilling.

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    New 7/16-14 front cover bolt hole that received a 5/8" counterbore (no photo) to accept the SA200 front cover/block plate alignment bushing.

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    The other "Clark" block hole that required a 9/16 counterbore for the alignment bushing was the 3/8-16 stud hole shown by the yellow circle.

    The (3) lime green circles show the bolts requiring copper washers to prevent oil leaks past the bolt heads. The 7/16-14 bolt in the new hole (white circle) also gets a copper washer.

    The (2) holes indicated by the orange arrows are drilled/tapped 5/16-18 in the Clark block and 3/8-16 in the typical SA200 version. I left these as original but they could be drilled/tapped larger if desired. Either way, the one shown by the blue circle requires a thin head bolt to clear the back of the cam gear.

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    The Clark uses the hollow shaft cam to accommodate the cam driven governor and as it is drilled to allow lubrication from the front cam bearing, the cam nose has to be plugged to prevent pressure/flow loss back to the crankcase. Either (2) 1/2" plugs need to be used ahead of and behind the oil passage leading into the center bore to block oil flow in both directions.

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    I elected to use a length of 1/2" copper tubing coated with Aviation #3 that offered sufficient interference to do the job. The tube was trimmed flush with the end of the cam once driven in place that MUST be done with the cam gear installed to prevent the cam from dislodging the welch plug in the rear of the block in the process.

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    Front cover conversion/installation complete.

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    The Clark front block plate/front cover has a 5/16-18 bolt hole that enters the water jacket and requires a copper washer to prevent a coolant leak.

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    The head used in the Clark doesn't have the bolt bosses/holes in the typical SA200 oil filter location but it clears the gas tank and allows for the high mount starter when installed in the not unusual inverted position toward the rear of the head in the available original Clark location.

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    Opting to go with my preference of a mag, the distributor hole in the Clark head got plugged with an 1-3/8" welch plug.

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    The Clark t-stat housing points in the wrong direction and uses shorter studs that didn't want to budge. So rather than risk breaking them off and having to perform one or more extractions, I decided to just cut down the stud bosses down to work with the existing studs. Left side is complete with right side in the process.

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    On the test stand for a run-in.

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Helluva job Duane! I don't think there will be an attempt on my end to be using a Clark F-163 simply because you showed me not to. Thanks for taking the time & photos for this, you're always very informative. Even if I did have one of those big bits I don't believe my Black & Decker would handle it.
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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Funny story regarding 163s and forklifts... In '04 I bought 6 "White" brand forklifts as a salvage/disbursement sale. One had a mast that could reach 30 ft up. The owner was thoroughly disgusted because all the engines were rebuilt that year and all of them ran hot... Really HOT. I got all 6 for 2.5k, Turns out they had push fans (like an SA200) that were installed backwards. I sold them for 2.5 to 3.5 k each and chuckled all the way to the bank. Oh, it was their guy that put the engines back in the machines.

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by gizzardgutz View Post
    Helluva job Duane! I don't think there will be an attempt on my end to be using a Clark F-163 simply because you showed me not to. Thanks for taking the time & photos for this, you're always very informative. Even if I did have one of those big bits I don't believe my Black & Decker would handle it.
    Thanks gg and glad I could help. Brink M.E.'s FIL has a pretty well equipped shop to say the least and that wasn't the largest bit there either.


    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    Funny story regarding 163s and forklifts... In '04 I bought 6 "White" brand forklifts as a salvage/disbursement sale. One had a mast that could reach 30 ft up. The owner was thoroughly disgusted because all the engines were rebuilt that year and all of them ran hot... Really HOT. I got all 6 for 2.5k, Turns out they had push fans (like an SA200) that were installed backwards. I sold them for 2.5 to 3.5 k each and chuckled all the way to the bank. Oh, it was their guy that put the engines back in the machines.
    Gotta love when those kind of deals fall in your lap. I've seen a pusher fan mounted backwards more than once myself.



    Unit firing up after run-in on the test stand to check for leaks or other issues.

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Nice job!

    Yah, dumbfounding how different two of the same engines can be.
    It can start with one digit being different in the spec number, and before you're through, end with almost every last part having been changed.

    So is there a leftover distributor drive-shaft?
    Last edited by denrep; 12-28-2015 at 07:34 AM.

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    I'm with denrep also, it's amazing the amount of differences in the same model engine. I wondering if the F162/163 engines for welder use was more common than the forklift models. I know there are more forklifts made than engine drive welders but those engines were used in all kinds of applications. Anybody want to guess? I'm sure we have some continental gurus on board that can tell us


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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Impressive work Duane.

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by denrep View Post
    Nice job!

    Yah, dumbfounding how different two of the same engines can be.
    It can start with one digit being different in the spec number, and before you're through, end with almost every last part having been changed.

    So is there a leftover distributor drive-shaft?
    Thanks! I was sure you'd have an appreciation for what would be required but I wouldn't recommend actively seeking a unit out just to do a conversion. I did this one because I picked the Clark unit up for a song and all the evidence points to it is in fact a low hour overhaul with current total investment at about half that of a complete engine kit.

    It does make one wonder why more standardization couldn't have been incorporated into these workhorses but at the same time it's understandable why it is the way it is. There are some pretty significant differences between the Clark and typical SA200 versions.

    Affirmative on the distributor shaft. I have the Delco-Remy distributor out of it as well that was disassembled a couple years ago when looking into a PerTronix electronic upgrade that didn't go anywhere as the specific distributor number wasn't covered in their offerings.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkie View Post
    I'm with denrep also, it's amazing the amount of differences in the same model engine. I wondering if the F162/163 engines for welder use was more common than the forklift models. I know there are more forklifts made than engine drive welders but those engines were used in all kinds of applications. Anybody want to guess? I'm sure we have some continental gurus on board that can tell us
    I wouldn't want to venture a guess considering all the different brands of forklifts, air compressors, welders, tractors, power units and host of other applications that the Continental found itself in as noted.

    Just a scratch in the surface from the Continental Quick Reference manual:

    SPECIFICATION NUMBER INFORMATION

    Up until the early 1960’s, the specification numbers issued ran from 1 thru 2999 and had NO real meaning except in some isolated instances. For these OLD ENGINES, it is imperative that you have the MODEL along with the specification and the APPLICATION.

    Then - specification numbers were issued that have reason.

    Specification Numbers F163, F227, F245, TC56, Yl12, TM13, TMD13, TM20 and TMD20 have the following descriptions:
    4000 Series - Non-Material Handling Equipment Specifications (i.e. Welders, Sweepers, Air Compressors and etc.)
    5000 Series - Power Units and Standard Specifications
    6000 Series - Military Specifications
    8000 Series - Material Handling Equipment Specifications
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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Distributor drive-shaft...

    I wonder if while you have a gen-u-ine original on hand if you'd be so kind as to post its dimensions?

    IIRC, I'm pretty sure they're 9/16" rod with a slot cut in each end.

    I wonder about OE length and if the slots are both of the same dimension?
    Also how slots are oriented to each other; in-line, or clocked 90 degrees from each other?

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    duaneb55: As always thanks for sharing. If I ever find myself needing this conversion, and am not going to use the distributor, is there any reason that an adapter couldn't be made for the distributor hole to add oil instead of drilling the block?

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Kick a** thread duane. You can work on my machine anytime.

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by denrep View Post
    Distributor drive-shaft...

    I wonder if while you have a gen-u-ine original on hand if you'd be so kind as to post its dimensions?

    IIRC, I'm pretty sure they're 9/16" rod with a slot cut in each end.

    I wonder about OE length and if the slots are both of the same dimension?
    Also how slots are oriented to each other; in-line, or clocked 90 degrees from each other?
    I'd be more than happy to. I just ask you give me a little to get the info and actually, this one has a collar on top.


    . . . now where'd I put that shaft?
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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by gundog77 View Post
    duaneb55: As always thanks for sharing. If I ever find myself needing this conversion, and am not going to use the distributor, is there any reason that an adapter couldn't be made for the distributor hole to add oil instead of drilling the block?
    That thought definitely crossed my mind but I just couldn't bring myself to do it that way.
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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by lincweld View Post
    Kick a** thread duane.
    I put it up because the question was asked some time ago and I had the opportunity to give it a go. But as I said, I wouldn't seek one out just to do it - unless I was desperate.

    Quote Originally Posted by lincweld View Post
    You can work on my machine anytime.
    Bring it on over. Or is that up or down? I forget.
    Last edited by duaneb55; 12-28-2015 at 07:52 PM.
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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneb55 View Post
    Bring it on over. Or is that up or down? I forget.
    We've been in Big Spring, Tx for the last 3 years. But the first week in November we came to Iowa for a job that kicks off next month. Sucks the oil field took a dump cuz west Tx was workn just fine. Cant wait to come back home tho, seriously I ll be contacting you when I need work done- would like to someday get back to Tomball.

    Last edited by lincweld; 12-28-2015 at 08:14 PM.

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by denrep View Post
    Distributor drive-shaft...

    I wonder if while you have a gen-u-ine original on hand if you'd be so kind as to post its dimensions?

    IIRC, I'm pretty sure they're 9/16" rod with a slot cut in each end.

    I wonder about OE length and if the slots are both of the same dimension?
    Also how slots are oriented to each other; in-line, or clocked 90 degrees from each other?
    I'm familiar with the type shaft you described but as I stated earlier, this one has a collar on the top with a coupler on the distributor shaft that looks like a mini-magneto drive coupler. As such, I'm not sure the dimensions of this shaft will be useful to you but will get whatever you want/need. Just let me know.

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Meant to say - I think they're in line but wouldn't really matter if the slots are both indexed at 0 or 90 from each other. You can pick which tower goes to #1 cylinder by how you orient the distributor and plug wires when installed.

    Also forgot to mention that this shaft is 1/2" diameter and 8-5/8" long from end to top of collar. Lower slot is 5/32" wide and 3/8" deep. I suspect the top slot would be the same on the 2-slot style. Let me know if you need any more details on this one.
    Last edited by duaneb55; 12-28-2015 at 10:41 PM.
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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Right, quite different than the usual ordinary drive-shaft.

    As to orientation of the slots, it's not about timing, but I have wondered if the OEM had some
    theory about "U-joint effect" -if you will- of the shaft and tang alignments.
    Different engine builders seem to have had different theories.

    I actually bought a milling machine slitting-saw to cut the drive slots. But by the time the cutter arrived we had figured out that Alfred is so dead nuggets accurate working free-hand with an abrasive Slice wheel that the cutter was a waste of money.
    Serious.

    Thanks for the report just the same.
    Last edited by denrep; 12-28-2015 at 11:05 PM.

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    I understand your thought but the lower end is centered by the bushing in the block and the upper end by the distributor shaft coupler so I don't see that being an issue considering the straight line power path.

    A check showed all the distributor kits by some of the major players have shafts with the slot in line with each other.
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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Great Engineering work that you performed to make this conversion! I enjoy seeing this type of re-purposing equipment, and recognize the test stand and remote fuel tank from last year when you quickly fired up my short hood and red face for the first time in years that they had been operating. To celebrate, I started them up in the shop on Dec. 31st, never get tired of the sound of those straight pipes, Also recalled driving back to MI on 2015 New Year Day, hard rain for the first 660 miles. Still enjoy following you and many others every day on Weldingweb, and wishing you a Happy New Year.

    All the best,
    rodeo man

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    Re: Fork it Over - Clark to SA200 F-163 Conversion

    Hey rodeo man! Good to hear from you and thanks for the kind words. I trust you've been able to use both machines a fair bit since getting them home.

    So is firing up those machines on 12/31 going to be an annual event?



    This "conversion" engine replaced the red face unit that I used to put my machine that was sitting in the shop in pieces when you were here back together. As stated in post #1, the one red face unit that runs wound up burning a little oil so I wanted to get this one converted to replace it and thus far has proven to be a good runner. Everything points to it is in fact a low hour rebuild as the guy I bought it from claimed. Can't help but fire it off and let it warm up now and then just to hear its sweet sound. Have to make time to burn a few pounds of rod to give this one a little workout.


    That guy that wanted to buy one of your machines off the back of your truck on your way home finally called me a few weeks later. I don't remember all the details but IIRC, he and his buddy were going to try to get his machine running and when I didn't hear from him I called him back to see how he made out. Said they gave up on it and I think he said he found another running machine. ???


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