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Messages - Barry_R

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General Discussion - non-FE - possibly NWS / Re: Quick Fuel 750
« on: August 29, 2018, 03:32:49 PM »
I understand that you just got the bowl.
Also hear that the car ran sort of well  :)

Non-FE Engine Tech - covering the rest of the universe / O/T - my father
« on: January 01, 2018, 09:08:02 AM »
I rarely post personal stuff on here, but at least a few folks know that my father had been in declining health.  He passed away a couple days ago at 87 years old.  He lived the classic American Dream.  Entered the service after high school, college in 1952 afterwords, married in 1956, three kids and a little house in the suburbs followed.  He was very involved in the Masons over the years.  Got remarried late in life after my mother was gone.  He neither had nor pursued fame or fortune, but did collect a lot of respect and a great many friends.  An honest, quiet, and genuinely good man.


Barry_R  (Login Barry_R)

I have not been spending much time on the various forums for a little while - other "life" issues have taken priority...but I am back in Engine Masters again and figured I should write something up. I still have minimal time so if you read this on the other forum you can skip this 'cuz its a cut & paste deal.

 I run on Thursday.

 I was an "alternate" this year and did not get the go ahead until a few weeks ago after somebody else had the misfortune to need to abandon their efforts. I went through the parts we had on hand in the shop and built a pretty straightforward combination that met the rules. Certainly not exotic - or a threat to any of the leaders - but should be cool in any case, and the only FE I am aware of in the contest. First time I have ever entered a 390 based engine.

 I am using a basic .040 over 390 with a 4.25 stroke and flat top pistons - same short block as we sell all the time. The rotating assembly is actually made up from used parts other than the rings and bearings. It has a pair of CNC'd Survival heads with 2.200 intake and 1.68 exhaust valves - used from a Stage X head project. Intake is a Performer RPM from last year's entry, as are the C8AX oil pan and the vintage 850 vacuum Holley carb. My friend Tim made up a custom ignition using a factory Ford distributor.

 Rules mandate a .600 max lift flat tappet cam with hydraulic lifters. This is where the problems doubled up. The custom cam came in on time and the whole deal got assembled pretty quickly without any real drama - all the big parts had already been machined and assembled once before. Engine fired up and went through cam break in with no signs of trouble - oil filter was clean.

 Started making pulls and torque looked good but we were having apparent problems at higher RPM with a jagged curve. Tried shuffling to a beehive spring package to get some control but it just kept getting worse in 3 or 4 subsequent pulls. Looked at a couple valves while turning the engine over and it was apparent that we had killed a couple lobes. With zero time to get another custom stick (this was Thursday!) we went to the shelves and grabbed the only legal thing we had, a genuine Comp 294S. As would be expected, the torque was way down but the power was decent and it runs really well. Compared to stuff we've run across the dyno in the past this one is nothing awesome - heads are too big - and I was hoping to use that custom short cam to crutch the bottom end. So much for well laid plans.

 We borrowed the Hooker '63 Galaxie headers and the cast iron long runner manifolds from Rod C again. Since Murphy was not done with us yet, the last pull from yesterday popped a 3/8" hole in a primary tube just beyond the port, and another is cracked. They are simply too old and rusting away. No time to repair those either. So we are going with the full vintage vibe. Its all Ford blue now, including PBF valve covers, a Ford oil pan, a Ford distributor, a really old Holley, and a cam from the 1980s - even painted the heads and intake. Engine looks like I tugged it out of a Galaxie although the valve covers are 1968ish.

 Based on the data gathered testing Adney's entry I was not going to be in the hunt anyways for score with the 294S cam, so we are going for the cool factor. Here at home the peak torque is just over 500 lbs, and peak horsepower is about 543 running through manifolds. I sometimes say that a particular combination can be built at home. Really true with this one.

General Discussion - non-FE - possibly NWS / Re: Hello
« on: April 13, 2017, 06:27:57 AM »
Stupid busy - - way to many things going on both business and non - - but still going to Beaver.

General Discussion - non-FE - possibly NWS / Re: Happy new year
« on: January 16, 2017, 07:21:20 PM »
I have backed out of forum posting for a little while - just answering one or two questions from time to time.  I got way too busy and way behind, had to focus on getting caught up.  My car is running and I definitely plan on being at Beaver Springs.

I wrote some stuff on this one a while back, but felt that it deserved a proper summary in a single document.  It was an interesting build, and since the folks at Hot Rod are not likely to do an article on it - I thought I should document things before they are forgotten/lost.  Some of this will be repetitive, please forgive and understand...I have added pictures :) .  Sorry – but this is a really long post.  Daylight saving time and I am up extra early…

This year's EMC was broken into five classes.  The FE ran in "Spec Big Block".  This class mandated Edelbrock 60059 heads and an RPM or Victor intake with no welding or epoxy.  Comp Cams camshaft and hydraulic roller lifters.  MSD ignition.  Sheet metal catalog offered oil pan, bolt on rockers.  Headers need to be passenger car catalog items.  Carb mandated to be a 4150 flange four barrel with 1.750 bores maximum bolted directly to the intake - no spacers.  Crank driven water pump, 11.5:1 compression.  Cubic inches are set at 470 maximum with no factoring - add up average horsepower and average torque from 3500 to 6500 RPM to get a score.
This entry was mostly the work of William Blair - my shop's lead machinist.  I provided him with parts, guidance, and did the tuning.  He did all the machining and the majority of the assembly work and deserves the credit for his efforts.

We built a 468 inch engine using last year's block - a filled 4.250 bore Sideoiler Garage development part.  The crank is a 4.125 stroke Scat forging.  Pistons were Diamond, with .043 rings and lateral gas ports.  They were originally spec'd for a 4.250 stroke build and were altered to work with this one by milling some off the top, and running an .066 Cometic 4.250 bore head gasket along with a 6.8 Scat rod.  Combination put the piston .020 out of the deck.  It seemed to work pretty well and used a lot of pre-existing parts.  It’s an unusual approach but not really exotic.   It might have helped a little bit by reducing crevice volume above the top ring.

The rules mandate a minimum .043 top and second and a 3.0mm oil.  We started out with normal Total Seal classic stuff (I don’t do gapless) and then reduced the radial wall thickness.  Going by memory I think we have the second down to +/-.130ish – maybe smaller.

We ran T&D street bolt on rockers with the normal 1.75:1 ratio.  For the Edelbrock heads we decided to use our normal CNC program, which was designed around a 2.200 intake valve.  The rules mandated we run the valve sizes Edelbrock ships with their completed heads.  Our 2.09 valves were just barely able to carry a seat in that port bowl – they sorta “hang” in there – not ideal but it allows us to re-purpose the heads later on by installing proper 11/32 guides and the bigger valves.  The smaller valves really crushed the flow though – we had 304@.700, which is 20 cfm less than we see with the larger valves.  Airflow translates to horsepower and it showed in the event – BB Chevy entries got to run 11/32 stem 2.19 intake and they finished 1-2.

Intake is a Performer RPM with nothing beyond a good port match blended +/- 3” into the runners.  In retrospect I should have made a removable divider – but I just bolted the carb down and started tuning.  Carburetor is an 850 vacuum secondary Holley with the rear barrels tied up to open - - just worked better on dyno this way.  It is a 1990’s reissue of the original L88 carb with Ford kickdown linkage added.  I acquired when I worked at Holley way back then.  It still has the choke tower and blade intact.
In an effort to get valvetrain weight down I opted for the newest conical valve springs from Comp along with a minuscule titanium retainer.  We were running at .070ish from bind and 175 pounds seat pressure – right on the design limits for that package.

Cam is required to be a Comp hydraulic roller piece, but can be custom ground.  Our’s is 241/243 @ .050, .696/.670 lift on 106 LSA – installed at 101.  The rules mandated Comp hydraulic roller lifters were a real challenge.  Comp does not make a short travel hydraulic roller for the FE.  When we first tried to just run them we could not get a clean pull to the 6500 RPM target no matter where they were adjusted to.  I looked at the rules and saw nothing about modification to the lifters – so I had Willy make up some little sleeves to pack between the retaining clip and the inner plunger, reduced our travel to +/- .020 and were able to pull cleanly from that point on.

he valve rules were going to really hurt our combination so I decided go for the “cool factor”.  I chose to run a +/-1968 Ford C8AX oil pan (after getting “permission” since it has not been in a catalog for a few weeks now…).  Rod C from our forum lent set of 1-7/8 primary Hooker headers for a ’63-34 Galaxie which turned out to be my best set.  He also lent me a pair of cast iron long tube manifolds to try.  To finish off the old school vibe I ran a pair of chrome “Power by Ford” valve covers.  In a sea of modernized big block engines the old FE looked pretty darn cool – like it just got plucked from a 1970s street racer except for the alloy heads.

Early on in the contest some folks had some issues with the just upgraded dyno software at the school where the contest is held.  By the time I ran things seemed to have been sorted out – all of my pulls were straightforward with no drama.  My best score at home was 1109 and I was targeting 1160.  At the school we made four pulls with the headers and got a best average of 1150.1.  Peak horsepower was up +/-4% - 25HP from home.  Some of the difference is fuel – we tested on 93 octane Citgo, while the actual contest fuel is VP100.  The exhaust on the school dyno is also straight out the back and open while mine has an immediate 90 degree turn and goes up through a pair of large mufflers.  Our score put us in the middle of the pack - half the entries were all bunched up within 13 point spread.  The two BB Chevies were way out ahead.

After making the score pulls and seeing that were indeed well behind the leaders I decided to use our remaining time to swap to the unmodified ’63 Galaxie long tube cast manifolds and make a couple pulls in front of the media.  The swap was quick - thanks to Willy and Tim – and we were rewarded with the expected lower overall score but nearly the exact same peak horsepower 622 versus the previous 623.  Not too damn bad for old cast iron with 2.5” outlets. 

In closing – we made over 600 horsepower with Hot Rod photographing and recording video, on a third party dyno.  We used 11.5:1 compression, a dual plane intake, a 48 year old carb design with choke, a pair of 53 year old exhaust manifolds, and a 48 year old oil pan and valve covers (repro).  All the latest stuff for sure.

Lots of pictures, a couple of charts, and a video link follow.  I am first providing the data from my “home” pulls since its more conservative and I can defend the numbers.  Home background data was 28.58 baro, 40% humidity, 69 degree cell inlet air and a DTS calculated correction of 1.066.  I will try to add the contest data later on.

Video link

This year's EMC entry is very much the work of William Blair - my machinist at the shop.  I have spent a lot of time these past few months taking care of non-FE issues.  I gave Willie a recipe to follow, provided the parts required, and have done the dyno work.  He did all the machining and assembly.

We are running in "Big Block Spec" class.  This has a 470 cube maximum, and scores are from 3500-6500 RPM.  They add up the average horsepower and the average torque to get the score - no cubic inch factor in this class.  They mandate the use of a catalog Edelbrock head (no Pro Ports), a choice of two Edelbrock intakes, Comp hyd roller cam and lifters, MSD ignition with no digital stuff, and 11.5:1 compression.  Valves must be the same guide diameter and head diameter as delivered by Edelbrock.  Porting of heads and intake is allowed, but no welding or filler.  Carb must be a four barrel with a maximum of 1.75 bores, and mount directly to the intake - no spacers.  Headers and oil pan must be catalog parts for passenger car applications.

I am running a 468 - 4.250 bore and 4.125 stroke.  Rods are 6.8, pistons are .020 out of the hole with .066 Cometic gaskets.  This was not done as a "trick" - it was done because everything other than the block on the engine is either repurposed, or will be repurposed once we are finished.  Its something of a scavenger hunt build.

So far the best carb is an 850 vacuum - a reissued piece from the early 90s when I was working at Holley.  The pan is a C8AX Ford performance part from the late 60s.  The Hooker headers are borrowed from Rod C, and fit a 63-64 Galaxie.  Heads are 60059 castings, intake is a Performer RPM, Romac damper and one of Jay's timing covers.  Rockers are T&D street, springs are Comp conical with titanium retainers so small they look like ball point pen parts to me.

Cam is a special from Comp with 106 centers installed right now at 101 - yeah it's a bit advanced.

Its a pretty strong running entry so far - I live two hours away from the test site so I can still mess with it a bit.  But because of the valve limits it will not be a player in the class.  The FE has to run a 3/8 guide with 2.09 valves, the BBC gets 11/32 guides and 2.19 valves, the BBM gets 11/32 & 2.14 stuff.  Puts me at +/- 20-25 cfm down on airflow from where I normally run.  Scaling up Kaase's 2015 spec small block winner gets a 1160 score target.  I am currently 60 light, and might find another 10 or 20 at best.

Still a cool piece - and look at the torque curve.

Not the best pull - but a good representative

I have not done one of these write-ups in a very long time.  Just way too busy both in and out of the shop for a little while.  But the stack of completed engines that are interesting, different and worth covering is getting pretty "deep" so I figured I should at least try to cover a couple.  If you follow the Youtube videos I post for customers you will recognize that some of these have been "up" for a while.

First up is a big one both in displacement and in "cool factor".  Using an iron Sideoiler Garage block bored to 4.350, a Scat 4.25 stroke rotating assembly for 505 cubes and compression in the middle 10s for pump premium fuel.  Cam is a solid roller with 258/264 duration at .050 and .696/.696 lift.  Heads are Survival castings with the normal valve job and bowl & entry blend - not ported.

This engine is destined for a Gasser.  The cool factor comes from what's up top - a port matched Edelbrock cross ram and a pair of traditional Holley 750 double pumpers.  Ignition is a Vertex magneto - I had never run one of those on the dyno before...

The engine proved a real tuning challenge - but it eventually delivered the goods.  I ended up spending a few days sorting it out.  After intial running and checking I tried a couple short pulls and it was really coarse sounding and hard to "drive".  My O2 sensors indicated that it was extremely rich and not firing well at all.  Thinking that the problem was with the vintage ignition I swapped in a known good MSD system - and was rewarded with no real improvement.  Pointed me to the carbs...

I pulled back the jetting some and tried again - and got an improvement.  Pulled even more jet and it got better yet - to the point where it was starting to behave normally and I felt confident enough to stick the magneto back in.  The mag was within single digits of the new MSD stuff and we were finally off to the proverbial races from a tuning for power perspective.  Timing ended up in a pretty normal range 36-38 degrees total.  Tried some vintage velocity stacks and it "liked it".  Tried some open 1" spacers under the carbs and it like that a lot. 

Jetting ended up way leaner than the delivered combination - to the point where I would normally have been changing bleeds in a race carb, something much more difficult with these traditional Holleys.  Air/fuel ratios remained pretty fat below the torque peak but smoothed out and became pretty much normal once it got "on the pipe".  You can hear the change in sound as it comes around during the pulls.  I think it reacted this way because the Edelbrock cross ram does not connect the two banks - its really a pair of four cylinders that share a crankshaft and probably has some weird stuff happening in that funky plenum.  The plenum is really shallow hence the big gains from spacers.

An extra note is the valve cover breathers.  Don't do that.  Mounting them to the outside of the cover looks cool, and its the only way they fit with this intake.  But they fill up with oil and become a "P trap" (you plumbers know about that) and essentially plug up until you get enough crankcase pressure to blow them out & spray oil everywhere.  Second time I've seen that - we were ready for it this time and knew what to expect.  Make them "fake" vent elsewhere if you really need the look.

Peak power ended up at 642 horsepower at 6200 (we made some pulls to 6500).  Peak torque was 625 at 4600 RPM with 530 pounds at 3000.  We had several pulls in the 630+ horsepower range.  A really strong running package from an unusual collection of parts.  It should surprise a few folks...

Relative humidity was 29%.  Baro at 28.83, cell inlet air temperature was 83 degrees, and correction factor was 1.073 per the DTS software.

Chart data a picture and link to video below:

Link to video:

FE Engine Tech Topics / Re: Coil
« on: May 05, 2016, 06:03:42 AM »
Never tried the combination but I'd wager its perfectly fine.

Not yet really.  I have done a bunch of similar engines with one head or the other - but not done a head swap on the same engine.  From what I can tell it seems like an honest 30 HP gain.  I really need to make a straight swap on the dyno - but the customer usually kinda needs his engine and I don't have the time to stop...

Parts and cars for sale/wanted / Re: Rules and regulations - Read this
« on: March 01, 2016, 03:44:45 PM »
Back when I started this I figured I either had to show some rules or there would not be any..... ::)

Honestly do not know - and might not get the chance to find out.
But it does fit right into the normal range for the 445 builds we've done - so I do not think it hurt all that much.

First the back story.  This one has been around for a little while, but makes a nice "bookend" for the previous one.  Its another 445, this time done for a two part article in "Hot Rod Deluxe" (second part now on news stands).  The writer is rebuilding a drag car - 60s era FE powered roadster with family legacy.  He provided/procured many of the parts for the build from the supplier community, and we put it together.  Parts he provided included the block, heads, induction, cam, and rockers.

We ran the engine once to meet the magazine deadlines.  Got the data, but found an issue that needed fixing (water in oil) - so he left the engine with me.  We fixed it with a replacement block since repairing a valley crack in a basic 390 block was not fiscally prudent.  Then we re-ran it on the dyno.  Gave me the chance to do some further tuning and we got better numbers than the one reported in the magazine as a result.

Lets go back to the combination.  It is a .030 over 390 with a 4.25 stroker kit.  This one has flat top pistons to get compression up to 10.8:1, and now uses our newer style pistons with the 1.0-1.0-2.0mm ring package.  Runs perfectly fine on pump premium, and is going into a non-street driven car that weighs under 2000 pounds - only reason to be "mild" was a desire for budget control, sanity under power, and zero maintenance. 

Heads are out of the box Edelbrock 60065 assemblies.  Camshaft is a Lunati hydraulic roller, a bit snappier than the one on the prior build with 241/249 at .050 duration and .637/.637 lift.  Oil pan is a Ford truck full length one, rockers are Harland Sharps.  Intake is a factory low riser (yes - unported with the big port mismatch).  Carbs are a pair of swap meet 600 Holleys.

It ended up making 514 peak horsepower at 5400 RPM, and 533 pounds of torque at 4500.  Had 495 torque at 3000, and 500 pounds at 5400 - pretty flat curve.  Rather surprising to me that it peaked as early as it did with that cam - but it repeated several times.  Did not appear to have any valvetrain issues looking at things, and revved smoothly to around 6000.  I suspect that the Edelbrock springs might have been on the edge with that cam - or we might have bumped up against that huge port mismatch. In any case, its another strong running package with unmodified heads and intake, and serves as a nice comparison piece.  More compression, more cam, more airflow = more power.  Idle quality does suffer  8)
The funky white water pump is a dyno only part we used - in the car it will run a remote pump and rear mounted radiator.  The valve covers are also mine, he has perfect original gold painted ones for the engine that he is trying to "protect" from damage.

Dyno cell inlet air on the best pull was 84 degrees, water temp around 140, humidity at 25%, baro at 28.51, and correction factor showing as about 8%.

Charts, pictures, and video....

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I have not posted one of these write-ups for a while.  I have a ton of them I could do, so I will start off with a really basic package that you could easily duplicate at home.  About as close to a bolt together stroker as you will ever find.

Engine is a .030 over 390 with a 4.25 stroker kit for 445 cubes.  Compression is +/-9.7:1 running on pump premium for testing.  Heads are off the shelf Edelbrock 60065 with no modifications of any sort.  Intake is an Edelbrock Performer RPM with no alterations at all other than milling it to fit properly.  Carburetor is an out of the box Holley 750 - part number O-3310, sitting on a one inch spacer.

Rockers are Harland Sharp, Oil Pan is a Moroso T type, water pump is parts store iron, distributor is MSD billet with lighter springs on the advance but the bushing it came with.  Cam is a custom hydraulic roller with 230/234 duration at .050 lift, and .598/.610 gross lift.

Engine fired up with no effort and was broken in for a little while.  After a filter & rocker inspection (the swoopy valve covers are mine - more pedestrian chrome covers will be installed today) we started making a few tests to verify safe timing and fuel curves. 

Everything looked fine and we went into testing mode making pulls and trying things.  It behaved pretty normally, wanting 36-38 degrees of total timing.  It really liked having the secondaries open quickly on dyno, although you are going to want to tune that in the car.  It was surprisingly insensitive to mixture changes or velocity stack, or modest timing moves, running best as-is.  We made at least ten pulls that had peaks within a couple pounds and a couple horsepower of each other.  It was just getting raspy at 5700 so that is where we stopped the pulls.

Overall I think this is a pretty darn nice package for a comparatively modest cost.  Peak power was 479 HP at 5600 RPM, peak torque was 494 at 4600.  Very smooth and linear though with 450+ torque from 3000 on through the power peak.  Idle at 750 RPM gave 10-11 inches of vacuum so it should handle power brakes.

Cell inlet air at 68 degrees during testing with 33% humidity, indicated correction factor at about 5% with baro at 28.96

Video, chart and pictures...

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General Discussion - non-FE - possibly NWS / Re: bugs
« on: November 25, 2015, 08:02:53 PM »
Spraying for them as fast as I can get to it....

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