top of page

A Visit to a Veteran Y Blocker's Shop, Parts for the 312, and the Header Build Begins!

Updated: Apr 5

Large, painted mural on an industrial building in Franklin, Ohio

Now how about that? While traveling to a men's church retreat in late January, I spotted this very large painting of a 50's classic car scene. Of course, the 1955 Ford Town Sedan caught my eye first and so I took a picture a little bit closer...

The painting had very nice detail; you can understand the size when you see the bricks.

On the way back I went over to Hamilton, Ohio, just 45 minutes away from the mural location, to visit veteran Y Blocker Harry Hutten. In the latest issue of the Y Block Magazine, Harry had listed quite a few parts for sale and among them was a set of ECZ-G heads. You probably know what I was thinking, "Let's pick these up for the 312 build!" I called up Harry the day before and made arrangements to come by his shop. Little did I know what I would find, but I should have figured that a knowledgeable mechanic such as Harry would have more than one project going!

Harry is awfully proud of his 312 powered Merc, and justifiably so!

Harry has been racing Y Blocks for years, although he admitted that early on he was not a part of the "faythful" as he is today. If you haven't yet seen the video of his car, take a look at one of his runs at the Kil-kare race track just outside of Dayton, Ohio. The car runs regularly in the 12's although that summer afternoon he admits the car was just a little bit off.

The 312 Y Block powered Merc at Norwalk, Ohio

This is not your grandmother's Mercury! The 312 has received a few "modifications"!

It was great to re-connect with this gentleman, and I will have to say that I have much respect for a man like him that just does not quit no matter how old he gets. Don't be fooled, the man is still at it and going strong. There were several projects going on at once in his shop. Among them was a dually truck (tow vehicle) that had its bed removed for a paint job and other work as Harry was planning to put it all back together and get it back on the road before the annual Y Block Shootout in June. He was more than generous with his offer on a set of ECZ-G heads (I will have more on that pair later but the set had already been ported a little and the mating surface trued at a local machine shop).

They need seats, springs, valves, and seals, but the "G" heads look nice!

In addition to the heads, I also purchased a few sets of rocker arms that Harry had in his stash with no plans to rebuild and run (all low ratio units anyway).

Y Block Rocker Arm Cores

Harry did ask me to tell all of you about an engine that he has for sale. Take a look at this mid-50's opponent of the FoMoCo Y Block...

Yep, Harry had a small block Chevrolet in the shop!

This 265 Chevrolet V-8 could be yours for the right price.

Would you believe that Harry had a complete, fully-rotating, 265 Chevrolet V-8 sitting on an engine stand. He said it was an engine he received as partial payment on a swap. Since the engine is somewhat rare - no, it's not a 283 Harry says, he checked the bore spacing - he decided to accept it but the GM relic has been taking up room and Harry is ready to sell it. If you are interested do let me know and I can put you in touch with him.

Speaking of rocker arms and all, take a look at these photos:

Yes, that rocker arm had no weep hole from the factory. Someone had forgotten to drill it out and it passed inspection. At first I thought it was just debris, but when I used a very small drill bit there was much cast iron that had to be broken through to make the hole go through to the channel on the inside diameter. I used a 3/32" bit by the way. If you know anything about shaft mounted arms then you are surely aware that oiling is critical to their performance and longevity. When cleaning and rebuilding, always inspect each one for fit, function, and "foibles"!

Headers for the 1955 Ford

Work has begun to modify a set of SBC headers for the Y Block in the 55 Ford.

To follow up my last post on the 312 Y Block build, I finally began making cuts to see if I can modify a set of SBC headers to fit the engine compartment of my 1955 Ford Fairlane. I set up the two bare Y Block heads, bolted a 1957 EDB exhaust manifold up to one head and I also added an original exhaust down pipe so that I could set the lines in space. The idea is to use the other head to mock up and tack weld the header into position before actually removing the exhaust system in the Ford to see if these will work. Obviously, the driver's side will be more difficult to "clearance" than the passenger side so I left the passenger side for part two. Since there are many details to this modification, and since the ability to record video is the easiest it has ever been, I decided to record part 1 and explain the setup and the work involved. For those of you that have done this before, maybe you could give some advice if I am if I seem to be heading in the wrong direction. One thing I have noticed is that no matter what I do, the spark plug clearance will be much different although it does seem that there is plenty of room to keep the heat far enough away from the plug wires and the plugs themselves.

Part of the original exhaust system was mocked up first to give original lines and geometry.

The SBC exhaust port configuration is very close to the Y Block exhaust port spacing.

So, if you have time and interest, take a look at part 1 of the video series...

Let me also invite you to attend the Fast Fords drag race weekend in June this year. The flyer has now been finished and I am having quite a few printed for distribution. If you would like for me to send you a printed flyer or a race program from last year, do contact me with your mailing address.

Over 1,000 members have now joined the Fast Fords Facebook group!

And, if you have not done so already please subscribe to the blog to receive email updates at this page: Please tell your friends and your buddies - visit today and share the link!

The Hot Rod Reverend

aka Daniel Jessup


bottom of page