It has been quite some time since I have made a post in our blog series, but there has been quite a bit going on since the Fast Fords race in June. My apologies in advance for this rather lengthy entry, but I am sure that the reader will have much to digest in the coming days. For most of the country the car show season is about over, but there are some warmer climates where things will continue through Thanksgiving. In our neck of the woods for instance, we will have the annual "Pumpkin Run" in October at the Clermont County fairgrounds. For me personally, I am already looking ahead past this year!
Richard Stuck sent me this news about 2024 and the Ford Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
The graphic above is a screenshot of a post made in the Y Block group on Facebook. While at times a few of the members can act like clowns, every once in a while there is a good post like this one! How about that news from Richard Stuck? If you do not know Richard, he is the owner of a 1957 Ford F code sedan. (yep, factory supercharged!) The work on his 312 Y Block was detailed in the book Y Block Engines by author and engine builder Charlie Morris. In the high performance section of the book, Charlie walks the reader through the specifications and procedures for building Richard's 312 Y Block. If you own a Y Block powered vehicle then I highly recommend that you purchase this very handy manual. The photos, diagrams, and step-by-step instructions are excellent. A bulk of the manual is given over to stock rebuilds.
When Richard first relayed this news to me, he requested that I consider being a part of the car show and bring some Holley 4000 (the venerable, 4 barrel, "teapot" carburetor) information to the table. I am certainly considering the invitation, and even though we are about 2 years out from this great event I have already begun planning and even purchasing various items for display. Fords at Carlisle is a very big car show, swap meet, and manufacturer's expo; and in times past I have had the opportunity to participate. I can even recall in 1992 my family and I visiting row after row of vendor spaces looking for a hood for my brother's 1967 Mustang convertible. That was a fun day. Eventually we located a 1968 Mustang turn signal hood - you know the kind - it had the lights/lens in the hood itself. While there are always plenty of vendors in the swap spaces, the main attraction for Fords at Carlisle are the vehicles in the show. But, each year the organizers put a spotlight on something special from Ford. In times past there has been special emphasis on the GT40, Galaxies, Fairlanes, Mustangs, Flatheads, etc. And now, it seems that the Y Block will have its day in 2024!
Early Plans for the Ford Show at Carlisle
You may be asking, "Alright, Hot Rod Reverend, what do you plan to do here?" And for many, the answer would probably inlcude taking the 1955 Ford Fairlane to the car show, parking it among quite a few other Fords. Others may be wondering just exactly what a display of Holley 4000 carburetors would look like and what I would discuss concerning the much maligned four barrel. Granted, there are plenty of folks who are much more experienced than I when it comes to the rebuild and operational principles of these carburetors. However, I do believe there is an approach that could feature both the Holley 4000 and the Y Block. The video below is certainly dated, but back 10 years ago or so I was known for rebuilding 4000s, installing them on an engine, and running the carb for a few minutes for an initial tune. I modified one 4000 for a VS57 Supercharger, and most recently I have begun work on a 1957 2x4 setup.
So what would I bring to the show? Y Blocks on run stands sporting Holley 4000 carbs! Just last week I got this idea while traveling from Cincinnati, OH to Emerald Isle, NC. (Long trip, I know...) Just the night before, my dad had alerted me to a post made in the Y Block Facebook group concerning two truck engines for sale. The location was only 30 minutes from where my parents live. On a whim, I called the owner that Thursday morning when I stopped for coffee in southeastern Ohio. He told me that one block had been rebuilt and he had it running on a stand just a little while back. The other was a core block that had been sitting for an unknown amount of time. Since the owner only wanted $200 each, and since I was unsure of the "rebuild" of the first engine mentioned, I told him I would take both for asking price if I showed up that evening and he would help me load them up. (Going to Emerald Isle, I had to pass right by my parents' house.) Sure enough, I pulled into Quentin's yard at 7:30 pm and noticed the core Y Block was already outdoors waiting to be loaded. The other block was still on a stand inside a small utility building.
The running engine had been pulled from a 1956 Ford fire truck I was told. It had the large Holley 4000 with the governor, but the heads had been replaced - they were C1TE. The block was an EDB 292 block. (Ford did cast 292 blocks in 1955 and 56 with this stamping, but C1TE heads would indicate a 1961 date: "C" - 1960 decade, "1" - first year of the decade.) The other Y Block's history was not well known. The owner mentioned that he had received it in a swap. At any rate, it was an ECZ block with ECZ-G heads. Both blocks did indeed have the 90 degree oil filter adapter used on large trucks and industrial applications. Referencing the photos below, you can tell that the passenger car and Thunderbird mounts on the side of the block could not be used with this oil filter setup; the filter housing is in the way of the boss on the block. Trucks have the single motor mount at the timing cover and the dual mounts on the bell housing. Ram's horns (often found on heavy duty trucks) to give the Y Block true dual exhaust are a very popular set of cast iron manifolds to install. They clearance both the oil filter and the steering gear.
Both blocks included the 90 degree oil filter adapter for large trucks and industrial applications.
The EDB block also had the special water pump housing with the bosses for the fan pulley assembly. Both engines still had their respective front motor mounts attached, one specific to 1956 and the core to 1957+ from what I can remember about Ford trucks of the era. A telltale sign of "rebuild-ability" showed up when bright, green coolant poured out of both blocks while loading them into the bed of the truck.
The engines were nestled near an old farmhouse in the foothills of North Carolina.
The furniture dolly idea did not pan out too well - ended up using a heavy duty, steel dolly.
I dropped off both engines at my parents' storage garage near Winston Salem, NC, before continuing my trip to Emerald Isle the next morning. Both engines took up residence with my original 272 Y Block (from the 1955 Ford Fairlane), the 272 I purchased last summer from my great uncle's estate, and a plethora of other mid-50s Ford parts. I am still working on a deal to buy that 1958 Ford wrecker that my grandpa turned wrenches on roughly 50 years ago - see this post. When it comes to all this parts storage, I am thankful that BOTH my mom and my dad are very supportive of the hobby. Mom still wants my dad to find that 1956 F100 he had in 1993 and buy that back from the man he sold it to!
Running out of room for Y Block storage!
Mulling over the setup for 2024, I would like to have 3 Y Block engines on run stands for that weekend in Carlisle. I plan to freshen up the truck engine and use the large, governed Holley 4000 variant, finish my 312 build and have a 2x4 sitting on top of that block, and then take my great uncle's 272 to mount that on another run stand with a Holley 4000 ECK or ECZ carburetor. Lots of work, I know - but it would be quite the display under roof in one of those large buildings at the Carlisle fairgrounds! We would have a 272, 292, and a 312 fully operational and looking pretty with placards to document a little history.
We hope to have this little 272 cleaned up, on display, and running smooth in 2024.
I already have enough gaskets to freshen up each engine. Running through a mental list of parts on hand for just such an enterprise, I know I have the following ready to install to "finish" off these engines:
55 or 56 Holley 4000 intake manifold
Holley 4000 core, choice of ECK or ECZ configuration
55 or 56 Holley 4000 air cleaner
55/56 Dual Exhaust Manifolds (ECH, correct size for the 272)
ECL-A Cylinder Heads (rebuilt) correct code for a 1955 272 four barrel engine
Passenger car bell housing
12 volt starter
Truck bell housing
1957 2x4 intake manifold
Holley 4000 carburetors specially prepared for 2x4 configuration
2x4 aftermarket air cleaners
ECZ block, balanced rotating assembly, and ECZ-G heads
Oil pan (truck or hot rod application, painted and ready to install)
HEI distributor, coil, and plug wires
Sanderson stainless steel headers (Thunderbird application)
Items I would need to locate: two more starters, a passenger car bell housing, two period correct fuel pumps, a Holley 4000 carburetor "hat" for the period's large trucks (and fabricate an air intake tube), two generator/voltage regulator setups (will probably keep them 12 volt), two more drive belts, ram's horns exhaust manifolds for the truck engine, and a few other odds and ends. I would need to purchase two more engine run stands in addition to one more radiator (already have two in stock). Things such as batteries, starter solenoids, or a few more gauges would be on this list also. Yep, this would be quite the DIY feat to pull off for just such a show!
Update on the 312 Y Block: Summer Projects
These heads are about ready to be installed!
Looking back through my summer posts, I have not said too much about these ECZ-G heads being reworked for my 312 build. You may recall that I first mentioned these in my blog entry entitled, "A Visit to a Veteran Y Blocker's Shop, Parts for the 312, and the Header Build Begins!"
A machinist who lives a couple of counties away here in Ohio did the work of installing new guides, valves, seals, seats, and springs per my inventory. The valves are stock at 1.54 exhaust and 1.92 intake, but the springs will provide over .500 lift! With the camshaft I have selected I am going to need that much travel for the valves. Y Blocks are known to like quite a bit of lift at the valve. A short while ago I decided to paint the heads since it may be a few months before I can begin assembly of that 312. I do have plans to finish up the mild port work, clean them thoroughly, and check the cc measurements before I install them. I want to be dead on concerning static compression ratio. Of course, the tentative plans are to document the full build by subsequent posts here on the website and also via my YouTube video series.
The Hot Rod Reverend
aka Daniel Jessup