Y Block - the 292 or the 312? (Update on the engine build and a Spring Carlisle invite!)


Almost 15 years ago I put a remanufactured 292 c.i. into the 1955 Ford Fairlane since the original 272 c.i. was very tired, worn out, and had plenty of blow-by. I still have that ECG block and heads in storage and one of these days I plan to completely disassemble that engine, go through it, and build it up as well. Back in 2008 I purchased that rebuilt 292 - not only because the 272 needed to be replaced but also because the purchase was a real deal online. A company out West was selling off a lot of inventory that they planned to no longer support and one of their sales reps answered the phone when I called them after seeing the listing. When he rattled off the specifications "C2AE block, ECZ-G heads, ECG 6564 rocker arms, tubular push rods, block bored .060 over" and told me it was only several hundred dolloars, I knew that I had to take a chance.


When the long block was finally delivered by a truck with a tailgate lift, I inspected it thoroughly just to be sure of what I was getting. As I recall, the only items missing were the rear main seal cap and the core plug in the rear of the head on the passenger side (to block off the coolant port). When I contacted the company, they shipped out the missing rear main seal cap immediately. Though the refurbished long block was pretty much a stock engine, I did question as to how a C2AE block had G heads but it surely made the purchase all the more an advantage. Ford began production of this block in 1962 yet the ECZ-G heads were introduced in 1957 and most probably stopped in production by 1959. (By that time the comparable head would have been the 5752-113.) Unfortunately, I did not have a website going at that time, I was not posting much of anything to online forums, and I certainly was not making the videos that I do today. Having never prepped a long block for installation in a vehicle, I will have to admit that the work was a daunting task. Evidently, I made some correct moves and did alright for a rookie. Although as of this writing the engine only has 6,000 miles or so on it, by this time of its life I have "thrashed" it pretty well over by winding up the rpm's for hard take-off's, chirping tires when shifting from first to second, etc.


All of this brings us up to last week's phone conversation with engine builder Tim McMaster who reminded me that we are still on our way to building up this 312 Ford Y Block engine for the 1955 Ford Fairlane. During the call, Tim and I went over the list of parts I had shipped to him in November of last year and also reviewed the need to turn the 312 mains down to standard 292 specifications. We also plan to use a set of C1TE rods instead of one of the ECZ sets I had sent out to California. The Y Block Guy did say that he had encountered pistons a little bit out of the hole when using C1TE rods. (I had always heard that the ECZ and C1TE rods have the same measurements.) I do wonder if some of this is due to various manufacturers of pistons and slight variations on piston pin height or the crown of the piston being just a tick too tall?

Most of what I see in online forums and social media platforms has to do with pistons that are too far in the hole, leaving you with a lower compression ratio. I told Tim that I already had plans to check the deck height on the pistons and that this would not be a problem. Hanford Auto Supply stays busy I am sure, so it has taken quite some time for the Y Block Guy to begin turning my ECZ 312 crankshaft and balancing the rotating assembly. The ECZ-G heads are with a local machinist about an hour east of my residence - he does not turn or balance cranks but he has built quite a few Y Blocks in his day and knows the heads very well. At this point, I am somewhat skeptical in meeting my deadline for the build because of the time crunch. The month of March is almost over, and we are counting down the weeks until the weekend that Fast Fords will be here. My original plan was to have the 312 in the 55 Fairlane for the racing at Dragway 42. Fast Fords and the Y Block Nationals take place June 16-19 (I will be there early to set up a tent and bring other supplies). Who knows what will happen? I do have an E-4 Iskenderian camshaft and new lifters ready to install in the 292 just in case. I am almost at the point of needing to make a decision on whether or not I postpone my plan to run the 312 at Fast Fords and just go with an improved 292 for the race. I am not quite sure what I am going to do. I have all the parts and supplies I need - the gaskets I need to replace the camshaft if I go that route, all of the parts for the 312 (including a 2x4 setup I would like to try just for kicks), and a complete set of unopened engine gaskets for a full rebuild on that C2AE block.


Then there is the exhaust upgrade. I contacted RexHp in Canada last week and they assured me that the headers would be shipped on March 30 - that's this week. So, I certainly want to leave the engine in the car while I mock up the new headers, the cutouts (did I mention cutouts yet?), and what all it would take to make the exhaust upgrade a permanent fixture - not just for track runs. Speaking of exhaust, I did blast the driver's side exhaust manifold in the glass bead cabinet last week and re-coat it with the Eastwood Hi-temp Factory Gray Exhaust Coating. I plan to remove the passenger side and perform the same work; this is all "just in case" things do not progress the way that I would like for them to go in the exhaust department. If not, then I will be ready to re-install things pretty quickly and just run the car as is.


Eastwood Factory Gray Hi-temp Coating drying on an original exhaust manifold.


I did take a 3 hour trip last week to investigate a Y Block parts listing that a fellow enthusiast, Bill Myrand, encouraged me to review. Bill lives in Maine and wheels and deals in quite a few Y Block parts and pieces but told me that this was too long a haul for him to investigate. So, very early one morning I visited this man that inherited his father's collection of 55 and 56 Ford parts. By the time I had heard about this stash of parts most of the original inventory was already sold. However, he did have quite a few carburetors for 1954 and 1955 Fords. When I write "quite a few" I guess I should say a "boatload!" Every nook and cranny of the garage had Holley 94's or similar Ford 2 barrel carburetor variants just hidden away. I did buy three of them and a couple of Holley 4000's along with some odds and ends. The owner did have a very nice Holley 94 for a 1955 Ford passenger car that had been remanufactured. Of course, the gaskets would have been as dry as a bone and unusable but I am sure the rest of it was fine. If you are interested, just let me know and I will send you the seller's information and phone number. He has told me to do so. The only let down I had in this trip was that the heir told me he had a flywheel and a bellhousing among what his father had bequeathed him - after I traveled all that distance the parts could not be found; and the brand new clutch disc and pressure plate were not even a match. One was 11" and the other 10" - so do understand that if you contact this gentleman you need to be prepared to help him locate parts by searching out what he has in the garage. I did invite him to join us at Fast Fords and put everything in a swap space. He liked that idea and told me that he planned to dig it all out, put it in the back of his truck, and show up that weekend. Let's hope!


A recent visit to a destination 3 hours away yielded excellent finds!


He had over 30 Holley 94 (and variants) like this rebuilt unit for the 1955 model year.


Spring Carlisle

Another question I have been mulling over - are any subscribers going to the Spring Carlisle, Pennsylvania Swap Meet? You can view a quick video below...


Can't say why the lion head/moose are in the video, but there are lots of parts!


The Carlisle swap meet is where it all began for me - for some reason I cannot leave well enough alone and just continue to tinker, turn wrenches, and restore cars, assemblies, and sub-assemblies (a simple visit to my eBay store will verify that truth). I have decided to go back to Carlisle this spring and will be there all day Friday and some of Saturday morning (April 22 and 23). If you are going to be at the fairgrounds - please let me know by shooting me an email or sending me a mesage on the site! I would love to meet you and grab a funnel cake or a pretzel. For the host of you that contact me about parts but do not want to pay shipping - now would be the time to look over what I have for sale or make an inquiry. I could bring those items with me to the swap meet. My hotel is in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. I realize that attending this meet will not get me any closer to getting the car ready for Fast Fords, but it's a swap meet - you just never know what you are going to find!


Fast Fords

We have a new flyer on the way for the Fast Fords racing event at Dragway 42 in West Salem, Ohio. Of course, this side of the flyer promotes the 26th annual Y Block Nationals. People are already booking hotel rooms. As for me and my pit crew, we will be staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Wooster. The official hotel of Dragway 42 is the Best Western of Wooster, but I am not sure how many rooms they have left for that weekend. Remember that if you bring an RV you are allowed to camp out overnight at the track. There are no water or hookup facilities so do come prepared if you plan to stay in the pit area.

Soffian Adam's nostalgic F100 graces the Y Block Nationals flyer for 2022.


Hardcopy flyers are available upon request, just send us your mailing address!

The logo continues to be modified from the original version.


Subscriber Requests

Every other day, it seems, I receive a request for parts or for technical advice on the mid-50s Fords. I am glad to help when I can, but for those of you that are requesting my work on sub-assemblies such as carburetors, transmissions, and the like do be aware that my work load is backed up until October of this year. I do have some good people which I could refer to you so please keep that in mind as well. There are also a large number of you who contact me each week looking for information I have already posted to the website blog pages. If you have not done so, I advise you to watch the introductory video on the home page of the website (I will just post the link below). The video explains how the search engine for the blog pages works and how to find information from the posts. I also have an extensive YouTube page. You can sift through those videos using this link: Daniel Jessup.


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The Hot Rod Reverend

aka Daniel Jessup


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