Register now to get rid of these ads!
  1. Hey fellas, just in case you missed it - The Rodder's Journal and The Jalopy Journal is celebrating 20 years of bringing you traditional hot rods and customs by offering you a one-year subscription to TRJ and a H.A.M.B. Alliance membership for only $75. Click here for details.

Batten B4 4-Valve DOHC

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by TOL, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. TOL
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Posts:
    14
    Location:
    Canada

    TOL Member

    In the 80's & 90's there was an engine called the Batten B4 which was a 4-valve DOHC V8 conversion of the Chev big block. The four cams were driven by external cogged belts and internal gears.

    Does anybody have any old pictures stashed away in their archives, or own some of these, or know of others who have some of these?

    I'd be curious to hear/see more, if you do.

    Thanks
    whome@look.ca
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  2. mdub
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Posts:
    21
    Location:
    houston, tx

    mdub Member

    i think i remember it being in the chevrolet power 6th edition book. 1988 ed., just googled and found the book with the cover i remember on ebay. it has a v-6 on the cover with webber looking FI.
  3. 53CustomlineFlathead
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Posts:
    200
    Location:
    Kerrville, Texas

    53CustomlineFlathead Member

    I believe that it was determined that big (2) valves could be made to flow just as well as the 4 valve heads so there was really no performance advantage.
  4. Pete1
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Posts:
    1,390
    Location:
    Wa.

    Pete1 Member

    There was a late model T-bird with a batten engine that ran at Bonneville about 10 years ago. I think they called the car Pretty Woman. I remember it went over 250 mph.
    Maybe you can run that guy down and get some info.
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. mdub
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Posts:
    21
    Location:
    houston, tx

    mdub Member

    Is that why gm still does not make a 4 cam V8 for the corvette?
  6. porknbeaner
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Posts:
    25,599
    Location:
    Raytown, MO

    porknbeaner Member

    4 cam motors are better suited for small displacement high revving engines. With the smaller swept volumn they do not take as deep a breath as the larger displacement engines do.

    I don't know what GM puts in a late model corvette as far as valve train or induction, not really interested I suppose. But if they are not building a 4 valve engine it is going to come down to two things cost and benefit. Cost is going to be the top priority, a 4 valve cammer is very expensive to build.
  7. 53CustomlineFlathead
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Posts:
    200
    Location:
    Kerrville, Texas

    53CustomlineFlathead Member

    Sarcasm right? lol ;)
    I believe it was to do with the RPM limitations of the big blocks these heads were being applied to. Something about the engine not being capable of the RPMs to take advantage of the 4 valve set-up.

    edit: I just saw that porknbeaner beat me to the line...
  8. TOL
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Posts:
    14
    Location:
    Canada

    TOL Member


    Here's a blown B4 example, but there were various other NA & blown/turbo versions too.

    If any of this rings any bells or shakes any cobwebs off of old archives or shoe boxes stuffed in the attic then I'd love to hear more about your thoughts & treasures.

    Thanks.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  9. Deuces
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Posts:
    11,989
    Location:
    Michigan

    Deuces Member

    I worked for Batten Performance in the early 90's..
    Don't remember seeing that motor there...
    I machined a few billet 12 cylinder crankshafts and also worked on the "Indian" prototype motorcycle engines.....
  10. TOL
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Posts:
    14
    Location:
    Canada

    TOL Member

    Both of the V12's are here too, as well as a few cranks. Maybe you worked on those? Maybe send me an e-mail offline and we can chat further?
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  11. mdub
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Posts:
    21
    Location:
    houston, tx

    mdub Member

    Some, but more of a frustration. I loved the engine in the 90s zr-1, 4cam, large displacement. But alass it is really too modern to talk about here.
  12. CutawayAl
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Posts:
    2,145
    Location:
    MI

    CutawayAl Member

    I know about those heads but have no first hand knowledge of them. I know people who have worked with them. They had a reputation for problems. I don't remember what the problems were, but I believe valvetrain was an issue. I remember there was a number of fixes/revisions. I understand that the ones that worked well were the result of the owner sorting them out. Maybe Batten eventually got a handle on things, I don't know. I met a guy who tried a set on his alcohol funny car. Even with help from Batten he couldn't make them work well. In spite of that, they are long on coolness factor. I know people who knew Batten and I worked with a couple guys that had worked for him. Batten was a smart guy and had a good reputation. Apparently this project just didn't work out as well as intended.
  13. JC Sparks
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Posts:
    523
    Location:
    Ohio

    JC Sparks Member

    I believe the late Shirl Greer ran one in a nitro funny car in the early 90's for a little while. I don't recall how it ran, but the time it took to slide it apart and put it back together was a problem. JC
  14. Deuces
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Posts:
    11,989
    Location:
    Michigan

    Deuces Member

    I wonder what happened to the 3rd crank???..
    I also machined about a dozen prototype cranks for the Northstar 4.6 Caddy V-8 engine... Also did some work on Chevrolets LT-4 cylinder heads and L-98 heads....
  15. TOL
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Posts:
    14
    Location:
    Canada

    TOL Member

    I count five V12 cranks. Do you recall how many you made?...
  16. Tman
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2001
    Posts:
    29,787
    Location:
    Beautifull Black Hills of South Dakota

    Tman Member

    So TOL has all these parts and is asking for info? You must have bought out a bunch of it??? Fill in the details please.
  17. Deuces
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Posts:
    11,989
    Location:
    Michigan

    Deuces Member

    Damn, this was 20 years ago... I know it was a very small number of cranks... I do remember machining the throws and mains on an old Akuma or Mori cnc lathe... These V-12 cranks were for 1002 ci monsters...
    Sid told me they were for a salt flats racer...
    I did work on those for at least 2 months straight..
  18. TOL
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Posts:
    14
    Location:
    Canada

    TOL Member

    I'm mainly interested in old photos and old articles/stories, and of course getting to know other people who have them currently. Trying to compile some of the history of where these things went, and where they were used, and how that all went. Any help would be appreciated.

    Tman I'm planning to put one in a street rod, but I haven't quite made up my mind on the type of rod yet.....
  19. TOL
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Posts:
    14
    Location:
    Canada

    TOL Member

    That makes sense. Yeah the 1002 was the big one in Jim Lamb's dragster. There was a smaller one at 777 for pump gas "economy". You did a nice job on the cranks. Any old photos floating around in your attic? Thanks.
  20. Deuces
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Posts:
    11,989
    Location:
    Michigan

    Deuces Member

    As a matter of fact, I do have 2 maybe 3 photos of those... I'll try and find those tomorrow...
    One photo shows the crank up on end sitting on a grannet inspection table next to a height stand after in came back from Moldex...
    Another picture shows the crank in the lathe...
    Not sure about the third picture...
  21. Deuces
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Posts:
    11,989
    Location:
    Michigan

    Deuces Member

    ..... Thanks for the compliment by the way...:)
    I do my best!!..;)
  22. Deuces
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Posts:
    11,989
    Location:
    Michigan

    Deuces Member

    You remember those aluminum Olds heads he did in batches???...
    I think he also was involved with GM's Quad-4 motor...
  23. CutawayAl
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Posts:
    2,145
    Location:
    MI

    CutawayAl Member

    Everything I know about Batten is from others, nothing first-hand. I know he did a lot of Olds stuff, but not much specific about what went on there.

    Any chance you remember Mike StLouis? I knew another guy who worked for him, but I am no longer clear on who it was; maybe either Craig Mathews or Jim Valeco?
  24. Deuces
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Posts:
    11,989
    Location:
    Michigan

    Deuces Member

    I do remember a Craig working there....
    Did he own a yellow '69 Camaro drag car???...
    Someone there did... Not sure who..:confused:
  25. CutawayAl
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Posts:
    2,145
    Location:
    MI

    CutawayAl Member

    I think Craig had a Camaro at one time, but I don't believe he had it when I worked with him. Mike was the guy who welded cast iron after it was heated glowing yellow in a furnace.
  26. Deuces
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Posts:
    11,989
    Location:
    Michigan

    Deuces Member

    The Camaro had some graffics on the sides and it also sported a set of "Trick" mags...
    I think it had "mail slot" hood scoop on it also...
  27. LelleO
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Posts:
    3
    Location:
    Stockholm

    LelleO Member

  28. Charlie Chops 1940
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2001
    Posts:
    2,255
    Location:
    Muskegon, MI, USA

    Charlie Chops 1940 Member

    I worked sales for a camshaft company in the mid to late 80's. We did some prototype steel billet cams for the V-8's. There was a lot of hype but I never saw or heard one run. I left that company in '91. The camshaft company lasted into the early part of this century. Not sure about Batten.

    Charlie
  29. rooman
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Posts:
    1,372
    Location:
    Brownsburg, IN

    rooman Member

    Yep! Shirl ran the motor in the Tosti Asti backed funny car in IHRA competition. The motor in the posted photo is probably the one that he used except that it has dragster style zoomies. The Gorr mag bird looks right for what I remember from that time (late 80's).
    The big problem was the complexity and the fact that if the heads weren't torqued just right the cams had a tendency to gall in the bearings. One time when we were racing at Bristol Shirl asked my boss, Paul Smith, to help out with the tune-up. While Smith was was setting the barrel valve one of the cams seized and the drive pulley for that cam was ripped off and went past Smith's head. This was the second time that a cam had seized while Smith was trying to tune the motor and he told Shirl, " You are my friend and all but I don't want to die helping you out",

    Roo
  30. JC Sparks
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Posts:
    523
    Location:
    Ohio

    JC Sparks Member

    Shirl was next to us in Norwalk that year and when he started it we went to the other side of the trailer for cover. JC

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2013 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.