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272 Ford Y-Block (Triumphs and Failures)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Scotch Buzzard King, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. I have the opportunity to purchase a complete 272 Y-Block for my '50 Ford, but I don't know anything about the quality of the motor. In my mind, its been the perfect set-up that I've wanted for the Ford almost since the first moment I bought the car. But what's the quality? Do the heads crack easily? What about the block? I know that the distributor has a terrible problem with advancing because of the way that the vacuum on the transmission ran off of the vacuum of the whole engine. I already know how to fix that part. Outside of that, I'm clueless. Someone help me out. Thanks.
  2. mtkawboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,213


    At its best it isnt much, I wouldnt waste my time. Last one I had in a 57 Ford I replaced with a 427 in 1964. Common problems are rear seal oil leaks, no power, rocker arm oil feeds blocked if oil isnt changed at regular intervals. Yould be better off with a 302 type Ford engine
  3. Pretty stout motors that powered bahgillions of Fords. One of biggest problems was the lack of oil getting to rocker shafts because older oils did not have detergents in them and lazy non-oil changing owners. Oil galleys up to the heads got crudded up. 312's had problems with main webs cracking, not an issue with 272 though. If it needs to be bored just take it up to 292 bore size, the larger pistons are cheaper. McTim64 here is a guru on these engines.
    Scott Bender likes this.
  4. That's actually about what I expected, plus I knew that the parts were going to be ridiculous. Sometimes something gets sold for real cheap for a reason: either its a great deal, or its a paper weight that smells just like malarchy. Smells about right.

  5. I was afraid of that. This guy has had this engine posted for a long while. I think he started it off at $800 bucks. Now its been dropped to $150. Its been running in the same ad for over a year now. I don't doubt the quality of the 272, but I have my doubts about this particular 272. More I think about it, the less I want it now.
  6. Y-blocks are great motors if you take the time to go through them. If the heads & block are boiled out you won't have oiling problems. $150 is a pretty good price for a core (at least in the Northeast), so it might still be worth thinking about.
  7. 90LXdiaz
    Joined: Jun 10, 2011
    Posts: 51


    id rather have a Y-block than a 302 just for the cool factor, sounds unique, torquey motors and can make pretty decent power
    check out the tech info
  8. Blackmaria60
    Joined: Apr 30, 2008
    Posts: 532


    I agree, the Yblocks are kool. You can even bore the 272 out to 312 specs. The blocks were all the same. I don't remember what caused the 312 webbing to be weak, but if you use a 272 out to 312 you won't have that problem.
    Besides anytime I want to rebuild an engine, it gets hot tanked. I like to start with clean and new.
  9. Gary Pavlovich
    Joined: Dec 9, 2005
    Posts: 16

    Gary Pavlovich
    from CA

    We have a guy here in town, San Diego, that specializes in building 292's. Had Edelbrock cast aluminum heads for this motor if you want to really get into it.

    Mummert, I think, is his last name. Let me know if you need concrete info. and I will pass it along if you are interested.

    I am into Poly 318's myself.

  10. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,133

    RAY With

    Not a thing wrong with the Yblocks. I ran them for years and have one now on the stand for rebuilding. Have it rebuilt right and your good for 100K plus. The rear seals did leak and there is a neopreme seal now for them. I take a pin punch and put a few dimples in the block and cap and off set the seal and once tightened it wont turn and it eliminates the seal problem. With the old rope type seal you could get 80,000+ miles prior to any leaks and I have changed them in the car with a sneaky pete tool. To me there a cool looking good old motor.
  11. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus


    My 57 wagon had a 292 in it. I was very impressed with it. My one and only Y block. It had the 3sp w/OD trans and was great to drive. I bet if you looked you would find an ass load of 292s around. Don't forget to check the trucks. If the 272 is in good usable shape then it makes sense to me but if it will need some work, I'd look for a 292. They are not hard to find. I bet that there is a Y block fan in your area that can fix you up. You just need to locate that guy. Always ask an F100 hotrodder. He might have one taking up space in his garage after he put that 302 or 390 in his truck.
  12. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,092

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    You live close to Childress... you should talk to Larry Grillet... he is a Y-Block guru....
    I love them...but they are an entity all there own.
  13. In my lifetime I have had three SBC's, one 302, and my 1956 272 Y-Block. Nothing compares my 272 is the best motor I have ever had hands down. It is so reliable it is not even funny. I drive the shit out of it from Canada to the United States. It has toured everywhere and been through the Grapevine about a million times. It has been in extreme heat in traffic as well, with no problems. One time my friend and I were going to a show and there was hevay traffic on a humid day, he was running an SBC and was starting to overheat while my 272 stayed cool. I swear by these motors. Only problem I ever had with my 272 was a little "o" ring broke in my carb, other than that is has been smooth sailing. All I do is change the oil. I put heavy heavy miles on it to as it is my only running car and daily driver. It has been all across Canada and the United States.

    I will admit there is no power though. I find it hard to keep up with friends on roadtrips who are running 302s, SBC, Pontiacs, etc. It doesn't have a whole lot of power or torque but it gets the job done.
  14. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,968


    The oil to the rockers gets pluged up if you are a lazy slob who never changes his oil. So that makes it a bad engine? I change my oil. The main bearig bores on 312 engines is to close to the main bolt centers and a weak spot, for race motors. Has nothing to do with 272s and if you want a 312, grind the mains on a 312 crank down to 272-292 diameter and use a bored 272 or a 292 block. I see no reason you shouldn't use a Y block if that is what you want.
  15. Arieldouglas
    Joined: Jul 16, 2011
    Posts: 63


    If you go with the Y-block, make sure you can come up with the right bell housing.
  16. Y-Blocks? I like 'em! What year 272 is it? Does it come with all the accessories? Dizzy trouble comes from the Load-o-matic type of pre '57 so if you have a '56 or earlier you can fix it with a latter dizzy. Oiling problems are BS as stated before, more a maintenance problem. $150 is a good price for a rebuildable core, if it is a '57 272 it just may have the ECZ-G heads. They cost more to go through than a sbc but they are not outrageous. If you can re-ring that's fine but if it needs to be bored go 292, pistons are cheeper and more cubes. Chillywilly on here is puting a Y in his '50, I don't think he has too much in his build, freshen up with a new cam and head work. Should run real well.
  17. Joey7319
    Joined: Nov 7, 2007
    Posts: 119


    I have had several Y blocks and loved them all. People love to talk trash on things they don`t understand or know about. The 292 in my ole 63 f250 was a great motor. I worked the truck daily when I worked as a carpenter in norther va. It handled big loads and heavy traffic fine. I gave it to a co-worker in 1992 or 3 about a week after my tags expired the apt complex I lived in wanted it gone. He drove it until we lost contact, who knows he may still be driving it. I have a 59 F250 with a 292 currently and love it too, but that motor will be going in my 60 f100 custom cab.
  18. Bigjake
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 278


    Most people that complain of no power with their Y Blocks are running motors that have never been opened since they rolled off the assembly line. In my experience these motors are very durable and just keep running instead of rolling over and dying like others. Freshen it up or rebuild it and they make good power.
  19. I've heard of this guy before. You guys really drive a hard bargain. I'm starting to change my mind again...:D
  20. Okay. You guys REALLY know how to drive a hard bargain. You're right. All of you. I'll give the guy a call today and see if we can't meet up so I can see it in person. I'll keep yall informed.
  21. JEM
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 1,041

    Member HEADS.htm

    I guess if you can software-model port flow you can make just about any port/flange configuration work pretty well these days.

    Me likey. Me want '56 Country Sedan. But me no need more projects right now. Me gotta finish what I got.

    Did anyone ever do a four-Weber intake for a Y-block?
  22. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,092

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    When I had my 55 Ford ,i had a 272 with a 3 speed.... you could not kill that just ran and ran.... and nothing sounds sweeter than a hot Y
  23. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,092

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    Totally AGREE!
  24. Yes! Looking for the picture but no luck as of yet. :rolleyes:
  25. ford1940deluxe
    Joined: Oct 20, 2007
    Posts: 8

    from Argentina

    beautifull engine, in argentina was build to 1992, look my page, in the engines seccion (motores) you find all you need.
  26. George Miller
    Joined: Dec 26, 2008
    Posts: 413

    George Miller
    from NC usa

    I worked on them back in the day at a Ford dealer. They are ok they had some problems like the others have said. Cams were a big problem on the 57 models, the crankshafts rear main wore bad on some engines, but not all of them. If that engine has a lot of miles on it with not much wear on the rear main, it will be fine. The push rods for the valves would some times come out. That was probably from revving to high. Some of us might have done that back then.
  27. You can bore a 272 out to the 312's bore, but 312 had a different crankshaft with extra stroke. The 312 webbing cracked because there were larger main journals, and a higher torque spec on the main cap bolts. People commonly machine the 312 crankshaft to fit in a 272/292 block and run it with no problems.
  28. Turns out that the person who owns it lives an hour and twenty minutes away from me in BFE. I know how that stuff goes around here. Picked up another engine from a place that far away from me, Population 550, and it was a nightmare trying to get the engine and transmission in the back of my truck with chicken-wire and 2-by-4's. Its no fun getting an engine from a field or yard with no concrete or asphalt; there's nowhere to put the cherry picker. On top of that, the old woman who's selling it is in her 70's. She already has the guilt card on her side. Everybody knows that once I drive there, I'm obligated to buy it just by design. Got my first car that same way. So anyhow, I'm in the middle of moving. I'll check back in a few weeks to see if she still has it after I've moved into the new place. Maybe by then I'll be willing to make the journey.
  29. Good luck, they are good motors. I have never had any problems with my distributer yet, but you never know. I constantly change my oil so I have also never had any problems there. I would give it a try they sound bitchin as well.
  30. mtkawboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,213


    I knew I was going to hear that from the Y-block purists. Its your money, my opinion hasnt changed, spend it wisely. You can spend a lot of money on a turd but its still a turd. If you go thru the whole motor it will be fine but dont even think about just dropping it right in as is.

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