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4 Banger question,..Chevy ohv heads on Ford B blocks,..Good/bad??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by CoalTownKid, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. CoalTownKid
    Joined: Mar 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,024

    CoalTownKid
    Member

    I know of a local guy with a sweet 1928 Chevy 4 banger with ohv....I was wondering if the adapter that is availible is worth it, and does it work well, or is it crap?

    How does it compare to Riley, cragar, etc. ohv conversions??

    Has anyone done the conversion,...how is it running, etc?? Thanks
     
  2. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,746

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have seen it and it is well done, I just don't understand the idea. If you want to use a plate to adapt some other head to a B why not a better head? The Murray modified with the Ford Windsor head comes to mind. 171mph is pretty good to my mind.
     
  3. CoalTownKid
    Joined: Mar 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,024

    CoalTownKid
    Member

    well, that's just the question rich,...I'm not very educated on the early chevy 4 banger ohv heads,...thus my posting. I wasnt aware of the fact that it wsnt a very good head to be honest.

    All I knew was it can and has ben done,....the adapter plates are availible,...and the chevy engine with that head is availible to me....and it looks to be at a cheap price,...though i'll have to check with the guy again.

    as far as a ford windsor head,....could you explain it a bit furthur? what can it be found on, whats the setup, etc??

    thank you.
     
  4. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,746

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The Windsor is the 289-302-351 Ford engine made by the zillions. As i understand it in the old days guys put Olds heads on Chevys because they were better. Good and better in 1928 is something else in 2007. If I had a B I would look for a Gemsa or Crager or something like that. But the Chevy head would be cool. I put a Y block head on my 32 Plymouth 4. Could have used something better, but I thought it was neat at the time.
     
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  5. CoalTownKid
    Joined: Mar 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,024

    CoalTownKid
    Member

    hmm,...interesting...
    thanks

    Anyone have any experience actually using the chevy heds?? I think there ws someone on the banger meetings....cant recall who though??
     
  6. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,683

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    On the '28 head, I've seen several reports of great results, but I'd want to see something verifiable...it sure does look like an unusually bad head design for anything, and of course stock '28 Fords could smoke '28 Chevies...it's hard for me to believe that that head and an improvised combustion chamber are capable of doing much of anything. Seems like desperate improv for people who really want a Cragar...
    Bill Stipe, the camshaft guy, has a story on his (rather difficult) adaptation of a head from a SBC. I've been told that Olds heads (303 type and 455 type have same bore spacing) have correct spacing for a banger...how about researching a "Rocket 44"?
     
  7. I've made my feelings known about this conversion before.

    Most of my reservations have been highlighted above.

    Why adapt a head that isn't readily available, is differcult to get parts for and isn't a very good design to start?

    They don't fit, surprise, surprise. Combustion chamber, bore spacing, water ways, oil ways, everything is in the wrong place.

    If your going to use a 1" thick piece aluminium spacer than I'm sure its possible to adapt any head to fit any block!

    Valve shrouding is bad, combustion chamber is large and poorly shaped and it struggles to get more compression than a stock 'A', not a good thing on an ohv set-up.

    If you want ohv bragging rights on the cheap, go for it. Not for me though.
     
  8. I was reading a couple of weeks ago, doing research on banger motors that the hot set up for T blocks WAS a chevy head. Frontenac was a word I remember them being called or associated with. I did not get see any technicals of the applications, did not get that deep into the subject. May try a websearch and come up with something though...
     
  9. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,683

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    The Frontenac heads were speed heads made by the Chevrolet brothers...who had next to nothing to do with the Chevy company beyond providing their name. A Frontenac head had a whole lot more thought in it than the Chevy head, which looks like it was designed by an accountant...
     
  10. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,250

    atch
    Member

    prolly so! i've got a friend who runs a pinto head (overhead cam) on a T block in an old racer; a homemade setup using a chunk of aluminum to adapt the two together.
     
  11. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,180

    fordcragar
    Member
    from Yakima WA.

    The 1928 Chev 4 cylinder motor didn't have a combustion chamber in the head, it was created by not having the piston go all the way to the top of the cylinder. Using the 28 Chev head on the Ford "A" or "B" motor, the adaptor creates the combustion chamber. I'm not saying that this makes it better, but it is interesting the way that it works out.

    I'm not sure what the cylinder spacing has to do with it. On the Model A/B blocks cylinder spacing, 1&2 and 3&4 spacing are the same, but the spacing between 2&3 is bigger.
     
  12. Henry Floored
    Joined: Sep 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,370

    Henry Floored
    Member

    I would suggest doing what the 6- cylinder racers did in the past, cut and weld a Boss 302 style head to fit. I think I'd get an aftermarket aluminum 460 Ford head. This I'm certain would be too long. It would be far easier to "cut down" a head than to try to add to one. Should weld up OK too. It'd be a matter of getting the headbolt,coolant and oil drainback holes to line up. Usually those aftermarket heads have about a 5/8" thick deck surface so you could concievably "play" around and have enough material to do it with. Plus Ford heads have proper symetrical port heads which spaces out the warm spots and improves breathing.
     
  13. CoalTownKid
    Joined: Mar 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,024

    CoalTownKid
    Member

    Uh,...um,....ok you caught me!!! LOL!:rolleyes:
     
  14. CoalTownKid
    Joined: Mar 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,024

    CoalTownKid
    Member


    I do appreciate your input,...
    Fact is, as stated, simply that it was something I was UNFAMILIAR with, and as such I was looking for those who have used them, had a friend who used one, etc. etc....just looking for some useful insight into them as I did not know much about them. I'm still new to the 4 banger world and learning as I go. I knew the adapter was availible,...and a rather cheap engine was also availible to me,...thus my enthusiasm. That's all,...no biggy. I'll wait, and save some cash...and just run her as she'll be without a OHV setup.

    Thanks for all the info guys!!!
     
  15. class 'A'
    Joined: Nov 6, 2004
    Posts: 285

    class 'A'
    Member

    My .02 wont be much help but the way I understand it from an old guy I know, they ran like a raped ape with the chevy OHV head on the A blocks! BUT this was during a time when the chevys were getting crushed faster than you can drink a cold one and so they were cheap and fairly plentiful as compared to the more expensive riley.
    Personally I dont have any experience with them. I've seen one and the owner said it performed well but he didn't ever have a crager/riley/ miller/ etc to base it off of.
    Above all....I'd be different!

    Mike
    Curious about this windsor headed thing..Sounds a lot like the camel humps on a A block too.I'll stick with a Lion Speed head.
     
  16. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,683

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

  17. i have talked to this guy many time at iola
    real nice guy and a wealth of info
    i will be talking to him soon
    tk
     
  18. BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Joined: Apr 14, 2004
    Posts: 502

    BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Member

    Well said!!

    I own this unit that I got on trade a few years ago from the guy in Houston. Maybe I am spoiled since I have owned a couple of cool banger OHV's like the "air-cooled McKee" head and a single-stick McDowell, --and currently own a Lingo, a Miller, an original Riley 2P, and a Gemsa but this Chev OHV head does not have the "wow" factor nor the performance to be worth the trouble. Matter of fact, a well built flathead can make more power and be built cheaper than the Chev. conversion.

    One other point I want to make. Only during the last decade have bangers gained universal notoriety. Today you can "checkbook build" a fast banger and never pay your dues on learning what does and does-not make them run. Back in the 40's & 50's when all you had in a small town was a blacksmith and a couple of "broke" kids, it was a big deal to fabricate an adapter to mate a Chev head to a banger block. Now it is kinda like yesterday's lunch. Even my Lingo head is outdated technology wise. It is the #2 of 4 hand-built heads using steel plates welded together. In it's day it was very unique.

    To me, where the "cool-factor" is would be to find an OHC aluminum head and dissect it. Then using a home CAD program, draw a head that would work on a Model A/B block and then find someone to fabricate it on a CNC unit. Also, with metallurgy information as easily available as it is these days, building a backyard foundry and casting your own manifold, side-covers, and heads has a true spirit that will stop other enthusiasts in their tracks. Jason, you are a fantastic welder and an artist/illustrator. Use those talents and follow your advise about being a craftsman and build a head from scratch that bears your name. THAT my friend will take you straight to the top of the heap as far as "Bangerdom" goes!!
     
  19. davesville
    Joined: Dec 13, 2006
    Posts: 364

    davesville
    Member

    as a fellow banger enthusiast all these mac heads are interesting any pics or info
     
  20. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,683

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Went looking for some numbers...
    A, 200.5 cubes, 40 HP
    '28 Chevy 171 cubes, 35 hp.
    Torque curves probably more impostant on these low rev engines (don't have any handy), and of course comparing advertised HP from different makers may mean very little.

    Efficiency: A produces~.2 HP per cube, the radical efficiency improvement of OHV gives the Chevy a roaring...ummm...carry the zero--.204
    The basic A engine makes much more HP with simple uncorking like a better carb and manifold, Chevy reaction to such unknown to me.

    Again, I have seen no documentation on the Chevy head swap results, but I sure don't see any reason in these numbers to have expectations. Real results would be good to see, especially if compared to same carb and such with flathead A. I'm betting you could find corks with better airflow than that head.
     
  21. HaHa

    Not a fan then, Bruce!
     
  22. CoalTownKid
    Joined: Mar 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,024

    CoalTownKid
    Member

    wow,...that chevy engine sure sounds lousy!! thanks for the info bruce.

    Brent, thanks much for the insight, kind words and especially the inspiration!

    Well, guys, thank you for providing some very good insight and knowledge into the ohv chevy,...I'm that much more knowledgable now,....thanks!!
     
  23. dmarv
    Joined: Oct 10, 2005
    Posts: 968

    dmarv
    Alliance Vendor
    from Exeter, CA

    Here's a pic for you all.

    Dan Marvin, Owner
    Exeter Auto Supply
     

    Attached Files:

  24. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,683

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Now--I've been speculating here, based on the look of those awful ports and the performance images of stock '28 Chevies and Fords;
    Has anyone actually done one of these are seen figures?? I would love to see (very unlikely, I know) some actual numbers on a Ford with this head and another Ford with compsrable carburetion and compression...that's the real bottom line here, as no one expects this to outperform a Miller or anything. It looks really damn bad--but is it???
    There were probably a thousand Ford bangers raced for every Chevy, but ther is the Rufi car, a very fast Chevy...it needed a Ford crank to hold together, but what head did it use? I think it went 140...
    So anyone have any solid info or know anyone with one of these things??
     
  25. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    Rufi's car used a three port Olds head, which by sheer luck for Chevy hot rodders had the exact same head to block bolt arrangement as the Chevy. The "three port" referred to the exhaust ports, so you ended up with a flathead V8 type exhaust arrangement; one cylinder exiting out each end, and two exiting out the middle. Like a Chevy head, it stll had two intake ports. Only eight bolts held the head to the block, and some hot rodders drilled and tapped both head and block for additional clamping force after decking the piss out of the top of the block for more compression. As you know, the head resembled a diesel head, with no combustion chamber, so block decking was the order of the day for more squeeze. Also, someone discovered that Durant rods had the same bearing diameter as the Chevy but were longer, so if you used a set of them in your Chevy, they would push the pistons up higher in the bore and save you the trouble of decking the block. One stock feature that a Chevy 4 did have that an A did not was a distributor with centrifugal advance.
     
  26. PM Neal Jearn he is the guy that makes the adapters. go to the source and save all the BS speculation! Also Neal is a great guy to talk with and is very helpful.
     
  27. I'm afraid that its only ever going to be speculation.

    As Bruce has said time and time again in this thread, wheres the figures?

    If there is any hard evidence out there I'm guessing Neal Jern would have it, so why doesn't it get posted?

    I feel sorry for Neal Jern as its turned into a bashing of his product and how can you not take that personally?

    CoalTownKid asked for opinions on the conversion and thats what people are doing.
     
  28. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,683

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    There's an excellent writeup on this kit in the new Secrets--but as in everything in rodding, numbers and more important comparisons are lacking.
    This needs to be compared with a good flatheaded buildup...damned hard to arrange. We're mostly a pack of tinkers with one project and no way of comparing different approaches.
     
  29. bigboy308
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 127

    bigboy308
    Member
    from Merlin, OR

    That's info that this old mind recalls, Heathen--All the Chevvie guys wanted the Olds 3-port. I'v seen a few Chevrolet heads @ local swap meets, NO OLDS heads.
    Along this line, does anyone know the bore spacing on an A/B? My engines are 150 miles away right now, so can't measure, but what about something like a Jaguar DOHC head? What about a MOPAR hemi? Any Japanese (God forbid!) DOHC? I'm just throwing out ideas!!
     
  30. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,683

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    One problem is bigger space between 2 and three...see the cut that had to be made in Chevy V8 head in Stipe's article above!
    I've been told Olds V8 have good spacing--don't know. I believe early and late Olds V8's (303, 455) were bored on same tooling, have same spacing.
     

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