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Clockwise Crankshaft Rotation. Is this a standard?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Baron Von Mike, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. Facing the front of an engine, do all crankshafts turn clockwise when running?

    Just a thought I had when doing timing this weekend on my Flathead. Wondering if its some industry standard, maybe based on some historical thing like Henry did it first so that's the way it is.

    It helps to remember which direction your crank pully is spinning when trying to do timing, like I found out this weekend.... [​IMG]
  2. Fraz
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,818

    from Dixon, MO

    Pretty sure the answer is, "Yup."
  3. enjenjo
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 2,543

    from swanton oh

    outside of a few Hondas, Corvairs, and some boat motors
  4. jalopy43
    Joined: Jan 12, 2002
    Posts: 3,085

    Member Emeritus

    Yes. It has somthing to do with the rotation of the earth,and disruption of Currliaen(sp) forces in the universe. Didn't you know?? [​IMG]sparky
    seb fontana and dana barlow like this.

  5. Most early FWD Citroen are backwards from that.
    Makes engine swaps rather difficult...or: why do you have three REVERSE?!?!?
  6. jalopy43
    Joined: Jan 12, 2002
    Posts: 3,085

    Member Emeritus

    Fwiw,JC Whitney used to sell reverse rotation camshafts for SBC's for boat applications. spark-o matic
  7. Scotch
    Joined: May 4, 2001
    Posts: 1,489


    Vic Edelbrock Sr. ran a reverse rotation crank in one of his early flathead powered modifieds to load the suspension from the inboard side and improve traction on the left-turn-only tracks. It worked, until it was outlawed. Then, he went to adding nitro. Still, reverse rotation engines are not uncommon, but it makes engineering the rest of the drivetrain and the accessories more difficult.

  8. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    from Atl Ga

    A lot of boat engines had reverse rotation: usually with twin engine applications, so the rotation of the props would counteract eachother so the boat would go straight. It's hard to find cams for these engines!
    I had a friend with twin 440 Chryslers, one reverse rotation, and Lamar Walden has a pair of factory turbocharged 409 boat engines, one reverse rotation!
  9. Clockwise rotation is pretty standard.
    Some of the high dollar 4 cylinder sprinters are using an SBC cut it half and running backwards to load the chassis and keep the outside wheel on the ground.
    It might be fun to make one run backwards just for grins. but no advantage to it on a streeter.
  10. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    By the way it is actually counterclockwise. When referring to am engine it is from the drivers seat not from the front of the car facing the engine.
    seb fontana and oldsboy like this.
  11. [ QUOTE ]
    By the way it is actually counterclockwise. When referring to am engine it is from the drivers seat not from the front of the car facing the engine.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I went and did a net search regarding this topic after I posted and there are a lot of places out there that talk about engines turning clockwise. Guess it depends on what side of the Pacific or Atlantic you're on. [​IMG]

    I also found a few places talking about engine reversing, like some have mentioned. Anyway, thanks for all the replies. Just something I was wondering about this weekend.

  12. SKR8PN
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 439


    I remember reading something about the old Hudson's,running in reverse rotation on the old NASCAR tracks..........
    Anybody know if they run that way from the factory??????
  13. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,734


    SKR8PN, you took the words right out of my mouth. In the early days of NASCAR my hero, Smokey Yunick ran Hudson's. The factory provided mechanics to tear down a winner and verify that ALL parts were factory. Smokey ground his cams backwards and ran the engines backwards to get more torque off the turns. Somehow he even had the factory part number cast into them. He won, they tore him down, and never found it. Anyone that can cheat the way he did has to be a HERO.
    scotty t likes this.
  14. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    noboD, If Smokey were alive he'd be upset to hear you say he cheated. He was a creative interpreter of the rules. It's been said that a good portion of the NASCAR rulebook is a result of Smokey reading the letter of the rule and not the spirit of the rule. He was a true genius and we can thank him for a lot of what we take for granted as far as high performance is concerned. I recommend that anyone who likes to get their hands dirty working on cars read the 3 volume story of his life that he wrote before he died. It will make you look at anything mechanical in a different way. He made you think.

    j-jock and Mr48chev like this.
  15. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,734


    Creative thinking? You mean like being limited to a gas tank that held X no. of gallons of gas. SOOOOO, he installed 2 inch fuel lines from the tank to the fuel pump. Just so happened the fuel line doubled as the roll cage, too. He was an absolute mechanical genius.He built the first dyno for automotive use, it's in Garlits's museum. sorry to hijack your topic, but Smokey is the greatest.
    j-jock likes this.
  16. Crease
    Joined: May 7, 2002
    Posts: 2,878


    HAd this discussion with HRH the other day. If you wanted to run a "backwards" motor, why couldn't you just flip the rear end over?
  17. Skankin' Rat Fink
    Joined: Jun 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,584

    Skankin' Rat Fink
    from NYC

    I would think the oil level would be wrong for pinion lubrication. Not sure if loading the opposite side of the gear teeth would also have an effect.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  18. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,784


    They did/do that with Corvair V8 swaps. Flip the transaxle that is.
    Skankin' Rat Fink likes this.
  19. And a buddy put a 350 chevy into a Porsche 911 for land speed, backwards and all
    It worked great, until they blew the starter and had to find a reverse rotation starter, had to go to Salt Lake from Wendover to have one made
  20. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,793

    from So Cal

    Detroit diesel engines can run either direction. They can have the blower on either side. They are modular for a reason, it made them very adaptable to whatever the need was. 2 Detroits side by side on a boat, no problem, run 1 of them clockwise and the other counter clockwise.
  21. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,483


    We do that for mid-engine Porsche setups. It all depends on overall design.
  22. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,603

    Rusty O'Toole

    It started because it made it easier for a right handed man to turn the crank. It became standard because it was easier to get magnetos, starters, generators, etc.

    There are a few exceptions. Honda, Corvair, and an early 2 cylinder air cooled Toyota from the sixties.
  23. My motor cycle spins from back to front or front to back depending on which side you are standing on. :D
    tiredford likes this.
  24. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,483


    OT for this board, but Honda's B, D, and H series engines rotate counterclockwise, as viewed from the "front" of the engine.
  25. Johnny Gee
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 9,380

    Johnny Gee
    from Downey, Ca

    Hankster32 likes this.
  26. Gray Marine .....
  27. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,975


    Trying to remove the center bolt on a harmonic balancer and the engine rotates. What to do? put a socket on there attached to a breaker bar wedged against the frame, and hit the starter. Worked great until I tried that trick on a Honda Civic.
  28. tiredford
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 535

    from Mo.

    I think what might confuse people is that some dissy's turn counter clockwise
  29. If they would have been thinking, they could have ordered an OMC, Crusader, or Mercruiser, reverse rotation starter for a Chevy marine engine. They weren't as common as borscht, but they were available in the 70s and 80s.
  30. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,883

    from Nicasio Ca

    My two stroke golf cart spins one way for forward, other for reverse.

    Well he did say all crankshafts..:)

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