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Donovan 4 Banger, Info - experiences etc Anyone?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by AV8-Rider, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. AV8-Rider
    Joined: Jan 31, 2002
    Posts: 909

    AV8-Rider
    Member

    Once my AV8 roadster is finished there will be a Hopped up 4 banger on the agenda. At least sometime in the future.

    Even though I have a great love for old parts and genuity I have always been very curious about the Donovan 4 banger.
    I can see my self in a low slung light weight modified with a brush-painted "sleeper-mill" up front.

    A company selling the engine/parts
    http://www.modelaparts.net/index.html

    The story of Donovan
    http://www.metalshapers.org/nitrogeezers/Ed Donovan 1.htm


    Wonder if any of you HAMBERS have any experience with this brutal little mill. Everything is of interest.
    - availability
    - Used prices if actual
    - Drivabillity
    - Reliabillity
    etc.

    Educate me.

    Paul
     
  2. man,

    that thing is serious!

    danny
     
  3. scarylarry
    Joined: Apr 24, 2001
    Posts: 2,547

    scarylarry
    Member

    Experience with a $16000. engine?? Geez, not around my place!
     
  4. AV8-Rider
    Joined: Jan 31, 2002
    Posts: 909

    AV8-Rider
    Member


  5. AV8-Rider
    Joined: Jan 31, 2002
    Posts: 909

    AV8-Rider
    Member

    I'll give it another go.
    Any kind of info or tips would be nice.

    Paul
     
  6. BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Joined: Apr 14, 2004
    Posts: 502

    BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Member

    I guess my question to you in "why" do you need one? Like many others here, I actually race Model A/B bangers and I have no 'need' for one. Please don't confuse this with "desire" --but I definitely will never make enuf Hp to "need" one. I think that is the reason Ms. Kathy doesn't or hasn't made very many of them.

    A guy that I race with (Dan Price) also has all of the patterns and stuff to cast an aluminum Model B engine. There is no market so his stuff just sets on the shelf.
     
  7. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,239

    farna
    Member

    Even though I have a great love for old parts and genuity I have always been very curious about the Donovan 4 banger.
    I can see my self in a low slung light weight modified with a brush-painted "sleeper-mill" up front.


    There are so many choices for a hopped up four that I also have to ask WHY??? It looks like the engine is so over built AND expensive for what you get. Now if you want to throw a blower or 20+ psi turbo system on it, I can see it. But for the money you can buy a used Offy/Drake four and have something just as exciting to see under the hood, and more capable. Of course finding one might be a problem. I found a 110 that sold for $15,000 recently, completely rebuilt and ready to run (http://www.race-cars.com/engsold/othereng.htm).

    If you're looking to be different and get noticed, either the Donovan or Offy will do it! If I had plenty money to spend on a car, I'd think about it too. Most of us have way more limited budgets that don't allow more than dreaming about a $16K engine, but don't let our envy get in your way!!
     
  8. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,541

    The37Kid
    Member

    I don't see any reason to spend that amount of money on a block. If I did have that much in spair funds I'd be buying overhead valve heads for the Diamond blocks I have. I miss my old Riley 4Port!
     
  9. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Wow! Another Diamond B person! I have three diamond blocks. When I first found out the things existed, I went hunting at Hershey with zero results--after I got home, my flashlight slipped while I was fiddling with the pump an my truck, and I spotted the diamond mark on the engine in the truck! Since then, I've gotten hold of two more.
     
  10. kustomkoupe
    Joined: Mar 28, 2004
    Posts: 996

    kustomkoupe
    Member

    not to hijack...but whats better about the diamond block?

    thanks
    zach
     
  11. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

     
  12. Not much help. The things are so expensive, I would have to wonder how many have ever been sold.

    A friend of mine, Paul Kosma, built one for George Poteet ($$$) years ago,
    for an intended B'ville roadster p/u.

    Beautiful piece. Virtually bullet proof. I was blown away by the quality. It was truly a piece of art.

    The only problem he ran into were the offset rod caps. They were a bitch to get to, to torque. Car never ran at B'ville as far as I know, and I think it was sold/traded to Jimmy Dobbs.

    I think the expense involved for a street motor is disproportionate to the return. But with Mr. George, that's not a factor. We could all hope to have that problem! I'm too old for him to adopt me.

    If you're looking for strength,you might want to look at Bob McKinney's girdle and billet 5 main crank for B blocks. He was stopping production on them, but there are probably some still around. He also made an awesome OHC head setup. Also AL rods, flywheel, timing gears, etc. Do a search for REM.

    I have another friend with a 32 B, with babbit, running a Cragar, that will run interstate all day long. Ex-Great Am Race car, also built by Kosma.

    I think you can have a potent 4 banger without mortgaging the farm. But if you're in Mr. George's league........"Let's do the engine".

    We can all be envious of you.
     
  13. BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Joined: Apr 14, 2004
    Posts: 502

    BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Member

     
  14. Scott Miller
    Joined: Jun 2, 2005
    Posts: 779

    Scott Miller
    Member
    from Tampa, Fla

    BRENT!! Are you racing at Zephyrhills in November or Feb? Talked to you there a coupla times.
     
  15. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    willowbilly3
    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    I saw a picture today of one with the stud girdle and overhead cam head that gernaded at B'ville. Stud girdle was still intact but the rest of the engine was literally gernaded. They were trying to run 40.5% nitro and mused that they should have stopped at 40%
     
  16. BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Joined: Apr 14, 2004
    Posts: 502

    BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Member

    I don't know. We brought 3 cars this past February and only got to run about 4 times total during the 3 days. The distance and expense for us to bring cars that far is just too great for no more track time than what we received. The guys are great and fun to run with but they are trying to field too many classes IMO. When we first started running down there, we ran about 5 times each day at a minimum. That meant we got plenty of track time. It was easy enuf to justify the 13 hour pull each way.

    So you and I chatted huh. Was I nice to you ...or a stuck up, no-good, know-it-all type of hillbilly?? :eek: :D
     
  17. AV8-Rider
    Joined: Jan 31, 2002
    Posts: 909

    AV8-Rider
    Member

    HEY HEY

    Been away for the weekend. You boys sure have been into it.
    This is the kind of HAMB post I LOVE.

    BRENT in 10-uh-C You should not worry about me taking this the wrong way.
    I asked for you knowledgable guys to educate me and you have made a fine start.
    I will definately be on here with more ???? in the future.

    I have no endless amount of fun money to spend on this project either but I will work hard to get a strong running engine for this next project when the time is ready.
    I assume that we who live over here i europe are more used to dig deep to get the things we want when it comes to building an old style hot rod.
    The flathead in my AV8 is definately not a cheap way of making the heap move.
    Just the shipping costs for all kinds of parts bought in the US adds upp to quite a large amount during a build up.
    Patience - hard work and determination is the key.

    BACK TO THE ISSUE:

    If I get you guys correctly the general oppinion is that the Donovan engine is not worth the money compared to what you can get out of a regular B block.

    Is there any good litterature available regarding hopping up bangers? Old or new books?
    I know of Secrets of Speed society and FAST as a source.

    A pic of the diamond casting would be nice. Sounds like a cool thing to look for.
    A neigbour of mine has a sleeping 28 Tudor restauration with a restored B engine. I know he has a complete spare B engine. May be possible to buy.
    It's time to start diggin' into banger tech.
    I've had endless fun learning about Flatheads the past years and it is interesting to start a new educational project. I need to learn in order to search for the right parts.

    Thanks guys.

    Paul
     

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