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Is this engine hot rod material?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wsdad, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,408


    Aw c'mon! Throaty? Mellow? Deep? Raspy? Farty? Choppy? Smooth?

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  2. and after you spent all that money on mega modifications its still a heavy low rpm poor initial design Y block boat anchor. Spend 1/2 or less on a FE or the later ford small or big blocks and you will go faster cheeper with much less hassle. Now I cut my teeth on Y block fords. In 1963 My mom had a 56 -4 dr htp with a 292 teapot carb and automatic. I was under that car pulling the pan replacing the rear main seal. Converted the valve train to overhead oilers after the valves stuck and we did a valve job. Changed out the carb & dizzy. A dumbass with a 61 Pk wanted to go faster so he traded even up. the two bbl was much better. My first car was a 56 htp with a .040 over 292. kept blowing head gaskets between cyls. leakesat the rear main and the rocker arms where dry. had a 55ford pk with a 57 312 and it was a dog also. I sold the PK to a guy that installed a buick nail head. My 56 car got a 300 HP 59 FE352 interceptor engine a stick trans and 411 gears. it would beat the fastest Y blocks with plenty to spare. Y blocks aren't worth spending money on. Ive got a half dozen ill sell for twenty cents per pound. I have a $100 dollars that says my stock 66 352 4 bbl 250 hp will beat any stock Y block in the quarter mile.
  3. Yes

    Imagine a Deep throaty raspy smooth mellow fart and you've got it!
  4. ohv4d
    Joined: Feb 21, 2013
    Posts: 42


    DSCN0725.jpg A Y-Block can be a dog, if you don't know how to build an engine! Y-Blocks respond to the very same mods as any other engine. A little more cam, better intake, better exhaust, good ignition. What engine will run well without those things?
    Here are couple of links to local Y-Block powered drag cars. Both are 530 HP +
    First link is for Todd Ferguson's White 64 Falcon. 331" Y-Block power
    Second link is for John Hildebrand's Teal 31 Ford Coupe. 343" Y-Block power.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
    1927graham likes this.
  5. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,385


    Id say it's worth pulling, tearing down, inspecting, then oiling up and storing in the barn. Y-blocks fit a specific era of hot rods, see what kind of car you find and if a Y-block fits your plans, if not it's trading material for other parts.
    But then again, I'm a small block chevy guy.
  6. I used Y-blocks in my first 2 Model A's, that was in 1961-63, they were a great motor.
  7. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,842


    Atomickustom, youtube some y-block engines, and listen to 'em.
  8. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,559

    from Diablo Ca.

    in the spirit of hot rodding, yes. If it runs, and you can pull it out and drop it in your car that has much less power, you will have a faster car. Is it worth big bucks to rebuild a low compression truck motor- no. Not to me at least. Many Rods were just stock engines pulled out of junkyards and dropped into whatever car the kid had. Not all were J-2's or Hemis with multi carbs. I wouldn't Touch a Y block myself, got one in the Barn right now I pulled out of my Ranchero due to bad oiling and a blown head gasket. It was cheaper for me to drop a 289 in. I will say though, not many cars sound better than a y block with duals
  9. Moselli
    Joined: Feb 16, 2009
    Posts: 101


    I'm not qualified to say whether this is a good Hot Rod motor, but I wanted to relate some of my limited knowledge about the Ford 292 motors.

    In my teens, back in the 1960's I had a part time job pumping gas at a station which was part of the "Rotary" gas station chain. These stations were located in upstate New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania. Rotary was considered (rightly or wrongly) to be of lesser quality than the name brands of the time - Esso, Atlantic, Sunoco, Chevron and Gulf. One of the products we sold in addition to Regular (28.9 cents) and Rotary Extra (32.9 cents) gas was what we called reclaimed oil. When we did an oil change, we would put the used oil (and other fluids) into a 55 gallon drum and when it was full we would exchange it for a drum of the high quality, low priced filtered reclaimed bulk oil. The station owner explained to me that oil never wears out, it just gets dirty and if you filter out the dirt, it was almost like new motor oil at half the price. I asked him if I should use it in my car? He looked at me with this wry smile and said, "Not if you care about your car."

    We would pump the reclaimed oil from the drum into the glass quart bottles that had the long tin spouts on top. Regular cans of motor oil were 50 cents and the reclaimed bulk oil was attractively priced at 25 per quart. Each of the two gas island had a tray of a dozen bottles of this reclaimed oil. Refilling the bottles was necessary at least twice each shift.

    Friday night was a big night at the pumps. Most workers in town were paid on Friday and usually in cash, so one of the first stops that everyone would make was to get gas and have their oil checked. We catered to the "thrifty and value conscience" clientele who usually bought a maximum of 5 gallons or $5.00 worth of fuel. The only tip I ever received was, "Make sure you're out of the way when I pull out!" When the customer asked for "five" it was our job to ask them "Gallons of Dollars?" as some would try the, "I meant 5 gallons not five dollars."

    The owner of the station, George, said we owed the major portion of sales of the reclaimed oil to the happy owners of the Fords with the 292 V-8 motors. When they pulled in you could hear the unmistakable sound of the tick-tick-tick from the lifters and noisy rocker arms. I can't recall lifting the hood of a Ford with a V-8 where I didn't add at least one, two and even three quarts of reclaimed bulk oil. Often the customer would ask me to show him the dipstick as I added oil and when he saw that it was starting to show up on the bottom of the stick, he would have me stop adding. I don't have any scientific or analytical data but I suspect that frequent and continued use of our high quality reclaimed bulk oil may have contributed to the tick-tick-tic.

    The last part of this was when a customer was all gassed up and restocked with fresh bulk oil and pulled out, it usually took a few minutes for the blue haze of oil smoke to clear the air. I've already told you more than I know so I'm going to stop here.
    Tudor, Baumi, ProEnfo and 1 other person like this.
  10. NMCarNut
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 632


    Hard to find any good clips on YouTube but here is one that gives you a hint:

    Certainly one of the better sounding engines in my book.
  11. What engine will run well without those things. plenty of engines will run even better than well in stock form.without those things. ill name a few. the baby hemis from the 50,s Tim Flock won the first Daytona race in a car he borrowed from a spectator that had a hemi. the small block chevys all in stock form made more RPM & HP than a Y block. the FE fords in stock form where pretty good. Tiny Lund in a 406 ford in his very first Daytona race won in a 63 ford in 63. Take any small block ford and it will out perform the Y block. Caroll Shelby did amazing things with the little 221 ford. Look at the Title of this thread. Is this engine hot rod material? The OP is asking for opinions. I gave mine . and I gave examples. Ive owned over a thousand vehicles and plenty where Y block fords. Likely well over a hundred and I never had any that I considered a really good one. they all had excessive blow by. one 59 galaxie had a brand new Sears Allstate rebuit engine installed by Sears and it had plenty Blow by. the valve train is heavy and the solid lifers make a irritating noise to me. I suppose that why the recommendation of straight pipes so you cant hear the clacking. Tommy Ivo and lots of others including Me Are big Nailhead fans. however they are inferior design the heads just wont flow. some even make them breathe backwards use the exhaust ports for intake and the intakes for exhaust. Sure they can be reengineered to run but at what cost? You are free to give your opinion. Mine from over five decades of experience is Y blocks are boat anchors.
  12. Cleaned up & trash taken out...let's keep it on-topic and lay off the arguing. Drama queens - you're on notice...the tree will be pruned soon.
    ProEnfo and 1927graham like this.
  13. Re-opened. Let's keep it focused on Y-blocks.
  14. EZrider
    Joined: Jan 19, 2006
    Posts: 46

    from Waco, TX

    ALL V-8's had the same firing order (until FORD Cleveland & late Windsors).
    The sound was/is affected by the multitude of exhaust system variations.
    I'm sure I'll get a lot of argument for this statement.......
  15. Yes, it is a 60 F350. You can either get it back on the road as is, or do what I did: Remove the wheels and tires (17.5 x 8.0), front spindles, rear axle (mine is a Rockwell - solid as a Dana 60), brakes, steering box and shaft (basically the same as a 53-56 F-100), dash, e-brake handle, cab marker lights, anything else you can bone out, and transfer it all to a 28-31 Ford Model AA. That Y-block and tranny are also well suited to the AA and would give it a late 50s, early 60s hotrod look. You will have to bend out the front axle, as the Model AA kingpin angle is different from the 60. Quite the setup if you are ready for a BIG BOY truck, and the duallies look like you're a serious truck rodder.
    By the way, those wheels are six-lug, with lefthand threads on the driver's side. I wish you were closer; I'd make an offer to take them off your hands.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
  16. As a long-time Ford guy, I have an opinion.... LOL

    A Y-block is a period piece these days. If your heart is set on building a 'Traditional' V8 Ford-powered rod, you have few choices; the flathead, the Y-block, and the FE. Technically the SBF qualifies (being introduced in '62), but doesn't have the 'look' of a vintage motor, not to mention the decided lack of 'early look' speed equipment. With that said, it's not at all a bad motor. During it's heyday ('55-57), it gave the 283s a run for their money. But Ford's demotion of it to a 'base' V8 in '58 stopped further factory development until it's demise in '64 and the aftermarket also abandoned it. It's solid-lifters-only, so valve adjustments are needed, and they are heavy; nearly as heavy as the larger FE that replaced it. But they're also pretty tough; a rebuild with modern pistons/rings/etc will result in a motor every bit as reliable as any of the early iron, better than some. These things would run with abuse longer than most of it's contemporaries. Will it cost more to build one compared to a SBC or SBF? Yep, it will. Want big power? You'll need really deep pockets. But a Y-block with 3-2s and polished T-bird valve covers is easily attainable and every bit as cool as the early GM V8s. It won't have earth-shattering power, but will scoot a light car down the road just fine.

    And they do have the sweetest exhaust sound....
  17. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,951

    from Nicasio Ca

    Which statement?
    And no arguing! ^^^ :)
    Didn't Olds have the different firing order?
  18. racer32
    Joined: Sep 22, 2007
    Posts: 745


  19. davo461
    Joined: May 13, 2007
    Posts: 345


    15486372 is the magic sound formula; flat heads and Y blocks alone had that firing order,( I think), and because of that firing order, they had that superb, burbling, sound. Top gear and low speed , the ultimate ear candy.
    volvobrynk likes this.
  20. wsdad
    Joined: Dec 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,258


    I didn't get to see what drama had been pruned but I'm sure thanks are in order.

    I've been enjoying all the different opinions and information so far. Just knowing what it is was a big help. The links folks provided were very helpful. They had very valuable information. However, they were all mostly PRO-Y-block, as they were either trying to sell parts or were zealous enthusiasts.

    Nothing wrong with that, but it's good to hear both sides. It helps a person make an informed decision that he doesn't later regret when the engine does things he was warned about.

    I didn't grow up in the 50's or 60's. I'm only 48. So i appreciate hearing from folks who did. My exposure to that era has only been through the HAMB, magazines, and, "Happy Days." God only knows why I'm so enamored with cars from this period.

    This may actually fit my build style pretty well. I'm trying to build a 1957-1960ish TE440 style digger that i hope to drive on the street like a t-bucket. The traditional-ness and the sounds this engine makes may be enough for me. I am trying to balance that against the cost to rebuild, the weight, and the quirks/problems with the engine.

    I can just imagine driving it around, listing to that gurgle. This one may not need rebuilding right away so that kind of tilts the scale in it's favor but i still haven't completely made up my mind yet.

    I guess any time people disagree on a subject, there will be at least two drama queens in the crowd. I'm really enjoying the discussion, information, and everyone's opinions so far.

    Thanks, Gwhite, for taking the time to clean this up instead of simply closing it down.

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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  21. the camshaft is what determines the firing order. my son installed a 351 W cam in a 289 and it changed the firing order. Way back in 56 or 57 a fellow Called racer Brown made and installed a different firing order cam in a 312 and with other mods and set a speed record at Bonneville. I will admit the factory supercharged 312,s where fast .
  22. 62RestoBird
    Joined: Dec 26, 2014
    Posts: 12

    from Canada

    To the op: it would help to know what your expectations of it are rather than just "hot rod potential". That a pretty broad area.


    Do you want a 50's style looking engine?

    Do you want to make the most HP?

    Do you want a show piece or a go piece?

    What kind of car is it going in?

    Without some intention of what you want to do with it, you're going to get opinions all over the chart.
  23. wsdad
    Joined: Dec 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,258


    62RestoBird: To the op: it would help to know what your expectations of it are rather than just "hot rod potential". That a pretty broad area.
    Wsdad: It's a little weird. I hope to build a 1957 to 1960ish front engine dragster to be driven on the street like a t-bucket.

    62RestoBird : Do you want a 50's style looking engine?
    Wsdad: Yes.

    62RestoBird : Do you want to make the most HP?
    Wsdad: No, but the more the better.

    62RestoBird: Do you want a show piece or a go piece?
    Wsdad: Both, but leaning towards show.

    62RestoBird: Without some intention of what you want to do with it, you're going to get opinions all over the chart.
    Wdad: Good point. However, I welcome everyone's opinions, even if they are all over the place, as my own opinion is also in flux right now.

    I just discovered this engine. It's funny - This thing has been sitting under my nose on Dad's farm for years, but I always thought it had a 6 cylinder in it so I never lifted the hood (Sorry 6-cylinder guys!). I'm getting kind of excited about it.

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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  24. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    Hi Sling Shot, well you have lots of opinions pro and con, enough to help you make up your mind. I will only add one thing that has not been mentioned.

    As the engine is in a truck the flywheel, clutch, bellhousing, transmission etc will be unsuited to use in a hot rod or car. So you will have to find those parts, or find an old Ford you can get them off of.

    Also the truck engine is probably built a little different. Like heavy duty rods and crankshaft (good) mild cam and low compression heads (not so good). I will leave it to the Ford experts to fill you in on the good and bad points of the truck vs car versions. But, to make a hot rod, you will have to replace certain parts like pistons, cam, lifters, etc.
  25. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    If you wanted to make a late fifties drag style car, first choice in engines would be Chrysler hemi. Second would be Oldsmobile. Third would be Chev. I don't remember any Y block dragsters although I am sure someone will make a monkey out of me in a minute.
  26. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,951

    from Nicasio Ca

    I've never had a Y block and have enjoyed reading this thread. As I understand it, it was the first OHV Ford engine, and it's main trouble area is lubrication to the top end (easily fixed with retrofitted external lines)? Would it be safe to say that Ford was lacking in OHV experience compared to the others? Was Ford rushed into the OHV engine, had they lacked development/testing time?
    Not saying it's a good or bad hot rod engine, they all have their foibles, just interested from a history perspective.
  27. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020

    Member Emeritus

    You didn't say you were building a race car. For normal driving around town and sometimes a little extra legal fun, a Y block is as good as any other engine. If you want a really fast class legal NHRA or SCTA car, not so much. I put a Y block head on my Plymouth banger. I know later Ford small block heads would have fit the same. But I just wanted to use a Y block head. Still holds a Muroc record. Is a '32 plymouth a good Hot Rod engine. I thought so.

    Attached Files:

    gwhite likes this.
  28. Oh Tim where are you????
    Ain't nothing wrong with a Y block, ask Tim or race him sometime.................. sometimes boat anchors do work if you know WTF you are doing............................
  29. I think maybe some of the oiling problems where due to the fact the rear mains would start leaking. then someone would pour in a gooey honey like product. and that would clog the passage where the head meets the block and the oil must make two 90 degree turns. If your rebuilding a Y block radius those turns and enlarge the passage in the bottom of the head. By the time the problem with the non oiling rockers is found out. the rocker arm & shafts are worn from running dry, Then when overhead oilers via external lines are installed they oil too much and starve the crank bearings. You needed to sometimes crimp the external line to reduce flow. Its claimed that the cam bearings will spin blocking the oil due to the holes not alighning. Ive tore down a couple dozen that didn't oil the rockers and not one had spun cam bearings. I once removed the rocker shafts and tapped the oil hole in the head for a alemite grease fitting. Used a grease gun and forces 90 wt gear oil in the revers of normal oil flow. that trick actually worked. I learned it from reading the story from GUS,s Model Garage in popular Science Magazine. in 1963 many 292 truck engines where factory equipped with a PCV. that helped with the blowby and prevention of sludge buildup. Myself I would build and use a Y block if it was going into a tri five T bird or 55 or56 crown Vicky that I was selling.
  30. wsdad
    Joined: Dec 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,258


    RichFox: You didn't say you were building a race car.
    Wsdad: I'm not. I'm building a street car that looks like a race car.

    RichFox: For normal driving around town and sometimes a little extra legal fun, a Y block is as good as any other engine. If you want a really fast class legal NHRA or SCTA car, not so much.
    Wsdad: It won't be NHRA legal.

    RichFox: I put a Y block head on my Plymouth banger. I know later Ford small block heads would have fit the same. But I just wanted to use a Y block head. Still holds a Muroc record. Is a '32 plymouth a good Hot Rod engine. I thought so.

    Wsdad: Wow. That's cool!

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