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Technical Lincoln V12 as a custom/rod motor?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Dad Was A Racer, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Dad Was A Racer
    Joined: Oct 7, 2014
    Posts: 84

    Dad Was A Racer
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    How usable is the 40's Lincoln V12 motor as a hotrod/custom powerplant? My primary concerns are 1. How buildable are these motors (parts, performance parts)? And 2. What tranny options do they have? I know it's an expensive build as I've just completed my 8BA flathead and I know that's probably less (much less?) than the V12.
     
  2. Well, they weren't a racers choice.;)
     
  3. PackardV8
    Joined: Jun 7, 2007
    Posts: 817

    PackardV8
    Member

    Looks cool, doesn't go fast, costs more to build; but that's true of all flatheads, just 50% more so of the Zephyr V12.

    jack vines
     
  4. youngGun1
    Joined: Jul 20, 2017
    Posts: 14

    youngGun1

    H&H flatheads has all the parts you need, and the v12's will cost about twice as much as a flathead v8
     
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  5. Torana68
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 857

    Torana68
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    from Australia

    they are different (but dont fit in with my ideas whats it for?) but for me different would be any of the OHV variants about (other than a SBC, .....Olds Cad etc) , you could build a really good flathead 8 for less?
     
  6. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 4,505

    'Mo
    Member



    Well, they look cool!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is the original. from the song "Hot Rod Lincoln".

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  7. Clay Belt
    Joined: Jun 9, 2017
    Posts: 222

    Clay Belt
    Member

    I recall hearing they had a tendency to overheat, as they weren't cooled very well. I don't remember if that was Lincoln V12's in general, or just early ones. I don't believe there are very many hop up parts off the shelf, but I am sure you can get plenty of parts custom made. On the upside, they sound pretty epic.
     
  8. Caddystew
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 85

    Caddystew
    Member
    from East Texas

    There is one for sale in East Texas. Already rebuilt
     
  9. Caddystew
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 85

    Caddystew
    Member
    from East Texas

    Forgot to add but not mine. I just know of it.
     
  10. Dad Was A Racer
    Joined: Oct 7, 2014
    Posts: 84

    Dad Was A Racer
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    Details or contact information?
     
  11. there are 2, and 3 carb manifolds available for the V-12's now.
     
  12. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 39,965

    porknbeaner
    Member

    They used to make a bunch of hop up pieces for them and there is nothing as pleasing as a "Hot Rod Lincoln".

    '39 Ford tranny Zephyr gears, LaSalle both real hot rod trannys.
     
  13. Ford Flathead V8's have breathing problems. Lincoln V12's are even worse. The intake ports are small and siamesed. Not a good recipe for an efficient naturally aspirated motor. But they sure look cool, especially when a blower is installed to help with the breathing issues.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,308

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    A few have been used in hot rods for novelty value. But far more Lincoln V12s have been replaced by flathead Ford and Merc V8s in Lincoln Continentals.

    The V12 was only 292 cu in, not a lot bigger than a 255 Merc. And there is a lot more speed equipment available for the Ford and Merc.

    Of course any OHV V8 has it over the Lincoln, Ford, or Merc flathead.

    Short answer - not worth the bother unless you want to spend a lot of money for a novelty that does not make a lot of HP or torque. That was another thing, they were low on torque compared to straight eights in their price class and even the better six cylinder cars. That is why they made a Zephyr transmission with lower 2nd gear than a Ford.
     
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  15. Hombre
    Joined: Aug 22, 2008
    Posts: 489

    Hombre
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    Most of the above are good common sense answers, yea it is going to be down on power, yea it is going to be expensive to build, yea parts are going to be hard to find, yea there are better choice's from those two examples--cost and power. Now with that said all of those reasons neglect the COOL factor, and the Lincoln is one thing really going for it and that is COOL.

    When you think about it a lot of the traditional power plants we build are not in truth the best choice if you use those examples. I am almost finished with my 392 blown Hemi motor. Man is that expensive? If just power had been my criteria I could have just built a BBC blown and been done with it. That however in my mind is not cool.

    A Lincoln V12 Flathead now man that is cool. I say build that critter, and I think it is a great choice...
     
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  16. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 39,965

    porknbeaner
    Member

    They had pistons about as big around as a quarter. :D

    Anything flathead is not going to give you the bang for the buck and anything with valves in the head. Hell even the 327" Rambler had it over about anything flathead.

    I think that a lot of what we do is actually an exercise in futility. But end of the day any windmill is worth jousting with isn't it. :D
     
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  17. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,308

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    When I first heard of the Lincoln Zephyr V12 I thought "cool, a flathead Ford but 50% more of it". A little checking revealed that it wasn't that simple and the V12 had problems of its own. Back in the day the top flathead experts agreed you could get more out of the V8 than the V12. And for a lot less money.
     
  18. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 39,965

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Given both engines and the same output you would be ahead with the V8 just because of the weight difference. :)
     
  19. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 8,940

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    If I really wanted a V12 I would get a JAG. I know. Not traditional. But a pretty motor. Fairly available. And I have seen one guy make them run fast on the dirt.
     
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  20. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,308

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    There seem to be a lot of old Jags sidelined by brake problems, electrical problems, anything but basic engine problems. There must be a lot of good motors out there. If you can get one cheap why not. Just so long as you don't have to rebuild it.
     
  21. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 701

    fortynut
    Member

    Lots of hostility toward this unusual, but unique engine, I came to realize that, after reading all the negative things that were mentioned about it. In my mind, having driven a customer's Lincoln back when I was working for Old Union Car Company was how smooth it ran. As a matter of fact, I had to listen hard to know if it was running, or not. In case many of you never studied one up close, they are hardly more than a Sixty Horse with two extra cylinders per side. So you can get a grasp of the internal dimensions from that. While I'm no expert, my guess is the parts of each would exchange; which would give a whole new twist to hopping them up. Another older rodder in Mississippi had one with a three deuce intake he had machined up, that was going in a '25 roadster on 'A' rails, before Parkinson's sidelined him. I looked at it every time I visited, and warmed up to the idea of one in a gow job. And, while the cost factor has been l brought up, the venerable Flathead is no longer an easy build, either, when you realize your choices are limited by current inflationary rises well past they were 'back in the day', and a visually good block needs testing for disastrous cracks and other things that make them little more than scrap, if present. A Ferrari has a twelve, and is capable of a long smooth power curve ; so if you can make one of the Ford's get in that ball park, in a lightweight package, you could put one of the Devils thumbing his nose on the radiator cap and whiz past the naysayers in a zip. Plus, when you realize that you could also adapt a T5 WC to it, using one, that is hardly more than warmed up tune, would be more than a little fun to jockey around. So, get up with H&H, and go for it! All you have to lose, is the seat of your pants!
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
    kadillackid likes this.
  22. As a recovering Jag owner, I can tell you more than you want to know about Jag V12s....

    They are a pretty tough motor; unless it's been overheated, then they like to drop valve seats, usually with catastrophic results. Rebuild costs are outrageous.... The ignition systems on them is poor, and the EFI versions fall under the 'electrical problems' banner. They're basically two six cylinder motors on a common crankshaft (60 degree V rather than 90). Available in two factory sizes; 326 CI ('71-91) and 366 CI ('92-97). Biggest downside is they're heavy... 800 lbs, and that's with all-aluminum construction. If you turn the motor backwards manually, it breaks the timing chain tensioner. They're a 'wet' deck motor, so corrosion of the head studs is a real problem; you need a special 'puller' to get the heads off. The early versions have a 'better' cylinder head ('71-80, none were built in '81), the later motors had the 'May' head for increased fuel economy but it hurt top-end power.

    If you have extremely deep pockets, there is speed parts for them still out there, but the V12 is the reason why Chev V8 into Jag swaps are common...
     
    X38 likes this.
  23. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 8,940

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    I was running my car at El Mirage one day and happened to notice a Camaro with Webers. To many Webers. It had a V12 Jag in it. Had to ask the guy. He said his shop specialized in Chevy into Jag swaps. Hence he had several Jag 12s laying around. So he ran them. In D C and B classes. Many different intakes over time. Thing ran good and was fast. I don't remember how fast. Maybe Jimmy 6 will.
     
  24. Never2low
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,034

    Never2low
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    There was a '33 roadster at the K-Zoo NSRA's, a few years ago, with a Jag V12 shoehorned into it.
    Fenderless, no hood or hood sides, carbs sticking way out of the sides.
    I overheard the owner talking to someone, and when asked "why", he shrugged his shoulders and sheepishly said; "cause my Edelbrock crate engine is in the wife's Jag...."
     

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