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History Six Cylinder Drag cars photos

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by 35touring, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. SIX GUN
    Joined: Dec 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,170

    SIX GUN
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  2. THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,109

    THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
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    from FRENCHTOWN

    Scott, that is a very interesting question. For those who may be wondering about the Ford V8 hybrid heads used on the sixes here is a brief history as I remember it. Please allow me to briefly expound on its history. I'm sure a complete book could be written on this fascinating aspect of drag racing.

    Early racers recognized the advantages of the Ford six over other inlines of the day.
    Seven main bearings
    12 port head
    Forged crank
    Large 4" bores standard
    strong block
    intake/exhaust on the opposite side of the steering linkage

    However, the stock production cylinder head was designed as a low speed, high efficiency unit with emphasis on fuel economy, not performance. Racers soon realized the head was the biggest restriction to making big HP numbers with that motor. It didn't take long for racers to look to V8 heads to adapt to the 300 six.
    The bore center spacing on the 300 are 4.480". The bore centers on the small block Ford V8 are 4.380". So early on racers got two V8 heads, chopped off the end cylinders, centered the remaining three cylinders over the #2 and #5 cylinder bores, elongated the outer bolt holes to amazingly match up to the six's block holes, brazed the two pieces together, and had a crossflow head design that was vastly superior to the original six. There were a couple of issues with this method though. First, the intake / exhaust valve arrangement was backwards from the original six, necessitating a custom ground camshaft. This was no biggie, as a custom cam with lobes in the .700" lift range were needed to take advantage of the big valve, big port, canted valve design of the Cleveland V8s anyway. (Stock cams gave less than .40" lift.)
    The second issue was the offset of the four chambers that did not perfectly align with the bore centers by .100". So the next step was using three heads with two chambers each to offset all six holes by only .050" each. Better. But moving the chamber by as little as .050" can affect maximum flow potential by as much as 10%. The next logical step was a six-piece welded head made from six individual pieces of V8 heads to get the bore spacing perfect. Look closely at the picture of Bruce Sizemore's head you posted and you can see six distinct chambers welded together. Other stages of evolution included the use of hi-port exhaust plates as developed by Jack Roush and Wayne Gapp and Bob Glidden for their Cleveland small block Pro Stockers which were equally dominant and then using NASCAR aluminum heads.
    A common concern with all these hybrid heads was the weld / braze joints on the chambers. They were prone to cracking necessitating much between-race welding maintenance. To that end racers petitioned NHRA to allow their heads to be cloned into a single piece billet head, manufactured by Alan Johnson of Top Fuel / Funny Car fame. Once they were approved reliability issues were solved.

    To answer your original question I think only a few racers had the technical moxie and expertise to pull off this conversion - maybe a dozen teams or so. So if a dozen teams went through this process that would mean maybe four or five dozen hybrid Ford V8 heads got built. And let's not forget those who tried other heads, like our dearly departed good buddy John Peto who grafted Mopar W6 heads up to his very rapid Ford six.

    I'm going to wrack my brain and try remembering some of these teams. Maybe some of them still have their hybrid heads. Here is my list of racers I would ask about the whereabouts of them:

    David Majors
    Joe Williamson
    Ambrose, Argenta, and Huettman
    Bruce Sizemore
    Bob Andrews
    Mike Nahan
    Lou Olynick

    I'm sure I'm forgetting several teams so anybody feel free to add to this list. Some of these teams, Like Steve Ambrose and Bob Huettman (who, incidentally, are the longest competing sportsman team in NHRA history at 41 years with a Ford six!) are still at it.

    Race on Boys!
     
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  3. christmas tree
    Joined: Dec 7, 2009
    Posts: 337

    christmas tree
    Member

    There is at least one of the hybrid headed engines left. It is out in my shop and as soon as I can get my son to post some photos we will. It is a 292 Chevy with ford Boss heads fabrecated to Chevy. I start it every now and then to bring back memories.
     
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  4. SIX GUN
    Joined: Dec 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,170

    SIX GUN
    Member

    Thanks Greg for the history lesson, I would like to find one...

    Christmas tree,
    That's awesome, I had heard that they ran one on the mister crude anglia chevy 6, and that Sissell even tried one...
     
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  5. Third DodgeBrother
    Joined: Apr 18, 2009
    Posts: 187

    Third DodgeBrother
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    View attachment 3432350
     
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  6. THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,109

    THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
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    from FRENCHTOWN

    Hybrid headed engines were legal in the /Gas classes and /Altered classes and /Dragster classes. But never in the /Modified Production classes or /Econo Altered classes or /Econo Dragster classes which require "stock" head castings be used.
     
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  7. christmas tree
    Joined: Dec 7, 2009
    Posts: 337

    christmas tree
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    We heard about Sissel doing one and took photos to the nationals and he said he should be asking us questions as he had done blew his up. Something about a 90 degree mag drive had failed.
     
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  8. SIX GUN
    Joined: Dec 29, 2009
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    SIX GUN
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  9. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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  10. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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  11. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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  12. chase knight
    Joined: Jul 2, 2007
    Posts: 118

    chase knight
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    Tom was also successful with a Pontiac OHC I6 in the Anglia. Regards, Chase
     
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  13. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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  14. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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  15. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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  16. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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  17. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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  18. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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  19. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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  20. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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  21. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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  22. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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    Greg this is close to home...

     
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  23. SIX GUN
    Joined: Dec 29, 2009
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    SIX GUN
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    This is cool..
    automotive-specialists-manufactured-header-intakes.jpg
     
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  24. Jet96
    Joined: Dec 24, 2012
    Posts: 1,164

    Jet96
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from WY

    IMG_4575.jpg This one was recently put back together out here. All original except for the valve cover. It was first raced in '61 in Delaware area.
     
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  25. SIX GUN
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    SIX GUN
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  26. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
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    loudbang
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  27. ^^^^^^^^^^^^Starter placement is determined by the size of the flywheel, so having a starter in your FED 6 cyl powered digger wouldn't be any easier than a V8, correct?
     
  28. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
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    64 DODGE 440
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    from so cal

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  29. Old6rodder
    Joined: Jun 20, 2006
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    Old6rodder
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    from SoCal
    1. HA/GR owners group

    Could've been named "6 'cause 7 don't fit". ;)
     
  30. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
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    64 DODGE 440
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    from so cal

    Yup, just like mine could be named "2 'cause I can't afford 3". :rolleyes:
     
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