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Projects Something Something 56 Ford

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tin_duke, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. tin_duke
    Joined: Jan 25, 2012
    Posts: 12

    tin_duke
    Member
    from redlands

    Well I have made the next of my questionable decisions in regards to what I use as a daily driver and have picked up a 1956 Ford Fairlane. It runs well, rides alright and looks very pretty. I'd like to add a bit more power/economy to it so I plan on doing an electronic ignition conversion and am flirting with the idea of dropping a Holley Terminator set up into it down the road. There is a 272 in it right now, but I found a 292 with 312 heads needing a rebuild for about $500. is that a good deal or the right direction to go? I'm new to Y-Blocks so any tips or advice is welcome and appreciated.

    More photos to come
     

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  2. craftscustoms
    Joined: Mar 16, 2005
    Posts: 219

    craftscustoms
    Member

    efi and electronic ignition may or may not help much. It would take a long time to pay for its self. Overdrive and a good tune-up would help more with economy. 56 y-block distributors have a weird vacuum advance setup that needs the right carb to work properly. If it were me I would probably put in a mild sbf with an overdrive trans.
     
  3. How is the 272 equipped? Install dual exhaust, a '57-up distributor with a pertronics conversion, and a small four barrel carb and it will surprise you with it's power and economy. Even better if the car has a 3-sp/OD trans....

    The EFI will do little, better to spend the money elsewhere.
     
  4. My first car was a 56 Fairlane. Loved the old beast. You can improve the performance, but it was my experience that the old Y-block just never would give decent mileage. Some of that I imagine was my lead foot at 16 years old. I agree that an overdrive trans would help. Also agree that changing to a 57 up distributor and later design 4 barrel would probably help. 312 heads off of a 56 will not be any good to you. You need the heads from a 1957-58-59 y-block to get the big valves.
     
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  5. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,318

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    My old Y-block used to get great milage with a Motorcraft 2100 2 bbl carb, 3 speed manual and 3:55 rear. Unfortunately it also used to hemorrhage oil with the lousy rope rear main and eventually spit a piston out after about 1300 miles of driving it regularly. An upgrade to an electronic ignition, as well as the '57 and up rocker arms, would be an improvement.

    Personally, I think swapping motors is the wrong way to go about this. The reality is that if you want to get increased power and performance out of your Y-block, you're going to have to spend a lot of money in hopping up that engine. Parts are expensive, hard to come by and generally speaking the Y-block is not a great foundation for building horsepower. That being said, you can make what you have go much further with proper gearing. Adding a T5, with a nice tall first gear and long OD gear will help get you out of the hole, and give you nice long legs on the highway. That will be a huge improvement in both performance and economy.
     
  6. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,318

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    Also, not for nothing, but the Holley Terminator kit is $2,000.00. That's an ass-ton of money. If you have that kind of money to spend on fuel delivery, you could probably afford to go out and buy yourself a better car to drive. If you want cheap performance, you're barking up the wrong tree with the Y-block. Even if you did swap to EFI (which I would be vehemently against but it's a personal choice), it still doesn't make up for efficiency loss through poor intake runner design, small valves and low compression, not to mention limitations in cam profile and gearing. You don't need mountains of horsepower to have a car that will get out of it's own way and be reliable doing it. Since I mentioned a T5 previously, I'll use the Fox Mustang as a prime example. The base 302 was only 220 hp, and did it with 3.08 gears in the rear. They also used to get well over 20 mpg (granted with EFI, but I've seen folks get similar numbers with carbs). If you ran a 3.55-3.73 rear with an OD trans, you'd have all the off-the-line power you'd need, and you'd sacrifice the top-speed that car has no business doing any way.
     
  7. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 7,794

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

    If you swap to a 292 with "312" heads you will gain little over what you have now, and these are no longer an engine that can be done on a budget.People tend to tell some tall tales and fib when they sell a Y-block,you really need to verify the block and head codes to see what you really have so hang out here for a while: http://ford-y-block.com/Block identification.htm And http://ford-y-block.com/cylinderheadchart.htm Then since you are now a Ford owner check in here: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/social-forums/1952-59-ford-social-group.282/ It may well be your next "second home". Like posted above slap some duals and Cherry Bombs or Smithey's on her and enjoy that y-block sound ;) Your 272 if it runs good just drive it,till she breaks.Then a 302/5.0 with an AOD is an EZ swap it's what's in my '54.
     
  8. tin_duke
    Joined: Jan 25, 2012
    Posts: 12

    tin_duke
    Member
    from redlands

    Thanks for the advice, still new to this "more modern" stuff.
    Terminator is right out, there are cheaper ways of decreasing operating costs and I didn't realize just how expensive the system is. I had it looked over at a friends shop and he says that the carb thats on it is shot so I'm looking for a good replacement. Will a stock 57 2bbl be decent or would it be worth it to go out and find a 4bbl intake and carb?
     

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