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Hot Rods The "oddball" Rambler engine thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by DDDenny, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 10,185

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  2. Deuced Up!
    Joined: Feb 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,175

    Deuced Up!
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well of course the Buick "Nail Head" will be right up there as far as appropriate alternative hot rod motivation.
    But check out this crazy outfit...Supercharged and reverse valved!!! How about them apples??!

    Buick_Nailhead_Powered_Dragster.jpg
     
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  3. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 4,228

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hey Denny, why do people reverse the valves? I thought I understood on a flathead but this pic stumps me. It should definitely be filed under "oddball".
     
  4. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 135

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Here's a 55 Chevy with a Merlin. 2000HP!
     
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  5. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 5,523

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    I can guess why they thought reversing the ports would work, especially blown..Intake ports are usually larger than exhausts so use the Intakes for exhaust and use the blower to overcome the smaller size of the exhaust..Win/win..Or so they thought?
     
  6. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 13,870

    tb33anda3rd
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    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

  7. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    often the exhausts were shorter and straighter than the intakes
     
  8. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    not really a oddball if your into trucks , many B cab ( regional ) trucks had them, one of the chemical companies I worked for had a fleet of them in the 60's when gas was cheap ,the old drivers said they had massive torque but couldn't pass up gas stations .
     
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  9. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,500

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    I can see it. The Buick was cursed with a weird head design featuring small valves and tortured exhaust passages. By blowing the air in under pressure the restriction was overcome and by using the larger free flowing intakes for exhausts, the tortured exhaust ceased to be a problem.

    The Buick engine was strong and light. If you could get it to breath you might give the Chryslers a run for their money. And anything will breathe if you feed it enough pressure. I figure that was the theory anyway.

    As to how well it worked, well you see hundreds of old Chrysler powered dragsters but this is the only reverse flow Buick.
     
  10. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 13,870

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    i was thinking something now that you can't swing a dead cat and hit. odd ball engine, would be an odd ball in a hot rod. can't be many around.
     
  11. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,500

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    They sold some sixes with aluminum blocks but never a V8. Interesting that they experimented with one. For a while Detroit took aluminum engines very seriously and several were put into production in 1960 - 62. But about that time new thin wall casting techniques made iron engines lighter , so aluminum fell out of favor. But everyone switched over to aluminum transmission cases (for automatics) and some smaller parts.

    The aluminum Rambler six was the first engine block I saw with an open deck, necessary for permanent mold casting. I didn't see how they could get away with it but millions of engines have been made that way. I have heard on the Rambler it is necessary to retorque the head bolts regularly to prevent blown head gaskets.
     
  12. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,741

    Ned Ludd
    Member

    But it does look like fun. I've seen another reverse-flow blown Nailhead on the 'net somewhere in a boat; and I suspect that, while rare, these weren't the only two ever built. And we've all seen that reverse-flow SBC with the bike carbs running on E85. I've had the thought of a turbocharged reverse-flow Nailhead in a larger rod, with two hidden turbos blowing through four SU HIF6s, mainly because of the way it would look from the side with finned plug covers.
     
  13. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 10,185

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

  14. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,150

    farna
    Member

    The reason for the regular head bolt retorque on the 195.6 (196) AMC/Rambler six is because the head is a rather massive chunk of cast iron (even the AL block engines used an iron head... different bolt pattern from the iron block version due to needs of AL block casting, but similar design). It expands/contracts by about 0.020" (maybe a bit more) every heat/cool cycle. That eventually loosens the head bolts. Takes over 10-12K miles from experience (I drove one 14 years). Factory recommends checking torque every 8K miles. The iron engine has solid lifters, so I checked every 10K or so when the valves needed adjustment. Easy to do while the valve cover is off anyway, and no need to worry about bolt sequence -- just stick the wrench on a bolt, loosen slightly, then pull back to 62 ft/lbs, one at a time. Don't need to worry about tightening in stages either -- head is held down by the other bolts and is already pretty even. If you find more than one or two bolts more than just a little loose it is probably best to loosen all then use sequence/staging. If it's leaking replace the head gasket and you might be okay if caught early.

    The first indication the head bolts are loose is running hot. Has been done a few times over the 51+ years by now (last 196 OHV engine was made in 65), and the heads are prone to crack due to repeated overheating and time in general. Hard to find good heads for the antique, so take care of the one you have (if you have one..)!! The flat-head 196 doesn't have that problem. Might be because it uses studs. Some change the OHV bolts out for studs, but I wouldn't skip checking nut torque even with studs, though that should solve the problem (just makes it hard to pull the head with engine in car -- rear studs would have to come out first). Just not many good heads out there! Most JY heads are cracked...

    The AL 196 wasn't a bad engine. Other than the lack of maintenance (mainly head bolt retorquing) anti-freeze of the time was an issue. Early 60s anti-freeze caused corrosion issues in AL engines, you had to buy more expensive AL compatible anti-freeze. Common now, hard to get back then! And there is always the owner who assumes that special, more expensive, maybe only from dealer in a small town fluid is really just a gimmick to rip the owner off...
     

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