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The tunnel ram post & ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 4t64rd, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. I've been doing searches on the HAMB and the web on some history of the tunnel ram intake. Here's some of what I found. Anybody else can chime in and post what they know about tunnel rams. I'll ask my question at the bottom of this post.

    Here's a pic I took at the Autorama of what I think is the clone of the Ram Chargers Plymouth.

    From the tunnel ram Vs. Single quad article on Car Craft's web page

    "Tunnel-ram intake manifolds made their first known dragstrip appearance on the legendary Ram Chargers "High and Mighty" '49 Plymouth in 1959. A group of hobbyists consisting largely of Chrysler engineers, the Ram Chargers created a new style of manifold by mounting a pair of Carter AFB carburetors over a common plenum and runners made from industrial-grade rubber hose. Thus the first tunnel-ram was born, attached to a 354-inch Hemi. Popular in the '60s and '70s with car crafters, the tunnel-ram enjoyed quite a following until the advent of modern, technologically advanced single four-barrel intakes that offered easier packaging and the simplicity of tuning one carburetor. In racing classes with no limitations on carburetion, tunnel-rams live on in high-tech sheetmetal and carbon-fiber form. In the ultimate expression of normally aspirated performance, NHRA Pro Stockers are exclusively equipped with tunnel-ram-style induction. But, like most performance components, tunnel-rams are combination specific; we don't recommend slapping one on a 300-inch 8:1 compression engine."

    My question is, when was the first commercially available tunnel ram for SBC made and who made 'em?

    I'm trying to figure out if a HAMB correct tunnel rammed SBC can be built or if its a later permutation. I wanna eventually replace the common 350/350 that I have in my '46 with something less humdrum once I work the bugs out. 4sp, multiple carbs, lumpy idle, lots shiny stuff.
  2. Bugman
    Joined: Nov 17, 2001
    Posts: 3,483


    awhile back a HAMBer, Harlan, built his own SBC sheetmetal intake that used 3 Rochesters and used it on his model A. 3 carbs, home made gas welded intake that performed well, doesn't get more traditional thatn that.

    More to your question, i think the first commercially avalible ones were early 60's. Technically, the Mopar cross ram intakes are tunnel rams, just with the tunnels sideways instead on vertical.
  3. DuckusCrapus
    Joined: Jun 24, 2004
    Posts: 492


    Edelbrock used to make a cross-ram back in the '60's. It was a short lived run of intakes that morphed into the tunnel ram. I know the X-C8 (sbc cross-ram) as the last intake that Vic Edelbrock Sr. worked on and it was discontinued in '67 or '68. I am pretty sure that Edelbrock was one of the first major manufactures and they started making tunnel rams in the late '60's. I am not positive but I think the first sbc Eldebrock tunnel ram was the TR1X.

    I have an Edelbrock catalog from '64. It is pretty cool. Nothing but log manifolds and inline multiple carb intakes. All before the "ram" theory was rad.

    I am sure there were a few tunnel rams manufactured here and there, but Edelbrock and Wieand were the major mass producers.

    This thread ought to generate some good info.

  4. Pontiac Slim
    Joined: Jan 16, 2003
    Posts: 1,188

    Pontiac Slim
    Member Emeritus

    Ridgeway out of Mass in early 60s, 1st one I saw...

    Pontiac Slim

  5. 4t6 - I think the edebrock "bread box" tunnel rams were one of the first for SBC

    Tunnel Rams are really good for hig hrpm - like they are advertised for 5000 to 10000 rpm.

    Its funny - when you get back from a ride the intake will be covered in condensation.

    Attached Files:

  6. Edelbrock was the first commercially available Tunnel Ram... it was built for the SBC and it was labeled the TR1

    I spoke with Vic Edelbrock Jr. on the phone about two months ago. I asked him if it would be worth a shit, and he said "It'll run fine..." and then went on to explain to me that the 660 center squirters were designed for tunnel rams, and if I could get those, it'd run good. He also told me how to set the floats...

    Anywho, the Ridge Runner Ram built by _____ Ridgway was built for early Pro Stock Drag cars in the, I believe, early 70's. I have one of those too...

    If you're going for a late 60's eraly 70's look... cool. But they don't look right, by ANY streatch of the imagination, on anything with a 50's or early 60's fell to it... even if the Ramchargers had one on their Plymouth in the late 50's!

  7. Boones
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 9,662

    from Kent, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    agreee with sam. they are a very very late 60's item. I believe some Catalogs showed them around late '68 or early '69 but were not really seen on a regular bases until the early 70's.

    I have a breadbox TR1 Edelbrock tunnel ram I plan to run someday..
  8. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,660

    Larry T

    I'm pretty sure the Ridge Runner predates the Edelbrock. I read that the first one's used the Corvette Rochester Fuel Injection base.
  9. MikeRose
    Joined: Oct 7, 2004
    Posts: 1,571

    from Yuma, AZ

    I know I've seen old Creitz tunnel rams, that look really old. I'm not sure when they mde those though.
  10. Been running this one since 79 on the same ride. :)

    Attached Files:

  11. classic gary
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 497

    classic gary

    this is an OLD therad, but the question never really did get answered, and i'd like to know.
    when did edelbrock first sell the TR1 small block chevy tunnel ram ?
  12. It was introduced in 1968 replacing the log style cross ram as the hot set up for the track. Here's a pic of mine which is the first design.

    Attached Files:

  13. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,254

    from Michigan

    Late '67 er early '68..... Just a wild guesstimation...
  14. Nice work, very sano. How does it run? I always got worried the gas would pool since the runners protrude up higher than the bottom of the box. Looks like you've got two nice set ups. Any difference in the two performance wise?
  15. frankenfords
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 278

    from SoCal

    Was it Edelbrock or Weiand? I have read where Weiand was credited with the first tunnel ram style intake.

    "The first breakthrough product from Phil’s fertile mind was a dual manifold that was affectionately known as the “High Weiand.” Introduced in 1937, this unique intake was the forerunner of today’s “tunnel ram” manifolds. Word of its effectiveness spread throughout the racing community, and Phil Weiand was on the road to success. He also demonstrated his mechanical prowess on the oval tracks of the era, where Weiand’s #4 track roadster was a consistent front-runner." - Phil Weiand.htm

    Okay so that's a stretch, but here's this...

    "...and in 1968 Weiand introduced the "Hi-Ram Manifold" and its patented D-port technology."

    I have a dual carb top for a tunnel ram that is cast with the old "just say why-and" logo that was discontinued back in the late '60's I believe.

    Also, if I remember correctly, Pontiac had a high rise 2 4BBL intake they developed for the Super Duty program in '63 or '64 that some have argued was the first tunnel ram intake.

    Not try to start a fight here, just trying to learn something.


  16. Actually it's the same motor.....the first picture which has the later and taller 70's TR1 work's great and I ran that intake in various forms since the 70's. The very early styled TR1 which is shorter has only been on my 292 for about 2 seasons. It works well but I must admit the taller one pulled better.
    But brother your right...the gas will pool around the protruding top runners and I know alot of racers in the day filled that bottom half of the intake with resin to fix that problem. Even this year at Billetproof I saw the same intake on a coupe and the owner had cut down the top half of the same intake to help his bottom end torque.
    Overal it has run well....I've been running a tunnel ram on my 55 for 32 have to build the engine for that intake set up, pick the right carb's and add some gearing. Thanks again for the kind words brother.......long live the tunnel's not for everyone.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
    AHotRod likes this.
  17. YoungGun
    Joined: Jan 30, 2006
    Posts: 289


    this guys dead on. search ridge runner or ralph ridgeway.... he wanted to build a better cross ram

  18. captmullette
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,929


    put this one on my old circle track motor that i put in my 31 sedan....

    Attached Files:

  19. Gonna slap this on the Vette soon, Edelbrock TR1Y Single quad. Ran one before with great response. Good fun!
  20. bowtie40
    Joined: Apr 8, 2010
    Posts: 197


    I love them old breadbox tunnel rams, got one I want to use on my 40, but am missing the top. anybody know where I can get one?
  21. If you built one like the ram chargers it would look right at home on a go fast fender car.

    There was acompany I don't recall who they were, but I do believe it was the same company that made the U-fab intakes that made a simple manifold in the late '50s or early '60s that had a removable plenum. It pretty simple just flanges with a stub that bolted to the head and you could buy different plenums that were held to the stubs with hoses and hose clamps. The idea was that you could change carb setups without new gaskets. Some may class that as a tunnel ram.

    I am probably off but I believe that the Edelbrock Bread Box was the first mass produced tunnel ram. When I first stared racing in the late '60s you saw them at the strip but most of the fellas that ran them had a spare with carbs set up and ready to go. They had a propensity to belch and ruin themselves. When they were working right that were rightious but when they were belching flames out through the carbs they were a nightmare.

    BTW I happen to have a pair of 660s if someone is trying to set one up.

    One other thing. Sheet metal manifolds are not a new thing. The article that someone posted made the inference that they are. I have a pair of sheet metal manifolds for a big olds that were made in the early '60s. I don't think that they count as a tunnel ram either, we called them dumpers when I was a kid. Just a big plenum and short runners. The only work well at WOT.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  22. Rich Rogers
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 2,018

    Rich Rogers

    Not trying to take away from the thread but I'm running a Team G double tunnelram. The only numbers are underneath , are only 4 digits , has no patent number and is stamped "Super Ram" NOT Hi Ram. The plenum is more shallow than others I've been around and it works ok down to 2000 rpms and keeps pulling to 7000+. Anybody know anything about these?
  23. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,660

    Larry T

    I know I said Ridge way was ahead of Edelbrock, and I still believe that. But I kinda think Ridgeway and Carroll Caudle were developing tunnelrams at the same time (around 1966). Edelbrock looked at Caudles intake and asked if Caudle would send it to him to check out and Caudle did it. Edelbrock cut the intake up which kinda hacked Caudle off. Edelbrock sent a wooden prototype to Caudle to look at----and it's still sitting on a shelf at Caudles shop, he never sent it back. At least that's the story I get.

    And as far as tunnel rams and the "late" crossrams, they were developed around the same time. The factory Chevy staggered crossram was developed for Trans Am racing that required a "stock hood", so no tunnel rams were allowed. The Edelbrock STR-1/Offenhauser staggered crossrams were a take off on the factory Chevy unit. Chevy had done the engineering to make them work with their 302 and it worked so well that you could plug in one of their complete 302 packages and be pretty competitive drag racing too.

    Larry T

    BTW, under the "don't believe everything you read" (even if it's written by someone famous), Modified Production didn't have to run "an intake with factory numbers" and factory carbs. I could be wrong (believe me), but I believe Caudle ran Holleys.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  24. wheelguy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2011
    Posts: 335


    I'm 66 and remember Ralph Rigeway running a 55 chev in Modified Production( C/MP, I think) I think...Anyway I believe he took a GM fuel injection base plate and welded flat aluminum sides and top to it to make a tunnel ram and went on to win his class that year....Later he had them cast & refined a little...I had one on a street Anglia about 25 years ago with a fabbed single top and it worked surprisiingly well (plenum inside is not as deep or open as it looks, plenum only goes down about 3 inches and then there are runners )..Mine is fully polished and I still have it, the only reason it's not on my Willys is I've got fast burn raised runner heads and they don't match up..I'm not changing the heads or it would be on my car, I like it and it is unique looking....My 2 cents worth.....Joe
  25. HotRodPunk
    Joined: Nov 25, 2006
    Posts: 101


    got to ask..
    where have you bought those aircleaners? or is it old stuff? thanks! :)
  26. stan292
    Joined: Dec 6, 2002
    Posts: 857


    Here's the one you're looking for.

    I had a speed shop in Springfield, MO in the late '60s. The Edelbrock TR1 was the first commercially available ram and we put this one on our shop-sponsored car in late '68 - as soon as they were available. The carbs shown are the 660 cfm Holleys someone mentioned earlier.

    This setup ran on a high-winding SBC in a drag car that went on to win Street Eliminator at the '69 AHRA World Finals in Tulsa. It was also featured in Car Craft Magazine.

    I don't recall any problems with fuel puddling on our car, but do know that lots of other guys had that trouble, especially on lower-rpm applications. This led to the first Weiand ram, that featured a smaller plenum box with a tapered bottom, that supposedly cured the problem. Edelbrock went to the same style on their later versions.

    Attached Files:

  27. 1940 Willys Coupe
    Joined: Oct 12, 2006
    Posts: 335

    1940 Willys Coupe
    from Texas

    First Tunnel Ram I ever saw was a coverted 57 Chev fuel injection unit. Both Butch Lake and Sam Cunningham seem to have run them at the same time. Sam went back to the regular fuel injection unit but ol' Butch stayed with the converted tunnel ram and preceed to kick butt in the ol' E/MP 55 Chev. Sedan Delivery. Those were the days. Damn! Butch could slam that four speed.
    Would flat-tow with towing hubs the 55 to events (no trailer). Change back tires to slicks and away he went. Win event, put street tires on, then flat-tow with a tow bar back to Austin.

    1940 Willys Coupe
  28. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,219


    holly/edelbrock instructions....

    edelbrock add

    Attached Files:

    AHotRod likes this.
  29. Andy Carlson
    Joined: May 21, 2015
    Posts: 12

    Andy Carlson

    Old thread, but I have a question maybe someone may know the answer to.

    I got a box of castings a few years ago at a swap meet. It was a 9-piece set of aluminum castings to be used as a tunnel ram for the RB 440 big block Chrysler wedges. It was made by Mullins, a well known head development guy who was based in Southern California who is known for designing the D-5 Hemi head in the early 1970s for the Chrysler pro stock program.

    The castings included:
    valley cover with thick integral intake flanges.
    4 sets of 6 inch risers for a pair of intake ports with curvature to join to the:
    Base plate of the plenum
    2 plenum spacers
    1 plenum top for 2 Holly carbs

    One of the 6 inch risers has had some small machining done possibly for fastener clearence for attaching to the intake base. It has permanent pen markings saying this is the prototype piece. The bottom plenum plate has 8 holes cast in place for the runners. I
    This plate has a permanent marker notation saying "Do not bevel this side:

    All of the castings add up to a fair amount of weight. I beleive that this could easily be the first tunnel ram ever developed for a Chrysler Wedge big block.

    Can anyone supply some history? I was told that the foundry was in Compton., California.

    -Andy Carlson
    Ojai CA
  30. WillyB
    Joined: Aug 7, 2016
    Posts: 115


    Just found this... had some info the other tunnel ram threads didn't have!

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