Tag Archives: Engine Masters Challenge

The 2010 EMC Y-Block Entry Breaks The 500HP Mark (on pump gas)!!

After submitting the EMC entry form for 2010 and then the list of competitors was published, I found that I was again on the alternate list. In fact I was #10 alternate which is further down the list than where I started out from last year. But alas, things just seem to work out anyhow. Another Texas shop that had already been selected and was in the 2010 field offered me their spot. Their own entry (400 sbc) was having issues and finances being what they are this year, their entry was not going to be competitive by their own standards. With that in mind, I verified that the rules would allow for an engine change and proceded forward with a Y entry for the 2010 EMC competition under the The Car Shop of Temple banner. Eventually (two weeks before the competition), my own shop name did come up but I had already committed and didn’t see any need to change.

With the Mummert aluminum heads now out and proving themselves, it was time to see how a fully ported set of these would fare over the fully ported iron heads. John Mummert performed his porting magic on a set of the castings and after some fine tuning, the aluminum heads were worth another 72+ horsepower over the ported iron heads that were run in last years EMC competition. That puts this pump gas Y engine at over 540 peak horsepower at 6200 rpms. Wow! That’s impressive.

Now that I’ve given out the good news on the performance potential of the aluminum heads, I’ll back up a bit and go into detail how I got there. Last years EMC engine was a 375 incher that got that way by way of a 3.859” bore and a 4.000” stroke. Dish pistons with the ported iron ‘113’ heads netted the engine a 10.2:1 static compression ratio. After sitting for ~nine months in the shop corner, this engine was put back on the dyno in exactly the same format that it was run at the 2009 EMC event. Last years testing on my own dyno had this engine at 464HP. The new baseline after some jetting adjustments had the engine at 468HP so all is good. Being over-revved at the 2009 EMC event repeatedly to the tune of 7400-7500 rpms doesn’t appear to have bothered this engine in the

least. At this point, the engine is using 7 quarts of Valvoline 20W-50 racing oil.

Upon getting what I considered a good baseline to work off of, it was simply a matter of switching out the iron heads for the Mummert ported Mummert heads. WaaLaa! 519HP on the very first series of dyno pulls. Same intake, same ratio rockers, same camshaft, same carb spacer and

carburetor, etc. The ignition timing was initially set at 32° total based on the testing that was performed on the stock out of the box aluminum heads. Timing advance curves and the total ignition advance amounts were re-examined again and it was found that the ported heads preferred 38° total. The 32° timing number that worked best on the 312 dyno mule was found to be an erroneous value as the damper on that engine had been unknowingly slipping thus throwing off the accuracy of the marks on that particular damper. This was found only after the aluminum heads had been removed and the engine was being retimed with another set of ported iron heads on it. The dyno mule now has one of the new Innovators West harmonic dampers on it which will prevent that particular problem from cropping up again.  With the timing on the EMC engine now optimized,peak horsepower jumps over the 540HP mark.

Also tried on the 375” EMC engine was a highly modified and ported intake supplied by John and Geoff Mummert. This intake had the spacer already built into it so it was tested with a variety of carbs while also experimenting with exhaust tuning changes. Ultimately, the best score for the engine was with last years Mummert dual plane intake with a 1” spacer that was highly modified on its underside by Geoff Mummert. Some topend horsepower was sacrificed for increases in lowend torque values which in turn produced higher score values. I’ll add that the score is simply calculated by adding the average horspower and torque values for the 2500-6500 test range, multiplying by 1000, and dividing by the claimed cubic inch of the engine.

Several carburetors were tested and the carb that was scoring the best was a vacuum secondary 750cfm HP series Holley. Regardless of the rating, this particular carb was flowing over 800cfm. The vacuum secondaries simply shined in the 2500-2800 rpm range. Beyond 2800 rpms, the four other high end carbs (all double pumpers) were similar in performance to the vacuum secondary carb..

With over 150 dyno pulls on the engine, the engine was drained of oil, the WIX oil filter swapped out for a new one, and was crated up and made ready for the trip to Lima, Ohio. Team members for the Y entry for the 2010 Engine Masters Competition included Neil Elliot, Jody Gunter, myself, Jody Orsag, and Harry Hutten. As the Car Shop of Temple entry was scheduled to run at 2:30PM on Tuesday, the engine was required to be at University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) no later than 4PM on Monday. Our trip plans were made accordingly and we arrived there on Monday morning. Not long after our arrival, the engine was unloaded and placed in the staging area where the competitors engines are on public display until being made ready for installation on the dyno docking carts.

Came Tuesday, the Y entry was mounted to a dyno docking cart. The photo sessions this year for the engines and crew came before the actual dyno session. Based on some of the carnage that can occur to the engines during the dyno competition, taking the pictures beforehand is very likely a good call from the photographers point of view.

By early Tuesday afternoon, there was a number of competitors having serious detonation issues with the supplied 91 octane fuel. And several engines were having difficulty in reaching the 6500 rpm limit as a result. Many of these ended with a zero score or a DNF (Did Not Finish).

At our appointed time, the Y engine was hooked up in its assigned dyno cell, all connections were double checked and five quarts of Amsoil 10W-40 oil was added to the engine. The technical inspectors also insured that the oil filter was clean and dry prior to the engine being prepped for starting. The Y was cranked up so that the carb & ignition timing settings as well as the electric water pump operation could be verified and/or checked. Timing was still sitting at 38° total and thoughts about the number of engines that were having issues with detonation kept coming back to the forefront. But

as a team, We made the call to leave the timing exactly where it had tested best at home and go for it. The engine was shut off upon completion of that initial checkout. After a brief discussion with the tech inspector and the dyno operator regarding procedures and how we would like to see the engine loaded, the engine is cranked back up. By the rules, the engine runs a minimum of three minutes to warmup and the teams are given the option of having an additional two minutes of warmup if desired. We had the warm up dyno pulls commence at the four minute mark. The engine was then loaded and went into three back to back dyno pulls without being shut off between pulls. These pulls were made in the 2500-6500 rpm range with the engine only over-revving each pull by 200 rpms. This was an improvement over last year where the rpms were running over the limit by as much as 400-500 rpms over the 3000-7000 rpm test range.

After the three warmup pulls are completed, the teams are given three minutes to examine the data. After this, the teams are then given fifteen minutes to make tuning changes. If you can pull a head off and put it back on in 15 minutes, you’re allowed to do this. This year, there was no latitude on the tuning time. If the engine was not ready to fire back up at the end of fifteen minutes, it was DQ’ed (disqualified). I’ll add at this point that the Y entry did not experience any detonation issues during the warmup pulls and I’ll attribute part if not all of this to not running on the ragged edge on the static compression ratio as many of the teams did. The rules would allow up to 11.5:1 cr but the Y entry had its static compression ratio at 10.8:1. Upon talking to many of the competitors, it appeared that many of them were using camshafts that were on the short side for intake duration at 0.050” which in turn was driving their dynamic compression ratios to the high side and especially in those cases where the static compression ratio was targetted for close to 11½:1. The Y entry was using an Isky cam with 254°@ 0.050” intake duration and the dynamic compression ratio figured to be right at 8.5:1. Although the fuel being used in the competiton was 91 octane, the motor octane level was 86. Building the Y engine to the conservative side allowed for optimal timing while not having any detonation issues. Gotta love it when a plan actually works.

But back to our story. After the three warm up pulls, the data was scrutinized and concensus was that the engine was about 1 number jet size too rich all the way around. At this point, the clock is running for the fifteen minutes of tuning. As a team, we decide to leave the jetting alone as the fear of detonation is still on everyones mind. And last years mad thrash to fix a fuel leak after a jet change still hung heavily on everone’s mind. Instead we decide to restart the engine at 10 minutes into the tuning session and make a short 3000-5500 rpm pull to simply heat the oil. At the conclusion of that pull and without shutting off the engine, it’s observed that the oil is still not quite hot enough so we instruct the dyno operator to make another similar dyno pull. When the engine is shut down, there is one minute of tuning time remaining. But what we wanted to do is accomplished and that is heat up the engine oil while at the same time start the dynometer engine cooling system so it’s refreshing itself with cool water.

For the qualifying pulls the engine is started up and immediately goes into three back to back 2500-6500 rpm pulls without any steady state running. The strategy of warming the engine up thoroughly just prior to going into the qualifying pulls ended up being a good call as a significant improvement in performance over the warmup pulls is observed. The peak horsepower numbers for the Y in the run order was 523, 521, and 524HP. The final score as a result of the three qualifying pulls being averaged together was 2205.7 points. That put the Y entry in fifth place and straight to the quarantine room. This is likely one of the few venues where quarantine or impound is a good thing as the top seven points earners at any given time are quarantined. The top six run again on Friday for the money with the seventh being available in case of a rules infraction or other variable. At the end of Tuesday, the Y still sits in fifth place in overall points rankings.

It took until midday Wednesday before the Y entry was bested in score enough that it could be pulled out of the impound area. Once pulled out, it was set back in the staging area where the simplicity of the engine and its vacuum secondary carb had competitors simply wondering how that engine managed a 2200+ score. By Thursday evening, all the qualifying pulls had been made and the Y was sitting in 16th position out of 40. At the banquet on Thursday night, Harry Hutten did the math and saw that the 524HP number posted by the Y was #13 in overall horsepower. Another bragging point for the Y.

One of the many highlights of this trip was meeting up with and talking to both Ed Iskenderian and Nick Arias. Ed was indeed a thrill to listen to and was more than willing to talk about the early Y-Block days when he built cams for the Ford engineering group. His memory was indeed sharp as a tack and the number of stories he could relate back to was just incredible. Ed and Nick were also the key speakers at a meeting with the students at the University on Wednesday evening and both gave many valuable insights and advice to the students regarding what each had learned during their own careers in the performance industry. It was a packed room for this and the complete silence of the room while each talked was a testament to what each was saying to the audience.

Friday was spent watching the final six rerun their engines and then the awards presentations took place later in the afternoon. After staying for the engine teardowns of the winning engines, we said our good byes and loaded up for the trip back to Texas. It was an uneventful trip but definitely a hard one as we drove straight through going back home. Everyone arrived safe and sound though so it has been a very good trip.

A big thank you goes out to the faculty and students at UNOH for being gracious hosts and having a great site for this competition.  And another thank you to the staff of Popular Hot Rodding for an event that went very smoothly which only happens as a result of very thorough planning and preparation.  And thanks again to the Y crew members for the help they provided at the competition as well as thanks to John and Geoff Mummert for their invaluable help and expertise on the work performed on the aluminum heads and intake as well as suggestions and advice for getting the score to where it was. And last but not least, special thanks goes to Lonnie Putnam for the impecable machine work he does on the blocks.  The goals for this year was to break the 500HP mark and be at least mid point in the scoring.  Both goals were exceeded in fine fashion.

That’s it for now and until next time, happy Y motoring. Ted Eaton.

Originally published in the Y-Block Magazine, Nov-Dec 2010 issue, Issue #101, Vol 17, No.6

Preparing a 375 inch Y-Block Ford for the 2009 EMC Competition.

By the time this is published, the 2009 Engine Masters Challenge (EMC) will be history and the final results very likely posted all over the internet.  Because this is being written as the engine is still being tested and before the competition takes place, I’ll do a followup article on the actual competition and what took place there.  But in the meantime, here’s the short version of what was involved to get a Ford Y-Block engine readied for the EMC competition.

I had intentionally kept the displacement of this years EMC project under wraps as it was treading in some territory not normally being explored for a Y buildup.  The original plan was for a four inch bore along with a four inch stroke to give a 403 CID.  This combination likely would not have given the best overall score but was going to give some impressive peak numbers.  After assembly, the four inch bore block broke in fine and running the engine up to 150 HP to seat the rings exhibitted no problems.  It wasn’t until a low rpm full throttle pull was made that some water issues came to the forefront.  These were only discovered after shutting the engine down and doing a general checkout.  With the single dyno pull that was made, the block took a twist and that allowed water to seep in at each cylinder where the head gasket sealing ring comes off of the sleeves and onto the deck surface.  The block had filler in it at both the tops and bottoms of the bores but to no avail.  When the engine was disassembled, it became evident that the camshaft tunnel had also taken a serious twist thereby making the block unusable for any future work.

Due to the four inch bore scenario being a no go (for the time being), plans went forward to build another four inch stroker but this time utilizing a fresh block with a smaller bore.  No sleeves this time.  Custom pistons were reordered August 31st and received Sept 11th.  Block work commenced again during the interim.  This time the bore was going to target for 3.859” giving a claimed cubic inch of 375.  That’s still a respectable cubic inch value by Y standards but not the 400+ I was really targetting for.  Most of the other parts from the 403 incher such as heads, crank, rods, and camshaft would be reused.  The 375 CID Y engine was cranked back up on September 19th and looks to be a solid performer.

Now that I’ve brought the whole EMC Y program up to date, I’ll step back a bit and give some additional information on what it took to get to this point.  For the 2007 & 2008 competitions, I was looking at a 0.022” over 312 with stock stroke (316 CID) and this looked to be a very good combination for the rules for those years.  But for 2009, there were some major rules changes.  Of significance was the  increasing of the rpm range for the competition dyno pulls, engines were now being allowed to deviate from factory supplied bore and stroke  combinations, and the static compression ratio could now be increased up to 11½:1.  Although the 316” Y looked to be a very good combination and especially at the prior 2500-6500 rpm test range, the rules for 2009 would have this same Y placing much lower in the field simply due to the allowance of roller camshafts thrown into the fray and the upping of the rpms to a 3000-7000 test range.  I was already at a disadvantage by having to use oem iron heads as the rules do allow aftermarket heads with some given guidelines.  But regardless, I did go forward with a plan to use a Y as my basis for this year’s competition even though I had last years Ford 427 Tunnelport backup engine still sitting here. Also available was a very stout 455 Buick engine being built for a customer with the latest in technology that was also offered up for the competition if so desired.

With the 312 engine that had been built for the 2007 and 2008 competitions being deemed unsuitable for this years competition, a new plan came to the forefront.  And that plan kept shouting “Go BIG!”.  And not talking about the 352 inchers that surface from time to time for a Y build but going witB Mockup Crankshafth 402+ inches with a 4X4 bore & stroke combination.  Although 3.75” and 3.80” strokes had been used successfully in prior Y builds, it was time to see what a 4.00” stroke would look like within the confines of a Y block.  A stock cast iron Y 292 crank was ground to a 4.00” stroke on one journal for mockup purposes.  Playing around with this combination found that by using a Honda rod journal (1.889”) and experimenting with the base circle of the camshaft, everything could be made to clear with a 4.00” stroke.  Camshaft to connecting rod clearance is typically the issue when stroking the Y but the smaller rod journal size in conjunction with an aftermarket connecting rod that utilizes 3/8” rod bolts instead of  7/16” bolts helps significantly in this area.  But a smaller base circle cam was not going to help here in that I was already planning on using a camshaft with ~0.376” lobe lift to get in the 0.600” lift neighborhood at the valve. As a point of reference, the base circle of the cam could be no smaller than 1.150” and still have the lifters not falling out of their bores from the bottom side.  Using the 1.150” base circle with a reduced lobe lift would help in the rod to cam clearance department only if the lobe lift was maintained at 0.337” or less; but I am wanting to keep the lift at the valve in the 0.600” gross lift neighborhood which does put clearance issues between the rods and tips of the cam lobes back to the forefront.

Because the four inch bore block essentially failed, I’ll not go into much detail on how it was sleeved to get to that final bore size.  For the latest smaller bore block, a B9AE-F casting 292 non-steam hole block was selected.  Like the four inch bore block, the water jackets were partially filled to increase cylinder wall rigidity.  With the thin piston rings that are being used, it’s important to keep cylinder wall flex to a minimum.  This block was then fitted internally with the main support girdle from the 4” bore block which fits within the inside of the machined pan rails and at the same time crossbolts to the outside of the block.  After align honing the mains, the cylinders are then bored and torque plate honed to a 3.859” bore.

In the midst of all the work that was being performed, there was the ordering of the various parts of which lead times were a major consideration.  With the stroke figured out, a Moldex billet steel crankshaft with a 4.00” stroke and the aformentioned Honda rod journal sizes was used.  Rather than stay with a Y-Block flywheel flange at the rear of the crank, the flange was made the same as the FE and 460 Fords which solved the problem of locating the required SFI approved steel flywheel that’s mandated for the competition.  PRW supplied the necessary flywheel.  The connecting rods are manufactured by Oliver and are parabolic beams in design while being 6.750” long.   Being longer increases the dwell time at TDC and helps to make the engine less susceptible to detonation.  While the pistons for the 403 incher were by Wiseco, the pistons for the 375 entry are manufactured by Diamond.  Both sets are ceramic coated on their tops while the skirts have a special friction reducing coating.  The compression height (wrist pin location) is at exactly 1.000” which puts the wrist pin in the oil ring area and subsequently requires oil ring support rails to minimize any oil ring flex in the wrist pin area.  The wrist pin itself is 0.866” in diameter while a 9cc convex dish is used in the pistons to keep the static compression ratio at 10.1:1 for the 375 incher.  The dynamic compression ratio is 8.0:1 with the camshaft installed 1½° advanced and with the valve lash set at 0.025” hot.  This engine has to live with 91 octane fuel and oem iron heads which is why the static and dynamic compression ratios remain on the conservative side.  In theory, aluminum heads had they been available in time for this competition could have allowed for an increase in the static compression ratio while using the same 91 octane fuel.

C Moldex Crankshaft
The Moldex crankshaft as usual looks like a work of art.  Their craftsmanship as always is superb.  I deviated this time in crank design as the crankshaft is not fully counterweighted as I’m going for an overall lighter mass.  The 4” stroke fits within the confines of the block but some light massaging on the connecting rods was still required to insure adequate clearance to the camshaft.  Rod bearing clearances are held to 0.002¼” while the main bearing clearances are opened up to 0.0035”. The crankshaft was balanced to a 1630 gram bobweight value and this includes a considerable amount of overbalance or an increase in the percent value used for the reciprocating parts.  For harmonics control an ATI damper is fitted to the front of the crank.  I’m still working at this point on all those little details that will insure this engine revs freely to 7000+ rpms.

The piston rings are by Total Seal and were given considerable thought.  For the 375 incher, the top ring is 1.2mm wide with a 0.130” radial thickness while the second ring is 1.2mm wide with a 0.143” radial thickness.  The oil rings are 3mm wide with a 10lb pull.  The plan here is to keep ring drag on the low side without spending a ton of money on a set of custom rings.  Both the top and second ring end gaps are set at 0.018”.

Unfortunately the aluminum heads were not available in time for testing on the EMC engine.  As a result, a set of oem ‘113’ iron heads were ported and prepped for the engine.  It’s undoubtedly an understatement to say that it’s going to take some really good flowing heads to provide an adequate amount of air to feed 375 inches of Y-Block at 7000 rpms.  Valve sizes are 2.02” on the intakes and 1.56” on the exhausts and were originally configured for the four inch bore.  Too late to reconfigure valve sizes at this point.  No flow numbers on the heads simply due to a flow bench not readily available to work with.  This particular pair of heads are already heavily milled and are at 65cc’s and that’s simply due to the needs of the prior engine and not this one.  On the flip side, the smaller combustion chambers are expected to help from a performance standpoint as expanding gases that are the result of combustion can be more easily directed into the piston dish rather than reside in the head where the heat gets misdirected back into the water jackets.  Much taller than stock valves are ultilized which has the rocker shafts being relocated ~0.315” higher than stock in order to get the valve train geometry correct.  Both Dove and Rocker Arm Specialist 1.6:1 roller rockers are still being tested as of this writing so more on this in another article.

Various intakes that were tested.

As of this writing, seven different intakes have been tested on the 375 incher.  The new Mummert intake has so far proved itself superior to the various Blue Thunder intakes that were tested.  Evaluated on a separate engine was the Cain intake manifold that was made in Australia but the torque numbers being on the lower end of the scale left this intake out of the testing being performed on the 375 incher.  Special thanks goes out to Peter Royale for sending the Cain intake and to Gary Burnette for sending a collection of Blue Thunders and a modified iron intake for testing.  Intake manifold testing will resume after the EMC competition on a +060 over 312 for a more detailed look at how the various manifolds compare to each other on a Y engine that’s more representative of what the majority have.

Balancing the camshaftNo deep pockets here so the camshaft was going to be a one shot deal.  I would preferred to have tried several different grinds but lifter pricing made it out of the question.  After much debate, the camshaft was custom ordered from Iskenderian Racing Cams with the following specs:  Duration at 0.050” is 254° Int and 258° Exh with the cam being ground on 109° lobe centers, lobe lift is 0.0370” Int and 0.376” Exh.  Before installing the camshaft at 107½° intake lobe centerline, it was balanced.  There will be more on camshaft balancing in a future writeup.

The oil system was kept simple.  Karol Miller had donated a new old stock iron gerotor style oil pump and other than being dissassembled and deburred, is essentially stock except for a 0.095” thick shim behind the bypass spring.  I still believe there’s a horsepower advantage to the gerotor pump over the spur gear design and will eventually get around to testing that assumption as an individual test somewhere in the future.  A rear sump design is being used for the oil pan in order to keep the inlet tube to the oil pump itself as short as possible.  The oil pan itself was made from sections of three different truck pans.  Rules were reasonably open in this area with the main restrictions being that the pan is not wider than the pan rails and no deeper than 12” below the crankshaft centerline.  Nothing trick in oil pan construction other than just making it deeper and adding some directional screening to keep the oil from being pulled back up into the engine due to crankshaft windage.  Seven quarts of oil including the filter is the plan.  There was debate about running with four or five quarts of oil but it’s simply not worth the risk.  Prior testing on a Ford FE showed no power level detriments with oil levels up to 9 quarts on an oil pan originally designed for 7 quarts.  There’s too much invested at this point to be taking risks with minimal oil levels that could lead to a premature or catastropic engine failure.  When this is all said and done, I’d still like to have a usable engine on hand.

Header testing took place on several different Y engines early on which gave a good feel as to what the EMC engine was going to need.  Jerry Christenson and Royce Brechler stepped up to the plate and provided a set of 1¾-1 7/8” stepped headers to work with while David & Robin Church at Metal Finishing Services contributed the JetHot coating on these headers.  Also being used as test headers are the 1¾” tuned headers from my 23T Altered racecar.  A future article will go into detail on the header testing as there are some interesting insights that were coming out of this in regards to what the Y engines were preferring in regards to header design.

Special thanks goes out to all that went out of their way to contribute parts, funds, and other support to make this happen.  Because some have requested anomymity, I’ll not publish the list at this time but it is lengthy.  At this point, I’ll just say “Stay tuned for the next installment”.   Ted Eaton.

This article was originally published in the Y-Block Magazine, Sept/Oct 2009, Issue #94.

Engine Masters Challenge Y-Block Entry for 2007

The idea for entering a Y into Popular Hot Rodding’s Engine Masters Challenge competition was prompted by discussions on the Y-Blocks Forever website.  I sent off the application form and was ultimately assigned the alternate #15 position which meant as the participants within the first thirty competitors either dropped out or failed to qualify then the alternates would be moved up the list.  I realized early on that actually making the competition from alternate #15 was a very slim chance based on what I had seen in previous year’s competitions but would give it a go.  There were some heavy hitters actually placed after myself in the alternate list so that did give some consolation.

Upon looking at the rules, the 312 had an inherit advantage in that it was in the lower spectrum of cubic inches required for the competition.  300 was the lowest manufacturer cubic inch allowed so the 312 was allowable whereas the 292 wasn’t.  Where the Y is strong is actually in the stacked intake port design.  These ports, being what they are, allow each runner length to be equalized and therefore the overall torque being much more pronounced or peaked.  Where runner lengths are varied on other engines due to ports being spaced differently across the length of the head, the torque band for the various cylinders is thereby different and the overall torque of all the cylinders when averaged together is thereby softened or the peak torque reduced.

emcy-blockleftview-1.jpgIf there was any one area in which the Y was handicapped for this competition, it was in the head department.  Aftermarket heads were permissible as long as factory intake and exhaust patterns were maintained.  There are no aftermarket heads for the Y, so a pair of ‘113’ heads were picked out for this combination.  They did not have to be made overly big in port volumes to support a larger cubic inch engine and therefore are more efficient for the smaller cubes.  The heads were set up with a custom set of Ferrea valves and topped off with Comp Cams beehive valve springs and Dove 1.6:1 roller rockers.  Considerable work went into the exhaust porting so that the camshaft could be ground the same for both the intake and exhaust durations.  The camshaft selected for this particular engine was a custom Isky grind with 270° advertised duration, 242° duration at 0.050″, 0.547″ net lift at the valve, and ground on 107° lobe centers.  The cam was installed at 105° intake lobe centerline.  A Rollmaster chain assembly spins the camshaft while Smith Brothers pushrods work the Dove Manufacturing 1.6:1 roller rockers.

Frank Rice shipped me a C2AE block that was a 312 marine engine originally.  This block had the better main webbing but upon sonic checking it, core shift was one of the worst ones I’d seen.  Because I was minimizing the amount of overbore, offset boring to re-center the bores within the casting was not an option.  The other option for a block was to take one of the 292 blocks lying loose and boring the main journals to the 312 size and then boring the cylinders to the desired 312 size.  The rules required factory journal sizes so using the 292 mains on a 312 crankshaft was not an option.  I used Frank’s block for this project though as it saved having to bore a set of main journals to the 312 dimensions and was still an excellent block for this particular project.  Thanks Frank.

For this block, I went one step further in that I had it cryogenically treated.  This ‘cold’ treatment was performed by Cen-Tex Cryogenics of Waco, Texas.  The idea behind this was to make the cylinders walls harder and potentially wear better.  Hard to say just how much more benefit this treatment provides but I couldn’t see it being detrimental and at this point, I’m going for any potential benefit that I can for this particular engine.

The pistons themselves are a custom set from Wiseco which have a left and right specific dome tailored specifically for the Y-Block Ford combustion chamber.  Rules limited the compression ratio to no more than 10½:1 but the smaller cubic inch of the Y still required a domed piston in which to achieve this.  The compression ratio would have been too low otherwise without the dome.  The domes on these particular pistons are configured such that turbulence is created in those areas of the combustion chamber where the head overlaps the decks.  The rules also did not allow gas porting for the rings.  I got around this by using a Dykes style top ring which fits the rules but has superior sealing characteristics in lieu of not being gas ported.  The second ring was a 1/16″ plasma moly design while the oil ring was a low tension 3/16″ unit.  The 10½:1 compression ratio was good for the E85 fuel being used but would not have been suitable for 91 octane pump gas.  E85 fuel is not readily available in this part of the country so tuning a carburetor for this would have taken some time but was doable. The bore was finalized at 0.022” over stock which fit within the max 0.035” overbore restriction and gave a final displacement of 316 cubic inches.  Past dyno experience and calculations indicated an attainable 395 peak HP @ 6200 rpm, 375 lbs-ft peak torque @ 4200 rpm and a flat curve for the torque to give a good average number.  Due to the rules requiring factory journal sizes, I was restricted to using the factory Y rods.  No bolt in aftermarket rods are readily available at this point in time.  I used the C2AE rods as they are slightly longer than the C1 rods and simply fully prepped these with new ARP bolts, bushings, and a resize.

Because pan evacuation or vacuum pumps were not allowed, this permitted me to take advantage of the crankcase breather on the block whereas most blocks do not have this option.  I also added two extra breathers to each valve cover to insure that excessive pressure was not a hindrance to piston movement under load.  The Engine looks achaic or old school with the original side breather on it though but it was put back on specifically for a performance advantage in this particular instance.

Rules required no modifications to the oil pan.  Aftermarket pans were accepted but unfortunately there’s not an off the shelf pan for the Y.  Rules also prohibited the use of truck pans or I would have used one of the HD pans I had sitting here.  Because modifications to the pan were not allowed, I did get an okay from the rules committee to use a windage tray that sandwiches between the pan and the block.  I subsequently built a windage tray that used directional screening and this simply fit in place with a pan gasket on each side of it to seal it in place.  One side of the tray acts as a wiper against the crankshaft and rods.  If I pull it out of the engine or build another, I’ll get some pictures of it and submit to the Y-Block Magazine.  Nothing fancy but every little bit has to help.  The oil pump is the gearotor style.  I still think there’s a slight advantage to using this style pump over the gear style in both power and pumping even though both are rated the same as far a volume goes.  An ARP oil drive keeps it turning.

The Ford Y-Block oiling system is already a ‘side-oiler’ design similar to the later produced 427 FE side-oilers.  The main bearings are fed directly from a proprietary oil gallery in the side of the block and then the cam bearings and rocker arms are fed from the mains.  Rocker arm oiling for this family of engines is normally by way of a grooved camshaft on the middle journal or a camshaft that is crossdrilled in the center journal which alternately feeds each bank as required.  I opted to machine a groove in the block in the center cam journal hole which connects the three holes located there and then this modification is sealed in place with the installed center cam bearing.   This provides a solid flow of oil to the heads which I restrict at the rocker arm pedestals with a 0.046″ orifice.  The overflow tubes at the ends of the rocker shafts are left intact so that they can free flow which provides ample lubrication for both the distributor gear and the timing chain.  This also insures that the rocker shafts are purged of air and that the oil remains cool thus warding off any potential sludging or oil degradation that may occur as a result of stagnation.

Ignition is an MSD distributor using the MSD wires and MSD Digital 6-Plus controller.  Sparkplugs are a set of 18mm NOS Autolite BF32’s that I had been saving for a rainy day as these are getting more difficult to find.  These plugs have been side gapped and indexed to the individual cylinders.  There’s a forthcoming article about how to do this in an upcoming issue of the YBM.   Intake manifold is a Blue Thunder unit that’s been simply port matched to the heads.  Otherwise it’s stock other than what’s being called the 2nd design manifold.  Based on what Gary Burnette has passed on to me, the 2nd design intake flows as well as the 1st design intake after being extrude honed.  Carburetion for gasoline is handled by a Holley 750 cfm HP series carb with vacuum secondaries.  Backup carb is the 650 cfm Speed Demon carb which has been a proven carb on my Y powered roadster.  I lean heavily towards the vacuum secondary carbs due to them being very optimal in flow on a day to day basis as the secondaries only open up as required for a given engine demand.   Testing has shown similar results on the Y with both the 650 and 750 cfm carbs and this has to do with the vacuum secondaries simply opening less on the larger carburetor to get the same amount of power output.  For E85 fuel, I would simply get a alcohol specific carb in the 650 to 750 range and have to work with it to get the tuneup right.

The tech at the EMC competition ultimately called and said that the Y would not be allowed into the competition with the mushroom tappets.  Didn’t matter if it was a factory lifter, rules were specific against mushroom tappets.  As a result the engine was not run and instead relegated to the back of the shop.  But because I was entered into the competition as an individual and not as an engine choice, I was free to change engines and remain in the competition.  As a result, I readied a 427 Tunnel Port engine I had for the competition.  Standard bore, factory steel crank, an Isky flat tappet camshaft, a single plane TP intake, MSD ignition, and that engine was ready to be called up.  But I was simply too far down on the alternate list to be a player.  Do all this again?  Not at a number fifteen on the alternate list for sure.  Definitely way too much work with not much to show for it and especially with the engine being disallowed due to the original tappet design.

Note that this article was actually a response from Ted to one of the topics I’ve been working up for the “Top Ten Y-Block Stories” for the March-April issue of Legendary Ford Magazine (condensed from this).  But the volume and the depth of his response was an article in itself and I know you will enjoy it as much as I did.  Shown at the ßbottom-left is the Y-Blocks Forever picture by Jim Culver of Randy Gummelt’s blown 770 HP Y that took the World Y-Block E.T. mark to 8.15 @ 162 mph in Columbus at the 2005 Y-Block Nationals.  The motor was prepared by Ted Eaton and Lonnie Putnam – but that’s another one of the expanded “Top Ten” story’s for Bruce’s Y-Block Magazine this year.        Bob Martin

Originally published in the Y-Block Magazine, Jan-Feb 2008, Issue #84,  A shorter version of the text was published in Legendary Ford Magazine, Mar-Apr 2008 Issue.