Carburetor Spacer Testing

While Glen Henderson’s 337” Y was on the dyno, a variety of two inch tall carburetor spacers were tested.  The results were more than interesting and re-enforces why different combinations of parts are tested.  The baseline test for this was no spacer and then there were three different styles of 2” tall spacers put into place and evaluated. Continue reading “Carburetor Spacer Testing”

Head Gasket Volume Calculation

Because an engine may be borderline in regards to the compression ratio when it comes to ignition timing or fuel octane requirements, it’s important that all values used in the compression ratio calculation be as accurate as possible. This includes the head gasket volume which many times isn’t stated on the package or in any reference material. For a conventional or mainstream engine where the fire ring in the head gasket is perfectly round, the hole size in the gasket can be measured and the volume calculated appropriately. But the Ford Y-Block has an irregular shape to the fire ring seal which throws special nuances into the measuring of this volume. But there’s no need for guess work when it comes to obtaining this volume value as it can be derived by doing some simple measurements on an existing head gasket and then performing a little bit of math. Continue reading “Head Gasket Volume Calculation”

Rear Camshaft Plug Installation

Rear cam plug installation on the Ford Y-Block engines dictates that it not be installed so deeply that it actually interferes or contacts the rear of the camshaft. Besides the obvious wear issue that can occur at the face of the cam plug, detrimental wear at the rear side of the cam thrust plate can become evident or in a worst case situation, the thrust plate itself can break. Continue reading “Rear Camshaft Plug Installation”

The Ford Y-Block engine

This is a first in a series of articles about engine families and their history/ idiosyncrasies. Eaton Balancing offers services for all types of engines. Continue reading “The Ford Y-Block engine”

Warped Rear Seal Retainer on a Y

It’s simply amazing how many times the rear crankshaft seal gets blamed for an oil leak when there are so many other places at the back of the block that can either be the root cause or at least a contributor. The rear oil seal retainer on the Y-Block is just one of these items that more often than not gets overlooked when it comes time to address an oil leak at the rear of the engine. Continue reading “Warped Rear Seal Retainer on a Y”

Spark Plug Indexing

In attempting to squeeze out that last bit of potential output from the Ford Y-Block (and other engines), there are those items that can be applied that may not be immediately measurable but they will be done because they will not be detrimental to the power output.  One of these items is spark plug indexing which tends to vary in its benefit depending upon the application it is being applied.  Indexing the spark plugs simply insures that the spark plug ground electrode is in a specific orientation within the cylinder to promote a more beneficial flame front when the fuel is ignited.  In those cases where detonation is a risk, spark plug indexing is of a proven benefit in that the flame front will not be split by a worst case scenario of the spark plug electrode being in a position to divide the flame path.  Indexing also allows the ground electrode or strap to be intentionally positioned away from the higher heat areas it would be subjected to if randomly placed closer to the piston and/or exhaust valve which can increase the propensity for pre-ignition.  In a normal situation where a set of spark plugs are randomly installed, the spark plug straps end up running at a variety of temperatures simply from the random placements of the straps.  In this case, indexing would provide a more accurate visual means towards optimizing jetting and ignition timing by eliminating potential variances in the spark plug readings themselves.  And if running a domed piston that’s marginally close to the spark plug, then indexing also helps in preventing the ground electrode from contacting the piston and potentially closing the gap.
Continue reading “Spark Plug Indexing”

Spark Plug Side Gapping

Included on that list of old racers tuning tricks is spark plug side gapping.  What’s being discussed here is not a true side gapped spark plug but a gapping procedure or electrode modification that allows the spark to actually fire off of the very edge or ‘side’ of the spark plug’s ground electrode.  In lieu of a better description, this gapping process will simply continue to be called ‘side gapping’.  Side gapping is performed even though the end result may not be measurable but a logical thought process will maintain that doing this will not be detrimental to efficiency or performance and in fact, should help it. Continue reading “Spark Plug Side Gapping”

Neoprene Rear Seal Installation for the Y (and others)

  Y-Blocks would appear to have garnered a reputation for marking their territory when sitting still and so one of the most often asked questions is how to stop those pesky oil leaks at the rear of the engine.  Because most of these are in the area of the rear main oil seal, I’ll go through the steps I take to insure that the back end of the engine is buttoned up securely during the rebuild thereby minimizing any oil leaks from this area.  Because I use the rubber or neoprene rear main seals exclusively in those Y buildups that I do, I’ll only go into detail on using these seals and not the ‘rope’ style of seal.  While neoprene seals are available from several gasket manufacturers for the 272/292 engines, only Best Gasket offers a made to fit neoprene rear seal for the larger mained 312 engine. Continue reading “Neoprene Rear Seal Installation for the Y (and others)”