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.
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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)”

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. Continue reading “Engine Masters Challenge Y-Block Entry for 2007”

Altering Rocker Arm Ratio By Varying The Length Of The Pushrods

Fig A.A unique feature with the shaft mounted rocker arms such as those found on the Y-Block (as well as the FE, MEL,  and LYB) Ford engines is that the solid lifter or lash adjusting versions can be measurably variable in the rocker arm ratio depending upon where the lash adjusting screw is positioned within its range of travel. Continue reading “Altering Rocker Arm Ratio By Varying The Length Of The Pushrods”

Rocker Arm Geometry

Rocker arm geometry is an area that’s very often overlooked when modifying an engine for increased power output and/or efficiency. Besides the obvious advantage of reducing valve stem and guide wear by minimizing the “scrubbing” action that can take place when the rocker arm geometry is optimized, the maximum or advertised lift at the valve for a given camshaft profile can also be obtained. Continue reading “Rocker Arm Geometry”

Building the foundation for an eight second Y-Block.

When Randy Gummelt and I set out to build a Y engine for his rear engine dragster, the plan was to have an engine combination that would run an eight second quarter mile. And Randy also had his sights on the Australian Y record and with a target of an 8.99 or better et, that plan would achieve both goals. By now, it’s pretty well known that Randy ran a best of 8.15 @ 162mph at the Y Shootout during this past Labor Day weekend at Columbus Ohio so the plan was definitely a good one. Continue reading “Building the foundation for an eight second Y-Block.”

Blueprinting for an eight second Y-Block

Like any engine that’s in its planning stages, particular care must be paid to that engines intended use in  order to select the correct parts and maintain those clearances that would be considered optimal for that combination.  In the case of the blown engine for Randy Gummelt’s rear engine dragster, I’ve already covered some of the parts selection as well as the main support girdle construction in previous articles.  At this point, I’ll cover in more detail some of the specific clearances and specialized machine work that was required to make Randy’s engine a reality. Continue reading “Blueprinting for an eight second Y-Block”

Engine Balancing, Part 1

“An Introduction to Engine Balancing”

By Ted Eaton

Although the terms “blueprinted and balanced” are typically synonymous with any kind of performance buildup of an engine, it must be noted is that these two terms are completely different in relation to their perceived functions and are generally performed independently of each other.

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