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Old 05-15-2012, 11:12 PM   #23
Henry Floored
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

Originally Posted by 1928jalopy View Post
I purchased a 1956 272 Y-Block for my 36 Ford 5w Coupe and wanted to know if you have to modify the firewall to make it fit? I know that EMS sells a recess kit but I really don’t want to cut up the firewall that much maybe a small notch…Thanks for your help

Holy Toledo! The man wants to put a Ford engine in a Ford car and we are discouraging him? I think we need to know a few more details before we "poo- poo" the Y- Block swap. Stuff like is this a restored original car or is this a "project" car with less than pristine sheetmetal ? Next is this going to be original driveline or is it going to later model "open" driveline? What steering and suspension etc?

Without the above information I don't think the question can be adequately addressed. I have a different take on the small Chev being the spiritual successor to the Ford Flathead. I think that description assigns too much dignity to what I think was a clever but underhanded ripoff of Ford's V8 performance history. It looks very much like the Chevrolet gang took Olds, Caddy and Pontiac technology and designed that into a package the same physical size as the Flathead Ford. Instantly you become the replacement engine in American performance and race cars. I gotta tip my hat, they were shrewd. That don't mean I have to like it and as a Fordophile I personally wouldn't give the competition the satisfaction. Doesn't seem to bother many though.

The Y-Block Ford took every aspect of what Ford needed to bring a modern OHV to market. Where the Chevy went cheap, Ford went premium. The "Y" crankcase was the best solution to address driveline sag problems. The Y employed the modern short stroke big bore high compression formula that was state of the art at the time. The list goes on but suffice it to say that the Y sprang up or was the true spiritual successor to the Flathead because it met every challenge that Ford faced in the `50's in order to match and surpass the competition. If you want to know the truth the similarities between Ford's Y- Block and GM's new LS V8 engine are quite remarkable and very interesting to me. In fact the LS engine family bears an even closer resemblance to the "Phase II" Y- Block Fords developed in South America and used well into the 1970's. Some of the similarities include the Y configuration of the block itself and it's purpose is much the same; to give support to the bottom portion of the bellhousing to reduce sag and improve NVH issues. The cyl heads used in both engine families(especially the Phase II design) employ symmetrical ports, shallow valve angles (to allow the valve to flow around it's entire periphery not just one side) and very tight and compact combustion chambers to gain compression without resorting to dome pistons. The heads on both engines are held down with 10 blind headbolts equally spaced around the cyls to reduce bore distortion (a weakness on the sbc). The cranks both employ a center thrust bearing. The cam diameter and cam to crank distance on the LS has suddenly become more Ford- like for many advantageous reasons. I think Ford was on to something with the Y- Block. In fact the Y had an even greater impact on the performance automotive scene in both Australia and South America where it's development continued for many years.

I personally think this man's `36 Ford would be refreshing with a Y-Block installed instead of the predictable sbc. I agree that the `36 has one of the tighter engine bays. I have never swapped a Y into one of these cars but I think it would be easier in some ways over say a small block Ford. Assuming this is stock front steering suspension and driveline here is what I would do. I would purchase an adapter to hook the engine to the early Ford trans. Now you have just eliminated the X- member and wishbone modification problem in one fell swoop (which by the way is necessary to install any make engine with open driveline into an early Ford) I would use the Hurst style mount up front which places the engine right on the stock motor mounts. Then I would address any problems with that engine position. The firewall may possibly need a little massaging for distributor clearance. By that I mean a little bumping with a hammer and dolly. The driver's side ext manifold to steering box may be of concern but there are all kinds of possible solutions. Ram Horn manifolds come to mind or the dual exhaust style that go up high them dump way at the back of the engine, or even the single ext with the crossover in front seem like it would work in a pinch. You're gonna need a rear sump pan which you may already have or if not they are easy to find. The single biggest problem is the water pump length I think. As was stated before the `36 is tight in length. Before I hacked out my firewall I think I would look into a marine style belt driven remote water pump or even the new remote electric pumps. They are very reliable and do have some advantages over mechanical pumps. An electric fan in front of the rad would complete the package.

Last edited by Henry Floored; 05-15-2012 at 11:21 PM.
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