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Old 05-16-2011, 09:18 AM   #1
cuzncletus
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Default Good HP numbers?

I just got my 59A back from the speed shop. Though this engine was supposedly fresh when I got it, I decided to go through it completely as the shop that did the initial work had already ruined two sets of heads for me. In retrospect this turned out to be a good idea as binding in the oil pump/distributor would have caused major problems. Precision Machine Service in Sevierville, Tenn. had already built one engine for me and their work is very good and reasonably priced. Dennis, the owner, is an excellent machinist and studied porting under the late Joe Mondello. I gave them the green light on the flathead. Here's the specs:

Merc crank
Ross pistons +.125
Edelbrock heads/ studded
Eddie Meyer high rise intake
dual 94's
Mallory unilite converted by Bubba
1.6 stainless valves, both ways/ hardened seats
Lincoln springs
Red's adjustable hollow lifters
Sig Erson cam/ .380 lift i&e, 235d at .050
Melling oil pump
center main support
21A rods (Don't ask; I don't know why. They were in the motor.)

Machine work:
bored
balanced
decked
line bored (it needed it)
intake ported/ polished/ gasket matched
port and polish intake runners and exhausts, lots of it.

Here's the numbers:
209.2 peak horsepower at 4300 rpm/ starts tapering off at 4500
299.6 peak ft/lbs. at 1910 rpm/ 255 ft. lbs. at 4300
Torque curve is very flat. HP starts climbing quickly around 3200.
It was all in by 4500 so we didn't twist it any harder.

The test was done through stock exhaust manifolds. I'm hoping for a few more through open headers though I think the present figures are realistic for a full exhaust system. This project started with a free motor and a $100 crank so I had a real leg up on costs. Even so, I won't tell my friends (and especially my wife) what the final bill is. Suffice it to say I could have easily had a crate motor with twice the horsepower for the same price. My answer to that rationale is, in the old car hobby there is no rationale. We're not doing any of this because it's practical. We do this because it's what we want to do.

At any rate, this engine will have a T-5 behind it and go into my 39 tudor. It should move it down the road pretty smartly. Feedback is read, and if positive, appreciated.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:14 AM   #2
TomT/Williamsburg
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

Sounds like a really great setup - what intake and carbs are you using?
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

I'm using the Eddie Meyer long runner intake sold by Speedway. When I got it I was a little disappointed. What looks like fairly straight runners to the intake ports are not. A lot of time went into straightening the intakes out.

The carbs are two 94's. I sent them to a rebuilder who shall remain nameless as there are quite a few people on this line who obviously don't like him. The carbs came back looking great. It took quite a bit of time on the dyno to get them sorted out (way too rich on stock settings) but now they seem fine and have good response.

I had a long conversation with Dennis at Precision Machine about building a sheet metal flathead intake, pro-stock style. He's going to set up a CNC program on his mill to intake gasket specs. He's convinced either a small 4 bbl. or multi-carbs on a common plenum with a straight shot at the valves is the ticket. He's also set on bigger valves. His reasoning is that on a flathead you are virtually limited to half the valve area as the backside away from the cylinder is useless. We're going to scrap together a test mule to experiment with.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

Nice sounding engine. I think your 39 will really like it. What did you end up with for jets and power valve? Will be interesting to see how your experiments will perform.
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

I think you have a winner there. Sounds to me that your engine builder/machinist has it right. Have fun with it
Jim
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

What distributor did you use and what was the advance at the 4500 rpm?
Thanks
Jim
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:14 PM   #7
Henry/Kokomo
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

Sounds like a great engine. If you haven't already done so, you and your machinist should read both John Lawson and Ron Halloran's books "Flathead Facts" and "Nostalgia", respectively. Mr. Lawson has done a lot of well documented dyno work and discusses custom intake manifolds. Mr Halloran discusses his perspective on many axpects of flathead design and practice as well. Both authors have an eye toward and experience with performance engines. I think you'd find it a good investment to purchace both books. If you've already consulted these publications, you know what I'm saying. As I said earlier, yours sounds like a great engine.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahuna View Post
What distributor did you use and what was the advance at the 4500 rpm?
Thanks
Jim

Most of the distributors i do use the factory curve following the old 11A distributor or 22-24 degrees at 2500-2800 rpm. So a intial setting of 2-4 degrees and 22-24 would give ya 24-28 degrees total. Some builder like a little less at 16-20..........
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomT/Williamsburg View Post
Sounds like a really great setup - what intake and carbs are you using?
Eddie Meyer high rise with dual 94's
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

I really think you will love the T5.
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:03 AM   #11
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

Wow, those are some great numbers you got from the engine. Enjoy!
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:58 PM   #12
Walt Dupont--Me.
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

Maybe the Merc crank had the be turned to 2in. and use the 21A rods to save it, if the std rod journals were already worn beyond grinding. It's a good way to save 4in. Walt
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

When I began my 8ba build the thought was to get some good performance without going overboard.
1. 0.125" overbore
2. Merc crank
3. L100 cam
4. 3X97 carbs
5. Crab ignition
6. Offie 400 heads
7. Fenton headers
I don't plan on having a dyno check to see what it will produce. It will be what it is. The stock motor was rated at 85 hp, maybe. If mine will get 150 hp I will be happy. That is a big increase in power. Everything that I have read indicates that this is about it. It is hard for me to believe that a non-blown motor will get much more than that.
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

I've built a dozen or more engines similar to yours and they produce 135-150 HP. Some Dynos are more generous than others. However the way they run is what counts. Most of these engines are improperly tuned. Check out the thread of Richards "Tuning helps" back a week or so ago. His engine is similar.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:05 AM   #15
cuzncletus
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

I thought my HP numbers were good, but now in looking back at dyno results in George McNicholls book they don't seem exceptional. He has one 259 in. conventionally aspirated street motor at 206 hp, a 286 in. carbec motor at 215, and one 260 in. street performance motor at 208 hp. This puts my 270 incher right in the ball park. Joe Abbin's test mule 286 incher ran 215 hp with a blower cam and 3 carbs.

Reallistically, no engine builder is going to give you anything but their best case scenario, especially in print. But all these engines producing within 10 hp of each other and having comparable specs does indicate to me that 200+ hp street engines are reasonably attainable. After the money I've spent on this engine, the will to believe is strong.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:17 AM   #16
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

I think your numbers are entirely accurate. I also think the McNicholls, not so much so. I think most of his are computer simulations, much like some of the "Hot Rod" articles that have been published.
I've seen 3 real engines dynoed. Two of them made more than 200 Hp, one made 192 Hp. All three made their numbers at less than 4500 rpm. All of them were run on the same dyno that does both Bonneville Record setting engines and engines that then go on to compete in the Engine Masters Challenge.

Last edited by Kahuna; 05-19-2011 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Added info
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

Those are damn good numbers for 2 94's and stock exh manifolds

Last edited by lonewolf; 05-20-2011 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:27 PM   #18
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

A few years back a flathead engine was dunoed at 225 hp max #1 cam and stock ports and valves. A year later it was dynoed on the same dyno at 185. My hydro engine was 175. and a number of people have read as low as 135. We could look at this logicly, if a 239 engine cannot achieve 100 hp with any external modification you can dream of (Per John Lawsons book) How can we doble the power by adding 37 ci and feed it through the same ports. Supercharging is another story.
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:47 AM   #19
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

Ron is right. It requires a "competition only" modification level to get an honest 200, unblown, Flathead HP. Most engines won't even come close. I have made several pulls with a variety of modifications to the 276 in my 1940 sedan. It makes a best of 135 HP on my dyno. I have had only one engine which cracked the 200 HP barrier and it would be considered a maximum effort engine suited only for competition use. 305 cubes, roller cam, sheet metal intake manifold, weeks of intake port and guide work, huge tit. valves, etc. etc. etc.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:26 AM   #20
cuzncletus
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Default Re: Good HP numbers?

Oh, boy. I've opened a can of worms here. All I'll tell you is I've used this machine shop before and have hung out there some. I've seen their engines on the dyno and have an FE they built that is pretty strong; 474 hp from 416 cubic inches and it's very streetable.

Dennis builds race engines and he doesn't cut corners. The block was line bored, decked, and each cylinder fitted individually. He did lots of port work on the intake and the block. Dennis studied under and was one of Joe Mondello's good friends. I didn't ask if he worked on the heads but normally he would at least CC them out of force of habit. The little things like block prep don't seem like much, but they add up.

He spent several hours tuning on the dyno and the HP started around 175, which I thought was good enough. I watched the pull to 209 and have the print out. Unless there was some way he could fiddle with the water pressure from the control panel I don't know how he could rig the numbers. This is a computer controlled dyno in a dyno room, not a rig in the back of somebody's shop.

I, too, was surprised by the doubling of HP while only adding 30 inches. Besides the cam, there's not much new technology in this engine and the cam specs don't seem like anything special. All I'll tell you is this is not a fish story on my part. I was there, I've got the printout, and I've got the motor. I'm new at flatheads and don't want to offend any of the knowledgeable old-timers. I'm open to your arguements. As far as I'm concerned this is just a conversation between the "Can, too's" and the "Can not's".
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