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Old 03-20-2024, 12:38 PM   #1
GB SISSON
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Default 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

In this thread I would like to share the assembly of a 276 cu in 8ba with a 4" stroke mercury crankshaft. My goal is a stock appearing flatheadf V8 to install into my shop built 1947 truck based woodie wagon. The wagon is currently running a 221 replacement block that I assembled from measured good used parts in accordance with the Ford Motor Co publication 'Repairing the Ford V8 engine'. It is a fine running engine, but I wanted more.....
I have been working on flathed V8s for at least 35 years now and have collected literally tons of parts. About seven years ago I happened upon a guy while visiting Friday Harbor, on a neighboring island who claimed to have a 4" virgin merc crank in his garage. He had retirered there from California and knew Jere Jobe who I had visited with many times on the phone about carbs and ignition matters. I bought his crankshaft and salted it away for the future. 3 years ago I had it ground and it cleaned up at .010 mains and .020 rods.
I have eleven blocks with very few visible cracks and so I built an electromagnet and bought what I needed for magnafluxing these blocks. I then built a kit for pressure testing our V8s. The first block I tested passed without a hitch and was very clean all around. I have two friends on the mainland who have had vintage engines rebuilt at Sedro-Wooley Auto parts and swear by the work of Les, who runs the machine shop out back. Let's just say, I'm a believer. He is very knowledgeable and passionate about flatheads, and a modest and soft spoken gentleman. Les urged me to let him install hard seats saying that even though I loaf along on an island, my heirs may want to hit the freeway now and then. (sounds scary). He hot tanked it,bored and honed it .125, as recomended by 'Barner friends. aligned and rebushed the rods, provided pistons and rings, installed cam bearings, surfaced the flywheel and three deck surfaces, and even the crank bores on the mains look like he attended to them. In this thread I will be seeking information about the condition of some of the used parts I intend to use and which parts make the most sense to enable the fitting of this later engine into my '47 jailbar 1/2 ton 'pickup'. I have a lot of preferences already and my desired end result may very well be miles away from what a 'normal' V8er is looking for in his build. 98% of my driving will be under 40 mph on a very hilly 58 square mile island. This woodie has very little to do with overdrive, high speed, hot cams, or any speed equipment for that matter. It has everything to do with serviceability, low end torque for the hills, smoooooth idle, and as always, that elusive 'built on a shoestring' budget.
Being 40 years self employed, living on a rock, raising 4 kids on one income, I'm very happily still working 1/2 time at 70, and loving that social security. There are many, many ways to finish this engine from here, but let's keep in mind, my hobby resources are finite,
I may not get this engine completed and installed into the woodie this season I have to deal with transmission issues in both of my beloved summertime jailbar rides. I will start with some pictures from yesterday morning's ferry ride and picking the block up from Les. My wife wanted to stop at her favorite designer nursery on the way home for plants for the deck. What could I say?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg A fh trip.jpg (61.9 KB, 144 views)
File Type: jpg A fh trip A.jpg (132.8 KB, 155 views)
File Type: jpg A fh trip B.jpg (127.4 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg A fh trip C.jpg (132.0 KB, 159 views)
File Type: jpg A fh trip D.jpg (140.4 KB, 147 views)
File Type: jpg A fh trip E.jpg (138.8 KB, 1162 views)
File Type: jpg A fh trip F.jpg (119.3 KB, 148 views)
File Type: jpg A fh trip G.jpg (117.6 KB, 1172 views)
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Owner/Operator of 'Jailbar Ranch' on the side of Mt. Pickett. Current stable consists of 1946 1/2 ton pickup turned woodie wagon with FH V8, 1946 Tonner Pickup with 226 H six, 1979 Toyota landcruiser wagon, now wearing 1947 Ford Jailbar sheet metal. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)

Last edited by GB SISSON; 03-21-2024 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 03-20-2024, 12:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts



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Old 03-20-2024, 01:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

You're going to have a great engine! Think about putting a mild cam in it - just so you can have a bit of a "hotrod sound" - maybe an Isky 1007B grind. I'd also put a two-carb manifold or a late Mercury manifold bored out for a bigger Rochester carb.

This is probably the only hotrod engine you're going to build . . . so have fun!
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Old 03-20-2024, 01:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

Dale's got it right!

Plus a proper distributor.
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Old 03-20-2024, 09:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

Thank you Pete! The enlargements are always welcomed. I just got my first pair of perscription glasses on Monday and I'm seeing them loud and clear. And sheesh you guys... Right outa the chute I get two ideas for spending more money.
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Old 03-20-2024, 10:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

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Find a good stock 8BA era camshaft with no measurable wear on the lobe (measure lobe heights, all should be equal). You can't beat the stock cam for low end grunt and smooth idle.

I like the stock 3 bolt carburetors. Look through your collection and see if you have one with the larger diameter venturi. The venturi size is marked on the center section, will say 94 (indicating 0.94"), 1 (indicating 1"), 1 1/16, or 1 5/16. I avoid the last ones since there is a large mismatch in the more of the base, but the 1 1/16 should work great with the larger displacement and a stock ignition. Make sure the carburetor has the port for the vacuum advance unit of the stock 8BA era distributor, I have seen one large venturi carb without that port.
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Old 03-20-2024, 10:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

As to camshafts, try to find a later Mercury cam; they have substantially more lift and a bit more duration than the 8BA units. Check this site out : https://www.tildentechnologies.com/C...rformance.html.
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Old 03-20-2024, 11:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

If a stock 8ba cam gives the smoothest idle and best low end grunt, I'm all in. I have 3 cams, but two have been out of engines for a while and have surface rust. The 3rd looks good and is in one of my 8ba blocks. I will do some measuring tomorrow. I think I took one of the surface rust ones to my wire wheel with some decent results. I will post some pics tomorrow. Maybe someone out there has a nice one they removed to install a high performance cam.
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Owner/Operator of 'Jailbar Ranch' on the side of Mt. Pickett. Current stable consists of 1946 1/2 ton pickup turned woodie wagon with FH V8, 1946 Tonner Pickup with 226 H six, 1979 Toyota landcruiser wagon, now wearing 1947 Ford Jailbar sheet metal. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)
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Old 03-20-2024, 11:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

I also like the merc cam. Made for low end torque for the heavy merc, and the new in vogue automatic trannys. would be a good choice in the woodie
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Old 03-21-2024, 05:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

Any of the stock 8BA cams will work, the shorter duration versions will maximize low end torque at the expense of mid and upper range horsepower. I would look for the best condition camshaft rather than a specific version. It will be important to identify the cam since valve lash changes depending on the factory grind.

Another cheap effort that will be felt in the seat of the pants is to get the piston to head clearance to about 0.050. I keep a used head gasket around so I can bolt a head down and measure the clearance with tin foil balls, then surface as needed to get where I want.
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Old 03-21-2024, 07:06 AM   #11
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

Today I will measure the three cams I have. I will of course mic the journals, next I expect I'd measure at 90 degrees to the lobe, then at the lobe, right? One more thing this morning. I woke up thinking about the original post and talking about the machinest Mel. Well it dawned on me that his name is Les, not Mel. I have edited the opening 'novel' for that. When we picked up the block my wife pointed out that he'd neatly stamped my full name onto the intake surface.
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Owner/Operator of 'Jailbar Ranch' on the side of Mt. Pickett. Current stable consists of 1946 1/2 ton pickup turned woodie wagon with FH V8, 1946 Tonner Pickup with 226 H six, 1979 Toyota landcruiser wagon, now wearing 1947 Ford Jailbar sheet metal. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)

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Old 03-21-2024, 07:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

Glad to hear that another motor is coming together.

Man, I know I'm in the minority here, but I would not go with a stock cam. While you have a the chance, go with something that can accomplish what you are looking to do while also giving your flathead some added gow.

Life's too short to use a stock cam. LOL!!!!!
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Old 03-21-2024, 08:00 AM   #13
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

Yeah, I'm like Tim . . . I like hot-rodded flatheads! LOL
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Old 03-21-2024, 09:01 AM   #14
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

Gary, I often get asked about who to have machine a flathead block. I am happy to know about your guy. There are getting to be fewer people around to do that work correctly.
I too would recommend a Merc cam for your intended use.
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Old 03-21-2024, 09:26 AM   #15
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

Here's what I found at the shop. I pulled the cam that was in an 8ba block. It looks to be in nice shape and is marked 8BA, next was pretty badly pitted on the lobes and marked 8CM, last has dull brown surface rust without pits and marked EA with another A directly below. A quick hit on the wire wheel seemed to clean it up nicely. Journals were similar, and I didn't write them down. 1.794-5 sound right? My phone was dead, so I will get pics in an hour.
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Old 03-21-2024, 01:02 PM   #16
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

Here's pics of the three. I have searched EA and EAA for cam info, but zilch. The 8BA looks best, but the EAA not bad, The 8CM is out of the running as I see it. But then there's the Portland Swap Meet looming! Set up in my lathe with a dial indicator shows some runout. About .003.I would expect some at the 3 jaw chuck, but also at the tailstock. Middle a bit more.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cams 3.jpg (133.9 KB, 963 views)
File Type: jpg cams closeup.jpg (121.2 KB, 960 views)
File Type: jpg cam on lathe.jpg (139.5 KB, 975 views)
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Owner/Operator of 'Jailbar Ranch' on the side of Mt. Pickett. Current stable consists of 1946 1/2 ton pickup turned woodie wagon with FH V8, 1946 Tonner Pickup with 226 H six, 1979 Toyota landcruiser wagon, now wearing 1947 Ford Jailbar sheet metal. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)
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Old 03-21-2024, 01:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by GB SISSON View Post
Here's pics of the three. I have searched EA and EAA for cam info, but zilch. The 8BA looks best, but the EAA not bad, The 8CM is out of the running as I see it. But then there's the Portland Swap Meet looming! Set up in my lathe with a dial indicator shows some runout. About .003.I would expect some at the 3 jaw chuck, but also at the tailstock. Middle a bit more.
Cam grinder Pete will know for sure, but I believe the "EA" is the same grind as the EAB cam which came out in '53. From what I understand, it was the "hottest" factory cam.
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Old 03-21-2024, 01:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

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Originally Posted by GB SISSON View Post
Here's pics of the three. I have searched EA and EAA for cam info, but zilch. The 8BA looks best, but the EAA not bad, The 8CM is out of the running as I see it. But then there's the Portland Swap Meet looming! Set up in my lathe with a dial indicator shows some runout. About .003.I would expect some at the 3 jaw chuck, but also at the tailstock. Middle a bit more.




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Old 03-21-2024, 05:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

The EA cam is almost certainly an EAB cam. The BA cam is almost certainly an 8BA cam. The specifications for each are:
8BA intake - 0.305 gross lift; .013 / .015 lash; 0.291 net lift; 229 seat duration
8BA exhaust - 0.305 gross lift; .017 / .019 lash; 0.287 net lift; 238 seat duration
EAB intake - 0.328 gross lift; .013 / .015 lash; 0.314 net lift; 269 seat duration
EAB exhaust - 0.328 gross lift; .017 / .019 lash; 0.310 net lift; 247 seat duration

The EAB cam has a smooth idle and good mid-range.
The 8BA cam has a smooth idle and probably more low end grunt.
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Old 03-21-2024, 06:21 PM   #20
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Default Re: 276 stroker from 35 years of parts

That 8BA cam is a dog. If the EAB cam is good, that's the best of what you have. Unless you are pulling tree stumps, you don't need low end power. Mid-to upper RPM is where most people drive.

One more pitch, go with a better cam. Now is the time.
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