As a winter project, I have the opportunity to construct a Speedster from a 1924 T frame. I also have the chance to acquire a running 490 Chevy engine, year unknown, and transmission. Would a Speedster with a period 490 be out of keeping spirit with building a Speedster?
A Speedster need not be a Model T Ford. Do what you can with what you have. One issue is that a T frame is very flexible and requires a three point engine mount that is also flexible. A Chevy engine requires a rigid frame so you are starting out with a problem. You could box the frame but then the parts of the T that require a flexible frame would have to be modified. It sounds like it could be a can of worms.
You would fit right in over at the Chevy 490 forum. You would not have a Model T if there's a Generic Motors engine.
Actually you could be the founder of the Chevy 490 forum.
Would be a great pretzel maker of T frames.
I doubt a 490 Chev engine will make any more power than a decent T
You're taking about an engine from a 1915 to 1922 Chevrolet 490 series car, correct? A four cylinder, 24 HP overhead valve engine?
George, You will need a much stronger frame than a Model T. The T is a 22 horsepower car and the frame is made to fit the motor. The weight of the chevy motor will bend the frame very soon and the horsepower will twist the frame first time you stop on it. Find a later frame with some strength and build a bare bone speedster. Have fun with what you have. But the T frame wont fit the bill for the 490. Enjoy doing something as we do here, " 5 buck Scott"
I doubt that the little 20 hp Chevy 4 would harm a T frame - you just have to connect it like the T engine so the frame is free to flex as said above.
A period Chevy speedster can look just as good as a Ford - here are a couple of pictures of a 490 project from a 2002 swap that Ralph Ricks has shared previously:
In the 'back-in-the-day" world of building low-buck racing cars and speedsters, it was not uncommon to mix parts of different cars. Some people believed that four point elliptic springs were better at high speeds. So often such smaller car chassis were used along with a modified model T engine for peak performance (if one had the budget to build such an engine).
Model T parts were often favored for use because of the combination of availability, rugged toughness, light weight, cheap, and the ready availability of accessories made specifically for Ford to help improve them in some way.
Sometimes parts of cars (Ford or other cars) were used simply because they were available.
I have, over the years, seen several era photographs of speedsters and racers with mostly model T chassis, but clearly NOT a model T engine. A few of them have been identified as having Chevrolet engines. Many years ago, I also saw a claimed-to-be-original restored race car that had a model T chassis with a four cylinder Chevy engine. It was particularly noteworthy at the time because it was so unusual. (It had been in the family since the '20s!)
So it is not a completely wrong thing, and actually, something that was done "back-in-the-day". But you may want to consider helping that poor engine find its way to a Chevrolet. And getting a T engine instead.
Another consideration. Depending upon where you live, could be the Department of Motor Vehicle Headaches. It can be tough enough to license/register a put-together antique car that does fit into one of their pigeon holes. A mix of marques could throw them into a real tizzy!
I would seriously consider something like that if I didn't already have more project piles than I will probably live long enough to restore.
Drive carefully, and enjoy,W2
It sounds like a cool project, and I would love to see the build posted here as long as parts were kept to the period.
I wouldn't worry about the added power bending the frame. Many T frames were used in very powerful race engines of the time. Modified T frames were used in midget racing with V8s and Offy's for decades.
i have heard of chevrolet engines being mounted on the Ford oil pan and using the Ford transmission and flywheel assembly ...these were the later 1928 engines , but the same principals would be involved ...a block off plate is made to seal the back of the engine and hogshead,and the pan rails are drilled to match the Chevrolet crankcase ( like the model A engine conversion )... you could use all chassis components in the origional configuration...and this could be changed back to a T powered unit without much more than a pan ...always an optimist...gene freench
I support your project
We want to see pics
Chevrolet 490 cone clutches can be real dogs and very grabby. In a stock 490, you can break a Chevrolet axle if you don't know what you are doing.
I would think that if you installed a 490 engine and transmission in a Model T frame and running gear, you would really need to have a lot of extra braces and stiffening inside the rails in order to alleviate any twisting of the frame when you let out the clutch in low gear. Also, the traverse springs in a Model T would probably not be conducive to the set up. I would think that the car would rock when the clutch grabs.
George, there's a Chevy speedster group within the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America, headed by Mark Garcia and with the Chevy engine you would definitely qualify. But don't leave us! Use mostly Model T parts with a period Chevy engine. After all it's a speedster! All sorts of conglomerations were done in the old days. Done right I see no reason why the versatile T frame wouldn't work.
Ed aka #4
1928 chevy 4 cyl. 170 CID engines with 4 1/2- 1 C/R I think were rated at about 35 H.P. @ 2500 RPMs. Speed 60 MPH @ 2500 RPM. Don
1928 chevy 4 cyl. 170 CID engines with 4 1/2- 1 C/R I think were rated at about 35 H.P. @ 2500 RPMs. Speed 60 MPH @ 2500 RPM. Don P.S. 4 to 1 rear end ratio.
Thank you for the input for the project. Some redesign and thinking is needed on my end.
Get the book by old racing driver John Gerber. He consistently beat the Fronty's. Rajo's and all the other so called model t race cars from the 20's up to WW2. He used the 490 Chevrolet motor mounted on a T pan with a T planetary transmission. He won some 200 races with his model t chassis Chev powered racer.
He started with a 1928 Chev motor and they kept breaking at the distributor hole. So he went to the 490 with a generator driven dizzy. That solved the cracked block issue and the rest as they say is history. The book is available on line from Amazon and from The Sprint Car Hall OF Fame.
Pvt me for some additional information on my 490 powered race car. Seems some of the die hard's here are offended when there actually was a better way to go than a model t engine.
See the thread at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/292980.html?1338951059 which discusses a period Dodge Brothers Fast Four engine which was placed into a T chassis back in the day.
Hap l9l5 cut off
This just was posted in the Classifieds: