MOTOR FOR SPEEDSTER - SUGGESTIONS PLEASE

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2009: MOTOR FOR SPEEDSTER - SUGGESTIONS PLEASE
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred McDonald on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 11:41 pm:

I am working on a speedster 25-26 vintage and will probably run open wire wheels. Had the axle and frame professionally modified etc. Looking for advise on motor. We have a stock motor but would like to add a little "kick" to it but don't want to over-do it. Would appreciate suggestions on adding horsepower without going OHV and great expensive route. Also interested in conversions to a distributor and/or 12 volt system.
Thanks


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jack Putnam on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 11:55 pm:

Stipe cam, high compression head and auxillary brakes are a good start. Zero to sixty is one thing, sixty to zero is a whole different story.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jack Putnam on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 12:08 am:

Stipe cam, high compression head and auxillary brakes are a good start. Zero to sixty is one thing, sixty to zero is a whole different story.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 01:13 am:

The most important item missing from the list above is 'lightness'....
Appart from that I agree, HC Head with about 6:1 CR, good cam and RM brakes. This was the formula for a speedster I built in 1994 and it is still competitve today. OK we had a problem on the last run, but most of the problems are minor, typical of any model t ford (Fix Or Repair Daily).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 04:45 am:

I prefer to keep to the T era. Repro distributor is okay but coils work fine also. Either way I prefer to keep to 6 volt. Down draft carburetors came out after the Ts, '28 or '29, so I have always used a '20s up draft carburetor if I wanted performance. Although, a speedster I had years ago had a mostly stock engine with a Muncie overdrive was routinely clocked at 70mph with a Holly NH. It would do that all day long, but no faster unless down a steep hill.
And definitely, DEFINITELY, good outside rear brakes. I may be strange, but I prefer to keep them on the brake handle and the transmission brake as Henry made it. Takes a little getting used to using the handle for most stopping, but keeps two independent braking systems and simple maintenance.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Halpin on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 05:54 am:

Talk to Tim. tim@modeltengine.com


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walt Berdan on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 02:17 pm:

Two local folks have recently built up some very nice running speedster motors with 280 lift cams (one stipe, the other not), Z heads, and two carbs (one uses NH's the other the modern NH replacement). One uses an A crank, the other a stock T crank. Motor and transmission both balanced. With light bodies and 3 to 1 rear gears with a Ruckstell, they run great. Nice smooth reliable power. Good acceleration and plenty fast enough, do 60 with ease. Both have accessory rear brakes.

Consider that even the best two wheel brakes won't stop you very quickly at any kind of real speed. I tend to think of the stock band as a 25 MPH brake and good rear only as 35 MPH brakes. But then I live near traffic. Naturally, your mileage and measure of what you need may vary.

Any drive train combination that can experience a neutral must have real brakes on the rear. That should be mandatory for any T, speedster or not.

Walt


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Ducharme on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 02:36 pm:

I agree with many things said above. However, I am not certain that I agree with the Stipe 280 cam. TN has rolling hills, if I remember correctly, so you need to decide if you want more torque low end or more top end. If you need the torque, I would suggest the Stipe 250 cam.

The distributor sold by Texas T Parts seems to be a pretty good unit. I am happier with it than a VW distributor I used in the past. It avoids the wierd linkage setup to adjust the spark. Of course, coils are nice also. It just depends on your preferences.

Definitely dynamic balance the engine/transmission. If you are planning on going higher speeds, may also want to consider an A crank on the bottom.

Of course, to get higher speeds, could add a warford with overdrive.

For braking, I use disc brakes instead of RM. They will not stop me any faster when I lock up the wheels but will not fade after use and also stop me backwards.

You indicated the frame/axles were professionally done. Do you have, or plan on, front wheel braking? What about the steering. What are your objectives for a top end?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Hylen on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 03:08 pm:

Fred,
You're absolutely right to take the approach of not over doing it. If I learned anything from drag racing motorcycles, it was that there is a trade off in reliability or simplicity of operation for every ounce of increased power. That said, there's a lot of safely achievable power left in a T engine.

Poor breathing and low compression are the hallmarks of a stock Model T engine. A Z-Head, Waukesha Ricardo, or even a stock head that's been milled .125" will fix your low compression problem without causing any babbit worries. For the poor breathing I recommend Ford 351 Windsor exhaust valves with Ford 8N retainers, a Stipe 280 cam, and opening your ports to accept Model A intake and exhaust manifolds with a Tillotson carb. Most of the suppliers sell an adapter plate to ease the mounting of the Model A manifolds.

Ignition is your choice. I'm a coil rebuilder and I love the stock ignition in most applications, but a slightly massaged motor, as described above, is a great platform for removing the flywheel magnets and running an Atwater-Kent LA, or American Bosch distributer with a Petronics electronic ignition module installed.

Onr thing that is sometimes overlooked on a "go fast" T is balancing. Balance your rods, flywheel, transmission drums, crankshaft, flywheel and driveshaft. An engine that is properly balanced will run smoother and actually develop more power that one that is not. Vibration takes energy.

These mods will give you a very peppy engine without sacrificing reliability too much.

Buy the books Model T Speed Secrets and Model T Ford in Speed & Sport for simple instructions on how to build more power into your Model T.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 07:51 pm:

How do folks feel about the high volume intake and dual exhaust offered by suppliers?

I do agree with the old rule of hot rodding that says you need to build stopping power before building "go power" so you don't produce a load of "splat" power.

Erich


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 02:25 am:

Erich, you can't go anywhere stopped! Just kidding. Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Lodge - St Louis MO on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 11:56 am:

David, you don't have to. You're already there! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 12:48 pm:

There are stronger cams than the Stipe 280 out there and they give a lot more power. When you lose low end torque you simply add a K.C. Layne Warford and get it on. One horsepower per cubic inch can be obtained if you pour enough money into your project. A half of a horsepower per cubic inch is easier to do though.

You want to go with a wedge head with flat pistons not the high compression pistons that mis-direct the gasses. Ignition is a good thing to improve on if you do not have a good magneto and coils. Go for a distributor if cost is a factor. Remember that a good T ignition works well at speed.

the early twin spark Rajo BB heads used the buzz coils on the exhaust side and a magneto on the intake side. Later on they used twin distributors or eight plug magnetos such as made for small four cylinder aircraft engines. There is proof of this in the Dyke's manuals over the years.

Tony Bowker is correct, make it light, try losing 30 pounds in six month like I did and then go carry 30 pounds of potatoes around in a sack for a while. You will never gain the weight again. So keep your car light.

Multiple downdraft carburetors were provided on Curtis aircraft V type engines in the mid teens, but the pure at heart will not accept that fact. Because they once read that the first car to run a downdraft carburetor as a factory part was the 1928 Dodge, they believe that, that is the Rosetta Stone to follow.

Curtis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Browne on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 12:48 pm:

Eric, What kind of Dragbikes? I was a Kaw Tripls guy. Still run my bike one or two times a year. Restoring a 1920 TT all original to the last bolt. Its almost comeplete. The next project will be a Hotrod 23-25 pickup.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred McDonald on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 09:17 pm:

Hey Guys: Thanks for all the suggestions so far. As to what I have so far is RM brakes, dropped axle in front and frame L's in back for lowering back, motorcycle shocks and coils at four corners and Vega steering box. Rear end is stock but completely rebuilt with all new guts. The motor I have was running but completely stock and serves as a good base to start with. I am comfortable with some modifications for speed but also want dependebility and easy starting. I am flexible on 6 or 12 volt but just want the best long range solution. As far as performance, I would like top speed to be 75 or so with decent power in low ranges. Thanks again, I will be looking for any other comments you may have including sources on some of the parts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 10:00 pm:

So how do people feel about the H.V. intakes and the dual exhaust manifolds. Any feedback on these? Are they worth it? What benifit?

Erich


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 10:04 pm:

The 1937-48 steering box is at least old Ford, and available cheap from streetrodders. I made the pitman arm 8" long, which gives 10:1 ratio, and like that just fine.

st1

st2

st3

rdr


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Hylen on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 10:40 pm:

Mike,
You, like me, must straddle the fine line between being overly brave and feint of heart. I ran a '74 H2 750 for a few years. Very quick, but a little squirrely.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andy Clary on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 11:45 am:

The ability to go 75 mph will require a gear change in the rear, an auxilliary transmission or an engine capable of 3500 rpm. Pick your poison, you will probably only do 75 once.

Andy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred McDonald on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 03:08 pm:

Thanks again for the posts. I too am interested in effect different intake and exhaust may have on performance. Anyone have any?
Fred


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 08:14 pm:

To compound a previous point, I, and others are well aware of the use of downdraft carburetors on aircraft engines and a few other obscure applications(would you believe a stationary industrial motor as early as 1910?). But the fact remains that they were not generally used on any kind of automobile before 1928. Almost no photos exist of a car, speedster, race car or otherwise, with a downdraft before 1928. To say that it could have been done, is correct. However, if you want the car to represent a typical or original pre-'28 speedster, it cannot correctly have downdraft carbs.
But, if you're going with modern shocks and steering, that horse has already left the barn.
I have had three different speedsters that would do over 70mph and driven them all out for many, many miles. That with vintage carbs and T steering. Please, though, be careful that way, two wheel, no weight, high pressure tires only stop so quick.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By bob wood on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 09:34 pm:

My T speedster has standard gears in a ruxstell.
I use the Chaffins performance grind cam. A friend dialed in the valve lash. That change really made it jump. The valves are stock size stainless.
I run a chaffins dual header with a Winfield 201B carb., 6 to 1 head & a distributor. I clocked it "for a few minutes" on my digital speedo at 72 mph. The notable difference is in acceleration.
I ran a near stock configuration in the same car
for 12 years and there is a huge diffence when the cam, carb and exhaust allow it to breath.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim from ModelTengine.com on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 11:20 pm:

2800 rpm is about 75 with a stock rear end. 2800 is also outside my comfort zone on a T engine. I'm not sure where 3500 rpm comes in. 2300 rpm is 75ish with 3:1 gears or KC warford + stock gears.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andy Clary on Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 12:15 am:

Sorry redid my math 75 is 3000 rpm with stock gear and 30 inch tire, a little more with 21s. I've done it, don't recommend it.

Andy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould on Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 10:44 am:

As folks have stated above, a dynamically balanced engine does wonders. Especially if you are going for speed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 12:20 pm:

Tim
IF you have a counter balanced crank and pressure oil then 4000 rpm on a A cranked T is no problem. I found that with a big cam on a flathead T that the valves with stock T springs would float at about 4200 rpm. It provided kind of a rev limiter. That engine ran for years and about 8000 miles until the welded on flange came loose. No consequential damages, the car just stopped and the engine couldn't be started.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Noel Denis Chicoine, MD on Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 12:43 pm:

I also am interested in the effect of a high volume intake and the available dual exhaust manifold. I've already got a .280 cam and Z head, and have an OF to put on it. So far I've seen three requests for info on the intake/exhaust question but no answers. Chaffin's says 2 HP on the intake and 3 on the exhaust. Does anybody have a "seat of your pants" experience with this kind of settup?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner on Sunday, November 29, 2009 - 01:21 am:

Yes, please. Someone must have tried these intake and exhaust manifolds. Whats the verdict.

Erich


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By bob wood on Sunday, November 29, 2009 - 01:58 am:

See my post above on the Chaffin's exhaust. I run that on a speedster with a 1 1/2 inch winfield carb on the intake and a perf. cam. I think having relief on the exhaust side makes a big diffenence when you get a lot going on the intake. The acceleration is noticable,. like snappy.
I run the hi volume intake with a straight thru NH on my 19 roadster. It is hard to quantify the differnce because I run 325 gears in a ruxtell. It does pull very well in low ruxstell to over 35 mph. If I had the time I would switch back to stock entake and carb and evaluate, but I have learned not to mess with a car when it runs sweet.

I hope this helps.


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