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Old 03-24-2021, 06:31 PM   #1
52Allard
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Default Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

I own a 1952 Allard which was the only car to be produced from the factory with an Ardun conversion Ford flathead. In the early '50s Zora Arkus-Duntov (later considered the father of the Corvette) worked for Sidney Allard at the Allard moror car company as a driver and engineer when Allard realized he needed more horsepower to keep his vehicles competitive. So for a short period of time in the early '50s between the time the Allards equipped with Ford 85 to 100 hp flatheads lost their appeal and before bigger American overhead-valve V8s (Cadillac 331), Allard used the Ardun Ford conversion for some of their vehicles. Although the Ardun engine in my car is long gone, I do have some of the correspondence between the original owner of my car (James Sisler) and all sorts of big-name hot rod guys on the west coast in the quest to rebuild his Ardun after it had troubles early in his ownership. This first post is the letter from James Sisler to Zora Duntov after Duntov started working at Chevrolet. Duntov was kind enough to answer Sisler.

(I retyped the original letters for easy reading because they didn't scan well and were hard to read since one letter was a bunch of questions and the other was a bunch of answers)

I have more letters - let me know if they are interesting and I will post more.
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File Type: jpg 71010649-770-0@2X.jpg (109.0 KB, 382 views)
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File Type: pdf Sisler-Duntov Doc.pdf (173.8 KB, 172 views)

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Old 03-24-2021, 07:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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(I retyped the original letters for easy reading because they didn't scan well and were hard to read since one letter was a bunch of questions and the other was a bunch of answers)

I have more letters - let me know if they are interesting and I will post more.
That is some amazing stuff, and straight from the desk of Zora, no less! I had the opportunity to meet Zora and his wife Elfie on two occasions, well onto 30 years ago, now. I'm up for seeing more of Zora's writings, if possible. And the time you must have spent re-typing is MUCHO appreciated! DD
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Old 03-24-2021, 08:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Amazing. Please keep sharing your written history.
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Old 03-24-2021, 09:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

I always enjoy reading information about the Ardun conversion from the very early years of their existence. Some of Zoras suggestions were part of the reason most Arduns performed poorly in their day.
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Old 03-25-2021, 05:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Thanks for the replys - unfortunately I don't have any more letters from Zora Duntov as he was working at GM - Chevrolet at the time he answered the request for Ardun info. I imagine his head was awash with his new job and trying to distance himself from what he probably considered a failure at the time. Anyway - a good testament to his character that he did respond even though he really didn't need to do that.

Here's an exploded view of the Ardun that isn't commonly seen. I'll send more stuff when I get it scanned in.
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Old 03-25-2021, 06:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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Why not build an original Ardun and put one back in it? Cost issues aside, it would surely help the originality and value of your car. Heck, I might even know of a couple of us who have original heads.
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Old 03-25-2021, 06:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Nice!

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Old 03-25-2021, 08:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

It’s totally my dream to put the car back to original. That’s why I bought the car. I know Don Ferguson has some spectacular repos which makes a great plan B but if possible I’d like to try and keep it original when done.
Heck I’m a tinkerer so I’m not all that worried about perfectly reliable. So if you have any leads on parts - please let me know.
So the car also had a Canadian Mercury 99A block if anyone has an idea where one of those is sitting around. It looks like 10k or more were made. Must be at least one around.
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Old 03-25-2021, 09:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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Originally Posted by Ronnieroadster View Post
I always enjoy reading information about the Ardun conversion from the very early years of their existence. Some of Zoras suggestions were part of the reason most Arduns performed poorly in their day.
Ronnieroadster



Interesting comment! Would you care to elaborate? Please??
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Old 03-26-2021, 05:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Do you have any pictures of the Ardun that would have been in it? I'm wondering if it had the early or later production heads (they are different). I would imagine that it came with the later heads and center water outlets (not on the front). Also, what intake manifold and carb setup did it have?

Don's repop heads are excellent - better than the originals (especially the rocker arm system). But - they are not originals. A Mercury 99A block is not easy to find - and I'm not sure if that block was actually produced in Canada or the USA. I have a 99A type block in my 32 Cabriolet. Back in the day, this block was considered one of the best to build for performance usage - though I personally don't see it as any better than a good 59x 239 block.

Given the cost of finding original parts and then building an Ardun - is that on your table, or is it in the "someday dream" category? Your car should have a real Ardun in it.
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Old 03-26-2021, 05:11 AM   #11
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Here is a part of the original brochure - showing the early front-mounted water outlets:

Brochure-Cropped.jpg

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Old 03-26-2021, 12:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

A few magazine articles that I collected over the years on the Ardun.
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Old 03-26-2021, 12:06 PM   #13
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Number 2
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Old 03-26-2021, 12:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Number 3
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Old 03-26-2021, 02:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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Interesting comment! Would you care to elaborate? Please??


Sure let me elaborate.
Simply put the Ardun conversion was a short lived project at the Ardun Engine Co. the original designer of the Ardun head for Zora was Mr. George Kudash I as well as couple of others spent many hours learning from George the complete and true story on what took place during the brief development period. Two areas of concern which are extremely important was the oiling and ignition. Those of us who have spent years working on the Ardun have by way of back yard engineering solved these vital areas of the conversion. As one of the very few who have actually put many thousands of miles on an Ardun head converted flathead block driving twice across America and back I think my experience with all of the above speaks for itself. Actually in the good weather my supercharged Ardun is driven daily its not the best on economy but heck I don't care about no stinking economy.
If the original poster is interested I do have an original set of heads available.
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Old 03-26-2021, 02:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Thanks for the info! Another question: I read a magazine article years ago that stated the ARDUN head was originally designed for New York city garbage trucks that were under powered and overheating. Is that correct? I assume that no heads actually ended up on these trucks.
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Old 03-26-2021, 06:44 PM   #17
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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Do you have any pictures of the Ardun that would have been in it? I'm wondering if it had the early or later production heads (they are different). I would imagine that it came with the later heads and center water outlets (not on the front). Also, what intake manifold and carb setup did it have?

Don's repop heads are excellent - better than the originals (especially the rocker arm system). But - they are not originals. A Mercury 99A block is not easy to find - and I'm not sure if that block was actually produced in Canada or the USA. I have a 99A type block in my 32 Cabriolet. Back in the day, this block was considered one of the best to build for performance usage - though I personally don't see it as any better than a good 59x 239 block.

Given the cost of finding original parts and then building an Ardun - is that on your table, or is it in the "someday dream" category? Your car should have a real Ardun in it.
Please see a few photos of original Ardun Allards attached. It looks like both new and old style heads could be in the Allards but my car had the newer style heads with the water outlets in the center of the heads. (original owner mentioned that in one of his letters). The best photo of a clean unmolested correct engine is the one on the engine stand out of the car. This was from an auction in England. Looks very original without modifications.

As far as intake manifolds go, you can see the two individual intake manifolds which were nice on paper (one intake manifold design for each head - didn't need a left or right) and it used 2 Solex carburetors. The original owner of my car realized that the original intakes weren't very good for performance so upgraded to a Hilborn fuel injection. I'll scan that note in too.
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File Type: jpg allard-j2x-ardun-ford-v8-1953-6.jpg (78.4 KB, 98 views)
File Type: jpg Allard_J2-1515_10.jpg (72.7 KB, 93 views)
File Type: jpg 49-Allard-J2-Prototype-DV_10-AACA_e07-800.jpg (146.1 KB, 97 views)
File Type: jpg Allard_J2-1515_20.jpg (69.2 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg Ardun.jpg (91.8 KB, 102 views)
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Old 03-26-2021, 06:58 PM   #18
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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A Mercury 99A block is not easy to find - and I'm not sure if that block was actually produced in Canada or the USA. I have a 99A type block in my 32 Cabriolet. Back in the day, this block was considered one of the best to build for performance usage - though I personally don't see it as any better than a good 59x 239 block.

Given the cost of finding original parts and then building an Ardun - is that on your table, or is it in the "someday dream" category? Your car should have a real Ardun in it.
As far as the engine block goes - I think the block did come out of Canada and the big reason is that import duty to England was very high after WWII but not so bad from the British Commonwealth. I know that Allard used lots of reconditioned WWII surplus so that could also be possible and it was just a leftover but the 99A was supposed to be a '48 block so not new in the '50s but not a leftover from the war. It may not be possible to find the right block but that's what i'd like to try. I know where there is an old Z block which wouldn't be the worst substitute since Allard did use old war surplus engines.

And, yes I'm definitely going to go for the Ardun engine in the car. It has a 390 Cadillac now which runs and is pretty cool but not as cool as the Ardun.
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Old 03-26-2021, 07:02 PM   #19
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Number 3
Thanks for sharing that article. I had the first two but haven't been able to find this one yet. This is the one with all the really good stuff in it!
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:22 PM   #20
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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Thanks for the info! Another question: I read a magazine article years ago that stated the ARDUN head was originally designed for New York city garbage trucks that were under powered and overheating. Is that correct? I assume that no heads actually ended up on these trucks.


There was never any truth to that story about the garbage trucks. The only press release published about the ARDUN engine company did state a new truck engine conversion using revolutionary aircraft techniques this was printed in the New York Times in I believe in 1950 or 1951.
The conversion was marketed to help gain horse power and torque for a truck conversion. It may be possible a few sets of head's were used in some type of commercial application but I and others have never seen any picture's from that era showing an ARDUN in a truck. Shortly after that New York Times article the company went out of business. The remaining heads were then sold to two company's. C&T in California and the the Granetelli brothers speed shop also know as Grancor. From that point on the heads were now being purchased by racers and Hot Rodders ending up at Bonneville and Lakes speed trials races and latter on drag strips and at Indy plus other forms of roundy round races.

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Old 03-27-2021, 06:36 AM   #21
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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Do you have any pictures of the Ardun that would have been in it? I'm wondering if it had the early or later production heads (they are different). I would imagine that it came with the later heads and center water outlets (not on the front). Also, what intake manifold and carb setup did it have?
Found a couple of better photos of how the intake and carbs should have been on the Allard as it was originally built. Hard to find photos like this because, for most performance oriented people, carbs and manifolds were the first to go...
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File Type: jpg ardun engine4.jpg (57.4 KB, 85 views)
File Type: jpg Ardun-1947-2.jpg (59.7 KB, 75 views)
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Old 03-27-2021, 06:47 AM   #22
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Here's a good summary from the original owner of my car why he needed to rebuild the Ardun. From the early letter, Mr. Sisler sounded confident that he was far along in the rebuild and just needed a little help. Turns out he was only starting on his journey.
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Old 03-27-2021, 12:04 PM   #23
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

WOW, that's quite a letter. Was there a response?

I think he should have considered the re-paint, in lemon yellow
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Old 03-27-2021, 03:46 PM   #24
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Well as I wrote above ignition and oiling was a big problem due to the lack of complete development when first designed. That parts wish list even in 1954 would have been very difficult to fill. Today it would be no problem to get the parts requested as it pertains to the engine side of the issues he was having.
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Old 03-27-2021, 04:52 PM   #25
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Interesting that in at least a couple of the pictures you show, they are of later 49-53 flathead blocks - not the earlier ones. Did Allard put any of those engines in these cars?

A '99A' block is pre-war (first came out in the 39 Mercury) . . . the designation was used for the original 239 cubic inch blocks. I'm not aware of any 99A blocks being produced after 1942.

In the letter where Zora talks about the 99A block, this was probably just following the numerous wives-tales that the 99A block was the best and thickest of the flathead blocks -- I've not found that to be true . . . but it was passed on through the gossip channels for many years. I've sonic tested a lot of blocks and the various claims that "this XXX block was the thickest" . . . or "this was a high nickel casting" claims are just that - stories to pass on.

I have a NOS 99A type block in my 32 Cabriolet - and the only reason is that I wanted to rebuild the car as the pre-war HotRod that is was - so I needed a large displacement pre-war block . . . hence the Mercury or WWII production blocks.

Are you racing it on any of the vintage meets? Is that a goal of yours? If so, I'm sure it would run a lot better with a Hilborn fuel injection setup - but they are really hard to find and very expensive. This is what I'd run with the car - as long as the goal wasn't to make it a street driver.

My suggestion is that if you really desire to put an Ardun back in this car, that you talk to RonnieRoadster or myself at some point - and get an idea as to what the build specs could be, the approximate budgetary costs, etc.. I would definitely try to put an original Ardun in it - as that will be the best as far as value and authenticity is concerned. As many find out, they can "invest" a lot in an Ardun - but few are sorry that they did. (As long as the cost doesn't cause a divorce!). LOL
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Old 03-27-2021, 06:53 PM   #26
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I enjoyed reading the letters! Wishing you success with your project!
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Old 03-28-2021, 08:51 PM   #27
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Interesting that in at least a couple of the pictures you show, they are of later 49-53 flathead blocks - not the earlier ones. Did Allard put any of those engines in these cars?

A '99A' block is pre-war (first came out in the 39 Mercury) . . . the designation was used for the original 239 cubic inch blocks. I'm not aware of any 99A blocks being produced after 1942.
I'm not sure of all the different Ford configurations wound up in the Allards originally. Still new to the group and most of the guys I have talked to so far either had Cadillac engines from new or Cadillac transplants at some point although. Many of the cars were shipped to the US without an engine and the person who bought the car had their favorite engine installed. Cadillac was popular and a few had Chrysler Hemi's or Oldsmobile engines. In reading the Allard book from Tom Lush who worked there back in the day, it sounded like whatever was available went into the cars shipped with engines. Also, the cars have been reworked lots and people race the J2's and J2X's without too much regard for originality as far as I can tell.

Thanks for the info on the Ford 99A block. I haven't found a lot of info on that one so still learning. James Sisler called it a Canadian engine in lots of his letters so maybe it was a C99A? Not sure if that matters.
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Old 03-28-2021, 09:02 PM   #28
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Are you racing it on any of the vintage meets? Is that a goal of yours? If so, I'm sure it would run a lot better with a Hilborn fuel injection setup - but they are really hard to find and very expensive. This is what I'd run with the car - as long as the goal wasn't to make it a street driver.
I'm a mechanic at heart and not a race car driver so my goal is to try a non-competitive rally or tour, take it to meets, take the kids and wife out for drives on nice days. If I had a chance to take a lap or two around Watkins Glenn, sure wouldn't turn that down (won't get there any other way than driving an oldie). I'd hate for the thing to be locked away in a garage gathering dust. I'll probably wind up with a carburetor setup. Either dual or triple 94's or 97's look really great.

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Old 03-28-2021, 09:25 PM   #29
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

This may be of peripheral interest to the O/P. It has a 21 stud Pilot engine.

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...ghlight=allard.
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Old 03-28-2021, 09:27 PM   #30
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Allard Motors weren't too much help to Sisler from his previous letter as Allard was having trouble selling cars in '54 and lost Duntov who went to Chevy so they had other problems to worry about (although Allard did manage to come through with lots of other stock parts later but not upgraded parts as Sisler was hoping for).
I'll save you all the many letter drama of the Ardun engine rebuild when the original owner sent the heads to a shop where the shop ordered new valve guides from C-T Automotive. The repair shop never actually measured the dimension required for the new valve guides and C-T custom-made a new set of cast iron vale guides that were loose like the set that needed to be replaced.
These letters are to and from Clem TeBow when James Sisler still has a pile of parts and trying to figure out how to get his engine back together
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File Type: pdf 101254 tebow-sisler004.pdf (749.0 KB, 35 views)
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Old 03-28-2021, 09:33 PM   #31
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I am kind of surprised that they put an Ardun in an "L"; I thought they all went into J2's.

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Old 03-29-2021, 06:04 AM   #32
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I can tell from the letters that Sisler knew enough to be dangerous and Clem pretty much told him to "let us do it" and we'll do it right. Some of the dialog about chrome lifters and steel cams - pretty much tells you there can be some issues with the setup if that is what Sisler believes he needs to run. Also, given all the requirements that Sisler has (which I can understand), he really needed somebody like CT to build him a complete engine, dyno test it and deliver the entire package - but that would have been some serious money (then or now!).

My guess is that Sisler never sent the heads to Clem and maybe didn't know enough to get all of it done with his own methods . . . and the engine probably never came back together (or continued to have issues). Clem was correct in not trying to just "send parts" (for the heads) - as the result is usually not good (especially with an Ardun and all the little tricks it takes to get them correctly running).

Did you ever find out where the engine actually went? Do you know the serial numbers for the heads?
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Old 03-29-2021, 07:56 AM   #33
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Yes, an excellent response from Clem. If only folks would listen to their engine builder.
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Old 03-29-2021, 06:06 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Bored&Stroked View Post
I can tell from the letters that Sisler knew enough to be dangerous and Clem pretty much told him to "let us do it" and we'll do it right. Some of the dialog about chrome lifters and steel cams - pretty much tells you there can be some issues with the setup if that is what Sisler believes he needs to run. Also, given all the requirements that Sisler has (which I can understand), he really needed somebody like CT to build him a complete engine, dyno test it and deliver the entire package - but that would have been some serious money (then or now!).

My guess is that Sisler never sent the heads to Clem and maybe didn't know enough to get all of it done with his own methods . . . and the engine probably never came back together (or continued to have issues). Clem was correct in not trying to just "send parts" (for the heads) - as the result is usually not good (especially with an Ardun and all the little tricks it takes to get them correctly running).

Did you ever find out where the engine actually went? Do you know the serial numbers for the heads?
I think you are exactly correct about Sisler. He knew a little bit, was trying to gain as much advice from everyone who he talked to (and as you know everyone has a different opinion), and he was trying to do it all on a budget.

Find the letter exchange that happened next with C&T(next post). I don't know if Sisler actually sent the heads and engine but I suspect he didn't. He did mention having a fire in early '55 and needing new carburetors, linkage and fuel supply next spring so either got it running and had an issue or wanted to upgrade to the fuel injection system and claim the old induction system on insurance. Somewhere between '54 and '56 he did get the engine bored to .020" over but didn't go for the 4" Mercury crank.

The Ardun engine number on my car was supposed to be 2036-Z. Not sure if that was stamped on the heads or engine or just a record keeping number.

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Old 03-29-2021, 06:11 PM   #35
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Next correspondence between Sisler and TeBow
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File Type: pdf 11354 TeBow - Sisler010.pdf (237.5 KB, 31 views)
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:21 AM   #36
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I did a quick inflation check. The $400 would be $3910 today.

Not bad, at all for the work requested.

I love reading this communication for that period!
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Old 03-30-2021, 05:24 AM   #37
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For $400 . . . he should have taken him up on that deal! If so, maybe you'd still have an Ardun in the car.
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:50 PM   #38
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I did a quick inflation check. The $400 would be $3910 today.

Not bad, at all for the work requested.

I love reading this communication for that period!




Since today the actual work required would now fall under the title of specialty work. Taking that into consideration you should add an additional multiplier of 3 to the adjusted for inflation price. The now adjusted figure of $11,730 is more in line with the reality of today.
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Old 03-30-2021, 05:28 PM   #39
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The next letters are to and from the Crankshaft Company. I don't think Sisler used them or at least didn't stroke his engine as he later mentioned having a 3-3/4" stroke.
Thought it was interesting enough to waste a few electrons on. You can see what was available and how much it cost nearly 70 years ago.
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Old 03-31-2021, 05:50 PM   #40
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So the next big challenge is to find a good cam (66 years ago today). Scans have some other good info about valves, springs for the Ardun and other services from Iskenderian.
I know other grinds came out later that were probably better, but this is where things were at in '55.
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File Type: pdf 33155 Sisler-Isky001.pdf (696.3 KB, 25 views)
File Type: pdf 4555 Isky-sisler002.pdf (687.4 KB, 28 views)
File Type: pdf 4555 Isky hard face overlay003.pdf (1.41 MB, 24 views)
File Type: pdf 4555 Isky Top Tuner Tips005.pdf (1.30 MB, 31 views)
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:27 PM   #41
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So Sisler did pony up and pay for the new Isky 102-A cam and '52 Olds valve springs...

I was told that Iskenderian early cams were all regrinds and that he preferred '32 Ford cams since he felt Ford used superior forged cam blanks instead of cast blanks after '32. That's why the bearings were .010" undersized. You guys would probably know better though.
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:15 PM   #42
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That is one neat 1952 Allard Roadster.
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:19 PM   #43
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Similar model Allard Roadster
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Old 04-02-2021, 05:50 PM   #44
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Forgot about this series of correspondence so the scans are a little out of order. This is to Stevens Motors Inc. in '54 and early '55.
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File Type: pdf 6354 Sisler-Stevens007.pdf (611.3 KB, 21 views)
File Type: pdf 71954 Stevens-Sisler008.pdf (779.3 KB, 20 views)
File Type: pdf 8954 Sisler-Stevens009.pdf (789.3 KB, 20 views)
File Type: pdf 22355 Stevens-Sisler010.pdf (364.8 KB, 19 views)
File Type: pdf 6555 Sisler-Stevens011.pdf (432.5 KB, 22 views)
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Old 04-03-2021, 06:19 AM   #45
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Rotated some pages for you.
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File Type: pdf 4555 Isky Top Tuner Tips005.pdf (1.30 MB, 6 views)
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:24 AM   #46
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Thanks much!
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:33 AM   #47
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No problem PM me on any others you want edited.


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Old 04-03-2021, 05:51 PM   #48
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One question: Does this car still have the "split" front axle, If so. Does it have Camber limiters installed. Might be a good safty thing??
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:08 PM   #49
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Great question Ol'Ron. Yes - all the production Allards that I'm aware of up to the K3 and I think the JR model had the split axel front suspension. I know that seems really weird but Sidney Allards roots went back to hill climbs and rough roads of England. If you wanted a lot of suspension travel and didn't have lots of dollars to spend, that's the way to accomplish the task. For a more modern equivalent to this style of suspension think Ford truck twin I beam suspension. Basically the same thing but a little better execution with the Ford.
My car does have arrester straps although they need to be replaced. Believe it or not, I do have the document where Sisler requests them from Allard in England - attached.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:55 PM   #50
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Back to the Ardun engine story...
Sisler had all of the parts to get running in early '55, not sure exactly what he did about the valve guides (maybe C&T but he didn't save a receipt), he got the cam and valve springs from Isky, got his new oil spray bar from Stephens, and a few missing odds and ends directly from Allard.
Then apparently there was an incident. Sisler talks about a fire ruining the carburetors and manifolds in this note so needed new carburetors, fuel supply, linkages, etc. for the upcoming race season. Sisler also mentioned wanting a quote for the parts from Stephens in the last batch of letters so assuming this was also related to the fire and racing season drawing near. He did have an MG TC but the Allard was a big upgrade in performance with over 3X the power and not that much more weight so I'm sure he missed it and was eager to get back on the track.

(Looking at the car now, it has a little bubbling of paint on the bottom side of the hood but no other real damage related to fire so any damage from the fire must have been very contained.)

After Sisler ordered replacement parts from England, the correspondence goes quiet for the summer of '55 so assuming he did finally get it running at least satisfactorily enough.

Note: I have to take a break in posts for next week because of a business trip and won't be able to scan anything but some good upgrades to the Ardun coming in late '55 and '56 so stay tuned if interested.
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File Type: pdf 41255 Allards -Sisler 013.pdf (373.5 KB, 20 views)
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:14 PM   #51
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I'm using this suspension system in a 27 T track roadster. I know it was very popular in Europe back in the 30s/40s. However had a tendency to flip the car if the wheel tucked under. I knew of one of these Allards back in Connecticut, It had an olds engine at the time, not sure if it was original. I questioned the the use of this type of suspension as I'd never seen one before. Since I found out they worked very back in the day. I like to try thing that are different, might work. Thanks.
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Old 04-12-2021, 06:08 PM   #52
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Hi Ron,
I wish you the best of luck with your independent front suspension modification. Here's a little help from Allard... One thing that you may have already noticed is that you will want to split your center link too as the distance between the steering arms will change as the suspension flexes.
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File Type: pdf Front Suspension sketch017.pdf (274.6 KB, 14 views)
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Old 04-12-2021, 06:24 PM   #53
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I haven't ever had my car driving at any sort of speed so not sure how it handles but if you look through old racing records, the Allard J2 and some of the other Allard variations which all have the same or very close chassis and front suspension as the K2 was highly rated in competitions, oftentimes at the head of the pack with Jaguar and Italian sports cars and others. Somehow those guys were able to make the suspension work.
One thing that the J2's had was an independent rear suspension which was ahead of its time so that probably helped.

When I bought my car, I was a bit nervous about the front suspension knowing about the problems that the Corvair and Porsche 356's had. Here's an example of a rear suspension without something to limit wheel travel.

https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-pr...r-1-tatra-t87/

Here's the video:
https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/...atch_permalink
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Old 04-12-2021, 06:32 PM   #54
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Back to the Ardun rebuild story. Sisler (original owner of my car) was pretty quiet through the summer of '55 although did still have some troubles. Here are a couple of notes to C-T. When Clem TeBow is saying how they made the Ardun work by using Ford water pump bushings for the rocker arms, you can really see why those guys were the ones to make the Ardun show it's stuff.
And, Sisler is trying to work C-T for every little scrap of information he can in the next letter.
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File Type: pdf 7855 CT to Sisler018.pdf (271.6 KB, 22 views)
File Type: pdf 103155 Sisler to CT019.pdf (585.5 KB, 23 views)
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Old 04-13-2021, 02:29 AM   #55
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Welcome back,

Regarding the swing axle rolling under, the Porsche RKS used a low pivot, rear axle, to stop most of it. They did very well with that arrangement, it in the 50's and 60's.
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Old 04-13-2021, 06:17 PM   #56
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Sisler must have had the engine running in '55 but after racing season is over, the wheels are turning in his mind. Here he's trying to upgrade induction and fuel systems...
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Old 04-14-2021, 02:55 AM   #57
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I'm very surprised that Dean Moon would recommend something like that.

To begin with the Hilborn system, requires, at least 3 lines, from the tank. Feed, Pill and bypass. You'd have to plumb the injector side, back into the bypass while running the carb. The switch would take a lot of time, you also have to prime the injectors to start (hard to do with the hood on) and they don't run well at low speed (as he says) if, jetted for high speed. Not to mention the price, it would be close to $3k, in today's dollars. I do think it would well worth it, for a towed, full time race car.
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Old 04-14-2021, 05:21 PM   #58
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frnkeore - you are right. It would have been a pain in the butt to switch between the two systems.
Not sure if Sisler did swap back and forth but he definitely went for the Hilborn Fuel Injection system. Of course that wasn't as simple as I'm sure it was described to him in letters and over the phone. You can see on the last page, Sisler is mentioning that the fuel injection pump pulley isn't lining up with the water pump pulleys so trying to work through that issue.
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Old 04-14-2021, 09:41 PM   #59
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Thanks for sharing. Can't imagine relying on ordering parts from a foreign country by mail for a limited build motor. Especially with apparently just enough knowledge to be dangerous.
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Old 04-14-2021, 09:50 PM   #60
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Thanks for sharing. Can't imagine relying on ordering parts from a foreign country by mail for a limited build motor. Especially with apparently just enough knowledge to be dangerous.
Uhh. What?
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Old 04-15-2021, 08:26 AM   #61
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One thing is for sure . . . while Sisler may have had good intentions, he knew just about enough to be dangerous when it comes to many of his plans. He somehow believes he will put a mechanical Hilborn injection on the car (with obviously no injection experience) and will drive it on the street . . . AND he plans to get better gas mileage in the process. My guess is that unless he enlisted some talented folks to help him - he probably never managed to get the injectors installed and correctly tuned (even for racing).

If I was Stu Hilborn, I probably would NOT have sold them to him . . . as he probably had one continual headache as a result! LOL

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Old 04-15-2021, 10:12 AM   #62
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Hey 52 Allard - if you happen to find any documentation on the serial number of the Hilborn injectors - please post it. Would love to know what it was.
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Old 04-15-2021, 12:20 PM   #63
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He could have installed it and got it running, pretty easy. They are a simple system but, it wouldn't have been streetable.

They have a very good fuel curve for the mid and top end power range. What kills them for idling, is they have to leak vacuum, around the injector, to keep the nozzle from pulling gas straight threw it at idle and it's not adjustable.

They also, circulate a lot of fuel and in my road racing application, the pick up would cavitate on the last 1/3 of the tank and he may have had that problem, as well.
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Old 04-15-2021, 05:58 PM   #64
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So as frnkeore mentioned the other day, fuel injection system is one thing but just getting the fuel out of the tank and to the injection system and back to the fuel tank is another thing.

Here's how that went...
I was surprised at the pressure system recommended by Dean Moon - definitely simple but a real throwback to 30's style race cars.

And in the next notes, Sisler went for the pressure system...
Not sure how driveable the car would have been because the final schematic doesn't show a way to really use a carburettor (unless he just kept pumping up the tank). Maybe he towed the car? Not sure - it doesn't have any evidence of a tow bar now.
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File Type: pdf 7356 sisler-moon023.pdf (1.62 MB, 12 views)
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Old 04-15-2021, 06:01 PM   #65
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Quote:
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Hey 52 Allard - if you happen to find any documentation on the serial number of the Hilborn injectors - please post it. Would love to know what it was.
Unfortunately I don't have any of that info. Someone asked me about the serial numbers on the Ardun heads and I don't know that either. The engine was supposed to have a serial number 2036-Z if that means anything to anyone.
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Old 04-15-2021, 06:19 PM   #66
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Thanks for sharing. Can't imagine relying on ordering parts from a foreign country by mail for a limited build motor. Especially with apparently just enough knowledge to be dangerous.
Sisler did have lots of correspondence with Allard in England but Allard wasn't doing too well in the mid '50s and definitely not spending any time or money developing the Ardun engine. There are a bunch of his letters that had to do with checks taking 12 or more weeks to clear, credit amounts, parts not available but spared you all of that bother.

All the fun Ardun development was going on in California and Sisler either read too many magazine articles of successful other people's projects or, too cheap or stubborn just to pay someone to get his car working the way he wanted it to. Definitely should have been terrified though.
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Old 04-16-2021, 11:49 AM   #67
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Regarding the FI system, I bought mine, in late '73 or early '74. At that time, they didn't recommend any fuel pump, other than the injection pump and you had to run separate lines, for the pill and a bypass line. The bypass line, was for closed throttle conditions, while at higher rpm, to keep from building to much pressure. They also recommended a shut off valve, on the pressure side of the pump.

My unit also came with the pump drive, that fit a Flathead generator mount and a V-groove pulley, that I had to change to a timing belt.
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:18 PM   #68
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Quote:
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Regarding the FI system, I bought mine, in late '73 or early '74. At that time, they didn't recommend any fuel pump, other than the injection pump and you had to run separate lines, for the pill and a bypass line. The bypass line, was for closed throttle conditions, while at higher rpm, to keep from building to much pressure. They also recommended a shut off valve, on the pressure side of the pump.

My unit also came with the pump drive, that fit a Flathead generator mount and a V-groove pulley, that I had to change to a timing belt.
Did the bypass line have a pressure regulator up by the pump or something?
Thanks for the info - good stuff - interesting.
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:24 PM   #69
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As I'm sure you guys figured out that when Sisler wanted to burn more air and fuel - he needed more ignition. Here's what he did...

There is also a good description of the final configuration of the engine and car.

Although Sisler didn't buy the magneto from Joe Hunt, I put that note in too because it's from Joe Hunt and Hunt sent a Vertex magneto setup sheet so thought that was worth sharing.
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File Type: pdf 7656 sisler-joehunt025.pdf (1.10 MB, 15 views)
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:36 PM   #70
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And that's about all I know. THought it was worth sharing because of the notes from all the different people that were at the top of their game including Zora Duntov, Clem TeBow and others. Hope it was interesting. It goes to show that it took a village and a lot of persistence to make the thing run.

The speedometer in the car currently has a little over 40K miles on it but now the car has a completely stock '62 Cadillac 390 in it and the speedometer isn't hooked up so I'm assuming the Ardun lasted the 40K miles and Sisler didn't want to go through another Ardun rebuild so swapped it out for the Cadillac. I think the Cadillac was purchased new since it doesn't have a serial number (I hear Cadillac stamped the serial number after it was mated with a car). Unfortunately, the Cadillac has the stock Jetaway 315 automatic transmission so can't really use the engine up to its full potential. After the Cadillac engine, I'm guessing Sisler kept driving the car until '73 or that's what the front license plate says and sold it in the early '80s. It's been a non runner ever since.
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:03 PM   #71
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Looks like Sisler purchased a lot of high quality and proven race components - I wonder if he ever got the engine completed and on the road? Joe Hunt was a personal HotRod friend on mine - in the 70's, he had his shop on Crenshaw Blvd in Torrance - which was on my way to school. Joe Reath introduced me to Joe Hunt (I was 16 years old) and Joe became my ignition mentor. He setup my first Harman Collins dual-point, then my Harman Collins mag for my blown flathead afterwards. I used to help him in his shop and with some of his various vintage Offy projects. He was a wonderful man and always had time to answer my questions and help me with my projects. In recent years, I replicated his magneto testing machine here in Ohio - as the way he explained it to me made sense, so I had to make my own in later years. It is my 'Frankenstein' ignition tester! LOL
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Old 04-17-2021, 01:14 AM   #72
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Great to hear you are going to put an ARDUN back in. My heads have are the early ones with the front winter outlets. Would have preferred center outlets but finding any ARDUN heads was difficult, so these do fine. I did use Ronnieroadster‘s spark plug tube seals in the build and they work great. Love the ARDUN and wish you the best.

Tom
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Old 04-17-2021, 01:26 AM   #73
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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Did the bypass line have a pressure regulator up by the pump or something?
Thanks for the info - good stuff - interesting.
Thank you for this wonderful thread on your car and the Ardun engine.

The pressure relief valve was in the pump, at the return port. Both pressure and return were -8 AN fittings.

I'm really amazed at the price of the Vertex mag! That would be close to $1600 in today's money.
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Old 04-17-2021, 07:38 AM   #74
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

RE: Injectors:

The original pump for the Hilborn Ardun injector was a vane type that Stu stopped making or servicing many years ago. It is extremely hard to find one in good working condition, so most folks who happen to have one of these injectors will use a modern pump. Here is what the original pump looked like - you can see the pressure relief valve with the tie wire on it. Modern pumps don't have pressure relief valves in the pump - they are part of the line/plumbing instead (and there are many ways they are implemented) - depending on the injector style, usage, fuel type, etc..

Here is one of the early Ardun injector pumps I have:

IMG_9092.jpg

IMG_9093.jpg

OriginalCatalogPics-1963.jpg
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Old 04-17-2021, 07:42 AM   #75
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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I'm really amazed at the price of the Vertex mag! That would be close to $1600 in today's money.
Part of the reason for that price was due to Sisler's engine being a 1948 style block - which meant he had the front mount distributor setup. So, in addition to the mag itself, they would also have to supply an 90 degree angle drive - which was a fairly big addition to the standard mag cost. In today's world, to try to find an angle drive, then have the proper magneto base setup and then buy the mag, would be well over $2000 - if you can find the angle drive.

The Vertex would have been a much better setup for road-racing and the street in general as it has a mechanical advance system, while the Harman Collins magneto is locked down (with no advance in the mag).

I run a Vertex with an angle drive in my 32 Cabriolet - love the way a mag runs with a flathead.
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Old 04-17-2021, 07:46 AM   #76
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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Great to hear you are going to put an ARDUN back in. My heads have are the early ones with the front winter outlets. Would have preferred center outlets but finding any ARDUN heads was difficult, so these do fine. I did use Ronnieroadster‘s spark plug tube seals in the build and they work great. Love the ARDUN and wish you the best.

Tom
That is a heck of a nice looking engine compartment. I bet very few "modern" folks have any idea as to what type of engine that is. Did Ronnie build the engine for you? He's a good friend . . . we chat about all things Ardun and flathead related quite frequently.
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Old 04-17-2021, 10:52 AM   #77
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That is a heck of a nice looking engine compartment. I bet very few "modern" folks have any idea as to what type of engine that is. Did Ronnie build the engine for you? He's a good friend . . . we chat about all things Ardun and flathead related quite frequently.
Thank you. My friends and I built the engine as we are in Reno, NV. Another is in process. Yes, people just don’t understand. Always a pleasure to open the hood and observe the people.

For fuel I use an Austin Intake and Quick Fuel Carb. Bought the last manifold Ken made before he sold to H&H. Although a great runner and no issues, wish I would have used Don’s rocker arms which we are using on the new build.

Ronnie has been a great soundboard and love his tube seals. Block is an 8ba wiht a Merc crank. Had a lot of fun making the stainless water outlets. Didn’t know at the time I could have modified the heads and changed the outlets to the center. Oh well, I am kind of a loner. Uniquely, my heads are sequentially numbered 233 and 234. The ‘53 is another nice story. From a six to an ARDUN and many other things while remaining stock appearing.

Too bad I couldn’t afford this when I was younger as I am now 81.
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Old 04-17-2021, 10:55 AM   #78
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

Beautiful car and motor!
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Old 04-17-2021, 12:00 PM   #79
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

And just for fun . . . something I found many years ago. The top of the crate that Ardun heads were shipped in:

Ardun-Packing-Crate-Lid copy.jpg
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Old 04-17-2021, 12:03 PM   #80
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You don’t need that cluttering up things, send it my way.

Tom
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Old 04-17-2021, 12:05 PM   #81
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Thanks.
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Old 04-17-2021, 12:11 PM   #82
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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Originally Posted by Bored&Stroked View Post
Part of the reason for that price was due to Sisler's engine being a 1948 style block - which meant he had the front mount distributor setup. So, in addition to the mag itself, they would also have to supply an 90 degree angle drive - which was a fairly big addition to the standard mag cost. In today's world, to try to find an angle drive, then have the proper magneto base setup and then buy the mag, would be well over $2000 - if you can find the angle drive.

The Vertex would have been a much better setup for road-racing and the street in general as it has a mechanical advance system, while the Harman Collins magneto is locked down (with no advance in the mag).

I run a Vertex with an angle drive in my 32 Cabriolet - love the way a mag runs with a flathead.
I have a Mallory Electronic and is good. Haven’t figured out a good smog valve setup yet for an 8ba. Any thoughts? Don’t want to drill original intake cover or valve covers. In any event, should have done this during the build.

Tom
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Old 04-17-2021, 01:20 PM   #83
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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I have a Mallory Electronic and is good. Haven’t figured out a good smog valve setup yet for an 8ba. Any thoughts? Don’t want to drill original intake cover or valve covers. In any event, should have done this during the build.

Tom
Lot of threads on this topic, might try a search or start a new thread with the question. It's a bit off topic here.
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Old 04-17-2021, 01:29 PM   #84
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Ya, agree “off topic,” and will continue to look for anything ARDUN specific.
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Old 04-18-2021, 05:32 PM   #85
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Default Re: Rebuilding an Ardun OHV 1954 - 1956

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Looks like Sisler purchased a lot of high quality and proven race components - I wonder if he ever got the engine completed and on the road? Joe Hunt was a personal HotRod friend on mine - in the 70's, he had his shop on Crenshaw Blvd in Torrance - which was on my way to school. Joe Reath introduced me to Joe Hunt (I was 16 years old) and Joe became my ignition mentor. He setup my first Harman Collins dual-point, then my Harman Collins mag for my blown flathead afterwards. I used to help him in his shop and with some of his various vintage Offy projects. He was a wonderful man and always had time to answer my questions and help me with my projects. In recent years, I replicated his magneto testing machine here in Ohio - as the way he explained it to me made sense, so I had to make my own in later years. It is my 'Frankenstein' ignition tester! LOL
Thanks much for sharing Bored&Stroked.
I used to help out a guy named Lynn Yakel who was part of the California sports car culture in the '50s and knew Dean Moon, Vic Edelbrock, Stu Hilborn and the drivers like Phil Hill bunch of other names that I forgot. Lynn had a Mercedes 300SL that he bought either new or fairly new. I wish I had thought to ask more questions of him at the time. There was definitely something very special pioneered by those guys. Hotrods are still a thing 70 years later.
I'm sure you cherish your time spent learning from Joe Hunt.

As for Sisler, I think he did get the Ardun running as he sent a letter to renew his subscription for the Allard Owners Club newsletter in 1960 so that was after his Ardun rebuild and before the Cadillac engine. He must have been happy with the car at that time. I'm sure he had some local friends able to help out too. He was active in his sports car club so I'm sure some of the guys took pity with all the issues and helped him sort things out.
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Old 04-18-2021, 05:40 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored&Stroked View Post
RE: Injectors:

The original pump for the Hilborn Ardun injector was a vane type that Stu stopped making or servicing many years ago. It is extremely hard to find one in good working condition, so most folks who happen to have one of these injectors will use a modern pump. Here is what the original pump looked like - you can see the pressure relief valve with the tie wire on it. Modern pumps don't have pressure relief valves in the pump - they are part of the line/plumbing instead (and there are many ways they are implemented) - depending on the injector style, usage, fuel type, etc..

Here is one of the early Ardun injector pumps I have:
Thanks much for the Hilborn fuel injection system info - I haven't been able to find out much about that so really appreciated seeing what it's supposed to look like.
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