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Old 03-22-2018, 07:24 PM   #1
kheisler
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Default 56 Ford F100 New Project - Engine Questions

Hi to everyone!

I have just come home with a 56 Ford F100 from California that is in great shape... very little rust. The questions I have are around the Y-block that came with it.

It was in some state of rebuild with no information on what was done (and now way of asking). I've torn it back down to the block and heads and this is what I have found:

Block - ECG
Heads - ECL-A
ECZ 9425-B Manifold
Older Holley 4 Barrel Carb
New water Pump
New Fuel Pump​

The block was cleaned and it appears that new bearings and seals have been installed as well as Pistons and a new Timing Chain and Gears… I can’t tell if the cam is new but I would assume so, but I have no idea on what the specs are or manufacturer. But from what I can see from the bottom side is it appears that the cylinders have been bored and the pistons look new.

The heads I see are low compression with the smaller valves... I have not removed the heads to inspect the bore or any work that might have been done to the heads.

I'm not looking for a Hot Rod here... just a mild performance Y-block... something that performs well and has some get up and go when you put your foot into it. I’m planning on restoring the truck with a few modern upgrades… not a lowered street rod.

My questions are:
1. Should I remove the heads to determine what has been done as far as bore and what pistons have been installed as well as what work has been done to the heads, if any?
2. Is there a way to determine the compression without removing the heads?
3. Are the ECL-A heads even worth keeping? Should I replace them with the larger valve ECZ-G heads?
4. Is there any value to keeping the ECL-A heads? Will they be a large loss of power/performance? Will I even notice??

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:01 PM   #2
dmsfrr
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Default Re: 56 Ford F100 New Project - Engine Questions

You may have already found this website / link... but if you haven't here it is.
http://www.ford-y-block.com/technical.htm

An ECG block is/was a 272, plus whatever it was bored to.
With ECL-A heads the published compression ratio is 7.6:1, with 162 hp.
But...

*Compression ratios listed are from Ford literature and are theoretic figures that exclude deck volume and head gasket displacement. Most published compression ratios are approximately 9% higher than actual.
When engines are rebuilt with composition head gaskets deduct about 12% for actual compression.
Do to the thinness of the deck surface of ... Y-Block heads ..... it is recommended that unposted heads not be milled more than .025". *

I'm not seeing anything inspiring in that paragraph.

An ECZ-B intake manifold is considered the oem 'one to have'.
The ECZ-G heads are also, but how much could they actually wake up a 272, and at what cost? They're quite pricey if you can find them and rebuilding them with hardened valve seats will take another big chunk out of your wallet.

Lacking an unlimited parts budget... since you want "something that performs well",
is an apparently stock 272 the right engine to build from, if you want to have "some get up and go when you put your foot into it" ???

Would you consider a swap to a nearly stock newer larger engine? (302-351)
.

Last edited by dmsfrr; 03-26-2018 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:28 PM   #3
cars2cool
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Default Re: 56 Ford F100 New Project - Engine Questions

Go to youtube and search mctim and click on videos then scroll to the bottom. Find the video titled '58 Ford F100 burnout, 313cu in Y-block. It's about 24 seconds long, turn up the volume and watch/listen to the end. And then he has another video that is over a minute long of the same burnout, but he gives a walk around tour before he does the burnout. That just might get your juices flowing!!!
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:07 PM   #4
miker98038
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Default Re: 56 Ford F100 New Project - Engine Questions

Disclaimer: I’m a pretty hardcore y block guy.

I’d pull the heads and measure the bore and also the stroke. Just to make sure it was a 272 to begin with. It was pretty common to punch those out for 292 piston. If you’ve got a good bore, no ridge, maybe even the crosshatch still there, that’s a good sign. Then mike the pad on the heads and see what they’ve been milled, if any. Check how far down the bore the pistons are at TDC. Block might have been surfaced, who knows till you check.

If you’ve got the motor out, turn it over and pull the cam. Y blocks are not something you want to change the cam on unless they’re apart. If the cam looks good, I’d do a quick check for lift, or if available locally, run it by a “cam doctor” machine.

If you’ve got the ability, space, etc. to do this it’s time not money, and minimal tools. Maybe a buddy who already has a couple micrometers and knows how to use them.

Y block, excepting real hp motors, make great torque at lower rpm’s, and with the right cam and reasonable compression move you down the road just fine in a street rig. Even the stock ones were pretty good for their day.

Spend a lot of time on the site dmsfrr gave you. Which rocker arms, etc. You might be closer to a decent street motor than you think.

It would help if you added your location, and maybe which transmission you’ve got.

If all else fails, you can do what I did on my first 292 in my 55 bird. Bolt an old Paxton on it. Didn’t make it a lot faster, but the blower whine made it seem that way.
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Old 03-29-2018, 09:28 AM   #5
Ole Don
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Default Re: 56 Ford F100 New Project - Engine Questions

All good advice above. I would remove the heads to check valve sizes. If they have a fresh valve job, mill the heads .020 or .025 and use them. The heads have a squared off spot on each end. Mike that. From the factory they were exactly 1.000 thick. The easiest way to remove the cam is to turn the engine upside down. It then slides out after the retainer behind the gear is off. Keep the spacers in order. If the cam appears stock, you can ship it to a cam grinder for a spirited street grind for about a hundred bucks or less. Look in at the lifters with a bright light, they seldom wear out. On reassembly, use liberal amounts of cam lube, and motor oil that is 30 or 40 wt and specifies HD for its cam protecting zinc additive. Read up on installing the chain. If you want a lot of RPM's, put on better valve springs, and use a lot of timing advance. Have fun, these engine respond very well to small changes like this. If it will be a street engine, a 500 CFM will give better results than a 600.

Last edited by Ole Don; 03-29-2018 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Spelling.
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Old 03-29-2018, 11:54 AM   #6
dmsfrr
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Default Re: 56 Ford F100 New Project - Engine Questions

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Timing chain alignment marks: Both outer marks at 3 o'clock when facing them, and 12 pins of the chain between them. FYI, this is not # 1 TDC
image attached below

Valve seats: If hardened seats weren't installed and you're planning on driving the truck a pretty fair amount, a Lead fuel additive could be helpful.

Zinc in the motor oil: It's a good thing, see this link...
https://www.ctci.org/gilsgarage/EngineOil.php

For ease of maint and a more stable spark at higher rpm's an electronic ignition conversion kit that replaces the points is suggested, but may not be overly necessary. IMHO
.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cam-timing-set c2.jpg (37.9 KB, 14 views)

Last edited by dmsfrr; 04-07-2018 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 03-30-2018, 01:34 PM   #7
willowbilly3
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Default Re: 56 Ford F100 New Project - Engine Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsfrr View Post
You may have already found this website / link... but if you haven't here it is.
http://www.ford-y-block.com/technical.htm

An ECG block is/was a 272, plus whatever it was bored to.
With ECL-A heads the published compression ratio is 7.6:1, with 162 hp.
But...

*Compression ratios listed are from Ford literature and are theoretic figures that exclude deck volume and head gasket displacement. Most published compression ratios are approximately 9% higher than actual.
When engines are rebuilt with composition head gaskets deduct about 12% for actual compression.
Do to the thinness of the deck surface of ... Y-Block heads ..... it is recommended that unposted heads not be milled more than .025". *

I'm not seeing anything inspiring in that paragraph.

An ECZ-B intake manifold is considered the oem 'one to have'.
The ECZ-G heads are also, but how much could they actually wake up a 272, and at what cost? They're quite pricey if you can find them and rebuilding them with hardened valve seats will take another big chunk out of your wallet.

Lacking an unlimited parts budget... since you want "something that performs well",
is an apparently stock 272 the right engine to build from, if you want to have "some get up and go when you put your foot into it" ???

Would you consider a swap to a nearly stock newer larger engine? (302-351)
.
Personally I think those heads are over rated or at least over priced. The earlier ones are not posted. I'm looking for the 58-early 59, 113 heads. Same big valves, a little less compression and all are posted. Later 59s still have the big valves but a little less compression. 60 and later all have small valves and low compression. Here is a good link to heads if it hasn't already been posted.

http://yblockguy.com/head_casting_numbers.htm
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:31 AM   #8
Motorhead6
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Default Re: 56 Ford F100 New Project - Engine Questions

Absolutely agree on the carb choice. Especially if it is a vacuum secondary. You said it is an older Holley 4V. I assume you have the larger bolt pattern and so any late carb will also fit. I'm sure you know to assure yourself that the distributor is also '57 up to match the vacuum advance requirements of the later carb.
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Old 04-06-2018, 01:58 PM   #9
dmsfrr
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Default Re: 56 Ford F100 New Project - Engine Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorhead6 View Post
..... assure yourself that the distributor is also '57 up to match the vacuum advance requirements of the later carb.
If kheisler checks in again maybe he'll let us know...

The '56 and earlier distributor housings are shallower than the '57 and later.
They are also 'vacuum only' for the timing advance and have a flat side on the main shaft to index the rotor.
'57 and newer y-block distributors have centrifugal counterweights under the points to advance the timing with engine rpm, and a notch in the open top shaft to index the rotor.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg early, dist number plate.jpg (57.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 55 56 flat dist rotor index.jpg (58.8 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 57 dist #2.jpg (54.8 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 57 dist copy a.jpg (54.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg example, dist weights (not y-block).JPG (35.8 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by dmsfrr; 04-07-2018 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:11 AM   #10
ahshoe
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Default Re: 56 Ford F100 New Project - Engine Questions

Just joining in this thread. If I want to put a newer Holley 4 barrel on my '56 F100 Y block and have the older style dizzy. Do I have to replace it with a '57 or newer dizzy for the two to work vacuum wise?
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:20 AM   #11
KULTULZ
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Post Re: 56 Ford F100 New Project - Engine Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahshoe View Post

Just joining in this thread. If I want to put a newer Holley 4 barrel on my '56 F100 Y block and have the older style dizzy. Do I have to replace it with a '57 or newer dizzy for the two to work vacuum wise?
Yes...

LOAD-O-MATIC (54*56) requires matching components to allow the engine to run correctly.
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