Which is more streetable : .....

31 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

..... in the '50's era hot rod.

Fuel injection

OR

a blower

?????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Fuel injection on a blower? This question has far to many variables to answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Actually, neither were very popular on hot rods in the 1950's. Consider that pretty much the only aftermarket fuel injection system available through most of the 50's were the systems produced by Hilborn, and even those were really only practical in constant high speed action, such as AAA/USAC Midgets (for which cars Stu Hilborn developed his first FI system, 220 cid Offenhauser AAA/USAC sprint cars, and of course the setups developed by Hilborn for AAA/USAC Championship Division cars used at Indianapolis and on the so-called "Championship Trail". It wasn't until Mercedes-Benz developed their fuel injection system for use with the W-196 Grand Prix cars and the 300SLR Lemans-type sports car followed closely by the 300SL series of streetable sports cars, along with the Rochester fuel injection system introduced by Chevrolet on the 1957 Corvette and Pontiac on the '57 Bonneville that FI systems became practical EVERY diesel engine from the gigantic Cleveland Diesel V12 and V16 railroad prime movers used by Electromotive Division of GM, Detroit Diesels, Cummins, and everyone else who built diesel engines from the early 20th Century onward were at least "available", but the learning curve to adapt such to ordinary gasoline engines by home mechanics probably was very daunting. In addition, the price of buying such a system was well beyond the pocketbooks and bank accounts of the vast majority of hot rodders back then.

Not that they weren't talked about, and wished for though!

Art

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Superchargers ("Blowers) also were not particularly popular for street use back then either. While supercharging for automobile engines was thought of, even installed on a few cars just before 1910, supercharging, either by Rootes Type units (used by Bugatti and Mercedes by the end of the 1920's) or centrifugal types (made legendary by the likes of Duesenberg, Auburn, and Cord, along with Graham Paige starting in 1932) those disappeared from production cars until Kaiser tried them in 1954-55, in an attempt to pump up sales of the then-failing Kaiser Manhattan, in what Kaiser called the "Dragon"--this done to try and negate that company's stodgy reputation of relying on a rather anemic flathead inline 6. It did not work, did not save Auburn Automobile Company (who also produced the Cord and owned Duesenberg), nor did the idea save the Kaiser automobile either. Of course, Studebaker installed a Paxton (made by McCulloch--the chain saw people) supercharger on the 1957 Golden Hawk, and then made Paxton (centrifugal) superchargers available on the Avanti and Larks in 1963, but that was too little, too late.

Latham built a curious, "axial flow" supercharger for a few years, which used the turbine technology of the turbo-jet aircraft engine--namely the compressor section of those and the then-new gas turbine concept, but it couldn't be turned fast enough to create much boost--not that very many automobile engines of the time could have withstood much in the way of supercharger boost--they just weren't built for supercharging. GMC "rootes type" superchargers were, for the most part, far to large for street use on automobile engines. If not too large (Detroit Diesel built supercharged 2-cycle engines in configurations from 2-cylinder to V16, covering all points in between), but being "positive displacement" superchargers, back off the throttle quickly, you could blow the supercharger manifold to shrapel rather quickly.

Art

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Art is correct, not street friendly but it was done. And check out this blown flathead Cadillac from 1949.

flathead20Cadillac20engine20vp1-vi.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

OK. Is the question how common were they? Or how "street able" cause for starters no 2 hot rodders are going to have the same def. Of what's street able and what isn't.

That said super charging is one of the best ways to make huge "street able" horsepower.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I'm no expert (not even close)... but it seems to me that the relative simplicity of a blower setup (vs. a fairly complex and fussy mechanical FI setup) would have been a lot more "streetable" back in the day before computerized FI became common.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Art is correct, not street friendly but it was done. And check out this blown flathead Cadillac from 1949.

A blown flathead! Now there's something you don't see on every Tom, Dick and Harry's hot rod!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I don't think there's a answer, cause both can be made streetable, both were use in the 50's, and both worked.

Myself, i want a 57 fairlane, 312 Y block, with the Paxton supercharger,, Others want a 57 fuel injected vette..

So, the correct answer is,??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

For instance- the dual quad, 6-71 blown 331 he I we're building with its 4 psi of boost and 9:1 compression will be an absolute pussy cat compared to my naturally aspirated single 4bbl small block Chevy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Clark Gable thought Injection was nice, but, he liked getting blown!

paxton-gable2_zps89418d2e.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

The actual question was "which is more streetable?", the period being the '50s.

And Harry's right, for exactly the reason he postulates.

The answer is, in the early '50s, supercharging was WAY more streetable. It is the EASIEST way to make power (next to nitrous injection, which was not used then), is simple conceptually and the adaptation and necessary machine work are straightforward. Even low compression-ratio engines respond instantly to pressurized induction. The first surplus GMC blower (looks like a 3-71 in the flathead pic above) setup was built in 1949.

Hilborn constant flow injection WAS used on the street, though the tuning was not for the mechanically less-than-stellar. Hilborn-style injection varies the mixture by throttle position alone, and as a function of engine RPM. Tuning is accomplished by varying the 'pill' or orifice in the return line. A larger hole in the pill= leaner mixture as more fuel is returned to the tank, by-passing the injection nozzles. A FEW very capable tuner / machinists made secondary systems that could more accurately tailor the mixture curve based on more parameters. Streetable for wizards, not mortals.

The Bosch 'timed-mechanical-direct-injection' Art is referring to on European makes takes watchlike precision inside the injection pump, which not only varies the injection pulse timing, but also varies the injection-pump piston-stroke. Again, it takes a wizard to tune it, and a six-cylinder injection unit will only adapt to a six-cylinder engine, and so forth. Perfectly streetable on the cars they came on (think 1955 300SL Gullwing Merc) but high in maintenance. Also shortened oil life and possibly engine life, as excess fuel tended to wash down the cylinder walls at shutdown.

GM's FI system that debuted in '57 didn't make huge power, was quite primitive, but easily adapted to other engines.

Chrysler / Bendix experimented with electronic injection in 1958. It was troublesome, and my understanding is that every unit was recalled and replaced with carburetion. Interesting to note however that it is the basis for the successful Bosch solid-state electronic injection system introduced 10 years later. Zip zero nada useless in the '50s. B)

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I understand a McCulloch supercharger was an option for the

1934 Ford V8.

we built this one for a 3 window '33 Ford coupe.

however, the supercharger is a 1934.

Harmon Collins magneto, Navarro heads, Merc crank,

and a few other goodies. it is very streetable, completely tunable.

I do know this combo spit out 249 Horsepower with a nickel plated stromberg 97.

HotRods002.jpg

HotRods001.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

No-one has defined streetable yet. To me means that it will start on the key, idle reliably, drive nicely in heavy traffic and get rubber in all 4 gears.

I'd have to say blower but streetability (streetableness?) would depend on what you were using to mix & meter the fuel/air with the blower.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Street able to me means "runs on pump gas" my SBC is getting a huge single plane, 11:1 car and .575 or .630 lift. Haven't decided which cam yet...

And it'll be "street able" in my eyes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Yeah, Mark's right. Streetable is entirely in the eye of the beholder. To me it simply means something that's not so insanely radical that it can still be used occasionally as actual transportation, but my definition of "streetable" (and Mark's I suspect) would be un-drivable to a lot of folks.

The Porsche 959 of the late '80s was probably the most "streetable" high-performance car of all time (IMHO). Good for an honest 200MPH, it would happily idle at 600rpm with the AC running, while Mom got the groceries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

perhaps you are mixing the term "drivable" with "streetable". my '37 will be streetable but, you all my not consider it driveable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Clark Gable thought Injection was nice, but, he liked getting blown!

I bet Jesse's getting some warning points :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Yeah, Mark's right. Streetable is entirely in the eye of the beholder. To me it simply means something that's not so insanely radical that it can still be used occasionally as actual transportation, but my definition of "streetable" (and Mark's I suspect) would be un-drivable to a lot of folks.

The Porsche 959 of the late '80s was probably the most "streetable" high-performance car of all time (IMHO). Good for an honest 200MPH, it would happily idle at 600rpm with the AC running, while Mom got the groceries.

Larry larsons nova is pretty gnarly too - 6.90's at 200 plus, and will happily idle in traffic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

so, rodger, what's your definition of streetable. and while you're at it, is your blower carbed or fuel injected. after all it is your question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

..... in the '50's era hot rod.

Fuel injection

OR

a blower

?????

Answers are in.....What is now going on in 1:1 land, is a lot more current, FI powertrains in resto rods.

But the Question was 50's Era hot rod...Answer would be neither!...A new intake and carbs was $$$, so that really didn't happen. Grab a Caddy ambulance motor from the boneyard...start thinking cheap and available....get the picture as Honest Charlie was just starting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Answers are in.....What is now going on in 1:1 land, is a lot more current, FI powertrains in resto rods.

But the Question was 50's Era hot rod...Answer would be neither!...A new intake and carbs was $$$, so that really didn't happen. Grab a Caddy ambulance motor from the boneyard...start thinking cheap and available....get the picture as Honest Charlie was just starting.

I just did some research and found that the flathead Ford started the 50's as the engine to have. Seen a picture of one with a 3-71 blower and what looked like two strombergs on top.

The 331 Caddy engine doubled the horsepower of the flathead and I seen pictures of 4 and 6 strombergs on them, even blowers.

Didn't see too many fuel injection pictures as streetability must have been bad.

The Olds Rocket was seen around the time of the Caddy.

Streetability is something affordable and driveable. If your car dies at every other stop light, I don't call that streetable.

Affordable would be just using mostly interchangable parts, like Merc cranks. You still can buy the cheaper stuff new.

I'm looking to build a model that would be era correct before the small block Chevy came out. Any tips on what other things to use or not to use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Caddy or olds rocket for a "high dollar" build or a flathead with a couple of strombergs for a more run of the mill build

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Look at this years AMBR winner...Ardun Flattie B) .

Revell has one in the 50 ford PU..This would also be "exotic" for the day.....Flatties did rule and whatever else you could find in the boneyard was fair game.

What Body are you running?? A flathead ford would not work in a buford...or ??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Look at this years AMBR winner...Ardun Flattie B) .

Revell has one in the 50 ford PU..This would also be "exotic" for the day.....Flatties did rule and whatever else you could find in the boneyard was fair game.

What Body are you running?? A flathead ford would not work in a buford...or ??

25 T Chopped top from the two car kit.

Comes with the 430 Lincoln, but that's too new for the pre-small block era. I have a Caddy with 4 strombergs being built.

What about the chrome reverse wheels? Were they in that era? Baby moons?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now