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Postby Jim Hudson » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:30 am

What did the fellow do to cause it to need higher octane fuel? Advancing timing and increasing compression beyond stock is the only thing I know of that would maybe require higher octane. But I don't claim to know much, but have been working full time for 44 years on internal combustion engines even the new computer controlled ones of today.
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Postby George Willer » Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:00 pm

WKPoor wrote:George, That is excellent advise, but what fun would that be, I love to tinker and with time this will all come together.


Of course tinkering is fun. That's one of the joys of this old equipment. Those of us who are most adventuresome seem to do the most of it. The problem arises when we draw doubtful conclusions and then forcefully offer them as some kind of "gospel" for others to follow. That puts us at odds with most of the world. Let's tell the whole story! You've never told us how the compression and timing of your H has been changed, as I'm fairly certain they have been.

One time I built an Olds V-8 to run upside down... for a specific purpose. It was well suited to the job, and I'd recommend it but... I'd never claim G M didn't know how to build their engines and were building "junk".
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Postby Jim Hudson » Mon Apr 11, 2005 3:27 pm

George now I'm more intrested in why you wanted to run the Olds engine up side down and how you did it??
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Postby Rudi » Mon Apr 11, 2005 3:41 pm

Me too. Btw, what engine was it? My favourite was the 454cid with the race mods...slip that into a 69 442 with H/O package and dream city :idea: :!: :D :lol:
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Postby WKPoor » Mon Apr 11, 2005 3:50 pm

George- On Jan 25, 2005 under lquid level results I listed the things that were done to the engine. I'll recap. Super H block bored to 169cu.in. with high top pistons inside. I didn't have a 300 head so we had the H head's chambers milled to clear the pistons and then planed the head down till there was .025" clearance with gasket. I wanted on LP head but the cost and availability didn't make it so. I put on the 300 carb and after market manifold to match. My troubles started after I brought it home and dumped in 87Octane. At Wheelers we only ran it on 116Octane. Same stuff his pullers run .Had no troubles there at all. I don't think I built a puller, just something a little healthier than stock.
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Postby George Willer » Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:01 pm

Jim Hudson wrote:George now I'm more intrested in why you wanted to run the Olds engine up side down and how you did it??


Jim and Rudi,

It was an Olds 215 aluminum engine. It was inverted to use it as an aircraft engine on a homebuilt. Inverting it puts the crankshaft up high enough for prop clearance and at the same time makes it possible to use an updraft aircraft carburetor. That makes it possible to use gravity flow to eliminate the chance of vapor lock. The external oil pump on this engine was used to pump oil from a sump connected between the valve covers which acted as collectors. There was a slight cooling problem caused by an air lock, but it was easy to remedy.

When I first proposed it, some friends were worried about lubrication. A couple drilled ports solved it. It ran very well. I always said that inside the cylinders it's dark, so the engine didn't really know it was inverted. A couple drops of oil could drain to the combustion chamber making a little smoke of startup... just like radial engines do. It's a part of the charm.
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Postby Jim Hudson » Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:32 pm

2 head gaskets will probably fix your H. I built a 409 Chev with 12.5 to 1 compression ratio and I either had to have some high octane gas or retard the timing till it was weak as a sick kitten to stop the spark knock. I also had trouble with plugs. Even with high octane fuel it ran fine but if you wanted to show someone how it would scat it would embarrass the heck out of you. A new set of plugs would make it scat for about a week of my showing off. This was when I was a young punk hot rodder. 115 mph in a quarter mile as I recall. Remember the Beach Boys song "I'm saving my dimes for my 409" By the way the 409 came from the factory with 2 head gaskets under each head. I think that was 1962. If you wanted to hot rod it you had to take them out.Junior Johnson of NASCAR and I had to order ours in parts and build it in 1961. Remember Ronnie Sox's in Hot Rod magazine the drag race fellow. He was from Burlington,NC He out ran all the early 60's model Fords with a 409 Chev. That's cubic inches.
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Postby WKPoor » Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:02 pm

Jim- When you say you had trouble with the plugs what did you mean? Like my trouble fouling out or something different.
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Postby Jim Hudson » Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:20 pm

Yes! trouble fouling out. Not to the point of a dead skip at idle but would skip under load. Anyone remember Sunoco gas? You could choose about 4 or 5 octane ratings by pushing the right button on the pump. The local Sunoco would sell us the pure stuff that was diluted down at the pump when we went to the local drag strip.
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Postby WKPoor » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:05 pm

I do not know what my compression ratio is but the suspect is that its high enough to diesel the pump gas. While running on 87Octane the engine would not respond at all to timing adjustments. However right after I put in the Avgas it responded fine. The guy that first suggested me try Avgas said at sometime in the future I may to do as you said, ad another head gasket.
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Postby Jim Hudson » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:41 pm

WKPoor "Quote"
I started out with a rebuilt block that was a Super H 164 bored out to 169 with high top pistons. This I purchased from a local puller. The engine had less than 5hrs on it. He pulled once and said not enough power so out it came. He had a Lp head on it then.Next do to economics I decided to use my H head on this motor but found out the chamber would not except the high top piston as they stuck up above the deck. So I local shop milled material inside the chamber to just clear pistons by about .025". We also ended up planning the head a little to. I was actually shooting for automotive comparable pressure, just overshot a bit . After rebuild over at the shop the engine was only run on 116Octane fuel. When I brought it home I just poured in the regular gas I had at the house. Looking back thats when the problem started and it got worse with winter temps. We never fouled any plugs while it was over at wheelers running on 116Octane. So far all roads seem to be leading to where I'm at which is where I came from.
Now you need high octane or lower compression. You want a farm tractor that will burn kerosene like one of our old Farmall M's are a puller??
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Postby Buzzard Wing » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:44 pm

In the perfect world a tractor would not sit for years at a time.

But, I have a lot of stuff with gasoline engines and find that the 'newer' RFG gas has a very limited shelf life.

Most things don't have a problem, especially bigger engines. But I do find that my 10 year old brush cutter (Husqvarna) was a bit particular about stale gas.

I don't summerize my snowmobile, winterize my lawnmower etc. But I can tell you that small engines (snowblower) don't seem to run or run right with old gas. It could be that the carb is gummed up.

I think it is another conspiracy to get us to use more gas (dump out MONEY) by telling us to dispose of gas after a fairly short period.

Does anyone else find this to be more of a problem than in the past??
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Postby Lurker Carl » Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:54 am

BW - Here's a simplified version of what gasoline does in your fuel tank over time. The lighter components of gasoline evaporate over, leaving behind the less volatile. Think of it compared to the other petroleum products derived from crude - the gasoline becomes more like kerosene, then more like diesel, then more like oil, then more like grease, then more like tar. And without the properties of those products. Add heat and the process quickens. Products like Sta-Bil chemically alters the lighter components to make them less volatile at ambient temperatures and slows the evaporation process. Keep fuel cool and evaporation slows as well. Cool, baby, cool.

What has changed is the engines. They run more efficiently now than in the not so distant past. Much tighter air:fuel ratio, no carburetor adjustments, automatically governored throttles - just look at new lawn mowers and you'll see what I mean. Automobiles have been like this now for several decades, the commercial/industrial/homeowner engines are just now being phased into the Clean Air Act provisions.


WKPoor - You have radically altered the operating parameters of your engine. What you have done is redesigned the combustion chamber but you haven't redesigned the cam, ignition, carburetion, manifolds and head accordingly meet to the increased demand. No wonder it won't run on pump fuel. You're expecting chemistry to fix engineering problems and blaming the chemist. Once you start altering stock components, you have to alter just about everything to match or exceed the new parameters to get the performance increase.


GW - The 215 aluminum V8 is a real gem. Although designed and built by Buick, Olds yanked over 200 hp out of it with a supercharger. It had (and needed) water injection to keep combustion temperature under control. The 1963 SC Cutlass was really the first muscle car, powerful engine in a compact car. It was 30 years ahead of it's time. Rover is still building the aluminum V8 for the LandRover although I think it is a bit larger the 215 cid now. You'd think the ill-fated Vega engineers would have tapped into some of the design work that went into the V8 project and built another winner.
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Postby George Willer » Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:09 am

Lurker Carl wrote:GW - The 215 aluminum V8 is a real gem. Although designed and built by Buick, Olds yanked over 200 hp out of it with a supercharger. It had (and needed) water injection to keep combustion temperature under control. The 1963 SC Cutlass was really the first muscle car, powerful engine in a compact car. It was 30 years ahead of it's time. Rover is still building the aluminum V8 for the LandRover although I think it is a bit larger the 215 cid now. You'd think the ill-fated Vega engineers would have tapped into some of the design work that went into the V8 project and built another winner.


The most interesting innovation was the sleeves. The steel sleeves were put in the mold and the aluminum was poured around them. Didn's the Vega pistons run directly in aluminum bores like a cheap lawnmower?

I understood that when they quit building the engine all the equipment went to Brazil? I wonder where it is now?
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Postby WKPoor » Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:58 am

Now we have finally come full circle. I realize this story would be hard to follow, heck I don't read every post either. So unless someone really kept up on my posts they may not have gotten the whole story even though it was presented. Basically I have learned much and have much more to learn. Right now the H is running superb and appears it can be a daily driver provided I keep a supply of Avgas on hand. I haven't yet put on my batt ignition. I think the H if screeming for more advance than the mag will allow. Full mag advance made it jump to life and it feels as if more is on tap. So next is batt ignition. Now that I have this newfound fuel wonder I've been trying it in everything and liking the results. I tried it in just everything around here that doesn't say EFI on it. Starts are very easy and power IS good. I mowed this weekend with it in my commercial mower and I could tell the difference especially when you first engage the deck. It brought the deck up to speed much easier than last year. It just seems to breath life into whatever burns it.

Now do any of you think there could an issue with burning valves or the such from using this fuel. Thats the scare tactic some are giving me. I know aircraft valves are sodium filled to protect from that but I'm not sure the engines I've used it in are running any hotter than they normally do.
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