Green ThunderBolt

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I've been getting allot of interest in the 27 "Green Thunderbolt" engine I have here so I thought it would be a good idea to post some more details and photos.

 

Here are some photos of what we started with:

Some say I shouldn't show these photos, but I think it's relevant to point out that even the worst looking things can be made beautiful again.  This is the same engine you will see below.  It was sandblasted and boiled to remove the rust and other foreign matter.  You'll see the job unfold below if you keep reading.  It runs perfect, and it's in my own car now. 

 

Here are some photos of the work in progress:

 

Computer balancing the flywheel and clutch center- Everything that spins was balanced, and the rods and pistons were weight matched so it will run smooth.

 

Transmission done, complete with jack rabbit clutch.

   

Crankshaft balanced and fit, painted black, then taped off for the green.

This shows the Stipe 280 cam, new lifters, a boiled out and re-painted block, and the main bearings after the lapping in process.  The front main was re-drilled to allow oil in from both sides of the casting.

Here we have the head on and it's almost ready for the pan.

This is an experimental engine using parts from two mortal enemies (Ford and Chevy), our best guess is that it is in the 50-60 HP range, with a stock T crankshaft! 

 

"Bosch" front Plate with 009 distributor, split crankshaft pulley means no rattles.

Stock Chevy Exhaust Manifold, and you can see the ignition coil mounted to the side.

26/27 has extra support in the hogshead and wide pedals.

Also note the transmission screen "oil filter", it has a magnet in it to trap any foreign objects.

Fuel pump at bottom of engine, and an aluminum intake designed for Stromberg style carburetors

 

If you would like to an engine like this, please give us a call.  Our phone number is on my business card, which is located on our "home" page. (click here)

WILL IT FIT?    Click HERE to find out!

A payment plan is available.

You can get a free shipping estimate here:  www.freightcenter.com 

We located in Massachusetts, just south of Boston, in Zip code 02346.

 

Click here to see a video of this engine running.

These photos show the accessory outside oil line(s), the second one will run up to the rocker arms if I can figure out how to make it work right.

   

   

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The rest of the story!

Since installing this in the car (our 27 Fordor)  I have been dealing with a minor carburetor issue that's been driving me insane.  I ordered this kit from Neal with instructions to "give me everything I need in one box".  I got the head, plate, manifolds, and all the nuts and bolts I needed.  All I had to do was come up with a 3 bolt carb.  I chose to order a rebuilt one from a guy in Canada, which arrived in a Vintage Speed box from Florida a few weeks later.

I got the engine on and it ran horrible.  It would not move an inch under its own power.  Why - WAAAAY too lean.  We hogged out the main jets from #54 (stock) to somewhere in the 80's before it would go down the road.  The intake manifold froze up solid and it bogged when the skinny pedal was pushed too hard.  I blamed the carb and ordered another one from another source.  Same issues, only this new guy has been a great help - gone way out of his way to help me work through this issue (thank you Charlie Schwendler!).  For those interested: Charlie Price from Vintage Speed and that guy in Canada were absolutely no help at all - and rude too.  If you want a Holley 94 carb, email me for Charlie S.'s phone number.

Back to the issues - I added tubing to the top of the car to pre-heat the air.  Now the car was useable -with a light foot.  Tap the gas and it went like a scalded cat.  Stomp on it and the engine died.  But - above 35 MPH you could stomp on it and it really took off!  It was a very puzzling problem that none of us could figure out.

We went to Indiana for the T party 2008 celebration with the heating tubes on the top.  While out there I scared a few people - each twice!  First by running down the back road at about 50, then again at the end of the road where I showed off the disc brakes.  Colorado Disc Brakes work really really well, most of my passengers came up off the seat a little.  No one thought that a heavy Fordor Sedan could move like this one does!  We used it for everything out there, even loaded a weeks groceries, a bag of charcoal, and a new grill in, on, and around the five of us and managed to keep up with modern traffic.

After Indiana we went on a couple little local tours and then the 2008 Mainely T tour. 

 

Here's some video we took climbing up through the White Mountains in September 2008 on this tour.

 

This car really shined up there.  I think we passed everyone on the tour at least once, up hills, down hills, in the pouring rain, anywhere there were two lanes and it was safe to go by.  The previous owner of the car was there and he loved the comments about "that damn car that keeps passing us".  In my defense - I was sick as a dog and most of the passing was done so I could get back to the hotel to rest between events.  I spent the first night of this tour in the ER getting antibiotics for a sinus infection and 105.7 degree fever.  I was in no mood to drive slow and we opted to drive like we were "modern" instead of following the other T's going 25-35mph.  The trip was well worth it, and next year I plan on not being sick so I can have as good a time as my wife did on this one!  We went all around western Maine and over into NH at the base of Mount Washington.  I only needed low twice, once on a huge "hill" near the Balsams, and the second time was only because the guy in front of me was in low gear and it was not safe to pass him.  I think next year is in Bath, see you there?

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Back at home and the touring season is over - I decided I was going to end this tender tippy toe style of driving once and for all.  The bogging down was embarrassing when I slipped and pushed the pedal too hard.  So I wrapped the intake in 1/4" copper tubing and tapped the exhaust manifold.

Failure #1 - the exhaust got cold on the first twist and did nothing to heat the intake.

So I tapped the head and ran water through the same tubing.

Failure #2 - the water didn't move so I added a thermostat to coax it through the tubing - Failure #3, still didn't move!

Next I figured maybe the coils were the problem.  I cut off all that new copper and made this up:

Inside that header tape is a straight piece of 3/4" copper pipe with hose fittings in the ends.  I added a second pipe beside it, just to increase the surface contact area.  No ends on the second pipe, and they are soldered together.  Secured with wire and then wrapped in an attempt to hold in the heat.  The lower hose is connected to a fitting at the end of the water pump.  The idea was that the water hits the end of the pump and that fitting, before turning the corners into the block.  The other hose returns the water to the upper neck.  I left a little bare pipe sticking out so I could feel it, and see if it got hot.  It gets warm, not as hot as I had hoped, but it's better than nothing.  The problem with this setup is the water is cooled by the radiator before getting to the pipe.  This setup would work better on an A, as the pump is on the head where the water is the hottest.

So far it looks like it's going to work!  The water moves through and I can stomp on the pedal now after the car warms up.  It was 39 degrees out for the short test drive and the car responded better than it ever has. 

The next step is to use a 5gas analyzer and fine tune it.  I should be able to lean it up considerably now that the intake is warmer.  I also hope to be able to remove the ugly grey piping off the top in the spring.  Right now it's serving it's purpose and pre-heating the air. 

The real test drive is going to have to wait.

 

Ok, it's February 15,2009.  It's been about two months since I took the photo above.

I  finally had some free time to play again. 

 40 degrees out, I went to move the car and the battery was dead.  By dead I mean I got one turn of the starter and it wouldn't spin anymore.  So - I hand cranked it.  It took five or six 1/4 turn pulls and it was running - badly.  Stone cold, and I had removed the grey air heater tube off the top and replaced it with a chrome air filter.  It limped out of storage and into the driveway where I put the pre-heater back on and let it warm up and charge the battery a little.  It skipped and popped until the intake warmed and then ran great again.  It looks like removing the ugly-as-sin air tube is not in the cards for me right now.  Maybe in the summer it will work but it's way too cold here now.

I keep getting asked "Is it for sale?"  - catch me in the right mood and it could be!  I have another engine idea I'm looking forward to trying and a reasonable offer on this one will be enough motivation to complete it.

*April 26, 2009

Car's running fine now, the gray plumbing is staying on for now.  I've been too busy working on customers engines to mess with the car.  Check back later! 

Here's a link to video of it running (on the "warford issue" page) - this was just resolved a couple weeks ago.

 

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