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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-19-2012 10:12 AM
farna Ford NEVER made a straight-8 engine, only V-8s.

Boosting the old engine with moderate boost (5-6 psi) shouldn't be a problem at all. Pistons are much heavier and thicker if aluminum, and may be cast iron. The crank and rods are forged steel, cast wasn't strong enough until techniques were developed around 62-63. The cylinder walls are thicker due to casting techniques not developed until the early 60s for thinner blocks. Everything is tough enough, but you do make a good point of making sure everything is in good working condition or better yet newly rebuilt. Detonation would be a concern, but that would be the case on a modern engine. Cast iron pistons might not be tougher than cast aluminum -- heavier an thicker, but also more brittle.
10-19-2012 09:00 AM
farna Great call Tech!! Pressurizing the intake should deliver fuel more evenly too. A "draw through" setup would be easiest with low boost like that.
10-19-2012 01:24 AM
techinspector1 I think the simplest way would be to rig up a small supercharger or turbo. Seems that with 4-5 psi, you could make more power than you could with more carbs and headers and not blow up anything.
10-19-2012 12:49 AM
straighteight upgrade

The Buick OHV straight eights had a performance package called the "Century" engine. The early versions were 246 cubic inches, later 263 and finally a 320. All could be made to scoot. My family still has a '41 Sedanette Century and it runs very well. The engine in the roadster is a 320. The one in the Sedanette is a 263.
10-02-2012 09:26 PM
carter wcd carbs

G m used carter WCD 2 barrels on those dual setups/. They were a pretty good carb and had metering rods that you could adjust the lifter cam on the linkage , The WCD's we used by american motors up thru the 70's, In the 60's you could still buy the weld on flange kits to add more carbs to your stock manifold. I made my own a few years ago and made a spider leg intake manifold for my corvair (6 cyl flat engine ) powered dunebuggy and ran a single holly 500 2 Barrel carb.
10-02-2012 08:50 PM
455olds They had factory available dual carb intakes for those engines. That and a home built header will help a lot.
10-02-2012 04:43 PM
Irelands child You kinda said what you want to do with this .... so picking at what's left of my brain, these old straight 8 Buicks had individually poured tin-lead babbit rod bearings which are then fitted to the crankshaft dimensions cylinder by cylinder at least through 1948. This will severely limit how much you can safely add horsepower to these low RPM engines. Then there are those main bearings - reamed to size and fitted to the crankshaft with shims. My thoughts are, fix it up as-is and drive it. 320 cubic inches in that Century wont move it fast, but will have a lot of low end torque. If you have a later version straight 8 that could be installed, i.e. '49-'53, then I think you have some more possibilities with an improved bottom end as well as oiling system. This one, probably looking at a recipe for failure with horsepower modifications. Of course, with a 'nailhead' V8 installed there ............

Dave W
10-02-2012 04:03 PM Back in the day, when I was drag racing. There was a Henry J with a Hudson six in it. Ran every week at my favorite track. I ran B/Gas and they would let that car go first. A LOOONG wait for my green!!
10-02-2012 10:09 AM
monster76 Dont ask me why but i have always wanted to build an old straight 8 fuel injected and stuff in an old henry j just one of my old odd ball ideas. Any way as far as headers i think you are going to end up having some made or building them your self the same goes for the intake
10-02-2012 09:10 AM
AutoGear Harvey Crane still does some oddball/ specialty cam regrinding; might try him. I think he is in his 90s now.

Don't go too crazy without evaluating the oiling system on this thing; along with the con rods and the hardware that holds the con rods together.

Im not sure about the valvetrain, but if its not adjustable, you can't do too much to the cam either. Best thing you can do to increase performance is more compression and or rear gear change.
10-01-2012 07:25 PM
Cape Cod Bob Have you ndriven this car. Seems that I remember some straight eights that had a lot of stock power.
10-01-2012 04:12 PM
farna Uh, no... nobody make anything! There's not much you can do. You can make your own headers, of course. Heck, I'd start with two right side V-8 headers and make a flange to fit the I-8. That might work... Or just get a "make your own" kit and start cutting and welding.

The intake would be harder. You can make a steel tubing intake similar to making a header though. Would be real easy to make intake tubes for Weber side drafts! Four 2V Webers sticking out the side would look great!!

Call Isky, Crane, or some other cam grinder and see if they can still grind a cam that long. They won't have new blanks, but can easily regrind a stock cam and get you a bit more power.
10-01-2012 03:57 PM
straighteight upgrade

I,m considering to upgrade my inlineeight in my 36 century coupe. I'm looking for just a little more horse power but not making a screamer. Possibly headers & intake change. Might use an electric fan & aluminum radiator and also electric fuel pump.. I,m mostly a purest in the old car hobby but I think I,m ready to step it up. Any suggestions? Does anyone make headers?

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