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Old 03-22-2013, 03:56 PM
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The old 409 and other nestalgia!


I was lucky when I was a young man to actually drive a 425 HP 4 speed 409 not the lowly 340 hp version that some drove and then said bad things of the 409s power.

I was in high school throwing my little bit of money into and racing a 406 side oiler dual Holleys, 4 speed that I put in a 57 ford and getting wiped out by the 409s and the 426 max wedges, when I found and did some trading for a 63 409 425 HP 4 speed out of a fellow older racers 58 Vett that he wiped out when he blew a slick at Detroit drag way! I installed it in my 57 LOL and man what a difference over the 406 side oiler!

The new released in mid 1963 Z 11s were really dominating the tracks and I was wrenching part time and being a "go for" for a Chevy sponsored dealer team running Z 11s and then GM called back the Z 11 engines and sponsored cars when the white shirts and ties decided it was a waist: (the team had a worn Z 11 setting aside for a go through and was running a new spare Z 11 in the car! Well the team forgot (or neglected) to mention the one on the floor and GM over looked asking for it! they just collected the car and closed the team sponsorship and the team started racing for Ramchargers! A few years later I came home on leave from the service I stopped in and visited the old shop and that old Z 11 was still on the floor in the corner gathering dust, valve covers were smashed ( the carbs , exhaust and a few things had been scavenged off it) and old parts and junk were thrown on it! So I asked if I could Buy it! I was expecting a flat "NO" but was surprised to hear Roy say "whats your offer" So I got it went through it and installed a cross ram and fabricated headers for it the cam was wiped so I got a custom grind from General Kinetics and installed it in my 38 Plymouth Gasser I sank all my spare change in it !!! Bracket racing was coming in and class racing (weight to cubic inch) was on its way out I tried brackets for a bit but the sand bagging and if you "WENT TO FAST" you would lose soured me on that kind of racing so I put the Gasser on the street!!! I ran the Z11 for a while but then sold it, and went to a small block , and then supercharging! I wish I kept it now who could have guessed that wore out Z11 would become a legend and a mystery as to how many really existed or exist now? The 409/425 dino'd at well over 500 HP I saw that in person! The 427 Z11 I don't know The dino on it But the stock Z11 would put the 409/425 on the bench for good! It was unbelievable!!!!

The Z11 was only produced the one year!!!! The 409 425 0nly a couple!! so who knows what more testing and changes would have brought out of the design! The 396 was the next step but GM wasn't into designing for racing! Who knows what would have become of the 409 if GM didn't pull out of racing or pull the plug on the Z11 in 64?

You guys have any story's of the old days of class raceing the door slammers? When it was fun!!! No sand bagging When you ran faster with each run When you didn't have to look over your shoulder because you knew you were flat out ETC!

My old Polaroids faded away, and there was a fire that destroyed my home and garage in the 70s that took with it many of my photos but here's a few!


Jester

http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/atta...13639887288728
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:04 PM
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http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/atta...71989571989571



Hers a few more I saved from the fire its funny but back then who took cameras but know days everyone has cell phones and can take pics and videos in the drop of a hat I wish we had them back when we were young

Jester
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:54 PM
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By the way you cant make a 409 into a Z11 they had many differences that couldn't be overcome the old guys on here know why LOL

Jester
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:25 PM
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I've got a couple 409 stories. I may have told them here already, but here goes....

When I lived in Illinois about 1968, one of my friends heard of a 409/409 horsepower red '62 Biscayne 2-door, that was traded in at a nearby dealership. I hurried out to see it!

The good news... Really mint, with a resonable price.

The bad news... It was originally a factory dual quad car, but with a three speed on the column. Also, the '09 had been blown up, and had been replaced with a nice fresh solid lifter 11:1 327.

I bought it anyway! I took about a year, but I bought another '62 409/409 engine which was balanced and freshened up... installed a Z-11 cam and a muncie 4-speed... and dropped it in. WHAT A BEAR!!!

The tires were nowhere near enough, so I added a 4:11 posi and some Mickey Thompson slicks. It would still spin them in every gear, all the way to 100! I loved that car... but eventually dropped the hot 327 in a '57 Vette I bought, and it was even more fun... so bye-bye 409 Biscayne.

Over the years moved to Arizon, but I missed the '09 badly, so when I found a friend at work had a '63 SS 409/425, I bought it outright! Unfortunately, after spending about 3-4 years doing a frame-off resto... I sold it to a New York collector so I could go into the custom paint biz full time. {:-(

As I was learning how to run a business, I also sold off an extra high-po 409 engine and speed equipment I had acquired. Things like a cross ram, Vertex mag, aluminum covers, extra heads, etc etc. It was a great time enjoying those cars!!! {:-)
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:16 PM
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the Z11 was not a W series engine.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 496CHEVY3100 View Post
the Z11 was not a W series engine.
Actually it was a W-block. You may be thinking of the '69 "ZL1" 427... which was an aluminum 427 "rat motor".

Here is a link to wikipedia that tells about the Z11.

Chevrolet Big-Block engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Z11 was a 427 cubic inch version of the 409. In a way it was a forunner to the "rat motor", as many bottom end dimensions were similar. When the rat came out, they did away with the top end design of the 348-409-427 W-block.

One of the odd things about the W-Block was the fact that the head surface sat (I think) at 72 Degrees instead of 90... making the top portion of the cylinder the combustion area. The bottom head surface was flat with no "chamber" for the valves to sit in. That is why the heads seem to sit at a "flatter" angle than a traditional deck.

Here is another link to an article about the Z11 cars.

http://www.chevyhardcore.com/feature...11-impala-427/

Last edited by TucsonJay; 03-22-2013 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:13 PM
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I love setting down with some of the older guys ( including my father) as I'm just 26 years old, and hearing there stories from the old days. There is a local guy that's a family friend. He has a very nice 409 setting in his shop on a engine stand. Along with several other motors from 396,454,427 and a few others.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:26 PM
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Here is another bit of 409 trivia.

I had put a Z11 cam in my '62 dual quad engine. It ran like an animal... but...

It started pulling studs out of the heads ocassionally... so I drilled and pinned the studs. After that it developed a bad habit of breaking those big chrome moly push rods in half!!!

Long after I sold it, I learned that the '62 had shorter valve springs, and did not allow for the Z11 cam's higher lift, without bottoming out the springs! The solution would have been to cut the spring pockets a little deeper, and use the longer springs from the '63 to mid-'65 engines. {:-(
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:07 PM
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Look at the new Ol Skool rod magazine. It has a good article on 409's and parts. They are now repopping them and you can build a complete brand new motor punched out as far as 609 cubes.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:14 AM
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Great stuff guys, Jester, great story there! I didn't do anything like that, running my 235. But it was my dream and I loved it. I didn't make the intake my brother and his friend did (the previous owner) but I made the headers (the new white ones) from cut up headers I got from a friends 340 Duster.







Wish I had some photos of it at Fremont Dragstrip with the six, got a few of it later with the 401 Buick but nothing with the six darn it.

I remember going one time and they booted me at tech because the front tires were to worn. I wasn't going to let that $8 entry to go waste and I drove it all the way home (about 10 miles) and put on a pair of black steel wheels and tires off my 64 Nova and went back to race. I really burned up the track with a best of 16:42 at 85 mph.

Brian
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:09 AM
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The 409 has great visual appeal, this



lives in this.

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Old 03-23-2013, 08:21 AM
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What a beautiful car Malc, absolutely beautiful!

Brian
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malc View Post
The 409 has great visual appeal, this



lives in this.

That is one beautiful car, I love the engine compartment. I don't know of a better looking engine than the 348/409, the valve covers are what makes it for me. No wonder they wrote songs about it.

Ray
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:25 AM
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Here´s the complete build thread at BangShift.com.

Last edited by malc; 03-23-2013 at 11:28 AM. Reason: Karnt Spel wright.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 496CHEVY3100 View Post
the Z11 was not a W series engine.
Big Block Chevy Engines Z11 Cylinder Heads Photo 7

Generation 1: "W" Series

The first ever production big block V8 Chevrolet engine was the "W" series, released in 1958 for passenger car and truck use. This engine was an Overhead valve design, with offset valves and unique scalloped rocker covers, giving it a distinctive appearance. The "W" series was produced from 1958 to 1965, with three displacements offered: 348 cubic inches (5.7 L), available from 1958 to 1961 in cars and through 1964 in trucks; 409 cubic inches (6.7 L), available from 1961 to 1965; and the Z11 427 cubic inches (7.0 L), available only in 1963.

Z11 Heads wouldn't work on a 409 block,Z11 intake wouldn't fit the 409 heads the exhaust manifolds could not be swaped between the 2!!! But they were all W series engines I built em All ,I ran Em, and I pit crewed on them and I see more people say the Z 11 was not the same type engine! They read about the mystery engine development from the time of the Z11 progress both at the same time and get them confused! to put the cross ram on I had to make adapter plated and still machine & weld the intake to fit and make my own gaskets to adapt to the huge ports of the Z 11 and the odd angle ( the Z 11 intakes were not produced) So I had to fabricate my butt off!!!! I ruined 4 intakes trying to get one to work the Micky Thompson 409 Cross was the only one I had luck in getting to almost match! and it wasn't perfect after the remodeling but worked well enough to run and looked good!!


Jester

Last edited by painted jester; 03-23-2013 at 12:35 PM.
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