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Old 02-16-2007, 04:46 PM
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tunnel ram set up advice/opinions needed please

hi guys, i am putting a tunnel ram on my old truck and could use some advice from those that have worked with these. i have searched the site and it seems that some of you guys know your stuff. the truck, engine, driver is all old school. First i will give you my set-up.
3700 pound truck, M-20 trans, 3.73 or 4.10 rear gear, 31 inch tall tire, NO acc. on engine, 406 sbc, 9.3:1 C.R., camel back heads, 2.02/1.6 valves-some bowl and porting, 1.5 roller rockers. solid lifter Bullet cam 278/286 Dur. at seat-108 lobe separation-530/552 gross valve lift-248/256 Dur. at .050. this cam was suggested by bullet, it has not been ordered and may change when i advise them of changing to tunnel ram.
the tunnel ram i have is a Weiand 5984, very old number but still new tunnel ram. it appears the same as one Jegs sells under part number 1984. truck is not daily driver, drag racer or street racer. will be driven now and then, probably short distance strictly for the grin and pucker factor. the main enjoyment i get out of building this truck is finding all my parts from fellow car guys. cam, headers, gaskets and a few things have been purchased new (no fun). now questions. what should i be looking for in carburetors? holly or holly type only. i am sure you all will suggest small CFM. the look i want would be nice if i could use dual feed carbs? how to set up linkage wise? progressive? mechanical secondary has always been easiest for me. need help there, seems vacuum secondaries just wont open much. oh yea, will run engine 5500-6000 rpm. cam works 2500-6400, may be less with 400 CID. what would be decent ignition to use? HEI will not fit ram, right? what is a center squirt? will larger 600-660 CFM carbs work with the right boosters? what are good tuning tools? vacuum gauge or? what about some mention of reducing plenum area? would 4 hole 1 or 2 inch spacers help low end torque that is lost to large plenum? i know the tunnel ram is out dated but has been used with success on the street. am i asking the right questions, or am i missing something? sorry for the long winded post and thanks in advance for any help. pal

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Old 02-16-2007, 05:29 PM
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There have been quite a few threads on this subject. You might do a search and find the info you are looking for.
In light of that suggestion, yes, use small carbs. The Holley List # 9776 is hard to beat on a street setup. Forget 4224 center squirters unless you plan on racing. They are calibrated too rich for street use. As far as a certain look, the 9776 carbs can be outfitted with center hung float bowls for that "racer" look.
The cam might be a bit large for a street driver with that compression ratio. I'm sure others will post their suggestions. This is always a hotly debated topic.

Barry
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:44 PM
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My advice is to forget it unless you like to constantly tune it. Tunnell rams are made for upper rpm performance and that`s where your 400 isn`t going.
There powerband is usually 4000 - 7500 or better. Lastly, build off of the torque these engines make, they make the pucker factor much more fun than revving the he** out of it just to get a couple more horses.
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Old 02-17-2007, 06:21 AM
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thanks for replies. i will be the first to agree that combo will not benefit from a tunnel ram. but in reading many post here and other forums as well i feel it is doable. tuning and tinkering with them is fine along with keeping the solid lifters adjusted. if i wanted a shut the hood for a year and still make tons of power i would have gone with gen. 2 or 3 set up. barry the cam was suggested by Bullet to work with that CR. i had asked for a more conserved grind that they thought was great, but if i was willing to live with vacuum and idle issues this grind would bring the most out on the combo i have. i will talk with them again when i know what carts i will be using. doublevision you are correct. but i still want to try this, so i am looking for as much info as i can find on running tunnel rams. once again this is not going to be driven much or anywhere that requires street manners. please help me learn more. thanks
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:35 AM
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There are a lot of tales and false conceptions about tunnel rams. I think most come from the fact that many users were lost as geese in a hail storm in their combinations and inability to tune. Equally lost people watched them fail and made conclusions based on what they saw.

As for torque ranges...... I measured a tunnel ram yesterday that measured about 7 3/4 inches from the head to the plenum. Not much shorter than flat manifolds. And there are old technology staggered-dual-plane single 4 bbl. intakes with the center 4 runners about 3 inches long. Look at a 3x2 set up, or dual quads on a flat intake.

Many tests have shown that properly done, a tunnel ram makes more power across the board than any other carb set up.

So don't fall for the BS floating around the hotrod world.
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:44 AM
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thanks xntrik. as i stated on starting thread i have the intake. now its down to carbs, linkage, ignition. wonder if there is any benifit in running carbs sideways? the linkage kits are available.
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Old 02-17-2007, 08:29 PM
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:28 AM
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tunnel ram questions and opinions

Hello all;
I'm building a t-bucket and would like to know how a tunnel set-up will work out. its a 350 stock lower, heads from a 87 iroc and roller cam set-p from said iroc, the exhaust is heddman 1 5/8 long tube streetrod headers stock convertor in a th350. the tunnel set-up is a weiand 2x4 set-up with 2 450 holleys. am i going to have issues or will the weight of the bucket allow me to run without much adoo? oh yes, it is running a 3:30 gear in a 55-64 g.m. rearend. thanks for any and all info.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:01 PM
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I have a Tunnel Ram on my 406 in my 69 Chevelle. The carbs I'm using are VS390 Holleys. 406 will pull about 715 CFM at 6000 RPM at 100% VE. Your 406 will be around 95% VE which mean you pulling less CFM at the same RPM. It's rare when it comes to tune up on my motor. I've been running TR setup for well over 30 years now. Never had any problem tunning it. Never load up and before safety inspection was introduced it would passed emissions. Used it on my 307, 350 and now my 406. I got more low end torque to rip the black top with no problem. Not to mention instant throttle response and it scream to 6000RPM. The only thing I did to my 390's was the secondary metering plate to metering block from a pair of old 780 Holleys and dual feed setup and the replace the top cover vacuum diaphragm with a pair that you run a vacuum line between the two carbs for uniform secondary opening. Who ever tell you can't run a tunnel Ram on the street do not know squat. For distributors You can use any distributor except HEI.
BTW: If you want to start right away without feathering the gas pedal. Remove the choke assembly on the front carb and only use the rear carb.

Last edited by lg1969; 02-12-2010 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:40 PM
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Edelbrock 500cfm AFB performer/thunder series carbs work very well on a street/strip dual quad or tunnel ram combo.
Actually you can use any of the 500-750cfm Edelbrocks on a street tunnel ram. 750's are not too big.

Holley carbs :
600's or 650's or 750's will work very well. Fine tuning will be required.
A AFR meter/gauge will help you find your way for jetting.
You can use vac sec or DP carbs. Yes the vac sec's will open when tuned correctly.

The tunnel ram and fairly big cam will want lots of initial spark timing. 24deg+++at idle.

Start with locked out mechanical advance -34-36deg BTDC.

Any of the small(er) cap style distributors work well. Get one with vacuum advance included. 10-12deg of vacuum advance adds cruiseability.

With a 31" tall tire use a 4.10-4.30 or 4.56 rear gear.

One of the keys to sucessfully runnning a tunnel ram on the street is to allow a bit of running time for the manifold runners/plenum/engine to warm up to operating temerature before driving. The isolated runners/high plenum takes a bit longer to get some heat in them for good fuel mix vapourization.
While the engine is warming up for you, keep the rpms up.
Once it is warmed up, it will idle fine at around 1000rpm.

Last edited by F-BIRD'88; 02-12-2010 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:11 PM
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pal, you can set it up sideways. That is the way my TR is setup. When I modified the Holley 390 to dual feed setup, I had know choice but mount it sideways. Holley makes the linkage setup I'm using now. The way it setup it looks pretty evil. The front carb Choke assembly was removed to clear the rear carb. The rear carb still has the choke setup. I can start it the in the dead of winter. I did not have to feather the gas pedal only during extreme cold condition.
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:29 PM
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I love the look of my TR
2 390s mechanical secondaries.





Like driving down the street with a naked person sitting next to you, everyone looks.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:29 PM
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used set-up

the guy who had this tunnel set-up said he ran it on a 350 with only a mild cam and it was very crisp. i've heard of putting screens under the carbs to break up the fuel stream, have any of you guys tried this and know if there is any merit to it? also what about the stock convertor and 3:30 rear gear? will the light weight of the t-bucket compensate for that? this is a bit off this thread, but where can i get a disc set-up for a 55-64 g.m. rearend?
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:24 PM
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97bagger, I have not seen or heard of anybody installing a screen under the carbs. I do not think it's a necessity. The use of 450 Holley is not the best setup. They have a tendency of running very rich in idle circuit. Stick with the Holley 390 vs carb. Your t-bucket is a very light. With 331 gears and stock converter will work fine. You do not need a big cam either or high compression. Just stay away from 450 holleys. The 390 VS Holley may cost a little more but they are worth it.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:50 AM
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thanks for the info. however the set-up comes with the 450's. I'll give em a try and see what i can work out with them. if i cant get them to work the way i want then i might try to sell em and go with the 390's. been out of hot rodding for a number of years due to raising a family, and now the kids are grown and off to college, so i can finally get back into it. believe it or not, things have evolved to a point that i dont know if i'll ever catch up! thanks again to everybody for thier advice. gonna try and get some pics up on the site.
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