Chevrolet v. Ford

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Sir

Upon my return from England I found Motor Sport of May 1979 with your good discussion of Ford crankshafts. Ford was very busy in the early thirties trying to come up with a decent crank after the bent wire of the T and the really flimsy shaft of the A — meant to “follow the block” in old Henry’s thoughts.

Alas, I cannot give you the steel formula for the cast crank of the V8 but it was production certified by 1935 and was also used for the camshafts. The only description I can find is “special Ford cast alloy steel”, which tells nothing. Your quest for the cast iron crank is intriguing and I will try to come up with that answer.

I am afraid you misread my statement on the 1935 Chevrolet oil system. More likely I failed to make it clear. Chevie did not have pressure lubrication of the crankshaft in 1935 and continued with the dippers and troughs up to — was it 1952? All they did in 1935 was provide some squirts at new places for the dippers — not too far from the Austin 7 system! In all, it was primitive and I have personally run a Chevrolet bearing at speed in a 1940 model — pure sludge blocking the scoop. This would never occur on a Ford under high speed use.

The mods to the A crank for the B and BB and C are detailed in “Ford in the Thirties”. I presently own a 1930 cabriolet with a C-engine and 3.54 gears, the whole job hardly different externally from the A. With the heavy A flywheel and the fully-balanced and counterweighted C-engine this car cruises very easily at 55 to 60. At present the limiting factor is its carburetter — the old Zenith is simply not able to cope with the volume. Given a downdraft Stromberg 97 and a decent manifold, I have no doubt that the car could hold 70 with no mechanical strain at all in the bottom end. Horsepower on this engine with a slight mill of the head is nearly 60, and it is absolutely reliable.

As a 24-year reader of your fine magazine may I just say, keep it up.

Pebble Beach, Calif. Paul R. Woudenberg