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JohnnyD_273

Starting from scratch...

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I'm currently gathering parts for a 273 V8 out of a Dodge Dart. My plan, while I'm getting ready to build the motor, is to put together my still and begin producing small amounts of alcohol to stockpile, so I can have enough to run on once I'm finished with the engine. Here is my plan for the motor so far:

 

1966 Block Bored .030

-Original Forged Steel Crank

-Custom forged pistons (My goal is 12.1:1 compression, but I'll be happy with 11:1)

-Original heads w/ 1.78/1.50 valves and port work (courtesy of 318 head thread on this forum)

-I'm still undecided on cam, though I hear the Isky E4 is a good cam for this motor

-Decent headers

-Will run a 600 cfm Edlebrock converted to run ethanol to begin with, but I will be investing in a megasquirt system at a later time.

 

Will be hooked to a kiesler 5 speed with either 3.55's or 3.91's. I hope to put this motor in either a '67 Barracuda or a '63 Valiant Convertible. I'm also wanting to possibly run HHO on this engine, as well as do some switching with the heads, drop the compression, and experiment with supercharging later on. Has anyone experimented with any of these/all of these? Any opinions on my combo/things I should look out for?

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The engine and internals are a bit before my time, but I don't see anything wildly out of spec.  I see the word 'original' a lot, so assuming this is all cast iron work.  You should still be able to get away with 12:1 on E85 - assuming all the internals, etc can handle the pressure. 

 

Don't waste your time with HHO - it's proven to be a scam time and time again.  It only 'works' on youtube videos and internet chat rooms, never in real life or under scientific testing.  And, it's a physics issue, not an execution problem.  Sort of like getting two AA batteries to pull a freight train over a hill - it simply can not happen, no matter how hard you try.

 

I probably wouldn't even worry with dropping compression for a supercharger.  E85 can likely take the 12:1 + boost as long as you don't go too crazy.  If you are looking for efficiency (my guess based on the HHO bit) then a turbo would probably net better mpg vs the supercharger and have the ability to be intercooled and net more overall power.

 

Let us know how it turns out!

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Thanks Corey872, I appreciate the advice on the HHO. I've got some of the stuff i built for the HHO and I might try one day, you never know. But, I'll brush that off for now.

 

I'm wanting to make/run E100 in it, so i'm sure it would be ok with a 12:1 compression + boost. I was thinking of running a Paxton supercharger and I wouldn't go more than 10 lbs ever (I'll probably keep it at the stock 6-8lbs of pressure.) I did think about a turbo setup, however the setup I would have to do exhaust wise scared me a little.

 

I mention dropping the compression for two reasons that actually work well together. If I switch to a set of say, aluminum heads, the combustion chamber will have an increase in size, therefore, a drop in compression (which is made up by the supercharger). However, the heads flow a lot better. I also read that there was a certain point of deminishing returns after 13.5-14:1 compression, so, I figured switching out the heads would help take care of a few different things. But, I may try sticking the supercharger on with the stock heads just to see what happens if anything.

 

Final question, has anyone run a megasquirt system on E100/E85? I'd like to hear some experience with it before I buy if possible.

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Diminishing returns above 14:1 is for gas, because it cant handle the detonation/knock issues unless its C16 and that gets pricey fast. Most people still think gasoline when talking about high compression, they also assume huge cams and big everything else. The thinking behind running gas doesnt work as well with ethanol, sure it will run but you wont get the most out of it.

 

Running HE100 you can run more compression and it will result in more power, and less fuel consumed to somewhere over 19:1 SCR. It depends on the engine design, bore, stroke, port and valve size, etc. Your small bore and ports will benefit you with ethanol over gas, and you will probably be surprised at how little fuel you use, unless you run way rich for max power.

 

If my 455 with a cast crank, forged rods and Icon pistons can handle just under 13:1, your 273 should do it without issue. The cam choice depends on what you want to do with this engine, is it a race only rig or a street engine you want to run on ethanol? I like to run cams that build cylinder pressure with a wide LSA and minimal overlap, sort of the cam you would run in an engine that had 7:1-8:1 compression on gas. The same cam would work with a blower because you dont want the intake charge being shoved out the exhaust valve.

 

Depending on the gear you run, weight of the car, and the stall (if auto) you can move the power band around with duration. It will make more low and mid range torque than it would on gas, so you wont need quite as much stall and gear on ethanol. The blower will change things, so you wont need more than a 3.55 gear, otherwise you are going past your torque band too quickly and the car will run slower.

 

If you do put a blower on a 12:1 engine, dont run E85 in it because the gas will knock a hole in a piston, or flatten a rod bearing and you wont hear it until its too late. You also need to run it rich to keep from going lean and burning a hole in something. At some point you will have an issue with head gaskets running compression and a blower.

 

Looks like a fun project.

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Thumpin455, I believe I recognize you from e85forums.net. I love how the universe brings things around full circle. Reading your 455 build was what gave me the confidence to go ahead with this project. What ever happened to it, btw? Ever get it going?

 

It's been my hypothesis from the beginning that high compression, combined with the small ports and bore, should increase fuel efficiency to gasoline levels, if not more. Is this a sound hypothesis? What kind of milage have you experienced?

 

The camshaft is one of my final missing pieces. There are a lot and it can be overwhelming looking through all the cam choices. I'm almost tempted to get a custom ground unit, however I'd have to do some research first. I just began understanding camshafts in November, and that's running gasoline...:D

 

The car will have to be N/A for a while. I was going to take this project in stages as to not get frustrated. 600 CFM Edlebrock to begin with. The megasquirt system next, then a supercharger to really turn up the juice. So, in the beginning, I was thinking of running a 3.91 gear behind the keisler 5spd, but I could drop to 3.55. I had not thought about gear changes after the supercharger, though. a 3.23 gear maybe? Less? I'm sure it's all dependent on cam, just need to figure that out first. Where should I start?

 

Edit: I could probably get help on cam choice if I was clear on what the car is. Mostly a daily driver that will see a little track time every now and again. Will be used on long trips if possible.

 

I am only intending to run E85 on long trips (I'm planning a trip to drive the car across country following E85 stations). In city, I would run E100 that I brew myself. I'm doing this because I don't want to keep paying into a system that I don't agree with. I like to be kissed before I'm...well, you catch my drift ;) But, point is, I want to start removing myself from the various schemes fighting for our minds. This is my first step.

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