223 "performance" expectation management

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peeeot
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223 "performance" expectation management

Post #1 by peeeot » Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:41 pm

My recently acquired 1960 Fairlane is my first experience with a six in a fullsize. It has a Cruisomatic and 3.10 axle ratio. The carburetion and ignition are stock (and original!) but have been throughly checked and optimized as best they can be without changing the equipment. The engine has 94000 miles and has never been rebuilt.

The car moves along ok at low speeds and has no trouble cruising on the highway. With 225/75-R14 tires in the back, my tach is showing a little under 3000 RPM at an indicated 70. It is not, however, a car for someone in a hurry. Accelerating up a highway ramp, I feel like I might just be able to outperform a dump truck or 18-wheeler if I floor it. In fact, I seem to spend a fair amount of time close to WOT when accelerating, though I seldom push through the detent to the transmission kickdown. In general, it is slow to gather speed but able to maintain the speed once it has reached it.

Does this sound like the typical stock 223 driving experience?

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #2 by bubba22349 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:50 am

:hmmm: yep that's sounds about normal for a stock 223 with an auto trans. :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #3 by bubba22349 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:12 pm

Unfortunately those old auto transmissions take a lot of the engines power to turn them. Good luck :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #4 by peeeot » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:23 pm

Thanks for the confirmation! Is the experience much different with a manual? I'm guessing the manuals typically have a higher axle ratio which should help with the pep.

Next big question is, how much difference can I expect the usual hop-up items to really make? The closest thing I have to compare with is a 312-powered 57 fairlane with fordomatic and 3.10 axle. It is quite peppy, but it is rated at a full 100 hp and 130 ft-lbs torque over the 223. I wouldn't imagine the typical multi-carburetion, headers, mild cam to add more than something like 50 hp and torque. Not sure if it's worth planning to hop up or just accepting it as-is.

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #5 by bubba22349 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:57 pm

peeeot wrote:Thanks for the confirmation! Is the experience much different with a manual? I'm guessing the manuals typically have a higher axle ratio which should help with the pep.

Next big question is, how much difference can I expect the usual hop-up items to really make? The closest thing I have to compare with is a 312-powered 57 fairlane with fordomatic and 3.10 axle. It is quite peppy, but it is rated at a full 100 hp and 130 ft-lbs torque over the 223. I wouldn't imagine the typical multi-carburetion, headers, mild cam to add more than something like 50 hp and torque. Not sure if it's worth planning to hop up or just accepting it as-is.


Yes there would be a huge impovement in performance by just going to any manual trans like a 3 speed, 3 speed with overdrive, a T10 4 speed and others, all the way up to the Borg Warner / Termic 5 speeds? The stock combo of a 3 speed Manuel often had a 3:50 axel but back then you could order them with any gear ratio you wanted in the 9 inch rear axels. A 3 speed with overdrive would have had a 3:89 or 4:11 as an example.

As another reference I used to race these 223's back in the day (mid 1960's) my combo was very low cost a mostly stock block engine with an good free flowing exhaust system, with a 3 speed manual trans, and a 4:11 rear axel ratio, 8.55 x15 tires these were the tallest I could find at a low price back then. I would regularly beat most brand X 265, 283, V8's with an auto trans and also the 292, 312 Fords (there's a lot of power that can be unleashed in those old Y Block too) with an auto trans.

There are many Hop up options for the 223 and it's possible to get near double the stock power and torque with some work but yes you could expect 50 to 75 HP with typical bolt on hop up items and it would cost some money if your in a hurry going with all new parts, but you can also hunt for used speed equipment it's still out there and sometimes you can find very good deals. Great first mods are a good free flowing exhaust system, and changing out the ignistion system to a later 300 Ford point distributor or better yet the DuraSpark II system this would be a great improvement without speeding a huge amount of money another good one was the old Mallory Duel point distributor if you can find one. I can't really answer your last question you would need to study the cost versus the befit and decide if it's worth it to you. I can only say there is lots of power and torque in these old 223 six'es and they can be made into a fun ride that will surprise many people. Good luck :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #6 by peeeot » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:47 pm

I appreciate the detailed response :)

I can imagine that the auto trans eats a lot of the engine's limited oomph. I have not looked at the ID tag on the transmission but I have never seen the Cruiseo offered with a 6 so it may even be a V8-duty transmission, which would probably be worse still. In spite of that, I want to stick with this transmission because. I don't want a manual and I do want a dual-range 3-speed. I know the c4 was matched to the 6 in 64 but I don't think going that road would be worth the trouble.

I have been considering the later distributor upgrade. Still not sure how much difference it will make though. This weekend I advanced my base timing for maximum vacuum and rpm. This max came in at 30* btdc! It was hard to start cold but seemed ok once it was warm. Anyway when I road tested it there was very little difference in acceleration. Had lots of spark knock under load so I retarded and road tested until the knock all but went away, which was at 20* btdc.
Now, if I went to the later distributor, as I understand it the advantage of the mechanical advance is that the advance will come in quicker and be matched better to engine speed. After my ignition tests, it seems that the seat-of-the-pants improvement to be had from a more responsive curve would be hard to detect. Is it really night-and-day different?

I might have a hard time adding carburetors due to the minimal hood clearance of the 60 ford cars. Assuming I can, how badly does adding, say, a second 1904 hurt economy? Any thoughts about the single Weber option?

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #7 by bubba22349 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:08 pm

peeeot wrote:I appreciate the detailed response :)

I can imagine that the auto trans eats a lot of the engine's limited oomph. I have not looked at the ID tag on the transmission but I have never seen the Cruiseo offered with a 6 so it may even be a V8-duty transmission, which would probably be worse still. In spite of that, I want to stick with this transmission because. I don't want a manual and I do want a dual-range 3-speed. I know the c4 was matched to the 6 in 64 but I don't think going that road would be worth the trouble.

I have been considering the later distributor upgrade. Still not sure how much difference it will make though. This weekend I advanced my base timing for maximum vacuum and rpm. This max came in at 30* btdc! It was hard to start cold but seemed ok once it was warm. Anyway when I road tested it there was very little difference in acceleration. Had lots of spark knock under load so I retarded and road tested until the knock all but went away, which was at 20* btdc.
Now, if I went to the later distributor, as I understand it the advantage of the mechanical advance is that the advance will come in quicker and be matched better to engine speed. After my ignition tests, it seems that the seat-of-the-pants improvement to be had from a more responsive curve would be hard to detect. Is it really night-and-day different?

I might have a hard time adding carburetors due to the minimal hood clearance of the 60 ford cars. Assuming I can, how badly does adding, say, a second 1904 hurt economy? Any thoughts about the single Weber option?


The auto trans option is not very often found in the 223 straight six cars of that time period (1954 to 1964), most people back then wanted them for their great economy as well as the low cost to buy them which is reduced considerably with the addition of an Auto trans. Add to the fact that there were almost no major divided Hy Ways across the country back then and generally people were just not in as big a hurry to get somewhere they simply wanted to enjoy the pleasure of driving and view the scenery. There were three sizes of these auto transmissions a small, medium, and large case in the CursOMatic, if I remember right these were the SX, MX, and the FX but they also had the FordOMatics, And MercOMatic, versions too that the Cruse O Matic design was based on.The large case FX trans was only used with the biggest of the V8's at the time like Lincoln V8's, 390 FE, and maybe the 312's. There are ways to improve the performance of those transmissions though if you want to keep the Duel range functions then there little to help it. The last late model version of these transmissions was the FMX which was used in the later 1960's and early 1970's with some work one of them could be bolted right in, add a shift kit and you have a great combo. Another way is to find a 1967 up Cruse O Matic valve body (Selec Shift type P,R,N,D,2,1) add a good TransGo shift kit, an Aux. trans cooler, and it gives you much quicker better shifting and some increased performance.

Ah yes the long Rurmored 223 C4 trans combo! In all my years as a Mechanic I have never seen one or talked to anyone that actually seen one, or even seen a picture of that combo. If they were actually built then they would have to be extremely rare. But that said today its very easy to build that exact combo with a kit or adapter plate that lets you bolt on a C4 which would be much lighter and also use much less engine power to turn it. Some adapters will also let you bolt on an AOD or AODE trans which would give you over drive so you could go with a lower rear gear for a better quicker take off plus still get very good MPG probally way better then the stock trans combo and also less engine wear and tear while cursing at the higher FreeWay speeds.

The old timers used to install the Offy or other make 2 X 1V intakes and many claimed to get even better then Original MPG with them this is because these engines stock are so very under carbed. I have not used the Weber carb on a 223 but have used them on many other engines with good results. My preference is the vintage look of the 2 X 1V carb's I would hands down go with a 300 DuraSpark II ignistion. Carburation improvements and ignistion are generally very good improvements when done togeather on these engines. Have you set your valves and did a major tune up yet? Good luck :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #8 by peeeot » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:05 pm

An AOD with a more aggressive axle ratio would be really nice, and also really expensive. I just took the old bird out for a drive to warm it up for a compression test, and actually on country roads I'm pretty pleased with its performance. It doesn't feel like a slug when you are driving casually. I like how it really uses the gears of the 3-speed transmission. It's at highway speeds that the under-carburetion really starts to rear its head. It's funny, the throttle bore on the 1904 is 1.25" while the throttle plate on my Buick 3300 (204 ci) is something like 2." A single barrel forces a sharp compromise between torque/throttle response and top-end power. Seems like Clifford has the right idea with its dual progressive Weber setup. Mercedes was putting dual progressive 2-barrels on its inline sixes in the 60s and 70s, and they performed quite well. I think it would be really neat to do something like that, or sidedrafts like on a TR6 or XKE, or even a small turbo. All of that would be really neat, but a LOT of work and headache, while I presently have a nice running reliable frugal simple stock setup. It's fun to think about different things though.

I have done a major tuneup including hot valve adjustment. Compression test came in at 130, 144, 140, 136, 146, 146. Not bad at all considering nearly 100k miles and a tremendous amount of blowby! Spark plugs are clean as a whistle too. I have gone 300 miles on this tank of gas and still have 1/4 left! Not sure I trust the gauge but if it's accurate that's an honest 20 mpg.

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #9 by bubba22349 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:53 am

:beer: congrats it's sounds like it's in real decent condistion, good luck with it :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #10 by Daves55Courier » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:42 pm

Well, I have been driving a '55 with a Y-block for 45 years and I have had the same question about what should be the expected performance of a 223 w/Ford-O-Matic ever since I got my Courier on the road.
My '55 Courier has this drive train and does not have the pep nor acceleration of the Y-block. My 223 has had everything gone over to close tolerances. The fuel pump and carb are OEM and it still has the Load-O-Matic distributor (rebuilt), however I have converted it to Pertronix ignition (the standard variety for use with original ignition coil). Mine also has a Ford-O-Matic. I've always thought it underperformed, but I realize that I might be SPOILED by the power of the Y-block.
The 223 takes longer to accelerate but maintains its speed effortlessly once you level off the accelerator. It's a little scary on hiway on ramps, especially if they are going uphill.
Iv'e got my timing set to about 8 degrees BTDC (vacuum disconnected at distrib) and idle RPM is about 525 RPM. Engine starts on a dime and runs like a dream. I guess this is just the difference between 140 horses (223) compared to 162 horses (292).

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #11 by Daves55Courier » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:51 pm

BTW, your 3.10:1 gear ratio is pretty extreme for a 6-cyl with automatic. My courier has 3.25:1 ratio with OEM specification tires. We both might see a vast improvement if we swapped out our gears for a 3.55:1 setup, but I am not going to. I built it this way because I did almost all highway driving back then and I wanted to get the absolute best gas mileage I could.
At the time when I was putting this thing together, I told a few people what the drivetrain was going to be and they thought I was nuts due to the rearend ratio.

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #12 by peeeot » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:33 pm

55courier,

I have my initial timing set much higher, somewhere around 20 degrees BTDC. It makes a little difference in liveliness without any downsides I can recognize. As for the 3.10 rear gear, it works because the transmission is the 3-speed cruise-o, not the 2-speed fordo. So first gear is much more aggressive and the higher axle ratio doesn't hurt performance as much as it would seem.

I've been driving the car a lot since my initial post and have grown accustomed to the power delivery of the 6. No, it doesn't have y-block oomph, but it is definitely usable in modern traffic. I am not sure whether I will attempt to upgrade or remain stock at this juncture.

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #13 by Arthur138 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:37 pm

peeeot wrote:Thanks for the confirmation! Is the experience much different with a manual? I'm guessing the manuals typically have a higher axle ratio which should help with the pep.

Next big question is, how much difference can I expect the usual hop-up items to really make? The closest thing I have to compare with is a 312-powered 57 fairlane with fordomatic and 3.10 axle. It is quite peppy, but it is rated at a full 100 hp and 130 ft-lbs torque over the 223. I wouldn't imagine the typical multi-carburetion, headers, mild cam to add more than something like 50 hp and torque. Not sure if it's worth planning to hop up or just accepting it as-is.


LOL! There is no comparing a 312 Y-Block with a 223 6,other than saying they are both Ford engines.

Don't knock an additional 50 HP from a set of headers,dual exhaust,and something like a small 4 barrel carb using a Clifford or similar intake.
Yeah,you can probably make more power using a 3 x 1 intake if you can find it,but it's a LOT more expensive and complicated.

Clifford Engineering makes all sorts of stuff for 223's. Here is their 223 page.

http://www.shop.cliffordperformance.net/Ford-223_c15.htm

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #14 by peeeot » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:50 pm

Hi Arthur, do you know whether those usual mods reduce or increase low- to mid-range power and responsiveness? I have read that most power-adding hop ups increase top end power at the expense of performance in the range most daily-driven car really see.

If I am going to make modifications, I would like to preserve or improve fuel economy and responsiveness under normal driving while having a bit more oomph when I need to pass or get on the highway. That is why I think something like the progressive Weber would be a good idea.

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #15 by peeeot » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:15 pm

Bubba, you mentioned earlier in this thread that a free-flowing exhaust and electronic ignition are great first mods. With regards to the exhaust, for an otherwise stock engine, would you say switching to headers is worth the trouble? Would there be a substantial improvement from just replacing the stock muffler with a straight-through design?

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #16 by bubba22349 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:01 pm

peeeot wrote:Bubba, you mentioned earlier in this thread that a free-flowing exhaust and electronic ignition are great first mods. With regards to the exhaust, for an otherwise stock engine, would you say switching to headers is worth the trouble? Would there be a substantial improvement from just replacing the stock muffler with a straight-through design?


Yes Peeot, installing a good exhaust system by using some 2 inch to 2 1/4 inch pipe with smooth mandrel type bends and a freer flowing muffler for sure will make some improvement in power and will also befit your fuel Economy some. A header would also take it a bit further up the power scale though you may think the expense or trouble isn't worth it especially if you have to pay someone else to install it for you. In that case going with a better muffler as a first step might be the way to go. Good luck :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #17 by peeeot » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:54 am

Ok, thanks! I will plan to change the muffler at my next opportunity. I will also check my exhaust pipe size, not sure if it's 2" or smaller.

I am planning to pull the engine soon. The head gasket is leaking a little coolant outside the block, and while I could repair it in-car, I'm thinking about doing a partial teardown to evaluate whether more substantial work is required--it has 98k miles after all!

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #18 by peeeot » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:35 am

Almost a year later, I am still thinking about making some improvements to the ol' six. I spent a lot if time comparing power to weight ratios of different vehicles and reading people's descriptions the effects of mods they made, trying to determine a target HP/torque and what I might have to do to get there. Ultimately, though, I determined that, numbers aside, there are two things I would like to achieve:
1. Better highway drivability
And
2. Stronger part throttle response/acceleration.

To flesh these out a bit, for #1, the car is happy as a clam at 60-65 mph and below, but at 70 mph and 3000rpm it feels like it is near its limits, or like it doesn't have much more to give. I think 3000 rpm is a reasonable cruising rpm at that speed; I would just like it to feel like it has some reserves left at that speed, which it should, given the spec'd power peak of 4200. A bit of extra hustle up highway on ramps would also be welcome!

For #2, what I mean is that with the 6 it feels like I have to dig into the throttle a fair amount to accelerate at more than a grandfatherly pace. I don't care about actually being fast, or getting to 60 mph in 10 seconds. I just like how other cars I drive, old and new, accelerate with casual traffic at what feels like a light throttle input.

For #1, I am trying to obtain a Holley 1960 carburetor to try in place of the 1904. The 1960 has a much larger Venturi, and though the throttle bore is the same, it should flow better at higher rpms. I am also strongly considering a three angle valve job and backcut valves as suggested previously to improve head flow a little. The exhaust system is kind of a patchwork and is under 2" so I also want to have it replaced with either 2" or 2.25" as suggested to reduce restriction on that end.

For #2, I am hoping the #1 improvements will help, but I am also planning to mill the head for some extra compression above stock, 8.6-9.0 or so. A new timing chain could put some spring back in its step too, as well as a re-ring job (I have a set of ten-up piston rings to go in).

Do you think these improvements will be enough to make a noticeable difference in the desired areas?

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #19 by bubba22349 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:32 am

Sounds like a reasonable rebuild plan. Any work that you do to the head (multi angle valve job, back cutting, CCing the heads Combustion Chambers and matching / equalizing them, blending and opening the valve bowls, porting,) milling the head for an increase in compression ratio, keeping the quench distance in the .035 to .050 range, Distribitor plus other Ignistion improvements, and freer flowing exhaust system will improve both #1 & #2, plus not sugnicatly change the fuel economy and may even improve it some.

Using the new style head gaskets is first going to require a .025 head cut / mill just to maintain the engines stock compression ratio. Raising the compression ratio about a .5 and more above stock would also help though at some point it would also require some higher cost fuel (89 and up RM).

Beyond that increasing power for even more acceleration (increasing the fun factor) is going to require more mods such as a better camshaft design, bigger valves, more carberation, and or a lower rear axle gear ratio, etc. these can also have some negative effect on #2 and probably also effect economy some. Good luck :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #20 by Willy-D » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:57 am

Maybe some tempered expectations.
I got back into domestic 6s after a 30-35 year hiatus, most recently running modestly stressed 4 cylinders. My current is a ‘93 F150,300 EFI, E4OD. I think it’s got 2.50:1 gears (yes, really!).

It had some driveability issues when I first got it, but after I got it sorted the only thing that impressed me was how soft it felt on acceleration. All of them I’d had I prior life felt peppier, but all had stick-shifts. But regardless I noted the thing was jumping ahead of traffic on launches and able to hold speed and even gain speed on significant hills, even in 4th/lockup.

All these sixes were designed for low speed/tractable power. Most are undercammed, have comparatively small bores and so have limited valve size. Pretty much the best you can hope to do without significant rework is maximize airflow where it lives, figure 1400 to 3000rpm. Most will spin tighter, but they don’t really do much up there. Don’t really need to. Remember, horsepower is simply torque output measured over time. It’s the torque that does to work, in whatever speed range you build it in.

My uncle and his buddies had campaigned a T track roadster with a built 261 Chevy in the mid 1950’s on 1/2 mile dirt. He told me the sixes (big Chevys and GMCs) always outpulled the V-8s out of the corners, but the 8s would catch up by the end of the straight. BTW- the multi carbs came off that engine and it ended up in his daily (49 fastback Belair). It twisted the driveshaft in half pulling a house trailer through the Appalachians.

So I’d say don’t try to make it something that isn’t in its DNA, you will frustrate it and yourself. A log style intake (turbulence helps these at mid rpms), good free-flowing exhaust and modest DYI porting could work wonders for good solid tractable power. Like you I think single carbs are a lot easier to tune, even though they done look cool.

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #21 by xctasy » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:02 pm

peeeot, this ones for you, and it confirms the grunt out of corners anecdotals of the others in the above posts. Great advice is about the poor mans overdrve automatics and especially the T18 over drive manual gearbox.

And I haven't ever seen an in line six overcarburated yet...



Like I said to dkp_cobra, in "200 vs 223 vs Ford Zephyr 6" Post #6 by xctasy » Fri Jul 13, 2018


viewtopic.php?f=18&t=78549

"If its on questions in a public format, then that is a much better way....that way you get more feedback, and sometimes one person isn't always right".

On the bigger Ford sixes, the stock 1-bbl engine baseline was a low end torque engine with a huge drop in air flow at about 3500 rpm from the 1-bbl carb and the Load-O-Matic ignition. Off the traffic lights, even a 3 on the tree manual gearbox 223 will get out of the whole real good for the first 50 yards, then it looses its ablity to make power and revs. The manual gearbox adds what seams like 25 hp at the back wheels between off idle to about 2800 rpm, then any Cruisomatic Y block starts to erupt forward by comparison. Those old manual i-6's were really strong off the line compared to a v8 slush box, even a good one like the 312 Y was.


With a modern ignition system with a proper advance curve, a bigger set of dual Deuces or a 4-bbl, a nicely reworked 223 with headers and a better cam won't loose any low end torque at all over a stock 223; and past the 2800 to 3500 rpm segement, it'll gain on most smaller Y and FE V8's.

The main handicap to the I-6 is the stock Cruise-o-matic gearing. A wide ratio AOD-E or EAOD gear set would help a 4000 pounder off the line, but the best improvment is the old T18 with overdrive. Wide ratio 1 st and 2nd, direct 3rd, and a nice 0.78 or so over driven top is perfect for a 223 cube six with "benefits" like a proper cam, carb and exhasut system.


In line sixes with manual gearboxes are always very good in the first 60 foot times, and as long as you "stick with a stick shift", you'll then be able to make up gains by having a proper 2 or 2 x 2-bbl, or 4-bbl intake manifold and you really cannot over carb an in line six if the car has a good set of gear ratios and a manual gearbox.

:hmmm: Probably a single 4-bbl 650 double pumper is still able to work on a well modified 223 engine. The old I-6's have lots of port area, and Ford engineers decided to tune them down as entry engines with 1-bbl Holley 1908 or Autolite 1100/1101 carbs just to stop them making a Y block or 332 FE look bad. Air restricted engines always last longer than an engine opened up, so the Ford guys first rule was to restrict I6 air flow. The first rule for perforamnce V8's was to add air flow. Triple dueces, twin Fours, or Paxton Superchargers, and the radical R code 312 camshafts, Fords Y and FE engineers did it all. They never didn anything to any I-6 inthe USA untill about 1987 when the Fuelie 4.9 F truck and E van engines came out, and those engines generally outperform any 5.0, 5.8 off the mark...unless those EFI 4.9's came with the 2.47:1 gear set axle...and a few did. They pull those gears supprisingly well too if they have a 5 speed gearbox

See lasitter's 31 mpg truck with ZF 5 speed and 2.47 gears. It tows! viewtopic.php?t=77441

The 223 and 262's, they are bascially like a Jaguar 3.8 or 4.2 DOHC engine when worked. Plenty of those old twin Cam twin or triple SU or Stromberg CD175 carb engines with autotmatic gearboxes could make 4000 pound Fat Cats move along just as well as a 4000 pound 332 or 352 FE.

In terms of air flow through the cylinder head, even with those crazy four port heads, the old 223 I-6 block engines were very well designed, and they just needed better carburation, some die grinder work, and some better exhaust pipes to open up the flow rates. The worst thing you can do is stick with tall 3.10:1 gears and a stock automatic Borg Waner Modle 8 based MX gearbox...it'll need a looser torque converter and a wider set of ratios if your going to stick with an FMX based gearbox. Factory overdrives were always in the 3.70 to 3.89 ratio axle range.


Basically what works is old late 70's and early 80's General Motors THM 200-R style gearing, with wide lower ratios, and if possible, an over driven 4th gear in the 0.67:1 zone.

The wide ratio electronic gear sets from AOD-E's and 4W70's can be fitted into an old used AOD case, and its FMX length and just needs an adaptor to fit. Then you use 3.89 or 3.7:1 axle gears, and you can run with the de Ville....
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FAZER 6Bi (M112 & EEC5) or FAZER 6Ti (GT3582 & EEC5) 425 HP 4.1L/250 I-6
FAZER 6V0 3x2-BBL Holley 188 HP 3.3L/200 I-6 or 235 HP 4.1L/250 I-6
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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #22 by peeeot » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:28 am

Xcstasy,

I am not sure exactly what the torque multiplication of the Cruiseomatic converter is, but assuming a conservative value of 1.5, when I floor my Fairlane from a stop I calculate a total multiplication of 11.16 with a 2.40 first gear and 3.10 final drive. A stock 3-speed car has a total multiplication of 11.00 with a 3.09 first gear and 3.56 final drive. If the converter's maximum multiplication is about 2, then total multiplication jumps to 14.88, higher still than the manual with a 3.89 final drive (which gives 12.02 total). The cruiso's 2nd gear is a 1.47 vs 1.92 for the manual trans, so the spread isn't quite as evenly spaced but again the converter multiplication can make up some of the difference. So, if the Cruiso beats the manual for torque production, is the hindrance just in the power it consumes in friction losses?

With regard to the under-carburetion of the stock sixes: what about the Holley 1960? I don't have any flow data for it but if I run the massive 1.4375" venturi through this calculator https://www.tlv.com/global/TI/calculato ... dvanced=on I come up with an estimated 189.6 CFM at 1.5" Hg. This calculator approximates known flow values of other carburetors I tested it on so I think this is a fairly close number. The usual CFM formula assuming VE of 0.8 (perhaps generous for a stock 223?) and max rpm of 4000 calls for 206 CFM. Road testing my stock engine today, I was getting down to 1.5" Hg at WOT with the stock 1.25" venturi Holley 1904. In the case of a stock-cammed 223 with stock valves and rockers, is there such a thing as too much from a single barrel?

I really need to get that 1960 together and installed on my car so I can get a real-world sense of the change it makes. Speaking of the real world, I revisited my valve adjustment a few days ago and found that the exhaust valves had tightened up quite a bit since my last adjustment. It was a bit disconcerting because I haven't logged more than a few thousand miles. Still, there was a huge improvement in idle quality and manifold vacuum with the adjustment.

I have tried to establish a performance baseline so I can tell whether anything I change makes a measurable improvement. To that end, I have made several 0-60 runs from a dead stop on a local country street, always starting at the same spot and heading the same direction. A stop watch in one hand and the car's wavery speedo needle may not be the most accurate way to measure, but I came up with a pretty consistently poor time of about 19.5 seconds! :shock: After the valve adjustment, I made a couple runs and saw at least a 0.5 second improvement.

One last thing to mention: in trying to control my blowby, I looked into a device marketed somewhat dubiously here: http://www.envalve.com/ I studied the patent and concluded it is just a vacuum regulating device. I had an old BMW that had a closed crankcase with manifold vacuum applied through an orifice and I thought, why not try that on my 223? Just to experiment, I plugged the breather and dipstick tube and applied full manifold vacuum to the crankcase. The result was about 10" HG measured at the dipstick tube at idle, complete consumption of the blowby gases, and no evident downsides. I plan to fabricate a liquid-vapor separator inline before the intake manifold, and possibly an orifice or other means of reducing the maximum crankcase vacuum, and then run this crankcase ventilation setup on every old car I have. Sure beats the road draft tube!

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #23 by xctasy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:33 am

Torque converter slip isn't the same as a fixed ratio from a numerically lower first gear. Its like using a clutch that slips, so the power loss is not just a factor of 1.25 from the engine to the tires like a manual gearbox is. An automatic, no matter what the gear ratios, is loosing the noraml 1.25 factor a good manual gearbox, 9" axl and a set of tires losses from flywheel net hp to rear wheel horspower. The torque Multiplication is just a word....the stall ratio below the nearest to lock up is about 3.09:1 on a 1650 rpm stall FMX, and 2.53:1 on a 2350 rpm performance C4 or C6. Its slipping an extra 25%, or that 1.5 loss factor common to automatics, all of it happing mostly at part throttle, then still a greater than manual trans loss.

Improving the mechincal advantage be lowering gear ratios and wideniong the total gearing allows better around town response, and you don't have to run steeper low numerical axle ratios if you've got an overdrive, or a poor mans overdrive.


The wide 3.06/1.63/1.00/0.67 steps are optimum, but if three speed auto, adding lower 2.92 and 1.69's instead of 2.40/1.46 or so for 1st and 2nd helps if your not able to go for manual Overdrive stickshift.


That extra at thw wheels 25 hp loss at 85 mph with the hammer down with an automatic is also about a 12 lb-ft to 25-lb-ft loss off idle to about 3000 rpm.

It all comes back to how an I6 hooks up, and how to harmonise with the torque converter. I've seen rear wheel measured losses of 1.63 of the factory net horsepower and torque figures, or as little as 1.33 with some automatics. A typical Ford C4, C6 or Detriot Gear/BW based FMX or AOD will selttle in at 1.45, but it depends on torque converter characteristics, and what kind of method you use to measure rear wheel hp and lb-ft. Dynos with counterweights lshow losses greater than a 60 feet, 660 yard and 1320 feet dash and the terminal speeds at each point. That's how you know the dyno figures are true or false.


Back to carbs. Any carb can work okay if the right manifolding delivers fuel equally....flow efficency for 1-bbls is always pretty poor, and with extra velocity, air fuel ratio goes haywire to cylinders 1, 2, 3 4,5 and 6, and its the changing seats on the Titanic. Someones gonna loose big time.


Flat, even fuel delivery is the preserve of more points of discharge, and the only reason the 1-bbl works is because there was never any other option for an American Ford I6. The best option is just going to anice big YFA or Holley, and then making sure the acclerator pump shot artificially spikes fuel supply enough to stop a big stutter. Power Valve Channel restrictions, squirter jets, and other mechanisims are artifical spikes to make sure all six pigglets get the norishment they need without any major squabbles. The reason 1-bbl I6's don't idle nice is the air fuel ratios are being swung, and the delivery times and time of concetration varies under idle and off idle conditions.


An EFi engine is snatch free from idle to any point off idle. Australians Broadmedoes Ford engineers aced the class in 1983 previewing a 149 hp EFi 4.1 liter six verses a Weber 2-bbl 131 hp 4.1 litrer six. Torque differences were 240 lb-ft at 2800 rpm and 225 lb-ft at 2200 rpm. Even with taller gearing, the four speed Australian Falcon would pull right down to 650 rpm in top gear at 16 mph, while the lighter Fairmont 4.1 carb 2-bbl wouldn't take 900 rpm at 23 mph without pig rooting.

And that's how it is with one point feeding six pots, or 1 carb feeding four legs that then feeds six cylinders. At various points, hp and torque loss is substaintal, and the looses are worst from idle to maximum rpm. Fuel economy suffers, and so does idle. With wilders cams, the losses get worse with 1-bbls, and less so with more points of fuel dispersal.
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XEC Ltd ICBE's Inter Continental Ballistic Engines-
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FAZER 6V0 3x2-BBL Holley 188 HP 3.3L/200 I-6 or 235 HP 4.1L/250 I-6
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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #24 by curts56 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:55 am

This will also perk up a 223.

Image

You just have to keep the boost down around 8lbs, or you'll probably send a connecting rod out the block. How would I know that..... :oops:

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #25 by xctasy » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:13 am

curts56 wrote:This will also perk up a 223.

Image

You just have to keep the boost down around 8lbs, or you'll probably send a connecting rod out the block. How would I know that..... :oops:


A turbo is the cheapest performance modification if done right. A blow trhough turbo using enough excess fuel to ensure each cylinder doesn't lean out allows a truley lovely mid range response that will mack your face look like an early human rocket pilot.


The 223 is as strong as an ox, you just gotta Feed It right, and it'll go like Grease Lightening.

If it were me, I'd look at three YFA Carters, and put a nice US postal Letter Box around them, and have it FED Xtra air via a turbo. Keep the auto, and have some fun. There are sodium cooled valves that fit the head (ex 262, IIRC), and as long as the pistons, cylinders and ring gaps are adjusted to suit a 350 hp engine under 9 pounds of boost, you could take the engine into a 215 hp/245 lb-ft before turbo combo with a good aftermarket Schneider cam grind, and then add a 1.6 boost ratio, and be right on 350 hp and 400 lb-ft.
Image
XEC Ltd ICBE's Inter Continental Ballistic Engines-
FAZER 6Bi (M112 & EEC5) or FAZER 6Ti (GT3582 & EEC5) 425 HP 4.1L/250 I-6
FAZER 6V0 3x2-BBL Holley 188 HP 3.3L/200 I-6 or 235 HP 4.1L/250 I-6
X-Flow Engine Components Ltd http://www.xecltd.info/?rd=10

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #26 by peeeot » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:58 am

Xctasy, thanks for another thorough response! So torque converter “multiplication” is just a word? Why do they make the claim that a torque converter multiplies while a plain fluid coupling does not? I get what you’re saying about it not being the same as a manual gear, just not really sure what it IS.

I have some information to update with my (very slow, incremental) experimenting. First, perhaps not performance-related, I added a cyclone separator meant for a bmw x-5 to the crankcase ventilation line. The part was $8 and works like a charm! I have a mason jar to collect the oil and liquid it separates out of the crankcase vapors and judging by the volume it has collected it is pretty effective. Spark plugs look cleaner too. It may not be necessary on a tight engine but it seems like any engine would benefit.

So, I have been trying to follow Ak Miller’s path in the Horsing Around article to some extent. He started by re-jetting the stock carburetor because it was too lean and found some extra HP. I know for sure my stock-jetted carb was too lean as there was NO carbon soot in the exhaust manifold or the rest of the pipe. It ran hot at highway speeds and the fire ring on the plugs was clean. The stock jet was a 60 (carb is Holley 1904) so I went up to a 62 to start. I could tell a slight difference in general liveliness but nothing remarkable. I put a narrow-band oxygen sensor in my exhaust right after the manifold to get a better idea whether I was still running too lean and these were my results:

with 62 jet and sealed crankcase, voltages are:
Idle: 0.6-0.8
Decel: 0.8-0.86
Level cruise: 0.1-0.7
Climbing cruise: 0.02-0.1
Power valve on: 0.85

I also observed fuel economy over 1 tank of gas driving in traffic as well as 69-70mph cruising, just the normal commute drive, and my observed economy was 17.6 mpg.

I didn’t like the way the mixture leaned out under part throttle load, like when climbing a grade at 60 mph, so I wanted to try more jet. The only other jet I had available was marked 50 but had been drilled out to something bigger, not sure exactly what size, but bigger than 62 and smaller than 72. So I gave it a try.

With “50” enlarge jet (0.063-0.072”) voltages are:
Idle: 0.7-0.8
Decel: 0.6-0.75
Level cruise: 0.71-0.83
Climbing cruise: 0.71-0.83
Power valve on: cruise+0.02 ish

Observed fuel economy: 14.3 mostly traffic/70 mph commute

There was a definite improvement in power, responsiveness, and highway temperature regulation with the “50” jet. It no longer felt likely 70mph/3000rpm was the end of the power reserves. Engine seemed smoother and quieter at highway speeds, and if I mashed the throttle it would accelerate the car rather than just make noise. The fuel economy was worse (based again in 1 tank) and the old, used oxygen sensor I was using seemed to be degrading. I thought it may have been oil-fouling due to my crankcase ventilation (before cyclone was installed) so I added the cyclone and got a new sensor. Then, based on Ak’s recommendation of a 65 jet for the 200 six, I ordered some new jets to try. First in line was a 66. Here are my notes:

-driveability, power, responsiveness, smoothness, temperature regulation all noticeably improved with 66 jet compared to 62 jet.

With 66 jet and new oxygen sensor voltages are:

Idle: 0.74-0.83
Decel: 0.87-0.89
Level cruise: 0.86-0.88
Climbing cruise: 0.87-0.89
Power valve on: 0.88-0.9
*all values lower, 0.76-0.82, on drive home
*spark plugs still look clean down in the hole, light tannish deposits at tip

Observed fuel economy: 15.7 mostly traffic/70 mph commute

So the limitations of the narrow band sensor may be a hindrance here but it looks like the 66 is always richer than stoichiometric. The fuel economy was somewhat improved over the “50” jet and nothing was lost in perceived performance. I am thinking for this carburetor (1.25” venturi, 1 9/16” throttle) that a 64 or 65 may be the best jet on my combo.

Here are my 0-60 times with each change. I ran these with a warmed-up drivetrain on the same length of road each time. I did at least 2 runs for each to get some consistency. I used a stopwatch and the stock speedometer most of the time, but I tried a gps-speedo too with no change. I started at a dead stop and did NOT hold the revs up for launch—just held the brake with my left foot, released it and floored the gas at the same time I started the stopwatch.

Acceleration 0-60 baseline:

19.5-20s initial
19-19.5s valve adjust
18.5-19s 62 jet
18-18.5s “50” modded jet
18-18.5s 66 jet

I think I have gotten all I can out of the 1904, so the next step I will try is installing the 1 7/16” Venturi Holley 1960 with the 66 jet. The 1960 did not have a spark control valve; it had a simple plastic check ball in the distributor air passage and it is missing on my unit so I plan to use the 1904 base with SCV on the 1960 body to retain spark advance characteristics. This could get interesting because the much larger Venturi should give a different “speed sensing” vacuum signal than the 1904, so distributor recalibration will probably be needed.

Can’t remember if I said this at some point, but I also recurved the load-O-matic somewhere in this process. Base timing is 20 degrees, anything over 0.5”Hg vacuum brings in 15 more degrees to 35, and then the highest vacuum signal (something like 6 or 6.5”Hg and up) brings in 5 more for a maximum of 40.

I’m sure 350 hp would be a lot of fun, especially from an in-line six, but this experiment so far has shown me that I will probBly be satisfied with what can be gained by improving volumetric efficiency. Assuming the 1960 doesn’t get me there, I love the idea of adding 4 CV motorcycle carbs since the intake has 4 runners. If I have heard anything X has said it’s that all these old inline sixes were choked by their venturis! Ak certainly showed it making 35 extra hp while still running a 1-bbl with load-o-matic, with a larger throat.

Speaking of Ak, 10 hp came from adding headers. I don’t want to buy the Clifford split header so I have 0 header options. Currently I have 1.75” pipe for about 4 feet after the manifold, then 2” crush-bent to the tailpipe. Is anything to be gained by going 2.25” mandrel-bent from manifold to tailpipe? Manifold outlet is still 2”. I have also considered splitting the stock manifold...

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Re: 223 "performance" expectation management

Post #27 by peeeot » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:26 pm

I have a quick update.

Installed the Holley 1960 carburetor. It was an Autoline “rebuilt” carb and required some extra work. The idle fuel restriction was partially clogged with the plug material they used when overhauling the main well assembly, so it wouldn’t idle until I removed their plug, cleared the restriction and replugged. Also the check ball in the spark passage was missing so I just used the SCV-equipped throttle assembly from the original carb.

Initially I used the 66 jet but the O2 sensor showed extremely lean voltages and the car was very sluggish. Swapped up to a 70 jet since factory specs called for 68-69. I thought performance felt a little livelier than it had been before the carb swap, but the proof was in the 0-60 run: my best runs with the 1904 carb were 18-18.5 seconds, but with the 1960 I got 17-17.5 seconds! I haven’t driven enough to be sure whether the 70 jet is the best or not but so far sensor voltages are in the 0.76-0.81 range so it’s gotta be close.

I need to verify the changes in the vacuum advance signal and possibly recalibrate the advance curve for this carb, but it seems clear that the larger Venturi has increased power without hurting driveability. Jury’s out on mpg until I log some more miles.

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