|Why this engine? Everybody and his brother has put a small block chevy in a rod. This isn’t hot rodding anymore, it’s more like assembling a really big Revell model kit, with all the pieces readily available, all compatible and well worked out. These are like every other rod out there. I imagine Ak Miller and Ed Iskedrian wouldn’t get particularly excited over a mouse powered 47′ Ford (no offense) like they might over a hood-less 1950 Studebaker coupe with an outrageous turbo powered flathead six cylinder, technology from the 50’s melded with technology from the 80’s. Aside from the shock value, it makes good sense. A turbo motor needs to have a strong bottom end, thick walls and doesn’t care as much about the efficiency of the inlet tract. It should be low compression and hopefully have a layout where the “plumbing ” can be kept short. A Champion six is that motor. It has more main bearing per cubic inch displacement than anything, has thick cast iron cylinder walls, low compression and an inlet/exhaust setup friendly to a turbo installation.|
To improve on things, I rebuilt the motor carefully, adding premium valves, stout springs and studs instead of head bolts. I converted to a 1 wire GM 12 volt alternator, maybe for running the “Holley blue” fuel pump, but also to ease parts interchangeability out in the field. I used a 1947 motor (purchased for almost nothing) and since the oil sump was in a different place, the cast boss for the dip-stick was not in the right place for my repaired 1950 pan (the rod went through the pan when I unintentionally converted to a 5 cylinder motor…). I designed an “outrigger” to hold the dip-stick. I added a drain on the right side of the pan above the oil level to let oil easily drain from the turbo. I need to change to a 12 volt 1956 overdrive solenoid and relay. The rear-ends were weak as were the first gear which was nonsynchronized in the 1950 Studebaker transmissions. The rear-end was straight swapped for a Mustang II and the tranny was rebuilt (I’ll shift out of 1st before applying the torque……).
My goal is to develop a tractable vehicle which would embarrass small block Chevy’s and Ford’s in the 1/8th mile. It should cost what it costs to re-build the stock motor plus a little bit extra. The turbo will spool fast but due to it’s intentionally restrictive intake, exhaust and valving will be limited in terms of its boost and thereby keep detonation from being a major problem. The party will be over by about 4,000 RPM though these engines in circle track racers have commonly been spinning to 7,000 RPM. Given the present structure of racing in the U.S. I doubt that there is a real “Class” for me to run competitively aside from road rallys or hill climbs but perhaps it will wake a few people up to the concept of Due Cento! (No, I don’t expect it will do the “Two Club”…..)
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