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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guy's I'm new to the gasser scene so I need some help.
What was the average drive line in the gassers back in the day? Another words stick or Auto?
I want to build a Era correct car so I'm trying to think what all to do to it.
What type of rear ends did they have?
I have a 302 that I want to put in my Henry J. Did guys run 2 fours on them back then or what?
 

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302Ford or Chevy? 4 speed would be more common on small inch non supercharged car. Find out what your dad ran and build close to that. Oldsmobile/Pontiac, Ford 9", Dana 60 for rear end, back in the 60's it could have been about anything though.
 

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Lot of 4 speeds very early on, but by the mid 60's the B&M Hydro took over, and most of the fastest cars switched to the B&M quickly. As for engines, the 301 Chevy was popular the lower gas classes, but most A/G and AA/G ran blown big blocks.
Carbs were seen in the lower classes, but A-C were mostly injected or blown.
 

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I agree with all of the obove. I also agree with finding out what your father ran and going from there.

Here in lies the beauty of the late 50's/early60's era gasser cars. They're pretty much what ever combo you could think of that might possibly go fast. Basically, the sky's the limit.
 

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i would say if you have the money try to get a hillborn injection-alco.deff a 4 speed,and a chrysler 8 3/4.set the crank centerline at 24'' and 10% setback
 

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If you go with a Chrysler 8 /34 pick one up from a 67 to 72 A-body,flange to flange they are 57 inches, and get a 489 case third member, strongest of the three or go with a 66 to 77 bronco 9 inch housing at 58 inches, either one of these might save you from having to narrow a rear axle assembly.
 

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The mid 60's heyday og the gassers saw the Willys both 33 and the 39-41, Henty's and aero Willys and of course the Anglia. The "big" cars, Willys most often had a truck rear end. These were wider so the fenders were cut out for the tires. Axels were a big problem so the truck rear end offered a full floating hub. The narrowed axels had not really come of age, they were expensive to say the least. One way was to cut the axel off then bore a hole inthe wheel flange. Then the axel was cut to lenght and machine for a press fit inthe hub. Two or more holes were drilled along the bore line for dowel pins. Then the whole thing was welded together. Many of the dragsters used this. Mark Williams and Strange engineering were about the first to build 1 piece custom axels.

Many cars ran the BW T-10 four speed. These had the heaqvy duty main shaft but still broke occasionally. Even today these trans are the smoothest shifting things out there. The need for an auto was evident however. The early Mopar torq flites were pretty good and could be made better very easy. They still were not up to the blowen cars however. The hydra-matic 4 speed was still the strongest auto trans available. It had a very deep low gear. 3.94 and 4.05 for the Pont ones if I remember. The problem was the fluid coupling as opposed to todays torq converter. There were various attempts to make the coupling slip more sort of like a high stall converter however there was no torq multiplication and efficiency dropped off. The next thing was keeping the trans in 1st gear. B&M and Hydro-motive had the best solution however the racers found that just letting the trans shift to 2nd almost immediately worked better. That's why in the old vids you see the cars are a bit doggy off the line. The shift wasn't real clean so the timing between gears got so effectively you were in 2 gears at the same time. That's not really correct but I guess ratio change is a better description. The things were very tough and very heavy. there was a lot of behind the scene stuff going on back then.

As for induction...the gas classes all allowed mechanical FI...not that there was any EFI back then. Hilborn and Enderle were the leaders with Hilborn more on the gasser side. 2 hole and 4 hole were on the blown cars and stack injection was on the NA cars. These were pretty easy to tune back then. You could call Gene Adams at Hilborn and he would either set up you injector or tell you how to do it yourself. You would run pretty well right out of the box. the things responded very well to tuning and if you had good ignition which was a Vertex magneto you would get the most out of your motor. I don't think I ever saw a competitive carb car back then. There simply were no really good manifolds available. This was a time of developement and many co. were working on manifolds.

The cams were probably the real secret. They were called the cam wars. Isky, Engle, Howard were some of the big guys. There were many matchraces sponsored by the cam co. The foundation of Funnycar matchracing began here. There were new cams every month, new valve springs, better pushrods, and a huge developement was the aluminum roller rocker arm. These allowed much higher lift cams. And of course the roller lifter and Isky's rev kit.

We still had cast iron heads and even Mondello porting still ws not up to what we use on the street now.

Engines...early gassers used the big Olds and Cad motors and of course the 392 Chrysler was king of the hill. The 302 Chev was used often in the lower gassers as it was a high winder and easy to build. But remember today's 400 hp 350 would probably run over most of the NA gassers of the day.

You could go to any truck junk yard and get a 6-71 blower that was good enough to be built into a usable gasser blower for about $100-200. There were no screw blowers or 8-71,12-71 etc. Hampton and Bowers were among the first to make a magnesium case which made quite a difference in weight and they were able to make the internal clearances tighter so they made more boost.

To hit the question a 302 would be right in line in a Henry and a T-10 4 speed would be cool. today you can use a 9 in Ford rear end. I suppose you could use a circle track full floater and it would sure look period. Probly not a lot more money either.

My finger are worn out, time to go play with the streetrod.
 

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^Very nice written, informative piece!!!!!^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 

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Long before we could have rearends narrowed we did them ourselves with a lathe and stick welder. My buddy built an old MGM sedan with a 426 Mopar and we narrowed a Dana to fit in it. Drilled out the plug welds in the housing and cut the axle tubes off. Then we pressed them back in, tack welded them and checked them for alignment. Welded them solid and stuck the axles back in to see how much they needed to fit.
With a lathe we chopped the spline end off and removed 1.5" less than the measurement from each axle. Then we drilled the splines with a hole, and turned the end of the axle with a dowell stub. Pressed them together, and put a weld all around the splice in the axles.
The MGM was a strictly race car, so it got lots of hard launches and never broke the axles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Guy's I'm sorry I didn't reply faster. I was never notified of a response by anybody, I might not have subscribed when I wrote this.
To answer your questions. My Dad ran a 302 Ford in it for a while & then a Chevy 327. I have a 302 Ford now that I had for a back up to my old race car that I thought I would use. I figured that a 4 speed was what everybody used back then but wasn't sure. I just parted out a 65 F100 pickup so I firgure that I'll use the rear out of it.
Induction is the big question for me. I've seen guys run some tunnel ram 2 four setups on small blocks in the Gassers & I was thinking about that because of money, just for the look. I can't afford a blower or Fuel Injection.
My plans for this car are to show it & run Gasser & Nostalgia meets with it. We also have a class around here called Gear Jammers so I might run that as well.I'm not trying to break records with it so I really don't care if it runs good or not with the two Fours!
 

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I went with the tunnel ram and dual quads on my Austin for the same reason. I truly believe for most street driving this setup isn't optimal, but it more than makes up for it in my opinion with looks. There's something about a gasser with air cleaners or scoop sticking through the hood that just makes it more of a performance look.
Just about any engine that was available in the 60's is a good choice, so brand doesn't mean much. Early Olds, Cadillac, Hemis and Chevs were most common, but the 302 Ford will be a good choice too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I went with the tunnel ram and dual quads on my Austin for the same reason. I truly believe for most street driving this setup isn't optimal, but it more than makes up for it in my opinion with looks. There's something about a gasser with air cleaners or scoop sticking through the hood that just makes it more of a performance look.
Actually, looking at yours was what gave me that idea! I jsut think it looks plain out OLD SKOOL & COOL!
 

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I got a bit of chatter about losing hp going with a tunnel ram instead of a single plane/single carb set up, but with a bit of tuning and some interior work on the carbs (Holley 450's) I got a dyno'd 406 hp at 6300rpm and 373 f/p at 5300rpm, not exactly ideal for the street, but with the right gearing and a nice screaming launch at 3500rpm it works out fine for the track...oh yeah, and it looks totally bitchin'!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I got a bit of chatter about losing hp going with a tunnel ram instead of a single plane/single carb set up, but with a bit of tuning and some interior work on the carbs (Holley 450's) I got a dyno'd 406 hp at 6300rpm and 373 f/p at 5300rpm, not exactly ideal for the street, but with the right gearing and a nice screaming launch at 3500rpm it works out fine for the track...oh yeah, and it looks totally bitchin'!
Thanks for the help! Now I know who to contact for advice on the setup!
 

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there might be a problem with "timing" on the tunnel ram. The first tunnel ram manifold was a small block chevy and it didn't arrive 'till the LATE 60's. BBC was next then a small block ford. Yes lots of multi carb manifolds but a "real" tunnel ram........LATE 60's, like '68-69.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What the heck! I'll at least make it look the part!
 

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The Holley Pro Dominator I'm running was one of the earliest tunnel rams. The first Pro Dominators had canted carbs like mine, and it was supposed to aid in fuel ditribution to all cylinders. Later PD's had carbs straight, so I guess the cant didn't really do much, except make linkage a problem to work out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm wanting to find an early tunnel ram for a small block Ford due to for right now I'm going to run stock Ford heads!
I've heard in the past that later model tunnel rams are more made for aftermarket heads & early model tunnel rams are made more for stocker style heads.
I don't really care about ET numbers really more for the looks.
 

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My tunnel ram is an old Weiand "script" one, it just needed to be faced and it mated up fine with a set of Trickflow heads
 
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