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Posted By Jim Yergin Last Month
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Jim Yergin
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Normally aspirated

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I do not drive my '56 Third 312 aggressively but out of curiosity, is there a "redline" rpm? The factory 5000 rpm tachometer has no such markings.
Jim Yergin
Florida_Phil
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Personally, I would never take a stock YBlock over 5,500 rpm.  The weak link are the heads and the push rods may as well be made out of spaghetti.  My motor has "G" heads, tubular push rods, ARP rod bolts and it has been balanced.  It also has an 301333 Isky cam. I don't think it would make any more power at 7,000 rpm even if it hung together.  Maybe if I had aluminum heads, headers and a better intake?  Even then, I wouldn't chance it.
Joe-JDC
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The little 303Y block for EMC this year was dyno tested from 4100-7100 rpms, and has 52 dyno pulls on it so far.  Ford crankshaft, 113 heads, .591" lift camshaft.  There is a lot of work involved, but the crankshaft and heads do not seem to be a hinderance to rpm.  Any well prepared/rebuilt 292/312 should be capable of 6500 rpm with a camshaft that is ground for the purpose.  The Y Block is a strong platform that responds remarkably well to performance upgrades, in my opinion.  We made 390 lbft torque, and 453 hp with iron heads, 10.4:1 compression, and 303 cubic inches.   Joe-JDC

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Florida_Phil
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I know I will get in trouble for saying this, but here goes.  I have no doubt it is possible to build a Y Block that will live at 7,000 RPM.  Y Block parts are expensive.  I have $5K in my motor and it's basically stock.  If I blow up a modern engine, no big deal.  I order new parts from Summit or Jegs. If I blow up my Y Block I may not be able to find a replacement. 

I own a Y Block because it brings back memories, not because it revs to 7,000 rpm.  The sound the starter makes when I crank it,  the burble from the dual exhaust, the oil dripping on the floor of my garage and the feel I get when I grab second gear.  Everything about my Y Block brings me back to the early sixties when I was working for $1.25 a hour bagging groceries.   Back then I drove like a crazy person.  I broke transmissions.  I broke differentials.  I bought engines for $50 and blew them up in three days.   If you want to know the upper rpm limit of a Y Block, it's not hard to find.

The question is not how high you can rev a Y Block, it's how many do you want to buy?
charliemccraney
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If stock, 5000 rpm is probably about right.

There was a bulletin at some point about valve springs.  I think an RPM in that bulletin was 5500 but I don't recall if it was to make it 5500 rpm capable or capable of over 5500 rpm.  I'm sure someone has that bulletin to post.


Lawrenceville, GA
Gene Purser
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I had a stock 312 rebuilt several years ago and had the same question. An old, trusted mechanic told me that there was a different valve spring keeper for the higher performance 312s. Without the special keepers, don't rev it over 5500. I took him at his word, and the engine is still running today for a younger owner. 
slumlord444
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My experience with a stock 292 and 312 was that the limit was about 5500 mainly because thats all the further the stock cam and valve springs will go. The skinny '56 pushrods are an issue. The later tublar pushrods are tough. If it's put together right and ballanced the stock pistond, crank, and later heavy duty rods will live at 6000 to 6500 rpm with an appropriate cam. No need for the non hot rod driver to ever take one over 4500to 5000 rpm. They should live forever driven like that and properly maintained.
Robs36Ford
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I have pushed my 312Y to near 7000 a few times but I doubt I'll go there again without ARP bolts in it. It has a 3/4 race cam, Teapot Carb, solid pushrods, balanced crank, dual exhaust, G heads and new valve springs. Power definitely drops off at 6500, then again, my car is not exactly aerodynamic either. Leaks a bit more oil on the floor than before but still runs like a scare cat! Cool


1936 Ford 3W Coupe : 56 T-Bird 312, 47 Packard 3 speed, 40 juice brakes.
1968 Merc Cyclone FB GT 390 : Under reconstruction
1976 Chev Camaro LT : Future rebuild
1949 Ford F-1 : Under the knife and hammer!
Florida_Phil
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Y Blocks are torquey engines.  Scrubys rev.  We found that out years ago.  I could always get a jump on anything with a 283 in it.  A fuelie might catch you a block later.  One night a 57 scruby showed up with a 301, 4 speed and a 5.13 gear.  After that experience, I swapped an FE into my car.  That changed the game. 

Y Block cars are cool.  Our car club has about 4-5 of them. It's surprising how many have modern carbs with Loadamatic distributors.  Most owners don't know the difference the right distributor can make.
KULTULZ
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I could always get a jump on anything with a 283 in it.  A fuelie might catch you a block later.  One night a 57 scruby showed up with a 301, 4 speed and a 5.13 gear.  After that experience, I swapped an FE into my car.  That changed the game. 


Now what car type were you running then, FORD or BIRD?

In that time period, I tried to stay within NHRA rules of the period for street, i.e. STOCK, SUPER STOCK, MP or possibly GAS.

The point (to me anyway) is to run with a SBC with a Y, maybe SBF at the most. With that FE, you know somebody is going to show up with a 396/375 NOVA.

If you had to bring an FE to the game to outrun a SBC, it isn't a fair fight to me. The fight should have been with a 348/409 car.

Your tales bring back a lot of memories ...


W (BY GOD) V - EASTERN PANHANDLE
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