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Streetable 270 Offenhauser

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  • Member since
    February, 2015
Streetable 270 Offenhauser
Posted by dueseylvr on Wednesday, February 03, 2016 1:47 PM

I have plans of using a normally asperated 270 Offenhauser engine, from American Racing Miniatures, in a Duece roadster. I want to replace the single speed crash box with a transmission that can handle the power. I know I would need to fab an adaper plate to tie the two together as well as a mounting point for a conventional starter. I had planned to use an electric fan mounted to the radiator which is mounted inside a MCG track nose. Any ideas on a tranny and rear end would be appreciated.

  • Member since
    August, 2015
  • From: Hamptonville, NC
Posted by TarheelRick on Wednesday, February 03, 2016 4:29 PM

Just a suggestion would be one of the transmissions out of the Revell '55 or '57 Chevy Pro-Street kits.  Or possibly one from some of the late-model Chrysler or Mustang kits.  With a track-nose on a Deuce roadster it almost has to be running a quick-change rear axle.

I build models because I can't afford the real thing!

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Wednesday, February 03, 2016 5:10 PM

The 1955 Cunnigham C6-R running a destroked 3 liter Meter Drake Offy used a ZF S4-18 4 Speed. Any small, short box such as a LaSalle of late 30's or early 40's ford or lincoln zephyr would be appropriate given the application.

ZF S4-18

 

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    September, 2011
Posted by Arthur Anderson on Thursday, January 19, 2017 4:31 PM

dueseylvr

I have plans of using a normally asperated 270 Offenhauser engine, from American Racing Miniatures, in a Duece roadster. I want to replace the single speed crash box with a transmission that can handle the power. I know I would need to fab an adaper plate to tie the two together as well as a mounting point for a conventional starter. I had planned to use an electric fan mounted to the radiator which is mounted inside a MCG track nose. Any ideas on a tranny and rear end would be appreciated.

 

Believe it or not, hat 270cid Offenhauser that my old friend Chris Etzel mastered (and originally cast!) was equipped, originally (middle 1930's) wth a Ford V8 gearbox!  While later versions used a much simpler 2-speed transmission, a Ford flathead V8 gearbox bolts on.  So, use any top-loader Ford flathead V8 gearbox.  For induction, those engines were originally fitted with Winfield side-draft carburetors, Hilborn Fuel Injection didn' come into use universally until about 1952 or so--so the Winfield side draft carbs from a Revell '29-'31 Model A Ford 4cyl will give the look.  You'd be on your own for a water pump, as neither Offenhauser Engineering nor Meyer & Drake (1945-later) offered one, so an electric water pump would have to have been used--same with fuel pumps--electric there as well.

Art

  • Member since
    September, 2011
Posted by Arthur Anderson on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 12:04 PM

dueseylvr

I have plans of using a normally asperated 270 Offenhauser engine, from American Racing Miniatures, in a Duece roadster. I want to replace the single speed crash box with a transmission that can handle the power. I know I would need to fab an adaper plate to tie the two together as well as a mounting point for a conventional starter. I had planned to use an electric fan mounted to the radiator which is mounted inside a MCG track nose. Any ideas on a tranny and rear end would be appreciated.

 

Actually, any 60's muscle-car 4spd would have worked back in the day! The 270cid Offenhauser had its roots all the way back 1935, when Fred Offenhauser first produced those engines--in the days before Hilborn fuel injection, that engine was good for about 250-275 hp or thereabouts, being designed for the prolonged high speed running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but with cams designed more for acceleration than high-speed laps (think one-mile dirt speedways, as from the inception of the Offy out to about 1953 or so, Indianapolis was the only paved speedway in the US).

The 270 ran with dual side-draft carburetors exclusively until fuel injection arrived in AAA Contest Board competition about 1952 or so.

In the early 1960's, some racing mechanic working out of Indianapolis, had a '28 '29 Model A roadster pickup street rod running around, with a 270 Offy up front.  I've seen only a couple of grainy pics of it, and that was decades ago now--but I believe it used a pretty much conventional belt-driven fan, powered off the front of the crankshaft (Championship Offenhausers had their crankshaft extending through the front of the engine--in order to provide a splined coupling for a hand-crank(by the late 30's or so, a portable electric starter powered by a handcart of 6-volt car batteries (pretty much as Indy cars are started today.

Fred Offenhauser also built 2 or 3 early 270's having on-board starters, for clients wanting one of those hoary 4-bangers for sports cars in the mid-late 1930's as well.  In addition, those engines had external water pumps, to keep the coolant flowing though the radiator,  and large, rather thick radiators to handle the cooling (any Offy will run much hotter on gasoline than on methanol--methanol fuel not really coming into use until after WW-II on speedway cars.

I've had the same idea as you--in fact I have a couple of those resin engines, one from ARM, te other having been cast by Chris Etzel back almost 20 yrs ago (Chris mastered, and cast his Etzel's Speed Classics kits about 5 miles from where I live).

Art Anderson

  • Member since
    September, 2011
Posted by Arthur Anderson on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 12:12 PM

To add to this a bit:  The 270cid Offenhauser came about in 1937, when AAA (American Automobile Association) Contest Board (then pretty much THE sanctioning body for major-league auto racing in the US) adopted the Grand Prix engine formula then used in Europe--4.5 liters).  AAA sanctioned Indianapolis and the so-called "Championship Trail" of American open wheel speedway racing from its inception in the very early 1900's, though the end of the 1955 season--when the Contest Board was disbanded, and the United States Auto Club was formed, which body immediately specified a displacement reduction for Championship Cars to 4.2 liters or 256cid.

That pretty much obsoleted the 270 from active racing, and a number of those engines were left sitting around--and there were all manner of ideas about using them on the street, but only 2-3 were ever installed in say, hot rods (very expensive engine to setup and maintain!).

Have fun, keep us all posted!

Art Anderson

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