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I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Engine tech, for those engines, products, and technologies of yesteryear.

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jsgarage
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by jsgarage »

Yeah- built for one year to take advantage of an Indy rules loophole that allowed pushrod engines 355 cubic inches. So Penske & Ilmor with Chevy money built a handful of all aluminum pure-racing V-8 engines with a very high mounted cam & 3" long pushrods. Reportedly, the thing revved to the moon and even scared Li'l Al Unser with its power as it set a qualifying record. Next year, loophole gone.

As for heavy old pushrod engines, my personal 1971 351-C engine (stock wt = 550 lbs per Ford) lost 102 lbs with aluminum SVO Boss-type heads, 16 more with an SVO open plenum intake, 12 more with an aluminum waterpump, 7 lbs with a gear-drive starter & 6 lbs with an aluminum Holley 4bbl. After a few more similar tweeks and in a street legal Pantera (stock w/medium length tube headers) the iron block 351 cubic inch Ford has a running wt of 408 lbs and about 425 bhp, since its a street licenced car running on 92 octane pump gas.

Could easily make another 100 horsies and I have an aluminum Fontana sprint car block in the shop thats 55 lbs lighter than the stock iron lump, but my wife is satisfied driving it around as it is. Some 50-yr-old V-8 wedge-chamber 2-valve pushrod engines weren't so bad.
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by frnkeore »

Didn't Penske, Chevy, Ilmor once build an Indy race engine using pushrods? Sort of? Kinda.
Correct me, if I'm wrong but, as I remember it was a Porsche designed and built engine and I don't believe it made the race and also never returned.

Again, as I remember Porsche built or was heavily involved with a dual engined Indy car. I think they were flat 4's or maybe flat 6's, it came to naught, also. They may have been DOHC and I don't remember if they were 2 or 4V.

So much for Porsche designed engines ;)

Edit:
Well I have to take back some of the above. It was a private dual engined entry, with 911 6's.

Porsche's engine was a DOHC 4V but, was a dog.

It was a Penske/Mercedes push rod, that was successful because it had 40+ more cu in (209) and more boost and was outlawed, the next year. They didn't come back with a legal, 168 inch engine with std boost though, so it wasn't competitive with DOHC 4V of like displacement.
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by Tuner »

frnkeore wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:59 pm
Didn't Penske, Chevy, Ilmor once build an Indy race engine using pushrods? Sort of? Kinda.
Correct me, if I'm wrong but, as I remember it was a Porsche designed and built engine and I don't believe it made the race and also never returned.

Again, as I remember Porsche built or was heavily involved with a dual engined Indy car. I think they were flat 4's or maybe flat 6's, it came to naught, also. They may have been DOHC and I don't remember if they were 2 or 4V.

So much for Porsche designed engines ;)

Edit:
Well I have to take back some of the above. It was a private dual engined entry, with 911 6's.

Porsche's engine was a DOHC 4V but, was a dog.

It was a Penske/Mercedes push rod, that was successful because it had 40+ more cu in (209) and more boost and was outlawed, the next year. They didn't come back with a legal, 168 inch engine with std boost though, so it wasn't competitive with DOHC 4V of like displacement.
Stunts that violated the spirit of the rules like the stubby pushrod deal might be what inspired Tony George to decide Roger Penske was trespassing and have the Sheriff escort him off the property.
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by David Redszus »

Tuner wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:29 pm
frnkeore wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:59 pm
Didn't Penske, Chevy, Ilmor once build an Indy race engine using pushrods? Sort of? Kinda.
Correct me, if I'm wrong but, as I remember it was a Porsche designed and built engine and I don't believe it made the race and also never returned.

Again, as I remember Porsche built or was heavily involved with a dual engined Indy car. I think they were flat 4's or maybe flat 6's, it came to naught, also. They may have been DOHC and I don't remember if they were 2 or 4V.

So much for Porsche designed engines ;)

Edit:
Well I have to take back some of the above. It was a private dual engined entry, with 911 6's.

Porsche's engine was a DOHC 4V but, was a dog.

It was a Penske/Mercedes push rod, that was successful because it had 40+ more cu in (209) and more boost and was outlawed, the next year. They didn't come back with a legal, 168 inch engine with std boost though, so it wasn't competitive with DOHC 4V of like displacement.
Stunts that violated the spirit of the rules like the stubby pushrod deal might be what inspired Tony George to decide Roger Penske was trespassing and have the Sheriff escort him off the property.
The pursuit of the "unfair advantage" has been a motorsports objective for over a century; it is not a "stunt" at all.
It is the real purpose of racing. The primary job of the racer is to tilt the plying field in his favor. Twas ever thus.

The specs of the Ilmor engine, 97 x 58, 1024 hp @ 9800, BMEP 27.3 BAR at 27 psi boost only resulted in a
mean piston speed of 18.95 m/s. The rules allowed the increase in displacement and boost for pushrod engines.
Ilmor built a superior pushrod engine, per the rules. Tony George was caught with is pants down and very
embarrassed by the domination of the Penske program. But, any other team could have done the same, but didn't.

In racing, you have reached the pinnacle of success when your program is banned by narrow minded sanction bodies.

Where is Roger Penske today? Where is Tony George? Who owns Indy?
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by frnkeore »

I've never been a fan of Penske, not because he pushed the limits of the rules but, because he was always able to out spend the competition or have a "in" with a car company. I've never had any respect for people that buy their success. Not until he started his F1 team, did he compete on equal footing, of note, he wasn't successful in that endeavor. I did respect his drive to push the limits of the rules. I was at the 1962 Time Grand Prix at Riverside, where he added a seat, outside the frame rails of a Cooper F1 car and added a full body, to comply with the rules. That car was banded the next year, too! I'm adding my personal picture of the car at turn 6 and a picture of his FIA seat.

Regarding Tony George, he was nothing but a egotistical "A" hole and set Indy type cars back 20 years. If not for him, CART would, today be at or very near, the same level of F1. What you call "modern" Indy cars, are nothing but 900 hp, Formula Fords!!!! Before TG, "Champ Cars" were real Formula Cars with real rules and many engines and chassis builders. I could name 10 different, successful chassis builders. Their success, came with winning, not a dictated chassis builder!

Regarding the 209 ci, push rod engine. The rules were never meant for a dedicated race engine, they where a relic of the "Old" Champ Car/Indy car system and trying to make room for production based engines. Smokey fielded a 209 ci, SBC with a pair of 4v carbs but, the Buick was the most successful.
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by Geoff2 »

Wow, 4 pages & still talking about obsolete pushrods.....
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by David Redszus »

frnkeore wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 2:41 am I've never been a fan of Penske, not because he pushed the limits of the rules but, because he was always able to out spend the competition or have a "in" with a car company. I've never had any respect for people that buy their success.
Why is it that no one complains about the costs involved in horse racing, 12 meter yacht racing, air races, off-shore boat racing, etc?

Yet they complain when resources are directed toward some forms of auto racing.
Did we hear complaints regarding Ford Motor Company's massive expenditures developing the GT40 in
pursuit of Ferrari?

Regarding the source of funds, Penske once remarked, "They knock on the same sponsorship doors that we do."

Fact is, some teams make money from racing. When Mercedes spent about $220 million on a racing program,
it returned over $320 million in revenue to the company. The expenditures made in high level racing are carefully
examined by corporate boards and financial types. They are not used to pissing money away as do many amateur racers.
Who then complain about the cost.

The bottom line is that money does not win races; losers often spend more than winners.
Horsepower will never beat brain power.
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by frnkeore »

David, if that is all true, can you then explain why Penske wasn't successful in F1?
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by Ken_Parkman »

Back to the pushrod discussion

One excellent combustion chamber variation that has been not included in the discussion is the rotated canted valve that is so successful in many forms of racing. I'm led to believe but do not have the data to back it up that NA it exceeds the BMEP of F1; not sure if this is correct. This becomes another significant advantage of a pushrod, the design freedom for more complex compound valve angles. As well it becomes quite easy to clear intake ports when the valvetrain no longer needs to be in line.

Pushrods do have significant advantages, as discussed packaging, valve angle design, and easier incorporation of variable displacement.

4 valve chambers clearly have huge advantages. There is no question the small light valves are much easier to control at high rpm, and the curtain area opening characteristics are great. Witness how good the Ford mod was at the EMC which is a rpm range contest. Specific output and rpm range wise a 2 valve cannot compete. Also it is easier for dual VVT.

The one that seems to not be competitive is the 2 valve SOHC, the worst of both worlds. Not as bad with an inline engine.

The 2 most recent V8 designs I'm aware of, the GM LT and the Ford Godzilla; both have pushrods and canted valves. So I do think it is correct to say the pushrod is still viable. The Ford is new for 2020 and replaces the relatively recent 6.2 SOHC so it is clearly a better design for that application or they would not have done it. Seems to back up the above 2 valve SOHC statement.

The basics are an OHC has more crap on the head making it bigger. This hurts more in a V engine, and gets worse with increased bank angle. Also the more cams you have obviously the more cam drives you need, which is also worse in a V engine due to the bank stagger. Conversely a 4 valve chamber makes for lighter valves, reduced physical lift for a given l/d, and a squarer flow vs lift profile, all good for rpm range.

It becomes application specific, but with the trend to smaller displacement engines the pushrod is in trouble.
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by David Redszus »

frnkeore wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:40 am David, if that is all true, can you then explain why Penske wasn't successful in F1?
I can't begin to explain (or sometimes understand) why race teams make the decisions that they do.
As for Penske, his involvement with F1 started long ago with driver Mark Donohue, with only a fair
amount of success.

Perhaps the withdrawal from F1 was driven by the death of his driver and engineer in 1975. Penske did
continue with John Watson as his driver, winning a F1 race in 1976.

Perhaps the fact that Penske's sponsors were mostly US companies who had little interest in
European racing, did not help matters any. Penske by then committed to Indy car racing as well as
several other classes of racing. No team has won more races, of all kinds, than Team Penske.
And the win list keeps growing.

Wouldn't be interesting to see BMW, MB, Ford, Toyota, Honda, compete in heads up drag racing?
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by David Redszus »

Ken_Parkman wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 2:19 pm It becomes application specific, but with the trend to smaller displacement engines the pushrod is in trouble.
Ken, do you think that with the arrival of smaller, higher boost, computer controlled engines, the demise of not just pushrod but other less effective designs might be in trouble?
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by frnkeore »

Perhaps the fact that Penske's sponsors were mostly US companies who had little interest in
European racing, did not help matters any.

Penske once remarked, "They knock on the same sponsorship doors that we do."

F1 is a world wide market. USA sponsors wouldn't matter(although one of his sponsors was Shell), he still had the same doors to knock on as he referenced in the above statement, therefore he was on the same footing as all the other F1 teams, right?
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by hoffman900 »

frnkeore wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:15 pm
Perhaps the fact that Penske's sponsors were mostly US companies who had little interest in
European racing, did not help matters any.

Penske once remarked, "They knock on the same sponsorship doors that we do."

F1 is a world wide market. USA sponsors wouldn't matter(although one of his sponsors was Shell), he still had the same doors to knock on as he referenced in the above statement, therefore he was on the same footing as all the other F1 teams, right?
Are we really holding two half-in seasons, nearly 50 years ago, against Roger Penske, despite all his successes since?
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by frnkeore »

"half-in"? Seriously, when did Penske ever do anything "half-in"? Are you saying he purposely got into F1 w/o being wholeheartedly committed? He got out, only because he couldn't compete at the F1 level.

Today, he can't totally dominate, even though he always tries to buy the best drivers, because Indy car is just a glorified, Formula Ford platform. But, it is good for the drivers and engineers.I still long for the days of innovation with different chassis and engines. Gone are the days of Smokey, MT, Gurney and Jim Hall, as well as other innovative builders. I will even include Penske in that group.
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Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable

Post by David Redszus »

frnkeore wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 2:11 am "half-in"? Seriously, when did Penske ever do anything "half-in"? Are you saying he purposely got into F1 w/o being wholeheartedly committed? He got out, only because he couldn't compete at the F1 level.

Today, he can't totally dominate, even though he always tries to buy the best drivers, because Indy car is just a glorified, Formula Ford platform. But, it is good for the drivers and engineers.I still long for the days of innovation with different chassis and engines. Gone are the days of Smokey, MT, Gurney and Jim Hall, as well as other innovative builders. I will even include Penske in that group.
In the entire history of Formula One racing, how many Americans have competed (as owners, builders, engineers or drivers) and how many have ever even won a single race?
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