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The "Whatever" Project

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  • Dug an old carburetor out of the shed today. A Predator. It'll fit on the Torquer manifold I'm going to use on the Whatever project 327, but probably not... it's rated to 900 cfm. Not really going to use it, just needed to get a couple of pictures of the thing. And I realized that it hasn't been used since the late 90s.

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ID:	1329395 Just look at that barn door opening! As I recall, it idled okay on the 400 in Jim's hillclimb special, and throttle response was good. But it's strong suit was its ability to maintain a/f ratio climbing the mountain. Had 2 but when SCCA took over the Mt. Washington hillclimb the other one was relegated to the shelf. It was a methanol version. Unfortunately it wasn't pickled properly and residual methanol ate it. This one always had race gasoline, and was drained after each use.

    It might still work...but I don't have any plans for it.


    • One of the LSR tems ran them and with good success. I never messed with them and so have no opinion. Wonder if parts are still available?


      • Originally posted by DanStokes View Post
        One of the LSR tems ran them and with good success. I never messed with them and so have no opinion. Wonder if parts are still available?
        Good question. I found a website, but the last update was about a year ago. I'm going to email them to find out. But like I said, no plans for using it. It could be a good thing for a wfo application. I don't think it'd be appropriate for the street, however. Way oversized imho.


        • Wow , there’s a blast from the past ! I forgot about those carbs


          • Originally posted by langleylad View Post
            Wow , there’s a blast from the past ! I forgot about those carbs
            It's a big, US version of an air valve carb like the SUs from ancient British cars. As air moves thru it (vacuum is created) it acts on a needle and seat sort of arrangement that flows more fuel. At one time they were the greatest new thing, then - EFI happened.
            Last edited by DanStokes; November 26, 2022, 08:05 PM.


            • When I first looked at the picture......
              ​​​​​​ Thinking your shop furnace went out,
              and this appliance was what was defective looking at those SQUARE Shutters........

              So I got edumacated today on a Obscure Carburetion Device.


              • Yeah, ancient technology. There's a cam inside the float bowl connected to the throttle shaft that actuates a valve in there, kind of a jet sort of thing. And there's a spray bar i the center of the body between the barn doors and the vacuum actuated upper barn doors. Think about a Quadrajet and the secondary upper air valves, same function supposedly. Only lets the correct amount of air thru.

                So you jump on the accelerator, those big throttle plates open wide. The accelerator pump dumps in some raw fuel, and if calibrated right, the engine just pulls like mad.

                It was easy on methanol, a/f ratio isn't too critical as long as it's close to stoichiometry or on the rich side, up to about 4.5:1 a/f. Gasoline is a different matter. It has a narrow range for best power from just below stoichiometry say 14:1 to just around 13:1. If you monitor the a/f ratio on your modern electronically controlled engines you'll see that under a power pull, that it's typically going just slightly rich, around 14:1, as all cylinders get precisely metered fuel supply. A carbureted engine, unless it's set up with something like Webers with one throat per cylinder, may average say 13:1 at best power, but if you were to monitor each cylinder, they'd be all over the place.

                This is why Hilborns or the Rochester mechanical fuel injection systems when properly calibrated, ran better than carburetors in the early years. But look at all of the crutches the Rochester system needed, dashpots, temperature compensating devices, etc, to behave on the street. And Hilborns, changing pills between the heat races and the feature, as the temperature dropped, or other meteorological events occurred. You needed to keep a notebook with all of the variables so you didn't screw up! And things like an air density gauge and thermometer at a minimum, if you wanted to stay on top of things. Again, methanol made it a bit easier, but it might cost you a little bit of power.

                So the Predator was an attempt to make a carburetor that automatically corrected for those variables. If you got it set up for the engine correctly to begin with.

                I could go on and on and on, but I won't. I probably lost most readers somewhere around So you jump...


                • Transmissions. What an interesting topic. And I keep wondering if I were to rethink my choice, what would be the outcome. The Whatever project is a simple vehicle and will be relatively light. With the quick change rear, I have the ability to alter the overall gear ratio to suit the pending usage, short runs around the county, vs longer drives that I would like to save the engine from screaming the whole way.

                  So what is the issue? I'm set up for either a 4 speed or 5 speed manual transmission currently, with the pedals in place. And I think that it will work well. However, would I be better served by an automatic transmission? If so, what type, Powerglide, Turbo 350, Turbo 400, 700 whatever, 4L60 or ?

                  I've got room for any of the above, and would just need to trim the floor boards to clear. So give me your opinions and don't hold back on questioning about why now. And I need the input. I'm about to get started with the engine. This could impact the direction we go with cam, compression, components etc.

                  Otherwise I'm making small steps that aren't worth talking about, let alone posting pictures. But steps that need to happen regardless. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!


                  • I have always heard auto is easier to package. But you already did the clutch, that is the hardest part? When you picture your self driving the car are you banging gears or cruising in an auto? That's you answer.
                    1.54, 7.31 @ 94.14, 11.43 @ 118.95

                    PB 60' 1.49


                    • Originally posted by Russell View Post
                      I have always heard auto is easier to package. But you already did the clutch, that is the hardest part? When you picture your self driving the car are you banging gears or cruising in an auto? That's you answer.
                      Therein lies the question I'm struggling with. I'm not old like Dan (sorry Dan, but it's true), however I'm knocking on 70, and it's not getting any easier to row thru the gears. Having said that, I really do like shifting for myself. So what would you do, given the options? And why?

                      Like you stated, I've already gone 85 or 90 percent of the way, and it would certainly be less expensive at this point. I'dlike to hear what everyone has experienced with various types of transmission.


                      • This seems like at opportunity to learn
                        How would the cam be different for an auto vs a manual?

                        My two cents - for a play car that is only driven locally on nice days - Id go stick until it got to hard then convert it to auto when your using your walker full time.


                        • Um - maybe overthinking this a bit? Not that an enginerd would do that.......

                          I vote for a 5 speed for maximum flexibility. That's how I'm going on the MGB and, as noted, I'm WAY older than you are!


                          • I have never had an auto with an non stock converter. I knew enough to ask for a shift kit when it got rebuilt but not the stall.

                            With that being said I think a stick is more fun. My street/strip car and daily driver are both stick cars. My tow/trash truck is an auto and I like it that way.

                            If you want to future proof it pick an auto and get a core and trim the floor to fit that way it will be an easy swap if you decide to hand in your man card later on!

                            Lite car with a quick change a TH350 would be fine. A 4L60 may be easier to find. But do they require a computer?

                            As always my advice is worth what you paid for it!
                            1.54, 7.31 @ 94.14, 11.43 @ 118.95

                            PB 60' 1.49


                            • Yup I'm getting old and decrepit! Left foot doesn't have a lot of feeling in it, back damage, not diabetic neuropathy. And I haven't driven a stick since this became an issue. So that's one concern. And not wanting to redo it whenever I get it mostly finished. On the other hand, I have to admit that I would rather drive with 5 and 3, than mush and 2.

                              Arg! As Dan said, I'm an enginerd, and tend to waaaaaaaayyyyyyy overthink things. Hey those of you who are in the same boat know what I mean...


                              • Oh well, tomorrow's another day. And I'm not planning on upholstered floor boards. Just a zizz wheel and whatever will fit in the Whatever project!