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XXX is not BS ... a very interesting story

April 8 2013 at 3:40 AM

George Pence  (Login gpence)
A1
from IP address 108.218.153.39


Response to Re: XXX

There's an interesting story behind the manifold Scott.

It seems one Friday night about 1970 the boys in the engine engineering department in Dearborn got to drinking, letting off a little steam. There was William "Wild Bill" Gay, Mad Man Joe Macura, George "Another Round" Stirrat, Crazy Gordy (Gordon Ellis), Big Al Buckmaster, and a few others (rumors include Mose Nowlan, Lee Morse, Al Rominski, Don Sullivan, R Kowalski, D Gelato, Wayne Gapp, Doug Nash, Dan Nowak, Bob Corn and Bill Jameson).

They threw together this Cleveland intake manifold as a joke made from steel tubing and what not, it sorta looked like a tunnel ram with 3 foot long runners. They were all laughing at this huge, goofy looking contraption when Wild Bill spoke up, slurring his words, and asked "how do we make it fit under the hood"? Well that got the whole room laughing. So Gelato and Nowlan accepted the challenge bolted some plates on the carb base and the manifold flanges and filled the manifold with a high temp fluid; they heated the manifold until the tubing was pretty hot, and then they stuck it in a hydraulic press and crushed it. Since the tubes were filled with a fluid they didn't crush or fold when the manifold was crushed, they kinda twisted and looped around ... when it came out of the press the manifold looked like an intake manifold version of a bundle of snakes exhaust system, with a carburetor sitting down in the middle at the normal height, surrounded by all these tubes looping every which way.

Everybody was laughing their heads off, but some of the guys got curious if the manifold was actually functional. So the group staggered out to the test center, bolt the manifold to a long block, installed a carburetor and fired the engine up. The engine ran, but it wasn't running very well. It seems those long curving runners were throwing all the fuel out of suspension. It was just another failed experiment by the drunken Friday night crew. The same crew that had developed the 4V heads and the Cleveland lubrication system.

A lot of the guys headed for home, but Wild Bill was just getting started. He asked if anyone was up for a little cannon testing with the manifold. That of course meant a high speed trip in Wild Bill's car to Cleveland Pant 3 in New Mexico! In case you didn't know, William Gay's personal Ford was equipped with one of the few Cleveland engines to actually have Cannonball heads, 700 horsepower!

So Wild Bill, Big Al, Crazy Gordy and "Another Round" George hopped in Wild Bill's car and headed for New Mexico (1500 miles). If I remember the story correctly they made it in 7.5 hours that night.

Saturday morning the 4 members of the Friday night crew were standing around a cannon at Ford's secret Cleveland testing facility in the New Mexico desert, sipping martinis. The bundle of snakes intake manifold was fired from the cannon at a brick wall 3 feet away. They were expecting it to disintegrate, but it just crumpled a little and fell to the ground. They thought that was the anti-climatic end of the manifold. But since they were all starting to feel a little bad from all the booze, they hopped in Wild Bill's car, and headed for the motel to sleep it off. The manifold was too hot to touch, so it was left it laying on the ground near the brick wall.

On Monday morning the guy who takes care of the cannon found the manifold laying near the brick wall, thought it was the coolest looking manifold he had ever seen. He took it to the dyno room, bolted it on a Cleveland long block, bolted on a carb, and fired the dyno engine up. It was a production line stock M code 351 Cleveland ... but it was making 450 horsepower!

It turns out the crumpling from the cannon shot had left small crumpled ridges in the manifold runners. The ridges kept the fuel in suspension. A few of the guys at the Cleveland Plant 3 wanted copies of the manifold for their personal 351C motors equipped with cannonball heads (guys working at the experimental plant had all the trick parts). The manifolds couldn't be cast in aluminum, but the looping runners and micro-ridges could be duplicated with corbomite casting techniques. So only a few manifolds were ever manufactured, they were cast in corbomite, and they only fit cannonball heads. Those few copies were given a part number of D0AE-9425-XXX; known among insiders as the triple XXX manifold. Like all parts originating at the Cleveland Plant 3 testing facility they have the CP-3-O Cleveland Plant 3 casting symbol.

Scott, I wouldn't BS about something like that would I?

-G


    
This message has been edited by gpence from IP address 108.218.153.39 on Apr 8, 2013 4:05 AM


 
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