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Gurney Weslake Ford engine


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#1 teegeefla

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Posted 24 February 2024 - 22:19

I am intrigued by the development and debut of the Weslake Ford heads that I believe made its competition debut as a last minute replacement in Dan Gurney's McLaren M1A at the 1965 Riverside 200.  Does anyone know more about that engine and the circumstances of its debut?  I have heard stories that it was being assembled and installed right up to the green flag.  Was there any info in contemporary magazines such as Sports Car Graphic or Road & Track?  Thanks.



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#2 Rupertlt1

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 07:38

Hot Rod cover story, January 1967.

 

RGDS RLT



#3 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 07:41

The little I know is that they were made by Westlake for the 289 Ford. One presumes appropriate pistons etc were used to suit the heads.

Like so much of this old oo aah stuff they make far less power than a modern aftermarket standard configuaration head. The original 289 heads were effectively a choke with the exhaust ports in particular so blocked up.  Grind those humps out and they work a good deal better. Good historic 289 [or 302] heads ported properly are making big power. Though not a huge amount of torque but are being turned well over 7500 rpm with either downdraft Webers or a single Holley



#4 MarkBisset

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 07:42

https://primotipo.co...eslake-ford-v8/

 

Some information here

 

m



#5 Rupertlt1

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 07:55

Harry Weslake had an engine shop in Rye, East Sussex, England. Also responsible for the Gurney Eagle F1 motor.

 

https://forums.autos...lake-and-eagle/

 

RGDS RLT 



#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 08:03

One thing I recall from magazine reports...

 

Nothing to do with the initial turnout, but at one point the AAR Weslake engine had the first publicly-seen tall block of the Ford Family. possibly the forerunner of the Cleveland variant, but undoubtedly something to do with the increase in size to 351ci.



#7 Bob Riebe

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 18:56

One thing I recall from magazine reports...

 

Nothing to do with the initial turnout, but at one point the AAR Weslake engine had the first publicly-seen tall block of the Ford Family. possibly the forerunner of the Cleveland variant, but undoubtedly something to do with the increase in size to 351ci.

When Gurney was working on his GW cylinder heads in the Can-Am , Ford brought out the first incarnations of the tall deck Windsor engine and were also developing the first sets of the canted-valve engine that later became known as the Boss 302 on the Windsor block and Boss 351 on the Cleveland  block.



#8 Gerr

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 04:12

teegeefla

,

CP&Autoweek, 11.27.65 reports.....

 

And has on the front page:

Late News..."New Gurney-Weslake heads were fitted to the All American McLaren at Riverside and the 289 engine  may have put out as much as 440hp as a result."

 

In the race reports......same issue...

 

October 29... by Cam Warren.....the qualifying race for the qualifying race....

"Dan Gurney wasn't having too much luck with his car, being plagued with what eventually turned out to be a cracked cylinder, and didn't quite make the top 10. He complained about handling problems as well." 

 

October 30...by Charles Fox...the qualifying race ...

"After a last minute announcement to the big-bore drivers that a rolling start in a two grid formation would be held on the back straight going into turn nine, the entire field was kept waiting while Dan Gurney arrived with his McLaren-Ford.

 Gurney had blown his engine during qualifying for the qualifying race on Friday, and his crew had taken the car back to Costa Mesa and worked all night putting in an experimental 289 Ford with Gurney-Weslake heads. As the flag dropped all hell broke loose."

 

October 31...by Charles Fox...Times Grand Prix....

"The dizzying succession of of retirements and pit stops continued as Gurney pulled into the pits on lap 24, a bad rear wheel bearing set up a wobble which ate up the brakes."

 

That's all I have...



#9 teegeefla

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 10:04

Thanks to all for the help



#10 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 18:41

The Dan Gurney 1965 McLaren is very much alive and well today in the US with - from what I have seen of it - impeccable provenance back to its AAR days.

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 26 February 2024 - 18:42.


#11 VWV

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 19:26

All the Hot Rod magazines are now available online  

 

https://www.motortre...rchive-release/


Edited by VWV, 26 February 2024 - 19:26.


#12 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 01:35

When Gurney was working on his GW cylinder heads in the Can-Am , Ford brought out the first incarnations of the tall deck Windsor engine and were also developing the first sets of the canted-valve engine that later became known as the Boss 302 on the Windsor block and Boss 351 on the Cleveland  block.

9.5" 351W engines have been around since 68. The 9.2 Clevo block  since 70. 

The canted valve head used on Boss 302 was simply a Clevo 4V head. And really too big for the little 302W. Those heads are too big for a 351! Huge ports and lousy air speed. The 2V version is a better head for all but 9000 rpm drag racing. The Aussie 302 2Vhead better again as the same size ports and valves with chamber volume aroung 60cc. 

It is what I was using on my long rod 351C. And that had 440hp and way too much torque for the traction. And built to run 6500 rpm so as not to run over the crank! 



#13 Bob Riebe

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 02:31

9.5" 351W engines have been around since 68. The 9.2 Clevo block  since 70. 

The canted valve head used on Boss 302 was simply a Clevo 4V head. And really too big for the little 302W. Those heads are too big for a 351! Huge ports and lousy air speed. The 2V version is a better head for all but 9000 rpm drag racing. The Aussie 302 2Vhead better again as the same size ports and valves with chamber volume aroung 60cc. 

It is what I was using on my long rod 351C. And that had 440hp and way too much torque for the traction. And built to run 6500 rpm so as not to run over the crank! 

The 9.250" deck height 351 windsor type xe 93532 race block is the 1966 Grandfather to the later 1969 prodution 351windsor block which was also originaly suppose to have a 2.750" crank with 4 bolt mains before it got changed again at production time, also Shelby/DeTomaso had a early connection as to why the first code named ("stretched"deck) 289/351 9.250" xe race block was first suppose to be stretched to a 9.450"+ deck as they wanted a lite weight alum 7Liter eng version of the "W" type block platform (with similar bore/stroke spec's of FE428) for racing in mid 60's ...important thing for some to understand is that there was a 5.8L-6.4L "stretched deck" 9.2 "Windsor" type race block YEARS BEFORE there was a 9.2 deck "Cleveland" type block made for the public.

 

These 9.250" deck 351 Windsor type xe race blocks along with 3.50"/3.75" stroke steel xe-xh cranks with 2.650"-2.750" mains making 353ci, 373ci, 377ci, 393ci (first originally planned as 6.9L-7.0L 424ci "W" type 9.450" xe race eng in 1965) were finally made in 1966 for le-mans & can-am road racing in aluminum and cast iron making well over 500+HP, later drag racers like Dyno Don, Gapp&Roush, Animal Jim and others also got/used these blocks in pro/stock and for 400"+ci match race engines...
also for those that dont know, Fords earliest canted valve gt head designs were FIRST made to use on the Windsor type block designs, (NOT the later Cleveland block designs) which were first called "GT" heads before they were called "BOSS" heads.

 

This is from this:  https://www.corral.n...-block.2498544/

 

Which is by people who are well informed on the history of the small block Ford In the U.S.A.

You have to read the whole thing to see what they are speaking of.