Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Posts relating to early (Pre 1985) Hotrodding History in Australia, including Hotrod and Custom Shows plus early Drag Racing, Speedway, Hillclimbs etc.
User avatar
turns
Old Hand
Posts: 2916
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:23 pm
Location: Sydney NSW

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by turns »

Hi Harv

Remember there were heaps of capable spanner men back then that were into boats. A mate of mine was right into it back then but he was into Dodge 6 engines. Here is a link that refers to the era I mean.

http://www.cawpba.com/

There were some hot Grey motors back then however I don't know of the most powerful.

Cheers Turns
"Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly"...............Morticia Addams
olfrt
Posts: 247
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:06 pm
Location: Rochester Vic

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by olfrt »

Have a look at this Harv. Runs low 12's in full street trim. Have a look through the various videos on 'Youtube'.
To be old and wise, first you must be young and stupid.
Harv
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:11 am

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by Harv »

Thanks Turns. The vintage boat guys are cool, but agree that it is hard to measure horsepower in that type of racing (other than holding course/class records). A mate has a wooden hulled version, running a Repco head (he also has a hydroplane with a Merlin :mrgreen: ).

G'day olfrt,
That's Mark Riek's humpy. It has pulled 200-ish rear wheel horsepower on a dyno, with a standard head (port and polished). Frightening out of a grey - Repco was only pulling that figure at the crank. I'm going to need around 220 ponies at the crank for mine to meet the 10.99 Modified cut off, so it seems doable.

Cheers,
Harv
Harv
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:11 am

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by Harv »

An update on the quickest grey motor quarter mile pass. At the 27th of January 1980 meeting at Surfers Paradise (Ampol 3), Dennis Paul ran a 10.83s quarter mile pass in the grey powered Resurrection FED in E/dragster. The FED normally ran around 11.3, but the stars aligned for this run. He beat a red-motored powered T-bucket in this round, but was beaten in the subsequent round.

The grey had been taken out to 3.25” bore (155ci), running 12.5:1 Repco pistons with full floating pins. Factory cylinder head, ported and oversized red motor valves with home-made pedestal roller rockers. Lightened steel flywheel and large harmonic balancer. Bert Jones cam. Triple 1½” SUs on alky. Bosch twin-point dizzy. Standard rods, sand blasted (similar to shot peining in intent). Standard crank, balanced with main cap braces. Custom HV oil pump using Holden 308 gears. All-synchro 3-speed using only second and top. Shortened banjo running a 4.1:1 fine spline centre.

I have absolutely no reason to doubt Dennis’ story, as the background, equipment and era match up (some stories I hear about other grey powered records do not stack up for power/weight). I’d be interested though if anyone has either records from the track (unlikely), or if there was any magazine coverage of the event.

Cheers,
Harv
User avatar
jeffa
Old Hand
Posts: 4458
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2003 4:50 pm
Location: Canberra, Australia! Best country on the planet!

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by jeffa »

Thanks for keeping the updates coming Harv.
Watching with interest. I had a Grey in my FC many years ago. Blew it up when one of the oil pump gears split in two and snapped the tongue off the distributer drive. Engine kept going. Didn't notice the feeble oil light...
Yeah. I've changed my signature. The old one was out of date...
What if climate change IS a hoax, and we make a better world for nothing?
User avatar
thatold.chevy
Posts: 134
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2022 8:44 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by thatold.chevy »

You'd be wanting a fat (like 20mm plate) mains girdle and probably a half-grout-filled block up to the bottom of the water pump inlet.

i'd also be drilling, tapping and connecting the oil mains galleries between all cylinders with brake bundy or similar to equalise oil pressure front to back.

i hate shared inlet ports personally - high power sixes should be able to treat the front 3 cylinders like one engine, and the rear three like another - so don't run triples but BIG double SUs or jetted up 97s - you'll get the lower RPM torque you need without sacrificing top end. each carb will see hit-miss-hit-miss-hit-miss and your mid-range volumetric efficiency will improve.

the repco crossflow head use twin carbs for this very reason and splits the engine into two 3cyl for tuning.

if you don't do something about the shared inlet ports, then i'd suggest fuel injection (mechanical or electronic depending on how period you want to be). the shared exhaust ports also make it very difficult to properly tune the same hit-miss needed for a proper 3-2-1 system.

grey motors are proper econobox, low stress motors - like the early (pre 36) stovebolts - although the blue-flame motors of that era have hop-up ideas that directly translate to the little grey motor.

even a roller-profile longer duration / lower lift cam is better than the old school high lift and snap shut profiles.

but it's nothing that a good dose of boost can't fix - "flow and this and that" goes out the window once 4psi + starts being forced down it's throat.

either that or chuck an LPG barra in it with headers and a tune for low 200HP and something that doesn't strip ring gears off your flywheel when starting.
Harv
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:11 am

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by Harv »

The build is fairly serious so far for a grey.

Virgin crank crack tested and girdled, , crank throws machined to swap float control so that big end floats and small end is located by pistons. Ross SFI balancer with crank drilled and tapped for retainer. Lightened steel SFI flywheel. Eagle Mitsubishi H-beam rods, custom forged slugs to bring it to 9.5:1 static. Two-stage dry sump and custom pan, though unsure yet if the weight gain is worth the power... may run wet sump. Clive custom ground cam from two different profiles to maximise duration whilst minimising overlap. Steel timing gear. EJ block for the larger mains and distributor oiling. Block taken out to 3.25" bore (155ci), static water jacketed (no pump) but not grouted. Repco head and roller rockers to prevent exhaust valve walk. Head loctited. Stainless 1.5" zoomies. Norman 110 huffer running 10psi suckthrough. McGee fuel injection specifically made by Hedley for the Repco head. Vertex magneto locked out and fettled for higher amps. All ARP fasteners with the exception of the countersunk engine plate screws. Shorty slide-and-glide worked over by Al's Race Glides. Dominator 5000rpm convertor, SFI blanket. Shorted Hilux diff, 4.7:1 and spooled, 28" MT slicks. May need to run nitrous over the boost, but can only do so in IHRA (not ANDRA) tracks.

Cheers,
Harv
User avatar
zuffen
Senior Member
Posts: 1879
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:45 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by zuffen »

That sounds like a cheap sort of build.

Seriously you've got some good gear there and I hope it all works out and you can hit your target.
Never argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
User avatar
zuffen
Senior Member
Posts: 1879
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:45 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by zuffen »

OK Harv,

It's a year to the day since you gave us an update.

Time to tell us how its progressing!
Never argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
Harv
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:11 am

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by Harv »

FED chassis built and passed bare-chassis IHRA certification. Everything forward of the engine (wheels, steer, fuel, battery) and south of the firewall (trans, tiller, chute, wiring, diff, brakes, paint) pretty much done. Large pile of engine ancilliaries (injection, zoomies, fuel pump etc) reco'd and ready to bolt up.

Short block 1 machined and ready for assembly, though plastiguage check shows 4 thou on the mains. Need to be home long enough to take back to the machinist to verify with a bore gauge before cast crank, Eagle rods and forged pistons installed.

Short block 2 on its way to another builder for boring and fit of billet crank.

Looooooong search to find valve train components to replace the Vincent stuff for the genuine Repco head... could write a thesis on collets, springs and retainers. Tight (40 thou to bind) and will be strained (8000rpm)... not an assembly job for my numpty hands. Parts sourced, head and roller rockers now with (very) experienced shop for clean, machine and fitup. This stuff does not readily bolt up.

Repro Repco head machined, being assembled. Will need to work out roller rockers for this one.

Slowly slowly :)

Cheers,
Harv
User avatar
zuffen
Senior Member
Posts: 1879
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:45 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by zuffen »

So progress is happening.

It's hard when you're not at home all the time to keep it all moving.
Never argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
User avatar
jeffa
Old Hand
Posts: 4458
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2003 4:50 pm
Location: Canberra, Australia! Best country on the planet!

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by jeffa »

Sounds like an interesting project Harv.
Keep us posted!
And thanks Rod for prodding Harv :lol:
Yeah. I've changed my signature. The old one was out of date...
What if climate change IS a hoax, and we make a better world for nothing?
Errol62
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:03 pm

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by Errol62 »

Thought I would find you lurking on here Harv. I last logged on 7 years ago. Amazes me how much you get done mate. Keep on going!!!
spanners
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:23 am
Location: Temora NSW

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by spanners »

Hey Harv. I've been wondering as well how things are progressing. Who are you using for machining work? I'm looking around for an engine place to do machining on a Grey crankshaft because since moving to Temora I'm 6 hours away from Pryce Engines that I used and 4 hours from Cobram but he doesn't want to do a short block rebuild using the forged pistons that have only done a few passes.
I spoke to a place at Canberra that can do the machining but are booked up till July for any sort of assembly. I normally do the assembly myself but I'm not clued up on plasigauge and have never measured backlash and stuff like that. I'm surprised my engines have survived the pizzling I give them. The present engine has done 11 race meetings which roughly equates to 80 passes, both eighth mile and quarter mile including wins at WSID and Heathcote and hopefully get a pizzling at Gunnedah in March. If it holds together I'd like to do the Australian Nostalgia Racers tri series which is Whyalla, Mildura and Heathcote.
Shirley you must be joking? I'm not, and don't call me Shirley.
Harv
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:11 am

Re: Holden grey motor speed/power record holders

Post by Harv »

I was using Duncan Foster at Blacktown, but they folded up the business a few months back and sold the machinery to some of the employees. The bloke who did my machining (Warren Armour's nephew :mrgreen: ) bought a lot of it and has set up shop out at Windsor. I need to revisit him next time I am home as the plastigauge says the mains on the FED motor are 4 thou... hoping I am doing something stupid with the plastigauge and that a bore gauge will prove me wrong.

Are you coming down for Day of the Drags in early March?

Cheers,
Harv
Post Reply