Strombergs at Royal Kustoms

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Royal Kustoms down on England’s south coast might not be well known to our USA friends, but in the UK, proprietor Jim Turnbull and his team have a huge reputation for quality work on early Fords. Jim has long been one of the ‘go-to’ guys for flathead engines, but in recent years he’s also become the number one destination for customers looking to compete in the toughest of long distance classic car rallies.

Now, we’re not talking sedate cruises across a couple of counties here, stopping off at a restaurant and a vineyard on the way. We’re talking a seriously competitive thrash across Siberia (Northern Russia), through South America or from Peking, China to Paris, France. Most of it’s not even on what you could term roads either, so the cars have to be built tough to last even the first day, let alone the month long trip.

On our recent visit, the shop was packed to the ceiling with old Fords, including more ’40 Ford coupes than we had seen for a long time. But these are not your regular old Fords.  They’re built to the hilt, hard charging, double reinforced early Fords that can take more of a serious pounding than you might imagine. When you’re in the middle of nowhere, you can’t take chances. Fuel system? You need two. Throttle cables? Two. Ignition system?  Two. Giant shocks front and rear with hydraulic bump stops. Knobbly off-road tyres. World Class 5-speed manual transmissions. Fuel tanks the size of the Exxon Valdez (but safer). Nine inch rear ends. Full GPS tracking and navigation equipment. And so it goes on. Did we mention super-reliable carburetion? Always Stromberg 97s of course.

We were at the shop as part of our ongoing test programme for the forthcoming new Stromberg flathead distributor. Check the pictures out. It’s a very cool place The work is top notch, and so are Jim, Julie and the Royal Kustoms team. Thanks to them all!

 

Vintage Fridays with Stromberg Carburetor !

vintage-fridays-april-full_800We’ve got together with Stromberg dealer Sacramento Vintage Ford this year to help sponsor their Vintage Fridays family cruise night season. After a well earned rest last year, Vintage Fridays are back with a bang for 2014, hoping to beat the $8843.86 they presented to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2012. If you’re in the Sacto area, set your diaries for the last Friday of June through October and get yourself some raffle tickets. You could be winning some cool Stromberg stuff – Stromberg signs, license plates, and even a pair of new Stromberg 97 carbs with a linkage and fuel hose barbs!

 

Stromberg linkages now with kickdown!

DSC_8943Got a Chevy or a Ford with three 97s and an auto box? You need our new 9136K Cable Throttle Bracket plus our new Stromberg TwoStep progressive carburetor linkage with auto-trans kickdown capability.

What’s the secret? Our totally new center (primary) carburetor lever, which extends below the throttle shaft center line to pull the kickdown cable at a point set by the owner. The ‘kickdown’ end has a ¼”UNF thread, which accepts the special fixing common to most hot rod aftermarket auto-trans kickdown cable kits.

Linkages with the new kickdown capability simply add a KD suffix to the regular part number, so the 9246PRO 3×2 kit for small block Chevy intakes becomes 9246PRO-KD with kickdown. For small block Ford, choose 9253PRO-KD. Chrome versions are also available. All KD linkages come with two of our Snapback torsion-type throttle return springs, by the way. We have shown the traditional springs in our ‘assembly’ pictures to highlight a typical conversion from a Lokar-equipped 4-barrel carb to three 97s.

To be honest, kickdown is an issue we rarely encounter with flathead Ford applications, but with more hot rodders choosing a 97 tripower for their small block Chevy or Ford, our new ‘kick-down compatible’ progressive linkage, coupled with our new 9136K Cable Throttle Bracket, is a real problem solver. Just one note, if you have one of the more modern auto-transmissions like the 700R4, for example, please seek professional advice about the TV cable requirements. It’s not as simple as with an old-style Turbo 350, for example, as the rate of cable ‘pull’ is as important as the distance pulled. We are looking at special solutions, but they’re not ready right now.

Here’s the full KD range, available from stock. The new center carb lever (Part No: 9096K-KD) is also available separately, complete with swivel and clamping screw. If you need something else, please ask!

9246PRO-KD – 5-1/2″ carb centers – typical small block Chevy 3×2

9251PRO-KD – 4-7/8″ carb centers – Offy Y-block & Cad 3×2

9253PRO-KD – 4-3/4″ carb centers – Edelbrock small block Ford 3×2

All these new Stromberg linkages are on the website under the Linkage & Fuel Delivery menu. Prices are the same as the regular linkages. And as ever, full installation instructions and ‘how-to’ help are also available at the Stromberg Tech Center at www.stromberg-97.com.

Small block Ford 3×2. 5.0 HO. Three 97s.

It started with a worrying email, and ended with a very happy customer, AND a lesson we can all learn about using teflon tape on fuel fittings. Gary Cone from Las Vegas, NV, owns a cool red 1940 Ford with a small block Ford 5.0 motor and three new 97s on an Edelbrock intake manifold. Here’s a couple of pics – one of the first small block Ford 3×2 new 97 set-ups we have seen. It’s a very tidy installation. Anyway, Gary’s email went:  “DROVE MY CAR TO THE LOCAL CAR MEET THIS MORNING, STARTED THE CAR TO RETURN HOME WHEN THE CARBS CAUGHT ON FIRE FROM GAS RUNNING OUT FROM THE PUMP ROD HOLE. MY FUEL PRESSURE IS AT  2 1/2 POUNDS. I ALMOST LOST MY CAR TODAY. WHAT NOW?”

Gulp. Well, that got our attention! Any 97 inlet valve – old needle and seat or our twin-ball S-jet will only stick open in the event of a float failure (and we’ve never had one ever with our brass floats) or a piece of debris from the tank, for example, lodging in the inlet. And that’s almost impossible too, with an S-jet because the balls spin and eject the dirt. So we emailed straight back and asked Gary to send us his carbs. Our top man Max checked the carbs out with his usual thoroughness and reported on the damage:

“After checking the floats for leaks and then having a good look with the trusty otoscope and magnifying glass, I found a miniscule strand of teflon tape, about an inch long, had migrated from somewhere downstream and wound its way around the big ball in one of the S-jets, causing the valve to be stuck full open. He’s using Superseat hose barbs, so I’m thinking the teflon must’ve swum upstream from a fuel line fitting.”

Anyway, as we state in our 97 Installation Manual, we strongly warn against the use of teflon tape anywhere in a fuel system, and this is exactly why. We have seen pieces inches long work their way into a carburetor like a damn tape-worm. That’s why we designed our Superseat hose ends with the correct seat so they do not need teflon tape. Neither should NPT fittings.

And the happy customer bit? Despite our stated warranty terms (and without prejudice, or admission of fault, as our lawyers like to add), we fixed those toasted carbs like new so he could get his hot rod back on the road. Gary was full of thanks, of course.

New Edelbrock small block 3×2 Ford intake for Stromberg 97s

You don’t need to be a hot rodder to know that old is now new – or should that be news – but even the most corporate of performance companies are now opening their eyes to nostalgia overhead valve motors. Edelbrock’s new 5412 3×2 intake for small block Ford is not just a reproduction of an old intake, but a brand new one! Click on the pics for a closer look.

To be fair, Edelbrock and Offenhauser have made 3×2 intakes for small block Chevy available for ever. Add three new 97s and our 9246S or 9246PRO TwoStep linkage and you’re just about ready to go. But if you owned a 260, 289 or a 302 Ford and wanted a cool 3×2 intake, you were pretty much out of luck. Until now, that is, as Edelbrock’s 5412 3×2 Ford intake brings 3×2 looks and power to exactly those engines.

Time for a short math note. We’re often asked whether three 97s provide enough air for a small bock Ford or Chevy. Here’s the deal. Engine size (ci) x max revs divided by 3456 is the maximum air your cylinders can handle if your motor is 100% volumetrically efficient (which is unlikely). So even for the bigger Ford, 302 x 5500/3456 = 480cfm. Most engines are nearer 80% efficient at the top end (so they need just 384cfm), but even if it is 100%, three new 97s can give you 486cfm max. And remember, you only need that much air at high revs. We haven’t dyno’d this intake yet, but the Chevy 3×2 dual plane intakes pretty much flatten out at 5000rpm anyway. Remember, for most of us, it’s more about mid-range torque and drivability.

There’s not a whole bunch else for us to say, except that the 5412 is claimed to be good for 5500rpm and costs just under 400 bucks. Our TwoStep 9253S (direct) and 9253PRO (progressive) linkages bolt straight on. And you can find out more at Stromberg dealer Summit Racing‘s website. As soon as we can get our hands on one, we’ll get better pics and get it on the dyno too.