Norm Schenck at Competition Fuel Systems has been dyno testing Stromberg 97 and BIG97 carburetors for us for year. In fact he had a major hand in developing the BIG97 from scratch.
We set up a dedicated dyno motor at Norm’s facility in Vassar, Michigan and we’ve been watching intently as horsepower has grown with small tweaks to the carburetion and heads. This set up is with the cast iron vortec heads, that Norm ported himself. We have a set of AFR CNC ported heads waiting in the wings and they would probably make more power, but Norm suspects that the limitations of the Edelbrock tri-power intake would not have allowed for much more flow than was achieved with the vortec heads.
Want to know the numbers? This is a GM 330 horse crate motor and the best we got this time (by taking off the mufflers) was 404 ft-lbs of torque at 4300rpm and 386HP at 5400rpm. We still made over 400/380 with the mufflers on. This was on 89 octane gas with top end A/F ratios all in the 13s ! The dyno can now read separate A/F ratios per cylinder.
What this motor will do once someone (ie us) develops a new intake for the BIG97s is anyone’s guess. But it will be impressive, you can be sure of that…
Stromberg 97 carburetors ( regular and BIG97 ) have gained some superb coverage in a major feature in January 2016 Street Rodder. It’s all about flathead Ford intake manifolds. Navarro, Edelbrock, Sharp, Offenhauser and more (all of which can work with the BIG97, of course). Written by Ron Ceridono with help from Kev Elliott and Mike Herman from H&H Flatheads, it’s also available online. You might find the online version a little easier to read. Click here to check it out! Here’s a couple of excerpts:
“Thanks to Mike Herman we were able to gather photos of the most popular intake options H&H currently offers for early (1932 to 1948) and late (1949 to 1953) Flatheads. While the manifolds look similar there are significant differences. The positions of the carburetors on two-two manifolds vary and as a result some require moving the generator, others don’t (manifolds that accommodate the generator are often called regular dual, while those with the carbs further apart are usually referred as super dual). By spreading the carburetors further apart they have a straighter shot into the ports and fuel distribution is improved but relocating the generator requires a head-mounted bracket. Some manifolds are equipped with exhaust heat, others aren’t. In cool locales with today’s fuel exhaust heat can help driveability, in hot climates it’s not normally necessary. All the manifolds shown here accept the stock-style fuel pump stand and the oil filler/road draft tube for 1949 to 1953 applications. Another difference is the number of bolts used to secure the manifold. Due to the shape of the runners, in some cases, the number of bolts has been reduced. On the other hand, in some cases, there are more holes in the manifold in the block, but in either case it’s not a problem.
Although all the manifolds shown are good, some manifolds may perform better than others with a given engine combination. The best bet to resolve that issue is to deal with an expert on the subject like Mike Herman.
Stromberg now offers a larger version of the 97. Completely reworked internally, they flow 250 cfm, compared to the original’s 165 cfm.”
We have cut prices on all our current fuel lines, and introduced new ones too – all at far more attractive prices. As part of our relaunch of the whole Stromberg TwoStep Fuel Line range, we’ve spent a lot of time finding new ways to source the parts and the processes needed to make kits at a more competitive cost. And we’re pleased to say, this is the result.
So how much are they? How does $55.95 (or £29.96) grab you, for complete bolt-on 2×2 Stromberg fuel lines (carbs to fuel pump) for Offenhauser 1090 or 1075 intakes? Our new 2×2 RP lines for remote pump are just $69.95 (or £33.29). And you can get our cool 3×2 sets for Edelbrock 1108 intakes for just $89.95 (or £41.63).
We mentioned new kits. If you’re looking at chrome Stromberg 97s (9510A-CHR), you’ll be pleased to hear that you can now get fully polished lines, with traditional chromed Ford nut compression fittings, starting at $85.95 (or £41.63). Check them out on our website – click here.
All these prices are plus local sales taxes, but they’re all significantly reduced. And it goes without saying that all our new fuel lines come with exactly the same high quality for fit and performance as ever – plus full installation instructions and further help via our website Tech Center.
Most days are pretty good here at Stromberg, but some are off the freakin’ scale. And today is one. We got the new HOT ROD Magazine 65th Anniversary issue today, and it’s crammed with new 97s. There are three on Dan Webb’s beautiful So-Cal Streamliner recreation (which we featured here a short time ago – click this link). And five pages-full in the ‘Ford Flathead V8 Intake Manifold Smackdown’.
We quote, “Several companies offer Stromberg lookalikes, but H&H says the best, most reliable and least troublesome are the real Strombergs made by the re-formed company, now from England.”
If you haven’t got the magazine already, we urge you to do quickly as it won’t available after 11th December 2012, and it’s packed with great features by the HRM team. We’ve scanned the relevant pages and added them here for when the mag’s no longer on the stands. Who were the winners? Navarro, pretty much, though the Edelbrock Slingshot 2×2 acquitted itself very well, too. The winners are summarised on page 104 – the last page below. Huge thanks, of course, to Marlan Davis at HRM. Dan Webb and of course, Mike Herman at Stromberg dealer H&H Flatheads for helping organise the awesome feature and helping us get involved.
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.