Monday, April 25, 2011

Tri-Power (3X2) Manifolds - Worth The Extra Effort

Fashionable with hot rodders since the 1950's, 3X2 or tri-power intake manifolds were a popular fuel delivery alternative that added additional power to a car when expensive four barrel carburetors were first introduced. Aftermarket manufacturers cast manifolds that would allow multiple two-barrel carbs to be installed on a wide variety of OEM engines. In time, the "Big 3" created their own 3X2 setups: GM used the term "Tri-Power" while Mopar used "Six-Pack" or simply "6" and Ford called it "6V" with the "V" short for "Venturi".

Pros: Done right, "trips" could give a hot rodder "four barrel" performance with even better fuel mileage. What's more, they are rarer then other carb setups... so there's always the "cool factor".

Cons: Cost. More parts translates to higher costs on average. Also, the time it takes to build and "dial in" a typical set up. IMO, multi-carb setups separate the men from the boys when it comes to tuning engines.

Strange Fact: Chevrolet never released a Tri-Power manifold for the Small Block as a production item. However, Chevrolet did produce Tri-Power systems for the big blocks; the 348 "W" engine got a system with Rochester carbs, while the 427 Mark IV engine from '67 thru '69 could be ordered with triple Holleys.

Here is a short list of aftermarket Tri-Power manifolds:

Edelbrock 5419 (unpolished) and 54191 (polished)
Designed for 283-302-305-307-327-350-400 c.i.d. Chevy V8s. This manifold has a balanced 180 degree firing order port runner arrangement. It contains an exhaust gas heat riser and offers excellent performance potential. Carb center-to-center: 5-1/2".

Demon/Barry Grant "Six Shooter"
The Triple D Six Shooter from Demon is the ultimate intake package. It features an all new intake design, three newly designed 250 cfm carbs, electronic choke on center carb, custom fuel log and progressive linkage, a 3" tall air cleaner and custom water neck. TriPower like you have never seen it before!

Offenhauser 3287
Listed in the Offy catalog as a single-plane manifold for '55--'56 265. Available machined for 3-bolt flanges for Ford/Stromberg carbs; or with 4-bolt flanges for small Rochester carbs.

Offenhauser 3558
Listed in the Offy catalog as a single-plane manifold for 283, 327, 350, 400. Also available machined for 3-bolt flanges for Ford or Stromberg carbs, or 4-bolt flanges for small Rochester carbs.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Now That's Nifty

Vintage car parts as high-priced art? Let that sink in for a moment...

Before you dismiss the notion, let me introduce James Corbett. James, from Ningi, Queensland, Australia has been creating cleverly creative sculptures since 1999 when he decided that there might just be a market for re-purposed classic car parts.

Using inanimate car parts like hubcaps, gears, spark plugs, nuts, bolts, bearings, timing chains, radiators and transmission cases retrieved from junkyards and swap meets, James cleans, polishes and then welds them together creating lifelike, albeit shiny works of art. Cars, bikes, birds and animals are his most common creations and James says that nothing is ever bent into shape to create his artwork. He simply finds a part that "fits". I particularly am fond of the warthog (see picture below). Amazingly lifelike, it blends in some natural patina with a single orange-pigmented clutch plate on both flanks.

Take a look at the "wool" on that sheep below. It's actually hundreds of spark plugs, each individually welded to the sculpture, which also boasts a pair of actual car horns doubling as the sheep's horns. And if you look closely, you'll see the grille of a 1938 Desoto in James sculpture of an orangutan (see pictures below).

For more information on James Corbett, visit his site online at www.jamescorbettart.com.

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