THE 1952 Ford 6-cyl engine has overhead valves, a radical departure from the traditional L-head design. Reasons for taking this step are presented in this paper, together with an illustrated description of the new engine.
Although the L-head is not considered obsolete at this time, it is being discontinued because new types of fuel which probably will be available 10 years hence will make it impractical from a performance viewpoint. Tooling for the current L-head was being outdated rapidly, and changing conditions did not warrant expensive replacements which would not serve future needs.
Ford engineers have taken full advantage of modern design trends in an effort to produce a completely new engine in the 6-cyl class. Its many innovations and original features are fully considered in this paper.
The modern bore-stroke trend has been followed in designing a square engine, with a bigger bore and a shorter stroke. In one hour the piston travels only 12.2 miles, in comparison with 15 miles of travel in the L-head engine. The shorter stroke also brings about lighter bearing loads, both on connecting rods and main bearings.
The amount of time and effort expended in developing this new engine has been estimated at 100,000 man-hours, 50,000 dynamometer test hours, 500,000 vehicle test miles, and 200 test engines.