430 MEL in Grist Bros '41 Willys Coupe

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Re: 430 MEL in Grist Bros '41 Willys Coupe

Post by Grist Bros II » Sun 6. Mar 2011, 17:14

EdGrist wrote:I noticed the Hilborn injector pics posted by Chris Craft Crazy on the aftermarket induction thread are the same as were used on the Grist Bros MEL (pic above). I imagine a set of those would be a rare find indeed. I'm new to the forum/thread and am enjoying the posts.
Yep, Dad, it looks like I need to start searching the classifieds here and eBay for parts! Ha ha... welcome to the board, Dad.
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Re: 430 MEL in Grist Bros '41 Willys Coupe

Post by Theo » Sun 6. Mar 2011, 23:31

EdGrist wrote:I noticed the Hilborn injector pics posted by Chris Craft Crazy on the aftermarket induction thread are the same as were used on the Grist Bros MEL (pic above). I imagine a set of those would be a rare find indeed. I'm new to the forum/thread and am enjoying the posts.
Ed, welcome to the ford-mel-engine.com forum. Nice tzo see more MEL people coming together here. Things go a little slow sometimes. That's as much as a small niche community can get to. But the wait for responses and information is definitely worth it.
Again, welcome and enjoy.
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Re: 430 MEL in Grist Bros '41 Willys Coupe

Post by EdGrist » Mon 7. Mar 2011, 07:49

Not a problem Theo. Thanks for your work administering this site. It already has a lot of good information and has great potential to grow and get better. Keep up the great work.

I honestly do not know that much about the MEL, but would like to learn more. I was 13, back in 1964, when my dad and uncle sold the Willys. But, I remember they used this engine for 3 or 4 years. They were setting records and winning a lot of drag races, including the Winternationals at Pomona in 1961. When they first started using the MEL engine they spun bearings quite often. But, they got together with Ted Cyr and Leland Colb and learned to drill out the oil galleries allowing for more oil to flow to the bearings. They did this and the bearing problems went away. They started out with six two-barrell carbs, but with the help of Joe Reath, were able to put Hilborn injectors on. They were the first in NHRA's A/Gas (unblown) class to officially break the 10-second barrier and they did it with the MEL.

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Re: 430 MEL in Grist Bros '41 Willys Coupe

Post by Chris Craft crazy » Mon 7. Mar 2011, 16:29

It's really great to have you.... !!! Nice to see the history of MEL's come to life.
MEL Marine division... and if you thought MEL car parts were scarce....

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Re: 430 MEL in Grist Bros '41 Willys Coupe

Post by Theo » Tue 8. Mar 2011, 00:51

EdGrist wrote:............ they got together with Ted Cyr and Leland Colb and learned to drill out the oil galleries allowing for more oil to flow to the bearings. ........
Yepp,the old methods of improvement. I've done this w. several <fe engines in the past. BTW the revolving header of this forum shows a few shots of Ted Cyr in his dragster. You might want to take a look at an overview of those pics here. For Ted just scroll a little further down the page.
viewtopic.php?f=44&t=124

Thank you for the good words about this forum as a knowledge source. I think the problem w. the MEL is that younger people pick one of those obviously easier to handle and cheaper to build up engines like the Windsor, Cleveland, FE and the the other huge variety of GM engines.

Seeing a MEL powerd race car getting back to the strip is very exciting. Whenever you guys plan to let a MEL car put its' smell mark on the strip, let us please know.
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Re: 430 MEL in Grist Bros '41 Willys Coupe

Post by bhambulldog » Sun 13. Mar 2011, 16:00

Very cool! :shock: I'ld like to see more pictures of the car.
Thanks, for posting
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Re: 430 MEL in Grist Bros '41 Willys Coupe

Post by 430 6V » Tue 15. Mar 2011, 18:48

Really neat, having built / owned a '40 Willlys (blown 392 Chrysler) and being a Mel fan it this is just plain cool.

I recall seeing the one pic in my Supercharged Gas Coupes book not knowing the '59 Ford engine in the caption was a Mel.

Ted Cyr not only helped his bearings with the oil galley mods, he made a main girdle when the blocks started splitting above 800hp :mrgreen:

'Course he said they were shifting at 7000rpm on a 50% load of nitro. :mrgreen:

On a stock crank.

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Re: 430 MEL in Grist Bros '41 Willys Coupe

Post by Grist Bros II » Tue 15. Mar 2011, 19:01

bhambulldog wrote:Very cool! :shock: I'ld like to see more pictures of the car.
Thanks, for posting
There might be a couple more pictures floating around out there, but I don't have but maybe a couple more. I don't know of any other pictures of the engine either, other than in the magazine write-up. Maybe my Dad or Uncle has one.
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Re: 430 MEL in Grist Bros '41 Willys Coupe

Post by Grist Bros II » Tue 15. Mar 2011, 19:06

430 6V wrote:Really neat, having built / owned a '40 Willlys (blown 392 Chrysler) and being a Mel fan it this is just plain cool.

I recall seeing the one pic in my Supercharged Gas Coupes book not knowing the '59 Ford engine in the caption was a Mel.

Ted Cyr not only helped his bearings with the oil galley mods, he made a main girdle when the blocks started splitting above 800hp :mrgreen:

'Course he said they were shifting at 7000rpm on a 50% load of nitro. :mrgreen:

On a stock crank.
Which book are you referring to in regards to the clipping? I'm trying to make sure I have all of the sources in my "library".

I wish Willys weren't so darn expensive so I could build a repro of the Grist Bros Coupe. I hope to build an A/Gas car someday to race.

Thanks for your input and info. We love the support here!
Jeremy Grist
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1972 Maverick Sprint

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Re: 430 MEL in Grist Bros '41 Willys Coupe

Post by EdGrist » Tue 15. Mar 2011, 20:04

430 6V wrote:Really neat, having built / owned a '40 Willlys (blown 392 Chrysler) and being a Mel fan it this is just plain cool.

I recall seeing the one pic in my Supercharged Gas Coupes book not knowing the '59 Ford engine in the caption was a Mel.

Ted Cyr not only helped his bearings with the oil galley mods, he made a main girdle when the blocks started splitting above 800hp :mrgreen:

'Course he said they were shifting at 7000rpm on a 50% load of nitro. :mrgreen:

On a stock crank.
I like your last sentence ... "On a stock crank."

That was key. Dad and Uncle Ralph had a friend that had a blown MEL and wanted to run it in the Willys (he had built it to run in a '55 T-bird, but after that deal fell through he wanted to run it in the Willys). Here is my Uncle Ralph's recount of it, "Towards the end of our racing, a guy named Linde Billings had an engine with a blower. We only made few runs and never really got it tuned properly. The best run was well into the 10s with a speed around 134 mph as I recall. When starting it up for the 4th run it back fired and broke the front-end off the crankshaft. That was our experience with a blower."

Here is a little larger pic of the engine ... the only one I have.
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Engine-2.jpg

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