How fast is too fast?

TKellyTKelly Posts: 9Member
Hi guys,
I am getting to the last stages of restoring my '26 Essex and I'm wondering what sort of speed the engine will handle.

If I can cruise at 45MPH I'll be happy but from what I can work out the engine will need to be sitting on about 2500RPM I've been told that if the engine is revved too high it doesn't lubricate the big ends properly and then melts them. I do not know if there is any truth to the matter but I wouldnt like to test it either.

So what speeds do you guys cruise at when your out and about in your Essex's? 

Cheers, Tristan. 

Comments

  • ernie28ernie28 Posts: 507Expert Adviser
    Comfortable cruising in my 28 and 29 is 40-42mph. The engine gets a tone that says its happy at that.

    Alistair Howard,

    http://het.org.nz/

    1928 Essex Coach 

    1929 Essex Coupe

    1950 Hudson Pacemaker

  • ESSX28-1ESSX28-1 Posts: 1,389Senior Contributor
    My 28 E Coupe with a high speed Essex 4 diff fitted is comfortable at 45mph .
    Using 10 or 15w40 oil helps to keep oil flowing around the big end bearings. I last blew a big end whilst using 20w50 oil & got told off by the engine rebuilder for using too heavy an oil although he did honour the guarantee & replaced the blown big end..
    Dave Y New Zealand
  • TKellyTKelly Posts: 9Member
    Thanks for the tip regarding engine oil I'm currently running a 10 - 50w but I may go down a grade next time I change the oil (the engine is barely run in after a rebuild).

    Ernie have you ever pushed either of your cars up to 45 for any length of time? 
  • ernie28ernie28 Posts: 507Expert Adviser
    edited December 2020
    Yes, but not for extended periods at all. I figure that I have spent time and money getting them mechanically sound that I dont want to push them too hard and have to end up having to repair for the sake of a few MPH. The enjoyment is in the journey!

    Re the oil - David and I differ in our view here. I have run Penrite HPR30 oil (20W-60) for many years without issue which was recommended to me for the old engines. Maybe if I pushed it harder / faster I would have problems? Who knows, but I do not intend to try and find out. :smile: The HPR has served me well to date so I will just carry on.

    Alistair Howard,

    http://het.org.nz/

    1928 Essex Coach 

    1929 Essex Coupe

    1950 Hudson Pacemaker

  • TKellyTKelly Posts: 9Member
    Ernie, that is a fair point and I can see where you're coming from I have got relatively big dollars invested in the engine hence why I'm trying to find its safe limits.

    Thats interesting what you say in regards to the oil I've currently got HPR 10 in the Essex maybe I will stick with it.

    Cheers, Tristan. 
  • ESSX28-1ESSX28-1 Posts: 1,389Senior Contributor
    On a 250 mile run I took the Coupe up to 60 mph for a while. It went well but blew a big end bearing later that day (coincidence?)

    Dave Y New Zealand
  • TKellyTKelly Posts: 9Member
    Any idea what sort of RPM the engine was doing at 60?
  • ESSX28-1ESSX28-1 Posts: 1,389Senior Contributor
    No idea of the RPM at 60 but the Essex 4 diff gives me about a 12% drop in engine revs over the usual diff if you want to do the maths.

    Dave Y New Zealand
  • TKellyTKelly Posts: 9Member
    I have done the maths and come up with and engine speed of approx 3200 RPM so possibly about 3000RPM is its limit.
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 4,424Senior Contributor
    I had a short stroke engine in my Essex for some years, and it's most comfortable speed was 42 m.p.h.    You will learn to fly by the seat of of your pants.   Don't expect too much, it's over 90 years old!
    If you're stuck in a hole, stop digging.
  • tigermothtigermoth Posts: 470Expert Adviser
    What’s the rush? You have the car to enjoy the experience..why race around to shorten the fun?

    regards, Tom
  • hudsonsplasher1hudsonsplasher1 Posts: 781Senior Contributor
    My 28 would cruise comfortable between 35 and 40. Things get pretty busy in there over that. Don't blow it up. They have a low gear rear end.

  • AndrewB55AndrewB55 Posts: 5Member
    Also worth considering is how you stop the car from 45 mph with two wheel brakes when someone cuts in front of you in traffic. I like sitting on 35 mph in my Essex, though it hasn't done long trips yet, so have never felt the need to go faster.
  • Nevada HudsonNevada Hudson Posts: 1,227Senior Contributor
    Geoff said:
    I had a short stroke engine in my Essex for some years, and it's most comfortable speed was 42 m.p.h.    You will learn to fly by the seat of of your pants.   Don't expect too much, it's over 90 years old!

    I go by what Geoff says.
  • ToddhToddh Posts: 258Member
    I drive my ‘34 Terraplane generally between 45 and 60. With a 4:11 rear it seems most comfortable at 50 to 55
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 4,424Senior Contributor
    The Essex rear end ratio is 5.6:1, so  about 30% higher revving than a Terraplane, taking wheel size into consideration. 
    If you're stuck in a hole, stop digging.
  • ValVal Posts: 1,058Member
    While not and essex  my 39 six I have had up to 65 but not for very long. Usually 45 to 55 she is and I are most comfortable. 212 CID  3spd W/OD
  • BigSkyBigSky Posts: 995Senior Contributor
    I’ve had my 37’s 212ci up to 91mph last fall & she’ll cruise down the interstate with out a problem.  No overdrive but rear end gears at 3.5.

    Video of the 91 mph run:
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 4,424Senior Contributor
    All very well, but the original question was about a 1926 Essex. 
    If you're stuck in a hole, stop digging.
  • Old Fogey UKOld Fogey UK Posts: 909Expert Adviser
    I agree with comments about not pushing old engines too far.
     I had to surrender my spare block to the man who gave it to me after he had tried to find out how fast his Railton would go and put a rod through his block at about 85 mph.
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