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See Homepage. This page: A Willment-modified Ford 100E/300E 1172cc featuring an I.O.E. Powermaster cylinder head etc.

Ford 300E with race-modified 100E engine.

Quite a number of 1950s/1960s engine tuning companies are now included in this section. This page, prompted by some great photographs sent over by George, features a much-modified Ford that has been fitted with the Willment Power Master cylinder head, and numerous other modifications. The head featured overhead inlet valves (IOE - Inlet Over Exhaust), but retained the side exhaust valves, and was designed to fit the 100E Ford engine that was installed as standard in numerous 100E Ford variants. Power outputs of modified engines depended very much on the other work undertaken to them, with anywhere between 60 bhp and 70 bhp being common.
The head alone, fitted with the standard manifolds and carburettor, raised the power output to 48 bhp. Fitting twin Solex carburettors, a pair of which can be seen in George's photos below, upped the output to around 63 bhp, while the extractor manifold and sports exhaust fitted to this particular 300E van would have seen the output somewhere north of 70 bhp, some gain over the basic 1172cc engine's 36 bhp. No wonder this van had, in a previous life, been used for racing, as George recalls:

The Willment Power Master conversion.

"Way back in the early 1960's I bought a 300E van that had been converted to an estate. It had been the property of a member of the Everard family (a well-known brewing and County family in Leicestershire). He had used it as a circuit / tarmac racer. Consequently it had been modified quite heavily. The Willment cylinder head was the star of the show, complete with freeflow exhaust, and twin Solex carbs (ex-Jaguar 2.4 Mk2). The spark plugs were I think 10mm, and a very 'cold' or racing grade. This meant that they needed VERY regular cleaning, I never did find an alternative warmer running plug, and this was pre 'multi-grade' spark plugs."
"At the time the Jaguar E type had 2 plug grades recommended, one for town use and one for out of town use! Shell had a special premium grade fuel at the time which cut down on plug fouling and gave some some help with this problem. Another problem in this general area was that you had to remove the distributor to get the two middle plugs in and out."
"The carburation was interesting as the cold start / choke was inoperative (I can't remember why I didn't fix it) and starting meant giving the correct number of pumps on the accelerator, to get the accelerator pump to dump the correct amount of fuel into the manifold, being mindful of the narrow gap between not enough fuel and flooding the engine, both being a no-start condition. I suspect the carbs had not been re-jetted as the amount put out by the accelerator pumps was generous to say the least. Don't forget ignition systems needed a richish mixture to get reliable ignition in those days and many a flatspot was cured by feeding the engine more petrol."
"Another uncured problem was the oil feed to the rocker. Never did get it sorted, but topping up the engine oil by pouring it over the rockers seemed to do enough to prevent any obvious problems."
Photographs of George's 300E (van version of the 100E saloon) now follow:
The Ford on a garage ramp, the add-on rear radius arms can be seen.
The modified Ford on a garage ramp
The modified 100E engine, fitted with the (ex-Jaguar) Solex carbs. George adds: "Engine compartment seen from offside, twin Solex carbs and inlet manifold are chief items on this side of engine. Note also electric wiper motor and sound deadening of plastic foam."
Willment Power Master IOE engine conversion
"Engine seen from the nearside. Items of note:- Free flow exhaust manifold and twin rocker boxes covering inlet valves and valve gear. Convoluted top hose does not interfere with cooling of engine despite odd shape."
Race-tuned engine
"Underside of gearbox with overdrive. Also shown is part of the exhaust system."
100E with overdrive gearbox conversion
"...shows nearside anti-tramp arm on the rear axle. This stops axle *wind up* under hard acceleration, and gives a smoother take-off under power."
Rear radius arms

More memories of this Ford hot-rod.

George contacted me again, with some more memories of owning this race-prepared 300E van...
"I bought this vehicle off the local Ford dealer. I think the salesman, who had taken it in part-ex, couldn't believe his luck that someone actually wanted to buy it. How much did I pay? Haven't the faintest - probably too much knowing me and motors. The first problem was the petrol filler cap. Eventually it was found under the floor in the rear (racing regulations?)."
The usual 3 speed box was fitted with a Laycock DeNormanville overdrive. Conventionally these were fitted to give a higher more relaxed top gear. In this case there there were no inhibitors to prevent its use in any of the forward gears. Voila, a 6-speed 'box ,and at the touch of a switch the OD shifts could be done at full throttle! (I think the early Austin Healey's had a similar arrangement). It seems that these ODs are still made in the USA somewhere. There was also available a manually-operated OD available for the 100E, but you needed three hands to get the best from it, and no full throttle shifts."
Although the vehicle would certainly GO, STOPPING was an entirely different matter. Small, two-leading shoe drum brakes are not a reliable recipe for stopping or even slowing from highish speeds. I never could afford any fade-resistant linings. An example of the foolishness of this false economy happened one day as I kept close company with a then-modern sports car down a longish, straight, dual carriageway section that ended in a roundabout, that gave a choice of forking left or straightlining the roundabout. Very quickly my brakes fried, but thankfully the other driver was very much on the ball and he forked left leaving me to straightline the roundabout. On the other hand it was great fun to outdrag the Zephyrs and suchlike at the 30 limit boundary."
At the other end of the spectrum of driving this vehicle was the time a large chauffeur-driven Daimler drew up alongside at the lights and the sole, gold-braided, be-sworded passenger indicated that I should wind down my window. He wanted to know how I was getting on with "his" car. Car nuts!!! All the same - even if they are the Lord Lieutenant of the County."
My thanks to George for sending over the information regarding his much-modified Ford. Do any photos survive of the van during its competition life?

IOE engine conversions.

The Power-Master IOE conversion was designed by Ford tuning guru Bob Yeats, of Willment Speedshop Limited of Brentford, Middlesex. Elva Cars Limited also produced a similar conversion for the 100E motor. The merits of such a modification are discussed in P.J. Stephens' book from 1960, titled "Ford Specials"...
The advantages to be gained from fitting this type of head are numerous. Firstly, each inlet valve has its own port (instead of the theoretically inefficient siamezed port arrangement of the standard head). Secondly, the inlet valves may be almost any size and therefore they can be made to the most efficient diameter. And thirdly, the porting is almost a direct flow into the combustion chamber.
Both types of IOE head available are basically similar in design, although they possess detail differences. The original inlet port is blanked off with a special loose insert lightly ground-in to the old valve seat and drilled to take a single push-rod operated by the normal camshaft. This rod actuates the rocker arm which in turn opens the valve in the same way as a normal, all overhead-valve, gear. The rocker gear itself is arranged in pairs for cylinders 1 and 2/3 and 4 and oil is fed to the rocker shafts by a T-pipe tapping from the oil gallery.
The fact that the inlet valves are in the cylinder head permits the sparking plugs to be positioned directly over the exhaust valves, which is their most efficient position. The inlet valves are then positioned in the centre of the combustion chamber where they will suffer least from heat.
The power increase which may be expected from the fitting of one of these cylinder heads is formidable, although it must be pointed out that they are not allowed under the 1172 Formula and therefore, the best plan to adopt if using a head of this kind, is to sleeve the engine down to 1,100cc and then race in the 1100 class. In fact, if the standard cylinder head is merely replaced by an IOE conversion, the increase in power output, if used on a 100E engine, is about equal to that which might be confidently expected from an engine fully tuned within the 1172 Formula regulations. In other words, it should give between 45 and 50 bhp. Sixty bhp is available if two large bore SU carburetters are fitted, together with an efficient dual-carburetter manifold, and with a special racing camshaft and light alloy flywheel figures in excess of 72 bhp have been recorded.
The cost of fitting an IOE cylinder head works out at around UKP 60 complete with all minor parts and there is no doubt that it is a quick and simple way to find real power. Although it is not cheap, the total cost of an engine with this conversion and tuned to the maximum, probably works out at less pounds-sterling per bhp than any other power unit.
Kit of parts for this conversion

Powermaster advert.

The following advertisement for the Powermaster conversion dates to the autumn of 1959. At the time, the owner of a 100E would have to pay either UKP 57 or UKP 60 depending on whether a single or twin manifold was required, which tallies with the previous statement regarding pricing found in the P.J. Stephens book on Ford tuning. I like the telephone number the firm was using, POPesgrove 3612.
Willment advertisement from 1959
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