Lincoln Y-block V8 engine

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Lincoln Y-block V8
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Model years 1952-1963
Body and chassis
Class Big-block[1] OHV V8
Predecessor Flathead V8
Successor Ford MEL V8
Ford Super Duty engine

The Lincoln Y-block V8 engine, Ford's earliest OHV V8 engine, was introduced by Lincoln in the 1952 model year.[2] Like the later (and better-known) Ford Y-block engine, its deep skirts made the block resemble the letter Y from the front.[3] This development was arguably in response to the sales success of the competing Oldsmobile "Rocket" and Cadillac OHV V8 engines introduced in their respective 1949 models as well as the need for larger and more powerful truck engines. The basic engine design was produced through 1963.[4] It was replaced by the newer MEL engine for car applications in 1958,[2] and was gradually replaced by the larger Ford Super Duty engine, which had also been introduced in 1958, for heavy duty truck applications.


A 279 cu in (4.6 L) version of the Lincoln Y-block was introduced for heavy duty truck applications for one year only during the 1954 model year.[4] The engine had a bore of 3.562 in (90 mm) and a stroke of 3.500 in (89 mm).[4][5][6]


The 302 cu in (4.9 L) version of the Lincoln Y-block was used for heavy duty truck applications from the 1955 through the 1963 model year.[4] The engine had a bore of 3.625 in (92 mm) and a stroke of 3.660 in (93 mm).[4][5][6] Power output was 196 hp (146 kW).[7] The engine was optional equipment on the Ford T-700 Series and standard equipment on the Ford F-750, C-750, and B-750 Series heavy duty trucks.[7]


The first generation Y-block was actually the 317 cu in (5.2 L). It replaced the undersquare 337 cu in (5.5 L) Flathead V8 on all Lincolns in the 1952 model year.[2] The new engine was oversquare (meaning the bore was greater than the stroke) as was rapidly becoming the fashion, with a bore of 3.800 in (97 mm) and a stroke of 3.500 in (89 mm).[3][4][5][6] Power output was just 160 hp (119 kW) that first year, but was increased to 205 hp (153 kW) the next year with higher compression, larger intake valves, a Holley four-barrel carburetor, improved intake and exhaust, and a hotter camshaft.[3] The engine was unchanged in 1954 except for the vacuum advance mechanism with the power output remaining the same.[3] These engines used the same solid valve lifters used in truck engines, and were to power the "Mexican Road Race Lincolns". The 317 was replaced by the 341 for automobile applications in the 1955 model year.[2] Like the 279, the 317 was also used in heavy duty truck applications for the 1954 model year only.[4]

Powered by the 317, Lincolns won the top four spots in the Stock Car category of the Pan American Road Race in both 1952 and 1953.[2] In 1954 (its final year) Lincolns took first and second place.[2]


The 332 cu in (5.4 L) version of the Lincoln Y-block was used for heavy duty truck applications from the 1955 through the 1963 model year.[4] The engine had a bore of 3.800 in (97 mm) and a stroke of 3.660 in (93 mm).[4][5][6] Power output was 212 hp (146 kW).[7] The engine was standard equipment on the Ford F-800, F-900, T-750, T-800, C-800, and C-900 Series heavy duty trucks.[7]


The displacement of the 317 was increased to 341 cu in (5.6 L) with a 3.940 in (100.1 mm) bore.[3][4][5][6] 225 hp (168 kW) and 332 ft.lbf (450 Nm) was produced, a major update.[3] The engine was used on Lincolns in the 1955 model year only.[2]


The bore of the 341 was increased to 4.000 in (101.6 mm) and the stroke was increased as well, to 3.660 in (93 mm) for 1956's 368 cu in (6.0 L) Lincoln Y-block V8.[3][4][5][6] Output was 285 hp (213 kW) and 402 ft.lbf (545 Nm).[3] In 1957 horsepower increased to 300 hp (224 kW) with 415 ft.lbf (563 Nm) of torque but the Lincoln still lagged in horsepower and torque behind the Chrysler Hemi 392, used on the Imperial, Chrysler New Yorker and 300C, and in horsepower behind the 3-2bbl version of the Cadillac 365, used on the Eldorado.[3] The 368 was standard equipment on all Lincolns in the 1956 and 1957 model years.[2] In its final year (1957) it also became standard equipment on the Mercury Turnpike Cruiser and Colony Park, and optional equipment on the Mercury Montclair, Monterey, Voyager and Commuter.[2]

Lincoln Y-block engine family[edit]

Displacement Bore Stroke Power Torque Years Usage
279 3.562 in (90.5 mm) 3.500 in (88.9 mm) 152 hp (113 kW) 246 lb·ft (334 N·m) 1954 Ford heavy duty trucks
302 3.625 in (92.1 mm) 3.660 in (93.0 mm) 196 hp (146 kW) 1955-1963 Ford heavy duty trucks
317 3.800 in (96.5 mm) 3.500 in (88.9 mm) 160–205 hp (119–153 kW) 284–305 lb·ft (385–414 N·m) 1952-1954 Lincoln and Ford HD trucks
332 3.800 in (96.5 mm) 3.660 in (93.0 mm) 212 hp (158 kW) 1955-1963 Ford heavy duty trucks
341 3.940 in (100.1 mm) 3.500 in (88.9 mm) 225 hp (168 kW) 332 lb·ft (450 N·m) 1955 Lincoln
368 4.000 in (101.6 mm) 3.660 in (93.0 mm) 285–300 hp (213–224 kW) 402–415 lb·ft (545–563 N·m) 1956-1957 Lincoln and Mercury

Big-block or medium-block?[edit]

Although frequently misclassified as a medium-block, the Lincoln Y-block is a big-block V8 engine in size.[1] This is no doubt due to its relatively modest largest attained 368 cu in (6.0 L)[3][5] displacement rather than to the actual engine block dimensions. Although the bore spacing is relatively modest at 4.630 in (117.6 mm),[5][8] the deck height of 10.940 in (277.9 mm)[5] is greater than any gasoline powered V8 with the exception of the 11.250 in (285.8 mm) deck height of the Ford Super Duty engine, which gradually replaced the Lincoln Y-block for use on heavy duty trucks.[5]

A useful comparison is the Oldsmobile V8 engine which came in both a small-block and a big-block version from 1965-1976.[3] Both blocks have a bore spacing of 4.625 in (117.5 mm),[3][5] almost exactly the same as the Lincoln Y-block, but the two blocks differ in deck height with the small-block having a deck height of 9.330 in (237.0 mm),[3][5] and the big-block having a deck height of 10.625 in (269.9 mm).[3][5] Thus it is safe to say the Lincoln Y-block has a larger engine block than the Oldsmobile "big-block." On the other hand the Ford FE engine, with the same 4.630 in (117.6 mm) bore spacing[5][9] as the Lincoln Y-block, has a deck height of 10.170 in (258.3 mm).[5][9] Thus one can legitimately claim that the FE is a "medium-block."

So, similarly to the Packard V8, another engine with a big-block[5] despite relatively small displacements (its greatest displacement was 374 cu in (6.1 L)),[3][5] the Lincoln Y-Block probably has a great deal of unrealized displacement potential. But whereas the Packard engine came to an end before its potential could be realized (it has the potential for 500 cu in (8.2 L) or more)[3] because of the demise of the Packard Motor Car Company, the Lincoln Y-block came to an end because it was replaced by engines with even greater potential, namely the Ford MEL engine, which although possessing a somewhat lower deck height of 10.482 in (266.2 mm), has a much larger bore spacing of 4.900 in (124.5 mm),[5][10] and the Ford Super Duty engine which has a monumental bore spacing of 5.250 in (133.4 mm).[5][6] Evidently Ford had changed its mind about fundamentally undersquare engine designs.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (1999). Great American Convertibles. Publications International, Ltd. ISBN 0-78532-981-1. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kowalke, Ron (1997). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975. Krause publications. ISBN 0-87341-521-3. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Peter C Sessler (1999). Ultimate American V8 Engine Data Book. MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 0-7603-0489-0. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "LINCOLN Y-Block 279-302-332-317-341-368". Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Master Engine Data Table". Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Guides: Ford V-8 Engine Families--A Primer". Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  7. ^ a b c d "1957 Ford Trucks Brochure". Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  8. ^ Des Hammill (2011). Ford Cleveland 335-Series V8 Engine 1970 to 1982. Veloce Publishing PLC. ISBN 1-84584-349-5. 
  9. ^ a b Barry Rabotnick (2010). How to Build Max-Performance Ford FE Engines (Performance How to). S-A Design. ISBN 1-934709-15-8. 
  10. ^ Paul D. Smith (2009). Merchants of Speed: The Men Who Built America's Performance Industry. Motorbooks. ISBN 0-7603-3567-2. 

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