Ford Maverick V8 With Carb Lawn Mower Makes HP Very Low On Dyno

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Honestly, we don’t know if this is the final installment in the story of the old Ford Maverick and its frugal 5.0-liter V8 engine. Yes, we said economical, because this husky 1970s sedan has a carburetor from a lawn mower and hits over 40 miles per gallon on the highway. However, this latest video from ThunderHead289 shows the downside of that efficiency. How does 60 horsepower sound?

Just to recap, we came across this crazy experiment in early May. This 1974 Maverick was a test of sorts for its owner Luke Finley, who was also quite knowledgeable about engines and fuel systems. Apparently, someone told him he couldn’t get the carburetor of a small lawnmower to work on an old-school V8 pushrod. So he did, and it actually worked really well. In fact, he and his dad rode a Maverick on the Hot Rod Power Tour recently, covering over 1,000 miles on a tiny carb that dispenses drop-by-drop gasoline.

That brings us to the video, as we finally learn the downside of completely eliminating the fuel economy of the new Honda Civic with an old Ford V8. Strapped to a mobile dyno during the power tour, the Maverick’s mighty engine delivers a whopping – wait for it – 59.7 horsepower to the wheels. The engine worked at around 3,500 rpm during the pull, at which point there was nothing left to give. The dyno chart shows peak power at a very low 2,300 rpm, with a peak torque of 138 pound-feet hitting 2,125 rev. At least the available power is lit at low engine speed.

This is where the irony comes in. Some quick calculations tell us the engine should make about 85-90 hp at the crankshaft. That’s roughly the same power you’d find in a mid-1970s Ford Maverick straight from the factory, equipped with an entry-level inline-six engine. So basically, a small lawnmower carb turns this modified V8 Maverick into a stock I6 model, only with better fuel economy. And with a quick carburetor swap, you’re back to tire grill moron style, ’70s style.

Of course, Finley didn’t just attach a tiny carburetor to the engine and call it done. In addition to creating custom adapters and throttle links, he modified various parts of the fuel delivery system and added real-time monitoring applications to adjust the air-fuel ratio. And while it worked pretty well, he kept emphasizing that it was impractical.

Its mission is to prove that it can be done. And for that purpose, we would say that the mission was well and truly accomplished.


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