454 Peanut Port Food for thought

Oh boy …

93 K3500 with a “peanut ported” 454. You know the one. All of 230 HP, about 7.5 compression ratio etc etc.

Surprisingly gutless under load. Other than that, indestructible. The lower ends on these things are super strong and you can easily add 300 or more HP and not stress it at all. The TBS makes it a failure when you start talking gasification…

But wait, maybe not. Want to throw some stuff out to you and see what you think. First off I will tell you to build this motor that I am talking about will easily set you back 3 grand or more but hey, how bad you want it?

Domed pistons can easily bump the compression ratio up 9.5 or higher with no concern for valve impact or detonation on regular fuel. A standard RV cam upgrade can add another 50 to 75 hp and if you were to take the TBS off and install say a 750 or 800 Holley 4BBL and dual plane intake manifold you could easily bump up against 400 HP on pump gas.

I got Waynes book Saturday, can you tell? (lol)

Now, the big kahuna. TBS sucks and for all the reasons everyone says using it for gasification is just out of the question. What if you tossed the whole intake system? There are aftermarket MPFI systems for that motor that are completely configurable that make use of the stock distributor. That means you can advance the crap out of the timing if you needed too. This system could even be programmed to learn as you drive through the various sensors that get installed (like MAP, 02, etc.)

Take a peek. https://www.summitracing.com/parts/edl-35830/make/chevrolet

This would NOT be my first project as it would require a lot more expertise than I have right now but it sure is food for thought. As time passes, and the governments get more tyrannical, we will need to keep up with the curve on available vehicles for this tech.

Plus I really like my 93 K3500 4X4 Dually monster of a truck and I’m not ready to give it up because it only gets 10 MPG.

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In this day and age you cannot talk about Carbs without being confined to a small space at the Museum of Natural History, William. Here’s a little factoid for you. Despite the shift to fuel injection in the Pro Stock class of NHRA they have not get been able to exceed the HP they got from carbed engines. Close but not there yet.

I have that engine you describe sitting in a 65 K-20 sitting out in my back 10. It’s just something I picked up to replace the wrecked engine that was in that truck when it was used for hill climbs and mud drags, so I’ll be glad to play in your thread. Not that I can provide much DOW insight since I’m a GOC ( generator on charcoal) guy right now.


I can’t speak to quality or performance of the Edelbrock systems, but I can see them for sale used locally a lot of places. That isn’t a good sign in my book, the atomic efi I find used often as well. But the holly sniper and fitech? The one im searching for? I never see used, that tells me people prefer them over the others. As far as woodgassing that motor of course you will have gains with compression bump and timing, but bear in mind I think I am the only one using a aftermarket aggressive cam on woodgas and it hurts the bottom end idle qualitys with lack of steady engine vacuum. The rv cam would be the way to go I think and my truck will get one swapped in later down the road. I think I am also the first person to woodgas a healthy street motor Instead of something stock-ish for there first project and Wayne advised me to start with something stock to get a real picture of what wood to shaft power can do, then upgrade from there. I do wish I would have listened to him I think my perception of usable power would be different from how I see it in my truck. But I also read many times over the best vehicle to woodgas is the one you have, so that’s what I went with. Many of our other side of the pond DOERS are running significantly smaller displacement engines in there highly regulated country’s, and ya it’s not a tire burning street monster but I don’t think that is what woodgas is about. I came here with a mindset to replace gasoline. That I find now is the wrong attitude, woodgas is at best a compromise for gasoline, that frees you from the pump the money draining taxes, at your time investment and patience cost. I am very happy to cruise my V8 mini truck at 60mph, the enjoyment it brings me to pass the gas stations right now is immense. Just a friendly reminder, don’t get caught thinking woodgas can replace gasoline or get caught chasing the power and torque.Dont get me wrong I love boiling tires off the rim and the smell of tire smoke gets me fired up, but it’s even better to save thousands of dollars at the pump and enjoy driving a big v8. Here is Wayne’s words for gasification that best describes what I have found to be true, I am now free from the ball and chain


I started to have a discussion with Bruce Duel Fuel about what might be the optimum wood gas engine and he suggested talking about Small Block Chevy’s because I have some experience with them. I think it would be good to move that discussion into the open if only for giggles. But since this thread is about 454’s I’ll say something that can be applied to any engine. Any change precipitates another change and that precipitates another and on and on. As a case in point I’ll tell about my mud truck engine. I paid 5 grand for a 454 out of a wrecked 1970 Chevelle street/strip car. From the factory they were rated at 450 HP. This one had ported and polished heads and was bumped up to 12.5 to 1. The only change I made was swapping out the flat tappet solid lifter cam for a Crane solid roller. I did not change the valve springs or rockers and I believe that’s what led to it’s demise. My son over revved it and it made some very bad noises and bit the dust. A valve train is multiple components, each requiring specific design parameters. You can’t change a cam without matching it to a specific valve spring tension and rocker ratio. Cheaping out a few hundred bucks was a big error. In essence we took a non-interference engine and made it an interference one.


All great stuff and I agree with all of it. As far as the cam goes. changing to an RV cam only amounts to small changes to the cam profile and will have no effect on tolerances or required spring tensions needed to perform. The only thing I would do would be to install new cam bearings as well as new stock Hydraulic lifters. The idle won’t change noticeably and should have no effect on available vacuum at idle.
Also, the “peanut port” heads that no one likes has a purpose that most are unaware of. The flow characteristics force the torque curve to come on early and flatten out and the only trade off is a little high end RPM. Chevy did that by design.
12.5 to 1 compression would be too high and would cause noticeably increased engine detonation. I am pretty sure I can get everything I need, including proper valve clearance by staying below 10. Domed pistons to replaced the flat tops would easily take care of this as well as improving fuel swirl in the combustion chamber.
By spending the money to install the aftermarket MPFI system I can eliminate the dreaded fuel drip that Wayne talks about plus the aftermarket system will allow me to advance the timing angle to whatever I need it to be to properly utilize the wood gas. I am aware that carbs (I really like the Predator single throat BTW) produce more HP but the difference is minimal, especially when we’re tossing 25% to 30% out the window to start with.
Here’s a photo of the truck. This is part of my business on the coast. People pay me to move their RV’s all the time. I need to be able to pull them and this requires torque. I also need the full bed space especially turning when I have a full size unit attached to the 5th wheel plate. No room for the gasifier.
My idea is to REMOVE the extended cab in it’s entirety from the truck and replace it with a standard cab. It will bolt right up. By doing this I will have a space between the bed and the cab where the gasifier unit could be installed.

It would be unique to say the least.


Marcus was talking about dumbing down the cam in his because the lift and duration of the current one isn’'t providing enough vacuum to allow it to idle well. 12.5 to 1 is not to high for a WG engine. I haven’t had a chance to explore it yet but what we don’t seem to know for sure is what flame path WG takes in the cylinder. I think with a low energy fuel like WG that a domed piston would be a problem unless you could perhaps double up the plugs. I would really like to see the guy on Project Farm run WG in his visible cylinder head. I am thinking the solution to increasing Compression and power is some type of boost. WG doen’t care about MPFI. The guys running engines with it do so because it’s part of the whole OBD system and the computer seems more capable of adjusting timing than you could with a cable tied distributor. I agree with you about the heads being designed for better low end torque but because you are burning WG at a one to one stoichiometric ratio you need to get a lot more of it in and out. Better flowing heads and exhaust would be a benefit. I may not be right about anything but I’m enjoying myself regardless.


Joni’s Opel has a 12:1 compression via shaved head.l, but he exclusively runs woodgas and doesn’t even start up on gasoline.


Well help me keep bugging him! I hassle him about this every video, hell if I lived closer to him I would volunteer my truck as the gas producer I want to see it so bad!!


Exactly Cody.
You’all just forget about the “woodgas burns slower” oft repeated crap.
Yes I did say crap’ola.
Open air burn speeds mean near to nothing about how a fuel will burn under compression pressures, squeezing loads, and enclosed turbulences. Then you have the cylinder walls and combustion chamber heat promoting increasing ionization rates.

Real life experiences teaches in a thousand ways that only real use testing proved out what is really happening.

Just try firearms cartridges reloading to find this out!!! Over 100 different propellant powers made up and offered for different IN-Cartridge/in-firearms burning rate/pressure rises. Use the power manufactures loading books or risk dangerous over pressure spikes. Or a bullet stuck in the barrel. With the next one shoved up sticking worse or barrel blowing up.

At 19 I hired on into a small rural town big mobile home factory. Fresh off of the dairy farms. A foreman eyeballed my working and chose me, himself, and one other guy to try and show management that a good three-man crew could out work/produce a 4-5-6 man throw-any-body-at-it crew. We made up the R.H. 40-66 foot mobile-home side walls. They made the L.H. 40-66 foot side walls. The factory goal was 8 completed units a day. Our hustling, smart working crew could. No other ones could.
Ha! Then they switched us from R.H. to L.H. figuring maybe the kitchen and plumbing side would show a difference. Nope. Willing, hard, quality workers outshine I-Am-A-Body-Here workers.
That foreman quit. Unable to prove paying more for quality workers could beat out the just throw more bodies at it.

Sheee . . . same old story boosted pressurizing engines is just throwing more molecules bodies at it.
The new factory mini-engined high-boosted cars flat will not last as long as the earlier, larger, less stressed engined cars. Period.
The Gov’Mint’s does not want you driving vehicles for decades. Kill’em off with road salts.
The manufacturers do not want us using vehicles for decades. Plastics in hot cooling systems do not last GM and BMW and others!!
And the money people certainty do not want us to NOT have to come back begging to them every 3-5 years for $$,$$$ of finacing.

You do for you what is best for you. Screw all of them. Pay cash. Buy the best of used. Keep it going as long as you can get parts, make parts, adapt over parts.
Steve Unruh


Hear, hear, What Steve is saying, in the long run it will put extra monies into your pocket for sure. The last new vehicle I bought was a 2003 Dodge Ram, 4.7 L no good to put the wood gas to. Plastic intake, ODB3
The engine not a Push Rod Dodge engine. I have not had any trouble with the engine but it would have been nice to have wood gased it.


I’m a little confused SU. Are you saying that using some sort of boost has no valid use for WG? If so, please explain before I go all-lay awake at 3AM thinking of ways to create cheap pressure. Also modern small engine cars are designed for rpm. The more times a rotating assemble flops up and down the more overall friction it endures. Friction eventually wears stuff out. Even pressure takes it’s toll. An old hit or miss, super low rpm, low compression engine will run practically forever.


Here is the big problem in modern wood gas vehicle driving. Traveling SPEED. In the 1940’s 65 to 85 mph speed limits on road unheard of on roads. No super freeways of 6 lanes going each way at high speeds. Yes we like and want to go fast. So manufacturers make engines to go fast. They change the good woodgas characteristics in the engine to do this.
People wanting better gas mileage. Again the good wood gas engine characteristics changed. The fuels were changed also in doing this.
Believe me the oil Lords know about Wood Gasification and it is not in their best interests that the people do it. This is Why after the second world war the order went out to get rid of all remembering of wood gasification. I am so glad people did not listen to the oil lords of that day and have been keeping the knowledge alive to this day and time. Basically the 1999 engines and older engines are better for wood gas engines with some exceptions.


That’s one reason why I have some confidence in my 2011 4.3 WT. Yes it’s new computerized but it’s the same Battle-axe of GM, the 350ci little brother. Since it’s a WT it doesn’t have as much fancy stuff as say a 2011 Tahoe with a 4.3 with Active Fuel Management etc


Hey TomH
My 2005 Toyota Camery 2.5L DODC I-4 cruises 60 mph at 1800 rpm. Four valve design.
The Wifes 2014 DOHC V-6 Ford cruises 60 mph at 1800 rpm. Four valve design.
Our recently bought 2017 GMC 3500 box van 6.0L. (38xish something CID) PUSHROD two valve V-8 cruises 60 mph at 1800 rpm.
So . . . low using rpm is still pretty common.
None of these need turbo charging to do their jobs.

Now my younger sister is on her 2nd Ford F150 since 2015. Both have been small highly dual turbochargers 2.7L DOHC, four valve V-6’s. Both with irritating stop-start systems.
I’ll find and load up the I Do Cars guys tear-down video on these Ford Eco-Boosts rpls’s.
Ford why the whole turbo-charged Eco-boosts, eh?
CAFE Federal hurdles to hump up over.
US, EU mandated grams/per mile/kilometer of exhaust carbons emission. LESS fuel used, less exhaust carbon. Completely combusted CO2 counts by their standards as carbons pee-loot-chon.
Longnevity gets thrown out the window. It becomes a non-factor.

Actually for longevity in service which of these are going to make it to 300,000 mile??
The Toyota because it is one of the better Toyota’s (they’ve had loser designs too oil sludgers: late 90’s 4 & 6 cylinder engines).
The GMC 6.0L. will make it to 300K. Ha! You know this. You own one of these LS engines.
Wifes Ford Edge with the long, long timing chain driven water pump is now seeping coolant internally into the engine oil at 160,000 miles. Sheee . . . planned, forced vehicle replacement.
Her previous DOHC four valve Hyundia V-6 at 220,000 has been cold start puffing blue oil smoke since ~150K. Now takes a full 3-5 minutes to stop it’s ticky-ticky mornings valve noises. I’m refusing to do the 2nd 100K timing belt preventative replacement. Anytime now . . . break and bent valves.
The previous to that 1999 Plymouth minivan pushrod two-valve V-6 I took out to 330,000 before selling it. Original water pump. Original short cam-in-block timing chain. Engine was still quiet. Did nor foul the platinum spark plugs. Sure both front and rear engine crank main seals leaked some by then. Who cares. We have a gravel driveway. The in cabin electrics/electronics was the bug-a-boo since the 8th year, 175K.

VesaM in his book covers mechanical supercharging boosting and turbocharging boosting being tried for woodgas in Finland. But he himself woodgased his non-turbo Toyota sedan. Natual aspirated in his woodgased 400 cid Lincoln.
Ron Lemler here on the DOW first up sized his older Ford pick up to 300 cid I-6. Then later turbocharged it. Says he is still futzing try to get more power out of that turbo system. Instead of bigger I-6 swapping, how about just a Ford 351 V-8 anything W, C, or M.

Don’t need turbos, overhead camshafts, four valve heads with pump gasolines, let alone woodgas.
'Nuff said.


Don’t think I’m arguing because I’m not. You are a master mechanic and I am a lay in the mud parts swapper. I have never owned a four valve overhead cam timing belt anything. One of my sons had a Hyundai interference engine that broke the timing belt and interfered. Wanted to know what he should do. I told him to call the junk yard to pick it up. I didn’t have a clue. What I think I know about wood gassing an engine is compression is good. I think Wayne said in the book or somewhere 17 to 1 would not be bad for pure wood gas. What I know about all mom and pop Chevy’s, Fords and Chrysler’s is bumping up compression ratios is a pocket draining endeavor. Never owned a turbo anything. Intercoolers, blow off valves, what the heck language are you talking in. For about three months once I had a 6-71 roots blower on a 1970 Nova I was racing. It sucked out power because I had no clue how to tune for it. My only experience with boost and most of what I know about it now came from the book you gave me, but I know boost is a much cheaper path to increased compression. How to boost without causing other issues or by using shade tree methods is currently outside of my trick bag. I’m remiss and have not looked at VeraM or a lot of other stuff in the library so I will rectify that. I did see a shoot out between Ford PU’s where one was running the 2.7 turbo six you mention and a 3. something liter and a NA 5 liter coyote. The turbo kicked the coyote’s ass in acceleration. Yeah, just babbling. I know there is no replacement for displacement but I don’t see how that 300 I-6 is not a good wood gas engine. I know from experience that the difference between a non-LS 327 and 350 is more a matter of preference between bore and stroke characteristics. You can make the same power out of either just depending on where that power kicks in. So many here are running that 318 Dodge. I’m willing to bet I can get more mid range torque out of that Ford 6 and those 18 Cu In’s means diddly. Makes me want to play with one of those big sixes just to prove the point. Get up into these V-10’s and big block GM or Chrysler and that’s a different country.
What does all this mean. Just an old dude trying to keep his neurons functional, but as soon as this damned snow melts I’m going to dig that 360 Dodge out of the brambles and find out how full of doo-doo I am.


TomH I’d like to convey to you just how much for woodgas I agree with you.
The replacement for displacement will be boosted compression ratios.
And compression boosting on inline four or inline six IS THE DYI ticket. Especially the cast iron ones. The ones wanna’ be moderate RPM torque monsters.

Have the ONE head milled re-surfaced. Affordable.
Use a thin annealed re-useable all copper head gasket. Make up your own. Practice your some-day skills.

Adventurous. Hotrod edge treading; then get good at low temp puddle brazing (looks like a TIG weld in brass) and do some in head combustion chamber fill squeezing in.
Have an actual TIG welder aluminum capable? Fill in the dished emissions pistons. Learn how by trial and error to keep the piston from overheating, filling in.
Hell. That real New Zealand “Worlds Fastest Indian (motorcycle)” guy sand cast and machined his own high compression pistons for his worlds record machine.

You know. Life ain’t over yet. Go out and zoom-zoom break something. Nothing broke? You ain’t pushing hard enough yet, eh.
Steve Unruh


Never had the cojones to try and make my own head gaskets Steve but you are right. May be an absolutely essential talent. I can do a lot to an engine but no seal between a block and a head and none of it means anything. I don’t remember anyone Cutting O ring grooves in blocks when I was building engines but if I had a bare block I’d definitely pony up the buck to have that done.


Fire rings are awesome, until the head warps at 5000rpm pulling a hill. My buddy’s 12 valve Cummins had a bad day haha I have made plenty of paper gaskets but I have yet to try copper…I know it was a old school thing before cometic gaskets came around. Off to YouTube I go …


Isn’t 5000 rpm asking a little much out of a cummins. What’s that CR. 16.5 to 1?


to some people yes…to a few friends I have that’s not enough. Know a guy pushing 6000rpm with a 6.7 cummins. Its a spectacular volcanic eruption anytime he takes it over 5500. they got way deeper pockets then me. I might abuse my rigs but I don’t push till I find the breaking point then repeat to see how many times I can break it. like my brother and his beloved 6.0 powerchoke. Could have bought a house with the money he has put in that truck trying to keep it in one piece, and still swears its the best ford he has ever owned. I call it ignorance