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I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable
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nicholastanguma
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Joined: June 29, 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:52 pm    Post subject: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable Reply with quote

Fair warning: long post, maybe not for the faint of heart.

I'm a luddite, but not an unreasonable one. You can like what you like, that's cool with me...but it's not okay for you to try forcing your likes to be my likes, too. We can disagree agreeably. I think electric everything is blind ideology, you think carburetors are for neanderthals--we can still be 100 percent courteous to each other.

Technology always progresses, and therefore marketing must always progress commensurately. Or, when not commensurate in their progress, sometimes the tech or the market will helpfully nudge along whomever is being slow at the time.

I'm heavily involved in the vintage air cooled auto and moto cultures, old VWs and Porsches and Hondas and NSUs and Fiats and Triumphs and all of it, all the air cooled carbed stuff makes me happy all day long (vintage air cooled cars and bikes are a RELIGION here in California). So I still like pushrod engines. I don't dislike overhead cam engines at all, I like 'em just as much as pushies, it's just that in the vintage air cooled world pushrod tech tends to be more prevalent than overhead cam tech. Way more Porsche 914s out there than NSU TTs, for instance. Admittedly, in the moto segment the prevalence of vintage Japanese powerplants makes things a pretty even split, you can just as easily find an old Honda CG or BMW airhead as an old Honda CB or Suzuki Bandit.

Here in the real world, where there exist stoplights, stop signs, police enforcement, speed limits, pedestrians, speed bumps, pot holes, school zones, and just general consideration for other road users traveling at their own paces...having to rev an engine way up high to get into my power curve simply doesn't make sense. The real world is not a race track.

Marketing is sexy when the copy reads "redlines at 15,000 rpm" and "makes 200 hp at only 600cc size" and other such sexiness (all of which I do appreciate, as long as the engine is carbed and air cooled), but if you're not a professional racer on a dedicated race track this marketing copy and this technology are just jewelry.

A hot rodded pushrod boxer four connected to a five or six speed transaxle is more real world usable torque and horsepower than any sane motorist can use without maiming or killing himself or others on the road or trail. Many scoff that a hot rod pushrod boxer in a VW or Porsche is "only making 100-200hp," but with five or six gears to play with on trails and roads that aren't dedicated racing courses that 100-200hp is real world fun as long as the sun is shining.

A hot rodded Sportster or Bonneville mated to a five or six speed transmission is exactly the same.

Restomodding old autos and motos with weight reduction and frame bracing and modern suspension and modern carburetion and modern gearboxes and other such upgrades is wonderfully emotionally satisfying, while keeping the pushrod engine's lower-hp-but-more-useable-torque powerband in place for real world fun. Where are you safely going to rev over 9000rpm on public trails and streets?

Your CRF450 or 350Z makes way more peak hp than a restomodded Honda CG250 or VW Beetle, but you're not actually a pro racer and your vehicle's peak hp output doesn't actually make you a sexy beast. Your machine is not you and you are not your machine--you are still fat or bald or ugly or stupid or dull or poor or whatever no matter how sexy your machine is. A poser with a Kawasaki H2 is just as cringeworthy as a poser with a straight piped Harley-Davidson.

So I continually find myself burrowing deeper and deeper into the vintage pushrod lair. I very very very much enjoy track days! But I do not live on the track, either motocross or autocross. Back in the days when air cooled engines were still being mass produced in automobiles, most vehicles, auto and moto alike, had three or four speed transmissions. But today transmission technology allows us to use 5 or 6 speed gearboxes in any ratios we want, so the fact an air cooled pushrod engine can't usually rev to 9000 or higher rpm is no longer relevant.

Again, I absolutely endorse and enjoy overhead cam engines, especially of the air cooled variety, it's just that aside from vintage Japanese motorbikes, the use of pushrod tech is more prevalent in the air cooled world.

Anyone else find they still enjoy hot rodded old pushrod engines for real world fun? Anyone else found endless emotional satisfaction in restomodding something obsolete into something actually usable for real world trails and roads? Surely most of you do, or you wouldn't be here on the Samba, right?
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TornadoRed06
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:45 am    Post subject: Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable Reply with quote

Loved your post, all of it.
I guess nowadays it looks like what is spreading and "being accepted as cool" is: you either love black or love white ...silver what???
I for one, don't think so. And it is also why, that even though I do not give a damn to cars with black paint finnishing, it just happens I regularly drive one that way, although it is unlikely a day I would ever acquire one that way.

I never got aroused with those hp ratings at 6000 or higher rpm touted in the shiny papers and it so just happens that the black paint finnishing car makes use of a 4-gear manual transmission...

And even if you love blue and I green, I guess we could just love that we share different preferences, can benefit and build-up from it!

Thanks for your refreshing post.
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ach60 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:50 am    Post subject: Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable Reply with quote

GM & Chrysler agree with you.
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nicholastanguma
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 2:10 am    Post subject: Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable Reply with quote

TornadoRed06 wrote:

Thanks for your refreshing post.



Não tem de quê!

By the way: Porto, how I loved it!
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Chickensoup
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:14 am    Post subject: Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable Reply with quote

I think both have their applications although OHC looks better on paper.

But then again, so does communism Shocked
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nicholastanguma
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:41 am    Post subject: Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable Reply with quote

Chickensoup wrote:
I think both have their applications although OHC looks better on paper.

But then again, so does communism Shocked



You and I are definitely buddies. Applause
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mark tucker
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable Reply with quote

real world fun????WTF??Ive had lots of fun with and without pushrods. 2 strokes, 4 strokes,roterys...jets...I assume even electrick is fun if you know how to have fun...
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mark tucker
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable Reply with quote

looks better on paper....so does the dog poop.... Shocked Wink fords top fuel ohc didnt seem to work out so well..... Shocked just kidding, it was pretty. but this being a vw site I can see how closed minded some people can be.....lots of them.
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Chickensoup
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable Reply with quote

Your telling me... it's not fun to own a vett, and never take it over the speed limit? Smile Shocked Question
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mark tucker
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:35 am    Post subject: Re: I Still Like Pushrods, They're Still Viable Reply with quote

I think nick'slastgummy may need to get a flat head....
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