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VR57 Pin Ups

 

Phase I and Phase II VR57

The Phase I VR57, which was produced for NASCAR competition, was physically larger than the Phase II and produced six pounds of boost, instead of the five pounds of the phase II. Other noticeable differences are the positions of the oil pressure relief valve, input connection and output connection, the boost control valve, the webbing on the cases, as well as the band which appears to hold the two halves of the Phase I supercharger together. The phase I VR57s were run on 312 cid Y Block engines using a 290 deg duration cam, with special low compression heads, and produced in excess of 340 HP.  NASCAR was dominated by the supercharged Fords in 1957 in both the stock and convertible divisions.

Fords VR57 Phase II equipped F code Engine

The F code engine option was available to Ford car buyers as a factory performance option on any 57 Ford or Thunderbird, and was based on a 312 cid Y Block engine with 8.5:1 compression, a 256 deg duration cam, low compression posted (strengthened) cylinder heads and up-rated valve gear, as well as the Phase II VR57 supercharger. In stock form the supercharger 57 could produce standing quarter times in the high 14s with speeds of up to 100 at the drag strips, and are also recorded as producing 131 mph at both Daytona and Bonneville. Thanks to http://www.1957ford.com for this picture, which incidentally features a Phase I air cleaner in conjunction with the Phase II supercharger.

1957 Thunderbird Installation of a Phase II

211 of the F code engine installations were on the 57 Thunderbirds, and in the Thunderbird installation the VR57 was mounted on the passenger side of the engine, and used a modified generator bracket as one of its mounts. An adjustable idler pulley was used in the installation to allow the belt tension to be set up, and the air filter was mounted low on the passenger side of the car.  In early 57 16 VR57 units were fitted to D code engines on Thunderbirds, and these were basically the same as the F code installations except that the D code engines had unposted cylinder heads, and the superchargers were all Phase I VR57 units.

Ford car installation of a Phase II

The majority of the F code engine installations were on the 1957 Ford cars (possibly as many as 974), and as can be seen both the supercharger and air cleaner are mounted high on the drivers side of the engine. The main components of the installation were basically the same as for the Thunderbird installations, except that the supercharger support bracketing was mounted on the water pump housing. Thanks to http://www.1957ford.com once again for this picture.

Phase I VR57 with 2-4s

A photo from the Ford Photo Archives taken at the Daytona speed week in 1957 of a Phase I VR57 installed with dual Holley four barrel carburetors in a 1957 Ford Fairlane. Its interesting to note the use of the VS57 carburetor bonnets, instead of the standard VR57 bonnets, presumably due to clearance and space limitations. Ford also ran two Thunderbirds (heavily modified with aluminum panels, Jaguar transmissions, etc., and known as the Battlebirds) at the Daytona speed week in the experimental class, and these were fitted with  Hilborn injection, VR57 supercharger, and combined Hilborn injection and VR57 supercharger configurations. Many thanks to Dan Evans for this rare photo

Phase I VR57 at Dearborn

This rare photo is from the Ford Photo Archive and shows a front left shot of a Phase I VR57 on a 312 Y Block engine at the Ford Dearborn plant. This is a new engine intended for passenger car installation, as can be seen by the fact that the blower is mounted on the right hand side of the engine, although whether it was to be used for racing or not, is not obvious. Clearly seen in the photo is the Garbage Can fuel filter used on the factory installations as well as the belt and pulley arrangement. The hose clamps appear to be missing from this engine indicating that it is either a mock up for a photo shoot, or is possibly still being built up. Again thanks to Dan Evans for providing this, and following four Dearborn engine pictures.

Phase I VR57 at Dearborn

Another rare Ford Photo Archive shot, this time of the front right of the VR57 Phase 1 equipped 312 Y Block at Dearborn. This shot clearly shows the control valve arrangement on the Phase I VR57s, as well as the air cleaner used on the phase I installations, which featured a single large hole on the side and contained a paper element. The markings on the air cleaner are the experimental numbers FoMoCo XE-43828. The plug on the side of the bonnet, which presumably was provided to allow a boost gauge to be connected, appears to be missing from this installation, along with the aforementioned hose clamps.

Phase II VR57 at Dearborn

A rare Ford Photo Archive picture of a F code Y Block 312 passenger car engine taken at the Ford Dearborn plant. This features the Phase II VR57 supercharger and is basically the same as the Phase I set up except that it utilizes a different air cleaner and has a single belt for the supercharger drive. All hose clamps appear to present in this photo, and the fact that the engine appears complete and is on a dolly suggests that it is ready to be installed in a vehicle.

Phase II VR57 at Dearborn

Another Ford Photo Archive shot of a F code engine, this being a front right shot of the engine featured in the last photo. The different control valve set up on the Phase II VR57s can be made out in this photo, along with more detail of the air cleaner. As can be seen the air cleaner has significantly more holes than the air cleaner used on the Phase I installations, although both used the same paper elements.

Ford 312 cid F Code Engine

A nice shot from the Ford Photo Archive of the F code 312 cid taken from the side. This again was taken at Fords Dearborn plant and is almost certainly the same engine as in the previous two photographs. Immediately noticeable is the oil supply and drain connections from the Phase II VR57 supercharger to the engine block, as well as the mesh of the paper element used in both the Phase I and Phase II supercharger air cleaners.