HP Engine Blocks

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Page created by T Mar 20th 2007 with info from named contributors:

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HP Block. Photo by Keith Wager. Click to Enlargen

What Does HP on the Side of a Red Six Block Imply:

HP Block. Photo by ReaperHR. Click to Enlargen
HP Block. Photo by Clinton Turnbull. Click to Enlargen

161 HP Submission by Dr Terry (presumably before he had a login) 179HPSubmitted by a Holden Fan on Sat, 09/07/2005 - 22:23. Hi Guys. Before this gets out of hand (which every discussion about HP blocks usually does) I'll throw in my 2 cents worth. There is nothing special or different about the 179HP engine. All EHs with 179s (up to around Oct '64) have this block casting. After that date the blocks were cast '179', with no changes.

The First Red Motors:

When the red motor first came out the 149 blocks had no casting ID & the 179 were cast HP, probably for 'High Performance' which they certainly had when compared with the 149.

Steel Cranks:

Yes, they had forged steel cranks, but so did every other Holden 6 up to April '67. (Greys & the 149/161/179/186)

Cylinder Walls:

HP Block. Photo by Circlotron. Click to Enlargen
Yes, they had slightly thicker cylinder walls than the 186, well of course they did, because they used the same casting moulds, but the 186 is bored slightly further. The 179 & 186 have the same maximum overbore limit of .060" resulting in a 192 ci motor. If looking for a motor to modify these days, you're much better off with a later red or blue. These early castings are now a bit rusty in the water jacket & are probably best left to the guys who want originality for there old EH. Dr Terry.Dr. Terry HP Submitted by 68hk on Sat, 09/07/2005 - 23:33. Hi Dr. Terry, that would be great in the holdenpedia FAQ page, would you link it (or similar) in there or i could if you don't mind? HOLDENPEDIA is your friend email » reply 179HP Submitted by a Holden Fan on Sun, 10/07/2005 - 00:48.Ho 70ute. Yes, that's OK, I don't mind anybody copying or using my stuff. But please, leave my name on it so people know where it comes from. Dr Terry.
Confirmed Holden 161 engine with HP casting. See the 161 page. Click to Enlargen. Photo by HRPanelvan.
Submission by Dr Terry May 2nd 2007: I meant that both the 179 and 186 blocks could be bored to 186 ci + .060", which equals 192 ci. The 179's original bore is 3 9/16" (3.5625") and the 186's original bore is 3 5/8" (3.625"). If you bore a 179 by 1/16" (0.0625") you get a standard 186. You can then bore it a further 0.060" to get 192 ci. I've seen good (centred) 186 blocks bored out 0.100", but pistons are then difficult to obtain. A 192 is then a 179 plus a 0.1225" overbore, not a 0.120". I know it's only .0025" (2.5 thou) but that's a lot when you're boring motors. Dr Terry.  

EH HP 179:

This is another myth that needs busting. The only 179 manuals made before Feb 1964 were the 120 or so S4s built for the Armstrong 500 (1963 Bathurst). All other 1963 179 motors were autos. From Feb 1964 onwards, 179 manuals were standard for Premiers & freely available as an option on all other models. All 179 blocks (whether auto or manual, the block is the same for both) had HP cast into their side. The 179 cast blocks did not appear until Oct or Nov 1964, so most EH 179 blocks had HP on their side whether manual or automatic. The rare part is the fact that it's painted black, because manual 179 Special were the most common version in 1964. How many that were made in black is anyone's guess. The rarest EH would be a black manual Premier wagon or a 179 Hydra-Matic panel van. Dr Terry 

HP 308 V8's:

the very first 308's had hp on the side to differentiate it from the 253 which was in production slightly before it. 
Square type HP casting. Click to Enlargen. Photo by Q-Ball.


Thread 1

Original thread.

Keith Wager's Shed

ReaperHR's Shed.

Circlotron's Shed.



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