NOTEBrake horsepower (bhp) commonly stated as horsepower (hp) and torque (lb-ft tq) ratings are "gross" under pre-1972 SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) standards—measured at the flywheel with the engine running on a dyno (dynamometer) test stand without connected equipment. 1972+ ratings are typically "net"—measured with the drag of intake, exhaust, & other equipment (like alternator) connected (a lower rating). "Rear wheel" hp & torque ratings reflect whole drive-train drag (a further lower rating).—Editor
Thunderbird Special V-8 312-cid 225-hp P-code (Fordomatic Dr only) (or S-code*) mid model-year (NOTE Thunderbird model V-8 has 215-hp w/ Overdrive or 225-hp w/ Fordomatic Dr) *An anomaly—an S-code eng in some 1956 Fairlane, Customline, and Mainline, (65 w/ Fordomatic Dr and 455 w/ Conv Dr), in place of the Thunderbird V-8 292-cid M-code eng. Rocker covers incorrectly state "Thunderbird V-8" (instead of "Thunderbird Special V-8"). Identification is by an "S" (instead of a "P") as the 1st letter of the serial number and a 2-inch-square daub of yellow heat resisting paint on the eng front.Tech Service Bulletin (here) $100 over std Thunderbird V-8 292-cid 200/202-hp M-code
opt Fairlane Club & Town Sedan, Ranch Wgn, Custom Ranch Wgn, Parklane, & 6-Pass Country Sedan plus required Fordomatic Dr $178.20 + 7.10 x 15" tires $20 = $298.20 Total
opt Fairlane Vic, Fordor Vic, Crown Vic, Crown Vic Skyliner, 8-Pass Country Sedan, & Country Squire plus required Fordomatic Dr $178.20 = $278.20 Total (7.10 x 15" tires incld)
(not avail Mainline, Customline, or Courier)
8 cyl 90°-V 2 overhead-valve (intake 1.78," exh 1.51") solid valve lifters Y-Block Hp 215 @ 4600 rpm Torque 317 lb-ft @ 2600 rpm CR 8.4 to 1 Comp 160 psi w/ OD (Thunderbird only) Hp 225 @ 4600 rpm Torque 324 lb-ft @ 2600 rpm CR 9.0 to 1 Comp 165 psi w/ Fordomatic Dr
CID 312 Bore 3.80" x Stroke 3.44" Main Bearings 5 Counterweights 8
Carb Double Twin-Jet (4-bbl) Holley 4000, auto choke Air Cleaner large low-restriction oil-bath
Generator low cut-in 30-amp Fan 4-blade 18.5" dia Exhaust dual Fuel prem
Block ECZ-6015-A or ECZ-6015-B Block Casting Nos.
Heads ECZ-6090-B (Conv Dr & OD) or ECZ-6090-C (Fordomatic Dr) Head Casting Nos.
Main Bearing Caps ECZ
Bore max allow oversize bore 0.040" + 3.80" = 3.84" bore = 319 CID
"312 CUBIC INCH HIGH POWER ENGINE KIT" 260-hplate model-year
Commonly called "Race Kit," or incorrectly "Power Pack"
Released by Production Service Letter P-311a, Jul 6, 1956 (vehicle production-year ended Aug 24, 1956)
Special-order high-performance parts to modify the V-8 312-cid eng for police, NASCAR, Thunderbird, & public
210/215/225-hp to 260-hp 317/324 lb-ft torque to 344 lb-ft torque
Production 103 kits supplied in wooden crates not factory installed
1956 Ford #B6A-9000-B K3 (Conv Dr or Overdrive) (not incld '55-'57 Thunderbird valve covers in photo)
Price $315Jul 6, 1956; surplus reduced to $100Feb 4, 1957, as is, subject to prior sale
• 2 unique Holley 4000 (4-bbl) Carburetors, #R-1268 • 1 2x4 aluminum Intake Manifold EDB-9425-C • 2 high-compression Cylinder Heads ECZ-C, (milled 0.060") • 1 special-grind Camshaft EDB-6250-B, part #B6A-6250-E, stamped "E,"
Cam lobe lift intake & exhaust 0.273"
Intake opens 22° BTDC @ 0.015" on exhaust stroke (piston moves upward)
Intake closes 58° ABDC @ 0.015" on compression stroke (piston moves upward)
Exhaust opens 58° BBDC @ 0.015" on power/combustion stroke (piston forced downward)
Exhaust closes 14° ATDC @ 0.015" on intake stroke (piston moves downward)
Intake opens 18° ATDC @ 0.100"
Intake closes 18° ABDC @ 0.100"
Exhaust opens 26° BBDC @ 0.100"
Exhaust closes 26° BTDC @ 0.100"
(BTDC = Before Top Dead Center, ABDC = After Bottom Dead Center, BBDC = Before Bottom Dead Center, ATDC = After Top Dead Center. Camshaft rotates once for every two rotations of the crankshaft) • unique Valve Springs & Lifters • 2 Auto Choke Hot Air Tube Systems • 1 Distributor Re-curve Kit • 1 large round red Air Cleaner, covers both carbs, 2 studs & wingnuts, right side decal
w/ "PUROLATOR DRY TYPE Micronic AIR FILTER" script • 1 large round Purolator Dry Type Micronic Air Filter • Linkages, Brackets, Lines, Hardware, & Gaskets • Instructions
1956 Ford Thunderbird #B6A-9000-B K3 plus Ford #B6A-9000-B K4 (both required)
Price [not found by editor]
• 1 Shaft Assembly AH-9725-F • 1 Hanger Assembly AH-99830-C • 1 oval Argent (Silver) color Air Cleaner EDB-9600-B, part #B6A-9600-H
covers both carbs, 2 studs & wingnuts, painted finish (chrome finish was not produced by Ford) • 1 oval Air Filter Ford EXP, dry-type
Curtis Turner NASCAR #26 & #99 w/ "312 CUBIC INCH HIGH POWER ENGINE KIT" 260-hp Curtis Tuner was an American stock car racer with over 350 career wins in several racing series including NASCAR. Turner, in 1956, for Pete DePaolo's Ford factory team, in the NASCAR Grand National Convertible Series, driving in 42 of the 47 events, won 22 of them (including 9 of the final 11 races), with a ’56 Ford Fairlane Sunliner #26.
He also won the NASCAR Grand National Series1956 Southern 500 driving a '56 Ford Customline Victoria #99.
1956 Ford Car & Station Wagon Clutches
(w/ Conventional Dr & Overdrive transmissions)
• 9-1/2-inch w/ Ford I-6 • 10-inch w/ Ford V-8, Thunderbird V-8, Thunderbird Special V-8, or Special Police Y-8 • 11-inch w/ Ford I-6 or Ford V-8 & "Standard Taxi Package" or "Deluxe Taxi Package" (Taxi models only) • 11-inch w/ (Police) Interceptor Y-8 (Police & Emerg models only, & all Thunderbird)
Pedal free-travel 1-1/8" to 1-3/8"
"The Ford clutch for '56 is a semi-centrifugal type of single, dry-plate, cushion-disc construction. It has high torque-transmitting capacity, with pre-lubericated, sealed, ball-type throw-out bearing and oil impregnated, sintered bronze bushing for a pilot bearing." - All the Facts About The '56 Ford
● Overdrive (manual 3-speed w/ auto planetary 4th-spd Overdrive)
Not avail in Fairlane Fordor Victoria
Opt, all other models
1st, 2nd (synchro), 3rd (synchro), auto 4th gear (30% lower eng rpm than 3rd), & Reverse
Gear selector on steering column, "H" pattern
Overdrive push/pull T-handle below instrument panel Lock-in (engage OD) push in T-handle when car is stopped or at any speed & let-up throttle pedal when above 27-28 mph, (auto disengage & downshift to 3rd below 21-22 mph) Kick-down (to 3rd, for hill climbing or passing) floor throttle pedal, (let-up pedal to auto return to OD) Lock-out (disengage OD) pull out T-handle when car is stopped or in "kick down (3rd) operation
● Speed-Trigger Fordomatic Drive (automatic 3-speed)
Std, Fairlane Fordor Victoria
Opt, all other models
Designed by Warner Gear Division, Borg Warner Corporation
Automatic planetary gear train, single-stage 3-element hydraulic-mechanical Torque Converter—oil cushion, no mechanical linkage between engine & drive train, no vacuum or electrical connections, cast iron case
SMALL CASE, steel impeller
• '55-57 I-6-1V 223-cid • '55 V-8-2V & 4V 272-cid • '56-57 V-8-2V 272-cid
• '56 V-8-4V 292-cid • '56-57 V-8-4V 312-cid (not Ford [Police] Interceptor, Stn Wgn, T-Bird)
• '55 V-8-4V 292-cid (steel impeller)
• '56 V-8-4V 312-cid (Ford [Police] Interceptor, Stn Wgn, T-Bird, steel or alum impeller)
Low (1st), Intermediate (2nd, Passing Gear), High (3rd), & Reverse
5-Possition Safety-Sequence Selector w/ illuminated indicator dial on steering column P (Park) R (Reverse) N (Neutral) car can be towed up to 12 miles at under 40 mph, otherwise with rear wheels raised • start engine DR (Drive) • start-out in 2nd & auto upshift to 3rd (typical driving) • start-out at full-throttle in 1st (Speed-Trigger) & auto up-shifts to 2nd (30 mph) & 3rd (65 mph) • full-throttle kick-down to Passing Gear (2nd) (below 65-68 mph & above 17-23 mph) • full-throttle kick-down to 1st (below 17-23 mph) LO (Low) • start-out in 1st & hold (up to 35 mph), auto up-shifts to 2nd & 3rd if/when DR selected • downshift to 2nd & hold (below 60 mph & above 17-23 mph - engine braking) • downshift to 1st & hold (below 17-23 mph - engine braking)
Adjust bands & change fluid every 15,000 miles—original Type A, modern DEXTRON® III
Fluid Capacity 9.25 qt (I-6), 9.75 qt (V-8), 10.25 qt US (Police Interceptor Y-8)
Diameter 15 in Width 5 in (between flanges) Center Hole 2.840 in Bolt Pattern 5 lug x 4.5 in (114.3 mm) (between center-point of one lug & far outside edge of an opposite lug) Backspace 3 in (between hub mounting surface & inside edge outermost plain) Offset 0 in (between hub mounting surface & centerline—positive, negative, or zero) Material pressed steel (an iron & carbon alloy), outer rim welded to center Weight 19.95 lb Finish baked on synthetic enamel paint, (lower) body color Part No. 1015-U-15x5
Brochure & publication sources: '55 Ford, '55 Ford (foldout), Ford Presents '55 Station Wagons, The 1955 Ford Courier, '55 Ford for Taxi Service, 1955 Ford Law Enforcement and Emergency Use Vehicles, '55 Ford Passenger Car and Truck Accessories, All the Facts About the 1955 Ford, 1955 Ford Owner's Manual, 1955 Ford Car Shop Manual, 1955 Ford Air Conditioning Shop Manual, 1955 Ford SelectAire Conditioner Parts, 1953 thru 1955 Ford Soft Trim Parts Catalog, The Production Figure Book for U.S. Cars, 1955 Meteor, CVA '55 Ford Specifications & Accessories Manual, Ditzler & DuPont color chips, magazine advertisements, & actual dealership price lists. Website sources: The Henry Ford Museum, Crown Victoria Association (CVA), Classical Thunderbird Club International, Automobile Catalog, John Mummert's Ford Y-8, Paint Cross Reference, Concours Parts, Coker Tire, Mecum Auctions, RM Sotheby's, RK Motors, Wikipedia, & old Ford forums.
Data may not be complete or account for production changes, anomalies, or special orders.
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