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RansomEli

Franklin Feelings Hurt

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Ransom, I have heard of Franklin, but it was in regards to a speedster. I did some research and it looks like they made a little bit of everything from runabouts to Big Beautiful sedans. Don't fret though, I also forgot to mention Studebaker, Graham, Hupmobile, Hudson, Brewster... the list goes on. It leaves a little variety for the next time. ;)

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Here is a question for Franklin experts. Why did Franklin never make a V8? To me it would have been a natural progression from the fours, and made better sense than a straight six or V12 which they did make.

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What about good ole' Buick? Oldest surviving auto company in the US, saved GM from going under several times, one of the only luxury brands to make it to 3rd place in sales, last surviving middle priced American car brand, first US brand to use OHV as standard (i think), turn signals, child safety latching doors, etc, etc. (Buick fan here :D )

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Besides, Franklin had OHV 2 years before the first Buick was built. But I'm a Buick fan, too; I have a 1912 Model 35 and used to have a 1906 Model F, both with OHV.

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oh. Many good ideas and cars came from the independents. I wish I had that subject in high school. I would have made a 3 hour speech out of it :cool:

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Here is a question for Franklin experts. Why did Franklin never make a V8? To me it would have been a natural progression from the fours, and made better sense than a straight six or V12 which they did make.

It is much easier to answer questions that start with What? or When? than WHY? and ANY answer to a Why? questions is speculation at best.

My Speculation:

Franklin came out with a Six for the 1906 model year. With individually cast cylinders, an in-line six with seven mains is the logical progression from the four with five mains. Little extra engineering is required.

Also: until two-plane V-8 crankshafts came out in the twenties, V-8s suffered from the same second order vibration problem as a four whereas the in-line six is a much better balanced system than fours and V-8s with flat crankshaft. Franklin was very much concerned with making the smoothest automobile possible.

The Best answer of Why Franklin went with the Six is that it WORKS and works very well indeed (after a few bugs were worked out).

The V-12 is a nice engine in all respects but even then, due to the side-draft air-cooled arrangement of the Franklin, they had to use cam-shafts on the outside of each bank rather than one in the valley. The only V-8 that I know of that had two outside camshafts were the earliest Rolls Royce V-8s.

Edited by Franklin-Madman (see edit history)

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I was thinking of the twenties when V8s were more perfected and popular in luxury cars. In those days they all had separate aluminum crankcases and iron cylinders. This fit right in with Franklin's air cooled designs. The six was quite long because the cylinders had to be separated for air to go between them. Not so much of a problem with a V8. And the V layout lends itself to air cooling by feeding the cooling air into the V.

I don't know why the pushrods would be any more crowded in a V layout than an inline. I think the F head layout would have been best for cooling, breathing and performance.

Have given the matter some thought and it seems so logical I don't know why they never went that way.

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I'm going to throw my speculative two cents in regarding the Franklin V8 that never happened. I would bet that had Franklin survived another five years, a V8 would have been in the line-up. By 1930, Franklin's six competed with with most competitor's small eights for power at 100 hp. Besides, while Franklin was not known as a performance car, mine will keep up with most any other car from 1932 (although I haven't raced any Duesenbergs with it). Franklin's main problem with producing more power was that the air-cooled cylinder trapped heat in the center, limiting bore size. So, more cylinders would have been the next natural progression.

A straight 8 would have been a cooling problem as well as a crankshaft flex problem. Franklin built one in 1906 to learn this the hard way.

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