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Bellhousing Material

Bellhousing Material

Bellhousing Material

hi there i am currently looking into making our own bellhousings for racing formula fords. ive decided to machine the part from 3 big billets but am unsure of which material to use. Any material suggestions?

Thanks mike  

RE: Bellhousing Material

FF has been around since the 60's and has been supported by dozens of mfgrs...
Since bell housings are available in Al and  Mg in both cast and billet...
Since both new and used parts are widely available world wide...
Since, it appears to me you wish to practice on the mill...
My suggestion is a very nice grade of South African Ironwood!

Can't say as I've ever seen one made of that...Unique, for sure!!!


RE: Bellhousing Material

You can get 2024-T3 or T4 in billets that are big enough for a bellhousing.  It's strong as steel, and machines like butter.

That was the good news.

There may be locked-in stresses, though, so you would want to rough it out 1/4" oversize, let it move around while you cut it, then finish it to size.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Bellhousing Material

...which all sounds about as much hassle as casting it in the first place.



Greg Locock

SIG:Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: Bellhousing Material

Next week at Road America will be a 40th anniversary of FF race and there are already almost 300 entries.  

It is only a guess, but I'll just bet you will find most anything in FF, including bell housings.  Well, perhaps not one made of SAIW.....;o)


RE: Bellhousing Material


6061 alloy is the most readily available aluminum in large sizes.  It can be purchased in large diameter (up to 16 inch) bar, or in thick (up to 12 inch) plate.

It should be purchased in a -T6 heat treat condition (ie. the best condition for machining) and rough machined to within about 1/8 inch of the final shape.  Then you should send it out for a stress relief, followed by re-solution heat treatment and artificial age hardening.  Then you can finish machine it without worrying about distortions in the finished part.

The added benefit of 6061 aluminum is that it can be weld repaired if damaged.

Making a billet FF bell housing may seem excessive, but entire engine blocks are now commonly made from billet in F1 and top-fuel NHRA.

Good luck with your project.

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