The Ford Inline Six engines and the Ford Y Block V8 engines are two different generations of Ford engines that were both designed to power Ford cars and trucks, but both were also used by other designers to power other vehicles. These includes race car designers looking for a smaller, yet powerful engine to power their race cars using the Inline Six engine and racers wanting a V8 engine, since both the Y Block and Inline Six were used by race enthusiasts and are still popular today. Both the Inline Six engine and Y Block engine were made by Ford subsidiaries in other countries to power cars designed to be used in the countries they were made in. Performance and restoration parts are available for both engine series but parts for the Inline Six are more plentiful and generally less expensive to purchase.
The Inline Six Engine is smaller than the Y Block V8, and the Inline from the 60′s, 70′s, and 80′s typically have less power and performance, but better mileage. It is also easier to maintain, and more affordable in terms of initial price and maintenance cost. The Inline Six has no timing chain or belt that can break, parts are more commonly available, and restoration and performance options for the Inline Six are easier to find and cheaper to purchase.
The Ford Y Block engines, on the other hand, are an older tech that has been plagued with design problems existing since the Y Block 239. Despite improvements in later versions, the series retained oiling problems in the rocker shafts through the lifespan of its use. In addition, they have a displacement limit of about 348 cubic inches due to their engine architecture. The early 239 and 256 cubic inch Y Block engines featured unique parts that weren’t interchangeable with later models in the Y Block engine series.
Overall, while the Y Block has more power, many Ford engine enthusiasts have been swapping over their V8′s for Inline Six engines in order to reduce costs in mileage, maintenance, and longevity.