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Old 06-16-2011, 10:27 PM
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1949 Flathead Ford

I have 1 dead cylinder . Just wondering if there is a common problem and how I begin to diagnose.

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Old 06-16-2011, 10:40 PM
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Most common reason would be a fouled plug or bad wire, so check for spark at the plug to begin with. If you have spark, check the compression of that hole.
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:10 AM
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If it's 'dead' other then electrically and with a flathead, besides what Cobalt suggested, a valve could be hung open. Depending on which valve guide you have, the 1 or 2 piece those things have a history of carboning up. Also, if you have the Johnson type adjustable lifters, one of those may have 'adjusted' itself, one way or another. Then there is that age old problem of a burnt valve and now with no lead in the gas and 10% (or more) of ethanol, it just gets worse. Flatties needed a 'carbon and valve' job about every 40-50,000 miles (~2X the miles that the old stovebolt Chevies could go before they needed that $50 job)

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Old 06-17-2011, 06:14 AM
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If it's 'dead' other then electrically and with a flathead, besides what Cobalt suggested, a valve could be hung open. Depending on which valve guide you have, the 1 or 2 piece those things have a history of carboning up. Also, if you have the Johnson type adjustable lifters, one of those may have 'adjusted' itself, one way or another. Then there is that age old problem of a burnt valve and now with no lead in the gas and 10% (or more) of ethanol, it just gets worse. Flatties needed a 'carbon and valve' job about every 40-50,000 miles (~2X the miles that the old stovebolt Chevies could go before they needed that $50 job).

Then there is another 'old' problem with flatheads - the distributor rotor will occasionally knock off a cap terminal. Usually it will turn the rotor terminal 90* on its rivet and the engine wont run at all, but I have seen it just do one cap term.

Plugs, wires, compression check are also in order

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