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Old 03-01-2008, 05:19 PM
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Anyone fooled with an old flathead Mopar six?

I can get an engine and transmission pretty cheap and would consider using it in a low-buck Model A build either for myself or for for something at the hot rod shop. I know that with a little help, these were actually considered pretty decent performers way back when. I'm sure I can get a cam and would make an intake and headers. Does anyone still make a higher compression aluminum head for these? If not, who once did so I'll know what I'm looking for?
I once had one of these in a nice old '56 Plymouth Plaza business coupe. It was surprisingly peppy for a 230 inch six of any type in a full sized car. This one is also a 230 out of a '56 Dodge pick-up and has a good three speed behind it. I'd enjoy hearing from anyone who's had one of these engines, either stock or modified. You just gotta love the old stuff.

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Old 03-01-2008, 06:51 PM
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My friend has a stock 33 Plymouth and the f/h runs good.I think the heads are pretty thick so you could shave it to help compression. I had .075 shaved off the head on my 32 Olds f/h 6 and it helped and has caused no problems.
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Old 03-02-2008, 12:55 AM
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Plymouth Flathead 6

You might want to check out www.Olskoolrodz.com several guys have built them and are are some good pics posted and good info.
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:28 AM
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You can check out www.vintagespeed.com or Belmont's up in Maryland( maybe Mass).Belmont's regularly advertises in Hemmings under the Speed equipment section as well as some of the separate car categories. They usually have a list of some of their current inventory. Having said that, I think that engine( I still have the head off my '40 Desoto that was shaved and never used), would be too long to install without some major surgery and b) the cost to do what you are considering would likely run the $$ up more than any modern engine. Of course if you want to bolt together crap, like many rat rods do, it should be easy. Even those guys pay as much to get pieces of crap to use"for the look" than what a good car could be built for. I think it is ironic that the rat rod movement buys and installs all the ***** that real rodders took off and updated with better stuff. Reverse hot rodding really, I guess de-evolution is the term.For me, they typify every bad stereotype that the public labeled rodders with at the time.
about rodding
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:07 AM
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Grab it. ..imo,before they decide to scrap it! I luv those ol flatty's.
Fenton made speed parts for them.
I gave up idea for mine 'cause to costly and not feasible for long runs(imo0
My bud told me to watch for old boats with those engines. they had alum intake or something like that...cant remember


Good luck
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kruzr
Grab it. ..imo,before they decide to scrap it! I luv those ol flatty's.
Fenton made speed parts for them.
I gave up idea for mine 'cause to costly and not feasible for long runs(imo0
My bud told me to watch for old boats with those engines. they had alum intake or something like that...cant remember


Good luck
It won't get scrapped. The truck's already at the hot rod shop and we'll be doing some of the work on it. The kid that bought the truck is pretty inexperienced and I don't think he'll want to fool with the antique power-plant too much. Nor will he be satisfied with the power level. We'll weld him up what he needs to drop a modern V8 into it and he'll have a nice cruiser with plenty of pep. It's a very nice old truck, an ex-military vehicle that has been well maintained and is pretty much unmolested. It's just a basic half ton and was likely used to run around on a base somewhere. I'd bet the military used it for 10 or 15 years before selling it off. I don't believe it's seen a lot of regular use since then. We had to pull the head off yesterday to unstick most of the valves, as it'd been sitting for awhile since it was last run. The cylinders looked real good, except for #3 which had gotten some rust in it. I know the kid won't rebuild it, not that he's capable of it anyway. So I'll trade him some work for the engine and tranny, go through it, cross drill the crank and make some other oiling improvements. Then I'll see if I can't massage some HP out of it! I'm betting that with 3 carbs, a good cam, porting, a nice compression boost and some of my other tricks that I can bump it from 132 HP to 225-250. That'll be plenty for a basic, fender-less, 50's style Model A hot rod. I've pretty much decided at this point that it's going into my personal, current build, a channeled 30 tudor sedan. After building my high tech 450 HP daily driver '95 Vette, I'm ready for some low-tech fun again.
Re/ what you said about boats, this engine was also used in all manner of industrial applications, farm equipment etc. through 1972, when Chrysler finally ceased production of it. All parts are readily available and not expensive. I'll not actually require much aftermarket stuff except for a cam and possibly a head. I've already found a guy who makes an aluminum head for these that is of excellent quality, much better than the vintage parts, due to modern improvements in casting and alloys. I'll make my own intake and headers so that's not a problem, even though these things are available new, too. I'm really getting stoked about this project now. I've always wanted to build a modified inline engine. And having had a couple of these in the past both in the '56 I mentioned earlier and also the 218 version in a '47 Plymouth I had once, I've already got a soft spot for these engines. Plus..... it's a FLATHEAD!
I was already going to reverse the firewall in the A anyway, just because I hate the protruding look they have stock. I think that'll provide adequate room. But if it doesn't, it'll still be no big deal to take care of. The engine is really quite small, dimensionally, compared to most inlines of the era.
Woodz428, I doubt I'll have $2K in this engine when it's done, a fraction of what I have in the LT1 in the Vette. And kruzr, when I build a car and/or an engine, I'm not afraid to drive it anywhere. The last time a car broke down on the road for me was over 20 years ago. And it was simply a failed pick-up coil in the distributor of the '77 Pinto wagon that was my DD at the time. Here's an adage I've always remembered from back in my serious racing days. It's known as the five P's: Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. This is the way I've always worked on my own stuff as well as anyone else's. I guess I'm old school, I still put quality and workmanship above all else.
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:45 AM
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flathead

If you get tired of messing with the flathead let me know. I'm just over the hill from you in Tn. My 48 pilot house needs an engine.
tinlizzy
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:07 AM
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Try this Web Sit, too. "The Forward Look"
http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/se...author=&days=0
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:49 PM
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Dad bought a new 53 Coronet 2 door post strippo flat 6 with a heater for $1600 I remember.
In 55 when there were no highway speed limits in Indiana, and he sneaked through a yellow light about 35 mph.
A few minutes later a road block stopped us about 10 miles down the road.

Seems as though two 54 Chevy police cars had been chasing us for 10 miles and we were leaving them (us showing 96 on the speedo). They couldn't even get close enough for us to see their gumball.

Dad had to follow them back 10 miles to the court and pay a $10 fine for running a red light.
No charges for fleeing since the cops admitted that since their car only ran 84 they couldn't get close enough to the Dodge for Dad to know they were behind him. LOL.
Gotta love those Dodges.
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:01 PM
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My first car was 48 Plymouth Special Deluxe that belonged to my Dad. I literally drove the wheels off that car and the flathead six never quit and always ran great. I sold it to buy a 56 Chevy 210 sedan, one of the best moves I have ever made...wish I still had it....the 56 that is.

Vince
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Old 11-28-2008, 05:36 PM
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Talking of inline flatheads .Pontiac had a straight 8 in the 50's. My friend had one in a 54 and we out ran the cops one nite. They were in 64 ford 6's with autos that were really slooowww.
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