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Old 01-16-2009, 05:36 AM
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Flathead Ford????

O.K. I only know a little about flatheads. I do know they are a cool part of history and have always wanted to use one in a project. HERE IS MY STORY.
I found a complete flathead out of a ford truck...it has radiator, ex. manifolds belts hoses etc. Has not been run for about a year but owner said it ran very good and did have one valve hung up (which I am told is a common, fairly easy thing to take care of )and one waterpump leaked.
My 31 fenderless Hi boy currently has a stock small block with a 350 automatic trans. I know there is a big power difference, but I just like to cruise this car. Will I be disappointed if I put this in my car?
Before buying flathead, what should I look for, I am looking at less than 500.00 for motor and irrigation pump it is hooked to mounted to a "farm built" trailer.
Thanks for any input,
Rick

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Old 01-16-2009, 05:45 AM
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The "flatty" will give you the look of old school and they are a reliable motor , but comparing them to a 350 is apples and oranges. The 350 can give you more HP and more torque. Also , if you are on the road and have a problem, the chances of getting a part for the 350 is way better than going to your local NAPA and asking for a generator for a flathead.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:45 AM
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if you know the history, then you know about cracks. Its almost like buying a pig in a poke. you know a pig is in there and its alive,but with the f/h all you know is that its a f/h. can you recoup any money on the pump? what yr, and is it a 49-53 merc? 4'' crank.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:28 AM
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Flatties are a beautiful piece. I wanted to put one in my 37.Decided for more dependabilty and ease of parts availabilty in a 327.

If they dont run good ,can "costalotta".

Like someone once said "why spend all that money to go slow",whatever you do decide good luck.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:44 AM
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The biggest problems I saw with close friends who love the old look in their cars is,
the ignition systems don't seem to be really reliable, even if using a modern version/parts,
they all seem to have cooling problems with the original style dual pumps, regardless of radiator or fan. They are keeping the OLD LOOK.

Converting to a Chevy distributor and water pump/fan is not the "look" they want, so they suffer in the summer with overheating and occasional ignition glitches. I have traveled with them and had to stop while they change ignition timing trying to reduce the overheating situation.

These are "old timers" who have decades of flatty experience because they grew up driving these things.

The cars are great for drawing a crowd at DairyQueen, but almost nobody drives them farther than 30 miles one way because of the reliability.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:37 PM
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Thanks for the input and comments. If the ignition and waterpump conversions are not obnoxious looking, I would have no problem with the upgrades. I do like the fact that the SBC is pretty much trouble free and as stated earlier, easy to repair on the road. That is the primary reason why I have always been a chevy fan.
In regards to cracks, is there any thing that can be done to check out the motor? The only thing I ever heard was get it running without fanbelt and see if the radiator coolant is moving or gurgling. If it is there is pressure from the compression getting into water jacket.
I can buy it for around 400-500 bucks, but I really don't want to buy a pig in a poke as stated earlier. The motor is a later model flathead (24 bolts in the head) but the man selling it said it is out of a truck. Don't know if I could get anything for the pump, I would definitely try. Trailer that it is mounted to is nothing special.
Thanks again for the feedback, any more would be appreciated.
Rick
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:51 PM
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While I do not conceder myself any kind of expert on flathead engine, I do consider myself a Flathead person....Meaning I love the old hunks of iron. Its a really twist for me, cause I mainly always work on modern EFI 4-cam engine, so the older ones seam special.

I have had two flaties, and both are great old engine I was a'46 and the one I have now is somewhere in the '36-'38 range. Doing some research, I also found Ford was less then diligent in there Engine code department, and identifying an engine is not always possible. My curerent project, which is just something I'm going for myself and for fun, is to set-up a flatie with all the modern conveniences of today, but keep the charm of yester year. I started by switching to the new aluminum Elderbrock heads, a new MSD pointless distributor, with MSD 6A ignition control box, and twin trurbochargers that are inter-cooled and feeding an Accel DFI electronic fuel injection kit. I am about 70% finished, I just got the thing all painted, and the turbo manifolds/headers done and mounted. I don't car about practicality, or even how it runs, I just wanted to do something different and that it.

For you, I think the move to replace the 350 with the flathead would have to be personal. Truthfully, right now you have about the most popular, and most boring combination there is out their. Every monkeys uncle has taken the cheap chevy small block and used it on there project, it a good engine, just it's be done so many times it seems to be pretty laim by now. The Flathead, would give your car an instant recognition and show as something different. I know when I go to the car shows, if a car has a chevy SB, I simply keep on walking, and don't even look at it, it's boring. But I think you'll find that while you might not have all the HP you once had, you'll end up with something far more popular and you and your car will get looked at with much more interest and attention.
In the fifties, the flathead was the tried and true engine, and everyone wanted the newer V-8's, and now after all these years, the tables have turned once again. With only the poorest or simplest cars running a SBC or BBC engine.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:59 PM
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EXACTLY

Why NOT??
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:20 PM
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The flathead engine has a very distinct sound to it, I would rather drive slow and steady down the backroads of the country enjoying the scenery and listening to the roar of the pipes than, being a didget on the Super highways running from point A to B.

If you love hot rods, old engines, cold beer and easy women, stick with the flathead and the memories.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:55 PM
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flathead ford

have over hauled many, they are hard to work on, the stuck valve means remove head and intake, getting the valve assm out can betrying. like preveous posts cracked valve seats,and ex paseges not un comen.cambearing wear critical ,if oil pressure low when hot cam bearings and oil pump required. if you are really lucky the stuck valve may respond to lossen all,pull head and gently tap valve after lubing then turn engine over by hand and repeat, if that workes start her up and run some oil threw in small doses. worth the effort,and if repaired corectly they ar very dependable
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Old 01-17-2009, 05:26 PM
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Well I negotiated the deal and bought the "flattie" I figure that it is worth the risk for what I had to give for it. The markings on the head are EAB. I won't get to work on it until February. Thanks all, I will keep you posted on the outcome.
Rick
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:48 PM
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Good, The EAB Markings tell me it's a 1952-53 Ford or Mercury, but I think the EAC is Mercury....So it's a 239 or 255 depending on which make. I wish you luck, and I think you made a great purchase, even if it doesn't find it's way into your car.
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