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Old 03-06-2005, 04:29 PM
51FordDuff's Avatar
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Flathead V8 ?'s " for school project"

i am asking some questions for a school paper i am doing on the flathead v8 thanks to everyone who answers the questions.

1. What type of motor do you think the flathead v8 is " good , Bad " ?

2. If you were building a resto/rat rod what type of motor would you prefer a flathead or a 350 chevy.

3. Do you think the flathead is a strong running motor?

4. If you were to "dress" a flathead up what would you do to it.

5. If you were to make the flathead a preformance motor what would you do to it?

6. What is the most important part to a motor in your opinion

7. What setup do you think works the best for carburation in a flathead ?

8. The flathead i have gets about 23mpg if you were to go with a diffrent setup for carbs how do you think it would rise ? drop ?

9. Would all new parts be better or worse for a flathead... what parts would make the motor better

10. What would a merc 4" crank do to this motor how would it help

11. Do you need to get new valves / updated ones for teh switch from leaded to unleaded fuels

And thanks for everyone who answers the questions.

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Old 03-06-2005, 09:35 PM
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1. The flathead was a decent motor for its time. You have to realise it was designed in the late nineteen twenties-early thirties. Powerful and cheap to build.
2. Personally I would use a Chevy. I got over flatheads in the sixties.
3. For its time, Yes. For now, No way.
4. Beehive filter, aluminum heads and intake. Chrome acorns and headers. Chrome water pipes.
5. Merc crank. Overbore, relieve block, Isky camshaft/adjustable lifters. Aluminum heads, Harmon-Collins ign. two-two bbl carb intake, headers.
6. Camshaft determines most of the engines characteristics.
7. Two 97 or 94's
8. Drop
9. All new? Most start out with used block and crank/rods. Of course a new bore/pistons and cam/lifters plus bearings and other hard parts are the best way to go.
10. See 5
11. We always replace the valves and grind three angles on the new ones. You should change the seats. The replacement seats are much better material than the old stuff.
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Old 03-10-2005, 06:36 AM
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They are very popular for many reasons, mostly nostalgic. When the overhead valve V8s came on the scene in the early to mid 50s the flatty was history as far as performance. A full race flatty could still be beat by a showroom stock 265 chevy. There are some good resource books on building a flathead. Tardel and Bishop have one called Building the AV8. Vintage speed parts are plentiful but pricey. Edelbrock and offenhauser still make some stuff. Vintage speed parts by Eddy Meyer, Navarro, Baron, Thicksun and others, all fetch high prices and 97 carbs have gotten insane lately. several hundred each for good ones.
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Old 03-12-2005, 08:49 PM
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Flathead Tech advise

Frank Oddo has written a book called "Ford Flathead V-8 Builders Handbook 1932-1953", Published by Fisher Books. Its well worth the $20, loaded with a lot of insider tips.
I dont agree with a showroom stock 265 Babbit Pounder being able to beat a full tilt Flathead though. A well tuned FI 283 would sure get the job done though.
The flathead was a great engine in its day, but then time has relegated it to the nostalgia classes, as far as performance uses go. Realistically, getting 1 HP per cubic inch from a flathead is about as good as it will get, running normal aspiration, and pump gas.
One of the best things you can do to a flathead is to port and relieve the block.
Back when I ran flatheads, money was scarce so we went for the most bang for the buck.
As we used to say, if it dont run your crome it. Meaning, you either made it look pretty or you put the money where it really mattered.
As for me, as for looks, Steel heads with crome acorn nuts still looks pretty neat.

Last edited by Max Keith; 03-12-2005 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:55 PM
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1. Versus modern engines...Bad In terms of cool....Good
2. A restored Rat Rod? You can't use a 350 chevy for that? Only flat head...however due to terminology a Rat Motor is a Big Block Chevy.
3. Compaired to a lawmower engine, yes...compaired to a conventional over head valve engine, no.
4. Put a bra on it...to catch the parts coming out of the bottem of it after it passes 6000 RPM. But if an aluminum vintage intake and carbs could be found for whatever Flathead model you have, that would be pretty cool...along with a vintage header....I'm talking the stuff that was manufacturered back in the 50's...you see it advertised all the time in the old vintage Hot Rod mags of the time.
5. I would put modern studs in the main bearing caps and connecting rod caps if possible...try to work out the use of some kind of modern spring material...retrofit/fab in an aftermarket fuel injection setup...crank trigger ignition.
6. Every part of the engine (a motor is electric) is important....they were put there for a reason...
7. Gasoline...
8. Well....it all depends on the rise and drop of your foot now doesn't it....
9. Parts that help strengthen the connection and tension of the moving parts.
10. Good question.....make it heaver?
11. Maybe...but I would be just as concerned about the valve seats...[
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