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Anyone running a flathead rebuilding one,I am interested in any of your issues good or bad. I have a flathead in my shoebox but never have torn it down,that car will more than likely be up for sale soon anyway,can't afford two cars.
 

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I have run a '51 Mercury flathead in a '36 Ford roadster for about 6 years now. I like the little motor and it runs plenty strong enough but the bottom line is it will cost you twice as much to build to get half the horse power. It will, however, draw a crowd at the local cruise in, sound really good and be fun to drive.

John L
 

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they are becoming more scarce so they have the "oddity" appeal. I'm guessing you're not after max power either as you're not asking about an engine swap. If you do go that route IMO you should focus more on show than go as it will never be an engine that can keep up with anything built in the last 50 years.
 

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Boy do I have memories of a 51 Ford coupe flathead three on the tree and one wheel burn-outs side stepping the clutch peddle.There is a guy on the net building a blown flathead that has drawn some interest.
 

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'48 Ford Tudor, '51 Mercury 255 swap. 4-bbl intake mounting a Carter WCFB. Kewl beans. Ran F/Gas unless a faster car showed up, then I would take the back seats out and run C/Altered for the trophy. hahahahahahahaha

The way to do a flathead today would be with one of the small blowers, like a Weiand 144.
 

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Typical costs for a 1949-1953 Merc 255 CI flathead V8:
Intake..$380, 4-barrel carb.
H-beam rods...$600
Cast steel crank...$600
Isky "3/4 Race" camshaft...$320
Pistons, forged, 8:1 CR...$500
Steel front main cap...$400
Steel center main girdle...$800
SB Chevy harmonic damper...$100
Edelbrock Heads...$550
Mallory distributor ...$400
Improved water pumps ... $200

Ford/Merc flat head V8 engines tend to run hot so a special water pump and large capacity radiator with 15 lb. cap is required.

That is just the minimum number of parts. It would be for a daily driver Merc flat head V8 engine reliable at 5,500 RPM. My fried had a '53 Merc V8 engine in a '40 Ford Deluxe coupe before he replaced the Merc flat head with a 301 CI SB Chevy.

A man called "Old Man" I knew when I was 20 - 25 years old had a '36 Ford V8 Coupe with a '53 Merc V8 flat head that could run with the street rods with 265 - 283 - 327 Chevy V8 engines. Curiously, my friend beat the "Old Man" bad in the 1/4 mile with a 265 SB Chev, Duntov cam, 3- 2 barrel Strombergs, in a '35 Ford pick up. The '35 Ford pick up had a adapter and still had the original "granny low" 4-speed transmission and a 4.44:1 rear end. The "granny low" was useless and had to be shifted within 20 feet. He did not have a tach in that truck. When I rode with him, I would yell...."8,000 RPM, shiffffft"
 

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You could probably bump one up to around 200 hp and still have some reliability, but you could make that with a stone stock 350 for waaaaaayyy less money.
That is the bottom line right there. My Merc flathead is bored .060, Crower cam. adj lifters, high compression heads, 4 barrell carburator, exhaust port dividers. 1.60 inch chevy valves. tube headers, and small block chevy distributor. She is probably getting somewhere around that 200 hp with tremac 5 speed behind it. The bottom line is that it will probably run pretty close to a good chevy 283. The one issue I do not have is cooling problems. She will idle in traffic all day long on a 95 degree day at 185 degrees. If she ever starts to get warm it will when you are pushing it hard on the interstate on a hot day. The thing is with a 4 inch stroke and 3 1/4 (approx) bore it has gobs of torque.

 
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