The Flathead Rebuild: Part 1

The Flathead Rebuild: Part 1

A few years ago, I spent a week at “Ranche De Tardel” learning the basics of building a flathead Ford. More recently, I dove into my own flathead that featured a tapping lifter. We were able to put a temporary patch on the lifter issue, but this motor powers my daily driver and a proper fix has been in my mind for awhile. So… Joyo, Silva, and I threw the ’39 on a trailer and made an absolute cannon ball run to Northern California. We arrived on Sunday night and just in time to start the work week at the ranch.

Our task today was to pull the motor and disassemble it for inspection. We started a bit late, but by 5pm our jeans were dirty and our engine bay was empty. Disassembly certainly isn’t rocket science and I won’t bore you with all of the gritty details, but doing something like this in the presence of the best flathead builder in the world (Keith Tardel) and at the mecca of the traditional hot rod movement (Vern Tardel’s Shop) is an experience that can only be described as pure. All three of us smiled all day long… Hell, we are still smiling.

And we’ve got a lot more smiling to do as we are just getting started. The next step is to inspect our disassembled motor and come up with a plan of action as far as machine work, parts, etc… With any luck, you will be able to follow us along as this post is just the first in a series. So, stay tuned… This is gonna be one hell of a week.

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