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Projects 1951 flathead ford tear apart

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by leon phelps, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. leon phelps
    Joined: Dec 7, 2015
    Posts: 11

    leon phelps

    hello,

    worked on plenty of stuff, new to this flathead world. have a 1951 pickup with a flathead in it and a manual trans. have engine and trans out of it. Engine rotates, but compression was crap. I took heads off to find out that most valves were stuck.. soaked them for a week and now all but two open and close. I took one of the valves out to find out the lifter was collapsed. The second lifter is collapsed also. I am thinking of just taking the whole thing apart and doing a complete top end rebuild. Engine turns over freely by hand. I also have about a gallon of kerosene in the oil that I was using the crank the engine and let the oil pump bathe the valves and lifters to free them up.

    The transmission is stuck to the block. I got it about two inches apart and now it is not going any more. I am wondering if I just need a bigger prybar and should see where it goes. I do have the starter out, but the starter bracket is still in there. I would prefer to power wash all of these parts separately and paint them before reassembly. Have taken a couple manual transmissions from the engine and remember that they just separated once out.

    thanks for any info. knowing what the engine type and transmission type are would help me down the line I suppose.
    20151109_075411.jpg
     
  2. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Trans is probably hung into the disc with rust on splines. Trick here is to force trans bavk evenly so you don't crack the case or bend possibly restorable parts...drive in wooden wedges at several places and keep tapping, with the multiple wedges holding trans close to alignment. It'll come out.
    Flathead collapsed lifters are due to turning engine over with VERY stuck valves, pushing the stems right through. From that, I think teardown and valve job will be a very good idea!
    Engine last lived in a pickup, trans is pickup 3 speed almost identical except for open drive output to earl Fords.
    Flatheads have mostly been transplanted and rebuilt multiple times, and all post 1949 blocks like that are about the same except for the number of hardened valve seats...depending on year and original application, could be from zero to 16. When you pop the lid, just check out stroke (a 4" Merc crank is what to hope for!) and condition and nature of valve seats.
     
  3. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,225

    19Fordy
    Member

    Your engine will most likely need a complete rebuild - not just the top end.
     
  4. leon phelps
    Joined: Dec 7, 2015
    Posts: 11

    leon phelps

    The cylinder walls all look good. no ridges and no scores anywhere. The oil pump works well, so thinking the top end should be all I need. The one cylinder with compression had 90 psi, so I am guessing that once the rest of them are seated properly I will be in acceptable range.
     

  5. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Keep your eyes open and look it all over carefully. You may well find the lower end good...flathead valves can seize up pretty quickly in unused engines as oil drains off. With no ridge running time is probably low. A complete teardown is not difficult and you have to do the hardest part anyway...getting the valves out.
     
  6. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,633

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Take the inspection plate off at the bell housing, (two 1/4" pan head screws) nd squirt a liberal amount of penetrating (PB Blaster) oil all over the clutch center, soaking some into the splines. Let it sit, spray again, and gently wedge it out as Bruce described.
    Tomorrow may be soon enough...(we don't want to 'rush into anything!'...)
    Who was it that said that?
    A Merc crank would be 'smokin' to find in there... ('Smokin'? Oh, a "Lucky Strike!") :D
     
  7. leon phelps
    Joined: Dec 7, 2015
    Posts: 11

    leon phelps

    Thanks. took the inspection plate off (needed the impact screwdriver) and then soaked it with penetrating oil. waited three days. Got two larger prybars and this time went between the trans and the flywheel bellhousing and it popped off. Power washed the trans, bellhousing, and heads. Gonna POR 15 them tomorrow.

    The trans was leaking out the rear shaft. Any idea where to get a complete set of transmission shafts to reseal it? Was told it was running and shifting fine when sat 30 years ago. I plan on looking inside when I change the seals.
     
  8. mink
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,310

    mink
    Member
    from CT

    Really looking forward to your tear down, hurry up take picture please
     
  9. leon phelps
    Joined: Dec 7, 2015
    Posts: 11

    leon phelps

  10. If it has hydraulic lifter and they are collapsed take them apart and clean them real good and inspect the pieces, if there is nothing broken then reassemble then use an oil can to fill them with oil and use them. Make sure you put the lifters back on the same lobe that they came off of.

    If you are saying collapsed mechanical lifters, then it is probably time for a cam shaft and lifters. mechanicals don't collapse they wear out. That would be rare.

    The reason I am throwing both of those out there is that I don't know when Ford started using hydraulics. I owned a couple of '50s valve in head fords with solids.
     
  11. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 6,225

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    Does the french flat head have solids or hydraulic?
     
  12. I did an article on them a few years back (actually edited it) and as I recall the one in question had hydraulics. it was a late model motor (as compared to what we normally fool with). Pretty easy to tell when you look at it, one if you look in the top of the valve it will have a keeper and two you will be able to collapse it when the valve is open just by pushing on the valve head.
     
    big duece likes this.
  13. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 6,225

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    Good to know, I have not had the heads off mine yet.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  14. I got wrenches load the bugger up and come over here. LOL
     
  15. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,757

    V8 Bob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    All Ford and Mercury flathead and Y-block V8 engines had solid lifters, while the 337" Lincoln flathead V8s were hydraulic, as were some previous V12s. Fords first hydraulic lifters came in '58 332" FEs.
    The stock aluminum flathead lifter is hollow, and a stuck valve can puncture through it, (as Bruce stated above) not really collapse it.
     
  16. I didn't think they had hydraulics but I wasn't going to go that far out on limb. I know that my '53 merc we had when I was in high school (me and a buddy) had solids but it was a hotted up mill before we bought the car.
     
  17. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 6,712

    Budget36
    Member

    To the OP,
    I noticed you fan and hub..the way you have sitting, the oil will leak out of it...www.vanpltsales.com has the fill procedure...make sure when you reinstall it to get oil in it.
     
  18. leon phelps
    Joined: Dec 7, 2015
    Posts: 11

    leon phelps

    thanks budget. It has been sitting 30 years so I was figuring I would be trying to install grease or change that part somehow.


    As for progress today...lol finally figured out how to remove these valves. Seems the two keepers were stuck to the end of the valves. My procedure was eventually lift the spring, spray with penetrant, then lift on washer and keepers would fall off. Just think, I only dropped on in the valley holes. As for removing the seats....
    [​IMG]

    so I eventually got everything out....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Try knocking the valve guides down instead of up. It's easier and less likely to break your house again.
     
    cadillacoffin likes this.
  20. leon phelps
    Joined: Dec 7, 2015
    Posts: 11

    leon phelps

    one of my collapsed lifters. the rest slid out easily. tried to slide one of the others in the hole from the collapsed one. didnt want to fit. looks like a trip to the machine shop.
    [​IMG]

    and the rest of my good lifters pretty much look the same...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  21. leon phelps
    Joined: Dec 7, 2015
    Posts: 11

    leon phelps

    I guess my next question is, since there was not wear on the bottom of the lifter can I assume my cam is fine?

    How much should I take off before taking it to the machine shop to get hot tanked? This is a mess, and I would like to clean it up.
     
  22. King ford
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,469

    King ford
    Member
    from 08302

    Best way to hot tank a block is as bare as you can get it!
     
  23. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,452

    drtrcrV-8
    Member

    Lincoln "Y-Blocks" had hydraulic lifters starting in '52(just correcting an earlier comment, not trying to Hi-Jack)
     
  24. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,757

    V8 Bob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If you are referring to my post, I stated FORDs first hydraulics were in '58, while Lincolns started using them on flathead V12s.
     
  25. leon phelps
    Joined: Dec 7, 2015
    Posts: 11

    leon phelps

    I bought some carbon cleaning spray and the solid lifters will now slide up and down in all of the bores. My question now is I bought one used solid lifter that appears to have the chrome moly coating worn off. Any ideas if it is ok to re-use it? It is only missing the chrome coating where it rubbed the block.
     
  26. leon phelps
    Joined: Dec 7, 2015
    Posts: 11

    leon phelps

  27. Leon, where are you located? I have a good 1951 light-duty F1 3-speed. Come to Cedar Rapids and pick it up, and its yours. I went the T-5 route.
     
  28. leon phelps
    Joined: Dec 7, 2015
    Posts: 11

    leon phelps

    I googled your trans, I have the same one. I need a seal kit for it though. Leaking out the shift lever and through spline side of trans. Thanks for the offer.
     

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