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Technical 1951 Mercury Flathead build cam question......

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Chopped 46 Ford, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. Chopped 46 Ford
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 54

    Chopped 46 Ford
    Member

    I'm about to start going back together with my Merc flathead 8CM. Will have minimal clean up, not trying to hog it out and stroke it. Pistons will be at most 30 over and bearing might be 10 over. Staying with the 4" Merc crank. and original rods. It will have Offenhauser heads and intake, running two Stromberg 97's. Question is should i reuse the original cam, there's nothing wrong with it or would an aftermarket cam be worth the money. I'm not trying to make a race motor or squeeze out every horsepower I can. Just building a good cruising around car with its original engine. Which by the way, no one has ever touched the inside of since Ford built it 51, until we torn it down last weekend.
     
    bskustoms likes this.
  2. buffaloracer
    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 806

    buffaloracer
    Member
    from kansas

    As you have found out, flathead cams are not cheap. I'm facing a similar situation. If Henry had put the camshaft dead center it would be much easier to get a good regrind. Sorry I can't be of more help but this will kick it back up to the top.
    Pete
     
  3. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,936

    ROADSTER1927
    Member

    If that is going in your avatar or a mercury they are heavy cars and a stock cam is probably best.
     
    porknbeaner and sidevalve8ba like this.
  4. 504640
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 533

    504640
    Member

    I am using and Isky, 77-B. It is regarded a torque monster!
     
    Pinstriper40 likes this.

  5. Pinstriper40
    Joined: Sep 24, 2007
    Posts: 3,454

    Pinstriper40
    Member

    I've got an Isky 77b in mine as well. Good mild street cam, I'd recommend a new cam, especially if you haven't got your lifters in a row or are installing new lifters anyway.
     
    504640 likes this.
  6. Chopped 46 Ford
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 54

    Chopped 46 Ford
    Member

    Yes its going back in the 1951 Mercury it came out of.
     
  7. Chopped 46 Ford
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 54

    Chopped 46 Ford
    Member

    Yes i was going to use the Johnson style hollow adjustable lifters.
     
  8. Pinstriper40
    Joined: Sep 24, 2007
    Posts: 3,454

    Pinstriper40
    Member

    You're best to use a new cam with new lifters. I know old lifters can wear out a new cam faster, but I don't know if the effect is the same the other way around. You'll be very happy with an Isky 77B cam.
     
    504640 likes this.
  9. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,908

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I had a brand new Iskendarian MAX-1 cam and kit on the shelf. I was considering installing it in the '51 Mercury engine that I was putting in my '51 Ford. After much research, I decided to stay with the Mercury cam. It has .338" lift (just a little less than the "MAX-1"), while a stock Ford cam is .307". My engine is a stock bore and stroke with a set of Edmunds heads massaged to .050" squish, a Rochester 2GC on a bored out Merc manifold, and a Mallory dual point. The car runs perfect, has enough get up and go around town, and will easily hit 85 on the freeway (as fast as I want to go). I am glad I did this, and I didn't have to buy another cam for my "hot rod" engine.

    It sounds like you are going to run a mild engine in a heavy car. I'd say "use the Merc cam". If you don't already know about it, here is an interesting web page : http://www.tildentechnologies.com/Cams/FlatheadPerformance.html.
     
  10. flatjack
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 945

    flatjack
    Member

    I totally agree with using the stock cam.
     
  11. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,070

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    All is for naught if you stay with the LOM distributor.
     
    504640 likes this.
  12. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 899

    v8flat44

    Some folks on the Ford Barn say the 8cm & eac Merc cam is better in a heavy car than a Max 1.
    Putting an 8cm in my 8ba, 30 over , 3 3/4 stroke. It pulled good even with 2 bad cylinders with that cam prior to rebuild. Just say'n. m
     
  13. Chopped 46 Ford
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 54

    Chopped 46 Ford
    Member

    Have a GM distributor from Bubba.
    Engine is .030 over to clean up the bores.
    Guess I'll get the machine shop to give the original cam a good checkout and if there's no issue there, could run with it and save $350.
    So then that brings back up the question of old cam and new lifters???? Will be going back in with the Johnson style hollow adjustable lifters and new valve train kit from Red's.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  14. I seldom use a hot cam in an engine that is not running a lot of compression and in a flathead I would relieve the block and shave the heads ( something I can do for free) before I spent money on a cam shaft.

    .010 under on the crank is common but I am surprised that it cleaned up @ +.030. You got lucky. If your cam is good I would run it. It will still sound good ( if you want lumpy just pull the choke handle) and your fresh mill should pull you around just fine.
     
  15. Chopped 46 Ford
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 54

    Chopped 46 Ford
    Member

    Engine was completely virgin. So .030 over on the cylinders, main bearings .010 and rod bearings .010. When i tore it down, nothing was stuck and everything rotated nice and smooth. So yeah from the stories I've seen and read, i was lucky with this block.
    I'm not trying to do anything other than just make it run nice and reliable (as a reliable as a flatty can get anyway). These engines sound good no matter what cam they have!
     
  16. I know that this goes against all hot rod knowledge but the flathead Ford is as reliable as an engine gets.

    The guys who have unreliable flathead engines fall into two categories, the ones who found one that has a million miles on it and threw it in a car or the ones who have built them way past what they should have as in 250-300 ponies ( the equivalent to a 900 horse SBC :D). New and properly maintained that motor would have given the buyer 100,000 carefree miles and they normally got driven cross country. fresh motor of any brand should be at least as good as a new motor.
     
  17. Chopped 46 Ford
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 54

    Chopped 46 Ford
    Member

    I agree and that's why I'm just making this one look a little cooler than factory and only doing the bare minimum machining to clean it up. Don't want to have to go back and do anything twice, do it right the first time. Which is why I'm trying to figure out the great cam/lifter debate.....lots of opinions in lots of different directions. All have valid points. Got to figure out which way will suit me best.
     

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