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Technical 1953 Flathead Head Help!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Steve Serpa, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. Hi, I'm new to this forum and have a question about a head gasket job I'm doing on my 53 Ford Customline. I found a lot of carbon buildup on the pistons and wanted to know if its normal and can I do anything about cleaning them?

    Thanks, Steve
     

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  2. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    JohnEvans
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    Pretty much normal ,I'd leave it alone. Chase all the head bolt threads in the block before reassembly.
     
  3. Will do. Thanks

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  4. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,493

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

    Some Marvel Mystery Oil in the tank and the oil every couple of fill ups will keep the carbon build up in check.
     

  5. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,231

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Chase with a thread chaser or a modified head bolt, not a tap!
     
  6. What Tubman said.Never tap!and put sealant on the bolts.
     
  7. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 541

    GeezersP15
    Member
    from N.E. PA

    What is the issue with using a tap to chase the threads?
     
  8. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,853

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Head threads have rolled edges, not cut. A tap will cut the threads sharper and larger, possibly causing leaks. A thread chaser won't.

    As for the carbon, a little clean up with WD40 would do nicely.
     
  9. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 996

    birdman1

    What is the issue with using a tap to clean the threads? This is new to me, please explain to this know-it-all old goat.
     
  10. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 996

    birdman1

    The threads in the block are rolled?? How is that possible?? I thought only bolt(external) threads could be rolled
     
  11. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,853

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Ok, I said rolled and maybe I'm not 100% accurate, but I do know that the thread type differs from your typical tap and that the head bolts have rounded edges on the threads.
    Somebody will chime in and set it straight.
     
  12. JonF
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 169

    JonF
    Member

    There are different classes of thread fits. What Ford used was a tighter fit class and you probably won't find a tap like that. So...

    Don't stick a tap in those holes. Maybe use a thread chaser or nothing at all.
     
  13. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don
    Member

    A modern tap will clean the threads and take out a small amount of metal. The tool venders at a swap meet have a set of inside and outside thread chasers that do a great job. The deck thickness on a flathead is very little, those threads can spare no loss of metal. Use a good grade of sealer on each well cleaned bolt. Torque them in stages, 30, 35, 40, 45, if any one feels eaiser than the others leave it, 50, 55, heat and cool the engine, 50 and 55 again, then lightly try any one that felt easy before. If its no longer easy, see if it will take 50 and leave it.
     
  14. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 541

    GeezersP15
    Member
    from N.E. PA

    Thank you for the explanation.
     
  15. 56shoebox
    Joined: Sep 14, 2011
    Posts: 1,106

    56shoebox

    Do you have original metal heads or after market aluminum? My Edelbrock's recommended three re-torques after each cool down to a certain psi.
     
  16. Thanks for the input fellas. Also do I need to add any type sealant to the head gastket prior to installation?



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  17. flatjack
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 896

    flatjack
    Member

    I take an old head bolt and file several notches along the length of the threads and use that to chase the threads. I don't use sealant on the head gasket, but you will get a lot of differing opinions. Both head and deck surfaces have to be flat.
     
  18. and probably over the years the threads have already been chased unless you have an original block undisturbed, which I sincerely doubt, I always use thread sealer on the studs or bolts I have always had the best luck with GM pipe sealant with PTFE part no. 12346004 available at any GM dealer the best stuff I have ever used. PS I also spray the head gaskets with coppercoat JMHO the main thing is to torque till the head bolts maintain their torque, sometimes it may take 3-4 tries before you are set.
     
  19. Listen to Carl!!!
     
  20. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 996

    birdman1

    what ever way you clean the threads, make sure to go all the way in with the chaser, otherwise the bolt will bottom out and more problems.
     
  21. kjvma131
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 31

    kjvma131
    Member
    from New Jersey

    It looks pretty normal to me. Just one more thing, make sure you change the oil after all the head work. Bearings don't like antifreeze too much.
     
  22. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,298

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    It is OK to clean off carbon. Use a brass scraper so you don't gouge the aluminum piston. A wire brush in an electric drill works well too.
     
  23. I did clean the bolts with a wire brush however I did not know what everyone meant by chasing the bolt. I did torque the bolts per Ford shop manual.
     

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