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Technical 32 Hot Rod Build

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by AaronAndSons, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. AaronAndSons
    Joined: Jun 2, 2019
    Posts: 7

    AaronAndSons
    Member

    Hi all,

    Going to venture into my first 32 and wanted to ask some advice on my selected power train concept. If you have another idea or reason against this, please post details as to why.

    I have a lead on a flathead and will do a mild build on that with an offy 4brl intake and FiTech EFI. I’d like to go with a C4 automatic.

    I have a spare rear end out of a 56 Ford wagon that is a Dana 44 with 3.54 gears that is 50” wide from backing plate to plate - which should work well.

    It will be a full fender build.

    Happy to hear input on this setup. My goal is a traditional look hot rod mostly used for cruising and not looking to tune it all the time (hence EFI) and city driving (hence C4).

    Cheers
    Aaron
     
  2. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 13,689

    alchemy
    Member

    That’s a goofy rearend. Any rebuild needed will cost more than it’s worth. I’d suggest a more modern Ford 8” or 9”.
     
    Harms Way and olscrounger like this.
  3. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,694

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If this is your first hot rod build don't try to re-invent the wheel. Just follow the tried-and-proven path: Carbureted SBC/TH350/8-inch Ford. Mounts and adapters are readily available in the aftermarket and the end result will be pleasant to drive, reliable and easy to source repair parts while on the road. You will have learned a lot and gained a bunch of experience and reliable advice during this build. Once it's done and on the road you can try to be cool with your second build.
     
  4. AaronAndSons
    Joined: Jun 2, 2019
    Posts: 7

    AaronAndSons
    Member

    This is not my first hot rod build, it’s my first 32. I prefer leaving a Ford in a Ford and would like to do a flathead.
     
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  5. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 4,115

    continentaljohn
    Member

    Good luck with the build and a Dana 44 is a good strong rearend with a 8 .5 ring gear on the early ones. It was used by many manufacturers like Willy’s, Jeep ,Chrysler , international harvester ,studebaker and Ford. Plenty of parts and cheap and still being used to this day . Currie and many 4 wheel drive joints have the parts if needed.
    I believe you have the early keyed axles and they do sell the solid one piece axles. In 1971 -75 Dana made solid one piece axles on the Jeep line and full floating axles on the corn binders .
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  6. solidaxle
    Joined: Jan 6, 2011
    Posts: 344

    solidaxle
    Member
    from Upstate,NY

    If you post some pictures on what your starting with, you'll get opinions!
     
  7. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,148

    treb11
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If you want an engine you don't have to maintain, the flathead ain't it. Valve adjustments, points. Short oil change intervals. Get a EFI 5.0 if you must have Ford-in-Ford.
     
  8. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 4,962

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    A 4 barrel on a flathead? Meh. A couple of two barrels under the hood and a fifth of single barrel in the glove box.
     
    TUDORTOBY, nochop, VANDENPLAS and 2 others like this.
  9. AaronAndSons
    Joined: Jun 2, 2019
    Posts: 7

    AaronAndSons
    Member

    That's fair, the EFI negates the carb tune issues and the points can be replaced with electric: https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Pert...ad-Distributor-Ignitor-Kit-12V-Neg,76684.html

    If valve adjustments and oil changes is all I'm left with, that is fine.

    However, I have considered a 302 crate motor as well in this.
     
    ottoman likes this.
  10. Dirty Dug
    Joined: Jan 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,525

    Dirty Dug
    Member

    There's nothing wrong with a flathead. They were reliable from the '30's to the '50's and still are today.
     
  11. 66gmc
    Joined: Dec 4, 2005
    Posts: 410

    66gmc
    Member
    from saskatoon

    I would reccomend staying away from FiTech, the shop I work at has installed 5 of them and every single one went bad. Do a search online for some of the horror storys.
    Simplicity is the key to reliability which is why all my vehicles (including my daily) are carbureted. If they are set up properly they shouldnt need to be constantly retuned.

    Sent from my SM-G950W using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  12. AaronAndSons
    Joined: Jun 2, 2019
    Posts: 7

    AaronAndSons
    Member

    There seems to be good and bad on them all. Chip Foose has been known to go FiTech.

    Any you have heard of that are good?

    PS my other cars are carbs so I’m still open to going for a 3x2 Edelbrock setup.
     
  13. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,009

    el Scotto
    Member
    from Tracy, CA

    I’m of the keep it simple stupid (KISS) rule on a car you plan to drive places.

    If you can’t find any given part at an O’Really or OttoStoned auto parts store I’d consider something else. Being a guy who drives old shit there’s piece of mind being able to fix something on the fly and and get back on the road fast.

    AD210066-D3CE-417F-BFF4-824B200725F4.jpeg

    ^ Fixing a dead electric fuel pump in a parts store lot. Took us longer to get the camping shit out of the trunk than to actually fix the bad pump.
     
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  14. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,166

    dumprat
    Member
    from b.c.

    I will second the dana 44 diff. The design is very versatile and parts interchange very well through the years, right up to 2006 in fact.

    A fuel injected engine won't get much love here. And if you are going to build a flatty it needs multiple carbs just because....
     
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  15. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,687

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    What flathead? It does make a difference. Late flatheads 48-53 8RT and 49-53 8BA plus the Mercurys of the same period have the Ford Loadomatic vacuum advance. The LOM distributors only work with the matching 2bbl. This has to be changed if the induction system is changed.

    With that said a fairly stock late flathead with headers, maybe a cam, the original 2 bbl and LOM distributor can be quite peppy in a light car like a 32. It makes a nice simple hot rod.

    Earlier flatheads actually have mechanical advance and are really better distributors. This too varies by year...as what is the best. Vern Tardel and Bishop have a series of booklets on these.

    Gosh, for that car I think an automatic just sucks the life out of it. I strongly suggest a 42-47 truck or F1- 48-50 heavy or light duty 3 speed. It's the same as the 1939 topshift Ford but open drive.

    With the money spent on the C-4 adapting.....go manual and that dough can be rolled into the flathead or other aspects of the car.
     
    big duece likes this.
  16. AaronAndSons
    Joined: Jun 2, 2019
    Posts: 7

    AaronAndSons
    Member

    The adaption kits for a C4 on a flathead aren't that much really. Much less than the kit I had to get to put an AOD behind a Y-block...

    Shifting gears with the traffic I'm in sucks. I have a 4-speed on my 69 Bee and it is a blast to drive on an open road, but sucks in traffic with hills. A lot.

    I'll get back with more information on the flathead I'm ending up with.
     
  17. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,166

    dumprat
    Member
    from b.c.

    And by no stretch of the imagination do you have to run the sucky stock distributor!
    Lots of guys have adapted all sorts of better points and electronic distributors to both flatheads.

    Mallory dual points are cheap used and with some minor machine work fit.
     
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  18. AaronAndSons
    Joined: Jun 2, 2019
    Posts: 7

    AaronAndSons
    Member

  19. This is the Hamb and if you end up using efi don't talk about it, The EFI is considered off topic.

    As far as a flathead, there is nothing wrong with them but be prepared to spend more than you think you will, I've never had a automatic behind a flathead but I'm sure some here has and they can give you the correct information, for me I like a 9" Ford, the next thing would be a 8" Mustang, Maverick or Granada.

    Good luck with what ever you decide. HRP
     
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  20. AaronAndSons
    Joined: Jun 2, 2019
    Posts: 7

    AaronAndSons
    Member

    Fair, although fuel injection is hardly a new technology and applying a bit of new on a bit of old is really at the core of hot rodding in general. Not like I am suggesting a Coyote engine swap (which would be ridiculous for a lot of reasons)
     
    32Stoker likes this.
  21. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,687

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    Forget the flathead. Find a 331 Cadillac and a 4 speed Hydro. It fits just as good as a flathead, maybe better.
    It's period.
    It may be easier to find than you think.
    It's an auto.
    It's one of the most beautiful engines ever made.
    It's cool.
    It does everything you need without worrying about cracks and overheating.
    It would be freaking awesome in a 32.
     
  22. AlsopAndSons
    Joined: Jun 5, 2019
    Posts: 20

    AlsopAndSons
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    (Changed my username)

    That would be cool, but the flathead came with the deal so I sort of already have one. :)
     
  23. Dyce
    Joined: Sep 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,761

    Dyce
    Member

    I wouldn't recommend a fitech on a flathead. I just put one on my 40 chevy and it has been a struggle. I'm not sure what they offer now, but the small unit is for 400hp and looks like it flows at least 750 cfm. I got it running good but now with all of the stories I read online I'm afraid to take it on a road trip to far from home. I hope they are able to sort everything out because there is a huge market for there product. To me it's all older 1980s and 90s technology how hard can it be.

    The rear end sounds like it is to narrow. It sounds like one I had out of a mail jeep, but they usually had 4.11 or lower gears. If you use a buggy spring mounts will be tricky and your wheels will be limited to reversed offset. I like the front loader housings better too. It is my opinion axles with rear covers look out of place, especially if you run a flathead.
     
    AlsopAndSons likes this.
  24. AlsopAndSons
    Joined: Jun 5, 2019
    Posts: 20

    AlsopAndSons
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks for the recommendations guys, I'm leaning more towards a 3x2 setup for the intake.
     
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  25. AlsopAndSons
    Joined: Jun 5, 2019
    Posts: 20

    AlsopAndSons
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Shifting gears a bit - no pun intended... I'd like to also talk suspension suppliers.

    I've used TCI in the past for other builds and I see they have some options. I'm going to take advantage of the discounts here and go with the 4-link from Welder Series for the rear end.

    I'd like to go with a traditional dropped axle setup in the front. I do like the look of the radius rods, but not more about performance than style points. It will also be a fender car so not as visible as a high boy build.

    I like getting complete kits - so with the vega steering box, pitman arm, rack, springs, disc brakes, etc, etc to get some package discounts.

    Any thoughts on TCI for these or vendors here that are better? I do like the SoCal drilled out look on the axel.

    PS I have ordered a few of Verns books to get more up to speed on how they did their more traditional builds - figured this group would have more current supplier info
     
  26. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,694

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Subscribed. I'm enjoying the input to this project concept and am interested to see how the build responds to the input. Looking forward to photos of the starting point and progress photos as it goes along. Separating the good advice from the bad - and the knowledgeable from the smoke-blowers - is difficult at best. Good luck!
     
    AlsopAndSons likes this.
  27. AlsopAndSons
    Joined: Jun 5, 2019
    Posts: 20

    AlsopAndSons
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'll post some photos on Thursday. :)
     
  28. AlsopAndSons
    Joined: Jun 5, 2019
    Posts: 20

    AlsopAndSons
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  29. oliver westlund
    Joined: Dec 19, 2018
    Posts: 674

    oliver westlund
    Member

    my opinion is ya gotta pick a build date for your car, it seems like by going with a flathead you want a period build, otherwise a big block would be funner. my advise is pick a period you want your rod grom and try to only use parts from before that date, tons of options for any period, with a flathead id say pep it up a little but dont plan on getting even halfway decent power without a major investment. gotta determine what youre gonna use the car for too. just my 2 cents, pick a period and tell us what youre gonna do with the car and we can give you the best advice
     
  30. AlsopAndSons
    Joined: Jun 5, 2019
    Posts: 20

    AlsopAndSons
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My plan is best called “period inspired”. The broad strokes of flathead and ibeam suspension - but not to the extent of 100% period parts.

    Disc brakes, automatic, better gauges, and minor body changes are all on the table.
     

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