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Another Shoebox engine/trans question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by msalamanca, May 11, 2012.

  1. msalamanca
    Joined: May 25, 2011
    Posts: 526


    Havent been on here in a while.
    My 51 came to a halt, due to time and money.
    Getting ready to start working on it again, and have come to the realization that a flathead at this time is not going to work.
    I have a 53 flathead, no visable cracks, has a good compression. Needs new starter or rebuild, Carb, Waterpumps, Generator, tune up, and a hope it starts. The cylinder walls are pretty reamed.
    I could probably run it as is with the things listed, but in all honesty, I want a reliable driver, and do not have the money at this time to invest in a rebuild at this moment.
    So I have debating on a sbc or a 302. Dont really want to hear any of the crap debate about not being tradish or cool. So keep it to yourself, or come to my house and rebuild my flatty at your expense. Simple as that.

    I want to keep the body, frame orig as possible, so if and when I get the money for a rebuilt flathead I can put it in, or if I ever decide to sell my shoe. it will be left uncut for the next person.

    So drum roll.
    Here are the questions.
    I would like to keep the stock 3 speed w/OD if possible, which one will be easier to adapt to it, the 302 or sbc?
    Which engine/trans combo would require less body/frame cut and refab?

    I would rather spend the money on the outside and interior at this point of the build, then into a flathead, I want to drive and enjoy it sooner then later.

    Thanks in advance for the productive responses.
  2. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    The sbf should bolt in but you'll have to build motormounts. not sure if you can buy them. The sbc with an adapter plate will bolt in too and you can get an aftermarket motormount to bolt to the flathead mounts. Six of one half dozen of the other.
  3. msalamanca
    Joined: May 25, 2011
    Posts: 526


    Thanks for your reply.
  4. Last edited: May 12, 2012

  5. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 9,016

    from Phoenix,AZ

    Speedway has the mounts, if you use an SBF 5.0 (aka 302) with the dual sump fox body oil pan that clears, and if it has the factory headers they clear also or Hedman 88420 for better flow.
  6. msalamanca
    Joined: May 25, 2011
    Posts: 526


    Ok, so I had lunch with a patient of ours. He has been building cars for 50+ years and offered me either a 302 with c4 or a 1957 283 w/Manuel trans. The 283 is low miles and dressed up. He said he would let me have either one, and if I like the way it runs give him a few bucks.
    We started talking about flatheads, and he said I should run the one I have being that it had good compression and if it dies then put one of the engines he is offering to me. So I cleaned up my flathead a bit, this is what I found.

    I can see the end of the crack in the cylinder, it goes about 1/4 inch down it.

    Any suggestions?
    This engine thing has been a pain in my ass. I am not sure why its been so difficult for me, I think I have commitment issues haha.

    Attached Files:

  7. Flattys are expensive to build properly and not really budget minded projects. That's why i opted for the sbf, c4 combo. I love flattys but just not in my budget.
  8. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,705

    Jalopy Joker

    Guess your time to replace the flathead came sooner than you thought it would - have fun

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