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Hot Rods Flat head yes or no?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 5wcoupehunter, Sep 27, 2021.

  1. fourspd2quad
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 806

    fourspd2quad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There was a time when I would say a car is too nice to modify but as nice as it is, it is still a Model A.
    There are probably thousands nice original ones out there. If it were a rare car different story. A cherry Model A is the perfect platform for a killer hot rod. Your car is a perfect example. If you decide on a flathead surely someone will make good use of the banger. Do what makes you happy it is just a car.:cool:
     
    chiro and 5wcoupehunter like this.
  2. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 937

    Bearing Burner
    Member
    from W. MA

    Flathead will cost you 2-3 times SBC. Will take 4-5 blocks before a good one. ANY engine upgrade will also need transmission and brake upgrade.
     
    daylatedollarshort likes this.
  3. Sweet looking coupe. My opinion: hop up the banger some, '39 trans, juice brakes, have FUN.
     
  4. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,852

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."
     
  5. 59 AB with Merc crank, cam. headers bolted to a S-10 5 speed. Sorry, I just cannot drive a 4 cylinder hot rod.
     
  6. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,014

    continentaljohn
    Member

    Dude you build some wicked cool stuff and I am sure this one will be another. Years ago at the LA roadster show I believe H and H had a banger motor that sounded like a nasty sbc or Offy motor. Build a crazy banger with a vs57 McCulloch supercharger
     
    The 39 guy and 5wcoupehunter like this.
  7. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 891

    trevorsworth
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  8. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,915

    RmK57
    Member

    It's a miracle three pages have gone by and the sbc "swap it" crowd haven't chimed in yet. How refreshing.
     
    loudbang, The37Kid and Fortunateson like this.
  9. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,852

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    "trevorsworth", just curious; is the "18.10" on the windshield your "dial-in" number?
     
    Stogy likes this.
  10. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 891

    trevorsworth
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not my car but I wish it was! That’s what I’m working toward on my 4 banger.
     
    Stogy likes this.
  11. 5wcoupehunter
    Joined: Oct 20, 2007
    Posts: 919

    5wcoupehunter
    Member
    from FLORIDA

    Sweet car, I like the little banger.
     
  12. 5wcoupehunter
    Joined: Oct 20, 2007
    Posts: 919

    5wcoupehunter
    Member
    from FLORIDA

    And that's exactly why I do it, just because I can!
     
  13. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,211

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    Man....sweet car. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
     
  14. Post 46 on page 2 ... might wanna take a closer look at the image :p:D
     
    flatheadpete likes this.
  15. Bugguts
    Joined: Aug 13, 2011
    Posts: 728

    Bugguts
    Member

    Question for all the guys saying hop up the 4. What does it cost to hop up a 4 compared to a flat 8?
    Many said it's cheaper. How much?
    How reliable is it after all the work?
    I've seen both in my old Hot Rod mags from the later 50's., but definitely more 8's.
     
    5wcoupehunter and Stogy like this.
  16. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,211

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    I wasn't going to mention that atrocity...
     
    X38 likes this.
  17. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 891

    trevorsworth
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It’s a lot less work and money than re-engineering the chassis for a V8. You’re looking at new motor mounts, a K-member, modified front & rear suspension, and hydraulic brakes. A banger can be made to compete with V8s with just bolt ons. V8s are very cool and nothing beats the sound, but hell, why take a good running car off the road for that amount of time? Just build another for the amount of work it’s gonna be. I’m doing that…
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2021
    Stogy and Bugguts like this.
  18. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,014

    continentaljohn
    Member

    @Bugguts I say hopping up a banger is more money then a flatty as I have done it. I am a flathead guy but don’t see a lot of 4 bangers built to the gills and making everyone turn there heads. I know even the stock model a guy will smile at a nasty banger but it’s not cheap. Look at OP cars nothing cheap on them cars and Wicked nasty motors. A nasty flathead ain’t cheap either but we see those more often then a 4 cylinder...

     
  19. Balanced crank, Winfield head, cam, and carbs and 3:54's in the rearend and you'll be flying past the stock flathead V8's
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
    5wcoupehunter and lippy like this.
  20. The Nailheads are watching you.
     
    lippy likes this.
  21. Glenn Thoreson
    Joined: Aug 13, 2010
    Posts: 259

    Glenn Thoreson
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    I put an 8BA with a '39 style tranny in my avatar car. It's not all that difficult but the need to recess the firewall is kind of a pain. A 59AB engine is physically a little bit smaller and will fit better without body mods. You just need to get (or make) an angled oil fill/breather tube. For front motor mounts I just used some 5/16" angle iron and trimmed to fit inside the frame rails and '40s style biscuit mounts. Trans mount is home made and bolted all the way through the original A cross member and made to use a '42 - '48 "U" shaped removable cross member and mount. Stock A rear axle. Steering box will need to be relocated. The most common practice seems to be an F1 box mounted on top of the frame. I used a reversed Corvair box atop the frame and shortened the pit man arm to suit. This eliminated the use of hood sides, though. Battery needs to be relocated. Exhaust system clearance can be an issue. Due to lack of funds I just used stock manifolds, 2" pipe all the way to just ahead of the rear tires. Ford escort or some other mufflers make a low pleasing sound. Emergency brake needs some imagination. Having '40s juice brakes, I used a floor mount lever and home made cables. An aluminum radiator for use with this setup proves to handle the V8 very well. My whole car was built using old beat up parts from everywhere I could find them and what I had laying around. It's rough, believe me but get thumbs up wherever it goes.
    There's a lot more to this swap but if I can do it with ordinary tools and limited fab capabilities, anyone can. I must say this thing is gutsy and really flies down the road.
    I have to say, though, if I owned your car I would hop the banger up and be very happy with 50 MPH.
     
  22. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,229

    jnaki





    upload_2021-9-30_4-56-21.png

    Hello,


    As nice as your old car is, either leave it alone and enjoy the old time feeling of back in the 30s or upgrade it to an SBC motor. The Model A has a great looking stance, the colors are pretty “one of” kind of paint job, so, you do have a hot rod that shows its Model A character. Don’t put on a 32 grille shell and change the pristine look of your Model A, lowered stance and all.
    upload_2021-9-30_4-57-48.png
    Since you are considering more power, why not just skip the Flathead and go up to the SBC motor for almost unheard of power. Having driven a Flathead powered 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery for 5 years and then 10 years later, a 327 powered 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery for 6 more years, there is no comparison. The lack of power in a Flathead vs a SBC motor is obvious, unless you spend gobs of money in a high powered Flathead build.
    upload_2021-9-30_4-58-40.png
    The SBC has limits, but with the simple 283 or even a crate motor of any size will fit as companies make plenty of mounts and conversions. The Flathead will continue to give you fun, but will limit your power for those cool cruising road trips. If there are any steep grades on the roads into the mountains or drives anywhere from your home, you will definitely notice the lack of power when on those trips.

    Jnaki

    If you don’t care about having a low powered Flathead, then go ahead and do the conversion. That will make the supporters happy and for a while, it will satisfy your driving destinations, locally. There are plenty of Flathead powered Model A coupes running around, as well as SBC powered Model A coupes, too. The choice is wide and will depend on what you and your family will like in the hot Florida summer weather. Reliability is a toss as both can be made to function well. Personal tastes will call the shots.

    p.s. My brother and I started our hot rod/drag racing era with an old Model A 4 banger. We got it running, had fun driving around the neighborhood. But at the time, my brother was in the instant gratification mode and wanted a fast all-purpose car. So, he sold the running Model A and bought a new 1958 348 Chevy Impala.
    upload_2021-9-30_4-59-22.png
    Why purchase a Model A in the first place? Our friend had a very cool looking, fast 1934 Ford 5 window coupe. It was street fast, a daily driver to school/work, and all while winning trophies in the A/Gas Coupe Division at nearby Lion’s Dragstrip. It was usually parked in our driveway when he came over for a visit. I was then a frequent visitor to the Ford Coupe “walk around” and got to sit inside the coupe many times.

    It was what most teenagers would have liked to own and drive to high school and the local cruising grounds. So, my brother wanted a Model A with a SBC motor and his idea of a centrifugal supercharger for added power. He felt that this Model A was going to be “IT.”

    The goal would have been to get the Model A finished like your Model A. (except for a more high powered SBC motor) By starting from a nice pristine model A, then it is all about adding more power in the conversion. yours has a great start, it is one nice hot rod, and for lack of anything else, needs more power.

    A flathead could be the interim, but you know how it feels with the lack of power in the current build. The flathead won't give you much more, unless you spend hours and money to build it larger for more horsepower. YRMV
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
  23. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,099

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Obviously you have some reason for considering replacing the four cylinder. What is it that you would like from the car thats different from what you currently have?
    Personally I like to see cars built with parts that actually serve a purpose when building a Hot Rod, but many others just want something that looks nostalgic even if it was poorly designed or doesn't help performance. I think you have a very nice looking car. The large tires hint at performance, but I don't think the four cylinder backs it up. Only you know what you want the finished car to be, and its already in great shape for whatever you decide to do. Myself, if I'm gonna put huge tires on something, I want the accompanying components to be able to do something with them. So again, what do you want the finished car to be when you change it?
     
    WalkerMD likes this.
  24. Nailhead A-V8
    Joined: Jun 11, 2012
    Posts: 1,101

    Nailhead A-V8
    Member

    V8 3 spd pre '65 easy? maybe not but definitely worth it for shits and grins:)...double your horsepower double your fun:cool: ...in the '60's not all these cars were trailered to the track some where driven...in the '70's tons of T buckets were running around without front breaks:rolleyes: I mean brakes...it's very traditional...how did they solve the emergency type situations? well it's called an Emergency Brake coupled w big tires you'd stop in a hurry...but that's a topic for another forum...as are 5spds and (post'65) Sh*t Box Chev's ;)this is the HAMB......it looks perfect just needs a V8 hope you come back and share your progress
     
  25. hipojoe
    Joined: Jul 23, 2021
    Posts: 223

    hipojoe

    Thats the tri fecta right there!... elegant, sexy ,racy
     
  26. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,670

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    Boy what a nice looking A, I don't know about the whitewalls. I would leave the outside alone, cause it's so nice, But a nice built V-8 flathead ford would be in that sucker before you could say, HOTROD. JMO. Lippy
     
    5wcoupehunter likes this.
  27. How long do you want to look at it on jack stands, with parts scattered all over your garage? Do you have room for the 4 or 5 flatheads you'll go through before you find a good block? Drive as is, or put a Mitchell overdrive in it, or put an Iron Duke in it.
     
  28. 5wcoupehunter
    Joined: Oct 20, 2007
    Posts: 919

    5wcoupehunter
    Member
    from FLORIDA

     
    jnaki likes this.
  29. 5wcoupehunter
    Joined: Oct 20, 2007
    Posts: 919

    5wcoupehunter
    Member
    from FLORIDA

    I appreciate you responding to the thread, but a small block Chevy is the last motor I would put in my coupe. I am a Ford guy, so it would have to be a Ford motor.I scored a deal on a flat head, but for now I'm gonna leave the car alone. Thank you for your input.
     
  30. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,943

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Nah, look above- one Chebbrainwashed had to toss out that un-asked for option. I had high hopes, but this is the HAMB lol
     

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