The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by King Callie, Jan 23, 2014.
well said Mike
That drains the pocket book ! Hope it's built with a crack free block , I'm sure it would be .
I've got 3 flatheads now...One's a 59-A with factory relief, NO CRACKS, (!) and my friend that gave it to me somehow lost the crank! (it's 'in his shop, somewhere')
All the rod & main brgs were in the box, they were all Standard size...light wear, amazing
as were the pistons, rods, and valvetrain. The '53 Merc engine my neighbor gifted me has a perfect 4" crank, (Std/Std) and a new old stock set of Johnson adjustable tappets...
If I leave the 3.750" crank in it, (I have an extra, also Std/Std) I will need one .040" over piston. Someone removed one with a hammer...(?) Bore was clean...
I don't plan on spending $2K on this one...Maybe I've been doing them too long.
Roger Huntington would turn over in his grave if he heard '$10K for a 296" flatmotor'.
Well said, a man who knows value
of a dollar, thank you
I hope he meant 125 HP/liter ....
I spent 2250.00 at the machine shop , everything else I did myself . 5 grand give or take . But I love building engines . Just bought an MSD dizzy for her , but Merc's are worth the love .
Yes I did.
Im working on an 8cm build that I will have about 3-4K in a budget build. I have a nice sbc all done and built that I could have put into my A, but for me it just wouldnt have the same feeling of satisfaction when completed. There is more to a build than just the HP, sometimes its more of an emotion. And the sbc would just be lacking the emotion with my build.....
That seems to be what pushes the price through the roof.... What is that, about $500/hr???
BTW, would anyone be offended if I said my Nailhead could kick your ass?
Telling a flathead owner that they're spending "crazy money" to be "underpowered" well, thems fightin' words.
You didn't have to say SBC, we already know they won the dollar/horsepower contest a long time ago. We're just a little tired of guys telling us to replace our flatheads for that reason. For us it's not about that, and no, we probably won't be street racing against you either.
In the long run, building what you want is really what it's all about. What price can one put on satisfaction? I like my SBC but it's just not the right engine for every application. (In my opinion.) A nice flathead is.......well, really nice.
If you guy's are willing to separate the HP numbers for a moment and keep in mind logical HP expectations from the Flathead and logical HP expectations from say a SBC 383" stroker, the actual dollars spent are going to very close, or closer than you think?
I can tell you this, a "good" 383" SB based on a retro-hydraulic roller setup and pump-gas platform with "decent" parts inside will be in the $7000.00/$8,000.00 range, and this is still NOT a fancy build. This is a 500 HP unit "give or take a few". I know they can be built "cheaper" but it means more than likely you will have "cheaper" parts inside.
Thanks, Gary in N.Y.
P.S. You have to keep things in perspective and really know your limitations. We are well aware of working around budgets, not a problem IF the build can be accomplished to the customer's satisfaction and will be reliable. Every Flathead build we've ever done for ANY customer has ended in that customer staying with us for many years!
I appreciate all the posts in this thread. I love horsepower just as much as the next guy. That's why my last build has a 560 hp 454ci. This build is about getting to the roots of this hot rodding thing. The best advice in here is to build the nicest stuff you can with your financial means and enjoy the end result! Thanks guys.
That's it? All this for the obvious?
The shit show ended !
If I was a tightwad I'd probably run a Chevy also! But I'm not ,so it won't !
If I had a dollar for every time this subject has come up since I joined in 1992 I'd have enough to build a kick ass flathead. And it still wouldn't put out 250 hp. 250 hp is the base output of the introductory year "stock" 327.
So, what am I saying? It's boring and USELESS to compare apples and oranges..................build the one that ignites your passion and don't look back.
Yeah and the d55 hemi put out 355 hp in 55 but nobody's on here bragging about them! Chevy still has a long way to go if it wants to compete!
My personal opinion is that people get caught up on the numbers too much. I mean, I hopped into my stock engined model A, and found myself calling on Jesus with 40hp.
I bought a freeze busted 46 59AB for parts and had to use an 8BA block because I couldn't find a good 59AB block. Ended up boring the 8BA 0.040, with rebuilder pistons and rings, adjustable lifters, new aluminum timing gears, stainless valves with all new valve train, resurfaced flywheel, rebuilt clutch and PP, and a Pertronix conversion for the crab style distributor. By the time you throw in gaskets and all the little stuff I will have to get around three grand for it if I decide to go with the late 302 roller and serpentine set up and this is for a stock engine. It sounds so good running on the test stand I think the 302 will have to find a new home.
Different strokes for different folks !
I just felt that building a flathead was a rite of passage. I'm 33, grew up around a bunch of genuine old school hot rodders. One day when I was 13 or so, I heard a full race flathead fire up for the first time. That changed the game for me. The flathead build for me was a vision quest. I questioned my sanity several times, but there's nothing romantic about taking the road heavily traveled.
All interesting thoughts,I think age might come into play(it did for me)I don,t need horsepower as a focus point on my cars,when I was younger it was more important.I,m a heart beat from 60 so the flathead moves me around just fine(plus I have a little more money to play with from when I was young),when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Pete
Imo if you're worried about the co$t of of flatheads or other stuff in hot rodding - you're in the wrong game lol.
Build what you want/how you want/see it it your head and do what you need to do within reason to get it. Budget can be important - worrying about the co$t of everything kinda takes away the fun you have in doing it in the first place.
Because you are likely focussing on what it costs instead of the kick you'll get out of building/driving it.
Life is too short.
I spent close to $6500 on my 8ba for the 40. It has a comp thumper cam with straight through pipes which makes it sound like it is a BIG horsepower motor but the actual number is around 130 horses. It's gotten tons of comments on the few shows I have attended and honest to God, I got a nice award for best power plant at one of the shows. Probably wouldn't of happened with an sbc.
At almost seventy years, it goes as fast as I need to go and no worries about breaking components with excessive power. The money I spent on trans and other components with big horsepower motors makes the outlay for the flathead seem trivial.
Each to his own and avoid the network of folks who expect one to dance to their tune.
According to this site,
the D55 in 1955 put out 270 horsepower. If they're wrong and you're right, perhaps you could contact them and tell them they don't know what they're talking about.
This whole thread has turned into something different than what the OP was asking. He asked what are some good dollar figures for rebuilding a flathead. He did NOT ask whether or not he should run a flathead, nor did he ask whether a SBC was better than a flathead, etc.
It's amazing how people read what isn't there, jump to conclusions, and start a flathead vs SBC argument when there isn't one to begin with. The OP was simply asking for a dollar range (which several people, myself included, provided).
For the record, I have a flathead and a SBC, like both of them for what they are, and don't care what anyone else thinks about them.
I've had a half dozen flatheads, Chevy (235, 265, 283, 305, 327, 350, 396, 454) Ford (289, 300, 351, 292, 390), Buick (231, 401), Cadillac (365, 425), Pontiac (389), Plymouth (225, 383, 440), Olds (350), Dodge (241, 318), Chrysler (361, 413).
I liked all these engines. The whole Chevy vs Ford vs Mopar vs whatever crap is stupid and childish. Sometimes I think I have wandered onto a junior high playground, there's so much drama over nothing.
I'm gonna go out to the garage and work on something now.
I love my flathead, every time I stop for gas peep want to know what I have for an engine. When I pop the hood to see the look on their faces is priceless.
Very well said, engines are just glorified air pumps !
amen, i did the same in my little model a with a flathead
Separate names with a comma.