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Flathead newbie

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jefscoupe, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. jefscoupe
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 294

    jefscoupe
    Member

    I recently got a couple 49-53 flatheads. One is a Ford and the other a Mercury. I plan to use the Merc crank in which ever block I use. The Ford engine looks pretty good inside. I just got the Merc and haven't gotten it apart yet.
    The Ford engine had this tag on the front.
    [​IMG]
    So, it has been rebuilt at some point. .040, .010, .010. Kind'a neat. "Authentic Ford Reconditioned" (I think it says).

    I've been doing some reading and if I'm correct, the internals should be the same between the Ford and Merc, save for the stroke.
    First question: Are the pistons the same? I mean as far as pin height, etc.

    I've read about using earlier (24 stud) heads to get the center water outlet look on the late blocks.
    Second question:
    Aside from the distributor hold down clamp, are there any other advantages/disadvantages in doing this?

    Last question (for now) I have a vintage Sharp two carb intake.
    [​IMG]

    I have another 48 flathead with a carb and the Merc engine has a carb.
    Would these be the same (to use on this manifold)? I haven't had time to really look at them yet.
    This car (see my avatar) has been begging me for another flathead for years and I'm finally gonna do it.
     
  2. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,256

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

  3. jefscoupe
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 294

    jefscoupe
    Member

    I guess not. Maybe they're tired of talking about flatheads.
    They must be pulling them out and replacing them with SBCs and powerglides.:eek:
     
  4. I really dig your car and I hear you on it telling you to put that flat motor in it......Sorry can't help you with any of your questions though.
     
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  5. jefscoupe
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 294

    jefscoupe
    Member

    Well I got the Merc on the stand. This came out of an old school bus according to the guy I got it from. He pulled it out himself, so I guess he would know.
    [​IMG]

    I pulled the heads. Yuck. Looks like it got moisture in the cylinders.
    [​IMG]

    Lifter valley is gunky, but at least not rusted up.
    [​IMG]

    I pulled the exhaust manifolds and found an untold ages mouse's hoard.
    [​IMG]

    So, I flipped the engine over and removed the oil pan.
    Oh geeeze!
    [​IMG]

    But then the true horror. I flipped it back over (right side up) and gunk plopped out into my catch pan. Then something hard plunked down.
    A couple pieces of metal. Oh dear, this can't be good.
    So I flipped it over again.
    [​IMG]

    I can just see the old school bus driver chugging along. Engine clattering, knocking and then WHUMP! And nothing.
    I know now why that school bus was in a junk yard.
    I'm beginning to think I should have spent the 5-6 grand and got a built engine.
    Oh the joys of working on old cars..
     
  6. I am sure that is not the case....They are all on there way to SPEED WEEK BONNEVILLE>
     
  7. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 986

    Torchie
    Member

    I would post these questions over on the Ford barn site if you haven't already.
    Lots of Flathead people over there and not just restorer's.
     
  8. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    JohnEvans
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    Pistons are diferent between Ford and Merc ,different comp height. Get that Merc crank out and clean it up and make sure it IS a 4 inch stroke. Lots of so called Mercs are found with a Ford crank.
     
  9. jefscoupe
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 294

    jefscoupe
    Member

    Well I only thought I saw a horror show. I went ahead and pulled the crank out.
    [​IMG]

    Can you say "Major Malfunction"? Makes me wonder if the crank is bent too.
    Stick a fork in 'er. She's done.
    Anyone need a boat anchor?
    I couldn't turn the engine with all the f'd up internals. Not sure it is a 4" stroke crank. Would be just my luck..

    I knew it was Sturgis week. Some guys from work are going.
    And I saw several bunches headed out Friday afternoon.
    Didn't know it was B'ville week too.
    Yeah, I'm on Ford Barn as well. Thanks.
     
  10. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 840

    Bearing Burner
    Member
    from W. MA

    For the head interchange I bwelieve there are warer passage differences But I have seen it done. As for intake it will fit. Might be fuel pump pushrod differences.Pistons are definately different.
     
  11. mechanic58
    Joined: Mar 21, 2010
    Posts: 681

    mechanic58
    Member

    Well I'll be damned - first scattered flattie I ever saw. I didn't realize they had enough power to do that. lol Shame though. You win some and you lose some I reckon.
     
  12. jefscoupe
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 294

    jefscoupe
    Member

    Interesting you say scattered. Back in the 50s the PO was experimenting with nitro and scattered the mill. Documented in Rod and Custom July 54 issue
    But in that instance, the destruction was total.
     
  13. mastergun1980
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 1,095

    mastergun1980
    Member
    from Alva OK

    Early heads look good, but using them will make the improved cooling of the late model engine null & void.
    The pistons are not the same on pin height
    I would assume the merc motor has a 4 bolt carb....
    The 48 motor should have a "59" holley 94 - I would find another of those if I were you -- Oh and get a distributor for bubba or get a Mallory - the stock 8ba dizzy won't work worth a crap with dual carbs....
     
  14. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 5,990

    daddio211
    Member

  15. jefscoupe
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 294

    jefscoupe
    Member

    It's hard to see in the pic, but there is a big chunk missing from the coolant passage between #2 (trashed rod is #1) and cam.
    That light gray area is looking into the water passage.
    I'm afraid this block is trash.
    Time to turn back to the first engine I posted about.
     
  16. jefscoupe
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 294

    jefscoupe
    Member

    Well, the Merc motor is pretty much a total loss.
    I may be able to use the flywheel (with some machining).
    I did get a Holley 94 carb.
    [​IMG]

    If it's rebuild-able.
    The supposed Merc 4" crank turned out to be a run of the mill Ford 3 3/4 throw.
    Oh well. C'est la vie.
     
  17. 4t7flat
    Joined: Apr 15, 2009
    Posts: 266

    4t7flat
    Member

    A sleeve wont fix that block. When buying non running engines, always assume they are junk. I will only buy engines that I can hear run, and they must run for at least a half hour. I will take a stuck engine if its free, or I might pay $50 - $100 if I feel "Lucky". It takes money and talent to build a flathead. If you are short in either area, that is what SBC's are for.
     
  18. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 5,990

    daddio211
    Member

    Yep, I see it now. Had the contrast on my iPad down low last night so my wife could sleep, LOL.



    '27 T Roadster build: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=734383
     
  19. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,422

    19Fordy
    Member

    Jef, Don't be dismayed. Strip that "grenaded engine" of all its little parts that you might need later, like crank pulley, oil pump idler gear, oil pump with pick up screen, etc. If you put early heads on an 8BA or Merc block get a nice pair of alum heads. These were from Motor City Flathead in 1999. Use the early style head gasket.
    Click on pic. to enlarge.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  20. jefscoupe
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 294

    jefscoupe
    Member

    That's one sweet looking flathead Fordy.
     
  21. jefscoupe
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 294

    jefscoupe
    Member

    After doing some measuring, I think I DO have a 4" crank and pistons.
    The (Ford) block may need bored again. I'll have to mic up and down the bores to see. It's already at .040". I may just go on out to 3.312 since I'll have to get pistons anyway.
    The busted Merc was 3.187 bore. The crank rod journals were about 2.135.
    That's a quick check with calipers. All the journals look really clean except that #1. I think what may have happened is it spun then stacked the bearing. And that popped the rod bolt. Then BOOM!
    I can imagine there was smoke and steam pouring out from the hood of that old school bus. Probably stopped it dead in its tracks.
     

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