The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Eric Satterfield, Jul 20, 2020.
It doesn’t have an adapter to use an early camshaft to a late distributor drive on it does it?
It doesn't even have bolts to hold the gear to the cam!
Take a peek at the top of the oil pickup for nicks or scrapes.
Don’t be discouraged,,,,,,,you can figure this out.
Flatheads are a different animal,,,,,,,they just need the extra attention,,,,,especially when mixing and match parts.
These engines are older than me and you ,,,,,it you think about it,,,,,,your oil pressure problem was simply a bushing that had been left out,,,,,but it caused a great problem .
This cam gear alignment problem will be a simple fix, I’m sure .
Like Gary said,,,,,the rear gear is off aligned as well,,,,,,something is holding that cam out of position.
What does worry me is you said it runs like a dog,,,,,,it should have a pile of torque !
It’s not gonna have the power of a SBC,,,,,,but is will get up and scoot if it is right !
Have you double checked the distributor gear mesh with the camshaft drive gear .
If there is an issue with the drive gear teeth,,,,that might cause a racket.
Those teeth are on an extreme angle,,,,,any burrs or bad nicks might be a cause of noise ?
Also,,,,,,those teeth on the cam gear are already looking worn,,,,,after only 500 miles,,,,,,take a very close look at those please .
The noise is so hard to describe. It’s loud enough that when she pulls into the driveway I can hear it 50 feet from the car. It sounds like it’s slower than the crankshaft rotation. I replaced the distributor a few weeks ago. I was packing the gear on the old unit with grease to try and gauge the depth of the old gear and it seemed like the noise stopped until the grease was gone?? Could have been my imagination But I replaced the whole distributor anyway. As far as running wise it’s a pig Wife even makes fun of how slow it is. It would not break a tire loose no matter how hard you try. It pulls hills in 3rd (drive) but overall it’s a slug.This is the only Flathead I’ve ever worked or owned. But other than the cool look. I can’t see why anyone would want one if they all are like this one. I saw what looked like a nice engine in the parts for sale section But I don’t have $4500 at the present time.
Good information,on the distributor ,,,I would look in that direction first .
It might be a combination of the cam location,,,cam gear and distributor gear mesh,,,,I’m not sure .
And it almost sounds like the cam is retarded a few degrees,,,,,,if your wife is laughing at the lack of power,,,,,it must be weak .
Lack of power = C4 Auto.. I don't like the wear pattern of the cam and crank gears..Being slightly off set is not really an issue, why it is offset is; cam forward or crank or gear back looks close to main cap.. I didn't know Cloyes made a gear for the FH, call them and ask any thing to look for..Rotating crank doesn't change off set?
Does this look correct? Retainer looks odd? Maybe fine as stated new to Flathead. Thanks. .
Good morning Eric, those guide retainers (horseshoe locks) look fine?
Thanks, Gary in N.Y.
P.S. One more quick check, remove the cam gear and look for a "gap" between the camshaft flange (where the gear rests) and the block, there should be no space there. The cam flange should be resting against the block?
Hi Eric, I think Gary in N.Y. is spot on. I don't pretend to know anything about the internals of a flathead but I have to ask you about the crankshaft pulley. I see paint on the crankshaft end and the key looks a little worn . Are you using the correct special washer and bolt ? Maybe the crank pulley could be bad and or the special washer is not present. JMHO
At work right now..But will check the cam and the pulley issues when I get home this afternoon and report back...Not sure what to do about this...I thought of tearing the thing completely back down and perhaps buying a SCAT 274 stroker kit and a new cam/lifters/gears ...It's 060 over already....I'm sure I can put it back together...But with my limited knowledge of these engines (Chevy's have always been my thing) I'm probably throwing good money ( That I really don't have )after bad..?
Please try the crankshaft pulley see if the bore is worn and is wobbling and see if you have the correct washer. JMHO
IMHO; you are this far into it now, I would pull the valve train & lifters & pull the cam & inspect it & the cam bearings. Does that cam have a pressed on rear gear & is it on there fully?
I'm not sure...I have never had the cam or the valves out of this motor...When I purchased the car the seller stated the engine had been rebuilt by a reputable shop with Flathead experience in either Pa or Nj?....I had never heard of the place (But there's 1000's of places I've never heard of...Long story short...It had been recently rebuilt...But it had a rod knock and a faulty oil pressure gauge. I didn't notice it the day we bought the car as it was sitting outside and it was very cold. After installing a new live gauge it showed 3psi at a cold idle due to the fuel pump bushing that had been removed and replaced with a soft plug (Doesn't really sound like the work of someone with expertise in these engines)...The bores still had the cross hatch present so I had the crank polished which was already max on the rods .030 and .020 on the mains...Cleaned everything up and put it back together...Oil pressure is great...But it has this constant tang tang tang..noise . I am uncertain when it developed either shortly after it was back in the car and running or perhaps it's always been there??...It was only started and moved around the garage during my ownership with no oil pressure...Also not sure how much it was run by the former owner...The transmission was also junk so I don't believe very far....( Another tip top overhaul from a local specialist)....But that's another story in itself..I don't own a valve spring compressor anymore that would do the job...Any recommendations?
To remove the valves you need a valve spring pry bar. Special for flathead Fords. A spring compressor won't do the job.
I'm still not sure you have a problem with the cam too far forward. If the cam is just kissing the inside of the front cover, that's what it was designed to do. Maybe the crank gear is too far back?
I'd be using a dental exam mirror looking for evidence (shiny scrapes) of the noise in all the nooks and crannies. Around anything that spins or moves. Maybe even spin the crank with the covers and pan off to see if you can hear a tick or scrape.
Hi "al", not exactly true, we have always used an air-operated valve spring compressor to both disassemble AND reassemble every Flathead we've ever built, takes "minutes" (on most units) to remove all 16 valves and related parts!
If Eric can get at least one lifter out he'll be able to "sight" where the lifter sits in relation to the lobe?? This MAY tell more of the story!
Thanks, Gary in N.Y.
P.S. Here's a couple of shots with the spring compressor in action! We've also used the "scissor" type to reassemble on occasion! We are actually able to set the valve lash by turning the (installed) cam gear by hand and set all 16 valves in under 1 hour. (It's done during the "mock-up" period and makes the final assembling a "walk-in-the-park" so to speak!)
This may not be your problem, but check for interference between the C-4 converter bolts and the flathead starter plate. A friend with a fresh 8BA flathead/C-4 had a light knocking during the engine break-in, and we finally traced the sound to the rear of the engine. The flat '49-'50 Mercury starter plate, used on the cast iron truck 1/2 bell, was replaced with a stock indented '48-'52 truck plate and the problem was solved.
Cam is flush with block.
This pict. Is that a big drop of oil on furthest most lifter top or is damaged?
If not oil, it appears like it the edge is crushed outwardly.
If so, that's no good and had gouged the lifter bore for sure.
That’s oil. Here’s something should the tangs on the bearing inserts he on the same side or opposite sides on the main caps and block?
Hi Eric, cam's where it belongs, now you need to find out why the crank gear is in way too deep. Next item to check would be the rear main brg (the thrust).
The "tangs" go towards each other, appears correct from the photo!!
Thanks, Gary in N.Y.
P.S. Don't give up now, keep digging, I'm certain something will eventually pop up here? Based on the condition of that main shell I would say not much debris went through the oiling system! That shell still looks new.
Here’s some news. I assembled that motor the same as it came apart. I believe the front and center main caps were installed wrong meaning the bearing tangs the one in the block and the one in the cap were on opposite sides. Wonder what damage this caused? But if I tighten the center cap with the tangs on the same side. I can’t rotate the crank. IDK
Looking at the above picture it looks like the crank itself may be shifted to the rear slightly and therefore the gears.
Look at the rear main bearings and see if one thrust flange is slightly thicker than the other. If one is thicker, maybe the rear main bearings are in backwards? It would make sense that they might make the rear one that takes the clutch forces a little thicker.
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Disregard the main caps theory. my stupidity. They were on right to begin with. I measured the thrust surfaces on the rear bearing and they are the same.
To look at your caps compared to mine,,,,,yes,,,the 1and 2 caps are turned around.
But if the professionals did an align bore with the caps backwards,,,,,that is the way they will have to stay .
It amazes me what some people push off as professional work ,,,,,and they usually charge a fortune for their expertise .
Here are some pics of mine when I was tearing it down when I purchased it,,,,you can see the front crank gear distance to the cap .
The crank turns free now. With all the clawing trying to find something wrong. I had reversed the front and center cap having them off looking at the bearings It was assembled properly when I initially put the crank in it.
So the gears line up now as well?
Stick a shim behind the crank gear, the proper slinger in front of it, and be done. Then try to find your noise.
I had a one piece crank seal on the front and it didn’t leak. Maybe it should have and I got lucky? I spoke with a fellow on here today about a fresh engine. I’m wondering if I don’t find what’s causing the noise. Should I reassemble and run it till she blows?? Would a 276 run a lot better than what I currently have ?
Any place a flathead doesn't leak is a miracle.
Don't give up Eric! This is where you make your bones! Be patient. I had similar problems with my freshly rebuilt flathead (another dipshit engine builder story) and with the help of the guys here and on Fordbarn I was able to finally chase my problems to ground. My motor wouldn't even start! Many times I thought about chucking the flattie over in the corner and stuffing a 289 I have in the roadster and be done with it. Your into the nuts and bolts of it now so you will figure it out.
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