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Projects flathead vs sbc engine in a ford coupe

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by clips221, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. aonemarine
    Joined: Nov 2, 2013
    Posts: 501

    from Delaware

    HOK candy brandywine :D
  2. jkeesey
    Joined: Oct 12, 2011
    Posts: 652


    Personally I would never pull a flathead and replace it with a SBC. That's just my feeling. If the flatheads bad I would fix it or build another one. Its your decision to make, after all its your car not ours.
  3. snopeks garage
    Joined: May 25, 2011
    Posts: 555

    snopeks garage
    from macomb MI

    I had my heart set on a flathead for years before my build. After I realized how much it cost to hop one up I went with a 327. Build what you can afford and drive the shit out of it.

  4. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,784

    from New York

    It seems like we try to answer this same question every few months. The bottom line is that you are going to have to make up your own mind and go with your decision. Yes a flathead rebuild done right, is going to be expensive. Yes a SBC is going to cost less. Ford in a Ford is harder than a Chevy in a Ford. Reliability of the overhead V-8 is better than the flatty, if you are driving long distances, parts could be an issue. Some people like the looks of the flathead over the overhead V-8, some don't. Do what you feel suits your wallet and needs. Don't try to please everyone because it ain't gonna happen.
  5. 66tintop
    Joined: Nov 7, 2012
    Posts: 450

    from Canada

    Shut the hood on damn car, and drive the bitch !the car doesn't know what's under the hood, if you have to put a ford in a ford , or a chev in a chev , it's all just pig iron to start with ! Hell I'd put a small block Chrysler in a 34 ford if I wanted to ! And I'm a diehard chevy nut , they are all just air pumps ! Enough said ! NEXT
  6. silent rick
    Joined: Nov 7, 2002
    Posts: 4,183

    silent rick

    why not a hemi?
  7. Rusty
    Joined: Mar 4, 2004
    Posts: 9,449


    Easy solution SBC!!!! Same as 1957!,,
  8. nothing sounds cooler than a built flathead, they look and fit great in that car....that said i would put a chevy in it and not think twice about it.
  9. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,826

    from Indy

    a SBC will drop right in. I like the 283
  10. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,075

    scrap metal 48

    SBC in a 40 coupe with stock trans and rear end sounds pretty dam traditional to me.. I wish I had your dilemma...
  11. If a car had a good running flathead I would leave it in there. However, in your case I would put the flathead on a stand and go through it later when time & money allow.

    SBC will make twice the power for less than half the money and on a budget build that would go along way with me.

    Post some pic's whatever you decide.
  12. mattrat31
    Joined: Mar 30, 2010
    Posts: 117


    I'm partial to flatheads, but if you are going to do a sbc, make it look like it fits. I see so many that don't match the rest of the car and it looks out of place. You can loose your wallet real quick with a flathead, hard to find a good flathead block. Keep the flathead around even if you don't use it for this project. You may want it in the future.
  13. spuds
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 403

    from Idaho

    IT matters to him that is why he asked the question.
    Put a sbf or flathead.

  14. Buzzard II
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 354

    Buzzard II

    Flatheads ARE NEAT. If the bucks are tight now, stick in a SBC (283?) with old speed parts on it for the time (valve covers, air cleaners, dual quads, mild hyd. cam) being and put the flathead in a corner for build up later on. Pull the flathead apart and have machine work done as time and bucks allow, also scrounge up parts as time and bucks allow. Don't sell it if it's a good block as they're getting harder and harder to come by! Even if you need the money, resist selling it now! Good luck! Bob
  15. Fred A
    Joined: May 3, 2005
    Posts: 277

    Fred A
    from Encino, CA
    1. Upholstery

    Earlier this year I bought a '40 coupe that had formerly run an unknown ohv engine, needing the Xmember opened up, making going back to flathead beyond me. Just put in a SBC and quickly had almost a car. I now have another candidate '40 coupe that is not at all modified but a worn out California survivor. For me, the problem with the flathead is the limited RPM range that is not a problem with the overhead engines. Wanting a highway worthy car makes it unlikely that I would be happy with most flatheadswhere sustained speeds would be 70MPH or above. I already have a flathead coupe that makes the limitations clear. In today's engine market, a serviceable SBC and the adapters and connective issues are a huge value. Even without an overdrive, highway speeds can be sustained with ease. Called Sue Mitchell and they do not do overdrive for the '40 Business Coupe. Another issue. On the flathead side, I have two crack free 239 blocks that could take some of the pain out of the vintage theme. Still thinking about it: Fred A
  16. uncle max
    Joined: Jan 19, 2006
    Posts: 905

    uncle max

    Twenty years ago, when I told Flathead Jack all my friends wanted me to put an SBC in my '37, he said "Get new friends". I did.
  17. primerhotrod
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 98

    from ILLINOIS

    ^^^ Spot on.
  18. Steve!
    Joined: Sep 27, 2011
    Posts: 268

    from at the gym

    chocolate or vanilla? what do I want? which is better? why?
  19. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    This is like the third one of these posts I've read. Yea, no-one ever out a sbc in their hot rod till the seventies. What a steaming crock of completely uniformed bullshit...
  20. My grandpa and uncle raced sprint cars and midgets in the mid 50's- to the 60's. They said when the Chevy V8 came out a stock 265 would run circles around the hottest flatty on the dirt... Same for the hotrodders...

    I just picked up a fresh SBC for my 40, and I've got the Wilcap bell and a Merc pressure plate on the line. Chassis engineering motor mounts, and I'm ready to go. This motor will be sporting a high rise Offy dual 4's with finned corvette valve covers and ram horns. Trad? Yes. Fast? Yes. Cost effective YES!

    That being said, I would like to own a flatty powered vehicle at some point, but I'm not looking back with the setup I've got for my 40 tudor.
  21. Shamus
    Joined: Jul 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,197

    from NC

    The Merc flathead & a T5 are going in the roadster that now has one of KRYLON32s rolling dropped axle chassis. Hopefully it will be ready to drive to Pomona next Father's Day for the Roadster Show. If that doesn't work out then it will get a 290hp 350 sbc crate. Have one in my '33 Outlaw body 3 window that runs great.

    Attached Files:

  22. Wow guess someone's toes got stepped on - just saying that to get to a solution - it is a good idea to decide what type of car you want - and yes I know Chevys , Caddys and other OHV engines were used in the 50s - still does not remove the need to determine your end goal of car, it makes it easier and cheaper in the long run
  23. primerhotrod
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 98

    from ILLINOIS

    HAHA No shit OHV engines were used in 40s in the 50s & 60s. If the car still has a flattie, it prob isn't hacked up. Have fun when the front chassis and sheet metal starts twisting and forming stress cracks. Bone stock 265s made enough power to do this and find the weak links in the drive train.
  24. chromeazone
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 231


    Why bother with a SBC? It won't pull the slack out of your shorts compared to a
    600+ cu.inch pro stock engine! I like my flattie, but always have trouble finding valve cover gaskets!
  25. aonemarine
    Joined: Nov 2, 2013
    Posts: 501

    from Delaware

    Referring to Omars 40 by any chance??
  26. primerhotrod
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 98

    from ILLINOIS

    LOL FYI NHRA PS is 500" I asked for valve cover gaskets at the local vato zone for my 40', along with parts for a few other vehicles. The guy asked the other employees for help. The manager was in his 50s, and he was clueless. A early 20s kid finally came up and laughed at the others when hearing the year car, said thats a Flathead Ford, they didn't have valve covers. His dad had a Flattie. I believe he became asst manger a few months later, and transferred stores.
  27. wood470
    Joined: May 21, 2008
    Posts: 226


    No contest if you are going to drive it. SBC
  28. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    The HAMB is finally growing up. Does anyone realize this is only the third time this month we've had a flathead vs SBC thread? Used to come up a couple times a day when I first joined in '92. Ryan should have a "How to use the SEARCH section". Sure would save some bandwidth. Of course beating a dead horse is one of our favorite pastimes.:eek::D

  29. primerhotrod
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 98

    from ILLINOIS

    Fixed, sorry.;)
  30. primerhotrod
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 98

    from ILLINOIS

    '92, damn. :D Threads/posts = site traffic. Site traffic = $$$$. This place isn't a 'not for profit' is it?;)

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