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Ford Flathead Straight Six

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Scotch Buzzard King, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. I don't know anything about them, but it was the original engine in my 1950. Some farmer stole the engine and transmission a long time ago, but I want to do something RADICAL and go back to what it had. One of you has to know something about this engine. Educate me. I saw something somewhere about a Ford 215. Is that the same setup as the Chrysler 215 just with a different position on the head for the spark plugs? Help me out. Educate me.
     
  2. Rich Wright
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,922

    Rich Wright

    I don't know anything about them except they Have the same HP rating as a v8. If your serious, try to contact Bruce Lancaster. He's a walking encyclopedia when it comes to early Ford....
     
  3. Bruce Lancaster. I've heard that name before, but I can't remember where. Refresh my memory.
     
  4. Rich Wright
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,922

    Rich Wright

    Here on the HAMB...
     

  5. The 215 Ford six is an OHV engine, not a flathead. Your '50 would have had a 226 flathead six. Those are smooth running little motors.....not a real powerhouse though. Some speed parts were made for them.
    There was also a truck version of that motor, a 254 cube six. Those are a little harder to find......
     
  6. It's a 226 cu. in flathead six. Originally 95 horsepower. They were offered from 1941 to 1951 in cars and light trucks but you want to stick with '48 to '51 models with the left side distributor. Heavy trucks had a 254 cubic inch version that is the same externally (I am pretty sure). I've got one in my '51 sedan with some era speed equipment that runs out pretty good. In recent years the speed equipment has gotten pretty pricey.
     
    Spooky likes this.
  7. 226. Nice. I honestly think I've got access to one. You'll never guess what its in though. A 1951 Chevrolet Sedan. I just remembered it. Its a flathead straight six. My grandpa bought that car several years before he died. Left it in his garage and never touched it. I remembered the engine because I had never seen a flathead six before. That was back when I didn't know as much as I know now. I didn't know back then when I first saw it that Chevy old had an OHV straight six..... Did I mention the car is in Oklahoma? I have no idea if the engine is a Ford or Chrysler, but I now have plans to go back there and see. I might just take it when no one is looking. :D
     
    King ford likes this.
  8. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    fab32
    Member Emeritus

    My 1949 business coupe I bought the day I turned 16 came origonally with a flathead six. I bought the car because it was a low mileage cream puff. I drove it for almost 2 weeks before my pals and I replaced it with a flathead that had Edelbrock heads a 3/4 cam:rolleyes:, and 2X2 intake. Don't know if it was that much faster but the sound of those Smittys sure made it seem like it was.

    Frank
     
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  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,551

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    What Amodel25 said. It came with a 226 and the 254 truck engines are the same physical size on the outside.

    I've got a 254 that a fellow hamber donated to the cause a couple of years ago that is going in a speedster style roadster if I ever get all of the pieces collected.

    Either would hum along pretty good in that shoebox but don't expect to set any records for crossing the Texas landscape as it will be a more relaxed drive than a git er done drive.

    I've found out that speed parts are a bit on the hard side to find and not cheap when you find them.

    using the same pieces you would use for a flathead V8 you can also put a T-5 behind one for a little more comfortable road speed.
    This one hides in a shoebox in the PNW
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Very sneaky.
    [​IMG]
    A 254 in a T roadster that gets driven everywhere.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,951

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Are you sure it's a Chevy
    ? Pontiac and Oldsmobile both had flathead sixes of their own. And Canadian Chevys seem to share lots of parts with US Pontiacs.
     
  11. terryble
    Joined: Sep 25, 2008
    Posts: 541

    terryble
    Member
    from canada


    Actually Canadian Pontiacs shared lots of parts with Canadian Chevys but even Canadian Pontiacs had sidevalve engines until 1954 then the sixes were all 261s and the V8s were Chevy.
     
  12. Chrysler and Ford had absolutely nothing in common.

    The only thing I know about them is that they wouldn't pull a sick old woman off a bed pan and we used to pull them out in favor of a V-8.
    I don't doubt that you can find one though.
     
  13. Well I usually would agree with you, but I've been doing a lot of research into WW2 American made military vehicles and I have found that most of the on-land vehicles like the deuce and a half that Dodge made used the 215 in 1941-42 but was then replaced with the 230 at the end of '42 and used to the end of the war. I'm only amazed with this because I know a good new Briggs and Stratton lawn mower could pull more than these old sixes, but these old sixes helped us win the war. Honestly, it is simply amazing because I just don't know how.
     
    King ford likes this.
  14. I didn't know this tidbit of information. I already have a few T5's in waiting for my Ford. I've got a S-10 that should work perfect on a 90 horse 226.
     
  15. mainline331
    Joined: Jul 7, 2008
    Posts: 105

    mainline331
    Member

    I am sort of "into" flat six M and H series motors, I have several, just got my 254 back from the machine shop yesterday. Feel free to buzz me if you have any questions, as I might be able to help out with info and advice, in particular how to get around the major shortcoming, which is the crappy loadamatic distributor.....
    my daily driver is a shoebox with a 226 and t5 five speed
     
    Iron Man likes this.
  16. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,591

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    Somewhere, I've got a 1950 copy of Mechanics Illustrated with a comparison test between a new Ford 6 and a new Ford V8. The 6 beat the V8 in the acceleration times up to 75 mph! The V8 finally edged by it at 80. I would think that it would be easier to cut the stock drive shaft off of the stock distributor and adapt it to a more common Mallory than to find an original dual point for the '48-'51 engines---I've had two of them in my life, and both sold fast. Just find one that turns in the same direction, or you'll have no advance (kind of like the loadamatic!). You can always mill the stock head and have the stock camshaft reground, but intakes are rare and expensive; the best move there may be to make your own dual intake out of the stock one with a pair of exhaust flanges, some straight tubing for risers, and a hole saw. Since the car and truck exhaust manifolds dumped in different locations, you may be able to take one of each and make your own Fenton style headers from them.
     
  17. plym_46
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 3,999

    plym_46
    Member
    from central NY

    so if they couldn't pull an old lady off a bed pan, please explain how my mopar 230, with tools, traveling stuff, a cooler, 2 spare tires, and a couple cases of beverages, pulled up the Mad River Glenn mountain road in Vermont, from the bottom to the top in high gear? People who make statements about L head sixes having no pulling power and reliability have been drinking overheated coolaid for too long.

    I do not know alot about the Ford L head in particular, but most any engine will react to more compression, and freer breathing. I believe a cam with more duration can be helpful but is not necessary, as they all like to operate below the 3200 RPM mark due to long stroke design.

    Unless you are going for top speed, torque beats HP all day long for a street operated vehicle.

    And that triple carbed flattie in the shoebox looks pretty darn good to me.
     
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  18. John Metalsky
    Joined: May 2, 2006
    Posts: 21

    John Metalsky
    Member

    anyone know what carbs they are using on both of these engines? See photos down the page. very nice. Thanks John:D
    We have a 49 Ford coupe with the 226 engine. Have been kicking around a 254 engine that i could put on the stand and rebuild, etc. problem is we have an 86 SBC 305 now on the stand. Anyone have a 254 flathead six...I'll trade you it for the 305 if it will help in the overall price you want?
    hendersonville nc 28739
    bluejmsky@aol.com
    864-320-8805
     
  19. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,591

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    The three carb setup has three of the stock 226 carbs, and the roadster's dual setup has two Zeniths.
     
  20. kendall66
    Joined: Apr 3, 2011
    Posts: 96

    kendall66
    Member
    from iowa

    I have a good 226 out of a 1949 F-1, took it out 2 years ago that was running, might be willing to sell if the price is right......everything there from carb to 6 volt gen.
     
  21. Ice man
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 968

    Ice man
    Member

    My son bought a 50 Pk Up with a 6 flatty. Still has it and its bullet proof. Its got the 4sp truck trany, but he's had it for30+ yrs and never had a problem with it. We split the Ex manifold, many yrs back, but the rest is Henry Stuff. Go with it. It will be fun and not run hot as many V8 Flattys have been known to do. Its the one to use if you need lots of power and ain't in a hurry. Iceman
     
  22. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,585

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    I've not personally owned a Flathead Ford 6, but a close friend did back in the day. He also had Flathead V8s and it was his opinion, apparently supported by car tests of the day, that the 6 was at least as good as the V8, if not better.

    I have owned a few Flathead V8s and the last one I had will be the last one I will ever have. For my money, a grossly overrated engine if ever there was one. If the 6 has the power of the V8 AND RUNS COOL, then it is The Flathead Ford to have.. :D

    I have had Mopar 218, 230 and 265 Flathead 6's and all have performed well enough considering what they are. I tend to favor OHV engines and Buick straight 8's are my nostalgia inline engines of choice these days. In the V8 category, it's early Hemis.
     
  23. BeaverMatt
    Joined: Jun 17, 2013
    Posts: 25

    BeaverMatt
    Member

    I just inherited a project that is basically a set of rails, a T bucket body and a 226 flathead 6. I've never touched one of these engines or a vehicle with one in it. Were the cars with these engines 6 or 12 volt electrical systems? If they are 6 volt, are there 12 volt starter and generators available for them?

    Thanks.
     
  24. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,951

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    A 6 volt starter is perfectly happy running 12 volts. Maybe a little happier. I am sure you can find a 12 volt generator.
     
  25. BeaverMatt
    Joined: Jun 17, 2013
    Posts: 25

    BeaverMatt
    Member

  26. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,298

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    I heard that the Ford six was copied off the Studebaker Commander six.

    You can use a 6V starter on 12V but it will last longer if you have it rebuilt with 12V field coils.

    12V starters also use finer tooth ring gear and pinion gear so they don't get wrecked by the higher speed of the 12V starter. But there isn't much you can do about that.
     
  27. Reds headers sells a set of top quality headers for the Ford 226 flathead six for only $425
     
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  28. King ford
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,380

    King ford
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from 08302

    I own four 85-110 horse V8s , three V8-60s and a straight 6 flatly....all FORDs of course...I dearly love them...that said when my uncle worked for west Penn power company in the 50s they replaced quite a few V8s with the sixes because of the extra torque the sixes had....if I ever get around to building the six I'm gonna build an intake manifold for it out of square tubing ( for multiple carbs of course!!
     
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  29. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,773

    62rebel
    Member

    Tom McCahill piled praise on the six over the v8 many times. Quicker off the line and all the way to 65-70. Cops liked that, and all they had to do was get along side. Highway patrol might prefer v8s but not the local police.
     
    Hnstray likes this.

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