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Technical Not to be left out, the all inclusive Flathead thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,626

    Roothawg
    Member

    So, I am probably gonna regret this, but I am thinking of building a flathead.
    I have always been an overhead valve guy, but for some nagging reason, I am collecting flathead parts.

    I have 2 flatheads to pick up next week. One was a running/driving 41 Ford pickup and the other is a 1940 Mercury that my buddy @guthriesmith has in his pile. The guy with the 41 also has a Mercury crank to give me.

    My hot rod common sense is screaming at me, HP per cubic dollar, but my nephew is dying to build a flatty car, so I got suckered in.

    I have a couple of books so far.

    IMG-3663.jpg

    Any suggestions or things I need to know? Books to buy?
    Who knows, I may give up Caddys and start building flattys.............

    Nah, probably never gonna happen.
     
  2. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,626

    Roothawg
    Member

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/1940-flathead.1210932/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/blown-flathead.1218585/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/good-video-of-a-flathead-build.1221637/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/8ba-flathead-questions.1220205/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/flathead-diff-gears.1219804/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/51-flathead-tear-down-and-build-up.1222358/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/inside-my-8ba-flathead.1218426/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/1950-flathead-8ba-inital-start-trouble-shoot.1221991/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/flathead-4-ring-pistons.1216549/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/better-4-or-4-1-8-flathead-crank.1220988/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/flathead-ford-id-help-needed.1217339/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/flathead-dual-exhaust-mufflers.1215608/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...-lets-rebuild-it-sunday-tech-quickie.1221700/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/flathead-vintage-mallory-dual-point-parts.1216233/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/4-71-flathead-hp.1214266/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/8ba-flathead-stuck-valve.1213747/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/flathead-question.1210363/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/whats-the-best-ford-flathead-to-build-on.712229/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/flathead-guru-whos-your-pick.852427/
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  3. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,451

    arkiehotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ron Bishop's book and Tex Smith's book (by Ron Ceridono) are worth getting IMO.
    d198c434f026f932da30fce74c95655f20d1b598.jpg s-l1600 (90).jpg
     
  4. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,626

    Roothawg
    Member


  5. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,451

    arkiehotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have owned a half dozen flatheads.
    I love the way they look and the way they sound.
    I love the old school coolness.
    I love the flat torque curve.
    I love cruising down the highway with one.
    5054_200265860639_701015639_7405368_2393637_n.jpg
     
  6. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,626

    Roothawg
    Member

    I like the idea that I won't have to make special motor mounts.....or trans mounts, or a rear end swap....
     
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  7. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,733

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If you haven't already done it, I'd pull the heads on both engines and check for obvious cracks and other problems. Good flathead blocks are getting very scarce.
     
    chryslerfan55 and sidevalve8ba like this.
  8. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,626

    Roothawg
    Member

    The 41 would run like a sewing machine, but then it got pulled for an LS swap and left outside. I have no idea if it is covered or rained on for the last 5 years. I'm scared.
     
    VANDENPLAS and chryslerfan55 like this.
  9. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,323

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good luck--I'm in the same boat--playing with a 40 with a flathead and Columbia. All others have had Small blocks etc. New experience-last flathead was a 37 Ford pickup 56 years ago-daily driver to work for 2 years. Looking at a fresh stroker motor a friend has too, he has some early Edmonds custom heads for it as well.-must be nuts. The one in this 40 runs sweet.
     
  10. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,626

    Roothawg
    Member

    It'll be the best $10k I have ever spent for 175 hp.
     
    LSGUN, Dan Hay, VANDENPLAS and 8 others like this.
  11. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,323

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This stroker is fresh with new water pumps has been in a bag since he had it built 4-5 years ago. Has another merc that he took out of a car 20 years ago as well-has adjustables etc-says it is very clean too and a good running 59AB with a 39 trans as well-all stored inside and covered/bagged
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  12. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,626

    Roothawg
    Member

    Sounds like you are going into the flathead business.
     
  13. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,323

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Nope-may get the fresh stroker though to play with
     
  14. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,023

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    In case the blocks you get don't work out, look for a late block (49-53) with NO valve seat rings.
    They can be made to accept all early parts.
     
    LSGUN and rod1 like this.
  15. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,998

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Root, next time you come up to Iowa we can show you some flathead stuff. If the yard has thawed off we can drive one too.
     
  16. Aaron D.
    Joined: Oct 27, 2015
    Posts: 989

    Aaron D.
    Member

    Hey @Pete1 , why NO valve seats?
     
    chryslerfan55 and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  17. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,023

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    Because in a performance engine, they will many times come out and that gets very expensive.
    You do not need them.
     
    48fordnut likes this.
  18. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 3,388

    Flathead Dave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from So. Cal.

    Can never go wrong with a flathead.
     
  19. Welcome to the flathead fraternity. Flatheads are forever.
     
  20. Rodsports
    Joined: Sep 24, 2018
    Posts: 26

    Rodsports
    Member

    If I can offer one piece of advice - drill a small hole in the block where the lifters go so you can poke a allen key in there and 'grab' your lifter when you adjust it. I didnt and it was a pain in the bum (understatement) when I wanted/needed to adjust them.
     
  21. fullhouse296
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 396

    fullhouse296
    Member
    from Australia

    Save some dough and get more revs with less cam wear ,DONT use adjustables . Silver solder a tool steel button on top of lifter and grind to suit clearance on that lumpy cam .set and forget just like Henry made em .
     
  22. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,456

    adam401
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Man I love flatheads was freshening my 8ba up yesterday for all the vintage drag events coming up. Hope my new bigger flatty will be done for summer though.
    20210305_115746_HDR.jpg 20210305_155124.jpg
     
  23. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,451

    arkiehotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  24. BirchRidge
    Joined: Nov 3, 2010
    Posts: 34

    BirchRidge
    Member
    from sweden

    IMG_6785.JPG

    Don’t forget antifreeze if it gets cold..
    I just tried that
     
  25. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 4,235

    rusty rocket
    Member

    There more than one flathead! FBB67923-A3F6-4110-BDCC-6FD0953E46F6.jpeg B1DD398C-1635-4153-8C63-3C051F96B7E2.jpeg
     
    Jet96, 48fordnut, HSF and 7 others like this.
  26. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 4,235

    rusty rocket
    Member

    I also have an 8ba. BFC67891-501C-4E63-AF56-6460A6F297AF.jpeg
     
    Jet96, R A Wrench, VANDENPLAS and 5 others like this.
  27. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,960

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    The late model stock flatties are smooth running and seem more powerful.
    aesthetically Never cared for the front mounted radiator hoses on the heads or the intake breather though.
    Welcome to the dark side.
     
    warhorseracing and Roothawg like this.
  28. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,626

    Roothawg
    Member

    This is interesting. I need to do more research on this.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  29. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,626

    Roothawg
    Member

    So, what is the best all around hot rod cam for the flathead?
     
    chryslerfan55 and Petejoe like this.
  30. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,456

    adam401
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If you havent checked out the book "Flathead Facts" you should. They dyno test multiple modifications and explain the results. Its very interesting, somewhat disappointing haha.
    Basically they conclude that the stock cam in their test 8ba is probably a good choice to stick with for a mild engine. The low end torque with the aftermarket grinds is the issue.

    I did some research for my new engine which will be a 296 and decided to go with the isky 400jr. Some say its no good on the street, some say its great. Since my car is used around town and will be trailered to vintage racing events I wasnt too worried about it. Im gonna try it out and if it sucks I'll pull it out.
     
    ABONES, Roothawg and chryslerfan55 like this.

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