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Technical ? Of Old 6 Cylinder Engine Reliability

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Flat Six Fix, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,752

    dumprat
    Member
    from b.c.

    Something that makes me laugh is how all the flathead Ford guys slag the dodge/ply six.

    They don't overheat.
    They have both mechanical and vacum advance.
    Hardened valve seats
    Modern oil pump
    And take a .450 lift cam without any head mods.

    Your dodge 251 made 100 hp and 220 ft/lbs with the horrible mil spec governed carb. With a good dual intake,header, cam and some more compression it will eat a Ford flattys lunch. And still get about 20 or so miles per gallon.
     
  2. LOL every fall we would all go together and buy an old heap of a Chrysler or Chevy. patch it up well enough to drive and it was our drinking car for the year. We beat those old cars to death and when it was time for a new one we would take what was left to the wrecking yard and sell it for a couple of bucks.

    Damn I loved high school.
     
  3. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,047

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Love it Dumprat,yup Old Walter , was adamant about having bearing inserts, not poured babbit, hardened exhaust valve seats, full oil pressure, aluminum pistons, a water distribution tube for equal superior cooling (have only seen brass tubes in Canada).
    I don't care about blowin the raw exhaust to those Flathead V8 guys in my rearview mirror(just joking now settle down).
    I love these engines, have never had a souped up one. I just came back from a highway drive, a nice easy 60 mph in the fog.....
     
  4. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,266

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    I knew an old time truck driver who delivered wartime houses in WW2. At the start they delivered a whole prefab house with 2, 5 ton trucks. Later they added trailers and delivered a house with 1 truck.

    He told me the Dodge trucks were way better than the Fords, if he had a choice he would always take the Dodge. The only time he failed to deliver a load, it was because a Ford would not pull a grade the Dodge took all the time. He had to stop, block the wheels, and send for a tow truck and a traffic cop to get up the Hamilton Heights.
     
  5. Donald A. Smith
    Joined: Feb 19, 2011
    Posts: 273

    Donald A. Smith
    Member
    from Brook In.

    I have a 1958 delray chevrolet 2 door sedan automobile it has no options on it. 235 six 3 speed on the tree. It rides like a dream, very comfy and Quite. It only has 77, 645 miles on it.
     
    triman62 and Flat Six Fix like this.
  6. Vimtage Iron
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 535

    Vimtage Iron
    Member

    Back in the 60's and 70's we had a large ranch we rented for cattle,up in the mountains in the Hurst Castle area,every year we'd go up in the early fall to gather steers to ship to the feed lots, we had several trucks but the big trucks hauled horses and I'd take the 53 Dodge 1 ton, Pop had built a set of cattle racks on the flat bed that was big enough for two horses,or 3 cows, on these trips we load it full of baled oat hay to feed the horses and up the mountains we'd go, well me being full throttle on everything I drove I'd peg that poor bastard out till it wouldn't turn no more, well about half way up the mountain there was a wide pull off and a water trough, I had this poor thing so hot it was howling in the radiator when I slowed down to stop she seized up,that was it,I sat there for about an hour till my dad came looking for me, I got an ass chewing that day, couple hours later it fired up and we never had a lick of problems with that engine, in the middle 70's I would load the cattle racks with tools,torch,parts and what ever I needed,100 gal fuel tank and hook up to a John Deere 55 harvester and tow that machine to different farmers for custom harvesting during the summer, that flat six never did quit,although I did put about 3 rear ends in it, for some reason they'd fall apart.
     
  7. At the Verkler estate auction at Black Rock Ar. I bought for a $100 a 1948 pilot house dodge two ton with a home built wrecker hoist. My eldest son wanted the doors. Any way the radiator still had anti freeze and the fan turned the engine. So the next day a Sunday we went prepared to wake up that zombie. We hooked a small tank up to gravity feed the carb a gallon of gas that had 2 ycle oil mixed with it. Hooked up a 12 volt bttery and spin it over. the points needed filing to get spark. It still wouldn't start. Stickey valves? So my son was inside mashing the stomp starter and I opened the carb wide open and started spraying WD40 into the engine. It began to hit first one cyl then another and eventually went to running. Blew mice and nest out the tailpipe! No smoke no blowby or bubbles in the radiator. We let it idle and chain sawed the 4 inch tree,s that where growing up between the cab and rear end. I got inside and put it in gear and all it would do is spin the rear tires and jump up and down. The front brake where stuck to the drums. We beat the bejabbers out of the wheels & drums with a 10 pound sledge hammer. They finally came a bit loose. Back up a bit go foreward a bit finally I got it to move foreward enough to reach a gravel parking area. Drove it around a bit and the front drums where smoking but it started rolling free. Hooked up a 5 gallon gas can and headed home. thirty miles no brakes just the emergency brake. the tires where flat spotted and above twenty it would shake rattle & roll. after a few miles the tires rounded out a bit and I could drive thirty. The old truck had been setting 35 years. We used it for a yard dog several years. Strong engine. Even has a Stewart warner South wind gasoline heater. My son bought a 44 WC doge Weapons carrier. The engine was too rusted and parts missing head bolts sheared off flush with the block. So we decided to pull the 48,s engine and swap it in. Went to install it and it was too big. It was longer and taller than the WC,s original mill. The WC got a 59 Plymouth engine. Took apart the old 48 for nothing. Heres a tip. If your gonna drive a heap home with no brakes license & insurance do it on a Sunday morning when all the cops are at church or laying in bed sleeping because they where out patrolling late sat nite.
     
  8. A dodge boom truck. Cool.

    When I worked in the oil patch in the '70s our boom truck (winch truck) was a ton 62 ford with the original 6 in it. I hauled one of everything with that old truck while I was there. it was not stoppable and had the best heater in the world. After the rig collapse (in a ice storm) we had to use it for a dog house for a month while the old one was getting rebuilt.

    Our pumpers truck was a '72 Chevy 3/4 ton 4WD. Now as everyone pretty much thinks I am MR SBC, well when the 350 in the pumpers truck gave up the ghost I put the 6 out of a derelict '68 half ton in it.

    I went back for a visit to that lease five years later on one of my cross country trips, both trucks were beat all to hell and still going strong.

    of note neither was very fast in the world of fast, but either would probably pull a stump if you asked it too.
     
  9. I think what many people are saying as "reliability" is really "maintenance". Sure the older flat or OHV 6 engines, and even the flat or OHV 8 engines, need more preventative maintenace. But from a mechanical standpoint they are not any less reliable. As pointed out by Beaner, back when these were new and into the 60's there were countless people that drove these cross-country.

    My preference for newer OHV V8's is just for the increased hp, not because they are necessarily more reliable.
     
  10. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,266

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    It is true the old motors need more upkeep BUT they are made in such a way, that it is far easier and cheaper to work on them than a modern motor.

    You can adjust the valves on a slant 6 in 15 minutes for the price of a new gasket, under $10. If you have to adjust the valves on a modern OHC they require new shims for each valve at $10 each plus a special tool to change them plus the gasket. On the other hand they will go twice as long before they need adjusting.

    If you have the oil bath air filter you can wash it out and refill with oil for a couple of bucks, not $35 for a paper filter.

    If you want to be tight you can file the points and adjust them every year or 2 and get 50,000 miles out of a set. Same with the plugs, you can sandblast and adjust them many times. They are right up top and easy to get at. On a lot of modern motors you have to half take the engine out of the car to even get at them.

    So, it is six of one and half a dozen of the other. If you like the old cars and don't mind doing a little work they can be nearly as reliable as a new car.
     
    Cosmo49 likes this.
  11. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 451

    proartguy
    Member
    from Sparks, NV

    Back in the '60's, my favorite old time wrecking yard owner was partial to MoPars because of the better engineering. He always touted that the MoPar 6 cyl. was a much better engine than the Ford flathead or Chevy six.

    I have owned several early Mopars with flatheads and never had problems with the engines. My '53 Dodge panel truck had a 251 with an overdrive and was used for a lot of highway trips and daily use for 10 years. Almost as fast as my friend's 1957 GMC panel with a 270.

    Another was a '46 Plymouth sedan with a 217 stroked using a Dodge crank to 230 cu. in., milled head, Fenton headers, reground cam and Holley/Weber progressive 2bbl, with overdrive. With air conditioning on it would cruise as fast as desired. Not the fasted acceleration, but the manual shifted O.D gave 5 speeds forward, which helped.

    Hardened valve seats, efficient cooling, aluminum pistons, all contribute to a durable engine. I understand that increased oil flow is desirable for high rpm use. The a big benefit compared to the Ford flathead is their exhaust does not put a lot of heat into the block.
     
    Flat Six Fix likes this.
  12. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,047

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Yup have heard similar comments from Old timers before, yes the old Chrysler flathead 6, was well designed and super reliable. I have heard those who have complained about them being hard to start in winter colder weather.
    Your 250, being almost as fast as your Buddies 270 GMC, not bad considering they made what 140 hp......
     
  13. Baldies
    Joined: Nov 16, 2015
    Posts: 133

    Baldies

    Oh, memories. A Chevy 6 with babbited rods and dipper/splash rod oiling and iron pistons. Add a 2/4 split manifold, the 2 cyl.s running through a straight pipe and the remaining four running through flex pipe and a burned out muffler. Add a high school boy constantly winding that baby out in low gear to hear the pipes, the oil churned to foam and opps! There goes the lower end.
     
    kiwijeff likes this.
  14. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 451

    proartguy
    Member
    from Sparks, NV

    His GMC was a couple of hundred pounds heavier and he had to shift the truck 4 speed. A nice panel, ordered new with the 270 and 4 speed. He bought it from the original owner.
     
  15. The GMC 228-248 &270 engines where better than the chev 216-235& 261. nothing the same. the GMC had full oil pressure and insert bearings. it is longer than the chevy. the GMC,s had forged zollenger pistons.
     
  16. Does anyone have an affordable 2 carb intake for a Dodge/Plymouth flat six? PM me
     
  17. I worked one summer in the Ozarks at a resort to build up my traveling cash. Back then it was a 5 hour drive to St Louis and there were some brothers with a 50 Chrysler that drove it home to St Louis every week. The old heap was a site, there was something wrong with the steering box that if you didn't maintain pressure on the steering wheel the wheel and shaft would migrate up and you would loose the ability to steer it but it didn't seem to bother them much. That old Chrysler just kept on motoring.

    Send me the motor and I will build you one. ;)
     
    Flat Six Fix likes this.
  18. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,047

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Contact hitek on this site, he has cast intake, or they can make your intake into duals, very reasonable price, and quality work. Also check with Moose, he makes tube intakes and headers for your engine.
    The guy who makes and sells what you need is George Asche,, hitek, and George's 3 sons, AKA AoK racing, in Venus Pa, Moose is in Massachusetts.
    www.manifoldsbymoose.com
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  19. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,047

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    P&B, in the day, you boughtem drove em and that was life...LOL
    When I was a kid a neighbours older brother and his buddy, bout a $20 early 60s Ford, loaded the car up, had a case of oil, and drove from Winnipeg to Florida, about 2400 miles, they spent a month there, on the way home, ran outta gas, parked the car, removed the plates, and hitch hiked home almost broke and penniless...........
     
  20. Yea they used to just be old cars. LOL Now they are majic.

    my little bother had a '62 Fairlane once that literally nothing worked but the lights and the engine. He rode his bike in the summer and drove the Ford in the winter for about 5 years give or take. it was a 30 dollar car. In the '80s he owned a '51 AD truck that was his work truck, he was running a boat dock company builds and repairs at the time. One Friday evening when I was sitting at a light with him and we are fogging mosquitoes I mentioned that he may need to overhaul his engine. He drove to the autoparts and bought an overhaul kit and overhauled it over the weekend, he didn't know where his cylinder hone was so he just scuffed the cylinders with a piece of sand paper. LOL That was his work truck until the '90s when he decided he needed a bigger truck.
     
  21. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,047

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Okay Beaner, and the rest of you Hoodlums, lets go for a ride in my beater truck,
     
  22. MrFalcon62
    Joined: Sep 9, 2010
    Posts: 249

    MrFalcon62
    Member

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1449865203.266801.jpg
    Before I bought my O/T truck, I drove my 62 Falcon with a 200 straight six to work 12 miles away, every day for 4 years. Never had any problems with it. With the engine performance upgrades, and the 5-speed T5 transmission, it cruises on the highway at 75mph with no problems (gotta love Texas speed limits!!!). I think the best part was knowing that I was getting over 20mpg with my 50+ year old car, the whole time.
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  23. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,047

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Nice, yup gotta love that...
     
    gimpyshotrods and MrFalcon62 like this.
  24. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,047

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Hey you Guys, just took this old beast for another boot down the highway.
    From 0 to 60 mph, as verified by my phone stopwatch and Garmin gps, it took 30 seconds(Yikes), to ge to 60, then I was cruising easily at 65 mph.
    This with a 3.23 rearend, I can get away that up here on a lot of roads, but anywhere busy with fast moving freeway traffic, this could be dangerous.
    So yes reliable, but yes fucking slow....didn't think she was that slow....LOL
     
  25. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,368

    73RR
    Member

    .....remember, it's the journey, not the destination.....:p

    .
     
  26. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,047

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    okay "wise guy", I hear you, but do I wanna listen....LOL
    Yup Gary, with the 3.23 gears, an older engine, probably sounds about right, however she runs and idles better than ever
     
  27. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,752

    dumprat
    Member
    from b.c.

    Needs deeper gears. 3.73 would be about right.
     
  28. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,047

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Yup, that wuld help, but top end suffers a tad.
    Next years it's gettin dual/dual, and will shave head, and possibly a hotter cam. Now if all that gives me 30 hp, it should help things a long much better, wouldn't think
     
  29. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,752

    dumprat
    Member
    from b.c.

    That will help. Headers too?
     
  30. grm61
    Joined: Oct 19, 2009
    Posts: 179

    grm61
    Member
    from Washington

    Yep low compression motors, that's why a lot of these old trucks had 456, 488 or 538 gearing and a safe speed of 45/55mph.

    Check for vacuum leaks, retarded timing, froze up vacuum advance, and worn out accelerator pump, to improve performance.
    Nice ol truck.
     

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