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Technical Questions about a hot rod flathead

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Norris McCarty, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. Norris McCarty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 243

    Norris McCarty
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes, they are progressive
     
  2. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,887

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good luck on the distributor swap! Keep us informed of your progress.
     
  3. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,266

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes, beauty of an engine!
    Studs & nuts on the heads: Good move. NO water leaking past cap screws.
    Love the wire looms, radiator hoses are plumb with C/L of engine.

    My nice '36 Five window had a .060" over Merc flattie, (270"?) I ran a pair of 8.5:1 Edelbrock heads, a Weber F-2 cam, ("mild track") Mallory dual point, and dual 97s, engine ran strong even just off idle.
    I changed intakes, to an Edelbrock 3 jugger, adding a progressive linkage and 2 days jetting...
    Ran like I had the choke pulled out... just ran 'fat', even after leaning the jets out to .040?
    My 17 year old brain deduced I was over carbureted. (my girlfriend said the same thing...think she was meaning something else)
    Back to my dual carbs...ran great.
     
  4. Norris McCarty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 243

    Norris McCarty
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Mike. Yes I wanted the old style heads with center outlets.
    And yes, I’ll be updating this thread as soon as the dizzy comes in....should have it Saturday.
    I need to find some air filters. My air horns are on 4 5/8” centers so not much room. I may just stack two gauze filters per carb for now......I have the hood clearance.
     
  5. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 6,660

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    I had that Mallory looking distributor and had lots of problems. If it were me I'd do a converted Chevy distributor with Pertronix guts. I've had several of them and they work really good.
     
    FlatJan and joel like this.
  6. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,840

    Kiwi 4d
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Smart move @Norris McCarty ,just change one small thing at a time rather than a scatter gun approach . Then you have a reference point for the changes. Yep just lifting the chrome air restricted Cover up and putting in a longer stud to hold 2 filters will give you a decent idea.
     
    Tim likes this.
  7. Norris McCarty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 243

    Norris McCarty
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    One more question today......do I want to set up the new distributor to have 18 degrees advance coming in as early(rpm wise) as possible? Or, more advance than that later?
    18 degrees appears to be smallest I can set it up.
    Getting ready for the Mallory. I’ve never set up a distributor for a flathead.
     
  8. I’m not disputing anything that is said,,,,or being an old fuddy,,duddy,,,,,,,.
    But,,,,there Is absolutely nothing wrong with points and a condenser .
    And absolutely easy to set,,,,,,and run for a really long time !
    Flatheads are perfect for points,,,,,,,,and most all old hot rod engines .
    Nothing wrong with points .

    Tommy
     
  9. Norris McCarty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 243

    Norris McCarty
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I totally agree. If I had wanted to wait several weeks for the Mallory points distributor I would have....I’m too impatient.....Speedway had the Mallory Unilite in stock. I’ve used them before on V8s with great success.
    I like points and condensers too.
     
  10. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,318

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    Does this new distributor have a vacuum advance?
     
  11. Norris McCarty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 243

    Norris McCarty
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    No. Mechanical advance only
     
    mctim64 likes this.
  12. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,167

    Marty Strode
    Member

    I bought a Mallory points distributor and it ran great for about a month, and quit. Sent it back twice, the tested it and said there was nothing wrong. While it was gone, I installed the stock unit, and it ran fine, just didn't have the advance of the Mallory. I finally put a Pertronix in the Mallory, and it has been running for the last 15 years. As far as air cleaners, these tall Edmunds work well, I am told. IMG_2945.JPG
     
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  13. Norris McCarty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 243

    Norris McCarty
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like the Edmunds filters but $250. for a set of three is a bit steep for me. I’m in the shop right now building some flat aluminum tops to replace my current “helmets”. I think they’ll look nice when polished....less then $10.
    Thanks for the tip though.
     
    Jet96 and Tim like this.
  14. Some times less is more. Point in response -a buddy running a 409 Chevy at the drags found out a single 4 barrel was the way to go for better times on the strip - and on the street drags. Would suggest maybe a late Holley 2 barrel carb on that 4 barrel intake....think its around 450 CFM....I'll check or someone might know.....
     
  15. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,132

    dwollam
    Member

    I run a WCFB 4bbl on the 286 flathead in my '40 Std. Tudor. Stock 94's on my two '51 Fords and also on the 59A in my avatar '29 Model A Tudor. In the olden days, my 1st car was a '61 Falcon Dad and I shoehorned a 312 Y Block into. We tried many carbs on that including tri power with 94's, 780 Holley, and others. Best carb for performance and over all was an Autolite 4 bbl off of a 390 FE Ford! Tri power got the best mileage (4.27 Spicer rear with 3 spd overdrive) but never had as much umph as the Autolite.

    Dave
     
  16. acme30
    Joined: Jun 13, 2011
    Posts: 166

    acme30
    Member
    from Australia

    Advice I received (from an Australian flathead icon) for my 8BA was all timing in by 2500 (with 25 degrees in total).

    Mine is a similar set up to yours but 2 x 94s and not as pretty.
     
  17. Norris McCarty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 243

    Norris McCarty
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That’s the advice I was looking for......thank you
     
  18. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,608

    97
    Member

    OK, I did say sticking my neck out without more information..... when I said a lot of carburetion, I meant that accelerating from 70 mph cruise speed , you are probably transitioning from the single center carb to the three of them. This could allow a lot of air and minimal extra fuel for a short time, which in turn creates a lean situation, which will cause or contribute to ping/knock, and loss of power . The power valve on a Stromberg 97 is only operated by the accelerator pump at about half throttle, ( not by manifold vacuum),so unless the pump is set up very accurately the whole system will only get the pump enrichment from a single carb initially when accelerating from light throttle( lean cruise ). Unless you hit the throttle fairly aggressively , smooth transition from one to three carbs will be hard to achieve in a heavier car.
    Even a Max 1 cam will have relatively low manifold vacuum at lean cruise and at idle. I think that twin carbs non progressive would make more power and as they are always in flow the lean detonation spot on acceleration would be less likely to occur , therefore the timing would not need to be backed off as far to stop the detonation, (still not going over 24 to 26 degrees total.) The third carb could possibly be bought in as the progressive secondary with less issues. These carbs were never designed to be used in a multi carb situation like the triples of the 50s and 60s, where the "dumb" end carbs had no power valve but BIG main jets to cover the hole...gas was leaded and combustion chambers were more advanced, along with vacuum advance distributors , higher compression and OHV, none of which pertains to a flathead on modern gas( maybe a small vacuum advance at/off idle ) , but you still need to be extremely careful not to over advance.
    If you are going to use the three carbs with the single as the primary, the other two should have a small flow at all times (just cracked on the throttle stop) with all three set up for idle, and the two secondaries coming in right on half throttle. The pump in the primary needs to be set up so that the power valve opens just as the secondary linkage starts to move. The power valve should be checked to make sure the pin is not worn or bent and the pump plunger calibrated to the pin.
     
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  19. All this talk is moot until those 'air filters' are eliminated.
     
    dirty old man likes this.
  20. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,608

    97
    Member

    I think Norris has somewhat addressed that , he has made new tops for the air filters with double stacked filter elements. Depending on the elements it may be enough. Personally unless he his driving on a dirt road I would prefer to see him trying without ANY filters even if it is just one drive. I like to see filter surface area at least 1.5 times the area of the carb opening.
     
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  21. I’m guessing this car is 12v?
     
  22. Norris McCarty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 243

    Norris McCarty
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes it’s 12 volt.
    I did drive it without the filters and it was noticeably better from idle to cruise without the single filters. I had to adjust the mixtures again using a vacuum gauge. I‘m proud to say that I can pretty much do it by ear now.....just using the gauge to check my work.
    I’ll be running two gauze filters stacked on each carb which should provide plenty of airflow.
    According to tracking, the Mallory Unilite should arrive today. I’ll more than likely get a chance to install it tomorrow morning. I will report back after installation.
    I will set up the dizzy with the lightest advance springs that come with it and the “20 degree bushing” to try to get 25 degrees total advance in by 2500 rpm. I realize it may take a bit of experimentation to get the timing where it needs to be.
    I’m not real sure how I’m going to check this yet as there are no degree marks(only TDC) on the Fluidampr crank pulley. I do have an old Snapon timing light that has a dial-in advance....maybe it will work for this?
    Does this all sound correct?
     
  23. jimvette59
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 824

    jimvette59
    Member

    Not for nothing but is there rubber hose supplying the gas . Can it be breaking down ?
     
  24. Norris McCarty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 243

    Norris McCarty
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes....rubber, very short and new.
     
  25. You can use a Chevrolet Dist with the door in the cap by putting a Ford drive gear and some machine work on the housing and shaft. Points and condenser will work much better than the Mag/Mag look one and you'll have a real Vacuum Advance that keep timming thru the power curve. There is a guy in Penn. that does the mod and supplies modded dists.
    Set the carbs with a rubber hose in your ear to each carb when you get the exact same sound from each carb they are in sync.
    Check for Vacuum leaks, spray with a windex bottle with water in it and look for bubbles, fix the leaks, 97 and 94 carbs are known to leak vacuum under the carb and the throttle shafts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
  26. Norris McCarty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 243

    Norris McCarty
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Have checked for leaks where you suggested. Vacuum gauge is steady at 18 at idle so I don’t think I have a vacuum leak.
    I believe my problems are distributor related.......I’ll know soon.
    The Mallory from Speedway was suppose to be here today, but as usual, it’s delayed until Monday or Tuesday(happens every time with Speedway orders)
     
  27. coilover
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 617

    coilover
    Member
    from Texas

    As suggested the Chevy distributor works better than any other combo I've tried. The top weights model has an infinite number of advance weights and spring combinations so any curve can be made or copied. They are dead on reliable and usually run till the weights eat through the pivot pins at around 250k miles.
     
  28. Departed
    Joined: Dec 20, 2010
    Posts: 155

    Departed
    Member
    from Canada

    HotDog!!!
     
  29. Norris McCarty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 243

    Norris McCarty
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Same car. The man that I bought it from hasn’t taken down the ad.
     
    mctim64 likes this.

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