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Technical restored 46 coupe,Flathead or 283?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by hotrodyankee, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. hotrodyankee
    Joined: Jun 27, 2016
    Posts: 304


    I have a fully restored 46 ford coupe, that I always wanted. Being an old hot rodder, I always wanted that car with a dressed up flatty or a traditional 283 in it with the original drive train, and lower the car a bit. My plans for this car is to drive it a lot, some longer runs than others. Just want to make this car dependable. Been building cars for 45 years, so the work is no problem. Have a hard time deciding which way to go. Whats your thoughts? Thanks, Mike.
  2. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,262


    Over the years I've had several flatheads and have never been satisfied with the performance. An SBC is a no brainer.

    OLSKOOL32 and hotrodyankee like this.
  3. uncleandy 65
    Joined: Jan 14, 2013
    Posts: 3,021

    uncleandy 65

    My first car was a 48 Ford with a flathead. Never could get it to run good. I would say SBC
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  4. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 795

    from Florida

    SBC is less expensive. Find Hurst mount set up, adapter for crash box. Easy stuff to locate. Will need electric pump so you won't have to modify front crossmember. Mild 50'S 283 Power Pac engine. Left hand header can be a problem with steering box. Drive it easy or you'll break the trans or an axle.
    Having said that, I am a die hard flatmotor fan. Trouble is they are expensive to build correctly and just the multiple carb set up and aluminum heads will be north of a grand.
    hotrodyankee likes this.
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  5. 46deluxe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2012
    Posts: 12

    from australia

    What's wrong with a ford in a ford ?
    My 47 coupe had a nicely dressed flathead in it when I bought it .
    But to make it more reliable for the longer journeys I fitted a 302 and a c4 auto .
    Now it's a great car .
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  6. Hombre
    Joined: Aug 22, 2008
    Posts: 1,030


    I also am one of the old guys, I have had over the years 11 different cars with Flatheads. My first car a 40 Ford had a flathead and over the years that I owned that old 40 I put probably 125,000 miles on it, and I just love these old motors. But back in those days when I was young and restless times and the conditions were different. There was no interstate system and you just cruised on the back roads. Those times were just made for the Flathead. Today we live in a much different world, and you would, sadly, be much better served with that 283 you always wanted.
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  7. i would vote for the 283 , but if your restored `46 has a rebuilt flathead that is in good shape and is a solid runner i'd think again about pulling it out. a set of headers , finned aluminum heads and a 2 by 2 intake/carbs would be easy to do and not that muck $$$
    Barn Find and OLSKOOL32 like this.
  8. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,057


    I have 3 flatheads in my garage, just finished a 276 c.i. 599 030 for friend's '34 roadster and ginger ready to build an 8 a for another Model A coupe another friend has. In 50 + years I have built and driven too many flatheads to keep track of. The being said, reality sets in and one must realize that you will never spend more money to get 180hp than doing a flathead. I also have a virgin '63 283,nice 305 heads, Hurst mount, and an old Offy adapter to use when I find a nice '46-'48 coupe to use as a daily driver. I you are going to the expense of a flathead, don't hide it inside fenders and a hood! As obsolete as they are (and I speak that with love and an undying devotion to flatheads ), there is Nothing prettier than a full dressed flathead. Period ! Do the 283 and save the flathead to show off .
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  9. c2355
    Joined: Oct 14, 2010
    Posts: 24

    from Ardmore

    Another vote for the 283. I've got a 48 coupe with a 283 and love it. Has a 350 trans with an 8 inch rear with a 290 gear. So your application is a little different. I love mine though. It's very dependable for long cruises. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1468796160.976138.jpg
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  10. hotrodyankee
    Joined: Jun 27, 2016
    Posts: 304


    Thanks to all that are responding, this helps a lot. I have a flat to small block adaptor and a hurst mount that I had for years. The flathead in the car is a complete "rebuilt unit from ford". The guy I bought this car from, did a frame off restoration in "85" and he purchased the engine from a old ford dealer who had this engine in a crate that was rebuilt by ford. As of now, the engine has about 100 miles on it. As I was growing up in the late 50's ,60's that's what was done with these cars, they put a 283 or a 327 in them, very common thing to do.
  11. aussie57wag
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 233

    from australia

    2 out of every three cars have a small block chev. They are a good functional motor but are definitely uncool due to the fact they are incredibly common. Same as 302 and c4 auto. Functional but uncool. In a car show you wouldn't even open the bonnet. There would be nothing of interest to show. The flathead would be way cool. With an o/d on the gearbox it would cruise on the high way just nice. If you want to go modern overhead valve maybe a Y-block, olds or nailhead would be very cool, drive nice and have a reson to open the bonnet at a show.
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  12. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,466


  13. Take out the flatty and drop in a 283 and you've got yourself a hotrod. Then, buy a restored Model A, pull out the banger and drop in the flathead. Now you've got two hot rods!! See how that could work? :)
  14. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,433


    Olds rocket or Caddy.
    29AVEE8 and hotrodyankee like this.
  15. The flathead in my avatar photo is stone cold reliable, not counting the one time the terminal came off of the ballast resistor, it has never left me stranded. It's been driven from SF to LA without a hiccup. I don't understand how an engine with less moving parts gets labeled as unreliable so often, on the daily I see nothing but threads about SBC's running hot, running like shit or not at all. If you can't get a Ford V8 to run right and reliably I suppose taking the easy way out is an option.
    hotrodyankee and 504640 like this.
  16. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,262


    SBC's running hot? Sounds like another urban myth.
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  17. Charlie Jones
    Joined: Apr 3, 2009
    Posts: 66

    Charlie Jones
    from Apopka FL.

    A seriously "built" flathead will produce about as much horsepower as a stock 283 .
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  18. lc1963
    Joined: Aug 12, 2008
    Posts: 160

    from iowa

    Building one now
    Small block chevy and 200r
    I plan to travel in it
    Flathead parts at oreily or autozone probably impossible
    Small block chevy most everything
    Love flatties

    Sent from my SCH-R970 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  19. dirt t
    Joined: Mar 20, 2007
    Posts: 4,641

    dirt t
    from Kingman,AZ
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

  20. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,260


    I'm a Chevrolet guy, make NO mistake about that, but IF it has a "new" flathead in it to start with, I'd stick with that. Just make it as dependable as you can, and don't get carried away with hopping it up too much. Now, if you decide you just have to go with the 283, be prepared for it to cost more than a 305/350; a bunch more. The 283 just is't popular the way it once was, and parts cost reflect that. E-Bay is your friend for things like pistons, rings, bearings, and things you'll need to make it "look the part" for an old school build. Post your build as you go along!
    I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
    hotrodyankee and Barn Find like this.
  21. geoford41
    Joined: Jul 26, 2011
    Posts: 478

    from Delaware

    283/327 turbo 350 I am sure you can modify the 46 shifter linkage for a stock look, put a single exhaust on it and it will provide reliable performance and you can drive it anywhere IF you want down the road you can add air and Air is easy to adapt to the SBC PLUS the cost to boost HP is a lot cheaper than a Flathead
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  22. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,352

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA

    I put 283 into a 48 Merc and with an Offenhauser adapter kit it practically bolted in. I spaced a Hurst mount out an inch, clearanced it and was able to run a stock mechanical fuel pump and the stock flathead frame holes. A tri five Chevy radiator fits real nice, used 57-67 rams horn exhaust manifolds and a flat cap Mallory distributor.

    This shit is so easy anyone could do it.
    belair and hotrodyankee like this.
  23. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,259

    from Alabama

    WTF is this Street Rodder?
    Flathead man!
    46 Ford Coupe you always wanted? The flathead makes the car.
    283 OK but there will always be some regret when you open the hood. You can kid yourself and say I'm wrong.
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  24. PKap
    Joined: Jan 5, 2011
    Posts: 593

    from Alberta

    SBC is the way to go for a driver. I would rather do a 327 than 283, and who cares if you open the hood at a show. You could spend 4 times the money to build a flatty, but the only advantage is impressing people you don't know at the occasional show. Cars look better at shows with everything closed anyways. If it was an open sided fender less 30s car, the flat head is part of the look. Sell the flat head and drive the wheels off of your car.
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  25. Ralph Moore
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 651

    Ralph Moore

    There are street rods, and there are hot rods.
    Street rods have a Chevy up front and a can of wax in the back.
    Hot rods have a flathead up front and tools in the back.
    Fred Offenhauser
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  26. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    from Missouri

    You've waited all these years to get the car. Your plan is to drive it a lot. Sounds like you should run the motor that is already in there.
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  27. tub1
    Joined: May 29, 2010
    Posts: 437

    from tasmania

    I vote 283 best thing I ever did to my old tub ,just take it easy on 1st and 2nd gear get the trans into top gear asap
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  28. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,377


    You know this will go one for many, many posts.....Flathead - SBC.

    I have both. '55 265 in my '32 pickup and a 276 flatty in my '29 roadster so I feel I have the best of both worlds.
    Seems though the one I go to to roam around in is the pickup.......why, I really can't answer that.
    I like them both but I just seem to gravitate to that pickup.
    Maybe after a good, long tour with the roadster, like I have done with the pickup.....that may change.
    Either way, they are both good motors and traditional as you can get! :)
    hotrodyankee likes this.
  29. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,200


    What they said.

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