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SBC vs Flathead

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Strong-arm, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,378

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    I picked up a pretty decent set of uncut Offy aluminum heads for the '41 flattie that's in my Deuce dump truck at the "Reno swap meet toady for $125- there was lots of flathead stuff floating around- and every bit of it was way more interesting than a boring justannuderchebbie
     
  2. Maybe the laws of mathematics just didn't apply in your neck of the woods, everywhere else in the world 100 extra horsepower is 100 extra horsepower, doesn't matter what brand engine produces it.
     
  3. Stock 331 had 250 H.P., can you even get 250 H.P. out of a flathead without a blower, or lots of bore and stroke?
     
  4. No you can't get 250 out of a flattie without going extreme but you can get 200 blown easily and reliable and have something a lot better than a SBC.
     
  5. Even better than a blown SBC?
     
  6. Strange Agent
    Joined: Sep 29, 2008
    Posts: 2,879

    Strange Agent
    Member
    from Ponder, TX

    Flatheads are cooler, SBC's are faster. [/thread]
     
  7. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,072

    Russco
    Member
    from Central IL

    This is getting almost to the point of stupidity now. A stock Merc Flatty will EASILY power that car for cruising and can do so while being very dependable FACT!
    Will it be faster than almost any other OHV transplant? nope not likely but he didnt say he wanted to race it just cruise in it. As for the broken down with no parts available does that mean we shouldnt use old top loaders or banjo rears or juice drum brakes too? can you go into the zone and get a kingpin set for a 34 ford axle? should we all be running IFS then?
     
  8. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,335

    porknbeaner
    Member

    I am not an expert nor are you. Anyway if you are you are an unsung hero. Even Vern Tardel tries to talk people who want to cruise around out of building a flatty powered car. I think that Vern probably comes as close to being an expert as anyone we know about.

    I have driven flathead powered cars cross country and I have nothing against them. They will get you from point A to point B and can be made dependable. Are they fast? Well Sanchez, Cagle and LeMan went about 155 in a '54 Stude with an Ardun headed flathead in '55. That car had to have made it at least 10 miles. I doubt that it would make it across the state though.

    In the early valve in head years there were a lot of fellas that swore by the flat head and there was a huge rivalry. The flathead lost, even ford saw the light and jumped into the valve in head world. A lot of fellas just stuck with what they knew or stick with what they know.

    Do I think that the OP should put a flatty or a small block in his Merc? I think he should do whatever his pocket book allows.
     
  9. Good luck whatever you end up doing.
     
  10. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,951

    moefuzz
    Member


    Then you defiantly don't want one of those oil burning cam lobe eating planned obsolescence sbc's. Besides nickle and diming a person to death, the People who have them are too embarrassed to open their hoods at car shows little own "show them off".

    .
     
  11. kkustomz
    Joined: Jul 4, 2007
    Posts: 342

    kkustomz
    Member
    from Texas

    Im glad your not building my engines, sbc are very reliable and inexpensive to build, if built right. Correctly built engines do not eat cams either, nor smoke, doesnt matter if sbc, flathead, briggs and stratton....
     
  12. Can you get me some weed? You must have the good stuff.
     
  13. Fairlane
    Joined: Oct 12, 2007
    Posts: 28

    Fairlane
    Member
    from Australia

    Heres my 10c worth. Friend of mine has a 50 Merc coupe with a dressed Y block sporting Mercury valve covers. Looks the part, works really well and still looks like a Mercury.
     
  14. hozem396
    Joined: May 4, 2011
    Posts: 287

    hozem396
    Member
    from ohio

    Once you go flat, you won't go back!
     
  15. Can not believe that this is going on for so long. I am a diehard GM guy and I am building a flatty. Its my first flatty ever. Have a lot to learn and will be interesting. I am almost excited about my first time :eek: am I a flatty virgin??????????
     
  16. I'd be more intrigued to see a 312 Y block in there over a SBC or flathead.

    If you pulled the flatty and it did not need much, I'd just refresh it. You never know until it's pulled apart.
     
  17. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,939

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    ........
     

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  18. JOHNPO
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 76

    JOHNPO
    Member

    thats funny.. made my day a little better:D...
     
  19. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,788

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    Flatties are not technologically sophisticated and were never designed to be performance engines. Anyone who knows anything about Henry Ford knows that he was all about beating his competitors selling cars. He figured out a way to build and sell reliable V8 engines for less $ than his competitors and took over the market. He certainly wasn't challenging any Duesenbergs or Cadillacs to a race.

    By the time he was done, these cheap, relatively lightweight, simplistic V8 engines ended up spread all over the world and every kid could get one. Once you got one, you just needed to make it run faster then the next guy's. The legend was born.

    In 1955, GM did the same thing with the smallblock Chevy, lightweight, simple, reliable, available, cheap. Every kid could have one.

    Which do you think should be in a "traditional" hot rod (or cruiser car)? Depends on your version of tradition. For me, I might put a crate 350 in a 69 Chevelle, but I wouldn't put a crate 350 in my Merc. I might be tempted to put a 1950s OHV V8 in there.
     
  20. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    It's time for this tread to kick the bucket. It's a losing battle for Flathead lovers.
    Chevrolet U.S.A-1
     
  21. burnin53
    Joined: Mar 22, 2009
    Posts: 595

    burnin53
    Member
    from cuba,n.y.

    I can appreciate any fairly traditional engine that someone decides to use.
    It doesn't seem that you can. If that's the case I feel sorry for you.

    Seems odd that a year and a half ago,you started a thread asking advice on induction for a Merc flathead.
    Mercury U.S.A.-1:D
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  22. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,821

    Hdonlybob
    Member

    I love my sbc, but if I had that car, I would go with a Caddy engine.
    Good luck, and remember, it is YOUR car.
    Cheers........
     
  23. Henry Floored
    Joined: Sep 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,370

    Henry Floored
    Member



    Mike I respectfully disagree with you. The Flathead Ford V8 was designed to provide high performance from the "get go". With the Ford V8 you had eight cylinders occupying a space that was not much bigger than the four cylinder powerplants of the day. For it's displacement (221", just a bit larger than a Model A) you had 4 more intake, and 4 more exhaust valves with with to breathe than it's predecessor. This also compared well to the 4 and 6 cylinder competition of the day. Remember engines are really just "air pumps". More valves, at least in theory, mean the possibility for better volumetric efficiency. Next look at the intake manifold. Notice how the intake ports are grouped under and very near the carburator? Flathead Fords have a very decent intake flow path until you get the inevitable transfer area (any valve in block's achillies heal). Ponder how far the fuel/air charge has to travel to get to the end cylinders on a straight 6 or 8 cyl. Also the packaging of the Ford V8 engine is excellent in that it enabled more weight to be placed lower and farther back by the chassis designer. Again this provided for better vehicle performance. It had full pressure oiling and a fully counterweighted crankshaft for smoother and higher rpm engine operation. All of these things may seem insignificant these days but back then these were premium features. The technical brilliance lies in the way the Ford V8 like no other before it was able to tie the words "low cost" to "high performance".[/QUOTE]
     
  24. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,378

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Originally Posted by jcmarz [​IMG]
    It's time for this tread to kick the bucket. It's a losing battle for Flathead lovers.
    Chevrolet U.S.A-1



    Yep, his brainwashing is complete, can't see past a Chebbie- probably never had anything else, and can't work on anything a bit "different"
     
  25. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    what the hell are you on?? First the small block Chevy is traditional. The orginal thread was about replacing the flathead with a small block. Of course everyone has the right to use whatever motor they choose but I will always support the Chevrolet small block. And for your information, I have never posted a thread asking for any advice period. I don't need to. Better stop smoking whatever it is your smoking because it's affecting your brain.
     
  26. silent rick
    Joined: Nov 7, 2002
    Posts: 3,910

    silent rick
    Member

    265's and 283's are traditional. crate motors, not so much.
     
  27. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,072

    Russco
    Member
    from Central IL


    A 265,283, even 327 Id consider traditional if dressed out nicely with old stuff but A crate motor? Not so much. I am also wondering all the guys talking about how bad the flatty is have actually owned and drove one?
     
  28. burnin53
    Joined: Mar 22, 2009
    Posts: 595

    burnin53
    Member
    from cuba,n.y.

    I never said a sbc wasn't traditional. It sure as hell isn't the only choice.
    And maybe look at your past threads,you were asking questions about flathead intakes. Date was 2/1/2010. Oh,but how could that be? You don't need to ask advice.
    And then,maybe think about getting off whatever you're on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  29. A Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 1,133

    A Chopped Coupe
    Member

    I guess it just comes down to what you want and how deep your pocket book is. A stock flathead can easily be rebuilt for reliablity and double the HP of the original for $2/3k.
    Now, if you get just plain crazy you can spend $10/12k and make close to 300hp, this I have done, and here is a picture. I also drag race a 1970 Maverick that turns in the high 9's at over 133mph in the quarter.......................and just spent about the same amount to put a carb'd 700hp 351w stroker together. Realizing that both of these builds are not your average street motor, but like the old saying goes, "How fast you want to go is only limited to how much money you have to spend", So............How Fast Do You Want To Go?
    Oh yes, the parts to put together a 300hp flatmotor are really expensive..........and on the other hand so were the major parts of the 408 build.
     

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  30. kwmpa
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,241

    kwmpa
    Member Emeritus
    from Pa

    No I'm no expert I only repair restore flatheads for a living....so I know nothing about them or their drivability if you don't know me don't give your opinion about me

     

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