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Technical Convert overhead to a flathead?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by etwheels, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. etwheels
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 39

    from ca.

    A friend of mine, dick beith, has done it. Start with a 351w block and add a new deck to get the valves in the block, install sleeves to get continuous cylinder wall, special camshaft, new heads. Now you have a 409ci in flat head.
  2. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,357

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA

    Pictures or it didn't happen.
  3. Gotta see that...

  4. 38FLATTIE
    Joined: Oct 26, 2008
    Posts: 4,350

    from Colorado

    Is this the same Dick Beith that runs the VW powered lakester?
  5. A ton of effort and money to make less power.

    Why bother ???

    Hotroding used to be about improving performance.
  6. shinysideup
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,627

    from ruskin, fl

    So whats your point?
  7. 38FLATTIE
    Joined: Oct 26, 2008
    Posts: 4,350

    from Colorado

    I'm not sure why anyone would bother, or if there is really a point, but is someone did do it, I'd like to see it.

    That would be a monster flathead, and might be cool to see in the right car, even if it would be considered a 'poser'. A flathead with all modern, off the shelf parts would be neat too- not that I'd want one!

    If it is Dick Beith the salt flat racer, he might have did one just to see if he could- those salt flat guys are half nuts and all looney!:D
  8. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,004


    Why do you need a special cam shaft. When I converted my Plymouth back to flathead after converting it to overhead first, I used the same cam. changed lifters from cup type to stock adjustable MoPar parts. His plates must have been pretty big with room for the valve guides, ports and all. Would really like to see a picture or two.
  9. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,965

    from Michigan

    X2! Post some pictures.
  10. _____________:D

    Don't think so, very dumb? --show photos!!!
  11. He may have built it to conform to a certain class and have an cubic inch advantage. I saw a flathead in a camaro once the fella was shooting for some class and said he was going to make it. I don't know of he ever did though.

    I would like to see it as well, I have some idea that may work to make the conversion I just can't see the time and expense to do it unless like I said it was to conform to a class and have an advantage within the class.
  12. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    I think I solved the basic design scheme in the closed thread :)
    Now we just need for a lunatic with a foundry to step up!
    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069


    Yeah why? Overhead valves are to eliminate airflow from doing u-turns.
  14. pinkynoegg
    Joined: Dec 11, 2011
    Posts: 1,135


    I think it has to do with not having a ratio in the rocker arms. The flathead would need bigger lobes to open a valve as much as an ohv would with 1:1.6 rockers for example
  15. graverobber63
    Joined: Sep 8, 2004
    Posts: 4,134

    Alliance Vendor

    Reverse Hot rodding!

  16. Yep almost a century after your car and they are trying to go backwards to what everyone wanted when your car was young. Miller is rolling over in his grave.
  17. rottenleonard
    Joined: Nov 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,973


    ha reminds me of when my pops and I were walking around the pits at speed week, we ran across a car with a sbc with a flathead head installed on it. we were scratching our heads and came to the conclusion that they did it so they could have a stronger rotating assy and still run in a class designed for flatheads. About this time one of the crew came over laughing and said he overheard our sonopsis and then showed us the head on the otherside was just a normal sbc head and they were running it on 4 cylinders. The flathead was just there to hook gullable people like us. We hade a pretty good laugh over it.

  18. Wouldn't be legal for Bonneville.
    The Vintage motor rules are pretty specific on stuff like that.
  19. Sure it would, just not for the Vintage motor clsses

  20. And the "advantage" would be ?
  21. All you doubters might want to think twice. Dick Beith has not only been racing Bonneville for over 50 years - with a bunch of interesting stuff, including a 36HP VW that 80.874 in 1960 the first VW to set a record. He also had a motorcycle streamliner that was powered by a 44 cu in Mercury outboard motor and went 141.50. he went 129.62 in a 36HP VW powered lakester back in 1963 - a record that still stands.

    Oh Yeah - and he is the guy who started ET Wheels as well.
  22. I can't imagine any - but the fact remains that it could be raced if so inclined.
  23. And @ 50 years on the salt he may have insider information on a class that we haven't even heard of yet.
  24. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,004


    Well yeah. Like the 404 was a very big cam in a flathead Ford. In an Ardun I guess it would be a 600 lift. if Arduns have a 1.5 :1 rocker ratio. A different cam might be better. But you don't have to change cams if you don't want to.
  25. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,494

    Atwater Mike

    Dick Beith was my high school Machine Shop/metal casting teacher. I don't exaggerate when I state that he taught me how to 'think'.

    We talked about VWs, (36 H.P. then) and their potential for performance. Dick was working on an Okrasa equipped dual-ported 1200 cc sedan, (36 HP origins)
    This is the same roots car that holds a B'Ville record...
  26. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    from MI

    A modern engine based flathead has the potential to be a better piece than an old one. It's not uncommon in racing classes for flatheads to get a big displacement advantage and/or to get other consideration. If those advantages were enough, a modern flathead could end up outperforming others in the class.
  27. B Blue
    Joined: Jul 30, 2009
    Posts: 281

    B Blue

    Day one, create a flathead out of an OHV.

    Day two, engineer an OHV conversion for the flathead.

  28. Looks like the expert opinion that constructing a flathead using a modern block and bottom end is a practical impossibility and/or "lunacy haven't stopped Dick Beith from building one.

    Or perhaps he has his own foundry and the unlimited funds we were told that this would take?
  29. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,004


    If you want a very large flathead, there were some made when flatheads were common. Not having seen a picture of this engine I am with holding judgement. But I would very much enjoy seeing a picture and finding out from the builder what was his goal in building the thing.

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