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Technical Thinking about designing an 8BA block.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 427designer, May 9, 2017.

  1. 427designer
    Joined: Aug 15, 2011
    Posts: 227

    427designer
    Member
    from Ohio

    I've been asked several times about making an 8BA block as one of my next projects. I bought a block to work from and have access to blue prints, so I figured I would design one with already suggested improvements that is as near to stock as possible so that people can bolt up stock parts to it. I plan to make thicker decks. Deeper bosses that are closed to water. More metal for over boring the cylinders. Thicker main webbing. More cooling capacity. Possible 5 main availability. Increased port capacity. And a couple of other things that I can't remember just now.

    If you have constructive input I would entertain suggestions. This project is last in line right now so I have time to put together the customer wish list of improvements. I estimate pricing will be in the mid 2k range.

    Here is my visual aid. I tore the top end apart yesterday. Looks like one cylinder is the reason this one froze up. Good enough to work with/from.

    Tod 20170508_154806.jpg
     
  2. tom in nh
    Joined: Oct 16, 2011
    Posts: 61

    tom in nh
    Member

    Three things:
    shave excess weight
    make it breathe better
    make it run cooler

    Good luck,
    Tom
     
  3. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,685

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    IMHO. The biggest thing wrong with flatheads, besides the 3 main deal, is the exhaust ports. If you were to rerout them up next to the intake ports, like a Cadillac, most to the overheating would be fixed. But it wouldn't really look like a flathead Ford anymore.
     
  4. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,056

    wicarnut
    Member

    I believe there's an aluminum block available now or did that stop production? Seems I remember reading about this in past years. (Flathead Jack's ? H&H flatheads ?) In the 80's I designed and built a liquid cooled aluminum racing cylinder head for VW style Midget race engines,(pic's in my album's) as I was unhappy with different types I purchased. When done, used them, won races, but decided not to go to production as I was not sure of market due to rule changes and already had a small fortune involved. (Way beyond the $ # I guesstimated) Here's a Tip on what I learned, NO Matter how much they cost, BUY racing cylinder heads. Years ago I had people suggest I build a flathead block, again not sure of market, so I passed. I was figuring a block (low production) would be in the minium $5K+/per back then, (2K seems pretty low to me) contact me w/ PM, maybe I can give you some insight on your project. GOOD LUCK !
     
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  5. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 5,220

    Bandit Billy
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    :DIf you made it in a 327 cubic inch configuration it would be perfect and save these guys a lot of time swapping motors. :D
     
  6. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 5,220

    Bandit Billy
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    Oh, and it is Motor City that makes the aluminum one with 4 bolt mains.
     
  7. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,851

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Did somebody say 327?
    Might as well create it as a Nova block too, that's where the money is.
     
  8. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 1,983

    Fordors
    Member

    The MCFH block seems to be made from unobtainium.
    After changing numerous parts and making virtually nothing interchangeable with an original block casting it has been on hold for years. The last rumor was that it would be sold as a complete crate engine. $$$$$!
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
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  9. Jimmy2car
    Joined: Nov 26, 2003
    Posts: 1,707

    Jimmy2car
    Member
    from No. Cal

    The exhaust ports on a Flathead are not the problem
     
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  10. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,507

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Are you saying that the Ford Flathead V8 design running the exhaust passages through the water jackets has no ill effect on engine cooling?

    Ray
     
  11. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,685

    RichFox
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    Am I to understand that you believe that something other than the exhaust routing on Flat head Fords, is the cause of them overheating? Then Duntov was wrong. You have the experience. i would like to know what is the cause of Fords running hot. On another note. I believe that Don Ferguson sells aluminum blocks to go with his repop Ardun heads. But for more money than I even want to know about.
     
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  12. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,685

    RichFox
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    Here we have pictures of the only two 300 mph flatheads that ever existed. What do they have in common? Check exhaust. But do they still look like Ford flathead V8 engines? ron flathead.jpg IMG_0842.jpg
     
  13. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,223

    Fortunateson
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  14. Torana68
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,074

    Torana68
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Australia

    Its a no from me.
     
    5window likes this.
  15. 03GMCSonoma
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 177

    03GMCSonoma
    Member

    There was a dirt tracker running in Central Iowa in the early 60's that was getting about 322 cubes out of his flathead. I think he bored .250" with sleeves and a 1" stroker. I don't remember what kind of heat issues he had but it ran like a raped ape.
     
  16. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,908

    squirrel
    Member

    First step is to identify the requirements. Since several of them conflict, you have to decide just what it is you want to build. That might be something that depends on what the market is.

    How many guys want to buy a custom crank to run 5 mains?

    how many guys want to have the exhaust come out the top?

    how many guys want it to be lighter, or thicker, or have larger cooling passages? these seem to conflict with each other, in some cases.

    Good luck...you're not going to keep everyone happy with one design.
     
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  17. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,685

    RichFox
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    If it's a replacement block, Top side exhaust is pretty much out. Thicker, better cooling, I think, would be much better received.
     
  18. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 13,962

    alchemy
    Member

    The key to selling very many will be that all the original old speed equipment can still bolt up to it. No 5 main block, no ports out another side of the block, no water port changearounds.
     
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  19. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,988

    porknbeaner
    Member

    They already can't sell the H&H blocks or heads.
     
  20. 37 caddy
    Joined: Mar 4, 2010
    Posts: 273

    37 caddy
    Member
    from PEI Canada

    If i had the technology to cast and machine a block like the flathead,i would propably try and make a set of ardun heads for one,i think they would be more in demand then a block,most guys are into visual impact,as they dont drive the cars everyday like back in the 50's.As the blocks are already available else where,the heads might be a niche market. Harvey
     
  21. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 13,962

    alchemy
    Member

    Hey 37 Caddy, the repro Ardun heads are already made.
     
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  22. Ardun heads, then its not a flathead anymore. What material do you want to make the blocks out of??? 2k after all your work and time seems like an eternity before you will make a dime off of it........JMHO
     
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  23. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,187

    treb11
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Oiling. 100% filtration but still with the external canister

    Sent from my SM-G550T using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  24. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 5,220

    Bandit Billy
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    I think... If it was dependable as a SBC, cooled liked a SBC, had mains like a SBC, took speed equipment like a SBC, and was as cheap as the SBC... I'd still build a vintage flathead. :cool:
     
  25. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,685

    RichFox
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    I really don't see what is wrong with this plan. It might be interesting to see if making a 400 SBC crank work in a 5 main block. That and full flow oil is about as far into the 21st century a flathead can go and find buyers. I would guess.
     
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  26. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,646

    The 39 guy
    Member

    Having seen what you are doing with the banger blocks and heads I have no doubt you could make a Superior 8BA block and make it more economically than the others that have tried to do it.

    Providing full flow oil filtering without the through the oil pan system I had to use would be a plus.

    Anything to help the engine run a little cooler and have less tendency to crack at the valve seats would be of value.

    Pre-drilling the lifter bores for the pin some of us use to hold the adjustable lifters from spinning while the adjustable lifters are adjusted would be a plus.

    A provision for plugging the fuel pump rod hole with a threaded plug would save builders using electric fuel pumps some time.

    Good luck with the project if you proceed! I will be watching.
     
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  27. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 5,220

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    X2
     
  28. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,361

    williebill
    Member

    Been thinking about this thread. I bought one of the NOS French blocks when they first hit the market, and haven't done a thing with it yet. I know different folks have sold them since they were "discovered", but if I were you, I'd be curious as to how many of those blocks have been sold, and apply that number to your plans. I bought mine cause it was new, and I wouldn't have to deal with cracked, worn out stuff, not for any performance reasons.
    Might be unfair to compare the French blocks to your ideas, and I saw your plan for 2K pricing. What are the French blocks selling for now?
     
  29. YES!!! I'd go for a 5 main block with lifter bores drilled, blind bolt holes in water jacket, hardened exhaust valve seats, standard exhaust location (so it still looks flathead), full flow oil filtering with external filter, remove the heat riser, more modern valve guide design to allow for a better port, small windows in main webbing, etc.

    Personally, I'd like to see a Windsor bellhousing pattern so a toploader could just be bolted up without an adapter. I like 4-speeds and it wouldn't be "in your face". I break things and I'd rather break a replaceable transmission than a little too shift. (Let the flaming begin)

    Might could scallop the water jacket to help with cooling but that may cause issue with the exhaust ports.

    I'd actually build a flathead if I knew I could get a new, known good block.

    Think the aluminum block for Ardun heads was about $20,000 from H&H and I don't think much interchanged.
     
  30. No to the 5 main idea, stock cylinder spacing won't allow it. You space out the cylinders for a 5 main crank then your cylinder heads won't fit off the shelf. having more material in the block and thickening up the weak areas is a good idea. For people asking for you to make a block that runs cooler, all you need to do on your end is get all of the casting sand out of the water jackets, though every engine builder should be cleaning them to begin with anyway. To make a flathead run cool you just need to upgrade and properly curve your ignition system and timing, number one cause for flathead overheating is dirty water jackets and retarded timing. Not much of a mystery there. Mine runs 190 all day, with the exhaust through the block and all.
     
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