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"To Flathead, Or Not To Flathead"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wanzer74, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. My new sig haha!
  2. poolmike
    Joined: Jul 28, 2009
    Posts: 71


    I am a newbie to the flathead world, but someone that is familiar with driving old junk everyday with engines that the standard enthusiast would junk in a heartbeat. Do the proper upgrades to make it a driver. Last night was my first outing with my '37 Ford truck that hasn't seen use in 40+ years. New points, cap, rotor, plugs, fuel tank, inline electric fuel pump, hi-flow water pumps, radiator. 40+ year old spark plug wires, untouched carb. That truck rolled right down the road. I would not hesitate to drive it cross country today.
  3. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don

    I have worked on flatties for other people since about 1957. Always wanted one of my own. In 2001 I started on it with a roadster to carry it. I cleaned the block really well, drilled it for full flow oil, and followed the advice in some of the books. New heads, deck the block for gasket life, Speedway water pumps, new radiator. It runs 170 on the road, 195 in heavy traffic. It uses a Mopar dizzy. I have an S 10 five speed, I can drive anywhere and never exceed 2500, or blast it with all three carbs open to 4800. I had a pro rebuild a 48 generator with 56 F6 guts. In the old days, Chev was the engine to put in because they were cheap. Now, a Ford 302, or a 347 is just as cheap and keeps it all Ford.
  4. Roger Whitaker
    Joined: Jan 2, 2008
    Posts: 10

    Roger Whitaker
    from SE Kansas

    I used to Flat Head at San Fernando and Lions. Now ya all know how long ago that was. I was at Lions their last night. Closed for noise abatement and the last 2 down the strip were 2 D9,s.. Here was mine. [​IMG]
  5. dabirdguy
    Joined: Jun 23, 2005
    Posts: 2,404

    Member Emeritus

    Cool or crap?
    Not a tough choice in my mind.
  6. awelker
    Joined: Jan 7, 2008
    Posts: 65


    The answer is flathead, always flathead.
  7. Flathead all the way !!!!!!

    If you do feel the need to swap, go with a Y-Block :D
  8. I have a flattie in my 40 coupe backed by a 5-speed and 8" rear for over 6 years. I live in Virginia and I've been to Goodguys Rhinebeck, NY 5-6 times with it, Billetproof in Florida, LI, NY many times, and many, many places inbetween. Could I have done this with an SBC or SBF? Sure, that's a no brainer - but there's nothing like the bark of a flattie to me at any speed/RPM and the look on people's faces when they see that I'm running a flattie after they've seen the license plate!

    I guess, for me, it was and still is, the challenge that it can be done without the supposed problems that flatties are supposed to be known for. I may not get up to speed as quickly as an OHV engine but I can right along with them at 75 (2500 RPM) up to 80 mph (2800 RPM).

    This is your ride, your car - build it the way you want. It's just a matter of what you want to do with your build, make a plan/theme, and stick to it, whatever the engine.

    Attached Files:

  9. Screamin' Metal
    Joined: Feb 1, 2009
    Posts: 506

    Screamin' Metal
    from Oklahoma

    Alway....always....ALWAYs......A blown flathead!!!!!!

    Never under-estimate the power of stupid folks from detroit inlarge numbers.............this gave us the un-powered cars of 1973 and other words known as the death of the musclecars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. 39Truck
    Joined: Aug 20, 2007
    Posts: 260

    from Sweden

    Keep the Flathead and have Fun :)
  11. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,830


    You gotta keep the flattie. SBC in an old Ford truck = yawn and keep walking.

    Flattie = stop, stare, and wonder in amazement.

    Start up the flattie and watch heads turn and listen with their heads cocked sideways like a puppy dog.
  12. Philbilly
    Joined: Dec 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,294


    Watch Hot Rod tv this Saturday on Speed. Its all about flatheads and they stop at 2 shops with one bing H & H Flatheads and Relics car club. That may help you decide.
  13. 31fordV860
    Joined: Jan 22, 2007
    Posts: 864


    Flat...head in the right direction

    Attached Files:

  14. harley man
    Joined: Jan 24, 2009
    Posts: 152

    harley man

    Flatty all the way.Hell no to the chevy common as air.At the very least a sbFord.
  15. haroldd1963
    Joined: Oct 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,154

    from Peru, IL

  16. AnimalAin
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 3,417


    As a Ford guy, the reflexive answer when posed the question the way you did is pretty clear. Flatheads are cool, and will power your truck well, as long as you don't expect to be in too much of a hurry.

    That said, it is also important that you have a clear picture of what you want the truck to do. If you want to be able to run all day with left-lane traffic, or use the truck to haul pretty heavy loads, other motors may be a better solution.

    Your preferences on drivetrain might also be considered. The top-shift transmissions common in those old trucks isn't know to be particularly sporty or durable. A T5 will work great behind a flathead, but may not be particularly well suited to towing or heavy hauling. The list of other possibilities is long.

    I guess what I am saying is to figure out what you want to be able to do before you build the truck to do it. It is much more likely that you will be pleased with the results than if you build first, and hope it turns out ok.
  17. Arthur1958
    Joined: Jun 29, 2009
    Posts: 230


    I would keep the flathead, but that's really not the point. If you are more comfortable with the SBC, then go with that and sell the flathead to someone else. You won't have any trouble finding a buyer.
  18. jjsound
    Joined: May 27, 2008
    Posts: 389


    There's a reason Ford doesn't build flatheads anymore. Just get the small block and send the flatty my way, I'll take care of it from there;)

    ...But seriously, ya know that flathead sound? 'Tis sweet, sweet music!
  19. MedicCustoms
    Joined: Nov 24, 2008
    Posts: 1,094


    Hell I'd keep the flat head and I'm a Chevy guy theirs just something about the sound of a flat head that get your heart pumping. If you want a SBC I'll trade you one thats just been built for your flat head pm me I'm going to Dixie fried let me know I'm only about 1 1/2 hours from their. But I'd Keep the flatie
  20. I can't tell ya anything new, a well built flathead will not let ya down, I've got many miles on mine, and would not hesitate to drive it anywhere a a moments notice. Plus I flog the hell out of it a couple of times a year at the drag strip. It will never make the power of the SBC, but the WOW factor is SBC X 10...

    If you seriously want to use a SBC, it's your money... I'd be happy to that flathead off your hands to offset the cost of your build.

    If your coming to Dixie Fried, look for my old blue Ford with the flathead, if that doesn't help your decision I don't know what would...
  21. 31ACoupe
    Joined: Nov 14, 2005
    Posts: 1,416


    keep it flathead and you won't regret it. sbc's in a hot rod are b.....o.....r....i....n....ggggggggg!!!!!
  22. I'm with Max......mate, you need to reconsider if your buddy "gets it" then decide accordingly haha.

    Been running a blown Flathead for 3 years....awesome.

    That Flathead of your with a little TLC would look awesome.

  23. coppertone
    Joined: Apr 10, 2006
    Posts: 129


    I've got around 65,000 (no odometer) on my flathead since it was rebuilt. It still starts and runs great. Ayear ago it was running a little rough, immediately started worrying about what might be going wrong- then I realized the carb was 12 years old. Rebuilt it and now it's just like it was on day one. Has a T5 behind it. Runs warm every once in awhile, not often. I used to worry about that but just think of all of them that worked harder and ran warm without damage. Someday it might bite me in the butt, but I just quit worrying about it. Nothin sounds better and it's always fun to pop the hood.
  24. Hyway Hauler
    Joined: Aug 31, 2009
    Posts: 670

    Hyway Hauler

    Ford in a Ford all the way, i'm a Chevy guy and I hate when guys "Build Fords tough with Chevy stuff!"
  25. davesville
    Joined: Dec 13, 2006
    Posts: 364


    i wonder if your ride will be worth more in the future with a flatty or a sbc.the flatty world is growing and lots of cool dress up parts now available.
  26. Coupe-De-CAB
    Joined: Sep 30, 2004
    Posts: 2,098

    from Nor Cal

    Flathead ...enough said:)

    best wishes on your build and hope it all works out for ya!
  27. wanzer74
    Joined: Aug 27, 2008
    Posts: 8

    from fl.

    Right now its 110 outside, and tomorrow it will b 110, and the after it might get 112!! on a cool day your lookin at 95! just sayin it gets hot down here!! but if you guys arent haven probs, im so runnin the flat. i already have it!
  28. LEMMING249
    Joined: Sep 2, 2008
    Posts: 140


    Sell your Ford to me, buy a Chevy truck.........put a 350 in it.
  29. Uptown83
    Joined: Apr 23, 2007
    Posts: 722


    Like everyone said flathead all the way. I got a 33 ford that has a blown sbc. Im working on gathering parts to take it out and put a flathead in it instead.
  30. outlawsteel
    Joined: Feb 19, 2009
    Posts: 360


    ok yea your freinds are right put a chevy in it and go ahead and send me that dead weight flathead but seriously if you do put a chevy in it tell me a price

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