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Projects What are your thoughts?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Christian Price, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. 26Troadster
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 480

    from Texas

    leave the flatty in it. my dad passed 4 years ago, i have two of his bikes but i really wanted his 50 ford 2 door sedan, a real nice car like yours. my mom has my dad's car for sale now i just can't swing it.
  2. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,815

    from Alabama

    Christian Price likes this.
  3. Christian Price
    Joined: May 31, 2019
    Posts: 19

    Christian Price

  4. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,666

    Bruce Lancaster

    A mandatory read: Tom McCahill was a legendary magazine road tester and commentator in Mechanix illustrated magazine in the '50's and '60's.
    He tested everything and appreciated performance...he hopped up a nearly brand new '49 Ford Ford with help from the Granatelli's (!!!!)
    It was a strictly limited build...he did not want dual carbs, low gearing etc. I remember heads ('48 type, I think no one was casting '49 type yet), Merc carb and manifold, dual exhaust.
    He of course gave it his normal road test, and discovered that acceleration was quicker than the best in his road test history ('49 Olds) and top speed also exceeded his previous top, a '49 Caddy. No Merc crank, I think no cam, do not remember either the limitations or the things not done very well.
    The cost given was ridiculous, I think under 300, but I think that total involved some lying and some hidden tricery by the Granatellis.
    You will find this very inspiring...
    As I recall it was in one of the 2 issues of a Fawcett publishing book titled "Sports cars and Hot rods"
    I have a couple copies but almost certainly cannot find them without tearing the house down.
    I hope some person with an organized collection will step up and post a copy!

    This below is either what you want or the other one...note the 109 as a way of ID ing the other so if you buy 2 you get both...

    Sport Cars and Hot Rods (Fawcett Book Series, Number 109)
    by Fred Horsley and Frank A. Taggart
    More Buying Choices
    $21.01 (2 used offers)
    lothiandon1940, F-ONE and Petejoe like this.
  5. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,096


    Like i said earlier if you are just running around town keep the flatty i have an original flathead in my 51 merc its huge compared to the little ford but does great around my area. I have taken it on several short trips and love driving it. Have fun keep it forever.
  6. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,666

    Bruce Lancaster

    This is an internet snippet on this...
    Hopping-up and hot-rodding, as it used to be, does not seem to have the appeal that it once had when we ran the MI Ford story back in February 1950. With Andy Granatelli of Chicago, we took a standard 1949 Ford Tudor sedan and gently hopped it up, showing the readers each step we made and exactly how much it cost. This was one of our biggest stories of all. That MI Ford could do 0-60 in ten seconds flat and had a top of 112 mph.
  7. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,815

    from Alabama

    I'm posting some things about illegal activity from a time long ago and really a place in our history that is long gone. So the historical references are just that. One should not try to relive it. A car, any car carries with it great responsibility. Miss-used it can kill. It's a 3300lb missile.
    That, "sir".....Means a Lot!!

    You seem to be a mature, respectful young man that can take......things he may not want to hear. For this, I want to commend you and let you know I appreciate it. So hat's off.:)

    I think you have an idea but at your age you cannot fully appreciate what you have now.
    You have now at 14 what many; maybe even most of us, on the Hamb do not have and will probably will never have. A very nice car and a very nice car owned by their grandfather.

    For most of us there are 2 periods in a mans life when he can really have fun with his cars.

    The single years after or during education and before marriage....
    The latter years after the family is raised and the man is established with adult children.
    The family raising years are tough.

    Right now you are in the catbird seat. The "Catbird Seat" is a good place to be.

    You know I think you need to keep the flathead V8, It's a Legend.....but
    If you do decide to go OHV in the future.
    By Golly if you are going to go through all that .....

    Replace a legend with another....Legend!
    Like this....

    There was something special about the 49-51 Fords. They saved FoMoCo! They handled very very well for the period. A stock one can go down the road toady with modern traffic. You can't say that about a stock Chevy of the period, Ford rival.
    My grandfather had a mechanic shop in the late 50s. He raced a 50 sedan at Birmingham. His best customer was a man named Layfield from Layfield Hollow.

    Mr. Layfield had 3 49-51 Ford sedans. These were black cars with brush scratches and dents all over. Under the hood were hopped up flatheads with 3 speed overdrives and automatic or High Gear rear ends. These cars would do 90 in 2nd. When those cars were right....he could pass a mile post every 62 seconds.
    Those cars were Blockaders or Tankers. Each one had moon tanks. Someone who is close to me...I'm not going to say who, would make runs for Mr. Layfield before he was old enough for a license.
    Those were different times. I thought you might like some history.
    Enjoy your your car.
    For your viewing pleasure...

    I don't recommend the bootlegger roll.;)

  8. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,815

    from Alabama

    Mr. Lancaster,

    I have thought about just that....
    Using a Mercury side draft with the Loadomatic on a Ford.
    Do you think that's where to start?
  9. yes my Dad went from North Carolina to California in a 49 Ford with a flathead. butttt
    I would consider if long road trips are in your future I would slant towards the 302.
    What I did in my 53 is I wanted the engine for a Hot Rod project. So I told myself 1st trouble I have out of this flathead I am pulling it. That's what I did 18 years ago. Still have a 302 in my 53, still have my 53 merc flatty on a engine stand.
    Christian Price likes this.
  10. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,666

    Bruce Lancaster

    Merc Manifold has slightly bigger ports than Ford and carb is bigger...don't know how much. Reasonable choice if you plan to use original type distributor. Uncle Tom wanted to use single carb because normal hotrod multiple were fidgety and hard to keep adjusted...probably a reasonable criticism.
    Merc manifold will also take some Rochester two barrels if you go to a real distributor of some sort. Stock stuff has a big advantage if you are new at the game and can't possibly modify everything at once...with a good running stock engine you want to proceed cautiously anyway.
    I have some Canadian Merc aluminum manifolds, a shiny alternative...
    "if long road trips are in your future I would slant towards the 302" Flathead lower end is pretty solid stuff, actually.
    My '48 was my car in college in Pennsylvania...normal high mileage worn and stock 239, 3.78 rear, nothing special anywhere. I had a girlfriend in northern Vermont, important to me Grandparents in Mississippi, parents overseas and only far away relatives in USA.
    I traveled a lot and got a LOT of speeding tickets, long before oil crisis and low speed limits. I never had anything happen that convinced me I needed something with modern innards. I was learning how to fix cars and had plenty to do on a well worn car, but all fiddly stuff and not "flatheads are no good at high speed" stuff.
    I was damn lucky, though, that I had a Mississippi drivers license and so was well protected from legal license consequences of damnyankee tickets!
    Some tickets were around 80, and when one cop asked me if the car could go that fast I proudly answered "Yes" instead of choosing to try the "Your radar must have been drinking" possibility..
    Petejoe and F-ONE like this.
  11. @Christian Price, being only 14 I would highly recommend not screwing with the car too much to start with. It appears you have a nice one that runs well, I'd concentrate on getting it running as well as it can and then just drive it. That will let you get used to it, know it's foibles (and all old cars have those) and eventually decide just what you may want to do. I'll note that these have a non-syncro low gear, so grinding going into first is normal unless you're fully stopped.

    Mechanically, the only 'performance' change I'd do at this point is install dual exhaust to fully enjoy that 'flathead' sound. Headers probably won't add enough power to be noticeable, it'll just be an added expense for little gain. While I admire those who have a love affair with flatheads, the fact remains that making real power with one isn't inexpensive anymore. A good used boneyard 302 with a mild cam and a 4-barrel will make as much or more power as a 'hot' flathead at a fraction of the price.

    Cosmetically, maybe lower it, some appropriate wheelcovers or wheels, maybe nose/deck it for a clean 'traditional' mild custom. Your black paint will make that pretty easy.

    Engine swaps aren't as easy as some make them out to be. Before taking that step, do a budget. While 'kits' are available to get the motors into the car, that's not the end of it. You'll be converting to 12 volts, which depending on the condition of your wiring may be easy or require a complete re-wire. Modify or replace your radiator. Going to try to retain the stock trans? You'll need an adaptor, and clutch linkage mods will probably be needed. Changing the trans? You'll probably need a new driveshaft and a custom speedo cable. Even the 'easy' swaps usually require some custom fab work to address 'details', do you have those skills? If you try to farm all that out or use aftermarket parts as a 'fix', it gets expensive fast...

    I got my first car at 14 too. Had big plans, rounded up the parts I thought I needed, tore the car apart. A year later it went to scrap, too much stuff above my skill level at the time. Unless you have an experienced mentor who's done this stuff, don't bite off more than you can chew, work your way up to it.
  12. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 5,591

    from Michigan

    Was thinking about you and your car.

    I want to add...

    As others said, the flathead Ford V8 has a particular and rich history from a time when there were no overhead valve V-8 engines to speak of. They were the first American V8 engines to be hot rodded.

    This is your first flathead V8 powered car. It will likely be your last. I strongly and kindly suggest that you don't swap in a later engine. And I strongly and kindly suggest that you might keep this car... I assume it's your first... for life. It's nice to have at least one important constant throughout life. This could be it. I think you'll grow to love this car and the flathead V8 for what it is.

    There are even very few older guys running V8 flat heads these days. And as time goes by, there are fewer and fewer. You would be one of the very few.

    Keep the flame burning...
    And be happy for it.
    All the luck to you!

    Sent from my VS835 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Petejoe likes this.
  13. LuckyFordGuy
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 262


    Like I said before keep the flathead if it is running good
  14. IMG_0145.JPG I have a 51 with a Windsor and has been great to drive for over 20 years.
    I have a 51 Merc with a 274 inch flathead, 4 barrel, headers, cam, aluminum heads that I have 4,800 miles on in two years.
    This weekend I took my 50, flathead to Deuce Days in Victoria BC, 250 miles return trip. Ran great and the most comments I recieved were on the 3 on the tree.
    If I want to go faster I take out my 57 with 427 cubic inches of FE.
    My vote is leave the flathead in, roll down the windows and enjoy the ride.

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