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Customs What Kind Of Air Cleaners Were Flatheads Running in The 1950's

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by FordMan53, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. FordMan53
    Joined: Mar 18, 2009
    Posts: 715

    from So Cal

    Have an original flathead in my 53 Ford, and need am looking for a cleaner to fit the theme of the car. Thanks!
  2. True till Death
    Joined: Mar 1, 2006
    Posts: 123

    True till Death

    my 51 has an oil bath style, 51 was the last year for the flattie in the states, 53 is an 8ba style just made in canada so my guess is it would be oil bath as well
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  3. FordMan53
    Joined: Mar 18, 2009
    Posts: 715

    from So Cal

    Did guys run Edmunds Custom cleaners?
  4. MengesTwinCustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 279


    Here is a 54 ford, its the y block but pretty much the exact same air cleaner...;)
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  5. i have an oil bath on my 53 239
  6. bobscogin
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,653


    Make that '53 in the US, '54 in Canada.

  7. gas pumper
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 2,928

    gas pumper

    Stock oil bath or none.
    OR some oil bath cleaners had a metal pre filter. kind of like steel wool with a fine screen inside and a course screen outside. you oiled the wool after cleaning in gas and drying. And made a simple filter out of that metal mesh, doing away with the oil bath part.

    I had a 56 265 4 barrel in the early 60's with a rusty chrome base and lid with the wool in between. only about an inch in height.
  8. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,763

    Member Emeritus


    There were a lot of custom air cleaners available especially late in the decade. They were cheap. I never saw an oil bath on a hot rod. That was the first thing that got shit canned in my neighborhood. Even a box stock used shoebox would have a chrome air cleaner of some sort.
  9. Prostreet32
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 145

    from Indy

    The most popular was the 8" tall 12"wide 'removable top', single butterfly nut held,
    unit like in the above photograph ( on single carbed units) the different manufactures used different colors on them depending on the application
  10. budssuperpro
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
    Posts: 391


    i have a oil Bath in my 55 f-100.
  11. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,132

    RAY With

    Here is a 52 flatty with early air cleaners and dual carbs. Its a driver and a fun machine on the hiway with 3 speed OD. My first flatty was a 1949 with aluminum heads and dual carbs with a thicksun air cleaner which was the ideal set up back then. I wish I had ownes a camera back then so I would have some shots.

    Attached Files:

  12. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,860

    Retro Jim

    My 55 Ford with a Y block came with an oil bath filter . I still have it in the shed but changed that one with something else . I think just about everyone made a different size air cleaner for that carb ! The sky is the limit on what guys put on those carbs back then and today !

  13. AV8Paul
    Joined: Mar 2, 2003
    Posts: 1,813

    Member Emeritus

    Tommy, as I was reading thru this thread, I was composing my reply in my head. When I got to your post, There were my almost exact words...right down to "shit canned" oil bath. Pretty funny. Like we said ten years ago, when we first met at york, Our lives pretty much parralled each others. I guess that was truer than we realized. HAHA.
  14. blown49
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 2,213

    Member Emeritus

    Most popular was probably the Stellings & Hellings. Repos are available for 2-barrel & 4-barrel.

  15. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 2,754

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.

    Had a screendoor screen[brass] bent into a 1/2 ball on top of carb,with a hoseclamp
  16. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,763

    Member Emeritus

    That's because we were there. Young and dumb but we knew enough to dress up a daily driver with a chrome pot.

    The funny thing is that the chrome pots probably didn't flow as well as that big monstrosity oil bath that it came with.:D But we never learned that until the 70s when they came back from the dead.


    1955 Edelbrock catalog. Check out Jive bombers 57 Edelbrock catalog.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  17. strombergs97
    Joined: May 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,890

    from California

    Here are some Thickstuns. I really like them for looks and they allow lots of air in..Some in the air filters are very air restrictive. Buy good one and use K&N filters..

    Attached Files:

  18. 46fatford
    Joined: Jul 8, 2007
    Posts: 915


    Who made the air cleaners with the v8 cut outs in the mesh? I would love to find a set for my flathead.
  19. QuatroDoor
    Joined: Aug 8, 2010
    Posts: 4


    I have a '50 Ford Custom Deluxe with the original flathead and oil bath air cleaner. How do you maintain it? Clean it out? Scrub it down? Change any filament material?

    It looks pretty crappy in there.
  20. in So Cal I don't remember seeing an air cleaner till late 60's
  21. '46SuperDeluxe
    Joined: Apr 26, 2009
    Posts: 255

    from Clovis, CA

    I don't know either I of you guys, but 3X on that sentiment. I got my '46 in '66...bone stock with 60k on the odometer. My summer job paid $1.76 hr, I think, so I didn't have much $ to spend, but The oil bath was the first thing to be "shitcanned"/replaced so I could feel like I was working on it. They had a few chromed "Mickey Mouse" hop up parts at the local auto store.

    Until I got rid of it, I washed it up in gasoline(leaded) with an old paint brush, to get the oily crud off, an dried it. A little scuff with some sandpaper, then rattlecanned it flat black. Poured a little fresh 30w or 40w init and away you go

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