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What's a '50 Mercury flathead v8 value?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by slackcat, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. Going to drop off a carb to an older hotrodder and thought I'd ask him about a mercury flathead he has stored in his shop. He told me a time before that it was in need of a valve job but running when he pulled it. No water pumps or carb, intake and exhaust plugged when stored. I'll see if it turns over. Should I assume the block has cracks???

    A pretty stand-up guy and has a wealth of to talk with.

    Any help appreciated, I'm pretty green on these engines.

  2. xhotrodder
    Joined: Jul 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,603


    Not sure what they are worth in that condition, but I'd check with a local machine shop and compare prices on say a Chevy small block, a Ford y-block, and a Buick nailhead, or any other engine you might consider for your next project. That way you will know what costs face you down the road. I think Speedway has flathead parts, and I am sure some of the guys on here may also have the parts you will need. There is one HAMBER on here looking for a tool to adjust the valves on a flathead in the wanted classifieds. You might PM him and ask what kind of headaches you may be facing, if you or your machine shop does not have the proper tools to work on that engine. Good luck in your quest.
  3. yblock292
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,937


    paided 300 for one recently, tore it down was trash, but did end up with a good crank
  4. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,011


    $500 with no cracks and if it's not stuck. Otherwise $100. If he permits, pull the heads to look for cracks. If he's an old hot rodder he will know a fair price. Find out what he wants and go from there. Maybe he will trade for parts you have.

  5. J'st Wandering
    Joined: Jan 28, 2004
    Posts: 1,731

    J'st Wandering

    I agree with 19Fordy on the $100. If it has a 4 inch crank, $200-300. If he guarantees the block, I could go to the $500 if it has the 4 inch crank.

    All depends on how bad you want it.

  6. dirtbag13
    Joined: Jun 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,540


    i recently sold one condition unknown i had pulled from a 51 merc condition unknown complete w trans for 300 $ !
  7. nailheadroadster
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,522


    You start by saying you don't know their worth then you say you think Speedway sells flathead parts?? Really? Why even reply to this thread?? :confused:

    As for the engine... I recently turned down a free turning, minus carb & dizzy Merc 50 for $600. I tried for $500 and the guy wouldn't budge on it, so I walked.

    It's such a crap shoot not knowing if it has cracks or not so just assume it does. If it doesn't, yippy, if it does, they may beable to be fixed. If it can't be fixed, the crank should be worth a few hundred if it's not wiped out and you may get a couple of bucks off some other stuff on it. Just like any other engine... it's a gamble.

    With all that being said... remember that you will spend a load of bucks on it for minimal power. It's all about the tradition for most flatty owners. Horsepower is not cheap on them but they are cool as hell anyway.
  8. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 897

    Bearing Burner
    from W. MA

    If it has ANY serious cracks see if he will give you $25 to take it off his hands. Offer $200 -300 for the 4 inch crank if it can be ground.
  9. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    More hopeful than most, since engine was a runner and you say the owner is believable.
    Inside storage, too...I might just inspect thoroughly and then go with the suggested valve job!
  10. Blakmerk
    Joined: May 15, 2002
    Posts: 313

    from St.Joe MO

    Bruce is right. once again...
  11. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Flathead archaeologists always carry a six-inch rule...instant answer without having to read the numbers even.
  12. Thanks for the responses. Turns out I didn't have much time to talk or look at the engine, other things came up. Did tell him I'd get back after I tear into the '48 F2 engine and check for cracks. Kinda' thinking it would be cheaper to install a 4in. crank in my 8ba if the block checks out. Either motor will need going through as far as valve train.

    I was happy to drop off the carb and help him get his coupe back on the road. Good guy.
  13. Termites Ate my Chevy
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 544

    Termites Ate my Chevy

    Is a crack from head stud hole to water jacket hole on the block going to be a problem? Do you measure the stroke to determine it's a merc crank or is there a visual way of determining?
  14. Termites Ate my Chevy
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 544

    Termites Ate my Chevy

    and...what does this mean? Thanks Bruce!
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,137


    As and indicator I paid 400 for a complete and running 8BA that still had antifreeze in the radiator when I went to make the deal on the engine. At the local swap meet a few months later I paid 25.00 for a pair of Merc heads ao it would be real easy for me to have a "Merc" flathead now. An unknown quantity sitting in the corner of his shop is probably worth what a Merc crank core is worth if it is truly a Merc engine. Pass the pull the heads and check for cracks test and it's worth more.

    I paid 100 for a 41 Flathead out of a wind machine a year ago simply because I could sell enough parts to come out even if the block turns out bad. I would think that would be the way a guy needs to look at these engines when going to buy one. Kown quantity or unknown quantity and price accordingly.
  16. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    6" rule: A '49-53 Merc crank has a front counterweight a bit over 6" wide at widest span, a '49-53 Ford crank is a bit under 6" there.
    This is not applicable to the early pre-1949 3 3/4 cranks, by the way, so you need to focus your eyes on other details as well if peering into an early engine. The Merc 4" can turn up anywhere, as the swap has been popular since day one.
    The reason the engine described here sounds good to me is primarily the statement that the owner is believed to be honest and knowledgable...if true, seems very likely to be a real Merc that was running.

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