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  #1  
Old 02-15-2011, 05:56 PM
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Can you guys tell me more about "Flatheads"?

Hi all!

I know nothing about these engines but have always been curious about them.

I'd like to know more about these engines!

What kind of power do these engines make? Are they low-revvers? I've heard they are bulletproof!

Thanks!

- Bill
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:03 PM
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Hi Bill, I don't have much time right now,but I know a little about them,I believe they were 60 and 80 hp.They were hot rodded a bunch,when I was a kid,every stock car racer ran one.They don't blow easy because they hit their top rpm and just hang there,flat.I'm not sure what the rpm was,but am sure it wasn't very high.Talk more later.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:27 PM
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Thanks Mr. Buster!

Any information you have will be appreciated!

I know me and dad used to have a welder / generator that was powered by a flathead 4. That thing sounded really mean! O_o
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:26 PM
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Bill,when I speak of 60,80hp,I'm talking about V8 flatheads.They are a very historical benchmark for the V8,Henry pretty much started it.Offenhouser and a few others made gobs of parts for them,finned aluminum heads,all kinds of multi-carb intakes,Isky probably ground his first cam for one.People used to put Mercury cranks in to stroke them and the best block was a Canadian bus block ( had heavy duty water jacket walls).Stock car racers used to knock off every other fin on the water pumps (they had 2) because they circulated water too fast and would over heat (didn't in radiator long enough to cool),or they would restrict flow with a large washer where the thermostat goes.They were pretty durable as long as you didn't over heat and crack a block.I traded a parts motor cycle once for every thing but the block to a flathead out of a rail job,Offy heads,6 deuce manifold with Stromberg 97's,Harmon-Collins magneto,Isky cam,ForgeTrue pistons,Mercury stroker crank and "zoomie"headers,and some other stuff.Never built it,made some money off it,but you see,even a mild small block made more power.Back in the day (late '60s) one of my friends held the national record for a stock '49 Ford flathead,haven't seen him in 30yrs,so I don't know if he still does or not.He'd wind her until she was almost flat,then shift (back when people knew how to power shift),it had a 3speed with electric over drive,stick,with a Hurst shifter.Those years,4.11& 3.90 was the stock rear end ratios and when in over drive,it free wheeled when you let off the gas.After Henry brought out the V8,others like Lincoln and Cadillac had a few V12 &V16s,I remember Pontiac and Buick had straight 8's,my dad had a couple of '49 Buicks with straight 8's.Well,I've cleared out a whole chit load of cobwebs,I'll leave you with this much to kick around for awhile.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:45 PM
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Hey Mr. Buster!

Thanks so much for the knowledge! The water jacket blocks sound really cool. I'd like to see one in peices to see how that all worked.

Can someone please rep Meester Buster for me? I'm in rep jail!
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:12 PM
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They are the same as what you have in your 300,except they were more complex because of having the valves in the block instead of the head and casting technology has come a long ways since those days.They were like 2-4cylinders,cooling wise,each side had a water pump and they had 2 top hoses and 2 bottom hoses going into the radiator.I think they were 60hp then in '32 they jumped to 80hp and went up from there as years went by.Overhead valves really made them obsolete,even worse than overhead cams are making our engines obsolete.If you think a 300 can't breath because of intake and exhaust on the same side,just imagine how a flathead breaths,about like closing your mouth and one nostril and running a marathon,lol.But all those old engines are cool and any engine that runs smooth and correct is a work of art.Can you imagine a late 60's Hi-Po V8 twisting 8,000rpm on a single point ignition,visualize those points operating at that speed,it's amazing.What really worries me is hearing about some of the new engines (not Ford) having electronic cam timing, like having a glitch or short and blow your engine,of course it wouldn't happen on a new one,it would be down the road 8-10 yrs when some poor wretch buys it used.It will never happen to me,cause I won't own one and won't live long enough to have to,but you younger guys might.
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:55 AM
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Buster, they aren't designing modern day vehicles to last 25 years like they used to. Just when techknowledgy has the potential to make a truck last 50 years in a blink of an eye (excluding rust issues), they start doing things to ensure complete engine failure sooner than later.

Thanks again for relaying all the Flathead imformation. What was the average size of a flathead V8 or 6? Displacement wise? Were they bigger engines or smaller?
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:55 AM
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Hey Bill, this is a good thread to have started.

I have a 37 Ford Pickup that hasn't been driven in over 50 years. It has a 85 hp(I think) flat v8 its locked solid, but I think I'm going to fill it with diesel and let it sit so maybe when I get to doing something with the pickup, I can rebuild the motor n build it up some.
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:14 AM
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Thanks Dave

I was hoping of starting a large discussion on these engines because like I said I knew next to nothing of them!

Got any pictures of that Flathead 8??
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:01 PM
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Just of the pickup right now.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:54 AM
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The 60 hp engine was designed to replace the four cylinder and was not made for long. it was replaced by the 226 six. also the v8 60 is phsically smaller and was popular in race boats and midgets. I dont recall the first fullsize flathead displacement but sometime in the thirties it reached 239 cid and it stayed that size until 53. The mercury was 255 cid achieved by using a 4" crankshaft vs 3.75 inches for the 239.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:13 PM
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Dave, your project truck looks great. I love that model. There's a man up the road with a truck around that same year that he drives in the summer time. I've actually been thinking about stopping and asking him about it.

F6Guy thanks for the information. I was very curious about te CID of these engines. You have given me a great idea about the size and stroke of the engines. Thank you!
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:14 PM
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Actually Dave I don't think his truck is quite that old. On second glance I think his is newer.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:45 PM
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Ya, mine is a 37, it was my Wifes Grandpas. He gave it to me because he knew I would do something with it.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:39 AM
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have look in here to get a idea of some of the things we used to do to a flatie,
http://www.smithcollection.com/
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:39 AM
 
 
 
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