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51 239 flathead first oil change in 51 years

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Old 04-27-2014, 07:01 PM
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51 239 flathead first oil change in 51 years

I'm working on a 51 239 flathead... was parked in 1964.. last oil change in 1963 at 71k miles... here is a picture of the filter I removed, and the owners gas & oil records.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:17 PM
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Wow! Cool stuff. That filter looks like it's still good for another few thousand miles. The gas records are too much. A dollar here, two bucks there. A full tank for 4 and a quarter. I remember my dad buying gas like that; getting a dollar's worth and going to work all week on it. I just spent $65 on Friday to fill my tank.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:18 PM
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Have you removed the drain plug out of the pan yet? Don't be surprised if nothing, or just a trickle of oil, comes out. Be ready for big-time sludge, and hopefully not a lot of water. That's a LONG time. You seriously need to thoroughly inspect the engine before trying to get it running.

That Montgomery Ward oil filter is cool.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:50 PM
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I like his mileage for 1962.

3390 Miles
215.4 gallons
15.73 Miles per gallon! Not bad, must have been slower speeds.

$63.52 for a years gas! I spend twice that a week!
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:00 PM
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Send an oil sample off to Blackstone and see what they say? Hm.

Would like to see how the motor oil looks after that much time tho.


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Old 04-27-2014, 08:14 PM
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Have you removed the drain plug out of the pan yet? Don't be surprised if nothing, or just a trickle of oil, comes out. Be ready for big-time sludge, and hopefully not a lot of water. That's a LONG time. You seriously need to thoroughly inspect the engine before trying to get it running.

That Montgomery Ward oil filter is cool.
I have removed the drain plug... yes it had some sludge but no water...
my father and I got it running already. It needed new water pumps and belts, radiator, hoses, r & r starter to free up the gear (would not engage)
I have changed plugs, cap, rotor, wires. It now starts and runs but I need more time to get it on the road.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:33 PM
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Send an oil sample off to Blackstone and see what they say? Hm.

Would like to see how the motor oil looks after that much time tho.


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Blackstone would probably call the EPA if he sent a 51 year old "oil" sample to them. What would he learn by an analysis like that? All they had back then was non-detergent oil.

I'd almost guarantee it looks something like this. This is what my intake area looked like after it was opened for the first time in 64 years, and my engine was run regularly all the way until 1991. So you can only imagine what his engine could possibly look like inside. Again, any of the flathead guys here would implore the OP to look inside that engine, especially if it has set for 51 years.

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Old 04-27-2014, 08:35 PM
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Great story, cool that it had the records still. Gas was a lot cheaper and so was everything else. I do remember paying 19 cents per gallon way back when I first started driving. A few dollars went a long way, but it was also hard for me to get a few dollars back then. My first job, at age 15, paid $1.75 per hour in '65 at a Jack in the Box.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:30 PM
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Blackstone would probably call the EPA if he sent a 51 year old "oil" sample to them. What would he learn by an analysis like that? All they had back then was non-detergent oil.

I'd almost guarantee it looks something like this. This is what my intake area looked like after it was opened for the first time in 64 years, and my engine was run regularly all the way until 1991. So you can only imagine what his engine could possibly look like inside. Again, any of the flathead guys here would implore the OP to look inside that engine, especially if it has set for 51 years.
Exactly... I don't know what the plans are for the engine/truck, but there is very little chance that running it as-is won't cause damage. Pulling the intake is pretty quick and easy, and will tell you a lot.

What is the purpose of the big clamp on the oil filter casing?
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:50 PM
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There's more to the story:

My parent's bought the car in 1956 ( at 5 yrs old it' still the newest vehicle they have ever owned) In 1964 while driving from Monterey to L.A my father said it was "loosing power" bought a carb. in Greenfield. Put it on.. it made no differance, so he turned around brought it home and parked it. Never meaning for it to sit for 50yrs.

I was born in 1962 and came home from the hospital in this car.
Jump forward 50yrs.... My parents totally surprised me with a hand made card that read " To celebrate your 50th birthday we would like you to be the new owner of the 51 family station wagon!....two yrs. later It still makes me tear up when I relive that moment.

The car is very special to me, but even more special is the time now spent with my parents working on it. The car is at there house (my childhood home) so I visit about 6 times a year and get a little work done on the 51 each time.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:51 PM
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Kidding about Blackstone, lol.

Wondering if gasoline was also a bit peppier too. Almost 16 miles to the gallon with a V8?

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Old 04-27-2014, 09:54 PM
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[QUOTE=ALBUQ F-1;14298025

What is the purpose of the big clamp on the oil filter casing?[/QUOTE]

At one time my father had a backup electric fuel pump bolted on there.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:38 PM
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It's not a truck. It's a somewhat rare car in the condition that it's in. I've seen pictures of it.
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:48 PM
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off topic but still a flathead

Update: Wagon got its first real test drive .. about 25mi, drove to dmv with a 1 day pass to get the vin verified. Verification went smoothly... then the fun & games began to get it registered, first dmv wanted to give me new plates. After some discussion dmv had me take the original plate off the car so they could photo copy it and send a it to Sacramento. Long story short, I now have a 90day temp. reg. and was told that Sacramento will let me know if I can keep the existing plates.

That first drive really gets your heart going, your mind is racing, ears n nose are looking for any signs of trouble. But all went well, my father road shotgun and my mother drove the chase vehicle (just in case)... no sign of the "low power problem" that it was parked in 1964 for. Still have lots to do but getting the vin verified is a big relief

The wagon has the 239 8ba with three on the tree + overdrive. It ran well and shifted into all gears and the overdrive worked ...Yeah!!

picture of the "hibernating" family wagon
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:15 PM
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Very cool story! We have to have more pics of this car, please!
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