I can get a '49 2-door Sedan w/ solid body and glass-passenger window and a running 239 for $1500 is this a good deal and platform for hotrodding? Me and two buddies are having a contest to see who can built the fastest flathead in 6 months. Alex has got a '47 2-door Coupe also w/ a 239 and John got some kind of Dodge. I heard flathead parts are expensive, What are the cheapest mods to gain some hp, also to go faster period. So far I plan on taking the hood and doors off to ditch some weight, tune up, air cleaner, and exhaust. I have about $2500 after the cost of the car to spend on this project. Any tips to cream this guys will be greatly appreciated. I don't know much about these motors/cars.
Oh almost forgot it's got a 3 spd w/ what I was told are 3.92:1 rear gears out of a station wagon model.
This link might get you going, but I think they spent more than $2500 on the project.
Flatheads are like any other engine. Your 49 should have the late series flathead, so your distributor should be on a stem like more modern engines. Easiest performance upgrades - headers, 4 bbl carb on an aftermarket intake (don't go above 390 cfm), higher compression heads, cam, etc.
Spend time reading as much as you can - links to flathead sites for msn groups 32-53 flatheads is a great one with tons of extra links. fordbarn.com is super. yahoo groups has a great flathead site as well.
Back to your original question - that flathead started with 100 horses at the flywheel. So you are correct - almost anything else will beat it in stock form. For $2500 you can probably get upwards of 175 HP, but not much more. Your 49 sedan is a pretty heavy platform to start with for racing - that's why the original hotrodders were using lightweight model A's and 32-34's. 3.92 gears should be good for what you're doing. Keep your races short where the flathead torque can work to it's best advantage. 4.27's would be even better. Consider using a C4 conversion - those stock trannies have to be shifted slowly or you'll rip the gears out of them in your first match. They're synchro'd but barely by modern standards.
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