I do not own a flathead now, but would like to someday. For now, I'll have to take gratification in just "knowing" about them...So, enlighten me. What is different other than the valve housing is part of the block? Speaking...how do you get to the valves? Use a 239 for example, as they're the most common and probably what I would own. How does the valve train work specifically? Is the bottom end the same as an OHV motor(crank, rods, pistons, etc)? Do they have onboard mechanical fuel pumps like later engines? What drives the oil pump? Anything you know, spill it unto me!
You almost have to see one to figure it out, and then you'll go.......duh!
The exhaust drops below the valve through a passage in the waterjacket and out the exhaust manifold. The two middle ones use the same port which confuses a lot of people when they see 8 spark plugs and only 6 exhaust tubes.
Routing the exhaust thru the water jacket is one of the reasons flatheads are prone to overheating IF the engine and radiators aren't clean and timing isn't kept on the mark.
Go to www.store.yahoo.com/motorbooks/index and click on engine manuals. They have a really great book on the Flathead Ford engines! It is lavishly illustrated, including flow diagrams of the incoming fuel/air mixture and the exhaust gases as well!
It is really a great book, Scottie!
Swing by your local Barne's and Noble.
Tex Smith's Complete Ford Flathead V8 Engine Manual is excellent,under $20, it covers the evolution of the flatty and modifications for hot rodders. Very good detail drawings of how they work too. Basically everything you would need to know.