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Old 11-07-2004, 03:14 PM
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1952henry 1952henry is offline
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low mile flathead overhauls -Attn. oldtimers

Was it common in the 40's and 50's to everhaul an engine with few miles? If so why? I have my ideas, just want ot hear from others.
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Old 11-15-2004, 06:59 AM
HOTWRENCH HOTWRENCH is offline
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Talking Flathead rebuild

In the old days a motor with 60,000 mile was due because of oil consumption or burnt valves, low oil pressure or knocks. Mostly due to the oils of the day, also ring, bearing, valve,@gasket technology along with oil @ filter inprovements have extended overhaul milage tremendosly.
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Old 11-25-2004, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOTWRENCH
In the old days a motor with 60,000 mile was due because of oil consumption or burnt valves, low oil pressure or knocks. Mostly due to the oils of the day, also ring, bearing, valve,@gasket technology along with oil @ filter inprovements have extended overhaul milage tremendosly.
HAVE A GOOD DAY HOTWRENCH
most of ones i have done where from burnt valves and worn rings they went together pretty loose so rings wore fast, also the early ones had a poured rod bearings no shell we melted lead onto the rod and the carved out the bearing by hand . as oils got better and techno got better so did the motors .
remember the early ones had no oil filter and a oil change was every 1k don't remember the octain of the gas it was not very high but then nether was compression.
more input old timers lets not take it with us.
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Old 12-23-2004, 06:58 AM
kotzy kotzy is offline
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The oils were the first problem no anti wear additives until after WW2. Second was the
operating temps, as menthanol alcohol was the antifreeze 160 thermostats were used.
Poor crankcase ventilation was another factor. Finally high ring tension was a problem.
These all contributed to the short life of engines.
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:06 AM
archangel archangel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kotzy
The oils were the first problem no anti wear additives until after WW2. Second was the
operating temps, as menthanol alcohol was the antifreeze 160 thermostats were used.
Poor crankcase ventilation was another factor. Finally high ring tension was a problem.
These all contributed to the short life of engines.

Not to mention the possibility of crap for piston rings and valves as far as metal quality back then.
Also there were "budget rebuilds" where you swap the bearing on the rods and crank and rings on the pistons without machining the crank and perhaps, if you wanted to spend the time and money, just a crosshatch hone for the cylinders.

I have a vary low mileage 1962 Buick aluminum 215 V8 that is getting just rings, (cylinders look freshly machined, so I'll only freshen up the crosshatching) bearings (new ones plasiguage out @.025, right at factory spec's) and a valve job (all the valves, springs and guides were needed) that it did not get on the last (I assume was only a) short block rebuild.

Last edited by archangel; 01-05-2005 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 01-08-2005, 09:19 PM
dmptrkr dmptrkr is offline
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Poured bearings were great for budget rebuilds. You could just pull a few shims out till they tightenned up. And when you run out of shims file the caps a bit.

Improved metallurgy has surely helped extend engine life. I can't understand why anyone wants to buy NOS engine parts on Ebay when new stuff is available. Valve guides and rings. It used to be that you would see a car belching blue smoke every few blocks.

Better oil is certainly a factor. It would be interesting to rebuild old engines with NOS parts just to see how much difference modern oil makes.

I think engine design and engineering has made a big difference. Modern engines with precise control of the fuel to air ratio and electronic ignition burn a whole lot cleaner. It wasn't uncommon to find a quarter inch if carbon on top of the pistons when you pulled the heads for a valve job. That carbon was not in the form of graphite, It would cause some wear when it flaked off and got caught in the rings and valves. Made the oil dirty too. My spark plugs are lasting ten times longer than they used to. I think its due to improved combustion technology rather than better plugs.
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Old 01-09-2005, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archangel
I have a vary low mileage 1962 Buick aluminum 215 V8 that is getting just rings, (cylinders look freshly machined, so I'll only freshen up the crosshatching) bearings (new ones plasiguage out @.025, right at factory spec's) and a valve job (all the valves, springs and guides were needed) that it did not get on the last (I assume was only a) short block rebuild.
Actually, I just noticed the mistype, I said .025 when it was .0015.
I just dug out the OLD 54 to 63 Chiltons and found my old note sheet tells me the clearance is .0015 and the range for new reman is .0005 to .0021 so I'm in the ball park.


Cast on the rod bearing were what the old ford model "A" had and they used to carry an extra rod for the odd road side emergency.
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Old 01-09-2005, 09:39 PM
kotzy kotzy is offline
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Chevy used babbitted rod until 1953, Buick until 1947 and Ford used them in the
mains of the early flat head V8.
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Old 09-05-2005, 12:56 PM
3/4ER 3/4ER is offline
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I had a 53, with a V-8, and Ford-O-Matic. When my Grandfather sold the car it had over 125K on it, and never saw any major engine work (water pump, rebuilt carb.), and no trans work at all. It didn't smoke, or burn oil, just ran like a top, quiet, smooth, and plenty of get up and go.
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Old 09-05-2005, 04:52 PM
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The late flat head v8 and the Borg Warner transmission were a good combination, that
transmission with some refinement like removeing of the rear pump was used until arond
the 60's It started out in second speed and did have a manual low. What many
didn't know was if you pulled out in low put it in D and when it made the
shift to second, if you pulled it back in low it would remain in second until
70 or more depending on the engine.
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Old 09-05-2005, 06:55 PM
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Metalurgy, lubricants, steel sleeves, lack of maint. I've seen a few old engines years ago where the rings would clog up and pump oil like crazy, not really worn out. Think a lot of folks pulled the T-stats and ran the engines too cold. As mentioned, carbon under a valve. Remember one old mechanic in town, around 1950 would drive the car, flog the engine real hard, rev it up a couple grand and slowly pour water thru the carb to clean carbon out. If this failed, he would overhaul it.

ray
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Old 09-06-2005, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raytasch
Remember one old mechanic in town, around 1950 would drive the car, flog the engine real hard, rev it up a couple grand and slowly pour water thru the carb to clean carbon out. If this failed, he would overhaul it.
ray
I used to do that as well.

I just read an article in "Mother Earth news" where a guy used water injection to calm the 12.7:1 combustion ratio of his Ford Festiva and got an increase in mileage, not a huge gain in mileage and power, but enough to be of interest.

And constant combustion chamber carbon cleaning.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/top_a...ction_Wizardry
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Old 09-29-2005, 12:08 AM
h kreis h kreis is offline
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oil and unleaded gas

I used to have several old flathead Fords a 35 fiive window coupe, a 40 convertable. a 46 tudor and a 47 tudor I did all of my own work and this was in the middle 50s the biggest problems were the oils of the day and the lead in gasoline, the underside of the valves were coated so badly that it would take hours on the wire wheel to clean the before you could grind them. the sludge on the inside of the engine would be almost an inch thick, also no oil filters worth a darn. so no matter how well maintained an engine with 100,000 miles on it was very rare.....just an old guys memories
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Old 09-29-2005, 12:08 AM
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