I pulled the heads off my flatty as yes there are 2 cracks. The cracks run from the valve port straight down to the 3rd cylinder on each side of the motor. The cracks are not big at all. You can't hardly see them but, is this motor still worth building. I was told if the cracks run from valve port to valve port then it is a throw away. But if they run from valve port to cylinder then you can use them. This is my first flat head I'm getting ready to build with some help from my dad. I found a guy how does have a flat head and a trans that goes with it for $100.00 dollars. The motor he says is stuck but the trans is good. Should I take a chance on buying that and hope it is better than what I have or just keep on looking around. I want a flatty in my truck not a modern motor. I like the sound of the old motors. Nothing like a flatty rolling down the road with a set of dual exhaust on it. ANY info would be great. Like I said this is my first won and I want to learn as much as I can about these old motors. Thanks guys if you can help me. Scott
Flatheads are numerous enough that I'd probably try to find a good block before fixing the one you have. The most common fix is to drill and plug the holes with overlapping plugs. Iron-tite is one brand I think you can find online to read up on the process. Then the cylinder needs bored out and fitted with a sleeve. Doing 2 will get spendy in a hurry.
I have bought some $100 engines and some have been good, some bad. Really depends what the flathead/trans combo were in and how long have they been out. Is it stuck from sitting or because a crack allowed coolant to collect in a cylinder and the rings are rusted to the bore. Just don't know until you get inside it.
None of this answers your question, but its part of the game we play. Good luck and keep in touch with what you find. We'll either celebrate with you or commiserate with you, but you're right - nothing sounds better than a flathead. Hang in there and you'll get hooked for life.
Thanks for the encouragment MTflat. I talked to a friend of my dads today and he said he has a extra flathead block that I can use if I really want it. He put it back b/c it was good. He has already check it out. Or had it check out. So my question know is how can I keep this motor from cracking like my old one did. And can I use my old parts off of my other motor to build this one. What all do I need to check or have check out to make sure my stuff I have is good. Thanks Scott
So my question know is how can I keep this motor from cracking like my old one did. And can I use my old parts off of my other motor to build this one. What all do I need to check or have check out to make sure my stuff I have is good. Thanks Scott
The beauty of flatheads if they completely interchange within each series. So if the flathead you found is the 59AB style you're in luck. If it is the later 8BA you'll probably want to make a couple of changes to use it in your truck (46 - right?).
If the engine is clean, the radiator is clean and you don't abuse it, you probably won't have to worry about cracking. I haven't heard of anyone driving one today that has had his engine crack from use. I heard one old guy say that most cracks were caused by core faults and the ones that would crack have already cracked. Makes sense as cast iron is one of the most stable block metals.
We can walk you thru some of it from here. First thing: ID the engine series that you have. Ford made 4 distinct variations of the flathead V8 without counting the V8-60. If you can't figure it out, describe what you have and we'll help you. Mac Vanpelt's website is excellent.
If they're the same, building a flathead is like any other engine. Get a shop manual and an engine rebuilding book - there are several good ones. Read everything you can. Best is to find a grizzled old guy that was a flathead mechanic and have him mentor you thru the process. There are specs listed in the books for every tolerance required in the engine. You'll need a set of feeler gauges, plasti-gauge, and a micrometer or6" dial caliper for starters.
Since that $100 flathead (& transmission) is stuck, the owner might not mind you removing one or two heads to give you a view of the block deck. You'd be doing him (and you) a favor. If it looks good, that is a very attractive price.
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Thanks to both of you for the info. The flathead in my truck is not the right year for it but I dont mind that. The one I have says 8BA on the heads. The coolant goes in the front of the heads instead of the middle of them and my distributer is on the side off my motor instead of the front and on the back of my motor it does not have the bellhousing made on to it. I quess it is a 49-52 model motor maybe 48 and up, I haven't dug that deep on the years yet but I do know some of the differences of the older and newer ones. But he does have both styles of flathead blocks and they are both good ones. He just rebuilt a flathead in his 41 mercury. The guy is 55 yrs young and it was the first car his dad got him. He drove it to high school and has had it all these years. Anyway he just built a flathead for it. He bored it 60 over, it has headers on it with duel exhaust and a set of smithy mufflers on it. I thinks thats the right name for it. And it has a 2 carb setup on it. Talk about music to your ears. That motor sounds SWEET!!! He said he would help me build mine when I was ready to. I hope his offer still stands when I'm ready to. I still have alot to learn and alot of questions on flatheads so I hope you guys will keep on looking for my post that I put on here. Thanks again for all the info.
Well when it comes to putting pictures on here I'll have to get my wife to help me. I'll do that soon b/c I enjoy looking at the pictures on here my self. We are working on a 46 and a 48. Both are 1/2 tons. I'm building the flathead 8 and dad is building the flathead 6. He told my today when it's all said and done he wanted a 1 time and 1 time only run. He told me he would clean my plow with his 226. Theres only 5hp differense between me and him he said. And plus he can shift the old trans better than me to. But thats a while down the road. I would like to find a kit to where I could hook up a T5 trans out off a 87-93 mustang to my flathead. I think it would take some of the stress off the motor with a 5 speed. What do you guys think. Would that help it. Scott
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