I have a 51 F3 with 88k on it. Sat since 79. After a week of MMO, rebilt the carb, plugs, wires, points condenser, fresh gas and battery she fired right up....OK not right up...but she fired and ran....the compression is crap so I'm guessing a rebuild is needed....I've been quoted 3500 and 3 months...This is too steep for me right now....I have moderate mechanical abilities, but have never rebilt myself....Suggestions please!
ps- I'm in Connecticut, so EVERYTHING is expensive!
Always Under Construction & OVER Budget
you might to try putting a quart of transmision oil in the engine and running it for a while and see if the rings and valves un stick might be all it needs sometimes they will stick if they have sat for a long time
Try removing the sparkplugs and squirting some oil in the cylinders and then take a compression reading after cranking it a little bit. I have heard that this will tell u if the compression loss is the rings or valves. If compression goes up, it is the rings. If stays the same, it is valves. What is compression reading anyway?
You can take it apart and re-hone the cylinder walls, then install new rings. It's not rocket science and only requires a few tools not normally in the average homeowner's shop. There are several books on rebuilding a flathead. Amazon.com has many of them or you can find them on ebay. The one by Frank Oddo is good for normal stock to hot builds.
88000 pre-79, hmmm back then 100K was the benchmark for flathead engines before a rebuild was required.
It would be good to know what your cylinder walls look like anyway and to make sure there are no cracks in the block that will cause problems later. If you can read a micrometer and are handy with tools its a fairly simple job. If you do decide you need a complete rebuild, you just need a decent machine shop that remembers how to bore & hone a flathead.
Take tons of notes, pictures, more notes, bag and label everything you take apart.
1. Don't mix up the crankshaft main journal caps and keep track of which way your bearings came out. (pairs, direction, etc.)
2. Keep your connecting rod caps with the right con rods and make sure to put them back in the same order and orientation you took them out.
3. Ford cylinders are numbered front to back passenger side 1-4 and driver's side 5-8 and don't get turned around when you have the block upside down and backwards.
I have to agree with the idea of running some oil or upper lube thru the engine before
opening it up. Tell you what I would try is kerosene, pour it down the carburator while
it is running. Make sure it's outside as you'll have a lot of white smoke. Compression of 85 to 100 is about all those engines made, I think if you can get the valves which were open or slightly off the seat on the poor cylinders to join the party she'll be ok. Nothing ventured nothing gained. These methods were used on any number of car engines which were stored during WW2.
You've probably got a few stuck valves. A flattie is easy to pull the heads and tap them down to loosen them up. If that doesn't work, pull your intake and remove the stuck valves, still not that big a job. When the valves and guides are out, its easy to free them up.
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