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Ok, Here's my issue. This winter I am planning on an engine rebuild for Our 37 Ford/Pirsch firetruck. Currently getting about 15 miles to the quart of oil (can you say SMOKE ). Anyway, This eventually will eventually be a full restoration so it must remain looking 100% stock. Since it does get driven on a regular basis around town and to parades having a little more go in this heavy truck would me nice. What can we do internally to improvee this engine, but still keep looking and sounding stock? I was thinking about the mildest of the Isky cams (MAX#1 or 77-B grinds). Any other suggestions?
EAB heads have the smallest chambers (I think). But thats for the late model flatheads. And there may still need to be some flycutting if you put in a higher lift cam. But those heads will look stock. I don't know if there iks an equivalent small chambered head for the year you have.
I forgot.....balancing an engine to the very best specs possible is one overlooked area. The engine is really freed up to not fight itself and to take power adders better. You can disguise electronic ignition inside of the stock distributor and port the engine really well and it will really wake up. Unfortunately, the stock exhaust is going to be tough to deal with if you add a hotter cam.
Thanks, I'll check out the head numbers later and let you kjnow what's on there. I have to do some research on the exhaust, I know the factory manifolds and Y-pipe have to stay. Maybe I can port the manifolds to help a little. after that I'm not sure if the truck was built using Ford made exhaust parts or the body builder custom fabbed something to clear the pump and piping. Currently it has some 40 year old 2" flex pipe from the front to the back with no muffler. The whole neighborhood knows when we go out for a ride.
A cam would help a little, but probably not much if you keep the carb and exhaust stock. Problem is they run out of breath before needing more cam.
Since the exhaust has been modified over the years, anything else could have been also. Here's where I'd start: Count the headbolts on one head.
It should have 21 but often a later 24 studder was substituted. If it does have the original 21 stud flathead they just don't give up hp easily. 24 is a lot easier to 'supe' up. Until we know what you have any advice we give is just a shot in the dark.
All that aside - with the wear you have on the engine, even a stock rebuild with a mild overbore will result in an amazing jump in felt power.
It is the original 21 stud engine. The flex pipe is more than likely a cheax quick fix for a rotted out exhaust over the years. It seemed to be a trend around the firehouse years ago, everything we owened had flex pipe on it at some point. Got all that weeded out now. As far as the cam issue, I was leaning toward a cam for low RPM torque, not looking to extend the power higher up.
Back in the late 50s and early 60s. we were running the flathead v8 in late model "stock" class on the shorttracks. The motor were suppose to be stock except for any exhaust was ok. There were many methods of "cheating" and we did all we knew about and could afford. Cam, heavy porting and polishing. big overbores (3 3/8 bore) and the 4" merc crank. Tech inspection would check the head thickness but we raised the compression by "welding Up" the combustion chamber and then grinding to smooth it out. There were a few shops in the central NY area who would provide this service. Another trick to avoid overheating was replacing the thermostst with washers with a 3/8* hole and breaking off every other fin on the waterpumps. These motors were run on 1/4 mile ovals in 2nd gear with a 4.27 rearend (studebacker gears) and would scream but never overheat. It is amazing now to realize how crude we were to these motors and how long they surived in these conditions. Most would last two or three seasons running two nights a week.
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