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I ventured over here from the 48-60 forum and see many familiar people. I'm going to look at a 1953 F350 this weekend if the weather cooperates. The owner has sent the picture below of the engine. No known history, no telling how long it's been sitting or the condition when parked. The truck is in an old salvage yard, so it probably had some issues of some sort. Anyway, I'd like some advice on what to look at, check, etc. before laying out some cash for the truck. The owner keeps stressing that "it's a flathead" and I'd like to know a ballpark of what (if any) that adds to the value. Based on the condition of the rest of the truck and the fact that there is no title, I would be buying the truck for "parts only." The grill looks pretty good from the pictures and I have a '54 F-100 that I could convert to a '53 if the motor turns out to be a keeper.
Thanks for your help!
Check the oil if there is too much and/or dirty look that is about the worst sign.
You never know how much a owner lets you do to a motor but it would be really nice to find out if it is seized, tug on the fan blades or even better if the owner alows put a wrench on the cranskft pulley I forget the size but about 7/8 if I remeber.
It is espically helpful to find if it is seized because the flathead motor is fairly hard to unseize.
A flathead motor itself is not worth much. Not running 100 seized, 300 not seized, 500 running, 750-1000 rebuilt and/or proven running good.
Some nights you just have to realize your gonna be slaying a Dragon and not saving the Princess
My advice?? Pull the heads. If he won't allow you to, offer $50. If the price he's asking is ok with you, if the block turns out to be ok, then you'll pay him that price, anyway. But tell him before you pull the heads, that if it's NOT any good, then you'll walk away, because at least he'll know what he has, and he won't be ripping anybody off.
does that make sense? It's VERY rare that a block sitting out, even if out of the weather, is any good. Even a good block, not started in the last 15 years, very possibly isn't any good today. Depending on coolant, and where it is, the coolant CAN break down, turning mostly to water, voila, cracked block, if you are in sub-zero weather at all...
Or if it's stuck, can be a very bad sign - can't find it here at work but saw some pics a while back, all the cylinders looked great except 2, which were just packed with rust blooms!
I guess I'm trying to say, the flathead blocks are either very good, or very bad...there's no "so-so" blocks. They's cracked or good. Stuck CAN be overcome, but it ain't easy. so, the ONLY way to be certain is PULL THE HEADS. Personally, if they wouldn't let me pull the heads, I'd walk. Or, it might be worth a picture of Grant to find out, after it's home...or, I might give him the $50, THEN pull the heads, if cracked, then tell him it's all his, strip everything I could off the engine that's usable, to sell to get my $50 back, and let him keep it (of course, maybe it's worth the $50 in scrap??). Or, just tell him it's junk, and see if he's honest enough to give you the $50 back...
Just my opinions, and how I'd handle things...
Roger Phillips Oxford, IN Click the link for pictures of my truck: 1951 Ford F2
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