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Old 04-07-2008, 09:48 PM
less less is offline
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Why does the the flattie V8 have a unique sound ?

I haven't heard a Ford Flathead V8 run for an awful long time. Used to hear them all the time in the '50's when I was a wee nipper.

I do recall they had a very nice and quite different V8 rumble. Am I imagining that the Flattie 8 had a different sound from other V8's, notably the over head valve V8's ?

If I am not delusional..what gave the old flathead such a different sound ?

Les
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:25 AM
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I'm with you Les. They did have a different sound and I don't know why. Maybe sometime soon I will hear that sound again. I am restoring a '52 Ford pickup with a flattie and just pulled the engine out to rebuild.
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:53 AM
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I think the low compression ratio had something to do with it - gives that soft rolling tone, instead of the harder bark of a modern high compression motor.

I've got a 270 GMC motor in a WW2 truck (also low compression), that apart from sounding like a six, has that same soft tone
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:02 PM
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The only other motor that compares to a unique sound would be the Y blocks 272, 292 etc.
In the Y block case it was because of the valve timing I believe.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:55 PM
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hope this gets you guys through the night

YouTube - Ford Flathead V8

lincoln v12
YouTube - zephyr v12 more...

YouTube - Flathead v8 Ford
YouTube - running 1952 ford flathead
YouTube - 1940 Ford Flathead
YouTube - FORD FLATHEAD V8
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:08 AM
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Parts of that video of the '52 Ford Pickup made some sweet flathead V8 sounds. That's what I mean. It might be because of the low comp as another poster mentioned.

I knew an old American mechanic, who lived in Canada, back in the early '60's that had a '51 Meteor (Canadian Ford) that had a beautiful V8 waffle. He had twin carbs and dual exhausts. Think he said he had Smitties (mufflers)...would that be right. Maybe that's where I developed my interest in old Flattie V8's.

He was a great guy and had been a pit mechanic at a very early Indy 500 race, crewing for none other than...Louis Chevrolet. I remember seeing his scrapbook, there he was, thinner and much younger, with the rest of the crew, posing with Louis and his old Indy car at the Brickyard.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:22 AM
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thats what im running on my flathead when i get around to putting itall on
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:48 PM
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Never really research why a flattie, a y-block (especially when you are starting) , a 289, a 390, and a chev all have those different sounds.

I remember when I sold my '65. The guy came back and I heard those pipes and new it was my car before I saw it.

Waaaay off topic, but these days, you just don't hear the V8 nasty growl that much. I was on the freeway the other day, and I looked and expected to see an old time open bodied 23 T or similar with a chev and some loud pipes...it had that chev sound. What do I see? An Audi S4 V8 with some aftermarket Bassani or other fine brand set up.... Sounded right, looked wrong....
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:05 PM
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I think part of it is because the exhaust from the center cylinders on each side come out the same port in the block. Most v-8's have a port for each cylinder.

If you split the exh on an Inline 6 the sound depends on how it is split. An old stovebolt split 4-2 has sweet sound.
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Old 04-12-2008, 04:49 AM
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dunno but mine has headers , duals to the diff with glasspacks , a po installed mild cam and she sure sounds good !! even my granddaughters can pick out the rumble of papa's flatty over the others running around with twice pipes .
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:56 PM
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I think the reason is like 52 F3 says, one exhaust port for the two cylinders in the centre. Some Kind of "Sond overlay". After WWII the German Army used Ford V8 Flathead Trucks. Their Nickname was "Nato-Goat" becaus of the goat-like sound.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:05 PM
85e150six4mtod 85e150six4mtod is offline
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According to an article I read a couple of years ago, the French were using the flattie up until the '90s. Do these engines have an accent...?
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85e150six4mtod View Post
According to an article I read a couple of years ago, the French were using the flattie up until the '90s. Do these engines have an accent...?
I saw one at am Triumph motorcycle dealer in the '60's . I think they were Simca's and I think it was the small Ford Flattie V8. I heard it run, no accent, just the pure American voice of the Stateside flatties.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:24 PM
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A common language, perhaps....
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:53 PM
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Classic Flathead sound

Hi Guys:

It is likely that a part of the sound is due to the "watercooled" exhaust. The way the exhaust winds through the block one could almost think of it as having internal headers. In fact a number of references over the years have described it as a motorboat sound, for the same reason.
It is a tossup as to what is the best sound: - a full race Flathead with Fentons and Smithys, or a V12 Ferrari at redline.

Cheers
Warren
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:53 PM
 
 
 
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