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Just got two 1953 239's and want to rebuild one and use unleaded fuel. Someone told me that the valve guides were not replacable, but if my memory serves me, I think I did replace them back in a hot rod I built in the early '60's. I think they were bronze (they caused a lot of trouble).
Iam I correct that the valve guides should be replaced as well as the exhaust valves. Would it be a good idea to change the intake vales to stainless ?
I will probably do all the springs and seals as well.
You can replace the valve guides, just be sure to get the one piece guides. The two piece guides were for the earlier flatty.
While you're at it you can replace the rest of the valve components if you need/choose to. They are easy to find today and options also abound. Stainless work well but may be overkill in a street motor. You may or may not find hardened seats in the 53 motors. I don't have one and reports I hear vary. Either way, Henry started making flat motors before lead was added to fuel. They seem to do well on regular pump gas for street use.
If you need a source for parts you have Reds Headers, Sacto Vintage, Hot Rod and Custom Supply, Mac's, Patricks, etc. to choose from. If you need website or phone no let me know.
Also don't overlook your local NAPA store - they carry/have access to most parts as well. -tim
Ok, I know that the unleaded gas can leave deposits on the seats, but how necesary is it to press in hardend seats and why only the exhaust valves? I've been running my flathead for 3 years now with no lead additive and no problem (yet).
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