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Old 02-26-2001, 02:06 AM
bigsix bigsix is offline
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Can Flatheads Be Happy in Modern Trucks?

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 26-Feb-01 AT 03:09 AM (EST)[/font][p]Please forgive me if I'm cluttering the Boards by repeating this, but I didn't really get any direct responses to the basic question, which I originally posted by mistake at the tail of a specific flathead thread. This is a general flathead question, from someone who knows very little about them.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

My Question: does anyone know of any successful retrofits into a "modern" truck, like my '88 F150? I try to find trucks that are "hurtin' units," and I thought it would be fun to do a cheap retrofit of a flat head into a late 80's F150.
1. Would the Mazda 5-speed and bell housing from my 4.9 bolt up?2. Is there an aftermarket motormount kit?
3. Would it be grossly underpowered compared to the 4.9? I understand they came in different flavors, and the later ones had, what 95 hp?
5. How expensive and difficult would it be to get the 145 hp. of the 4.9 (if that's a correct figure?) out of a flathead? (The idea is inexpensive, bolt-on mods here....)
6. How expensive are those groovy finned flathead heads?
7. How about fuel economy, especially when putting out 4.9-like power?
8. Will I still be able to tow my 3000+lb. boat?
9. Does anyone else have thoughts like this, or is it me?

Lastly, does anyone have a "wave" or soundbite they could stick on the site, so that we could click on it and hear, say, a stock flathead, and maybe a "full house" flathead mill, at the track? I must confess the only flathead I ever actually heard run, up close, was a retrofit into a farm tractor--could have been an 8N. And I was a kid and don't remember how it sounded--it was one of about 5 or 6 tractors pulling a house up a gravel road--true story!

Peter
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Old 02-26-2001, 08:34 PM
mtflat mtflat is offline
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Can Flatheads Be Happy in Modern Trucks?

Peter,
Check out this site and then go to the linked site called Vintage Hotrods. There used to be some sound bytes there, but I can't pull them up.
http://www.btc-bci.com/~billben/flathead.htm

I'll try to answer some of your questions - first, I think a flatty in a 'newer' truck is a great idea, only I'd like to drop one in a Chxxy just to help even the score for all those great old Fords with bowtie power that abound at any car show.....lol

As best I can answer the rest: there are adapters for T5 tranny hookups, also flat-a-matic makes an adapter for C4's. I don't know about the mazda, but you'd need to use a flathead bell housing.
Aftermarket motor mounts - flatheads have the easiest mounts to work with - they are cast into the waterpumps - front corners, so you'd need to box the frame or use corner braces like the F1 pickups, but easy.
HP - the late (49-53's) put out 100HP, Merc's 110. To go to 145 is fairly easy with bolt on mods. Headers, heads, dual carbs or 390 cfm. Heads (those fancy ones from edelbrock or offy run about $400.
Fuel economy? Good guess. Stock flatty would probably be similar, but too many variables to make a guess.
Towing? Again, I'm out of my league. Flatheads with a 3 3/16" bore with a 3 3/4 or 4" stroke means torque at the low end, but not as much at high revs. So I'd guess towing might be ok, but keep in mind flatty's can be temperamental regarding overheating if you're not careful. Check with the guys on the classicar flathead forum for more/better info.
http://www.classicar.com/chatsforums/forums/messages/default.asp?nSubGroupID=2119&nAdID=94778&strSGName=Flatheads+Forum&nGroupID=1025
Great question! Flatheads are basically expensive to put together, so the whole idea of making a low buck unit might not be compatible with your goal. Hope some of this helps. Let me know if you go ahead with this....
Tim
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Old 02-26-2001, 10:09 PM
bigsix bigsix is offline
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Can Flatheads Be Happy in Modern Trucks?

Tim:

Thanks for the great links. I think I'll post my question over there as well. It's a "sometime" idea, but if I do it, I'll let you know!

Thanks again,

Peter
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Old 02-28-2001, 12:52 AM
mtflat mtflat is offline
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Can Flatheads Be Happy in Modern Trucks?

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Old 02-28-2001, 12:52 AM
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