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Thread: High Power Flathead
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    Maxb49 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    High Power Flathead

     



    Has anybody build a 400 horsepower flathead?

  2. #2
    Ford Guy is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    With good blocks and rotating assemblies and a supercharger, it is possible...but I haven't heard about it. I have a '53 flathead I'm getting ready to supercharge, but I won't see more than 200 even if I'm lucky.

  3. #3
    Itoldyouso's Avatar
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    I saw a funny saying one time relating to building a flathead. It went "you will never spend so much money to go so slow." But they do look and sound cool.

    Don

  4. #4
    nitrowarrior's Avatar
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    How about giving us some direction of where you'd like to go or better yet, what have you got and what would you like to see.
    "Spend so much money to go so slow", dumbest thing I've heard in a long time.
    Last edited by nitrowarrior; 10-05-2009 at 07:39 PM. Reason: Caffiene correction.
    What if the "Hokey Pokey" is what it's really all about?

  5. #5
    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Flatheads without cracked blocks are hard to find

    Good go-fast parts are scarce and expensive

    If you did get one to 400 horse, doubt the bottom end would live very long as they're lacking on main bearing caps.....
    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, Live for Today!
    Carroll Shelby

    Learning must be difficult for those who already know it all!!!!

  6. #6
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    im sellin mine that checked out fine 500 miles ago...

  7. #7
    Itoldyouso's Avatar
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    "Spend so much money to go so slow", dumbest thing I've heard in a long time.[/QUOTE]

    Really? Well let me try to un-dumb it for you a little then. To build a really right flathead (not just one with some aluminum heads, a couple of strombergs, and some hometown machine work) you are going to have a minimum of $ 4K in the motor and more like $ 5K+. Toss a blower on top and the price goes up from there. For that expenditure you end up with an engine that pulls about as strong as a good running 283 Chevy, maybe a little better with the huffer on top. So from a dollars per hp perspective they don't make sense.

    On the other side of the coin I "get" why people build them. In fact we have 2 flatheads laying on the shop floor waiting for some future projects, a 46 and a 49. I love em. But I also realize I will have to box them up, ship them to someone like H and H who knows these motors, and spend a few dollars to have them done right. For that money I won't be getting a monster. Oh sure, it will pull darned good for a flathead and the troops will love seeing it at rod runs, but if I wanted torque I would spend my dollars on some OHV that would give more return on my investment.

    That's all I am saying. There was a reason most of us older guys grew up yanking flatheads out of 50 Fords and shoving everything from Olds to early hemis in them...........we learned we could get more bang for the buck with the newer motors and get HP numbers the flathead could never attain.

    Don

  8. #8
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
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    Just to add to Pops comment, in 1966 my car building buddy was putting together a '36 Ford pickup. We went to our friendly local junk yard in Victorville hoping to find a decent flatty (cause they were CHEAP, we were in the Air Force not making much $, and it would be a bolt in). Our buddy behind the counter said "I've got just what you need" and took us into the back room. There in a couple crates was a freshly machined 59ab block, crank, and all the new parts to put it together. Oh, and a pie tin blower to boot.......................$25! There just wasn't a market for that stuff then.

    At Bonneville a couple montha ago was talking to a guy with a sweet little 'liner that used to run a flathead V8. It now has a Nissan V6. The guy said he just couldn't afford to build enough horsepower into a flatty any more. The cycle continues........
    Your Uncle Bob, Senior Geezer Curmudgeon

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  9. #9
    Flathead4d is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Go so slow???? Guess you haven't seen some of the flatties that are running in the 8's in the quarter. So your remark about the money is right on but the part about going so slow is way off.

  10. #10
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    Sure, there was one that ran 300 at B-Ville as I recall, but I'm talking about your average street driven flatmotor. Like I said, I love them and will build one hopefully in the next couple of years, but I have no illusions that the money I dump into it will return nearly what it would have yielded in a modern OHV, or even a bone stock 350 or similar. But that isn't why we build them, unless you are shooting for 7 second quarters, and I bet those are some VERY expensive engines.

    Don

  11. #11
    IC2
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    Flathead Fords - I love 'em, but 400Hp is not cheap. Guys used to circle track 'cross fire' (180 degree crank). They used to make a lot of Hp - usuall for a short time before the grenade went off!! This is a real nice website to spend some time with:

    http://www.midstateantiquestockcarcl...at_heads5.html.

    These are tracks that I used to haunt years ago. Dave S - you should enjoy looking at these articles
    Dave W
    I am now gone from this forum for now - finally have pulled the plug

  12. #12
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    You can buy a brand new blown Ardun for $53,000, now figure horse power per dollar?
    For the money, your going to go pretty slow, ya got to love 'em!
    Ken

  13. #13
    nitrowarrior's Avatar
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    Depends on whether you know what the hell you're doing.
    My customers don't get bent over and I don't reside at Fantasy Island.
    Those numbers are easy to achieve and the motors live to see a lot of days of cruising and rodding.
    Everybody freely uses the terms "Used to" and "Way back when".
    Those days are long gone.
    For decades, these "antiques" have remained my livelyhood.
    It's not rocket science nor difficult to achieve if you remember what you learned in school and the repeat business of a good Flathead build.
    Simple enough.
    What if the "Hokey Pokey" is what it's really all about?

  14. #14
    Itoldyouso's Avatar
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    What's the typical cost of one of your modern flatheads and what kind of HP do they turn out?

    Don

  15. #15
    nitrowarrior's Avatar
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    Not "Modern" flathead just geometrically sound.
    The last one was a 221 punched to 240. Customer didn't want the extra stroke and settled for the bill of 4800. HP of 392/410trq.
    No bottom end problems.
    Glenn Schisel just came by to see if I was ready for his V-12 Zephyr project.
    Flat heads are not my joy, too simple and too picky customers, but pay the bills.
    Blocks from France are cheap and available. Rods, pistons, heads, cams, etc are affordable and plenty.
    I grind the cranks as to the project. Stroke 'em, use common geometry sense and build an affordable peice.
    Wanna 440 Hp unit with out blowing out the main webs? 4.5 stroke with a French block, easy cubes with a good bore, no problem.
    Everybody worries about the three main web problem. Affordable caps and a good block brings an easy number.
    Now, do I smell a challenge or were you just busting my chops?
    What if the "Hokey Pokey" is what it's really all about?

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