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Thread: Ford Flathead 8BA
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    Speedy Mike's Avatar
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    Ford Flathead 8BA

     



    Hello! This is my first thread here and I hope I get some good answer If I'm postin wrong so please move it!

    I got my old Ford Custom 50 and I'm a little interested to get some more action when I put the pedal to the metal so to speak! So I went lookin' for some brand new cylinder heads from Edelbrock and was surprised that they didn't take a fortune for 'em!

    So my question is! what's the up and down with aluminum heads? Is it worth it?

    I don't wanna do any serious tune up that involves change crankshaft, valvs, and bore the block.. Just keep it simpel, new heads, maybe a Stromberg 97.. Thought that would get it a extra kick? Or am I totally wrong?

    Best regards Mike!

  2. #2
    Rrumbler is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    It is tough to wake up a flathead much without getting into a fair amount of work on the block and valve train and induction/exhaust systems. The new heads by themselves won't make it run any better unless the old heads are broken, and a new carb, even though a Stromberg 97 might flow a bit more air than the stocker, it won't do much in terms of real performance. Now, in the area of looks, yeah, the heads will look great, and if you really clean the whole thing up and paint it, put some new plug wires on it, a few chrome accessories, and a set of dual exhausts, it will run well, an look and sound good doing it; a nice cruiser.
    Rrumbler, Aka: Hey you, "Old School", Hairy, and other unsavory monickers.

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  3. #3
    Speedy Mike's Avatar
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    So the limits are in the block? I didn't expect to gain 100hp just wanted to have a little more bang.

    Question about the aluheads: Wouldn't they be more efficient because of the material that should make it easier to get rid of the heat? Second I'm guessin that the old cast iron weren't made with perfection so both water channels and ehm, firingroom? should been worked on better? About the S97 a friend of mine tiped me about it sayin it would make it run cheaper but give a little extra boost. I already got a dual exhaust now I'm lookin for some sweet headers or maybe just build a pair of'em!

  4. #4
    echnidna's Avatar
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    The most cost effective way to lift a flatty is to put a reground cam in it.

    next thing on the list is to lighten the flywheel.
    Regards
    Bob Thomas

    "if aussies were to steer from the left like the yanks, that would mean our women are always right!! "

  5. #5
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
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    There are a lot of flathead enthusiasts there in Sweden, so you should also have some local support.
    The fellas are correct about perking up a flathead v8, it takes a fair bit of effort and money to get much seat of the pants improvement.
    If it's acceleration you want, or high speed, then gearing might be your best spent effort, ratio dependant on which end of the spectrum you're targeting.
    The heads would help slightly in cooling, but not enough to compensate for other problems like a clogged block...........which is real common with thesse.
    I personally don't think a 97 would give you much over tht 94 that should be on there if stock. The 97 is considered by some to be a bit more "tuneable" which might be the background for the opinions you've heard.
    Another area not yet mentioned that will help with getting the max oomph out of that engine would be to make sure the distributor is in top condition, and that the timing is spot on. Helps with cooling as well as general performance too.
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  6. #6
    R Pope is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Getting rid of the distributor and putting one in that has a centrifugal advance will make a late flattie run much better, and cooler too.

  7. #7
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    The aluminum heads should offer a little tighter static compression ratio, so will help some. In my opinion, the best way to wake up a flathead is with a blower. Puff 5 lbs of boost in there and you'll think it's a whole different motor. I might be thinkin' old school GMC 4-71.
    Last edited by techinspector1; 09-14-2012 at 04:57 PM.
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  8. #8
    IC2
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    Quote Originally Posted by techinspector1 View Post
    The aluminum heads should offer a little tighter static compression ratio, so will help some. In my opinion, the best way to wake up a flathead is with a blower. Puff 5 lbs of boost in there and you'll think it's a whole different motor. I might be thinkin' old school GMC 4-71.
    I wouldn't put a blower of any sort on any Ford V8 flathead without significant bottom end work, as well as a rebore to at least 3-5/16 to straighten the bores, clean up the valve train and block and add a decent set of heads. That 3 main crankshaft is like a rubber band stock, and with a blower - might just stretch it too far. Of course you could go to a 'crossfire' set up too and gain about the same Hp. But before doing any of that, you have to check the block for cracks, primarily at the center two siamesed exhaust valve seats and pockets into the cylinder walls.

    As far as running a '97' Stromberg carb - you will be better off with a pair or trio of the easily tunable Holley/Ford '94' carbs unless you spend the bucks/Kroner for a new design '97 from a source like Speedway (and they have had some quality problems, hopefully now corrected)
    Dave W
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  9. #9
    Flathead4d is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    A cam (An L-100 is a good start), dual carbs (but you'll have to change your distributor to a full centrifugal advance). A four barrell is a lot easier and less trouble. Dual exhaust (preferbly headers). You can mill the original heads about .060 but no more.

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