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Old 02-17-2021, 02:25 PM   #1
mike in tucson
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Default Why not a new casting

OK, I get it. Flathead cores are harder to make than a small block Chevy or a Model A Ford. The machining of the casting is also more complicated with the valve features. You can buy an aftermarket Chevy V8 block for cheap...
maybe $1,200 for a good one. Given the current (read improved) technology, why doesnt someone cast a new flathead block? Yes, the quantities are less than a SBChevy so the cost per unit is higher....but is it only cost? French blocks go for perhaps $3K.... what if there was a new block for $1,500? I know the cheap Charlies wouldnt be in the market but a lot of folks would be. A 59A block should sell a few per year.
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Old 02-17-2021, 02:35 PM   #2
fortyfords
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

A French block just sold on here for $5000
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Old 02-17-2021, 02:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

And you ARE aware of the ongoing discussion with the guy who posts here about casting new blocks? Doesn't look like he's in a huge hurry. Maybe someone can link to the thread.
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Old 02-17-2021, 02:47 PM   #4
mike in tucson
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

Yes, I have followed Todd's postings.....he has a lot on the plate but he may give us an insight as to the difficulty involved with casting a FH block.... I do know the FH V8 has a lot of core pieces.
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:41 PM   #5
19Fordy
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

Mike, while many flathead folks claim to want a nice fresh flathead Ford block ,when it comes to actually putting cash on the barrel head to buy one, desires dissipate.
It costs tons of dough to cast a block from scratch. Remember the Motor City flathead block?
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Old 02-17-2021, 04:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

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The new A blocks will be in Australia late this month.
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

No way anyone is going to cast a flathead block for $1500 IMO, or anything close to that.
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

I think the need for "new" flatheads will not rise at all as there are not too many younger folks fascinated by that technology. The old guys have enough spares and sooner than later they will realize that they will not build another motor - so there will be a couple motors released back on the market. Here in Europe there are enough (not only) french flatheads around, I have bought another one to be built as a supercharged motor, the first Frenchy I bought is soon to be mounted in my 34 Tudor. Price for a complete 4,2 ltr french engine in good working condition between 2500 and 3500€ so for me no need for a new cast block.
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:43 PM   #9
mike in tucson
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

OK, a stock block for $3K.... not that bad if I am building a nice car. Can someone sell 30 a year? French block sales numbers would be interesting. The Motor City block was doomed since it evolved away from accommodating real flathead parts...making the total soar to over $10K... way over. I'm just wondering what is the holdback for a new casting...money, design, time, foundry... or something else. I think you could whip up a SW model in maybe 480 hours @ 100 per. That is, if you had the CMM to establish some basic dimensions.
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:43 PM   #10
Charlie ny
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

Tune in to IRON TRAP GARAGE....you tube....Matt just rescued 30 flatheads....not

scarce IMHO.
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent View Post
I think the need for "new" flatheads will not rise at all as there are not too many younger folks fascinated by that technology. The old guys have enough spares and sooner than later they will realize that they will not build another motor - so there will be a couple motors released back on the market. Here in Europe there are enough (not only) french flatheads around, I have bought another one to be built as a supercharged motor, the first Frenchy I bought is soon to be mounted in my 34 Tudor. Price for a complete 4,2 ltr french engine in good working condition between 2500 and 3500€ so for me no need for a new cast block.
Couldn’t disagree more. More young guys I run with are into flatheads then the old guys we know. Especially in Europe. I sold a lot of stuff to European hot riodders.
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Old 02-17-2021, 07:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

Mike, to cast a new flathead block is a huge and expensive project, with very limited return on investment. The new Model A block that is almost ready for sale, has been in development for probably 15 or so years. Lots of improvements such as 5 main bearings as opposed to three, but many standard A parts won't work. It's being cast in China and I would doubt that any of the investors will ever see any of their initial investment. A totally rebuilt and balanced Model A engine with insert bearings can be purchased for about $5,000.
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Old 02-17-2021, 07:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

I would think with today’s modern CAD/CAM technology it shouldn’t be that expensive to cast anything, but a friend who is going ahead with his “widgit” invention was quoted CAN$50K for a small fist sized die casting mold (pressurized). Couldn’t find one vendor in Canada who was interested in doing the mold. Getting it done in Mexico as it was too expensive in USA.

How the hell did we manage to make stuff like this back in the day? All by hand...




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Old 02-17-2021, 07:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

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How the hell did we manage to make stuff like this back in the day? All by hand...
Money and facilities like Ford, a room fully of engineers, R&D foundry to work with and a lot of trial and error. Ok, the research has already been accomplished on the Ford flathead, but it still takes a lot of knowledge, time and money to reproduce the molds for pro-types, a bit of testing and then establishing production. If there was a market to cover the cost of production someone would be doing it.
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Old 02-17-2021, 10:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

A "New" Model A engine has just been devoloped and I think the block and crank cost $3800 as mentioned above.. The $1500 you mentioned is unreasonable.. IF someone were to limited produced a Flathead Block, it would have to be at least $3500 i would think. There are still plenty of old cores out there...

Then the issue of which would you produce?? I know the 32-36, 37-38, and 38-41 are out of the question... But 8BA or 59A?
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Old 02-17-2021, 10:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

A flathead block wouldn't be much more complicated to cast than a SBC. Just a few more cores to deal with.

The issue is the ROI. It's an expensive and time consuming endeavor to develop the patterns - whether you do it by hand with wood or in CAD with a CNC mill or 3D printer - and then cast and machine small quantities. Who's willing to pay the price? Certainly not the guy who balks at spending $200 on a Ford block.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike in tucson View Post
...I think you could whip up a SW model in maybe 480 hours @ 100 per. That is, if you had the CMM to establish some basic dimensions.
480 * $100 is $48,000. Who's going to pony-up the money to cover that cost, which would need to be paid before a single block is even cast?
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:37 PM   #17
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

Quote:
Originally Posted by 35fordtn View Post
A "New" Model A engine has just been devoloped and I think the block and crank cost $3800 as mentioned above.. The $1500 you mentioned is unreasonable.. IF someone were to limited produced a Flathead Block, it would have to be at least $3500 i would think. There are still plenty of old cores out there...

Then the issue of which would you produce?? I know the 32-36, 37-38, and 38-41 are out of the question... But 8BA or 59A?
I agree with this. Compared to most of you guys, am a rank amateur, and I used to have 2 extra good 8BA's. I sold one a couple of years ago and am thinking of selling the last one, as I am coming to gt the realization that I will probably never have the opportunity to build it. There are many people out there that are even worse (or maybe better) than me when it comes to this stuff. We are all in about the same age group, and I predict that in 10 to 20 years from now, flathead blocks will become easier to find and cheaper.
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

The other subject is the racing/judging rules that require an original Ford block. Newc
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:05 AM   #19
nickthebandit
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

What ever happened to the model A/B block/engine that was developed by Donovan engineering ?
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:44 AM   #20
woodiewagon46
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Default Re: Why not a new casting

Nick, Donovan has what they call the "Model D" engine. It looks similar to a Model A four cylinder, but it's not for the Model A restoration people. The block is $5000 alone and the crank is $3000. Once you add up all the unique parts that are needed for the engine the bottom line isn't for the faint of heart.
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