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Old 04-09-2020, 03:39 PM   #1
Scott52
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Default Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

I recently purchased a 1952 Victoria Crestline. I already have a 1956 Chevy and a 1948 Dodge Power Wagon, both pretty close to stock. I bought the Ford because I have never worked on a Ford Flathead and i needed something to do. It came with two 8BA engines, 1 in the car. Both have cracks which I understand are not uncommon. Havenít delved into where they are and how bad yet. The car was converted to 12V already but I have not tested that out yet. It has dual exhaust and 3 Speed OD. After reading several books on the Flathead engine, I plan to go with mild upgrades. One engine already has adjustable lifters. Per JW Larsonís Flathead Facts book I am thinking about shaving the 8BA heads .050, using an Edlebrock 452 4 barrel intake (came loose with the car and needs to be checked out still) , either a 390 or 465 CFM Holley carb, increased flow water pumps and a different distributor. I have read threads saying the MSD Electronic works well. Also a modified SBC distributor by Charley NY or Bubba. I feel pretty good about most of the mechanicals. Itís the distributor setup, changing weights, figuring out the timing, etc. I am not well versed in. I understand that I can get a distributor set up but will I have issues finding obsolete points later? Heck my 283 in the Chevy doesnít run right where it is supposed to be timed. I just set it where it runs well and left it alone. Itís been doing fine for 7 years now. I guess I just wanted to introduce myself and get some basic feedback.
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Old 04-09-2020, 04:38 PM   #2
texas webb
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

Welcome Scott,lots of knowledge here.
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Old 04-09-2020, 04:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

Welcome to the barn, you didn't say what part of the country your from?.
You can still get points for your distributor, I can buy NAPA ones for my '41.
When you start tearing into things please do post pictures, if you need help with posting just private message me.
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Old 04-09-2020, 05:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

Get the distributor from CharlieNY. It will be set up and ready to install and run.
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Old 04-09-2020, 06:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

Agree with Jack. A lot of aftermarket distributors for flatheads come with SBC advance curves which is way too much, so avoid them. I had an MSD setup (complete with the 6AL box) on a 276" Merc in a '36 I used to have. The spark was too hot and burned trough the coil tower every couple of months or so. A flathead doesn't need much in the way of a "hot' ignition. The cracks between the bolt holes and water passages between the cylinders are the harmless ones (referred to as "part number cracks")(. If they go into the cylinder bore or valve pockets, it's more serious.
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Old 04-09-2020, 08:58 PM   #6
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You can decrease the stress on the cap by keeping your spark plug gaps down to around .025. Years ago when I installed a hot ignition, I thought the way to go was to open the plug gaps. Couldn't get a cap to last much longer then 6 months. Closed the gaps down and never had to change one again.
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Old 04-09-2020, 09:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

Welcome Scott ! How about showing us some pics of your new toy ?
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Old 04-09-2020, 09:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

I live in San Jose. It is definitely a 30 ft car as in looks great from 30 ft. At this time don't plan a total restore. Get it mechanically sound and redo the interior. after we will see. I expect this will take 2-3 years.
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Old 04-09-2020, 09:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott52 View Post
I live in San Jose. It is definitely a 30 ft car as in looks great from 30 ft. At this time don't plan a total restore. Get it mechanically sound and redo the interior. after we will see. I expect this will take 2-3 years.






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Old 04-10-2020, 07:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

Welcome Scott. Love the car as i have a 52 Vic too.
Some real sharp guys here, you came to the right place.
Enjoy.
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:55 AM   #11
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

That is a very beautiful car, Just remember, there must be a reason for a modification. Taking .050" off the heads could be a disaster.. Measure twice mill once. Stick around and the peope here will help you.
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:12 AM   #12
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

Scott, since you live in the San Jose area you should consider joining the Early Ford V-8 Club of America. You'll enjoy the V-8 Times magazine and the club roster can put you in touch with many flathead guys right in your area. The V-8 Club website is ;www.earlyfordv8.org.
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:34 AM   #13
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

Just did and ordered the 52/53 restoration guide. And to Ol Ron, I measure at least 4 times and only mess up half the time! Actually I found a fellow near me that has restored a 50, an ex metal shop teacher with plenty of tools and measuring equipment, extra heads and the desire to help and together we can figure out how much a stock head should measure and what at .050 would measure. no telling how many times a head has been milled.
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:57 AM   #14
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

The heads should be checked for piston clearance before shaving them. You will need to maintain a minimum clearance over the dome of the pistons you will be using. Aluminum foil rolled up into small balls can be placed in the cylinder to crush them to clearance level. Too little clearance and there will be problems. The old heads may have already been shaved so it's a good idea to always check this.
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Old 04-10-2020, 01:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

planned on it. Lots of measuring first then test clearance.
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Old 04-10-2020, 09:30 PM   #16
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

Be sure to keep that overdrive tranny! Just make sure to get ALL the electrics working and they're a blast to drive, unlike anything new. You don't need a wimpy modern five speed! You have a six speed now! (O/D in each gear) Plus clutchless shifting below 27 MPH, instant kickdown by just flooring the gas, more engine braking on steep downhills, better acceleration in direct (4.11 gears from factory) and better gas mileage on overdrive (effective 2.95 gear ratio).
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Old 04-10-2020, 09:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: Firsttimer with a V8 Flathead

That is a very nice looking car. From "petehoovie"'s pictures, I think it's more of a "10-footer" than a "30-footer". If I'm wrong, I'm sure I erred the wrong way.

I had a high school friend who had a '52, and I always thought it was great.

I completely agree about the O/D transmission. I had one in my "high school" '51 Ford. I have finally accumulated all the parts I need to put one in my current '51 Coupe. I'm going to do it when I get back to Minnesota (if I can ever get out of here).

Thanks, "SwedishSteel" (Rod).
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