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Old 09-08-2019, 09:44 AM   #1
MasonicMat
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Default 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

Welp, here I am.

I have a 1950 Ford Flathead V8 that will not start.

-Backstory: About a year ago bought the car ran great but had engine noise. Pulled engine & found main bearings & rod bearings were shot. Had engine machined Bored .60, line bored, holes for adjustable lifters, (the usual flathead stuff). The old timers at the machine shop are great and both knowledgeable and reputable with Flatheads. I assembled the engine myself using Mike Bishop's & Vern Tardel's " How to Rebuild & Modify Ford Flathead V8 Engines
I also installed a Schneider 270-F cam & adjustable lifter set. I adjusted them myself using Cheaterpeat 's timing indexer. Here is a link of what that is and how to use it. ( I used it as shown in this video ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Joq_gSXfu6I
I also upgraded from 6volt to 12volt GM alternator style kit.
I added Offenhauser Aluminum heads
I added Offenhauser Dual Carb intake with 2 new Super 9-7's
Added 12volt frontside mounting starter.
...I think that is it....

-What I have done & know:
*I am cranking with enough speed to start.
*I have spark at all 8 plugs
*compression in each cylinder is about 115
*I am using firing order 154863721
*I set TDC with vac/pressure gauge (about 100 times)
*Tried flipping distributor 180 (a few times)
*Tried advancing & retarding distributor a few times back & forth in both positions.
*Tried positioning distributor 7-21 degrees advance increasing from 7.
*Adjusted carbs as indicated in instructions
*checked spark gap
*Thought it might be flooding. Left throttle open & removed plugs over night then tried again with just starting fluid....nope

Engine doesn't do much but puff & make a few sounds like it wants to start but no go.
It doesn't really backfire as I would expect from wildly set timing.
I am confused on what to do next.
I bought a spark tester to make sure the spark I see is good.
Do I need to have a flathead cam degreed???
Should I tear into it and redo the lifter adjustment even though I have good compression?

I need help!!! please help me!!
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:25 AM   #2
Phil Gillespie
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

What carb is fitted. to check bowl float is full then perhaps remove air cleaner and operate carb to check fuel flow and delivery. Sometimes can help if one person can pour a small amount of fuel into carb while engine is being cranked over.
The first start up and fire up can sometimes take time. Keep the faith.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:32 AM   #3
MasonicMat
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

Phil,

I'm using 2 Stromberg 97's. I didn't mention it but I have already checked that they are delivering fuel after removing air cleaners. I also sprayed starting fluid directly into the carb. No go.
I have adjusted the carbs a few different times based on the provided instructions.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

I'm adding a picture so everyone can see what my setup is.
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File Type: jpg Screenshot_20190908-130758_Gallery.jpg (81.0 KB, 82 views)
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

Which side of your engine is wired for number one plug?


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Old 09-08-2019, 12:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

From what I have found #1 is passenger side front cylinder.
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

An overbore engine with Offy heads should pull compression over 140 lb. Makes me suspect that maybe the cam was installed one tooth off.
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:59 PM   #8
Bob C
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

Looking at your engine are you using a load-o-matic distributor? I don't think
it will work with 97's or dual carbs.

Bob
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob C View Post
Looking at your engine are you using a load-o-matic distributor? I don't think
it will work with 97's or dual carbs.

Bob
Good catch, but it should at least start and run poorly, with no vacuum advance
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:36 PM   #10
MasonicMat
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

I found a few videos on YouTube with people having around my compression ratings. Do you think I still have to low of compression? Does anyone know of a link to some offical information on the numbers?
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drolston View Post
Good catch, but it should at least start and run poorly, with no vacuum advance
If I do the ignition spark test and come back with decent voltages am I still in the market for a new distributor? It should sound like it would fire right?
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

One thing I have found is that a lot of folks believe that the cylinders on a flathead are numbered like an SBC and most other engines. Not so. Passenger side is 1-2-3-4. Drivers side is 5-6-7-8.

It's hard to believe, but I have run into this at least 10 times in my (admittedly) long life.
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

Distributor could very well be 180 degrees off.
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Old 09-08-2019, 08:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasonicMat View Post
I found a few videos on YouTube with people having around my compression ratings. Do you think I still have to low of compression? Does anyone know of a link to some offical information on the numbers?
You have plenty of compression to start and run. I have seen flatheads run that would not pull over 60 psi on any cylinder. The point is not that your compression is too low to run; the point is that a fresh rebuild with Offy heads should hit at least 140 lb. The fact that yours does not suggests that the cam timing of the valves relative to the piston stroke may be off a bit. That can happen if the cam gear is not correctly timed to the crank gear. That could prevent it from starting.

Are you positive you got that cam in right?
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:15 PM   #15
MasonicMat
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drolston View Post
You have plenty of compression to start and run. I have seen flatheads run that would not pull over 60 psi on any cylinder. The point is not that your compression is too low to run; the point is that a fresh rebuild with Offy heads should hit at least 140 lb. The fact that yours does not suggests that the cam timing of the valves relative to the piston stroke may be off a bit. That can happen if the cam gear is not correctly timed to the crank gear. That could prevent it from starting.

Are you positive you got that cam in right?

Drolston,

I am almost positive I have the cam gear perfect. I remember seeing the indicators aligned when I was timing it. The problem I was thinking is my adjustable lifters. I did .010" intake , .012" exhaust. Tomorrow I will test my spark KV & pull the timing cover. If it looks perfect I may have to pull the heads & intake to adjust TDC again with dial indicator.

Thanks for the reply.

Mat
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

A dead stop on the cylinder is a better way to determine TDC. You can do it without removing the head. Just find something to fit into the cylinder for the piston to stop against. A zip-tie works well. Turn the engine until it stops against your stop. Mark the pulley where your pointer is (you need to fab a pointer). Rotate the engine in the opposite direction until it is against the stop again. Mark the pulley. Repeat until you get constant results. TDC is half way between the two marks.

Now you have TDC, now rotate the engine until you feel compression on the #1 cylinder (you can use your thumb over the plug hole). Now you are on the compression stroke. Get it lined up with the TDC mark while on the compression stroke. Align the distributor rotor so it is just at the cap position for the #1 plug wire.

It will start with an original distributor (vacuum line disconnected), but you will not have any advance. You will need a mechanical advance distributor for it to run property.

Last edited by JSeery; 09-08-2019 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:59 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

^^^ What was posted. It should start granted if it has fuel. Flatheads are very forgiving, they run with very little "accuracy".

(too much fuel... you'll smell it, then put it to the floor with the choke open).

Might try another condenser if it can't keep going once it's started.

Mechanical advance is the way to go with two carbs.




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Last edited by Tinker; 09-08-2019 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:09 PM   #18
MasonicMat
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

Thanks for all the tips. I will update with findings & results tomorrow.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:28 PM   #19
drolston
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

According to the Tilden chart for the Schneider 270f, the intake valve should open 27 degrees before Top Dead Center on the exhaust stroke, and the exhaust valve should close 23 degrees after TDC.

https://www.tildentechnologies.com/C...rformance.html

If you have a TDC mark and a protractor you should be able to check the cam/valve timing by observing valve action through the spark plug hole (a dial indicator would be helpful to pinpoint the start or stop of valve motion). There are 44 teeth on the cam gear and 22 on the crank gear. One tooth off = 360/22 = 16.36 degrees of crank rotation.

One tooth early would have intake opening 43 deg BTDC and exhaust closing 6 degrees after TDC. One tooth late would have intake opening at 11 degrees BTDC and exhaust closing 39 degrees ATDC. Either error should be pretty obvious by watching the valves and the TDC marker.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:37 PM   #20
MasonicMat
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Default Re: 1950 Ford Tudor 8BA Flathead will not start.

I double checked distributor adjustments again. I adjusted TDC perfectly & pulled the timing cover. The marks on cam gear & crank gear are perfect. I am reaching out for more info on my Valve Clearance Indexer I am using. Tomorrow I will go back through the valve adjustments until I know it is perfect.
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