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Old 11-03-2019, 04:13 PM   #1
Doug26T
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Default flathead rebuild

My machinist is ready to have me get the parts for a rebuild. Cam, pistons, bearings, valves, oil pump, valve hardware etc. I would think an all or none quote could be the way to go. Any suggestions on a good source??
It is a 53 Ford flathead, and it is going to go back together stock, no performance cam, aluminum heads, stock carb. Only speed equipment is a set of Red's headers for dual exhaust, through Smitty's mufflers. It's going in a rust free 53 Sunliner convertible. Black, white top, wide whites, skirts, a real period cruiser

Last edited by Doug26T; 11-03-2019 at 04:20 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

This will be some good information for my project as well.
I am gonna be watching the answers here.

Tommy
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:09 PM   #3
Phil Gillespie
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug26T View Post
My machinist is ready to have me get the parts for a rebuild. Cam, pistons, bearings, valves, oil pump, valve hardware etc. I would think an all or none quote could be the way to go. Any suggestions on a good source??
It is a 53 Ford flathead, and it is going to go back together stock, no performance cam, aluminum heads, stock carb. Only speed equipment is a set of Red's headers for dual exhaust, through Smitty's mufflers. It's going in a rust free 53 Sunliner convertible. Black, white top, wide whites, skirts, a real period cruiser
Initially decide from original tear down what can be reused, machined etc such as c/shaft, camshaft, pistons, rods etc then see whats needed then.
As all should be checked and measured up to ensure good fitment.
Does the cylinders require hone, bore etc as this needs to be done before pistons can be ordered.
Phil NZ
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:14 PM   #4
Doug26T
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

Phil my machinist gave me the list, he already knows all of what you stated, the engine has passed the crack test, has been bored, awaiting the final honing, and the rods passed his inspection. I'm just looking for vendors to source from.
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

I would talk to VanPlet, 3rd Generation or maybe GosFast, all here on the Barn. Any of them should be able to set you up with what you need. You need to be talking to someone who knows the parts and what to use.

Last edited by JSeery; 11-03-2019 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

I bought everything I needed to rebuild mt 8ba from Red's Headers. Quality parts and fair prices. IMO. Also he is knowledgeable and easy to deal with.
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

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Originally Posted by 51504bat View Post
I bought everything I needed to rebuild mt 8ba from Red's Headers. Quality parts and fair prices. IMO. Also he is knowledgeable and easy to deal with.
Not sure how I overlooked Red's! I get a lot of my parts from them as well.
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

Try to at least get a set of bronze-lined guides/stainless valves among your other parts for the build now, you'll never regret it, believe me!

Maybe some "Viton" (intake) stem seals as well (pictured below)?

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. Since way back when (the late '70's to be exact) we've used/sold literally thousands of these guides and haven't had a single "hung" valve!
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File Type: jpg Flathead Bronze Guides Seals.JPG (74.5 KB, 76 views)
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

If that were me I would let the machinist provide all the parts needed. That way if anything goes wrong he cannot blame you. Just went thru that with a machine shop on my 47 flathead. After I installed the motor A valve broke & they had to me to replace all the valves that they purchased & pay me for my time. Just my $.02.
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

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Originally Posted by B-O-B View Post
If that were me I would let the machinist provide all the parts needed. That way if anything goes wrong he cannot blame you. Just went thru that with a machine shop on my 47 flathead. After I installed the motor A valve broke & they had to me to replace all the valves that they purchased & pay me for my time. Just my $.02.
Hi Bob, short of using some very "low-quality" valves or dropping debris down the carbs, I would really be curious how anyone could "break" a valve in one of these Flatheads, sounds like a real good trick??

Never seen one broken here ever, coming up on 50 years now of working on these units!!!

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. There's been a couple occasions over the years where we had some Manley SBC valves let go on the dyno up around 8500 RPM or so, and it was definitely a valve issue, since then the only valves we use here are from Ferrea, this brand goes into 99.5% of all our builds including their Stainless, Inconels, and Titanium's!!
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

That's one side of it, but the other side is you have no control over the quality of the parts used. I would not like using some builders parts at all!
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

I'm surprised the machine shop would bore the cylinders without the pistons on hand.

Reds Headers can be your one stop shop for most everything you'll need. They carry the adjustable lifters, pistons, etc.

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Old 11-04-2019, 04:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

“I'm surprised the machine shop would bore the cylinders without the pistons on hand. “Quote

Me too, always Measure piston’s before you cut the bore.
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Old 11-04-2019, 06:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

Me too????
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Old 11-04-2019, 06:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

Deleted-Double Post

Last edited by GOSFAST; 11-08-2019 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Double Post
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Old 11-04-2019, 06:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

This "thinking" goes back to the old days where it really was a good idea to have the pistons on the bench right next to the boring bar/hone.

The times have really changed dramatically, we finish the blocks beforehand most of the time now (even though we generally have the pistons here anyway). This is due to the fact that the quailty-control on the aftermarket pistons is way beyond where it was years ago!

I have over 10 sets of Ross (Flathead) pistons on the shelf and all the sets are for 3.312" bore, some for different strokes, but all the same bore size! I can take a single piston at random from each box and they will ALL be within .0002" of each other AND they will all be same weight!

It's just the way it is today. On the other hand if we're using some "unknown" brands of pistons I would prefer to have them here. Can't recall the last Flathead pistons other than Ross that we've even used here!

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. On a side note here, we tend to run the clearances on the "low", at least with the Ross line, we always have a bit of "wiggle" room left if necessary!
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

Gary:
It popped the head off one of them. I don't remember whether it was an intake or exhaust. I don't recall a keeper coming loose either. I'll see if I have a picture somewhere. They did replace all the valves & installed Isky springs to replace the stock springs. I had set the clearances on the lash & did the foil bit on the heads , I seem to recall. This was 2+ years ago & in my senior years don't remember a whole lot ,but ask me what I did in the 50s.
Could not find a picture. The engine was in the car & I had run it for a spell. I was sitting at a traffic signal & had goosed it ,not much just a bit of a rev & when I took off noticed that it was running rough. Made it home ok & when I pulled the head there was the valve just lying in the valve area. Luckily I didn't have far to go to reach home & it never made it to the piston.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

Well it's not going to be "stock" but nothing crazy. Nothing wrong with a little bore and a modest cam. Granted a bit of head work and maybe some jets in the carb.


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Old 11-06-2019, 08:07 PM   #19
Desoto291Hemi
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

Hey Gary,
Those guides are exactly what I am looking for.
Are those from Reds?

Tommy
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:19 PM   #20
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Default Re: flathead rebuild

Ooops!
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