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Old 04-18-2011, 12:47 PM   #1
curleeman
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Cool Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I've got a debate for everybody out there that needs some input..I recently read an article in Street Rodder magazine that was debating why people put a regular old small block chevy in their FORD hot rod?? I must say that it sucks that everytime I go to a car show 9 times out if 10 the hot rods all have some combination of the small block chevy.Don't get me wrong, I think the small block 350 is a monumental motor and deservers respect.But my big question is, how come a person will spend thousands and thousands of dollars on their 32 FORD roadster and have a beautiful car only to ruin it by throwing in a regular chevy 350 small block?Why not go the distance and at least put a ford motor in it,to me it's a hybrid at that point, part ford part chevy. I know that budget and availablity of parts dictates what motor someone may use but a ford motor is not that much more than a chevy,especially if your'e already spending the amount of a small house on the vehicle...Or when someone is building a traditional hot rod and they throw in a 80's model chevy motor,doesn't make since to me. There are plenty of old classic motors out there just begging to be brought back to life, Flatheads,Hemis,cadillacs etc...What do yall think about the hot rod community being overrun with chevy small blocks???
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

To tell you the truth I don't want to talk about a sbc on a flathead ford site.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Again. Really?
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

My opinion on this subject is simply this; to each his own. I like Flatheads and they are what I run in each of our originally Flathead powered cars. We also have two Studebakers and they run the Studebaker V8's that came with them from the factory. If I owned a Chevy, it would have a Chevy engine in it. Vic
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Ho hum!!

WON'T BITE.

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Old 04-18-2011, 01:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Some people build a car with their heart, some build it in keeping with their pocketbook, and others build it via their checkbook/charge card, with a healthy mix of any/all 3 for most builds. The debate on this can and will go on forever - lets just keep this site to flatheads and old Fords, IMHO, and leave this debate to places outside of this arena.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

10-4 ford friends.....I'm a flathead lover myself...long live the flathead
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

the reason its done if for cost and availabilty, chevy parts can be bought at any parts store,, im usually ok with the sreet rod post on here, but this is one that should be on the hamb
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

[QUOTE=ford1;194828]the reason its done if for cost and availabilty, chevy parts can be bought at any parts store,, im usually ok with the sreet rod post on here, but this is one that should be on the hamb[/QUOT]

Concur with you ford1. Take it to the HAMB to discuss.
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

If you are posting on this website....early ford v8 then it should be for that.....got nothin a gainst CHEVY's used to own a 67 rs ss stocker.....there is a website for it also!
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

As an owner of a 40 Ford that was rodded by my grandfather in the 50's with a SBC. I will be having an 8BA with a 4 speed toploader replacing my grandfathers hard work done some 40 years ago. I will be selling the SBC along with a propane conversion and my Indian motorcycle to help fianance the build. I have been running and building late model V8s since I was a teenager but now want to experiance the Ford V8 flathead. I intend for this to be the last car I will build and will hand it down to my son (he's biting at the bit) just like my dad and my grandfather did.
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Small block chebbys were designed for the poor stupid people that can't afford, or are not smart enough to build a Flathead
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:39 PM   #13
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Installing a SBC in an old flathead, does not involve cutting the firewall. Installing a newer Ford engine, calls for the firewall to be cut and altered. I would never do either.
MIKE
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:22 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Ole Ron hit it on the head! By the way, the crossmember has to be notched on a 35-40 when running a garbage truck engine with a stock fuel pump. A flathead will definately run fast enough to kill you.
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ford1 View Post
the reason its done if for cost and availabilty, chevy parts can be bought at any parts store,, im usually ok with the sreet rod post on here, but this is one that should be on the hamb
So can sbf parts be bought at any parts store.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Please DONT take it to the Hamb to discuss.... it's been done to death and back again, and you'll get your arse kicked for bringing it up again.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:36 PM   #17
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Just remember we all love old FORDS....When we see one on the road its exciting regardless what's under the hood....
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:45 PM   #18
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I think Curleeman is just here to start trouble.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:09 PM   #19
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

How many Fordbarners have done the opposite,pulled a Chevy or other ohv from a 32 53 Ford or Mercury? I did it once,drove a 46 Ford convertible home I bought in 1976 with a 265 Chevy engine,drove it around for a week beforing putting a 59AB back in it. Nothing I remember was cut or even drilled different,engine was bolted to the original 3 speed with an adapter, had a NOS radiator to put back in it. Somebody back in the sixties thought this was the way to go I guess.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:50 PM   #20
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I was a teenager in the 50's and early 60's and when somebody discovered how easy it was to install the Chevy engine it just became the thing to do. No more moving an oldsmobile starter to the other side, moving steering boxes, etc. I don't remember anybody being loyal to the flathead back then. Today there some who still think that is the way to build a 50's/60's "hotrod" and will do it to re-create their youth or build the car they couldn't build back then.

I wouldn't do it but I would try to understand the other guy's position.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:02 PM   #21
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Im putting a flat head back in my 1934 ford its exciting. I feel like a kid again . Cant wait to get it on the road , difficult to turn back the clock and pricy too
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:05 PM   #22
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FL&WVMIKE View Post
Installing a SBC in an old flathead, does not involve cutting the firewall. Installing a newer Ford engine, calls for the firewall to be cut and altered. I would never do either.
MIKE
I will never do it again , but I did put a 1965 289 in a 34 in1966 and did not have to cut the firewall. Ran an early 50's 3 speed .
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:21 PM   #23
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

There really is no debate especially here on this forum. Flat is where it's at!! When I was young and foolish I pulled an 8ba out of my '35 3W Coupe and put in a '64 327 SBC. I just hope the Flathead gods will somehow forgive me for doing that
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:23 PM   #24
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

This chevy motor topic has been talked to death too many times on a flathead Ford forum. Lets put it to bed!
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:36 PM   #25
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I don't know where this myth of having to cut the firewall to put a sbf into an old Ford came from! In '64 I bought a '40 Ford and put a sbc in it. Drove it till '67 when the 289's were kicking butt! Had to have one of them 289's! Trouble was back then you couldn't get anything for Fords. I got a 289, souped it up and put it into the '40 WITHOUT cutting anything! Made my own oil pan, headers and many other things! That was HOT RODDING! That car ran so good with that little Ford motor that I have had nothing but Fords ever since. Even put open drive in and used the old Ford suspension. Worked great!
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:39 PM   #26
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Forgot to say that I now have a "48 F-1 with a hopped up '50 Merc fh.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:47 PM   #27
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Chevys are cheap, easy, and common, where's the fun in that?
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:08 PM   #28
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

here we go "LOL"

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Old 04-18-2011, 09:18 PM   #29
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I had always heard that it was because of the sump on the oil pan. Small block Chevys have a rear sump oil pan like a Flathead, where most small block and FE series Fords have a front sump pan. I don't know for sure, but I sure hate to see a nice Ford rod ruined with a Chevy engine in them. Anyone can work on a Chevy, but it takes a real mechanic to work on a Ford.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:09 PM   #30
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I agree with Old Ron. You can get 300 cubic inches out of a flathead.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:33 PM   #31
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

all i have to say on the subject

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Old 04-18-2011, 11:52 PM   #32
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Well we are still talking about early Fords just not one with a Flat Head in it. Main reason people use sbc in early fords is because they fit better than it's counter part from Ford. Cheaper to build than a Ford, and because you can drive it anywhere you want to go and better yet drive it back home and do it at free way speed. On top of that if you do happen to break down you can go to any Wal Mart and get a part and get it fixed and be on your way. Try that with a Flat Head. Oh I do have a 59 AB in my 46 Ford coupe and stock 4 banger in my 30 Ford Coupe.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:56 PM   #33
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

And neither do you have to cut the X-member or split the wishbone to put a SBC with an auto trans in a 46 Ford either
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:22 AM   #34
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Ron View Post
Small block chebbys were designed for the poor stupid people that can't afford, or are not smart enough to build a Flathead
Perfect ^^^ right there





Actually I believe its un debatable ….. the two have nothing in common …. hell one is green and the others orange.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:20 PM   #35
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I went to get my popcorn and this thread is already 34 posts long! We spend a lot of money to go slower with our flatheads. Some folks will never understand that. I'm not sure that I want them too... I like flatheads! I also like hinges, door handles, chrome windshield frames and four piece hoods. Just as soon as this "ratrod" thing blows over, maybe parts will get kinda cheap again, or maybe not.... Hmmmm?
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:59 PM   #36
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Tim Brown.....Amen Brother! Putting in a OHV was the thing to do at one time, now it's build a flathead. Things have come full circle. As to "rat rods" (POS) I agree with Tim. LouB.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:19 PM   #37
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

SBC is just a easy option when you don't want to think about the engine it's self. I really don't understand this constant fascination with the SBC in fords. These people act like there was no other engine around before the SBC. Flatheads were driven across country up and down this country .people like easy.bow ties are for dinner suits not ford rides.
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:02 PM   #38
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Popping corn now. BTW I agree with Ol'Ron.
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:34 PM   #39
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Debate? what debate ? It's Flatheads and nothing but in our old Ford!!! I'm all for nostalga and I don't care if my F-1 doesn't go a million miles an hour. I like my flathead, there's nothing else in the world like it. Has it's own sounds when starting and running. Ol'Ron hit it right on the head in his statement. Putting an sbc in is the lazy man's way out. I feel those people aren't up to the challenge of building a flathead. Thier loss.............

Barry

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Old 04-19-2011, 06:26 PM   #40
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

AND YOU WANTED SOMEONE TO SAY:

xxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx. xxx xxxxx xxx xxx x xxxxxxxxx. xxx xxxx xxxxxx!!!!!

Got it ?????????
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:13 PM   #41
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These guys are far to nice a crowd of old gentlemen to tell you what you are hoping to induce them into exclaiming.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:59 PM   #42
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I can't understand why anybody would even want to put some off-brand engine in their Ford.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:54 PM   #43
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I'm neither stupid nor lazy and I'll be damned if I would use a certain type of engine because someone who is not paying for it thinks I should change my thinking. Its nice to have brand loyalty but the consumer should be the one to choose the brand.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:24 PM   #44
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Oh I don't know if this subject is totally worn out. In fact I'm amazed that you don't hear more about it. I saw a special on TV recently and the subject was the indredible turnaround that the Ford Motor Company has made recently. In this special there was a young man featured who I believe is Henry Ford's great grandson. He is into hot rods and classic cars. It reminded me about something that I have always wondered ..... Ford is one of the very few Fortune 500, 100+ year old companies still under the control of the family of it's founder. If the sea of early Fords with brand X power chaps me what do Henry Ford's ancestors think about it? Do they care? All you ever hear about is Mustang heritage, what about the V8 Fords and their mark on auto culture? There is little or no effort to answer the GM into Ford practice by the Ford Motor Company. It's all Mustangs and Nascar. They have conceded this category to GM and that's really unfortunate.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:47 PM   #45
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Incredible turnaround?
I’m sure most of there diesel truck customers would disagree.
My boss’s F350 has had over $7000 in repairs in just this last year (he has ordered a GMC) and the other 3 at work aren’t far behind.
The one gas pickup is no better …. Has ejected / shot 3 spark plugs out stripping the treads

Its sad that with 100 years plus years under there belt this is the best they can do.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:04 PM   #46
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Quote:
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Incredible turnaround?
I’m sure most of there diesel truck customers would disagree.
My boss’s F350 has had over $7000 in repairs in just this last year (he has ordered a GMC) and the other 3 at work aren’t far behind.
The one gas pickup is no better …. Has ejected / shot 3 spark plugs out stripping the treads

Its sad that with 100 years plus years under there belt this is the best they can do.
Don't want to knock this thread off subject but I'm talking about the company as a whole. The company is on the road to recovery and is the only non- government owned/controlled company left out of the "Big 3". You are talking about the vendor built diesel problems. Ford has entirely replaced that package with their own engine that looks like it's gonna be very good. The spark plug issue was fixed as well, quite a while ago. The Modular series has been a very good workhorse overall. By comparison GM had problems with their 5.3 cyl heads leaking water due to porosity. No one is perfect.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:22 PM   #47
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There should be no debate , the ford flathead has been around a lot longer than the chev. sounds like quality, any engine that can last nearly 80 years without a full flow oil filter.
and be installed in almost ever vehicle and machine one can imagine, I would say deserves to be recognized as almost indestructable, I have owned a few chevs. and believe me I have found some weaknesses, for a light weight high winding dime a dozen cheap alternative.
the small block chev. does the job, I personally am dedicated to preserving automotive history, and hate to see a nice vehicle such as an early ford wasted by installing a wrong engine , whether it be a late overhead valve of any sort, placed where a real
piece of Dearborn iron belongs.You asked for our opinions and this is mine!
no insults intended.
Good day,
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:34 PM   #48
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There should be no debate , the ford flathead has been around a lot longer than the chev. sounds like quality, any engine that can last nearly 80 years without a full flow oil filter.
and be installed in almost ever vehicle and machine one can imagine, I would say deserves to be recognized as almost indestructable, I have owned a few chevs. and believe me I have found some weaknesses, for a light weight high winding dime a dozen cheap alternative.
the small block chev. does the job, I personally am dedicated to preserving automotive history, and hate to see a nice vehicle such as an early ford wasted by installing a wrong engine , whether it be a late overhead valve of any sort, placed where a real
piece of Dearborn iron belongs.You asked for our opinions and this is mine!
no insults intended.
Good day,
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:06 PM   #49
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Flatheads were driven across country up and down this country

Yes they were and during that time Western Auto had Flat Head parts, find a Western Auto today let alone Flat head parts. I like Flat Heads also and like I said above I have one in my Stock 46 Coupe but that being said I wouldn't want to drive from here to CA and back with no parts availability, and Flat Heads do break down just like SBC or SBF's. If it's mechanical it will break, just a matter of when not if. I doubt that you could even buy a set of points at a parts store today. Yeah, you can order parts out on the road and while waiting you can cool your heals in maybe some 2 bit motel out in Podunk ID, or some where. Now thats not a slam against ID, so don't get your panties in a wad all you Guys from ID.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:20 PM   #50
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Ol' Ron I respect your knowledge and ability about Flat Head's and I would bet you have forgotten more about them than most of us will ever know. But it isn't being lazy putting a SBC in a Ford and as far as not being able to afford to build one, not all of us have an unlimited bank account, so please tell me where can I purchase a brand new out of the box Flat Head Engine for less than $1500.00. I can do that with a SBC and probably can a SBF, but the SBC fits better with no Mods to sheet metal or frame.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:32 AM   #51
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

The Flathead has "mojo", but the Chevy really doesn't. The Chevy is a fine engine, but it will never be as "cool" as a Flathead. If the Flathead doesn't appeal to you that's fine, but your on the wrong Forum
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:24 AM   #52
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Lets face it, the only reason people could even think about putting a sbc in a Ford must be because they have never owned a FLATHEAD because if they had they would know better.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:30 AM   #53
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Some people just can't take a joke.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:53 AM   #54
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

It seems to me that this topic upsets a lot of you?? What do yall think happens every Sunday in Nascar? Brands battleing brands, FORD,Chevy, mopar, even toyota.. This debate will never go away as long as competition lives. I was just simply stating that almost 90% of every ford hotrod has a small block cheap chevy engine all souped up and dressed up with vintage looking parts passing it off as nostalgic. It just sounds stupid and embarrasing to me to say, yeah I got this beautiful 32 duece coupe with a hopped up chevy small block.Where's the interest in that? The spectators are looking for the heart of the beast,otherwise it just becomes almost lost in the sea of every other hotrod. Throw in a 50+ year old dressed iron flathead in that car and now you've stirred some interest & emotion in your ride. History is where it's at,that's what we are trying to preserve. They even have a special catagory at all the major car shows for, "best ford in a ford" Really!!! See what I mean? They don't have a catagory for "best chevy in a ford, or best mopar in a ford"...No, that's how rare it is now to put an original ford motor in a ford vehicle..I just think it is well worth the extra effort to put an original motor in where it belongs, not just take the easy and cheap way out...What fun and challenge is that? You can't deny that is is pretty boring walking around a car show and see countless numbers of small block chevys in 4 out of 5 cars.. Nowadays everyone is gathered around the traditional style hotrods(rat rods??) because they are interesting and true to their roots,usually by using an old flathead or four banger..No need to get bent out of shape, yeah this topic has been debated for years and will continue to be,so man up & stick to your guns and lay it on the line, say how you really feel about it.. Nothing compares to the infamous flathead or four banger, we all know that hotrodding,drag racing and nascar would'nt be what it is today if it wasn't for what old Henry perfected...These times they are changing,nostalgia and originality reigns supreme,no more are the days of building a great hotrod and just throwing in a cheap souped up chevy small block. Next time you go to a car show,check out what everyone is usually crowded around,not the duece with a typical dressed chevy, but the nostalgic,original, even rusted hotrod with an original flathead that still lives between it's framerails....That's what hotrodding is all about, originality, nostalgia and hard work to keep it real,not just taking the easy way out by throwing in another typical small block chevy....But that's my opinion....
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:15 PM   #55
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

The last few years of car shows,the local ones and cruise ins around here people seemed to be excited with new cars,ones they could go to the new car lot and look at. Mustangs,Camaros and the Dodge Chargers or whatever they are called. I know of two people right now that have bought brand new $40,000-$50,000 Mustangs to take to cruse ins and shows and they win trophys,I don't get it. At these events the nicest flathead Ford is just an old car,may as well be a Model T an A or whatever.
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:35 PM   #56
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I am not upset about about a sbc in a Ford,I probably would have done it not to long ago too but as a recent Flathead convert I really do think they might change their mind if they drove one a while.Its not the fastest ,it doesnt turn 7000 rpm and its surely not high tech but its kind of like a stray dog you bring home, its hard to understand but you fall in love with it after a while.I,m only 37 and after two years of owning one I dont want anything else.
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:10 PM   #57
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

If building a Hot Rod is the owner's personal choice, how is it wrong if they install an engine that someone else doesn't approve of? Do we all need to conform to the wishes of other people if we choose to build our project car the way we want it?
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:18 PM   #58
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Best of both worlds?

I own a 40 Ford coupe in which the previous owner had installed a Jack Merkel built 383 stroker. I love the car and love the engine. Goes like stink. I also have a 51 Ford Tudor mild Kustom with a slightly modified Flathead. Last August it spun a main bearing. Given the choice of a SBC or spending a small fortune on the Flathead, I chose the later. Had it rebuilt by an old timer who specializes in Flatheads. Heard it run last week for the first time. Nothing sounds like a Flathead, and I just could not see ruining the "period correctness" (you know what I mean) of the 51. Did I mention how great it sounded?

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Old 04-20-2011, 09:32 PM   #59
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I also have a mild custom '51 sedan with it's original flathead, have a '34 Roadster that is getting a mildly modified '52 Merc and 5 speed, a '33 coupe with a crate sbc and several more Chevrolets w/small blocks and big blocks. Love 'em all - but can't beat the sound of a flathead w/dual glass packs!!! Just thankful to live in a country where I'm able to do whatever I want with my stuff (at least for the time being)!!!
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:08 PM   #60
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

We're talking hot rods here, OK? Not stockers or mildly modified old cars. Two points:

What if a 40 coupe shows up with an early Olds, nailhead, or Hemi? Everyone would say that's the way it was done in the day, back when we read the "little books." I've got crates of 'em. Unfortunately for this chat line, dating back to the mid-50's in these old magazines many old Fords started running Chevs for all the discussed reasons. Chevy's can be period correct. They're cheap and powerful, two things traditional rodders valued.

Second, the author originally wrote about 32 roadsters. Any big show has dozens of 'em. Most will be 'glass, maybe an occasional Brookville high-dollar build, but rarely an original 32 roadster body. Across the spectrum, a high percentage of street rods are 'glass and I have no problem with that. Who can afford a real Willys or 32 three-window? Now a 'glass car may look like a Ford, but it's not a Ford. It's a reproduction at best. So who cares what goes into something that wasn't originally one brand or another? It's a street rod, not a Ford or Chev or anything else. And the're are some pretty damn nice ones out there.

In my garage I have two Fords and one Chevy. One Ford is powered by a period correct FE motor. My 39 project is getting a built flattie. That's because I WANT a flathead, not because I consider it better. It's just what evokes memories from my childhood. My flathead has an aluminum radiator, electric fan, and generator all tied to a late model 5 speed and halted by discs up front. There are many on this chat line who'll thumbs down me for these transgressions. They're missing the whole point of this hobby. We want to drive these cars because we're individualists. Given the money, most here would buy a 32 coupe with the same money that would buy a new Mercedes. We like what we like, not neccessarily what the other guy desires. We don't share a communal taste and there are no strict standards, ala AACA, which say what is correct and what is not.

If a guy wants a Chevy in a Ford, it's his car and he won't be the first guy to do it. That's his choice. This chat line is dedicated to flatheads. That's our choice. What's right and what's wrong is a subjective opinion. This is a hobby where we do what makes us happy and personal satisfaction is the only grading standard.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:40 PM   #61
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Popcorn ran out, I'm going over to the HAMB...........
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:16 PM   #62
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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Originally Posted by Marvin/TN View Post
Flatheads were driven across country up and down this country

Yes they were and during that time Western Auto had Flat Head parts, find a Western Auto today let alone Flat head parts. I like Flat Heads also and like I said above I have one in my Stock 46 Coupe but that being said I wouldn't want to drive from here to CA and back with no parts availability, and Flat Heads do break down just like SBC or SBF's. If it's mechanical it will break, just a matter of when not if. I doubt that you could even buy a set of points at a parts store today. Yeah, you can order parts out on the road and while waiting you can cool your heals in maybe some 2 bit motel out in Podunk ID, or some where. Now thats not a slam against ID, so don't get your panties in a wad all you Guys from ID.
Flathead parts are readily available how do we all build these engines ? Sure you may not find parts at kragens , but that's what planning and tool boxes are for. We continue to drive these engines across and up and down this country. I don't want a rice rocket I want tradition . I want to do it right, not easy I want to breath the history in I want to hear the history come to life I want to continue the tradition. I want the flathead.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:20 PM   #63
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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Originally Posted by Marvin/TN View Post
Flatheads were driven across country up and down this country

Yes they were and during that time Western Auto had Flat Head parts, find a Western Auto today let alone Flat head parts. I like Flat Heads also and like I said above I have one in my Stock 46 Coupe but that being said I wouldn't want to drive from here to CA and back with no parts availability, and Flat Heads do break down just like SBC or SBF's. If it's mechanical it will break, just a matter of when not if. I doubt that you could even buy a set of points at a parts store today. Yeah, you can order parts out on the road and while waiting you can cool your heals in maybe some 2 bit motel out in Podunk ID, or some where. Now thats not a slam against ID, so don't get your panties in a wad all you Guys from ID.
I can get anything i want for a flathead at the local parts store and as far as driving across the country ask the rolling bones guys they drive from upstat ny all over the country all in flatheads...something breaks you can fixit on the side of the road....all you have to do is plan take extra parts and youre good to go
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:05 AM   #64
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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Originally Posted by Ol' Ron View Post
Small block chebbys were designed for the poor stupid people that can't afford, or are not smart enough to build a Flathead

That's great!
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:56 AM   #65
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I think its more of a affordability factor to use a chevy engine than flathead...around here its 300. to hot tank and extra to magnuflux...then the parts ie pistons and rods are more expensive.....you can purchase a good running small block for $400. but be into a flattie $4000.in no time....I am building a 51 mercury now! but I love the sound of the flathead and its the first engine I built as a young man....
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:49 PM   #66
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Flathead, fathead, big block, small block, 2, 4, 6, or more, hell there all neat and if it can run down the road it is neater and if it is yours it is the neatest.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:23 PM   #67
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I find it very interesting how some people pick one of the most expensive hobby’s and say it’s to expensive when it comes time for a motor.


400 for a used sbc or 4 grand for a fresh V8 …. really? that’s a comparison?
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:56 AM   #68
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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I find it very interesting how some people pick one of the most expensive hobby’s and say it’s to expensive when it comes time for a motor.


400 for a used sbc or 4 grand for a fresh V8 …. really? that’s a comparison?
I find the same thing funny honestly I build what I like and that's flatheads...just about everything I own has a flathead except for a couple ad chevy trucks(mu grandfathers had them so I wanted trucks like theirs) but I don't skimp on stuff especially when it comes to flatheads I plan on the average rebuild costing $4000 but the last one I build I'm in around $16000(yes u read that right)
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:45 PM   #69
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Thumbs up Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

My first car was a $150.00 10 year old 50 Ford. I loved it so much that I kept it even after I got my second car, a 58 Ford 4 years later. There is nothing like the sound and feel of a flathead. 40 years later I got my second 50, driving it is like I am 16 again. I smile every time I walk into the garage and grin every time I drive it. It sounds faster than it is but I do not want to drive as fast on old style suspention and brakes as I did 50 years ago. Bob
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:11 PM   #70
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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My first car was a $150.00 10 year old 50 Ford. I loved it so much that I kept it even after I got my second car, a 58 Ford 4 years later. There is nothing like the sound and feel of a flathead. 40 years later I got my second 50, driving it is like I am 16 again. I smile every time I walk into the garage and grin every time I drive it. It sounds faster than it is but I do not want to drive as fast on old style suspention and brakes as I did 50 years ago. Bob
Awesome story bob im only 26 so I'm kind of new to the flathead game got my first one when I was 15 (1953 merc convertible) been a sickness ever since...I have 5 flathead powered cars...34 truck, 36 3-window, 40 Tudor, 40 sedan delivery, 53 merc convt..and a 337ci flathead powered industrial power plant...sickness yes but a good one.....I'm the same way everytime I go into the garage I can't help but smile...
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:53 PM   #71
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Question Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I have a nice 32 V8 engine with stock aluminum pan , tall water pumps and heart shaped correct heads but no 32 car to put it in. A few of my close friends dared me to put it into a 62 Corvette. The car was offered to me and a body shop offered to paint the car at no charge. I really want to proceed with this to fight fire with fire but hate to offend Henry plus I would never dare drive it. Has anyone done something like this before ? if so I would like details. Huh....
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:12 PM   #72
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

They are both great! In the right place and use.


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Old 04-28-2011, 08:59 PM   #73
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Well I have driven flatheads all over the great USA without any trouble.So I prefer flatheads in the cars that had flatheads.How ever my dream is to some day get one of those plastic things they call a corvette say about 54-55 used piece of crap and put a flathead in it and then take it to
corvette shows.Now thats what I am talking about.-FUN-FUN-FUN

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Old 04-29-2011, 03:00 PM   #74
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I wouldn't go to a Corvette show if it was across the street. ......... Those guys are pretty anal. I'll bet a flatmotor in one of those would drive them nuts
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:22 PM   #75
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Chevrolet....sounds French to me!
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:33 PM   #76
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

How does this thread survive?
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:22 PM   #77
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

hahahah well said
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:02 PM   #78
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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I wouldn't go to a Corvette show if it was across the street. ......... Those guys are pretty anal. I'll bet a flatmotor in one of those would drive them nuts
Do you know the difference between a cactus and a corvette?????

Cactus has the pricks on the outside!!!

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Old 04-30-2011, 05:33 AM   #79
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Whats a corvette????????
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:12 AM   #80
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

It might not be as fast, BUT, there has NEVER been a better looking engine than our own FLATHEAD motor !
MIKE

PS.... This is fact, not just an opinion !
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:52 AM   #81
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I think it was Bruce Lancaster that said that Chevrolet had V8 Fords in mind when they designed the sbc. Why else would a 6 cylinder company build such a short v8 engine. I know for sure that Chevy was going after the youth market that was held by Ford at the time. Do you think that GM made a concious decision to package their engine close to the Flathead profile as to become the engine replacement choice and steal Ford's V8 heritage? Guess what.....I do! I think there is evidence to support this theory. That's why I hate any brand x,y, or z into early Ford. My wife even said one time "did'nt Chevrolet make any nice cars in which to put their own engines" Lol! I think that kinda says it all.

The cycle continues with the new gen LS Gm engine. That thing looks like a Ford engine..... all of a sudden it is very chic to have 10 headbolts with 4 evenly spaced around each cylinder. Generous cam diameter and high up in the block to lessen valvetrain weight. The heads are "rolled" over like the latest racing small block Ford heads and the ign and oil pump are UP FRONT! Crossbolt mains and a center thrust bearing oh yeah and the evenly spaced int/ext ports. All very Fordlike and suddenly cool. The hot rod ragazines used to bitch about some of these same characteristics when they were brought out by Ford, now that Chevrolet has embraced them it's the greatest thing. Gee I wonder if there is any bias in automotive journalism. Hell I remember the magazines calling the FE engines heavy boat anchors. Those things won at LeMans, Daytona, Sebring, Darlington and Pomona in open competition. Not some smalltime local event where the rulesmakers have the fix in place to keep the cheap sbc competitive. Harumpphh!
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:22 PM   #82
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

there used to be a flathead powered falcon around hear i think that would be kool!
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:40 PM   #83
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

We are comparing motors from two different time periods. The flathead ford motor was the best motor made during its time. The 283, 327 chevy motors are better motors because of newer tech. But the chevy motor belongs in a 57 chev, not a ford.
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:53 AM   #84
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

P3140673.jpg

tr4-6.jpgHi Ford Lovers,

I am new to the club. In San Francisco, 1971, I bought my 1st car, a red/black 1966 Volvo Amazon 122S. The owner was a foxy, hippie brunette. She had great legs inside tight jeans, long curls of hair and deep violet eyes. I liked the Amazon because of it's simple body style.

My next car was a black/red 1962 MGA convertible. Me and the boys rode 3 inside. I liked the body lines and the sound of the muffler. It sounded better than a motorcycle.

My 3rd car was a 1957 Ford Fairlane, 2-door hardtop, 272 Motor, 3 speed Hurst on the floor. It was a big car, difficult to park but I loved the taillights at night, 2 big owl eyes beaming thru the fog. I loved the bench seats, the smell of octane and the way it rumbled softly when idling.

4th car was a gray 1956 Ford Mainline Business Coupe. It carried me everywhere and on the last ride, it even brought me and the boys home from Mexico until the rear end finally gave out.

My Dad was always a Ford man. He owned a 1952 Ford Crestline, 1959 Galaxie and 1967 Chevy Malibu. He was happiest with his Ford cars. The Chevy ran well but it didn't have any magic or romance to it. He would always wash and wax his Fords but I never did see him wash the Chevy.

Older Ford cars have that simple look to them. Sure, they have their rust issues like the rest of them old cars. When I was a kid, I'd look under the hood and frame of all the cars and I could tell that the Fords were made heavier duty. Fords were built better because they were designed for common folks, they were built to give regular people the best for their money.

Currently, I own a 1965 Triumph TR4 and a 1952 Ford Sunliner. It has been difficult for me deciding which car to keep because I only have time and money to keep one.

The gals like the little Triumph because they think it's cute. They think the Ford is an old man's car. But who cares what the gals think. When the chicks are gone, I want the car that will still be idling and purring outside, waiting for me...

Let me know your thoughts!

Gino in Denver

Last edited by stagepony; 05-02-2011 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:21 AM   #85
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Gino, you keep that Ford!
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:07 AM   #86
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

The SBC was designed by a team of engineers from Pontiac, chey and corporate. The Chevy management wanted an engine that cost no more tham 143 dollars to produce, thus the stamped rockers and integral intake and the fact that only 9 cores were necessary to cast the block. In other words a very inexpensive engine (Cheep) The fact that it became the mainstay of street rodding was because of it's size and availability, However they didn't become competive untill their displacement was inlarged. The 302 and 327 were hard to beet, You can thank Zora for that.
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:17 AM   #87
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stagepony View Post
Attachment 41312

Attachment 41313Hi Ford Lovers,

I am new to the club. In San Francisco, 1971, I bought my 1st car, a red/black 1966 Volvo Amazon 122S. The owner was a foxy, hippie brunette. She had great legs inside tight jeans, long curls of hair and deep violet eyes. I liked the Amazon because of it's simple body style.

My next car was a black/red 1962 MGA convertible. Me and the boys rode 3 inside. I liked the body lines and the sound of the muffler. It sounded better than a motorcycle.

My 3rd car was a 1957 Ford Fairlane, 2-door hardtop, 272 Motor, 3 speed Hurst on the floor. It was a big car, difficult to park but I loved the taillights at night, 2 big owl eyes beaming thru the fog. I loved the bench seats, the smell of octane and the way it rumbled softly when idling.

4th car was a gray 1956 Ford Mainline Business Coupe. It carried me everywhere and on the last ride, it even brought me and the boys home from Mexico until the rear end finally gave out.

My Dad was always a Ford man. He owned a 1952 Ford Crestline, 1959 Galaxie and 1967 Chevy Malibu. He was happiest with his Ford cars. The Chevy ran well but it didn't have any magic or romance to it. He would always wash and wax his Fords but I never did see him wash the Chevy.

Older Ford cars have that simple look to them. Sure, they have their rust issues like the rest of them old cars. When I was a kid, I'd look under the hood and frame of all the cars and I could tell that the Fords were made heavier duty. Fords were built better because they were designed for common folks, they were built to give regular people the best for their money.

Currently, I own a 1965 Triumph TR4 and a 1952 Ford Sunliner. It has been difficult for me deciding which car to keep because I only have time and money to keep one.

The gals like the little Triumph because they think it's cute. They think the Ford is an old man's car. But who cares what the gals think. When the chicks are gone, I want the car that will still be idling and purring outside, waiting for me...

Let me know your thoughts!

Gino in Denver
I had a '66 TR4 A with IRS when it was new. I bought a '53 Ford Crestline Sunliner in '73 for $125.00. I still have the '53... Vic
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:42 PM   #88
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stagepony View Post
Attachment 41312

Attachment 41313Hi Ford Lovers,

I am new to the club. In San Francisco, 1971, I bought my 1st car, a red/black 1966 Volvo Amazon 122S. The owner was a foxy, hippie brunette. She had great legs inside tight jeans, long curls of hair and deep violet eyes. I liked the Amazon because of it's simple body style.

My next car was a black/red 1962 MGA convertible. Me and the boys rode 3 inside. I liked the body lines and the sound of the muffler. It sounded better than a motorcycle.

My 3rd car was a 1957 Ford Fairlane, 2-door hardtop, 272 Motor, 3 speed Hurst on the floor. It was a big car, difficult to park but I loved the taillights at night, 2 big owl eyes beaming thru the fog. I loved the bench seats, the smell of octane and the way it rumbled softly when idling.

4th car was a gray 1956 Ford Mainline Business Coupe. It carried me everywhere and on the last ride, it even brought me and the boys home from Mexico until the rear end finally gave out.

My Dad was always a Ford man. He owned a 1952 Ford Crestline, 1959 Galaxie and 1967 Chevy Malibu. He was happiest with his Ford cars. The Chevy ran well but it didn't have any magic or romance to it. He would always wash and wax his Fords but I never did see him wash the Chevy.

Older Ford cars have that simple look to them. Sure, they have their rust issues like the rest of them old cars. When I was a kid, I'd look under the hood and frame of all the cars and I could tell that the Fords were made heavier duty. Fords were built better because they were designed for common folks, they were built to give regular people the best for their money.

Currently, I own a 1965 Triumph TR4 and a 1952 Ford Sunliner. It has been difficult for me deciding which car to keep because I only have time and money to keep one.

The gals like the little Triumph because they think it's cute. They think the Ford is an old man's car. But who cares what the gals think. When the chicks are gone, I want the car that will still be idling and purring outside, waiting for me...

Let me know your thoughts!

Gino in Denver
I think you bought that Volvo because of the brunette's body style!
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:14 PM   #89
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

One of the main reasons is the small block chevy engine has a rear sump oil pan that does not get in the way of the cross member.the small block fords have front sump oil pans which cause troubles. many adapters were manufactured to utilize stock ford trannies in the late 50's making it a clean swap without having to hack the car to pieces. I run a flathead in my 37 and always will,but have nothing against someone running sbc. I would rather see a neat old ford driving down the road with a misfit motor than not driving at all!
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:13 AM   #90
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actually rodders started replacing flatheads with pushrod engines in the 50`s because flatheads were boring,slow and unreliable but not cheaper. let me get this right. its a sin to replace an unreliable flathead with a chevy v-8 in your hot rod but butchering up an old ford to replace an unreliable trans with an S -10 is recommended by the mentors on this site. hmmm rodders have been installing chevys since 1955 but i guess we will never learn.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:24 AM   #91
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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actually rodders started replacing flatheads with pushrod engines in the 50`s because flatheads were boring,slow and unreliable but not cheaper. let me get this right. its a sin to replace an unreliable flathead with a chevy v-8 in your hot rod but butchering up an old ford to replace an unreliable trans with an S -10 is recommended by the mentors on this site. hmmm rodders have been installing chevys since 1955 but i guess we will never learn.
Unreliable??? I respectfully submit that if you think Ford Flatheads and Transmissions are unreliable, you don’t have much experience with them. We have seven Flathead Ford products including a ’39 Zephyr V-12 and a ’49 Cosmo 337. I’ve put 140,000+ miles on our ’47 59A in the last 14 years. I think that the notion of Flatheads being unreliable has been perpetuated by people that don’t know or understand the care and feeding of Flatheads. I have nothing against 350 GM motors or people that put them Flathead era Fords but I don’t like most of the excuses used to justify the swap. Just my opinion.
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:50 AM   #92
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Often times when I read some people extolling the virtues of a flathead Ford engine versus a small block Chevrolet engine, I get very confused when I see the many pictures of flathead engines on this forum. If these people are so much in favor of the flathead engine, why do I frequently see pictures of these engines with aftermarket heads, intake manifolds, ignition systems, and headers added to their special engines? Is it because deep down inside they really aren’t happy with the way the engine was originally built?
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:56 PM   #93
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Often times when I read some people extolling the virtues of a flathead Ford engine versus a small block Chevrolet engine, I get very confused when I see the many pictures of flathead engines on this forum. If these people are so much in favor of the flathead engine, why do I frequently see pictures of these engines with aftermarket heads, intake manifolds, ignition systems, and headers added to their special engines? Is it because deep down inside they really aren’t happy with the way the engine was originally built?
Have you never seen a Chevy 350 with aftermarket valve covers, intake manifolds, headers, etc.? I've even seen some that look like Flathead heads to try and disguise the 350... Most of the things you mentioned are eye candy, not necessarily performance related, and I doubt that you'll find many on this forum that don't like a fully dressed Flathead. I may be going out on a limb but I don't think the majority of us here on the forum are interested in setting land speed records with our Flatheads; most of us enjoy them for the nostalgia
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:30 PM   #94
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Real engine's do not have valve covers!!!!!!!!

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Old 05-05-2011, 09:00 PM   #95
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real engine's do not have valve covers!!!!!!!!

Sp1ke
x2!!!!

Last edited by Lenney; 05-05-2011 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:46 AM   #96
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

What's all this talk about SBC's??? By the way, what does "SBC" stand for?.... Sorry Bunch of Crap???
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:20 AM   #97
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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I think it was Bruce Lancaster that said that Chevrolet had V8 Fords in mind when they designed the sbc. Why else would a 6 cylinder company build such a short v8 engine. I know for sure that Chevy was going after the youth market that was held by Ford at the time. Do you think that GM made a concious decision to package their engine close to the Flathead profile as to become the engine replacement choice and steal Ford's V8 heritage? Guess what.....I do! I think there is evidence to support this theory. That's why I hate any brand x,y, or z into early Ford. My wife even said one time "did'nt Chevrolet make any nice cars in which to put their own engines" Lol! I think that kinda says it all.

The cycle continues with the new gen LS Gm engine. That thing looks like a Ford engine..... all of a sudden it is very chic to have 10 headbolts with 4 evenly spaced around each cylinder. Generous cam diameter and high up in the block to lessen valvetrain weight. The heads are "rolled" over like the latest racing small block Ford heads and the ign and oil pump are UP FRONT! Crossbolt mains and a center thrust bearing oh yeah and the evenly spaced int/ext ports. All very Fordlike and suddenly cool. The hot rod ragazines used to bitch about some of these same characteristics when they were brought out by Ford, now that Chevrolet has embraced them it's the greatest thing. Gee I wonder if there is any bias in automotive journalism. Hell I remember the magazines calling the FE engines heavy boat anchors. Those things won at LeMans, Daytona, Sebring, Darlington and Pomona in open competition. Not some smalltime local event where the rulesmakers have the fix in place to keep the cheap sbc competitive. Harumpphh!
It's interesting Ford doesn't even build a pushrod motor anymore because it's common knowledge that an overhead cam is more effecient.GM would have went that route but didn't have as deep of pockets.Ford is getting more power with less cubes.The mod motors are shorter(wider),but for some reason the industry is embracing the LS motors.You mentioned that the FE motors were boat anchors to some people,but are only 50 lbs.heavier than a small block and capable of a lot more cubes.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:53 PM   #98
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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Originally Posted by barryfromvictoria View Post
actually rodders started replacing flatheads with pushrod engines in the 50`s because flatheads were boring,slow and unreliable but not cheaper. let me get this right. its a sin to replace an unreliable flathead with a chevy v-8 in your hot rod but butchering up an old ford to replace an unreliable trans with an S -10 is recommended by the mentors on this site. hmmm rodders have been installing chevys since 1955 but i guess we will never learn.

OK let's straighten this out. The Borg- Warner T-5 whether it came in a Mustang, Jeep or S10 has origins in the Ford "Toploader" design. The S10 version is often preferred for it's forward shifter location.

My gosh this age old argument is such a joke! How about this...... picture a huge number of `50's- `60's GM or Chrysler musclecars getting converted to the newest and most powerful and efficient Ford V8's like the new 5.0. Do ya think enthusiasts of the GM and Mopar persuasion would raise an eyebrow? Heck! those guys squirm if a number or decal is out of place. I cannot understand why in the hell the leap is almost always to the GM parts bins when updating an old Ford. Ford by virtue of Lincoln has been producing OHV V8's since 1952. Don't give me that you can't find one or make it work. It's better to bastardize it with crosstown junk?
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:08 PM   #99
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

You don't believe that Chevy had it's sights set on getting in on the Ford action? Dig this memo from 1953 by Zora Arkus Duntov to GM (Chevy) management.....

“THOUGHTS PERTAINING TO YOUTH, HOT RODDERS, AND CHEVROLET”
The Hot Rod movement and interest in things connected with hop-up and speed is still growing. As an indication: the publications devoted to hot rodding and hop-upping, of which some half dozen have a very large circulation and are distributed nationally, did not exist some six years ago.

From cover to cover, they are full of Fords. This is not surprising that the majority of hot rodders are eating, sleeping, and dreaming modified Fords. They know Ford parts from stern to stern better than Ford people themselves.
A young man buying a magazine for the first time immediatly becomes introduced to Ford. It is reasonable to assume that when hot rodders or hot rod-influenced persons buy transportation, they buy Fords. As they progress in age and income, they graduate from jalopies to second-hand Fords, then to new Fords.
Should we consider that it would be desirable to make these youths Chevrolet-minded? I think that we are in a position to carry out a successful attempt. However, there are many factors againt us:

  1. Loyalty and experience with Ford.
  2. Hop-up industry is geared with Ford.
  3. Law of number-thousands are and will be working on Fords for active competition.
  4. Appearance of Ford’s overhead V8, now one year ahead of us.
When a superior line of GM V8’s appeared, there where remarkably few attempts to develop these, and none too successful. Also, the appearance of the V8’s Chrysler was met with reluctance even though the success of Ardun-Fords conditioned them to the acceptance of Firepower.
This year is the first one in which isolated Chrysler development met with succsess. The Bonneville records are divided between Ardun-Fords and Chryslers.
Like all people, hot rodders are attracted by novelty. However, bitter experience has taught them that new development is costly and long, and therefore they are extremely conservative. From my observation, it takes an advanced hot rodder some three years to stumble toward the successful development of a new design. Overhead Fords will be in this stable between 1956 and 1957.
The slide rule potential of our RPO V8 engine is extremely high, but to let things run their natural course will put us one year behind-and then not too many hot rodders will pick Chevrolet for development. One factor which can largely overcome this handicap would be the availability of ready-enginered parts for higher output:
If the use of the Chevrolet engine would be made easy and the very first attempts would be crowned with succsess, the appeal of the new RPO V8 engine will take hold and not have the stigma of expensiveness like the Cadillac or Chrysler, and a swing to Chevrolet may be anticipated.This means the development of a range of special parts-camshafts, valves, springs, manifolds, pistons, and such-should be made available to the public.
To make good in this field, the RPO parts must pertain not only to the engine but to the chassis coponents as well. In fact, the use of light alloys and brake development, such as composite drums and discs, are already on the agenda of the Research and Development group.
These thoughts are offered for what they are worth-one man’s thinking aloud on the subject.
Signed: Z. Arkus-Duntov
dated: 12/16/53














I have no problem with Chevy doing their thing if they built their own heritage, and I am certainly not knocking their products. My problem lies in the strong suspicion that they deliberately wormed their way into the V8 Ford genre to get the desired effect the quick, cheap and easy way.

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Old 05-06-2011, 09:22 PM   #100
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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Originally Posted by Bruce Rossiter View Post
Often times when I read some people extolling the virtues of a flathead Ford engine versus a small block Chevrolet engine, I get very confused when I see the many pictures of flathead engines on this forum. If these people are so much in favor of the flathead engine, why do I frequently see pictures of these engines with aftermarket heads, intake manifolds, ignition systems, and headers added to their special engines? Is it because deep down inside they really aren’t happy with the way the engine was originally built?


Nonsense! You are walking on thin ice if you are trying to make the point that Chevy engines are used stock as they come from the factory. As a matter of fact I think the Chevy V8 is the engine most in need of the aftermarket to keep pace. The hot rod magazines would never have made it without all the advertisers buying space to peddle their sbc parts over the years. The "magazine writers" had a huge financial stake in promoting the sbc and the sheeple bought it as the only way to go. The mindset still exists today. A lot of good Fords got ruined this way.....
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:48 PM   #101
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

This whole thread started because a guy who most likely does not own a Ford read a magazine about street rods.
The cure is simple...stop reading about street rods.
The air will smell fresher.
Your hair will start to grow in thicker and more robust.
Your sex drive will equal that of Adonis.
The ladies will smile at you in the grocery check out.
That little brown dog will stop piddling on your Buster Browns.
The tax man will mis place your audit profile.
Life will be good, simple, easy and happy.

Or you could keep reading drivel.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:15 PM   #102
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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Originally Posted by Henry Floored View Post
Nonsense! You are walking on thin ice if you are trying to make the point that Chevy engines are used stock as they come from the factory. As a matter of fact I think the Chevy V8 is the engine most in need of the aftermarket to keep pace. The hot rod magazines would never have made it without all the advertisers buying space to peddle their sbc parts over the years. The "magazine writers" had a huge financial stake in promoting the sbc and the sheeple bought it as the only way to go. The mindset still exists today. A lot of good Fords got ruined this way.....
There was no "nonsense" in my statement regarding a Chevy V8 as I wasn't referring to any engine other than a flathead that had been modified. The only point I have tried to make on this topic is the fact that everyone has the choice to use the engine that they prefer and choosing one type of engine over another doesn't mean I'm wrong. It very simply means that I prefer the engine of my choice.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:22 PM   #103
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stagepony View Post
Attachment 41312

Attachment 41313Hi Ford Lovers,

I am new to the club. In San Francisco, 1971, I bought my 1st car, a red/black 1966 Volvo Amazon 122S. The owner was a foxy, hippie brunette. She had great legs inside tight jeans, long curls of hair and deep violet eyes. I liked the Amazon because of it's simple body style.

My next car was a black/red 1962 MGA convertible. Me and the boys rode 3 inside. I liked the body lines and the sound of the muffler. It sounded better than a motorcycle.

My 3rd car was a 1957 Ford Fairlane, 2-door hardtop, 272 Motor, 3 speed Hurst on the floor. It was a big car, difficult to park but I loved the taillights at night, 2 big owl eyes beaming thru the fog. I loved the bench seats, the smell of octane and the way it rumbled softly when idling.

4th car was a gray 1956 Ford Mainline Business Coupe. It carried me everywhere and on the last ride, it even brought me and the boys home from Mexico until the rear end finally gave out.

My Dad was always a Ford man. He owned a 1952 Ford Crestline, 1959 Galaxie and 1967 Chevy Malibu. He was happiest with his Ford cars. The Chevy ran well but it didn't have any magic or romance to it. He would always wash and wax his Fords but I never did see him wash the Chevy.

Older Ford cars have that simple look to them. Sure, they have their rust issues like the rest of them old cars. When I was a kid, I'd look under the hood and frame of all the cars and I could tell that the Fords were made heavier duty. Fords were built better because they were designed for common folks, they were built to give regular people the best for their money.

Currently, I own a 1965 Triumph TR4 and a 1952 Ford Sunliner. It has been difficult for me deciding which car to keep because I only have time and money to keep one.

The gals like the little Triumph because they think it's cute. They think the Ford is an old man's car. But who cares what the gals think. When the chicks are gone, I want the car that will still be idling and purring outside, waiting for me...

Let me know your thoughts!

Gino in Denver
keep the Ford, Flatheads are music to my ears!
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:50 PM   #104
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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Originally Posted by Bruce Rossiter View Post
Often times when I read some people extolling the virtues of a flathead Ford engine versus a small block Chevrolet engine, I get very confused when I see the many pictures of flathead engines on this forum. If these people are so much in favor of the flathead engine, why do I frequently see pictures of these engines with aftermarket heads, intake manifolds, ignition systems, and headers added to their special engines? Is it because deep down inside they really aren’t happy with the way the engine was originally built?

Its not that at all period correct hot rods had these aftermarket parts...I have hopped up flatheads with finned aluminum heads and i have bone stock 999 point show cars that are bone stock...honestly the reason i use finned aluminum heads is i love the look of them...I also use only original rare heads(evans, harrell, etc) i see it as preserving racing history...as for updating ignition systems i only have one that doesnt have stock ignition and thats a full race flathead with a mag....its not about not being happy with the stock flathead its about building exactly what you like....are you telling me every small block you see is 100% as it came from the factory...no its because people are trying to improve the looks and build what they like....lets face it the flathead is the greatest engine ever made look how long it was built and and how many are still on the road....i spent $16,500 building my last flathead i know that would build an extreme small block....but at the end of the day its still a small block and to me its junk(and i do own small block and big block powered cars but i never drive them and im actually embarassed to own them) im more then glad to dump that money into flatheads everyday
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Old 05-07-2011, 12:29 AM   #105
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Its not that at all period correct hot rods had these aftermarket parts...I have hopped up flatheads with finned aluminum heads and i have bone stock 999 point show cars that are bone stock...honestly the reason i use finned aluminum heads is i love the look of them...I also use only original rare heads(evans, harrell, etc) i see it as preserving racing history...as for updating ignition systems i only have one that doesnt have stock ignition and thats a full race flathead with a mag....its not about not being happy with the stock flathead its about building exactly what you like....are you telling me every small block you see is 100% as it came from the factory...no its because people are trying to improve the looks and build what they like....lets face it the flathead is the greatest engine ever made look how long it was built and and how many are still on the road....i spent $16,500 building my last flathead i know that would build an extreme small block....but at the end of the day its still a small block and to me its junk(and i do own small block and big block powered cars but i never drive them and im actually embarassed to own them) im more then glad to dump that money into flatheads everyday
It seems as if you are reading too much into what I stated. The following statement of yours pretty well sums it all up, "its about building exactly what you like".

No where have I ever passed an opinion about any engine being good or bad and yet you've gone on a tirade about how much you think some engines are junk and you are embarrassed to own them. Are we all supposed to feel the same way as you do?
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:24 AM   #106
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

A true Ford lover would never put a SBC or a BBC into any Ford.
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:05 PM   #107
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

After Ford came out with the 260 engine there was no reason to use a Chevy engine if you wanted to go with a overhead. Before that Ford overhead valve engines were big and heavy and some cutting was required to install them. I installed a 302 in a 47 coupe several years ago with no cutting or damage to the original car at all. I might add it was a 6 cylinder car and i used the original radiator cleaned out. Marv
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Old 05-07-2011, 04:12 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Bruce Rossiter View Post
It seems as if you are reading too much into what I stated. The following statement of yours pretty well sums it all up, "its about building exactly what you like".

No where have I ever passed an opinion about any engine being good or bad and yet you've gone on a tirade about how much you think some engines are junk and you are embarrassed to own them. Are we all supposed to feel the same way as you do?

No that is my personal opinion I don't expect anyone but myself to feel that way but that is my opinion....the cars I own with small and big blocks were gifts from my parents that hold emotional value to me...53 chevy and a 50 chevy suburban....I also own my trucks like my great-grandfather had for delivery for his business they hold emotional value fore as well but it's been 7 years since I have driven anything other than a flathead ford and any car I drive or build is a flathead....honestly I held back my true opinion....you don't want to know that...but honestly it is america I'm allowed to have my opinion and voice it...this is the perfect place to do it since it is a flathead v-8 group....not a sbc in a ford body group
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:25 PM   #109
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

It's called freedom of choice! This issue can drag on and on forever. many of the good folks on this site have early fords with sbc in them and It doesn't bother me a bit. as I said before,I would rather see an old ford driving down the road with a sbc than not driving at all. many can argue against the street roddders,but if the truth be known if it wasn't for the street rod hobby I doubt we would have the plethora of aftermarket companies that we are all thankful for,as I dont think there is enough of the purist out there to support companies like Bob Drake,Dennis Carpenter and such. as for now I'm enjoying my Flathead and driving the hell out of it. I enjoy the smiles it puts on peoples faces when i drive by,and I don't think they care what motor I have.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:10 PM   #110
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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Originally Posted by Milt/Las Vegas View Post
A true Ford lover would never put a SBC or a BBC into any Ford.
A tear came to my eye when I read this. Bless you Milt.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:57 PM   #111
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Is a SBC that ugly thing I see in alot of the Fords at the car shows.
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:56 PM   #112
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Is a SBC that ugly thing I see in alot of the Fords at the car shows.
Yeah it is
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:03 PM   #113
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It's called freedom of choice! This issue can drag on and on forever. many of the good folks on this site have early fords with sbc in them and It doesn't bother me a bit. as I said before,I would rather see an old ford driving down the road with a sbc than not driving at all. many can argue against the street roddders,but if the truth be known if it wasn't for the street rod hobby I doubt we would have the plethora of aftermarket companies that we are all thankful for,as I dont think there is enough of the purist out there to support companies like Bob Drake,Dennis Carpenter and such. as for now I'm enjoying my Flathead and driving the hell out of it. I enjoy the smiles it puts on peoples faces when i drive by,and I don't think they care what motor I have.

Yes this is true I just feel very strongly about this issue...v8 fords are my living...they are all I work on at my shop everyone else gets sent packing
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:17 PM   #114
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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I'm allowed to have my opinion and voice it...this is the perfect place to do it

And that's the point I've been trying to make. We all have the freedom and opinion to choose whatever engine we want and if someone has to downgrade a certain type of engine to justify their choice of engines, so be it.
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:46 PM   #115
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milt/Las Vegas View Post
A true Ford lover would never put a SBC or a BBC into any Ford.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank The Plumber View Post
A tear came to my eye when I read this. Bless you Milt.
Quote:
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Is a SBC that ugly thing I see in alot of the Fords at the car shows.
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Originally Posted by kwmpa View Post
Yeah it is

================================================== ========

Ryan owns this site, and he ran a healthy SBC in his '39 Ford coupe,
so does that mean he should be ridiculed for running that engine ?






.
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:51 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanny View Post
================================================== ========

Ryan owns this site, and he ran a healthy SBC in his '39 Ford coupe,
so does that mean he should be ridiculed for running that engine ?






.
but he also says that he wishes he kept the flathead in it....ryan also daily drives a badass 39 tudor with a flathead and has a model a with a flat head...to each his own im not speaking down to anyone...just chimed in my opinion guess it ruffled some feathers...like i said i own some 50s chevies with small and big blocks
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:32 AM   #117
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I think this is funny,Its like if I showed up at a Corvette rally with Ford GT and tried to explain why my GT is better than your Corvette.I think you might just br at the wrong place for this.This is a FLATHEAD forum and if we didnt like FLATHEADS so much we wouldnt be here.
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:02 PM   #118
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

As far as I'm concerned there's no debate, I've never heard af a flathead motor breaking a rocker arm or bending a pushrod or streching or breaking a timing chain or collapse a hyd. lifter, add them up, thats 49 more parts to screw up and ruin an engine that flatmotors don't have, even a moron can figure out which is best, and if your not a moron your can put a SBF in your old ford without cutting your firewall, any excuse is better than none for putting a garbage truck (sbc) in a nice olf FORD, END
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:25 PM   #119
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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Originally Posted by 26 roadster View Post
As far as I'm concerned there's no debate, I've never heard af a flathead motor breaking a rocker arm or bending a pushrod or streching or breaking a timing chain or collapse a hyd. lifter, add them up, thats 49 more parts to screw up and ruin an engine that flatmotors don't have, even a moron can figure out which is best, and if your not a moron your can put a SBF in your old ford without cutting your firewall, any excuse is better than none for putting a garbage truck (sbc) in a nice olf FORD, END
Well cousin Festus, Its plain to see you were the captain of the debate team.
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:53 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by 26 roadster View Post
As far as I'm concerned there's no debate, I've never heard af a flathead motor breaking a rocker arm or bending a pushrod or streching or breaking a timing chain or collapse a hyd. lifter, add them up, thats 49 more parts to screw up and ruin an engine that flatmotors don't have, even a moron can figure out which is best, and if your not a moron your can put a SBF in your old ford without cutting your firewall, any excuse is better than none for putting a garbage truck (sbc) in a nice olf FORD, END
Haha well put
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:07 PM   #121
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

What's a Chevy? Isn't that the actor from national lampoons?
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:53 PM   #122
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I preferred nailheads back in the late 50's - 60's. All my buddies were running small blocks in everything. I had a nailhead in a 49 Hudson & a 51 Mercury. Run the into the ground. :-)
I also preferred flatheads back then, but did better on the street with the nailheads.
PS I'm running a flathead, a y-block and a 350 in different vehicles right now.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:58 PM   #123
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Installing a SBC in an old flathead, does not involve cutting the firewall. Installing a newer Ford engine, calls for the firewall to be cut and altered. I would never do either.
MIKE
I'm not too sure on this as I've never done the conversion, but I wonder how the firewall would need to be cut for a SBF vs. not with a SBC? I knew a guy who helped fix up I believe a '40 coupe, which had a SBC in it and some other stuff. He said something to the effect that the firewall still needed cutting and since the distributor is in the back, good luck doing tune-ups.
As my truck sits it is set-up to run whatever engine I can fit. Some days I really want to shove a 302 in it because since it has been hacked up already I am going through a ton of work to put a Flathead back in.
In any regard, I'm on quite a few different forums for a few very different vehicles and there is usually a section for putting an SBC in stuff.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:20 PM   #124
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Replace fuel pump & filter:
El Camino = 3 hours
Any flathead = 1/4 hour

Replace spark plugs:
El Camino = 3 hours
Anyt flathead = 1/4 hour

Replace El Camino = take it please
Replace any flathead = not gonna happen
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:58 PM   #125
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

hmmmm, what year El Camino??...lol....Mike
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:18 AM   #126
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Well this is all a bit ridiculous really.I have worked on flatheads for 50 years and have a '38 Ford sedan with original flathead and also race a flathead special.Of course the flathead is one of the alltime great engines and I am very fond of them both. I also run a '79 Camaro and that SBC is one very sweet engine on the highway.They are both great engines and both generate lots of nostalgia so lets just enjoy them and get on with using them.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:49 AM   #127
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

If you don't understand a Flathead buy a Honda
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:09 AM   #128
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Let us not forget adjusting the valves once a week in the garbage truck engine. A 221 will run fast enough to kill you and keep pace on the highway. All the other junk is good for is bragging rights.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:30 AM   #129
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I'm glade I didn't put my nose in this stupid thread, woooppp, what did I do, dame. Walt
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:53 AM   #130
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Is "sacrilege" the correct word? Probably. Put the shoe on the other foot and let's see what happens. Transplant a Ford heart into brand x vehicles en masse and you'll hear plenty of moans.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:09 AM   #131
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

In general, once the 265 Chevy was readily available from junkyards Hot Rodders driving Flatheads began swapping Chevies into their Ford cars. The Chevy came stock with close to 60+ horsepower over the ford flathead. Adapter kits were cheap and the Chevy went in with minor mods to the chassis/body. Speed parts were also reasonable. A 265 Chevy with a 4 barrel, headers and mild cam would make a lot more power than a comparably equipped flathead. Looks or Brand loyalty had nothing to do with the decision. I remember in 1954 watching some Hot Rodders swapping a Merc flathead into a Ford just because it was 15hp more. Guys would kill for 60 horse more.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:27 PM   #132
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Check this out
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:40 PM   #133
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Two comments about this topic-------
1. You can install a SBF into a 36 to 40 Ford. You need to pay attention to components like use of the short water pump and use of an electric pusher fan instead of a mechanical fan. A true rear sump oil pan is required if using the original suspension/crossmember.

My 40 sedan uses a 289/C4 and it fits without any alteration to the frame, X-member or firewall.

2. The real reason most early Fords used the SBC instead of the SBF is that the GM engine was smaller, ran cooler and would run circles around the Y block engine. By the time Ford brought out a good small block, it was around 1966 and the die was already cast for the SBC.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:06 PM   #134
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hears what i say. if you live in a place where there is light trafic the flathead is fine .but put it in heavy trafic were it could take a hour to go three miles the flathead will proulbey overheat. a sb chevy with the big ford rad will not over heat. so i think where you live has a lot to do with eng choice .plus if done right the flathead can be put back in if you want with no proulbem. i know there are guys that say the flathead if done right woun,t over heat. these guys have never been on the l.i.e. on sunday night in the summer.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:14 PM   #135
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

[/QUOTE]The real reason most early Fords used the SBC instead of the SBF is that the GM engine was smaller, ran cooler and would run circles around the Y block engine. By the time Ford brought out a good small block, it was around 1966 and the die was already cast for the SBC.[/QUOTE]

Obviously from some one who never ran a 265 or 283 against a Y-Block. I will concede that with the introduction of the 327 and more so the 350, the Y-Block was doomed. Prior to that there was no doubt that a decent 272, 292 or 312 was not to be denied. The home made 301 or 302cid Chevy(same thing) ran well, but still no match for a well built 312.

Comparing a 327 or 350 against the Y is not a fair fight considering technology advances by the time they were produced('62), the size advantage, and the fact that Ford stopped developing the Y long prior('57).
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:18 PM   #136
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

There isn't any debate ........Flathead Rule ....
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:34 PM   #137
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I cannot count how many Ford flathead engine us young fellas pulled out of those Ford cars and threw them in the scrap heap. That was in the late 50s early 60s and very few people wanted a flathead ford engine in their heap. It was Chevy, Olds, Buick, anything but a Ford.
Now I have a 34 P/U and a 35 Coupe and both have souped up Ford flatheads in them.
A few years ago I discovered a set of Navarro heads in my barn that I wrapped up and put away in 1963. Isn't that something?
I go to a show or a drive-in and people trip over those 350/350s to get a look at my old flatheads.........
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:58 PM   #138
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

If you have a Ford use the Ford engine. If you have a Mercury use the Mercury engine. If you don't want the Flat head Ford v8 I will take it. If you got a Chevrolet car put a Chevrolet engine in it. It is true 1932 engine mounts bolt to a small block Chevrolet. That being said, I would love to make a hot rod Lincoln v12 in a gow job.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:23 AM   #139
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I have nothing against SBC. I have raced them in roundy-rounds with success along with Mercury, Ford, Buick and Pontiac. I have had several Chebbies including my 1st 3 cars that were '56 Bel Air, '55 Bel Air, '61 Corvair, and several others including a '67 Camaro and a '94 Camaro. No complaints. SBC's are great little packages. That said, if I had a Chevy today, it would have a really cool 348, 409 or built up 6. Anything prior to '55 would have nothing but a six. Because SBC's are so common and in every thing from VW's to Jaguars, I don't want one.

Oh, you do? Great have at it and enjoy. There are lots of cool Chevies you can put it in.

One of the great things about doing Fords is that there is such a wide selection of engines to opt for. I have an FE in an Edsel, a Y-Block in a '55 and a flathead in a '51 Vicky. I love each and every one and all of their peculiarities.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:46 AM   #140
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I love my old Fords, some with a chevy some with a flathead......just sit back and enjoy the style and good looks ........and keep on trucking.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:09 AM   #141
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I fell in love with the ‘Hot Rod’ passion at the early age of 13. By the time I was 15, a Model A coupe was in my backyard, and that was it. By the time I was 16, the project was well under way, and that $15.00 purchase for ’47 netted me the engine, trans gears, rear end and all of the brake components. Having that drive shaft & tube cut to the proper length was a nightmare for me…..leaving all of my money at the machine shop to get this done. Then it happened….found a 283 from a scraped ’58 station wagon and got it for $150.00. Wow, was that an experience, because I actually thought it was a 265. Immediately ordered an adapter from Honest Charley….this was 1961, and checking the mail everyday in anticipation of receiving it. The ’47 flathead was tossed under the workbench, but did not stay there long. My ’35 Tudor was in need of that motor, and in it went. We drove the living daylights out of that car. And my Hot Rod project…well, the now tri-carbed 283 ran super, but tore the hell out of the ’39 box. It did not take long for the T-10 to be installed along with a ’58 Chev rear end. Welded the Ford rear spring hangers on, kept the original ’32 spring as the Model A coupe now had a $15.00 ’32 frame. A few years went by, and oh yea, the muscle cars were beating up my 283…..so…a 327 solved that problem. I was back in action. Long story short….still have that car that I built at 15 years young…..it’s a family member and it has seen a lot of enjoyable miles. This is what most of us did back then and today, we are back to our original roots….that darn Flathead…..I have a ’32 Roadster, a ’35 3W, and a ’39 Coupe….all running flatmotors, and no other engines will take their place. Been there, done that. Love my Flatheads with the speed goodies. Robert
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:56 AM   #142
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

As a teen ager in the 60s the chevy engine was small and more powerful then the Ford flathead.There was this 37 Ford in town the fastest car around not counting the big 427 ford.The chevy engine fit well and most all problem fitting were done.
The 55 chevy engine same size as a 1995 350,so as the car needed replacement engine they fit did,nt have to think.They do fit better and get good power for the effert.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:16 AM   #143
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

I have nothing against an SBC, but when I see one under the hood of a Ford it just takes away the feeling of nostalgia. It has just become too "bellybutton".

If it's a Buick Nailhead, old Cadillac, or vintage Hemi, then it's cool because it combines performance and rarity.

Still prefer a clean Flattie overall.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:13 AM   #144
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Both been good to me.

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Old 03-26-2013, 08:51 PM   #145
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

this is a Ford site, but SBC's are cheaper to build
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:45 AM   #146
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

If cheap is your main criterion, get you a used Kia and cruise the boulevards. If you want a little more than that in your hobby...fill in the blank.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:46 AM   #147
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

In the early 1960s chevy engine cost more then i could afford.Flatheads were $50.
Kids going to high school did,nt have much money,and the well of drove dads cadilack. It all in the years you were playing with cars.
The best years I think were the years 1959-1964 then maybe a stsrtup again in the late 80s.The only thing I can say is build it the way you want,cut out this peroid correct crap.There is more money spent on air bags today.
Lost in the 1960s
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:52 AM   #148
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

At the risk of making some mad, Why are we giving so much attention to SBC's? This is a flathead site, let's talk about flatheads! If you want SBC, go to the HAMB for that. If myou want to power your car that way, do it. It's your car. I don't like seeing that done, but to each his own.............
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:26 PM   #149
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

stiring the pot, bought 2 barn finds a few years ago,34 cabriolet and a 34 roadster,worked on the cabrio. today, put 302 w/83 4sp od. trans 9'' rear, about ready for paint.. got the roadster back couple weeks ago ,body work done, will have a 55 331cu in cadillac eng, ford hd t85 od colum shift trans, 57 9'' rear, my dream car sence 50's, cbrio is wifes, rdst mine.. also having my 40 coupe worked on that i started in 1979, HO 5.0 eng, aod trans, 9'' rear. HEY i love flatheads, have rdst pu w/53 merc eng 26t linc trans w4.44 grs in columbia od. got my 27 T cpe back befor the rdst, chopped 5'',will have 36 21std eng, linc gearbox, columbia od 4.11 grs. 2 model A's, built,balanced eng, v-8 clutch and borg warner od on both...NO SBC, all FORD,
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:42 PM   #150
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

It is all about what blows your skirt up.....don't count on rat rods going away any time soon. Rap music either.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:58 PM   #151
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

There is something else that comes to mind. The discussion here is all about the motors. Does anyone complain about putting a GM column in an old Ford or maybe disc brakes with GM parts? Haven't heard anything on that. Keep the hobby sane and just have fun how you like.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:08 PM   #152
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger/Sacramento View Post
It is all about what blows your skirt up.....don't count on rat rods going away any time soon. Rap music either.
Yeah, um, they said the same thing about Disco and rollerskates.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:18 PM   #153
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Flatheads aren't gonna be overruled or silenced by progress. It's like on oil burners where I'm a member the 7.3 IDI diesel will be running after the 6.7 and all others are dead. just sayin
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:09 PM   #154
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

They both are significant in the history of the automobile.
Both are outstanding in their own right, yet, very different from each other.
I don't see a debate as much as identifying each of their contributions/strengths.
Where would our hobby/passion be without either of them?
If I need yet more information on the SBC, I'll look for it on a Chevrolet site.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:08 AM   #155
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

This IS the Ford Barn and this is the Early V8 (1932-53) forum
There is a fourm for Hot Rods - Other engines (Non-Ford) can be discussed there
That way those of us that want to talk about Flatehead Fords won't get our noses bent out of joint.
Of course trollers and bad boys will always be here cause their outlaws
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:58 AM   #156
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Never seen a Flathead in a ss camaro.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:56 PM   #157
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

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Never seen a Flathead in a ss camaro.
================================================== ==========


Then you should look at post #132 in this thread.







.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:05 PM   #158
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanny View Post
================================================== ==========


Then you should look at post #132 in this thread.







.
I did look I was just sayin never seen it done that way.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:03 PM   #159
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Ron View Post
Small block chebbys were designed for the poor stupid people that can't afford, or are not smart enough to build a Flathead
While I respect everyones opinon on this, I don't think I'm stupid, and I think I can build a flathead if I really wanted to, but I don't. I put a sbc in my 40 Coupe so I could drive the sharpest looking car ford ever made on the freeways and across county at 70 mph all day long. Not many flatheads can do that. And yes they are cheaper than ford parts and I didn't have to cut my firewall.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:09 PM   #160
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

That's it-I am putting a flathead in my Chevelle project.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:24 PM   #161
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Wow
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:35 PM   #162
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

IN 1950 I put a 59a in my hudson six just because, didnt run better but sounded good smile , ernie
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:46 PM   #163
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Wow, how some people are so ‘touchy’ when mentioning anything other that a Ford flathead. I have a great passion for them, working on them and love the discussions here on the barn. BUT, since I am never a ‘politically correct’ person, dare I mention that besides my 5 ‘Old Fords’ and two ’51 Mercs, I also love my ’49 Cadillac fastback, my ’47. ’49 & ’50 Buick fastbacks with straight 8’s, how about my wife’s ’54 Lincoln, not to mention my ’55 Lincoln ( nope, not flatheads )…… I love them all…I’m a car nut and fortunate to have so many different cars…..my tow car is a Dodge Magnum Hemi, my wife’s daily driver is a Cadillac, my new toy is a Camaro, my truck is a F350 dually, V10 ( hate diesels )……cheeeese, I’ll be banned from the Barn. The reason we give our personal opinions is part of the process of sharing what we love, our ‘Ole Fords’ in a way that is manageable for each individual. Great Post…..Robert
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:37 PM   #164
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Robert Dip-I will help you by taking that Cadillac fastback off your hands and a few of those other non-flatheads as well.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:39 PM   #165
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

'37 P-U......I hope my wife does not see your request.....she's been giving me the evil eye for quite a while.....too many cars, and in the last few years, it's only the flatmotor Fords that has had my attention.....gone full circle and back to what was then.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:28 PM   #166
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

its simple guys. i built an early 50s 32 and used a flathead, great, but a flathead just didnt seem to go with my mag wheeled big slicks and flame 32 60s hot rod. so i used a sbc. gee how old must a sbc be to become the nostalgic thing to do? the flathead was built for nearly 20 years. how long did the 265-350 last? this sbc engine is nostalgic to those cars of the 50s culture. build what you like from the culture you like.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:21 PM   #167
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

In June 1954 Hot Rod Magazine staffers watched my street legal, full fendered flathead powered coupe run 104 MPH at the Orange, MA drags. They said that if the California hot rodders had flatties as fast as mine, they would never have changed over to the OHV Chryslers and Olds V8's.

Almost 60 years later I'm building a 32 highboy roadster to street drive and occasionally race in SCCA hill climbs. I don't ask any favors from the modern race cars with their turbos and ground effects; so the deuce will employ a tunable suspension and a 700 HP SBC -- with a hidden nitrous shot of 250 or so.This will make it competitive with a certain turbocharged Lola Indy car. Can you imagine the uproar when spectators see an 81 yr old hot rod challenge an exotic racer that lapped the brickyard at over 220 MPH?

Flatheads: been there, done that. I love them too, but don't bring a knife to a gun fight.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:03 AM   #168
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Stay away from the fights; you'll enjoy life more!
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:26 AM   #169
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

just saw a 67 Camaro with a Flathead... did not look "right"! I think in a traditional Ford belongs a traditional Ford engine...but that's just my opinion and I respect everybody's (ok, nearly everybody's) taste.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:45 AM   #170
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Thank you
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:10 AM   #171
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Talk here is of flathead powered, stock bodied, and stock suspended old Ford vehicles - period. If you discuss/talk about anything non-stock, expect to get flamed!
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:58 PM   #172
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Default Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

Just to fan the fire a little more. These fokes are thinking way outside the box
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:16 PM   #173
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Talking Re: Ford Flathead vs small block chevy debate!

It's possible to appreciate the engineering without liking the finished product ..

All the common reasons have been stated. My Dad started me turning wrenches when I was eight and said several times
"If the Flathead had more that three mains, Ford would still be making them"
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