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Old 02-07-2020, 09:35 AM   #1
Jay in Mass
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Default Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

I'm just wondering if someone has some pictures of flatheads where the bellhousing area broke off while they were bolted to an engine stand. Some say that it is OK to do it to the 49 - 53 engines.
Just need to show someone the pics because they think that it is an old wives tale. (I don't) In the past somewhere, I've seen pics of finished engines that crashed to the ground and the nice new heads and intakes got destroyed.
FWIW, I use the one that bolts to the exhaust manifold bolts.
Thank You
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

The 8ba engines are fine, it is the earlier engines you need to be concerned about. The metal in the half-bell area is very thin and the extra distance of the center of gravity from the mounting surface increases the load in that area. I currently have a block that had the half-bell broken, but it was repairable. I have some photos that others have posted.

A lot of people will claim they have mounted them from the bellhousing for years and never had a problem. I'm sure that is true, but all you have to do is take a look at that area to see how fragile it is. Every casting is a little different, you might get lucky (in fact lucky on most blocks) but then when it fails it is often not fixable! Keep in mind, Ford authorized repair used the exhaust bolts to mount the engines.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:45 AM   #3
19Fordy
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

It's just as important to make sure you use an engine stand that has 4 BIG casters touching the ground.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:04 AM   #4
larrys40
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

I know there’s lots that have done it but it’s a risk . I have a Krw stand ( I realize they are expensive and hard to come by but I’m highlighting the mounting method) that has the mount for v8’s from the exhaust port and that is how I would mount them. Make a manifold plate and modify to your modern stand . There’s too much money involved in rebuilding them to take a chance on failure at the rear of the engine flange . Any fix would be weak at best .
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

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Originally Posted by 19Fordy View Post
It's just as important to make sure you use an engine stand that has 4 BIG casters touching the ground.
I wouldn't say "Just as important ". All my engine stands have 3 castors, and I have several. I have rebuilt Olds 455s, Ford 460s, BBCs, SBCs and many other engines much heavier than a flathead. Hell I even did a 5.9 Cummins diesel on a 3 wheel stand. I have never had one tip. You just have to be a little careful with them and use common sense. The 4 wheelers take up too much room in my shop.
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

Good points Phillip but. I liken a 3 point engine stand to a 3 point jack stand. All it takes is one little piece of stone, etc. on the floor.
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Old 02-07-2020, 03:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

Hi; I have a 59AB that broke and was welded back together.. It was CHEEP! Seems to be ok now, but it did break and fall on previous owner. Hard to see, but there is a bolted plate across the weld- shiny nickle rod weld. newc
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:07 PM   #8
Jay in Mass
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

Thanks to everyone that replied. It is risky business, and not worth taking any chances.
It would ruin my day if I ever had one get damaged like that.

JSeery I sent you a PM
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

The very first Hot Rod magazine I read in 1959 had an article on repairing a broken bellhousing on a 59A block for this very reason!
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

Not that it's pertinent but , in 1973 I had my present 8BA block roll off a 4 wheel tool cart while going down a ramp ,breaking off a corner near the bottom of bell housing flange. Welded it back together with nickel rod. Still holding. Imagine if it had been on a 3 legged engine stand!
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

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Originally Posted by 40 Deluxe View Post
The very first Hot Rod magazine I read in 1959 had an article on repairing a broken bellhousing on a 59A block for this very reason!
I am pretty sure the repair done in that article was on a race engine that had a clutch explosion. Cooks Machine did those repairs on engines that had extensive port work done, so it was worth the expense of the repair. I have a stroker engine that has a bellhousing repair done, just like in the article. The engine does have a lot of port work done and they did very nice work on the block repair.

Now back to engine stand etiquette.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

Hi Neal, I remember that article too, and that they stated (as you say) it was a clutch explosion. What impressed me is that they had a lathe big enough to swing the whole engine block!

Mart.
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 19Fordy View Post
Good points Phillip but. I liken a 3 point engine stand to a 3 point jack stand. All it takes is one little piece of stone, etc. on the floor.
After over 50 years of engine building, I have never had a problem with a 3 wheel engine stand tipping over, etc.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:22 PM   #14
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

With the 5 or 6 engines I worked on with a 3 wheel stand, I never had any problems
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:42 PM   #15
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

I don't like the 4 wheel stands to build an engine on; the "front axle?" gets in the way and I trip over it occasionally. There is a picture of a stand earlier in this thread where it looks like you couldn't get near enough to the engine to work on it comfortably. I use these three wheel stands to build and store engines. If I have an engine I want to move around for some purposes, I have a 4 wheel "cart" that I use. There is no facility to rotate the engine on this stand, and the engines are carried quite a bit lower to the ground than on a "regular" stand. Two different types of stands for two different purposes.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:04 PM   #16
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

It's not that hard to get a exhaust manifold stand conversion for a flathead. Once you have it forever. Engine flips just as easily to work on. works for all flatheads.


Do what works for you. If you do more then one flathead it isn't a bad investment.


Whatever you have, stable is easy to know.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NealinCA View Post
I am pretty sure the repair done in that article was on a race engine that had a clutch explosion. Cooks Machine did those repairs on engines that had extensive port work done, so it was worth the expense of the repair. I have a stroker engine that has a bellhousing repair done, just like in the article. The engine does have a lot of port work done and they did very nice work on the block repair.

Now back to engine stand etiquette.
Thanks, Neal! I was going from memory, but since have thought more about the article and it's starting to come back to me. You are right, I do believe!
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Old 02-08-2020, 03:07 AM   #18
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

Just an ole wive's tale.

If they broke off at the bellhousing because of a stand, there would be pics of them broken and on the ground beside the stand.
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Old 02-08-2020, 03:38 AM   #19
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

There are pics of them broken off and on the floor beside the stand. It happened to a friend of mine here in the UK. It's the one in the pics shown with the black block and the wheel of the racing special beside it.

He had a lot invested in that motor, so he repaired it.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:19 AM   #20
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Default Re: Flatheads breaking off engine stands and falling.

Orinally was gonna use a 59a & found this on an older thread. There’s an indexing engine stand for pre ‘49’s that mounts to exhaust manifold holes. https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/attac...4&d=1398205062
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