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Old 03-05-2021, 03:04 PM   #1
Ol' Ron
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Default I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

I noticed quite a few people are starting to put together the components for a new engine. I'd like to know why you choose the crank assy, cam, intake, Ignition. etc,. And what the application of the engine is? We may be able to help in the decision making.
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Old 03-05-2021, 03:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

.

Ron, up here in the frozen north we are having trouble getting
Complete Flathead engine gasket sets
as it seems they have discovered that they can triple their profits by
only selling you partial/kits for waterpump or for oil pan or for intake or heads etc,

No complete sets anymore?

Is this the same in the USA? Can you still get complete engine gasket sets?

moe of the north


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Old 03-05-2021, 03:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

Quote:
Originally Posted by moefuzz View Post
.

Ron, up here in the frozen north we are having trouble getting
Complete Flathead engine gasket sets
as it seems they have discovered that they can triple their profits by
only selling you partial/kits for waterpump or for oil pan or for intake or heads etc,

No complete sets anymore?

Is this the same in the USA? Can you still get complete engine gasket sets?

moe of the north


.
How far up north are you moe? I know most guys recommend best gaskets but In the BC interior I can still get a Felpro complete gasket set from Lordco. Not sitting on the shelf but they'll bring it in.
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:45 PM   #4
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

A bunch of these components
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Old 03-05-2021, 09:48 PM   #5
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

I'll give you a short list
1 Bore & Stroke. Why?
2 Cam & lifters. Why?
3 Port & Relieve. Why?

There's more, but start here.
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

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I'll start. I'm an 8BA guy, so my choices will be what I like for that series of engine.

1. Bore and stroke. I prefer a 3 5/16" bore as the pistons are about the same price as the smaller pistons, give a measurable increase in displacement while still leaving room for several more rebuilds. I have built 2 3 5/16" bore so far and both worked out well. Because of this, I might like to try a 3 3/8" bore sometime, given piston availability and cost. I would like to avoid the expanse and complication of after market stroker kits and prefer Ford cranks and rods. I would prefer a Mercury crank if I could find one at a reasonable price, but will use a Ford if that's all I had. These combinations give displacements from 258 ci through 284 ci which I think are decent sizes.

2. Cam and lifters - Stock lifters and a Mercury or EAB cam for a heavier car. I used a MAX-1 on my last engine for a lighter car because I had it. The next time I would like to try something more aggressive as I find the MAX-1 kinda "mild". Again, I would use stock lifters and grind the stems to avoid the problems some have been having with the current adjustables.

3. Port and relieve - Nope; I don't think the return on the amount of work required makes this desirable. The same thing with oversize valves. Again, I am concerned only with mild, reliable street engines. (If I want to go racing, I have my hemi.)
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

Add an Edelbrock 500 CFM carb and a GM distributor. and you have a pretty nice engine. Yes the Port and relief offer little or no improvement below 4k RPM. And relieving lowers compression.
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Old 03-06-2021, 02:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

I prefer 8 BA motors, they can be reasonably dressed back to '39 - '48..if needed

4" Merc crank...seat of the pants more grunt
EAB heads fitted to the bore location and piston crowns...fit heads to block with zero
clearance, within reason, with no gasket. Premium head gasket crushed is .040, that's
my safety zone. 8 to 10 hours per head but worth it.
Max -1 cam....easy to live with and good pull 1500 to 4500
Next motor....286....moving UP to a Tony Price L-100 cam, think this my limit

Chevy converted distributor....ignition for dummy's....it's almost too easy
Best gaskets
European adjustable lifters....thanks VanPelt's
stainless valves
Third Gen valve springs
Vintage FENTON 4 brl intake and '52 -'53 Olds/Cad Rochester carb..inlet on the back
My '32 and '41 p'up run this motor and I've built a few others...Moriarty short blocks
87 oct corn gas
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

Alot of info here, but how do you select a cam??
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

Now that you mention carbs and ignition, I like a small base Rochester 2G on a matched Merc manifold on a car with a hood. If I ever had a larger engine, I might try a 4 BBL (I had a 276" Merc in a '36 coupe 25 years ago that had a 390 Holley that ran well). These days though, I'd use a WCFB or a small base 4G for "the look". For a car without a hood, I am using a "Super" type of manifold (wide-spaced carbs) and two Stromberg 97's.

As far as "looks" go, I don't think anything says "old flathead" more than a vintage "flattop" Mallory, and they run well, too. I also like Fenton cast iron headers for their sound and longevity. "The looks" are OK as well. However, for the "Hot Rod" I am building, I'm going with a set of "Lakes Headers" with caps and undercar exhaust, again, for "the look".
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:46 AM   #11
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

I've done 4 FH motors 2 NOS 59L blocks and 2 8BA's. I've followed a pattern for all 4. 3 5/16th bore with Ross pistons, 4 inch Merc cranks, Max 1 cams with Johnson's. Everything balanced. Offenhauser heads and 3 had Offenhauser super dual intakes with 94's and one 8BA had a Roadrunner blower with the bigger truck carbs. The 59 L's came with a mild factory relief and I did nothing to the 8BA's. All of them had my 409 water pump kits and machined timing covers with Bubba converted Chevy distributors. They were backed up by my S10 T5 conversion kits. I just sold my last French block and Merc crank as I decided the expense was more than I wanted to spend at this stage in life

Last edited by Krylon32; 03-06-2021 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:55 AM   #12
Tim Ayers
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

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Now that you mention carbs and ignition, I like a small base Rochester 2G on a matched Merc manifold on a car with a hood. If I ever had a larger engine, I might try a 4 BBL (I had a 276" Merc in a '36 coupe 25 years ago that had a 390 Holley that ran well). These days though, I'd use a WCFB or a small base 4G for "the look". For a car without a hood, I am using a "Super" type of manifold (wide-spaced carbs) and two Stromberg 97's.

As far as "looks" go, I don't think anything says "old flathead" more than a vintage "flattop" Mallory, and they run well, too. I also like Fenton cast iron headers for their sound and longevity. "The looks" are OK as well. However, for the "Hot Rod" I am building, I'm going with a set of "Lakes Headers" with caps and undercar exhaust, again, for "the look".
I think we need to define what "old flathead" means. A Mallory flattop does look cool and old, but you can't deny it gives a motor a '50's vibe since this is when they were offered.

If a builder is trying to stick to a certain time period, you do need to be mindful of things like this. If one is trying to build a car with a '40's era vibe, using a flat top Mallory or an 8BA motor with 8BA style heads, does throw things off a bit.

In the end, the builder needs to decide if all of these little details matter. To some, they scour swap meets to find just the right part to make sure that it does. Others, it does not matter a lick.

To answer Ron's question, when it came to pistons, I chose Ross with Total Seal rings.
Reason: It took 4 blocks to find a good one. It is a 59L and was already out to 3 3/8ths. Was hoping to would go to +.010 over, but it took +.030" to get them there.

Sonic testing revealed walls were still plenty thick. The decision to go with Total Seal rings was in an effort to reduce drag as much as possible in order to prolong the bore life for as long as possible.

Time will tell if this was a wise choice.

Last edited by Tim Ayers; 03-06-2021 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 03-06-2021, 12:20 PM   #13
Brendan
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

a stock one is good enough for me, i don't need to go fast, i just want to get there and back
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Old 03-06-2021, 03:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

I'm about to assemble my first FH. It was assembled at a rebuild shop in the 60s , but never fired. It's a 59 block ,factory relieved, and .080 over bored. Johnson lifters and 3/4 cam. It has 4 ring cast pistons and chrome rings. All parts came in the engine,so not my choice. I am wondering about the chrome rings; I found a set of nos cast rings .080 and bought them. Which ones should I use? thanks. Joel
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

Mine is a Merc 8BA in my 39 built to look like the early engine, 81A heads with repo Thickstun head covers. Engine is 3 5/16 x4 . Was built over 25 years ago and still going strong, over 60,000 miles. Has a Winfield SU1-A cam, very much like the L-100. Sounds great and runs as good as it sounds. No porting or relieving. Running a 390 cfm Holley and Mallory electronic distributor. Thinking of converting to a Charlie SBC distributor to get the vacuum advance. It's a driver. Got a 4 1/8, 4 1/4 and a 4 1/2 stroke for future builds. Problem is I keep building engines for everyone else.
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

Yes, we must consider "Aesthetics" This is very important to people that want the make a vintage rod. However, what we put inside is more important for longevity.
The only reason the factory reliever the 45/46 blocks was, "To lower the compression ratio" Bad gas produced during the war caused detonations in trucks and industrial engines. In 1948 the 8RT replaced these engines with a factory "Low Compression cylinder head" Relieving the block is not only a waste of time and money. It also reduces the CR
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:01 PM   #17
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

"Tim Ayers" - Since I've already said "I'm an 8BA guy", I guess I'm "stuck in the fifties". The Forties are a little too "antediluvian" for me.
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:05 PM   #18
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

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"Tim Ayers" - Since I've already said "I'm an 8BA guy", I guess I'm "stuck in the fifties". The Forties are a little too "antediluvian" for me.
Tubman,

Sure, I hope you didn't think I was calling you out, I was just making a point that old time flathead can mean different things to different people.

There is a crew that I know who are so old timey, they look to use 30's era speed parts. That club is too rich for my blood for those intakes sell in the thousands of dollars and the Winfield carbs are in the high hundreds of dollars. Sure looks cool.

My wheel house is just pre-WWII. Edlebrock Slingshots, Wieand hi rise, early Eddie Meyer stuff.
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:25 PM   #19
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

Tim please don’t forget Sharp
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:05 PM   #20
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Default Re: I'd like to start a new thread on the components we choose for an engine build

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Tim please donít forget Sharp
Tony,

When did Sharp cast his first intakes? I've always read it was post WW-2. Do you know when the block letter ones were made?
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