Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Early V8 (1932-53)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-16-2019, 09:09 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Warsaw, MO
Posts: 14
Default new member needs advice

Recently I purchased a '49 sedan to replace the '49 coupe my father traded off for some livestock and a bicycle (a girls bike to boot) 58 years ago. His thinking was that a 13 year old had no business with a hotrod. The car is an older restoration that is now a nice driver. I have a few engine mods that I am going to do over the winter and would like to draw on the experience of forum members.

1. Holley 390cfm on an Offenhauser manifold. At the same time am going to replace the generator with a 6V positive ground alternator. Pretty straight forward but suggestions are welcome.

2. Mallory ZC275AX dual point distributor. What advance curve? What coil? Will I need a ballast resistor? Have a local mechanic that can do the recurve work as long as I don't call him a technition.

3.Offenhauser heads. This is where I really need help. Can I use the original bolts with hard washers? Sealant for bolt threads? What head gaskets? Torque?

Thanks in advance for your input, Dave.
chiefdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2019, 09:30 PM   #2
Senior Member
JSeery's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Wichita KS
Posts: 13,190
Default Re: new member needs advice

The Holley carb is fine. The Mallory dual point needs a different curve than most of them come with (which is a Chevy OHV curve). A flathead head doesn't require much advance and wants it all in early. Something like 4 deg initial and 22 to 24 total, all in by around 2000 to 2200 rpm. Yes you can use the original head bolts. At lot of the torque spec's are more than a flathead needs, something like 45 ft-lbs is better with alum heads. Three hot/cool cycles and retorque after each cool down. Any of the headgaskets will work fine but many prefer the composite (non-copper). Not all of the head bolts require sealant, just the ones into the water jackets.

A couple of good reference books are Ol' Ron and JWLs books, both are here on the Barn. Added a couple of other I like as well.

And welcome to the Barn!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Hollerancover1.jpg (62.4 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Book%20Cover1.jpg (63.5 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 61TbISwaaVL__SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg (72.2 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 240x4009780760343999.jpg (124.4 KB, 6 views)
JSeery is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 10-16-2019, 09:35 PM   #3
Senior Member
tubman's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Minnesota, Florida Keys
Posts: 5,098
Default Re: new member needs advice

I had a 390 Holley on a 276" 8BA in my '36 3-window 20 years ago; it was a trouble-free setup, but not the best looking on a flathead. I like the old Mallory' dual points. I have tried both the Mallory and a converted GM unit with vacuum and centrifugal advance on my cars. I prefer the Mallory, mainly because of looks (again), but I couldn't detect any difference in performance; perhaps I didn't spend enough time setting up the proper curve on the converted GM, but the Mallory runs perfectly fine as far as I am concerned.

Now we get to cylinder heads. In the above-mentioned '36, I just bolted on a set of new Offenhauser finned aluminum heads. I was never really satisfied with the performance of that engine. When I started paying attention to these forums, I learned about how important combustion chamber dynamics are to a flathead. Specifically, you want minimal clearance (squish) between the top of the piston and the head. Ideal is between .045-.050". Since learning about this, I measure the head/piston clearance with aluminum foil balls, and if the existing clearance is too large, I have the heads milled to bring it down to the proper clearance. I then do some work on the heads with a die grinder to make sure the clearance is consistent over the entire surface. I have found this results in a much better running engine, than just throwing a set of aftermarket heads on it. Stock heads with the proper clearances are better than a set of fancy finned aluminum heads that are just thrown on the engine. I personally like Edmunds heads, as the spark plugs are relocated just enough so they they are not directly over the exhaust valves. This allows me to run extended tip plugs that also add to the efficiency of the engine.

I have a 255" '51 Merc in my current '51 club coupe with the aforementioned mods (and a 2G carb rather that a Holley 4 bbl) that would have run rings around the 276" engine in the old '36.

I also use the original head bolts with hardened washers I get from "GOSFAST" on here and torque the heads as many time as required (cold) to get to a consistent 45 ft/lbs. No leaks so far. I also have a technique I use to make sure the heads move around as little as possible after they have been installed on the block. I can find the the thread if you would like to see it. I also use composite gaskets, as copper gaskets can cause electrolytic corrosion when used with aluminum heads (plus, they are usually more expensive).

Last edited by tubman; 10-16-2019 at 10:57 PM.
tubman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2019, 09:42 PM   #4
Senior Member
deuce_roadster's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Shelton, WA
Posts: 2,317
Default Re: new member needs advice

I have a 6v + ground alternator on my 40 coupe. I took an old voltage regulator, gutted the inside and used it as a terminal, leave the BAT wire hooked to the Vreg, run the output wire from the alternator to this same BAT terminal and all is good. I would think it would work exactly the same on later cars that use a voltage regulator. You can eliminate the ARM and FLD wires if you are never going back to a generator. You can leave them hooked to the junk Vreg and hide the ends of the wires and tape them up at the generator end in case you ever want to use a generator again.
deuce_roadster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2019, 09:07 AM   #5
big job
Senior Member
big job's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Dighton, Mass
Posts: 784
Default Re: new member needs advice

I basically did what deuce did only I used the Armature original generator wire, then
on the regulator took 'that Arm wire" to the Batt regulator terminal the renders the regulator dead just a terminal board left wires there 'no need for tape they all are dead'.
Don't know what alternator you are after, but I bought a powermaster. OK start her up 'I have also a S.Warner beside the original amp meter both read a little past -0- turn lights
on discharge. So I now read instructions however I have decades of generators and alternators under my belt. It says run a ground wire to good engine ground but my mind
said "alternator is grounded - its clamped to the intake". Break out the ohm meter, and
I'll be; that alternator ground terminal is "isolated from the housing". So I ran a short
10 ga. wire from alt. gr. to the carb. nut. start bang 60 amps then trickled down to almost zero - turn lights heater and both amp meters kicks up. When powermaster says
ground it you must ground it. Although I built 100's of Holley's- This I think is your decision. I run just the plain Jane Holley 97 single. It has way more snap than my FEI
460 2 mpg pick up. I have no offey or cheater heads all original: stats: we bored it .030
only thing I sent out thankfully down the street was to themo clean block and polish a
standard crank with new nos Ford bearings and Egg pistons. So all done put a few miles
on it and make a beer run. After a while a senior brain flash Me and son have a go at it.
The 239 3.9 is now a 4.1 v/s a 460 AOD trans. Old trick use the mean second gear I blew that 460 off within a 1/2 phone pole. Yes the truck has been to the Ford dealer
where I bought it, again nothing wrong with it still gets 2mpg downhill. I go to the same
places, same miles, 460 about $400 and this car $15 a month fuel bill. And going back
to the race I shifted into 3rd at 65mph all in a 40 mph zone, with no pickup truck in sight and thats a 52 year old difference between the two. So Chief you can dump all kinds of money but these engines ran fine right out of the box and the biggie is where
will you use it, not here, and here they stop for green lights, go on red lights, back out
of driveways in front of you? I daily trip to Napa only 1.8 miles that takes an hour..Guess
nobody works any more. Around here I don't know, 10,000 women drivers released all day parading around going nowhere starting 5;30 Am. With all said I do not need horse power in fact my 1923 Ford is at home mixing in with these; no comment drivers. sorry again for a long ranting post. The weather here is terrible, thank heaven for Nyquill .
So in closing my V8 is so dependable I now take wife to work cause her 2017 Focus is
dead, funny how this new junk goes dead when the warranty expires > so thats gone. So thats my ranting story. sam

by the way Ford dealer wants a grand to open the hood, and my son has all those plug in big buck code readers nothing wrong, trade it, for another 2019 Focus.
"women and all cats" have the same brain however I can educate my cat: her nope.
big job is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2019, 09:11 AM   #6
Senior Member
19Fordy's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Coral Springs FL
Posts: 7,203
Default Re: new member needs advice

chiefdave: On the OFFY 4 bbl. intake the generator mount is offset 7/8 in. towards the drivers side. This will not permit vertical alignment of your fan pulley with the crank pulley. Here's some SEARCH info.

Last edited by 19Fordy; 10-17-2019 at 09:21 AM.
19Fordy is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:25 AM.