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Old 04-30-2018, 11:05 PM   #1
37stake
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Arrow Time to rebuild flathead

I've got a 1937 Ford 1/2 ton stake/platform that is original mechanically with the exception of the 24 stud engine; 38-42, with '37 commercial intake and 81A 'A' heads, mechanical brakes, 6 volt, single brake/tail light, etc. The engine is tired and needs an overhaul. This is an opportunity to replace with a '37 21 stud engine, making it 100% factory like original; possibly increasing the overall re-sale value. It will never be on a trailer as long as I own it, no plans to do a complete 'show room' restoration (It's a truck and was originally used on a farm outside of Fresno, CA), driven a dozen times a year and I attend 1 annual antique truck show each year (Won best of show pre-1942 stock category last year that included a block of wood with plaque affixed and water pump shaft attached ). I like original overall, can care less about hp and bling. Start it and drive it. I'm looking for feedback with opinions; replace with with 21 stud or 24 stud? Thanks for your input.
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Last edited by 37stake; 04-30-2018 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:32 AM   #2
Talkwrench
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

mmm rebuilding a 37..? may god have mercy on your soul.. ; )


You might get lucky and someone might a have a good runner...
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Old 05-01-2018, 03:21 AM   #3
Brian
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

What does tired mean? Do you have a good replacement 21 stud to fit in? Might be easier to freshen up the 81A- valve grind, ring job, bearings? Even tired it'll no doubt run for a few more years yet. End of the day, it's your call as to what to do.
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Old 05-01-2018, 03:42 AM   #4
FortyNiner
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

I wouldn't worry about resale value and take the path you prefer. Me? I'm also partial to stock vehicles, warts and all.
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Old 05-01-2018, 04:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

Reality, resale value cannot be your priority. Build YOUR TRUCK for you. If you have a weak heart never go back and total up your receipts.
It's like spending the money for an overpriced meal. The next day it's flushed down the drain.
Enjoy the adventure, Chap
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Old 05-01-2018, 05:23 AM   #6
edhd58
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

This is just me. Do for you. If I had to do it over I would not have redone my motor but would have swapped in later 6 and 90 percent of the people out there will never know it's the wrong motor in there.

Last edited by edhd58; 05-01-2018 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 05-01-2018, 06:50 AM   #7
oldandtired
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

The 37 half-ton stake is one of my favorite pickups. Nolan Cason was a former president of the V-8 Club and he had a 37 Deluxe half-ton stake as well as a 37 Deluxe half-ton panel delivery. He is no longer with us, but years ago he invited me over to his home and it probably only took a few days for him to clean all of my drool off of his vehicles. If it was me and my project, I would find a 37 engine and rebuild the 37 engine while driving the pickup as it is until doing the engine swap. To me, what you have is a very nice example of one of the rarer models of Ford pickups and going back with a 37 engine would be my first choice.
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:23 AM   #8
flatjack9
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

If you are rebuilding, the engine is coming out anyway. I would replace with a 21 stud. Sounds like this is what you want to do anyway.
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:48 AM   #9
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

The question is ... do you want to do it right, or do you want to do it wrong?

You have the wrong engine in a beautiful truck. That's OK, but why would you repeat that?

You have the opportunity to preserve a great truck ... without ever having to make excuses because it has the wrong engine.

('37 engines are not that hard to find ... if you were closer, I'd show you how easy it can be.)
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

Sounds like you're leaning toward a 37 21 stud engine - why not just go for it. If you were chasing horsepower, then I'd go a different route . . . seems you care the most about having a beautiful and originally styled truck - if so, then a 37 engine is your solution. You might consider just a small cam upgrade and make sure you have a tight 'quench' area above the pistons - this really helps ALL these engines perform better. Good luck!
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

I know it is on the wrong coast but i just saw a 21 stud on Craigslist New Haven Ct for 200$ or best offer, O well.
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:35 AM   #12
Seth Swoboda
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

How about just rebuilding the engine you currently have?
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:10 AM   #13
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

Personally, if I had a truck like that, I'd be using it (at least once in a while) for what it was originally intended. In such a case, the less trouble and the more power it would have the better. I'd rebuild the engine in it. I wouldn't think that an engine that is not strictly original would make for much of a value hit in a truck. I could be wrong.
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:39 AM   #14
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

First let me say you have a great looking truck, as far as keeping it or changing it back to the original type engine that depends on what you want or need. I kept my car close to original with upgrades that made it safer and more enjoyable for me. Sometimes upgrades increase the value to the buyer.
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:19 PM   #15
flatjack9
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

Both engines are 221 cu in and 85 hp.
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Old 05-01-2018, 02:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

Beautiful truck ,As said both engines are 85 HP ,I would build the 37 engine because you can still use the truck until its done ,plus its closer to stock then .Ted
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:07 AM   #17
37stake
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

Thanks to all for your input.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:55 PM   #18
Flathead
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Default Re: Time to rebuild flathead

There is nothing inherently wrong with a '37 engine. Use block mounted water pumps.
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