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Old 12-27-2020, 11:07 AM   #1
tedbill
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Default head Recommendation

I'm having my '34 Phaeton restored. Original motor is gone, has a flathead that has been dated to 1946. The cast iron heads have cracks and need to be replaced.

I live in southern Florida, so my climate is warm to hot. I'm not trying to make a hotrod, just a good driver. Will probably put the car in parades, so overheating is more of a concern than power.

I have heard that the modern / finned heads add compression and will make the motor run hot. Any truth to that?

Does anyone have a recommendation for which brand / style of heads will help keep the engine cool during slow start and stop driving?

Any recommendations or insights are appreciated!
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Old 12-27-2020, 11:16 AM   #2
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: head Recommendation

Most stock head will work just fine, However, the condition of the cooling is the key to cooling. The radiator and the block should be flushed with a cleaner. Some people here on the barn can recommend products and methods for doing this.
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Old 12-27-2020, 12:14 PM   #3
alanwoodieman
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Default Re: head Recommendation

start off by cleaning cooling system, mild acids such as vinegar work great, flush out with water/baking soda after doing this. put in a pair of skips pumps, follow his advice on fluids, make sure the fan is at least 1/2" from radiator core, and the biggest this is a very good clean and clear flowing radiator. as far as heads run a set of 59a heads if you have a 59 engine, sandblast the insides and check for warping--very few are
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Old 12-27-2020, 12:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: head Recommendation

Has anyone ever done a comparison of the heating/cooling diferences between stock and after market finned aluminum heads? The statement that "finned heads add compression and will make the motor run hot" seems counter-intuitive to me.
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Old 12-27-2020, 12:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: head Recommendation

My 8BA ran the same temp, 180, in Offy heads with the same stats that were in the cast heads.
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Old 12-27-2020, 01:03 PM   #6
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My 8BA ran the same temp, 180, in Offy heads with the same stats that were in the cast heads.
That just means the thermostats were working correctly.
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Old 12-27-2020, 01:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: head Recommendation

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Originally Posted by tubman View Post
Has anyone ever done a comparison of the heating/cooling diferences between stock and after market finned aluminum heads? The statement that "finned heads add compression and will make the motor run hot" seems counter-intuitive to me.

I agree. I also still say that most flathead overheating problems can be cured with a properly functioning clean radiator.



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Old 12-27-2020, 02:57 PM   #8
mfirth
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That just means the thermostats were working correctly.
Probably true Denny....but it never ran hot even last summer in the heat. Heads shouldn't matter unless they are flawed, should they ?
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Old 12-27-2020, 03:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: head Recommendation

Pretty sure heads will not make any difference.
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Old 12-27-2020, 11:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: head Recommendation

I would expect the finned aluminum heads to transfer more heat than cast iron, but not sure it would be significant.
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Old 12-28-2020, 09:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: head Recommendation

New radiator fixed all my problems. Had original radiator in it before. Previousl owner had installed new pumps and thermostats. Puked water out the overflow when stopped. All fixed now
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Old 12-28-2020, 05:14 PM   #12
tedbill
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Default Re: head Recommendation

Thanks for all the great replies!

New radiator is part of the rebuild as are new pumps and thermostats. So that should cover off on the items mentioned.

Since I haven't heard anything really specific, I will assume if I replace with either Cast Iron or aftermarket aluminum finned heads that it won't improve or hurt engine temperature management issues.
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Old 12-28-2020, 05:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: head Recommendation

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Originally Posted by tedbill View Post
I'm having my '34 Phaeton restored... Will probably put the car in parades, so overheating is more of a concern than power.

Any recommendations or insights are appreciated!
Hi Everyone. tedbill, it's good you are thinking about this now!

Have you done a parade before? I'm just asking because they can be stressful on cooling (and clutch). You're not driving fast enough to get any significant air thru radiator for the length of the parade, and while waiting for your part of it to begin.

One thing original cars had that helped cooling and is often missing are the pans that go between the engine and the ground. They help direct flow thru the radiator but get in the way for things like steering, headlight switch, and distributor maintenance. So a lot of them were pitched.

It may take some imaginative thinking like making a radiator shroud or an accessory electric fan to make a good parade car.
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Old 12-28-2020, 06:20 PM   #14
tedbill
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Default Re: head Recommendation

Thanks for the reply VeryTangled. Over the years Iíve done my fair share of parades. They are hard on our cars!

My experience with electric fans are that while they improve the heat exchange in the radiator they are also pushing more hot air into a stagnant engine compartment which heats up other components. Should I be concerned about vapor lock if I use an electric fan?
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Old 12-28-2020, 06:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: head Recommendation

Whether electric or engine driven, the hot air goes in to the engine compartment. No difference. As VeryTangled has said, anything you can do pull the air through the radiator will help. I put a shroud on mine. Really helped low speed cooling.
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Old 12-28-2020, 08:33 PM   #16
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Default Re: head Recommendation

Hi; I've parted out three fire trucks- they all had fan shrouds- continuous running under load while pumping. Must have worked fine. Newc
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Old 12-28-2020, 08:37 PM   #17
19Fordy
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Default Re: head Recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by tubman View Post
Has anyone ever done a comparison of the heating/cooling diferences between stock and after market finned aluminum heads? The statement that "finned heads add compression and will make the motor run hot" seems counter-intuitive to me.
I think I read that polished aluminum heads are less effective in radiating engine heat than stock cast iron heads. Here's an old thread.
https://fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69580

Last edited by 19Fordy; 12-28-2020 at 08:42 PM.
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