How we rebuilt our Ford Flathead V-8 engine | Redline Rebuilds Explained – S1E3

How we rebuilt our Ford Flathead V-8 engine | Redline Rebuilds Explained – S1E3

– Hello, I’m Davin Reckow with Hagerty. I’m the automotive content specialist. – My name is Ben Woodworth. I’m one of the video production guys here at Hagerty and the one behind the camera in all these Redline
Rebuilds that you guys have been liking. – [Davin] Today we’re
going to talk about our Ford flathead video that
we did a few months ago and show you some of the finer pieces and some of the not-so-fine pieces. Anything we missed that you’ve still got questions about, shoot
them to us and we’ll do our best to answer them. Let’s get on with it, though. All right, so this is
our 1946 Swap to Street Challenge truck. The four of us put this truck together. We drove it roughly 740
miles, I think it was, back to the Traverse City office here from Hershey, Pennsylvania. Matt and I did some real
quick, we had one-week turnaround, basically,
to get the car, the truck prepped to drive to SEMA
in Las Vegas which was roughly 2500 miles, I think it was. And we made it there,
famously, with no issues, although it was starting to
be a little under-powered and we were starting to
feel some of the aches and pains of a truck built in four days. And got it back and
then when the time came, we decided we should pull the motor and go through it, so that’s
what we’re doing here, is actually pulling the motor back out. We use an engine-leveler. That’s key in this situation, especially when you’re pulling the transmission. You can see the mad angle that you’re lifting it out at. With those pullers, you can get it almost vertical coming up out of there if you absolutely have to. – [Ben] So that’s the
yellow piece with the chains attached. – [Davin] That’s correct, yep. – [Ben] So it allows
you to tilt the engine back and forth? – [Davin] Yes, yep. – [Ben] So you can pull it out without banging it into things. – [Davin] Yeah, exactly. And it leaves the heavy lifting to the equipment as opposed to the folks trying to do it.
– Oh yeah, I see it now. – [Davin] And now see, we leveled it out. – [Ben] So the transmission
is still attached. – [Davin] Yep. – [Ben] But 8BA is on the heads. – [Davin] Correct, so
that signifies that its a later model, so a ’49 to ’53. Again, so does the
distributor, so the heads, if you will, match the rest of the engine. – [Ben] Oh, now we’re
dropping in to the thick of things here. – [Davin] Yes. – [Ben] This is our engine. – [Davin] So right here,
you’ll see the water pump pulleys and then the two outlets for the water pumps. Something else that’s
unique with a Ford flathead is there’s two water pumps. Most vehicles, most engines, only have one water pump that feed
both sides of the block. The Ford flathead does
not have a crossover tube going between right and
left-hand sides of the engine so the, it needs two
independent water pumps. – [Ben] For an old crusty
engine, it’s pretty cool-looking. – [Davin] Yes. – [Ben] Eww, what’s going
on with the exhaust? – [Davin] Well, you can see
that we’re having a little bit of coolant leak
out of the head on that far left side. – [Ben] It looks like we have– – [Davin] And we have a
couple stacks of extra, this is the issue with
when you’re building a motor on, in a four-days
deal where you have limited resources. You can see the exhaust
bolt on the right-hand side there is a little
bit long, but with enough half-inch hex nuts, it
shims it up just fine. So, coil off, here’s the distributor, brand-new looking fresh
contacts on that rotor. So here we’re taking
the intake manifold off. Stock intake manifold,
two-barrel carburetor, original three-bolt Ford. – [Ben] So there are a
crapload of bolts to take off. – [Davin] This has a lot, I
think it’s 24 or 26 per head. I forget the exact number. – [Ben] Does that, is that good? Is that bad? Like, what was up with their design that– – [Davin] Well, I find
it interesting for the lack of compression that
it needs so many bolts to hold it down, but I’m
not, at the same time, that’s a huge piece of
cast iron to hold flat and I think that’s what
the bolts are doing more than anything, is just
trying to hold a warped piece of cast iron flat. – [Ben] Uh-huh. – [Davin] So, yeah. – [Ben] So immediately,
right away, again, I know enough about engines to
get me in trouble, but this doesn’t look like most engines that– – [Davin] Nope. – [Ben] I’ve seen. – [Davin] This is, the function
of a flathead by naming convention is the head does
not have any valves in it. It’s flat. All the valves are right
in the engine block. So that means the seats
are in the engine block. The valve springs,
everything is in the block not in the heads. When the intake charge
comes in, it has to make a 90-degree angle into
the, into the cylinder bore which can get ugly. – [Ben] So just, essentially, that means it is not efficient. – [Davin] It is not
efficient at all, nope. It is, for all practical,
it is an eight-cylinder lawn mower engine by today’s standards. – [Ben] All right. So moving on, getting the other head off. I mean, how is this thing
looking at this point? You guys have driven it around a bunch. We didn’t really know
what was inside it when we bought it, so it, was this all sort of like a surprise to you? – [Davin] No, this is
pretty well what I expected on the top side. The real concern I had
was what did the bearings look like in the bottom end. But, I mean, I expected it
to be as rusty and crusty, if you will, as far as
the ports were concerned, specifically in the
water jackets and really, the cylinders didn’t look too bad. The rings were tired. – [Ben] So here, off comes
the exhaust manifold. – [Davin] Nice shot of it
rotating, engine rotating. You can see there’s a
lot of carbon buildup. Evidently we didn’t get on the gas enough. – [Ben] All right, so what’s this? – [Davin] So this is the
front of the crankshaft which has your pulleys for
the water pumps and the fan. And then behind that is the balancer. – [Ben] That looks like a cool tool. – [Davin] Yep, gear puller. So there we have, one
thing that’s awesome about the Ford flathead is you
never have to worry about stretching the timing chain
because it doesn’t have one. – [Ben] Oh, because normally
you’re, what we have the crankshaft and the camshaft here. – [Davin] Yep, yeah. So the big gear is your
timing gear and then the bottom gear, the smaller
one, is your crankshaft gear. And yeah, so normally, in
most engines, you would have a timing chain or
belt in today’s world. But these did not use that. It was gear-to-gear.
– So it was direct meshed. – [Davin] Yes. – [Ben] So basically the
main thing we have to do is make sure that your
teeth are in the right spot. – [Davin] Correct. – [Ben] And from there, you’re good to go. – [Davin] Right. Yep, but I would say one
little issue that they would have is the fact
that the timing gear is a nylon-toothed deal. – [Ben] Oh, so even though
that’s all black and grimey, it’s actually plastic. – [Davin] It’s actually plastic, yes. So obviously those could deteriorate and bust off and what not. And the reason that
they’re nylon or whatever the official material is,
is it quiets things down. It’s not as loud. Otherwise it would, it would
hum like a son-of-a-gun. – [Ben] So here, what are you doing? You’ve got this big pry bar. – [Davin] All right. Yeah, I found that this
was probably the ugliest part of the whole teardown,
and installation for that matter, but it’s
pulling these springs out. There’s a, in theory,
they’re one assembly. But, given all the sludge and nastiness, there’s a retainer in
there and some keepers you’ve got to lift up
and pull out and tap out and beat them and yeah,
that part was kind of ugly. So this is our truck oil
pan that we had to search high and low for. – [Ben] What would have
been the difference? The one that was on
there when you guys got the engine, would have looked like what? – [Davin] Yeah, the
difference was, is where that rear bump-out is, it’s
back further to clear the crossmember in the truck. The car crossmember is
further forward towards the front of the engine,
which is to your right. So it had a larger sump, if
you will, on the car pan. – [Ben] Okay, so here’s the big reveal. The oil pan comes off, and we’ve got this. Holy– – [Davin] This, uh, you
know what this reminds me of is a lava flow is what I think of. You know, after everything has been burnt. – [Ben] Right. It’s like
solidified volcanic rock. – [Davin] Yes. – [Ben] That is gross. So what’s popping up here? – [Davin] So that is the oil pickup tube. This is certainly a
testament of change your oil more often than not, because
this ran the same oil for a long time. – [Ben] You can’t even
see, like any parts of the actual metal. – [Davin] Oh, yeah, yeah. I forgot that it was this dirty. – [Ben] Okay, what’s going on now? You’re pulling some parts off. I see a hammer. I see a piece of lead rod. – [Davin] We’re taking
the pistons out here, so we’re disconnecting
the caps from the rods and hammering the pistons
out of the bottom, out of the top surface or bottom
surface in this case. And of course we’re
strategically placing the long rod and tapping it
with a hammer so we’re not destroying the rod because
we’re going to reuse the rods and the pistons
we had already planned on replacing. The pistons for this are dirt cheap. I mean, they’re almost
as cheap as a small block Chevy so the intention
was never to reuse them. – [Ben] All right, so here
we’re looking at the bottom. – [Davin] Yep, here’s the
bottom, here’s one of the– – [Ben] Piston dropping out. – [Davin] Yep, here’s a piston coming out. As it rotated, we had to pull them out. I’ll say if the Ford flathead
has any weakness for power, it is the fact that it only
has three main cams in it. – [Ben] So how does that affect power? – [Davin] Well, it affects
power because you have, you only have three
journals as opposed to, say, five or four. – [Ben] So you’re saying
journals instead of five or four, it spins– – [Davin] Relative to the block. – [Ben] Okay. – [Davin] So what’s holding
the crankshaft into the block. So you have three
supports, yeah, so there’s three supports instead of four or five. – [Ben] So what’s sitting
in here right now? – [Davin] So what you
have is what they call a half shell, or a shell bearing. So they’re a multi-layer
of different alloys to basically spin on. That’s your bearing surface. – [Ben] Okay. So most people think of a bearing as– – [Davin] Having a needle
bearing or a ball bearing. – [Ben] Right, like something
actually moving inside. – [Davin] Correct. – [Ben] But these are, the
only thing that’s between these bearings and the
crankshaft itself is the oil. – [Davin] Is a real
thin layer of oil, yep. – [Ben] So, in this, I
guess another way of putting it is that the oil is
the balls or the needles in this type of bearing. – [Davin] Yes, correct. – [Ben] All right, now
it looks like you’re attacking that plastic piece. – [Davin] Yeah, with, it
has some, like a retainer clip that flips over the bolt head so they don’t back out. – [Ben] Looks like somebody’s
keeping a screwdriver– – [Davin] Yep. – [Ben] Just to keep it
from spinning on you. – [Davin] Yep, you’ve got to have some way to resist that torque. – [Ben] All right, so there it comes. – [Davin] Yep, so there’s your, so your timing gear is off, that reveals the camshaft. – [Ben] And here it comes. Now this, is this also a reusable item or is this a replace item item, maybe the wear on the– – [Davin] We could have, with some good close inspection on a
camshaft, you can reuse a camshaft. We wanted something a little better than the stock cams. – [Ben] All right, now
we’re dropping into Thirlby. I love this place. – [Davin] Yes. – [Ben] These guys are awesome. – [Davin] Yes, they are. – [Ben] So what’s going on here? What are these three huge green things? – [Davin] So they have, this
is their cleaning process. It’s, you know, your fire and brimstone, your shot peen and your wash. – [Ben] Here’s the block. – [Davin] Yep, this is the
three-step cleaning process. – [Ben] Oh yeah, wow, look at that. Already, it looks like a brand new block.
– Already better, yes. Much better. – [Ben] And he’s just
getting rid of all that bead blast stuff. – [Davin] Yeah, just a little, yeah. Little more attention
to the details there. Cleaning all the thread
ports and passages out. – [Ben] Yeah, I mean, it
looks brand new at that point. – [Davin] Mm-hmm. – [Ben] Okay, so over– – [Davin] So what this
is, is he is magnafluxing the box. So basically that’s a
magnet and he’s puffing a little iron powder at it
and the way the process works is if there’s a
crack, it will highlight the crack. I guess it’s not magnafluxing, but– – [Ben] Okay, so no cracks in the block. Good to go. – [Davin] Correct. Even though there are,
Ford flatheads are very known to crack on the top
of that cylinder surface between the two, between
the bores, specifically where the head bolts go through. – [Ben] Uh-huh. – [Davin] It will spider-crack out. It’s fairly thin in there. Mike’s going through and cleaning up that bore, or the deck surface for the heads, so it’s a nice, clean,
flat and perpendicular to the pistons. And typically you don’t end up milling the top surface where the intake manifold goes unless there’s something that’s drastic. – [Ben] How’s that, just
because there’s not– – [Davin] Well, you’ve
got a lot of sealant that’s on there. It’s not as critical. – [Ben] What’s going on here? – [Davin] So here, Mike’s
going through and boring the cylinder walls out 30
thousandths on this one, on these bores here. – [Ben] Now is this pretty, is that bore pretty typical for this? Is it easy to find pistons at that– – [Davin] Yeah. – [Ben] Pistons and rings? – [Davin] Yeah, for all
intents and purposes, most engines you can get
pistons in a 30, 40 and a 60. There’s also other variations but that’s a pretty standard off-the-shelf piston. – [Ben] All right, so it’s all bored out. And now– – [Davin] Now to the hone process. – [Ben] We’ve seen this
in all the rebuild videos. – [Davin] Yep, this is very, very typical You go through and you do a final bore, or cutting process, and now
this is the final finish where you hone out, typically,
five or 10 thousandths depending on what the machinist prefers. And that gives you that
beautiful crosshatch which allows the rings to
actually, it finish files the rings to fit the bore. And then, of course that’s
all lubricated with coolant so the stone doesn’t load up. – [Ben] Mike looks like
he’s done this a few times. – [Davin] Uh, yeah. – [Ben] All right. – [Davin] Now this is where
things are slightly different than your typical block. Back to the quote, unquote,
head portion of this. So instead of having a small
head over at the cylinder head area, you have the whole block. And Mark’s doing the seats and such, seats and guides right here, on his bench that’s not really used
to having a full block there because of the– – [Ben] So, seats and guides. – [Davin] So you have– – [Ben] Can you explain that to me? – [Davin] So, a valve
has a big large diameter that has the seat on it. That’s what you, the hole
that you see right now. And then you have a
guide that’s down further from the stem, a smaller
portion of the valve. – [Ben] Where the valve
is actually being held. – [Davin] Right. – [Ben] Or it’s going up and down in that. – [Davin] Yep, the seat
is your sealing portion, regardless of the exhaust or intake. And then the guide is
what holds it in the block and keeps it located to the seat. Here he’s got the rods in
the pin vise, or rod vise, so he’s basically going
through and torquing the nuts onto there. You can see the torque wrench there. – [Ben] So he’s tightening them on there, obviously you can’t put
it on the engine that way. He’s, why is he putting them
on now and torquing them? – [Davin] Well, he’s
torquing them down because he’s going to go and
measure the big end and make sure it’s true. And then if it’s not
true, there’s a hone that he can go through and resize them. So, over time, they will,
they’ll stretch around and– – [Ben] Basically like an
oval instead of a circle. – [Davin] Exactly. – [Ben] Okay, so that
machine does essentially what that honing, the big up and down machine–
– Same as the block – [Ben] For the block does. – [Davin] But the
function is, it’s still to get a perfect size to that hole. – [Ben] Okay, so he’s
sliding it in and out and that thing’s spinning. And then what’s he doing
up here on the left? – [Davin] He’s checking it for size. – [Ben] Okay, so that’s just
a micrometer of some sort? – [Davin] Correct. And he’ll do the same thing
on the small end as well. – [Ben] Oh, there they are. – [Davin] There, they’re done. – [Ben] Good to go. – [Davin] Now we’re at the
paint booth, taping it off. Something to note, we’ve
done this actually in all the engines, but when possible,
we use automotive paint. In this case, for timing,
we were not able to use the automotive paint, so
here we’re going to use the standard HBT engine
paint, high-temperature, quote, unquote, high-temperature paint. Taping all the machined
surfaces off and only to where the cast iron
exposed surfaces are. Of course prepping any
parts in a solvent tank. – [Ben] So essentially they used those big green tanks to clean off
all the stuff on the block, so now you’re just getting
the rest of the bits that are getting– – [Davin] Exactly. – [Ben] Painted and ready to go. – [Davin] This into a
sandblasting cabinet using glass beads, actually,
pulls off all the rust and whatever’s left, to
get a nice, clean surface. – [Ben] Yeah, it looks brand new almost. Oh, the rattle can. – [Davin] Here we’ve got
the traditional rattle can. And to clarify, regardless
of what it looks like when we go to spray color
on there, that is Ford red, not Chevy orange. Just to verify. I know we had a lot of
people that were concerned that we put hugger orange on a Ford motor and that would be absolute blasphemy even for a Chevy guy
to do on a Ford engine. – [Ben] All right. – [Davin] We have this,
our little makeshift booth, and it does a pretty decent job. – [Ben] All right, paint is done. Oooh. – [Davin] All right, here we go. – [Ben] Moody. – [Davin] Just pulling
all the masking tape off so we can get to our machine
surfaces and start assembling. Now here we’re putting in
the three main bearings. So, the idea is, just
before you install the crankshaft, you should always
check the bearing clearance, the actual clearance. So you put the bearings in. You torque down the main
caps and you check that ID or the diameter, and then
compare that to the OD of the bearing surface on the crankshaft, and that gets you your bearing clearance. You know, you’re looking
for something around a thousandth to two and a
half, somewhere in that range. Likewise for the rods. And then we get into the
assembly side of it here. So just to qualify that we did all of our checks before we started assembling. – [Ben] Now it looks like
you’re spreading something? – [Davin] Yep, so that’s
putting in the rear main seal right there, putting a little goop on it. – [Ben] And there’s all sorts of goop. You’ve got some goop on
the crankshaft there, is that stuff specifically for– – [Davin] Yep, it’s assembly
lube for that initially. You certainly would not want to have it start up dry. You would take the bearings
out of it immediately. So you use assembly lube and you can use oil but the
assembly lube stays in place a lot better, it
doesn’t run so much. Especially in that
initial startup, because you have a little extra
friction in there from normal. All right, so here we’re
taking all the pistons, these pistons use a floating
wrist pin, so instead of being pressed on– – [Ben] Hold on, what’s
a floating wrist pin? – [Davin] All right, so
you have, you have two ways to attach the rods to the pistons. Always with a wrist pin,
but sometimes that wrist pin is floating versus pressed. Floating meaning it
floats relative to the rod and the piston. Pressed onto the rod versus floating. So you’ll see we have
some retainer rings here as we go. – [Ben] So you’ll, with
the pressed, you’d have to have a tool like a
pneumatic press to literally press it in? – [Davin] Actually, you
heat up the small end of the rod and press them on. – [Ben] The heat would
expand the rod and allow, or, the rod allowing the pin– – [Davin] To slide through. Yep, and then of course
it contracts and pulls it into position. – [Ben] Cool. But that’s not what’s happening here. – [Davin] That is not
what’s happening here. This has a bushing,
you can see it, you can see the brass piece, that’s
a bushing on those rods. And they are, they’re
slip fit, so it will, it’s very tight but it
will slip, a slip fit. Put some oil on them, they’ll slip in. Likewise into the pistons and then you can see the needle-nose pliers you use. There’s a little retaining
ring that goes in there. Here we’re putting cam bearings in. – [Ben] Hammering something. – [Davin] Oh yeah, hammering
in the cam bearings. – [Ben] And those bearings
are similar to the crankshaft bearings, they’re just,
they’re, when you say bearings, they’re just pieces of metal? – [Davin] Yep, they’re the
same style of bearing material as your main bearings, but
instead of being two halves, they’re actually a full circle. – [Ben] So, we’ve got some
more piston action here. What’s, now, what am I seeing there? – [Davin] So now all the pistons are ready to go in and Matt is holding
on to a ring compressor. So the ring is naturally
has some tension out towards the bore, that’s
basically what helps them seal is they have
tension so you have to compress them slightly to
get them into the hole. So that’s what this ring compressor does. It plants around that piston and then and I usually use that little,
that black dead blow, and just pop it with
the handle to knock them into the hole. You’ve got to be really
careful, because if that ring compressor is not tight
across the top of the block as it goes on to the bore,
your ring could slip through, and if it doesn’t go easy,
you’ll break it, you’ll break the ring off when you go in. – [Ben] Do those have torque
specs there, or what’s the– – [Davin] Yep, there’s a
torque spec relative to the rod bolts and it’s
very important to follow that torque spec. Most failures in the piston
area is the rod bolt. It’s, there’s times where
it’s the rods itself but it’s usually the bolt, that
fastening is very critical. And then you’ll see here, here
goes, here’s the crankshaft, or the camshaft going in. You’ll notice that there
is different lube on the lobes of the crankshaft
versus the bearings. Quite frankly, you can use molybdenum on the bearings, you can also
use the camshaft break-in lube on the bearings as well. I choose to put as much
on the lobes as possible because a camshaft has,
it can have premature failure really fast if you
don’t break it in correctly. And since we pointed it out
at the beginning with the timing gear, you’ll notice
that this timing gear is now aluminum, as opposed
to the composite setup. Some of the reason is the
composites just aren’t available, and the aluminum
tends to be a little better. And of course torque
spec on the cam retainer. – [Ben] So with the
aligning there, how do you, how do you know where
your crankshaft is and where your camshaft is? – [Davin] So what happens
is, so you rotate your crankshaft to have the
number one piston at top dead center, or the top of its stroke. – [Ben] So looking here, that’s the– – [Davin] Far left. – [Ben] Piston closest to you on the left. – [Davin] Correct. And then the timing gear
can only go on the camshaft one way and on there, on
the face of that, there is a mark that you align with the crankshaft. – [Ben] Okay, so it’s that easy. – [Davin] Yeah, it’s that easy. So here the lifters are
going in, which these are adjustable lifters for
the, you can see the little hex set hanging up out of the top. – [Ben] Okay, yep. – [Davin] These are, in
my opinion, a royal pain in the rumpus to adjust. – [Ben] Well, because
they’re in there, and that’s a tight space. – [Davin] And you have
to have a little special like, spanner wrench to reach in there and you’ll see as we start putting valves in, the space gets eat up real quick. – [Ben] Oh, jeez. – [Davin] So here’s the
valves into the guides. And the, so the guides in
this all can be preassembled, so you can see on the
right-hand side, you’ve got the spring, the retainer, the guides. When we took it all apart,
the guides were physically stuck into the block so
we couldn’t show that because most of them didn’t come out. – [Ben] So did the
machine shop have to take them out for you or what? – [Davin] Yeah, yep. You see plenty of lubrication
again on the lifters. – [Ben] Okay, it looks
like you’re using that ring compressor again and that is– – [Davin] Yep, putting
that retainer in there. – [Ben] So to keep the
valves from flying out. – [Davin] Yep, yeah, exactly. – [Ben] Important. – [Davin] This is the brand new oil pump. Here’s our fresh, freshly painted oil pan. – [Ben] It’s coming together here. – [Davin] Put some screws in it. Of course a little schmutz
on the cork gasket. – [Ben] What kind of schmutz? What are you using on it? – [Davin] Usually, I
think that was a Grey RTV. – [Ben] What’s on the front,
sticking out here, now? – [Davin] That, we just
got that setup so we can put that on a balancer. It’s a balancer puller, or
installer, in this case. So, balancer and pulleys. – [Ben] Oh, okay. So it’s just to press it onto– – [Davin] Yeah, you do not
want to hammer a balancer, onto a crankshaft. That thrust bearing will not like it. – [Ben] And I recognize these guys. – [Davin] Yep, here comes
our steel freshwater pumps. So here’s one trick I’ve got to point out. So, before you put this together, always tighten down the bolt
that’s in the water hose. – [Ben] Oh, yeah. – [Davin] Don’t forget to tighten that. I don’t tell you how I
know, but don’t forget to tighten down that bolt. – [Ben] I bet you I know how. It leaked, didn’t it? – [Davin] Yes, it does. And you have to pull
all the coolant out and the hose to get to that bolt, of course. – [Ben] Oh, yeah, that’s
something you learn once and probably don’t ever forget. – [Davin] And never forget, yep. Now here’s all the
porcupine quills going in out of the head studs,
which is kind of the final step here on the
heads, put in studs, put in, I always use some Teflon sealant in case there’s one that
goes into the jacket. It also helps them come
back out if you ever have to take them back out. – [Ben] Set yourself up for success. – [Davin] Exactly, yep. – [Ben] All right, and oh,
that looks like a fancy gasket. – [Davin] Brand new head gasket. – [Ben] That’s not cork. – [Davin] Nope. – [Ben] So that looks
like it’s lined with a bunch of metal bits. What does that do for it? – [Davin] Yes, you have,
around the combustion chamber you have that
metal ring that seals the chamber off very well, a
fire ring, they refer to it. – [Ben] So it’s like a softer
metal that will compress between– – [Davin] Yeah, between
there but also it’ll take that heat. And then you have the
gasket material around the outside for the water jacket and such. – [Ben] So already I’m
noticing something different. The heads last time were
held on by long bolts. And now you have studs and nuts. – [Davin] Yep, yep, we
went to the stud and nut setup because they’re just sexy, no. – [Ben] So this is,
obviously, this isn’t the– – [Davin] No. – [Ben] This isn’t the original head. – [Davin] We certainly
took some liberties here and because we’re not
trying to go after any sort of bone originality
with the pickup truck, we opted for a couple of hot
rod parts, first of which, well, you already saw one. We have a three-quarter
race cam, as it’s known on the street, for the camshaft. Pistons were the same
as far as dome-wise and then this higher compression
head from Edelbrock, both aluminum and finned. So for those with a lot
of fingers, there’s 24 acorn nuts in this bad boy. That is a lot of head bolts. – [Ben] That is. – [Davin] And same
thing on the other side. – [Ben] So at this point,
you didn’t put anything else on, because why? Like, right now I’m looking
at a filthy intake manifold. – [Davin] Filthy pickup truck? The reason why we haven’t, we did not put the other intake
and you’ll see why here. The old intake made a much
better lift point than the new intake. And you’ll see as we get there. So we decided that at this
point we were going to use, go back to the old intake. We were going to put on the transmission. Basically, reverse of pulling it apart, and then we’ll swap
out the intake manifold when we get there. So we pulled the old intake back off, put the lift plates on it. This is the flywheel going on. – [Ben] Did you do anything
to the transmission or no? – [Davin] No, we did not. Some headers going on. – [Ben] They look much
nicer than the old– – [Davin] The ugly old caps. – [Ben] Manifolds that
were on there, especially with your fancy bolts
that you have on there. – [Davin] Oh yeah. Yeah, you’ll notice
that all these bolts are the right size, length and– – [Ben] You didn’t have
to use bolt washers? – [Davin] Yeah. – [Ben] Oh, spark plugs, that’s new. – [Davin] Yep, fresh set of plugs. And it’s very critical
to get the right length plugs so they don’t hit the pistons. – [Ben] Now is that something that changes because you have different
heads on them now? – [Davin] Um, possibly, yes. – [Ben] You seem to be– – [Davin] Well for all
intents and purposes, there’s only two different lengths of, a long and a short-throw plug. – [Ben] So, Davin, did
you get the wrong one the first time? – [Davin] We might have had the wrong ones the first time. So, fresh motor in the old pickup truck. That engine leveler
makes everything so nice. – [Ben] All right, so
you’re just fiddling with some stuff, probably, what
are you doing at this point? – [Davin] You’re putting the
motor mounts in right there. Now we’re– – [Ben] Off comes the tape. – [Davin] Yep. Now we’re setting in, the
engine is still at top dead center so we dropped in
the distributor, didn’t want it in the way dropping
it in because you’d hate to break that off. I’m putting in the coil right there, and the temp-sending
units and here goes in some engine break-in oil. Might as well do it now, it’s a lot easier to pour in than later, got a gaping hole instead of a little dinky one. So here’s our intake manifold gasket, sprayed on some copper
coat to help seal it up. And then this is why we
did not reuse the old intake manifold. Because this already– – [Ben] Preassembled. – [Davin] Preassembled. I preassembled this to drop on. – [Ben] That looks nice. – [Davin] Yeah, so this
is our additional hot rod part, going to a two-barrel
setup, or a two-barrel, deuce setup, whatever way
you want to look at it that. This is Edelbrock’s slingshot manifold and from the side you’ll see it’s a V or why they call it a slingshot.
– I can sort of see it there. – [Davin] So they started
making the flatheads in ’32, Edelbrock had a upgrade in ’34. That is still the best
horsepower-producing intake manifold with the exception of one. – [Ben] So they got it right. – [Davin] Yes, they did a very good job. You’ll see us put on the generator off the front of that. We had to do a little
bit of customizing to make it fit well. – [Ben] What kind of
carburetors are on this? – [Davin] Those are Edelbrock 194s. – [Ben] Fuel lines, now
why, how ‘come clear fuel lines? – [Davin] Well, they look sexy. – [Ben] I’m okay with that answer. The more practical side
of me is like, well, it’s also, you can tell
if it’s getting fuel. – [Davin] Well, there is that. We did reuse those spark
plug wires, if you notice. – [Ben] I do. They were already pretty newish. – [Davin] And the fan
is, we reused, basically any parts that we could
reuse from the original build, we did. You know, if they were
new there was no reason to throw those out. The generator was, the guts
are cleaned up on that. The battery is going back in. I’m tightening down the hose clamps. At this point we’re
ready for the radiator. All right. – [Ben] Oh, this is the real video. – [Davin] This is the test. All right, so we’ve got
fuel going up the lines, we can see that. (engine cranking) (engine running) – [Ben] It’s alive. – [Davin] And that is the best feeling. – [Ben] I love the look that
you give the camera there. You were pretty psyched. – [Davin] So, throw the hood back on, make it a little bit more aerodynamic. – [Ben] These trucks were known for– – [Davin] Yep. – [Ben] So that’s pretty much it. – [Davin] That’s a wrap on this one. The only thing that’s left
here is, go for a ride. – [Ben] Of course we’ve
got our GoPros up there because the camera guys
have got to put cameras on everything. I used my skateboard for this shot. – [Davin] Yes, Ben, I
was impressed with that. – [Ben] Skitched for a bit and off you go. – [Davin] Yeah. – [Ben] Just like that. Well, good work, man. – [Davin] Thank you. – [Ben] Well, thanks, guys, for watching. If I left anything out, let us know in the comments or ask any other questions. We’ll do our, do our
best to answer and again, if you have any questions
about video stuff, you can ask me. Otherwise Davin can shoot
back some answers on anything regarding the rebuild. – [Davin] Yep, absolutely. And stay tuned, you never know,
we might have another one. – [Ben] Or two. – [Davin] Or two. – [Ben] Or five.
– Five. (laughs) – [Ben] Or as long as
you guys keep watching, we’ll keep doing it. – [Davin] Sweet, that’s right.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. i find tying a rope around the water pump and push it off the back of my boat i find it works great on all ford motors

  2. one commentator is a complete neophyte idiot acting like he knows a thing or two, and the other commentator is a megalomaniac idiot that shouldn't possess a wrench, ever.

  3. My brother when he was 16, Just about burned Down a 47 Ford Coupe with a Olds firepower V-8 in it, back in the late 60's.. He used Clear fuel line on it, Engine Heat Melted it, sprayed fuel on Distributor, melted the carb. right down to a puddle of Metal, Burnt the Front windshields right out, front seat burnt, under dash and under hood wiring cooked.. DON"T USE CLEAR FUEL LINE.. Friend of mind also used Clear fuel line on a inboard four cylinder boat, Boat caught fire, his family of four had to bail out of the boat, in ocean in the keys, had to be rescued,  melted the boat to the water line before it got put out.. CAUTION….DON"T USE CLEAR FUEL LINE on ANYTHING!!!!!!! Oh and by the way I do own a set of the Tappet Adjusting Wrenches, they were Made BY Isky Cam Company, Don't know if you can still buy them or not…

  4. I have one of these '42 – '46 trucks, and I see as with all of these, the 'jail bars' are ALWAYS bent. I have traded and straightened three sets to get one (sort of) straight one. Maybe it was the height of the bumper, or, perhaps the brakes. The flat head is under my bench awaiting a tear down and inspection. Thanks for this video.

  5. I rebuilt a 397ci flat heat straight six. I thought it was odd that the spark plug was not over the cylinder but over the valves. 147 horses and 400 fp and very smooth

  6. I'm 64, when I was 12 I was helping my brother-law rebuild a flathead for his '49 Mercury hot rod coupe. I had helped my dad several times so I was handing him tools etc. and I realized he hadn't tightened or torqued one of those upper water pump bolts. I pointed that out to him cause I was doing the checklist that he had given me to mark off completes. He told me I was stupid and sent me away and finished it himself. The next day after school I was there when he was firing it up, I noticed a puddle on the floor but kept my stupid mouth shut. He cranked it into life, 1st try and began to wrap the throttle up pretty high when we noticed a shower coming from the top of the aforementioned pump. He and I made eye contact as he shut it down. He announced to me since I was so bright that maybe I could fix it and he left the shop. So I tore it down, tightened up the bolt and replaced everything properly and fired it up… 45 minutes tops. I left it idling and went to find him. He was smiling when I walked up as he heard it start. He handed me a $10 dollar bill and said thanks. I think I grew about 3 inches that day.

  7. Stupid question, I see 8 cylinder engine but 6 piped headers? Did I not see that correctly? If I did, how does that work?

  8. The Ford flate head had a sound all its own. I loved that sound when i hear one at a car show, it takes me back, to when i was a young man in the fiftys & i had a 48 Ford, i even had a 51 Ford. Theres just no sound when you start one up.

  9. 253 thumbs down? Must be liberal pussies that never turned a wrench in their lives and have nothing to look forward to. I am a ASE Master Auto/Heavy Truck/Alternative Fuels technician that has been turning wrenches for 48 years. Recently retired and getting ready to cruise the country in a RV and visit every racetrack in the USA.

  10. When I was 6 to 10 years old my dad bought his cars from wrecking yards. He fixed them up and drove them till they broke down where he couldn't fix. I remember going on a vacation of Vakama,WA We were in a 1946 ford, the car started to backfire in the carburetor and lacked power. Will, he pulled off the road. Got his toolbox out of the trunk with parts. He had me turn over the engine listened to the engine. then he proceeded to pull the intake manifold, head on the driver's side. Had me turn over the engine. Took a hammer and knocked off the valve head. had me turn over the engine again pulled the valve out on the intake valve. Put another valve in had some valve turning compound and turned the valve to seat set the valve in. Put on a new head gasket put the head back on. replace the intake back on. Started the engine and away we went back on vacation. By the way, he always carried valve head gaskets, timing gear gaskets in the trunk. Also, he never had to worry about his tools from rusting as the was a puddle on oil in the bottom of his toolbox.

  11. If you had gone to a old ford parts supplier you could have bought a specialized pry bar for compressing the springs. It was pretty easy to do with that tool. You just pulled the keepers out with pliers. I did it when I was 14. One week My dad, my brother, and I did valve and ring jobs on a '49, a '50, and a '51 Ford.

  12. So do they ever use roller bearigs on the crankshaft in high RPM engines and is there any coating thast they can use on the liffters to help break in a camshaft

  13. Well explained for those people who aren't familiar to the tear down and assembly of a engine wether it be a flat head or overhead valve… growing up on a dairy we did all our overhauls so I started learning at a young age..did my 1st solo on a 4cyl. on our bailer at the age of 15 ( with some guidance…lol)

  14. Nice enjoyable video. The flathead sounded great at the end. The lope of the cam was very nice. I wish you let us hear more of the flathead v-8 sound. Nice job overall. It would be interesting to see a dyno test. There was a supercharged version of this engine. That would make a great video if you could find an original supercharger to install on your truck. It added 50 hp.

  15. I keep thinking with a small bit of refinement, the Flathead could be a very viable engine design for today. All the so called flaws of the design actually make it well suited for turbocharging. And all that unused real estate there in the head could be put to use for a direct injection system.

  16. I don’t think there is any other engine with the same sound. Friend had a 49 2 door sedan with duals and glass packs. Sooooo sweeet.

  17. I feel a strong sense of nostalgia watching this. A sort of window to a bygone era belonging to people who are no longer with us.

  18. Clicked this with the intention of watching only a minute or 2…. 33mins later I’m still here lol

  19. Even the latest Briggs and Stratton engines run an OHC. Thing is its a rubbish side valve low compression engine, but it's very ordinary appearance with all those head bolts makes it look old school cool.

  20. As someone said somewhere else one time, the Ford Flathead sound should be classified as music.

  21. Great informational video. and great job on your project! What I don't understand is why doesn't Ford Motor Company bring back a more modern perfected version of the flathead V8 Mopar embraces the Hemi in their modern muscle cars I'd like to see some really modern perfected version of this engine for some of Fords latest projects.

  22. Great video! Loved it! I did notice you guys when installing the crankshaft and the connecting rods did not use the "old plast-a-gauge" maybe that went out years ago, but the is the way we would check all clearances between crankshaft/bearings and the connecting rods and their bearings. Great fast video; but i did not see the guys in the machine shop pull any camshaft bearings. Thank you for your video and the information on the Ford Flathead and all of its weakness.

  23. In 1963 I bought a 37 Ford Standard (fastback) 2 door coach and I had a garage full of goodies to build a great flathead engine since by then the Chevy V8's were doing plenty of damage around the racetracks in the South. My dad had started stock car racing in 1947 when all the dust had settled from WWII, most of the early racers drove 39 Ford coupes. A few guy's drove Chevys and Plymouths but with Ford having the V8 the majority of drivers chose Ford. My brother and I had cut our teeth on flathead V8's and really got into this one. We started with a 59AB block bored 3&5/16's with a 4 inch stroke we had a Winfield 3/4 cam a set of Offenhauser 10 to 1 heads and a Edelbrock manifold for three carbs. Gasket sets were about all I had to buy. Once finished and tuned just right this flathead was about the meanest sounding engine I ever heard. Taking off full throttle was to much for the transmission and we ended up changing to a Lincoln Zephyr transmission. From a rolling start it would more than hold it's own against stock small block Chevy's. It was fun having a car built before my brother or myself were born. 1938 and 1941. By the way the Ford was slick with Lakewood Green from a 52 Mercury and black rolled and pleated interior. The interior was my only substantial expense as I did all the bodywork and painting. Fond memories!

  24. Thanks for this video. I was never introduced to the mechanical world as a kid, even though my Dad worked at Chevy's V8 engine plant in Flint, MI. His world was divided into the white collar and blue collar men. He wanted me to grow up white collar. Sad really. I find the engineering and mechanical skills shown in this video to be amazing. I wish I had known more about these things. It would have been nice to rebuild the flat-head in my 1953 Ford F100 truck I bought in college…a blue collar guy ended up with it. Poetic justice. I hope it's still on the road 45 years later!

  25. I'm working on a '36 Ford flat head and I can relate,concerning the sludge! When I dropped the pan,there was an imprint of the oil pickup screen in the sludge! I had to measure it,1 inch of sludge in the sump! I wanted to pull a rod cap off to check the bearing! My 6 point or my 12 point sockets won't go on far enough to grab the nut.Needless to say,I have 2 rod nuts with rounded corners! Can anyone tell me what the secret is besides grinding up a socket?

  26. I own a 1968 amc javelin that’s completely restored. My grandson when 5 crawled into the car and took it out of park and rolled it down a hillside through a barbed wire fence and into a ditch. Hagerty took my claim and with no trouble at all and I mean NONE paid for the repairs to almost seventeen thousand dollars. Hagerty was so easy to do business with,that I’m still with them today. Great company . Thank you hagerty. And yes my grandson did make it to six. Barely. I still have the car and it still looks great. I owned a shop for forty years so I know this half hour was really mor like forty

  27. With the oil pump , any issues with the bushings ? What kind of oil pressure did you end up with ?
    Thanks John

  28. very interesting rebuild! I'm a chevy guy but owned a few flat heads, first time i wvert seen one rebuilt.Great Job guys really enjoyed the share…

  29. It's not quite true that they were 8-cyl lawn mower engines! Some flathead V-8s that the early hot rodders owned would really rock 'n' roll. In fact, the SCTA (Southern Calif Timing Assn) – which was essentially the drag racing association in SoCal – was started in the early days using mostly flathead Ford V-8s.

  30. You talk as though it was designed and built in the 2000 era and you demean the engine by saying this. Designed in the early 30,s and evolved for the next 20 odd years it was a popular engine for its time, a classic side valve design. It was designed for reliability  over very long distances and it did exactly this. So get real and don't compare it with your limited view of side valve V8 engines. It had a fiber type timing wheel to reduce gear noise some thing you are not aware of so school up and give the engine type the rep it deserves. Another point you missed they came with fully floating big end bearings so yes , school up.

  31. I love engines overall, but specially old and classic ones, this one in particular was a break-truth for its time

  32. There is someone unloading a bunch of original model a and t parts in petoskey you guys should look into it some hard to find stuff a whole trailer load inherited from an estate just poke around on facebook market

  33. How much should one expect to pay for a restoration like this? Your work is magnificent. I have a 1950 F1 my uncle bought new for his plumbing business.

  34. I'm currently working on my 47 ford coupe. The motor has slung a rod out it went out of the oil pan. They are 2 holes in the pan. How much should it cost to rebuild IF the block isn't ruined????

  35. التصوير خايس مافيه وضوح ومليان تشويش المقاطع متداخله في بعض

  36. What's some differences in rebuilding a flathead v8 compared to something like a 283 or a 289 small block ford and Chevy. I can build a big block or small but never a flathead.

  37. Rebuild the flathead, invest in all the trick items, put it back in a rusty truck. I don't understand why you guys didn't restore the body.

  38. can't seem to find teh 194s…what range would a rebuild cost ? I'm going to look at a 47 super deluxe tudor tomorrow and hope it has the flathead…

  39. When I was fifteen, I overhauled my friend's '51 Mercury flathead engine. It was the first time that I had ever seen the inside of an engine. My next door neighbor worked at the Oldsmobile dealership and was a mechanic and body man. He loaned me a cylinder hone and a ring depressor and showed me how to lap the valves etc. I didn't know that there was such a thing as a torque wrench. When I tightened the rod bearings I would tighten them until I couldn't turn the crank with a wrench, then back off until I could. When I finished, that engine ran like a sewing machine until my friend wrecked it a couple of years later. I've never rebuilt another engine, but I'was proud of that old Flathead engine re-build.

  40. Loved watching this. I bought a 41 ford coupe in 1966 with a "built" 53 Merc in it. 3/4 race wolverine cam, Wiend aluminum heads, I believe Johns piston and a triple duece progressive setup with Mallory dual point dis and headers. Head a stiff new front spring and looked like a gasser. stock rear and tranny with a Hurst shifter. Could never restart her. Had to let her cool down so I had to plan my trips. It was alot of fun.

  41. It looked like you took it to the right machine shop they did an excellent job ! You should have installed the cam bearings before the crankshaft, no big deal, the timing gear is phenolic not nylon, more like cardboard composite than a plastic. I thought you did an excellent job explaining everything although the valve lifter installation tool was called a ring compressor. Great job explaining the lifter adjustment makes it EZ . I'm not a believer in how many main bearings an engine has, has anything to do with how much power it will produce. Its like, does the engine know how many bolts hold the main caps on? 4 bolt, cross bolt, or a girdle? By the way Magnaflux is a brand name. magnetic partial inspection is a process of inspection. Great job!

  42. That carbon on the pistons might have bump up the power a a a bit, since it would theoretically bump the compression a bit… although might be uneven and that can will affect the balance The valves seem pretty clean so might not be a restriction.. idk.. lol

  43. To be fair that flatty spent a lot of miles full of non-detergent oil. So the sludge build up is not really the PO's fault

  44. To be factually correct the engine color is Tangerine. I'm looking at a quart right in front of me. The assembly lube really stays in place. I had a 1600 VW bug engine stored for nearly ten years on a shelf. I checked before starting it and everything was still fully lubed.

  45. Just one thing guys !!…The timing gear is not nylon as nylon had not been invented back then not even plastic it was actually a Fibre gear made from layers of Fibre like a canvas pressed into a mould with something like a backerlight or resin type liquid to form the gears ! so really it was like a Carbon fibre 100 years before carbon fibre !!!!!!

  46. I HATED that plastic coated timing gear that G.M. used for WAY too long. I've had to change MANY of those over the years. The proper way to do it was to pull the oil pan also, because all of the little plastic chunks were GUARANTEED to be packed in the oil pump pick-up. If you didn't pull the pan and clean the chunks out, the resulting low oil pressure, and oil starvation would eventually kill the motor. I never understood the use of the plastic gears the new, all metal, ones I installed in their place, were just as quiet as the plastic ones. I think it was engineered obsolescence, to get you to buy a new car. Junk.

  47. When I was a teenager, I had a girlfriend who's father owned a 1950 or 1951 Ford truck. It had a flathead in it. I want to say there was a badge on the fender proudly stating "85 HORSEPOWER".

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