Ford Motors Flathead V8 engine 1932 to 1953 Part one

There has been a special class created for the current land speed record held by flathead engine powered vehicle . The most refined flathead to date can develop 700 hp (525 kW) and has a documented top speed of 300 mph (483km/h), although this may be broken in the near future.

Hot Rod Ford vintage (3)

Ford Motors produced three complete flathead V8 engine family lines, all with valves located beside bore holes, between 1932 and 1953. There are a variety of displacement engines within each of the three families, but with each family, the piston retains the same bore placement in the block. The flathead, “L” head, flatty, or medium block is initially, in 1932, a 221 cu in (3.62 L) engine. This first version has the exhaust/intake valves in the block, a water pump at each cylinder, with twenty-one bolts sealing the heads. This is followed by another family branch that begins with the 136 cu in (2.23 L) in 1937 which offers 60 hp (44.74 kW) and aptly named the “V8-60”. This new engine has water pumped from the front of the block and only 17 bolts fastening the heads down. In 1938 the company markets a more substantial version of the 221 medium block that has been bored to 239 cu in (3.9 L) with 24 bolts now needed to secure the heads. A big change for the flathead in 1948 is the distributor is now mounted vertically and into a direct line with the cam shaft. A new flathead 337” big truck” engine is added to the line-up in ’48 through 1949 is the only V8 Ford to have the distributor mounted to the rear of the block. The 337 replaces the V12 under the hood of the Lincoln Zephyr beginning in 1949. The flathead remained in production for a full 21 years in the USA and was the choice engine for hot rod enthusiasts and commonly seen on race tracks of the day. A twenty-first century publication of Ward’s Magazine rates this V8, designed and developed by Ford Motors, as one of the ten most significate automobile engine developments of the twentieth century.

Hot Rod Ford

The flathead is revolutionary without doubt, but it is not without a number of faults, although many of these have been solved by aftermarket equipment, back-yard mechanics or hot rod enthusiasts. The cooling system must be maintained regularly to prevent overheating and possibly cracking the block. The exhaust is funneled downwards, past the pistons, through the water cooling channels before exiting the block. The passages gasses must move down are narrow, an irregular sized and have a poorly finished inner surface which adds to the heat build-up in the block. The simple water pump is not efficient enough for the V8 and will not be improved on to any degree for Ford until 1948. The iron block is formed in a rough sand casting and if the inner surface of passages are polished the efficiency of the exiting gas is improved. Openings can often be bored 1/8” and then polished, but this depends on the thickness of the iron in the block and an “overbore” could be up to 3/16” over the factory size.  The boring process could raise the power output by as much as 13%, but if a sand pit is uncovered then the block will fail and must be discarded.

Ford V8 pick-up 1937-39 maybe (1)

The crankshaft that Ford makes is quickly produced from a casting rather than a very expensive and time consuming machining process.  Heat treatment processes and handling methods that the Ford Company pioneered and patented are used to make the cast crankshaft just as strong as the turned variety, but at a far lower cost. An eight cylinder engine in a “V” configuration has a shorter crankshaft than the more primitive in-line blocks and commonly uses two connecting rods on one throw-one piston from each opposing bank. The Flatty became a favorite of the hot rod set and all kinds of aftermarket performance equipment became readily available to fill a growing demand. The best crankshaft for a nostalgic Hot Rod enthusiast would need these days to power a retro or a “Correct Hot Rod” is a four inch (101.6 mm) stroke unit from the Mercury Division, This choice part can be identified by the cleaning plug at the front of the shaft and is the crank that Ford used on all its engines from 1949 until ‘53. The hot rod crowd would “bore and stroke” the engine-enlarge the hole for the piston and use longer connecting rods to increase the cubic inch displacement. The main bearings on the flathead until 1935 were poured and required a fully equipped shop with a skillful technician to replace them. From 1936 production onward the poured bearing is replaced by a shell style, which are also available to fit the original 221 engine. The bearing is easy to install and a low cost adding tom the appeal of the flathead to the back yard mechanics. The engine has highly pressurized oil for lubrication-the same as a modern engine, and, although it adds no power, it gets rid of a complicated jet lubrication system that is often located in the oil pan. A prospective buyer of a used flathead can tell the condition of the main bearings and the connecting rods by observing the analog oil temperature gauge with the engine warm and the crankcase filled with the normal viscosity oil.

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1 day ago

Muscle Car Fan

1931 Ford Model A for sale $11,200 almost perfect survivor ...

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I have a 1929 Model A, It's a fun car and easy to work on.

I love it ! God !

I love old cars from 1920 to 1939

What a beauty !

It looks like the one we had but it has Michigan tags

Spectacular, splendid and so so special🙀❤️👍

I'm interested in buying

Where is the car located?

Rob Spencer Pamela Saranpaa Martin Saranpaa Marc Chartrand Nic Raby

Who is the seller?

Check this out Mary Starnes

Roberto Gallegos Trama

Me: "Nice, a piece of history!" Also Me: *chanting* "Chop it, Chop it, Chop it!"

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2 weeks ago

Muscle Car Fan

Friend searching for a 66-67 set of Chevelle Doors and a Trunk lid Contact Pat ...

Friend searching for a 66-67 set of Chevelle Doors and a Trunk lid Contact Pat

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Why do people keep putting mopars down the best of the best

Jack the radiator cap up n drive a dodge under it..fixed..

I know where there is an SS for sale asking 8500 needs restoring ?

Make your own...


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3 weeks ago

Muscle Car Fan

These guys haul anything. Friends of mine I have known for 10+ years ...

4 weeks ago

Muscle Car Fan

How NOT to load a classic car with a 3 on the tree. Recent car hauler experience caught on camera. ...

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Why didn't the guy drive it up there for him since the hauler could NOT and save a clutch and battery

Come on people send somebody that can drive a stick hard to watch

I would have but then that puts the liability on me I could’ve drove it up there in 30 seconds. We didn’t hire the car hauler. And I stated several times even to the dispatcher send me someone that can drive a clutch three on the tree. And of course they didn’t

If you know of a good car hauler or car haulers that aren’t brokers please let me know

Jesus christ. I can't watch it any more. That dipity doo dah needs to get out and let them drive it up

Must have been a new clutch as it still drives good

I’ll be moving to Kankakee in a month or so, shoot me your info please?

Wow not good! Lol

Get in it and drive it for him dam it !

first gear would work!!!!!!!

Grown ass man couldn't drive a manual

Ugh, painful to watch 🥺

Thomas Photsios

Nancy Hillewaere Crittenden 😫

Way to watch him toast the clutch?????

I took a video of this one because the last one which was a 61 Catalina 389 three on the tree the idiot driver wouldn’t take it out of third gear. I wasn’t there to stop him. And of course he burned up the clutch

Back and down . IDIOT.!!!!


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4 weeks ago

Muscle Car Fan

Any ideas of the make and model car? ...

Any ideas of the make and model car?

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Definitely from Pontiac I'd say 58 to 63

This speedometer assembly belongs to a 1961 Chevy coupe or sedan, Maybe a Biscayne or Impala, be-lair🚦

Looks like 60 Pontiac. Seem to recall my uncles Pontiac had that.

Early 60,s ford,to small for galaxy, more like comet or falcon

Looks like a early/ mid 60's Ford dash,for a falcon or a Fairlane

60’s Ford Mustang


Love the variety of answers.

Early 60’s molars? DeSotos were wider, Dodge maybe

Cadillac Plymouth ford mustang

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definitely looks like ford late fifties maybe

Ford fairlane 64 maybe

60’s Corvair Monza

'63 Pontiac tempest

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60’s Ford , I think 🤔!!

Nope! Looks like part of a dash to me! 🤣🤣🤣😂😂

68 Ford Mustang

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Not sure on the year but i'm going to say american motors

1960 pontiac

I believe it’s a Ford Falcone 62 or 63

65 ford comet

It's American from the Midwest

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