23 September 2012

flathead scavenger

A couple years ago I got this old "running when pulled" flathead
from a local guy on craigslist.

While it was really clean,
the block had a good size crack in one valve/cylinder.

ford 59a flathead

The plan I had with the engine disintegrated,
and if you've been reading you know the domino effect.
What can you do.
It will all be for the best in the long run.
59a flathead internals

This engine had been recently gone through,
and if there was some free money I would have sleeved the cylinder
and had some unleaded valve seats modded in.
The problem was it wouldn't have stopped there.
This thing had the early mushroom valves which are notoriously hard to remove,
so on top of the machine work this would have snowballed into a money pit.

During the move I went on a scrapping mission,
but this block was saved from the cut.
Nobody wanted this boat anchor on craigslist,
so the plan was to strip it and squeeze every last penny out of the insides,
than scrap the rest.

I was really surprised how clean the insides were.
There was no cylinder ridge,
the pistons, bearings, rods were so clean almost new looking.
Must have been opened up recently.
How could they not see that big ole crack?
little sludge!

And if it was recently gone through,
how could they not have seen this quart of sludge on the bottom!
It was so thick it had solidified,
and almost looked like a baffle around the oil pickup tube.

This is probably the best reason to not wash out an engine
 with kerosene or diesel between oil changes.
A sad sight if this was dislodged into the system.
ford flathead valve removal

There is only a handful of stuff that I wanted to salvage -
the rods/pistons, main caps, pressure plate/clutch/flywheel
and most important were the Johnson adjustable lifters.
The originals are hollow,
and the new repops are solid.
Hopefully the set would be useable.
torching valves

After maybe a half-hour of unsuccesfully removing a valve the mechanical way,
an internet search suggested the simple torch and hammer method.

Ok how about a quick how to - remove flathead valves!
Time is money on this project and after a few valves it became easier.
The first ones I found once the spring was surgically torched off,
a little heat would weaken the valve enough to smack it with the chisel and break.
ford flathead valve removal

Each valve became easier and easier to remove.
The trick was not to break them out.
First the valve was lifted and a screwdriver placed to keep it raised.
Then some light torch work to burn out 3 rings of the spring.
After that,
the valve itself needed to only be heated up,
no oxy-lever work until the valve was red hot.
The valve spring tension would pop the end of the valve off.
The bottom part of the guide can then be smacked with the hammer/chisel,
and that's that.
removing ford flathead mushroom valves

After the first couple,
it was possible to prep 2 sides at a time.
The most important thing I'd suggest is keeping the gas pressure really light,
no need to blow a bunch of slag around,
the oil smoke is bad enough.
pushing it

The other thing I'd recommend is wearing shoes.
I used up all my luck not getting injured,
and borrowed some from my kid.
jaxon and jakob perich - road rash

He came back from skating around the block with some good road rash.
Good times!
johnson hollow adjustable lifters - ford flathead

Now let's see if someone wants this old junk!


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