flat head engines

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flat head engines

Post by toad » Sun May 17, 2020 6:50 am

I was looking at some WW II stuff and I came across a Russian Blog with translations . In it he was praising the Jeep and the Studebaker trucks . He stated the village idiot could keep a jeep running. It seems the Studebaker three and two axle trucks with their 5 speed transmissions would go anywhere and the maintenance was fairly simple. One thing they liked about the Studebaker trucks was they had an " under valve " engine as opposed to the GMC "over valve" engine. In other words the Studebaker had a flat head engine. I remember that you could pull off the head with the engine still in the vehicle pull the valves insert new valves and lap then in. You could vary compression with a shim . He claimed it was easier to keep the Studebaker running with the crappy fuels they had. He showed a video of one running on wood gas.
I'm wondering the with improved fuels would a flat head be viable again?

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Re: flat head engines

Post by MiddleAgedKen » Sun May 17, 2020 1:22 pm

I think the answer to your question depends on the purpose to which one wants to put it and the circumstances in which one intends to use it. For running just this side of forever in a maintenance-challenged environment where absolute performance is a secondary consideration: sure, why not? As an analogy, the old low-revving cast-iron marine diesels (Sabb, Lister, et al) are still completely viable in the right application.

For the quarter mile where the usual thing is to make a few dozen passes ( f/x: SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAAAAAAAY!!!!) and then rebuild in a machine shop (f/x: balanced! blueprinted! shot-peened! glass-beaded! magnafluxed! We need a bigger checkbook!), possibly not so much.
Watergate didn't have a body count.

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Re: flat head engines

Post by HTRN » Mon May 18, 2020 8:07 pm

Uh you do know that the all small engines are basically flatheads, right?

And theres at least two different aftermarket block manufacturers- Donovan makes aluminum Ford 4 cylinder blocks, and theres a manufacturer of cast iron v8 fords.
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