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Project Flathead

Time:2012-11-21 03:38Turbochargers information Click:

FLA Ford V-8 Flathead Engine


Ford Flathead Engine


       Project: Flat-Head 

Identifying Our Engine, And A Little History



This is our Ford Flathead, just as it looked right after we removed it from the '33.  While not exactly a diamond in the rough, it is a sound and complete example of what a Flathead Engine is and how they usually look when you find one.

     To start out with, we acquired our Flathead Engine when we decided to restore our 1933 Ford Tudor Sedan.  The engine wasn't to be reused in the restoration, instead it was replaced by the modern 4.6L Modular Engine Ford now produces in many of it's new cars.  These Engines were first put into production in 1994, and at first were anything but powerful.  Truth is the 5.0L that they were replacing had more horsepower then the new 4.6L Ford was releasing, and you can guess the feeling fellow Ford lovers had.  Why would anyone want a new engine that produces less horse power then the current (5.0L) model?  Especially when they were releasing this engine in there sports car line, the Ford Mustang.  Eventually Ford began increasing the output of there new engines, and it wasn't too long before the little 4.6L was making some good horsepower.  I go over this because the 1933 engine was very similar, this model year was also the first release of Fords new engine, the V-8 Flat-Head.  It, just like the 4.6L, had many teething problems that were eventually worked out and allowed the V-8 Flat-Head to go on and become one of the most famous little engines Ford ever built.  This new then engine, was the class of the Field.  With more torque and horsepower then anything else on the market, that is anything the average man could afford!.  This was made ever so popular by John Dillinger, he bought a 1933 Tudor sedan as his get-a-way car and was able to out-run all the cops.  He even sent Ford a letter thanking him for producing such a nice and fast car.  While Mr. Dillinger was eventually cough, he helped make the point about V-8 power and the two became famous. 


     The Flathead was produced all the way up until the 1954 model year.  Then Ford in a race with Chevrolet, Dodge and other automobile manufacturers, started producing the Ford "Y" Block, Over-Head Valve Engines.  In it's 21 year run, it was constantly fine tuned till the Flathead became darn near bullet proof  as it neared it's final years of production.  Even today, the Flathead is considered to be "The Engine" by many true Hot Rodders, for anything V-8 powered, especially for the early Ford cars and trucks.

     Project COBRA'33  was not designed to use such an engine, this car was to be the pinnacle of Old meets New.  In so, I wanted to merge the classic old lines of one of Americas best looking sedans with the raw power and convenience that all of today has to offer.  The style of the thirties is long gone, but if it were around today, this is what they might be offering to the public.  Who knows, there is a very strong segment of retro styling going on now, the old Camaro, Mustang and Challenger are all making a comeback, so who is to say the next HOT old ideal might be to re-live the thirties??  There is definitely a very large and effluent population segment that would surely like to re-live their past with just such a car or truck!!  Project COBRA'33 has the latest of suspension systems, with a highly appointed Independent Front Suspension by Heidt.  Along with a sophisticated 4-bar setup in the rear with Coil/Over Shocks and a Anti-Sway Bar.  This type suspension allows comfortable cruising and aggressive cornering, all in one package.


    Project: Flat-Head  is first and foremost just an exercise to explore the limits and limitations of modernizing the Flat-Head Engine.  From the very start, I intend to, with as much realization as possible, change our Flat-Head Engine into a Modern, Twin Turbo-Charged, Electronic Fuel Injected representation of what someone might or could do.  This engine, although real, is not going to be a working engine when it is finished.  Instead, this Flat-Head Engine will become a conversation piece, a Table, and hopefully a work of Modern Automotive Art.  Yes I will be using all real parts, our Flat-Head is real, the Turbo-Chargers will be new, real and functional, the Inter-Coolers will also be new, real and functional, as will everything else, but the final product will not be a running engine, instead it will be a representation of what someone could do based on what someone else has done.

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