Finding a Usable Block


Anyone who has attempted to build a flathead motor in the past has had to find one first. That means junkyards, news papers, club members, word of mouth or where ever you can find one. When you do finally find one itís not always the year that you might want Ė 30ís, 40ís, 50ís.


1948 and earlier cars are usually the most popular with the water outlet coming out of the center of the head. The later engine (1949 through 1953) with the water outlet coming out of the front of the head is a little more plentiful because of the production numbers after the Second World War. The Ford engines were 3 3/16 bore with a 3 ĺ stroke equaling 239 cubic inches. The 1949-1953 Mercury engines were 3 3/16 bore by 4Ē stroke equaling 255 cubic inches and therefore the more desirable and sought after ones.


After a half a century they are all but extinct. You could expect to pay $100 to $600 for the Ford and up to $1000 for the old Mercury engine for that extra 1/4ď of stroke.


Now you have to disassemble that 55 or 65 year old motor which can be quite a chore in itself. Over coming rusted and broken bolts, cracked blocks etc... Even if you are lucky enough to find a good one you donít know if it is rusted from the inside out. Thatís a lot of hours invested only to find out that you have to start all over again (some of you know what I mean).


Many of you who have been to my old shop have seen in my back room a couple hundred clean, stripped down blocks. They had to be disassembled cleaned and inspected and for one reason or another I rejected them. I always felt if your going to invest all that time and money in a show quality motor you better start with a good block (foundation) or in this case brand new.


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