Category: Ford Flathead V8

The V8-60 Engine, Henry Ford’s Baby Often Forgotten by Car Enthusiasts – Silvian Irimia @Autoevolution

The V8-60 Engine, Henry Ford’s Baby Often Forgotten by Car Enthusiasts – Silvian Irimia @Autoevolution

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In 1932, the Ford flathead V8 began production when the expression game-changer wasn’t around. Ford’s V8 revolutionized the American automotive industry, forcing all its competitors to switch to eight cylinders mounted in a V shape. However, we are here to talk about the V8-60.

The story of Henry Ford’s genius creation, the 60-horsepower V8, starts earlier than 1937 when it was introduced. In 1934-35, Ford designed and produced a smaller, 2.2-liter power unit of the company’s standard V8 for its European divisions in England and Strasbourg, France. With interesting engineering, this first version featured only two exhaust ports per bank and four main bearings. At the same time, it was full of issues, especially overheating. Consequently, only around 3300 examples were produced, and today only a handful of them still exist.

Still, the effort was not in vain and actually inspired a second redesigned V8 for Europe. Later, in 1937, it was introduced on the United States market as the V8-60. While in Britain, it was commonly known as the 22 hp V8 (in reference to its taxable power rating), the Ford ad writers for the US called it the “Thrifty Sixty.”

The updated V8-60 was an identical and much tinier version of the original flathead Ford V8 introduced in 1932. The displacement was scaled down by Ford engineers from 221 cubic inches (3.6-liter) to a shabby 136 cubic inches (2.2-liter). The power output was 60 hp (61 PS) instead of 85 hp (86 PS) for the old 1937 V8.

One of the particular features of the V8-60 was the front engine support casting, which doubled as the timing cover and mounts for the ignition distributor and twin water pumps. The small and big Ford V8 powerplants are so similar in appearance that ordinary people are often confused. Looking at the head bolts makes it easy to see the difference. The V8-60 has only 17 per cylinder bank, while the big V8 has 21 or 24 fasteners per side. Another interesting and particular feature was the cooling jacket on each bank that was closed out with a sheet metal plate. This metal plate was electrically welded in the proper position.

Ford customers were attracted to the V8-60’s fuel economy, so sales were outstanding initially. However, sales quickly fell as word got out about the engine’s poor acceleration. You see, despite its tiny displacement, the power unit produced 60 hp at 3500 rpm, which for 1937 was quite decent. Unfortunately, the engine had a significant downgrade. The peak torque was less than 100 lb-ft (136 Nm) at 2500 rpm. The available torque was 50 percent behind its V8 larger brother. As a consequence, The V8-60 was discontinued in the USA after 1940, when Ford introduced an L-head straight six engine as its economic engine.

However, this tiny powerplant found its true potential in racing. If you didn’t know, there was a time before and shortly after WWII when American citizens were absolutely captivated by a new racing competition known as the Midgets. In the 1930s and 1940s, these small cars, modeled after their larger siblings from Indianapolis, raced on tracks in baseball and football stadiums on quarter-mile ovals specially built for them

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A Short History of the Flathead -@ModernDriveline

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A Short History and Evolution of the Flathead V8, and Making It Modern

Back in 1932, Henry Ford introduced the 221 cubic inch Flathead engine producing 65 HP. And by 1935 HP was increased to 85 HP.  Those engines were produced from 1932 to 1938 and were commonly known as “21 stud engines”, due to the head design using 21 head studs

In 1937 Ford introduced a 136 cubic inch variant, producing 45hp.
This engine was only in production from 1937 through 1938.
Although the engine was efficient, it was not very popular with the American public, who were now used to the 85 HP engine.
The 136 cubic inch engine was discontinued at the end of 1938 when the new Inline 6-cylinder Flathead was introduced.

1938 saw the first major redesign of the 221 cubic inch Flathead engine, with the addition of more head studs, now totaling 24 studs. In 1939 the cubic inches were increased to 239 cubic inches and produced 95hp.  These engines remained in production until 1948.
During World War II, 1943-1946, no engines were manufactured for the public due to the war effort (or at least, that I am aware of at the time of this writing). 

The main characteristic of Flathead engines relating to Modern DriveLine, is the back of the engine block. 
The 1932-1947 59A block casting utilized a ½ bell ring over the flywheel. The lower ½ ring was removable to provide access to remove and replace the Clutch, flywheel, and rear seal.

In 1948-1953 8BA/RT blocks no longer had the cast ½ ring.
Ford now used a single stamped metal bell ring for cars or a cast metal bell ring for trucks.  

The intermediate ring with 3” depth, was used over the flywheel and clutch and used to attach transmission to the engine.
In 1948 to 1951, Ford produced the 337 cubic inch engine used in Lincoln cars and the F7 and F8 trucks.
Known as the 8EL in the Lincoln cars and 8EQ in heavy-duty trucks, these engines produced more horsepower and torque and weighed over 850 lbs.
These engines are physically larger and used 27 head studs and used a 12” clutch. Although this is a V8 flathead, very few parts from the 59A or 8BA engines are interchangeable.

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After a dream fulfilled, Lyle Aklested says goodbye to Ford museum – Taylor Inman @Daily Inter Lake

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Bigfork resident Lyle Aklested grew his collection of classic cars over the years to a total 120 cars, most of which sat in his Flathead V8 Ford Museum that he opened in 1980.

After sharing his collection with the public for nearly 40 years, Aklested is ready to say goodbye to his museum.

Aklested has a storied life. He flips through experiences in his mind, speaking about his time as a boxing referee for the United States during the Olympics to his lifelong career as a farmer in northwestern Montana.

But, one of his greatest passions lies in his car collection and the act of meticulously bringing every one up to spec. Growing up on a family farm in Conrad, he said it’s hard to remember the exact moment when he started becoming interested in cars but reflects on his first few projects — including taking the engine off his dad’s grain auger and putting it in a Model T frame to see if he could get it to run.

“Then I drug my grandfather’s 1918 Dodge out of the dump that he had … it would turn over. When I was a kid, 14 years old, or something like that, I got the thing running. My dad says ‘What are you going to do? You can’t get tires for it.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m going to take and shorten all the spokes on the Model T wheels.’ I’m sure they thought ‘what in the world’s wrong with that kid?’” Aklested said.

The museum’s name is strictly coincidental, he said. A 1951 Ford Flathead V8 was his first car. Despite the museum being in Flathead County, not even a mile from Flathead Lake, Aklested said the name comes strictly from his favorite engine. He said it was a very desirable car at the time in the 1950s, and made the decision to stick with Fords from then on out.

“I thought I’d be more knowledgeable on the Flathead V8’s and Fords and see what the history of them are, for them to change each year, with the engine and with a horsepower or even with the color of the engines, the upholstery— I really got hooked on the history of Ford,” Aklested said.

He built his first “hot rod” when he was 17 years old, a ‘31 Pontiac.

“The old fish hatchery on the west side of Flathead Lake had it sitting out there and a lady from Idaho owned it. So I had written to her and asked her if she wanted to sell it. Yes, she did, and it was $8. That’s what I paid for my 31 Pontiac … and it just went from there,” Aklested said.

HIS LOVE of cars grew with his success as a farmer, which he avidly pursued. He started with a loan to buy all of the necessary equipment and machinery needed for his farm, working his way up financially to be able to eventually pursue things like his car collection. He started purchasing cars to fix up, one after another — and before he knew it, he was in need of a little more room.

“I built another building at my farm in Sweet Grass there, which held about 18 cars. Then finally I thought, well, I can’t do my restoring anymore in the shop with all the tractors and trucks and stuff like that,” he said.

Then he decided to build in Bigfork. He built one shop then a second and then he needed a bigger building again for his cars.

“And that’s how the idea of the Flathead V8 Museum got started,” he said.

Aklested curated his museum as his collection of cars compounded, also creating a section at the front which contained old tools and memorabilia. He said he enjoyed getting to share all of this with whoever wanted to stop in during the years the museum was active.

BUT A few years ago things took a turn when a drunk driver drove through the front of his museum, totaling two cars and shaking Aklested, who decided it was time to look into closing its doors.

“It just killed my heart. If it was a business for me it wouldn’t hurt as much … But this is something that I had set up, that was my ‘Lyle’s man cave,’ that was my thing and so were the cars. We had it opened as a museum, you know, and tried to enjoy the cars with other people. When that happened, it just really did something to me,” Aklested said.

When it was time to start selling cars, Aklested didn’t even have to advertise. His aptly named museum drew its own attention, and he said he has been able to sell his cars to interested buyers all over the world. Which he said made him “feel very good.”

He said collecting cars felt like a pursuit he was never able to satisfy, much like his farming career where he avidly bought more and more farmland— he just kept buying cars. Most of these vehicles he chose to sell, but there are a few special ones he is planning on keeping.

“One of the vehicles I’m keeping is a 1958 Ford pickup. I restored it, put it in the colors of yellow and white, which are the colors that I had on all my trucks and everything when I was farming — I’d painted everything yellow and white. That’s gonna be my hearse,” Aklested said.

Ford Flathead V8 Specifications – VanPelt Sales LLC

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Really useful Ford Flathead V8 specification reference page from VanPelt Sales

The Flathead V8 engines produced by Ford Motor Company included basically three versions. The most popular being the 85-125hp that was first produced in 1932, and continued until 1953 (except for Canadian and Australian production which ended in 1954). Ford also designed and produced a smaller 60hp flathead V8 engine from 1937 until 1940. Lastly, the big 337 cubic inch flathead V8 engine, which was produced mainly for truck use and for Lincoln cars from 1948 to 1951. Ford’s flathead V8 engines when introduced in 1932 were the first mass-production V8’s where the block and cylinder assembly were poured as one single casting.

Click on the links below for general descriptions, general specifications, and tune-up specifications on each series engine. Horsepower and torque curves are available on some

Click here for the information

Dare to Cruise Above 55 MPH in This Restored “Coca-Cola” 1946 Ford F-1 Flathead – Aurel Niculescu @AutoEvolution

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Officially, the F-Series kicked off its legendary adventure starting with the 1948 model year. But the original generation is also known as the Bonus-Built series. Meanwhile, previous trucks were largely unchanged since the start of WWII for America, that dreadful 1941.

So, do we hold it against the good folks over at PC Classic Cars in Sherman, Texas for potentially confusing the F-1 name with a truck that was created before the age of the F-Series? Purists might, but we are going to be as reconciliatory as possible, considering the very nice Coca-Cola-like paintjob. True, we might have a soft spot for crimson and creamy white combinations…

Now that everyone has finished ogling at the pristine exterior details, let’s get down to the classic pickup truck business. This 1946 Ford was probably restored sometimes during previous ownership – there isn’t much background to go along with as far as its historic whereabouts are concerned. We did catch the dealer’s reference that “extensive records and photos from restoration” are also available.

And this time around, we paid more attention than ever to what the consigner has to say, considering the laugh we had after reading the proud statement that we are dealing with a “truck (that) will cruise at 55 mph.” That’s just 89 kph for the Old Continent fans. But, then again, even after a full restoration, it’s still a very old truck – and well within pension rights at 75 years of age

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How Does An Ardun OHV Conversion Work?? – @IrontrapGarage

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While visiting Ronnie Roadster Matt filmed a ton of footage while talking with Ron. We wanted to put together a video showing exactly how an Ardun OHV Conversion works for a Ford Flathead engine. Ron is a wealth of knowledge and has over 100k miles on his blue 32 Ford Roadster that’s powered by a blown Ardun. Ron shows us the inner workings of an Ardun valvetrain and some of the tricks that are needed to get them running correctly. A huge thank you to Ron and his wife Laura for letting us visit and film!!

What’s an ARDUN? The Ultimate OHV Conversion for the Ford Flathead V-8 – Mike Herman of H&H Flatheads @TorqTalk

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As we learned in our flathead Ford V8 story here: www.torqtalk.com/home/ford-flathead-the-first-performance-v-8, the Ford V8 was not initially a performer. Out of the crate in 1932 the 221 ci produced only 65 bhp and even by the end of its life in 1953 the 239 ci ‘flattie’ only produced 110. Note: The ’53 255 ci Mercury did make 125 bhp—still no big deal.

To make the Model A/B four bangers go faster several outfits had produced overhead valve (ohv) conversions it seemed obvious therefore to build something similar for the V-8. Enter brothers Zora and Yura Arkus-Duntov and the Ardun Mechanical Corp., New York. By 1945, their mainstay military contracts were dwindling and Zora approached Ford about an ohv conversion for the V-8 that over heated and was under powered. Ford showed no interest and so Zora went ahead anyway buying a couple of V-8s and designing his own heads with the help of engineer George Kudasch.

Rather than have the middle pair of exhaust ports asthmatically ‘siamesed’ into one, the Ardun, a contraction of ARkus-DUNtov, breathed better through four equally spaced ports. It was also compatible with the Ford block and valvetrain, used the stock cam, and had hemispherical combustion chambers and large intake valves for improved performance. Interestingly, the Ardun had short intake rockers and long exhaust rockers and was similar to the 1951 Chrysler Hemi but preceded it by four years when it was introduced in 1947.  

The downside was trifold: The assembly was 12-inches wider than stock, it weighed an additional 60 lb and it wasn’t cheap being cast from heat-treated, 355-T6 Alcoa aluminum alloy. However, the heads produced between 25- and 60-percent more power depending on tuning—the original had but a single carb. According to Zora, “I had about 230 hp on gasoline by 1949.”

Zora might have been a tad optimistic with his figures. After almost two years and more than 1,000 hours of testing on his own GE dyno, the Ardun-headed engine put out only 160 bhp. ‘Build it and they will come’ was Zora’s philosophy and he attempted to market complete engines and conversions. A ‘racing’ version was said to produce 200 bhp at 5,500 rpm. The conversion sold for a hefty $500 and installation took six skilled hours. Two thousand inquiries resulted from a feature in Popular Mechanics but few sales materialized.

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Ardun Flathead Heaven- Dropping Our Engine With Ron “Roadster” SanGiovani – @IronTrapGarage

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The time has finally come to take the engine for the 1933 Ford 3 Window Coupe up to Ronnie “Roadster” San Giovanni, the master of the Ardun OHV conversion.

Ron built his first Ardun back in the early 1980’s and has been hooked ever since. His blue 1932 Ford Roadster with a blown Ardun has been cross country twice and around 100k miles.

Ron is a wealth of knowledge about hot rods, local Connecticut racing history and of course flatheads. Matt spent the better part of the day talking with Ron about his set of heads, and his large Italmeccanica blower that Ron has surprisingly never seen before!

We could have put together a 4 hour video with Ron and wife talking about every amazing piece of history they have in their shop and all the amazing engines Ron has built. We can’t wait to return to pick up the engine and spend more time with Ron!!

Pick of the Day: 1941 Ford 2-door coupe with classic car finance lesson – Tyson Hughie @ClassicCars.com

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Restoration expenses once again far outstrip the value of the finished product

If there’s anything that owning a “project vehicle” has taught anyone, it’s that restoration work almost always ends up being much-more expensive than originally anticipated.  And while it’s rewarding to be part of an extreme makeover, sometimes it means taking a loss when it comes time to part ways and offer that vehicle up to the collector marketplace.

Many classified listings these days include some variation of the phrase, “You can’t build it for what I’m asking.”  And that statement rings painfully true in many cases

A private seller on ClassicCars.com in Longview, Texas, is offering an 80-year-old custom Ford at a fraction of the investment that it took to restore.  The Pick of the Day is a red 1941 Ford Super Deluxe two-door coupe complete with receipts totaling $100,000 and a selling price that is significantly lower.

“The price to build was right at $100k,” the listing states.  “Invoices are available which will list all of the individual components plus the shop labor hours.” 

The rebuilt Jasper flathead engine alone, now having accrued only a few hundred miles since installation, reflected an expenditure in excess of $10,000, according to the ad.

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