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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Ford Flathead V8

All the Oddities of Ford's Famous Flathead V8 (Full Engine Build)
The Horsepower Monster

I've been hearing about the Ford flathead V8 since forever, but I was a little confused as to why it was such a big deal. By the time I was old enough to know what a car was, all cars had V8 engines. V8 engines have been around for a long time. They were used to power airplanes during WW1 and Cadillac had one back in 1915, but those were for people with money, not for the common man.

I thought that surely Chevrolet would have come out with a V8 shortly after Ford did, but that was not the case. Ford brought out their V8 in 1932. General Motors built numerous V8 engines, but it wasn't until Chevrolet brought out their small block V8 in 1955 that it became popular.

I posted another video of a flathead Ford V8 rebuild a while back, but it was a time lapse and it glossed over all the horrible problems you would encounter when working on this engine. The way the bell housing is cast with the block is an annoyance I could live with, but the business of setting the valve clearance is just nuts! I had a couple of motorcycles that had mechanical lifters. Setting the clearance on them was straightforward, but it was still a pain. A couple of iterations of that was enough to sell me on the infinite superiority of hydraulic lifters.

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