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Flatheads: 4 - 6 - 8 - 12 bangers! Flattie Talk - Q&A! Dude... that's a funny lookin' engine!

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Old 01-24-2018, 08:11 PM
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sgtpontiac sgtpontiac is offline
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Default Ok flathead guys...

Picked up a 53 Ford with a flattie...it was sitting for a very long time covered in a pole barn.....I am not a flathead expert... I believed the head gaskets were leaking when I got it and none of the head bolts were even close to torqued properly. I was finding small trace amounts of coolant in the oil .... I've done the head gaskets replaced the head bolts with studs and got the radiator recored... seems ok now as to the coolant in oil situation... don't know how long it was getting coolant in the oil but it ran good...it has some spin on oil filter adapter on it in lieu of the cartridge type and what looks like a new oil pressure sender unit.... here's my concern... the stock electric gauge reads low at idle and when warm darn near nothing... I've yet to throw a manual gauge on it before I put it away for the winter..there was no noises and or even a tick out of the motor even with the electric gauge reading zip at idle...goes to about midway on gauge off idle or driving on road... I've read a ton of threads on the issues but I'm coming to the experts for the real info on this ... if the oil pressure is actually low after I check it, what would be the first thing you'd think? Stuck oil pressure regulator valve? Bad bearing clearance? bad pump? or??
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:22 PM
ssimpala ssimpala is offline
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I've pretty much forgotten most of what little I ever new about flatheads...but still wanted to say "welcome back"....we've missed your posts.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:31 PM
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sgtpontiac sgtpontiac is offline
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Default Honestly I've missed posting ....

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Originally Posted by ssimpala View Post
I've pretty much forgotten most of what little I ever new about flatheads...but still wanted to say "welcome back"....we've missed your posts.
If you remember anything, you've got me beat... by the time I was turning wrenches there were very few if any coming into the gas station I worked at as a kid.... I know there is no way for oil to get into the crankcase unless it's head gaskets seeping into the cylinders ....which is what I believe was happening when it sat after running... some of the head bolts took nothing to spin them out....otherwise I think the only other thing would be a crack in the block..but if it's cracked, then it must be a small one.... it also had a 16lb cap on the radiator and I believe that it was why the core was leaking since it should be 7lbs... so I also fixed that... doesn't lose any coolant now...same level in radiator as when I finished putting it back together...have about 150 miles of city driving on it and isn't going down...so now my oil pressure issue is my primary concern...
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:50 PM
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I'd try a mechanical gauge. Sometimes electrical gauges don't read right if they aren't getting a good ground.

And. Welcome back again!
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:31 PM
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Make sure the sender is the correct one for the flathead.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:54 PM
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I'm sorry..... Sgt Who?
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:50 AM
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Welcome back, we've missed you Sarge!
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:26 PM
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Welcome back!
I agree with Bama. A known good mechanical gauge is step one.

I ran a 400 Ford for decades with super low oil pressure. Never got around to changing the sender.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:50 PM
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Look what the cat dragged in! Good to see you, Sarge!

Going back some years, my best friend had (and still has) a '52 Ford PU with a "new" 239 flatty in it. His uncle rebuilt the engine and knew these animals inside and out... anyhow, my friend's factory gauge showed virtually nothing (hot @ idle) and not much at "speed", which bothered my friend and I both...

"Uncle Salty" as I came to know him, said it's fine. They're a low pressure design from the get-go and the old 10 PSI per 1000 RPM rule kind of plays here. Tune-up specs call for 450 RPM idle speed... that's 4.5 lbs oil pressure, hot.

I doubt you have anything to worry about. It's a low compression, low horsepower, low RPM engine with low pressure oiling... still, I'd like to see what a good, accurate, mechanical gauge shows you...

.
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:29 PM
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Default Figured you'd take the pee out of me for my absence....lol

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I'm sorry..... Sgt Who?
Eman you never fail to amuse me man....
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