Maybe I'll go back to stock flatheads

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PackardV8
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Maybe I'll go back to stock flatheads

Post by PackardV8 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:43 pm

Back story - I was helping clean out the shop of a talented local fabricator (R.I.P.). He designed and built portable gold dredges, among other things. We should all have half his talent and energy.

There were literally tons of machines, tools and scrap which had to go. After we helped sell all the large machinery, it was time to deal with the detritus. Five of us spent half a day, four truckloads and didn't get it all done.

Outside, under a piece of plywood, was an old Onan 4KW generator; two-cylinder 50" opposed flathead, 3.25" x 3". No one else had any interest in it, because who'd leave a good unit out in the weather? It appeared complete and I'd been needing a backup generator, so I tossed into the back of my truck for a later evaluation.

When I got time, I blew out the leaves and looked it over. At a guess, it is at least forty years old and had been sitting outside in the northern climes for who knows how long. I drained the oil and filled it - four quarts, no filter. Then, I pulled the spark plugs, attached a battery and it cranked over easily.

It has no fuel tank, but a Bendix electric pump; dropped a length of gas line into a gas can, triggered the pump and it made pressure and stopped. Touched the start button and that old sucker started immediately and settled into the 1800 RPM run, putting out 120-volts.

Why fight this finicky new-fangled stuff when the basic problem was solved way long ago?
Jack Vines
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Krooser
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Re: Maybe I'll go back to stock flatheads

Post by Krooser » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:50 pm

Yes...
Last place in the B-main is better than anyplace in the grandstands...

cgarb
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Re: Maybe I'll go back to stock flatheads

Post by cgarb » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:16 pm

Because, if people were happy with simple major coorperations would be missing out on profits. How many generac units will still work 50 years from now...I bet not many without maintenance.

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Re: Maybe I'll go back to stock flatheads

Post by gmc406 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:14 pm

Years ago back in 1995 when I was young, dumb and full of.... My dad had a 1954 Ford Custom Line that once belonged to my grandfather (R.I.P). It sat in the scrap yard for 26 years( 1969 plates on her). Me and my buddies decided to get the ol girl running. We hooked up a 6 volt battery and poured gas down the carb, cranked it over, and it fired almost instantly. We had a blast in that ol thing. The flathead ran like a top. Last time it was running was in 99. I bet it would fire up the same today.

I wonder if a new vehicle of today would do the same. Lol

tresi
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Re: Maybe I'll go back to stock flatheads

Post by tresi » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:53 am

My 1st job in aviation as an A&P mechanic was at a small Army airfield. It's budget was near zero so most of our GSE, Ground Support Equipment came from PDO, Parts Disposal something, They call it something else today so it was all ancient but with nothing more than fuel filters, a few O-rings, new batteries and a can of carb cleaner it all work and didn't smoke. One word of warning if you ever run across old military GSE for some unknown reason all throttle linkages work like an airplane. If the throttle linkage falls off the spring on the carb snaps it open to full throttle. That can cause a great deal of excitement when you are pushing an $10,000,000 airplane in the hanger with an old Army
tug.

PackardV8
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Re: Maybe I'll go back to stock flatheads

Post by PackardV8 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:14 pm

tresi wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:53 am
Ground Support Equipment came from PDO, Parts Disposal something, it was all ancient but with nothing more than fuel filters, a few O-rings, new batteries and a can of carb cleaner it all work and didn't smoke.
The Property Disposal Office is supposed to receive all surplus equipment, offer it within the branch, then to other services, then to qualified civilian government departments, and finally auction off anything no one wants or needs. As might be imagined, for those who understand how it works and take the trouble to make contacts, there are myriad methods of gaming the system. I know of a small town in Montana with a rack of new M-16s, SAWs, pallets of ammunition, night vision scopes, radios and an armored assault vehicle.
Jack Vines
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Re: Maybe I'll go back to stock flatheads

Post by tresi » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:42 pm

I knew a guy in a small Missouri town that ran the recycling program the Air Force started at Whiteman AFB. He started a recycling company shortly before he retired by the time he retired his shop was well stocked. The Air Force was putting Optima batteries in everything. They put a new battery in every year whether it need it or not and if a vehicle had any electrical problem it got a new battery no matter what the problem was. Needless to say he ended up with dozens of 1 yr old Optima batteries and that was back when they were good.

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Re: Maybe I'll go back to stock flatheads

Post by Dragsinger » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:38 am

Early years are formative years,

Granny owned a 1951 Plymouth that became my first learning car. When she gave it to me it smoked like a railroad locomotive. At age 14 I removed the engine, replaced rings, [only rings, bought rings and a head gasket, reinstalled everything else, no cylinder prep] After a few days of driving the smoking cleared up! Granny was proud of my work.

That old Plymouth was the source of many lessons. Learned to speed shift, how to hang the rear out on a dirt road, how to dismount and patch inner tubes, file points, clean plugs [never bought either], build plug wire sets from bulk supplies, and the list goes on. Basically, those early experiences set the tone for a lifetime of building, creating, and enjoyment.

Granny was a loving, tolerant person. Yet even her unconditional love was tested when I took the body off the frame and ran the back roads "sans body". Removing about 2000 pounds from a 1951 Plymouth greatly improved its performance.

Now, at age 71, I am still drag racing and like in the beginning, building everything in-house.

The several recent posts about flatheads always catch my attention. I think some type of lightweight street rod would be cool with a MOPAR flathead L6.
Larry Woodfin, Flyn with the Race Bird

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