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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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  #1  
Old 03-19-2015, 03:20 PM
exador exador is offline
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Default straight 8 flatheads

No reason for this but conversation and personal knowledge.

Do any of you run straight 8 flatheads?

No interest on fords.

For your choice do YOU KNOW if any speed parts are available for your motor? Prefer to know if you definitely know.

Any adapters or way to use a later 4sp. trans?

What influenced your decision.

Would any consider any of the old 12 cyls?
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2015, 07:25 PM
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My future rat has a 350 chevy waiting for it as we speek , but Id love to find an old strait 8 or a 12 anything and put in it instead but , nothing like that is around here anymore ... My Dad used to have a 56 Buick Special with the strait 8 in it ,, wish we still had it ...
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:49 PM
Willowbilly3 Willowbilly3 is offline
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What particular flat straight 8s are you inquiring about? There were several. About the latest and probably the most common is going to be the Pontiac, used into the early 50s. And also the Hudson of the same vintage and they even came in a souped up version with twin carbs called "Twin H Power". Packard also used them into the early 50s. Any speed parts are going to be rare but if you scrounge far enough you might find a finned aluminum head for a Pontiac and maybe even a twin carb set up.
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:25 PM
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I've been hanging onto a 1949 Packard 288 straight 8 flathead that I took out of a 47 Packard I built a few years back. It was a good runner, I took it all apart and stored it in my shed for future use. I did do a complete porting job on it, opening the siamesed intake ports to 1 7/8" from the stock 1 1/2" and opening up the exhausts to 1 1/2", full pocket porting to smooth flow past the valves.
The plan is to get a rebuild kit from Egge Machine with .100 over pistons which will increase the displacement to 302 cu. in. I can have the cam reground with a performance grind and have the solid lifters refaced by Delta Cams in Oregon or Shadbolt Cams in Vancouver B.C.
It's possible to adapt a GM HEI to the stock distributor shaft or Pertronix makes a pointless module for the stock distributor.
Another upgrade that can really help is to re-plumb the oil pump (rebuilt ones available from Egge) to bypass the outlet to a full flow filter then feed it back into the mail oil gallery instead of the stock partial flow can filter. Another important thing to add is a PCV from the tappet cover to the carb instead of the old road draft tube - these two things will clean the oil better and keep contaminents out of the system, making a longer lasting engine.
Another idea for this engine is to swap in the longer stroke 327 Packard crank with the 288 rods - with a .100 overbore would bring it up to 347 cu. in. The longer 288 rods would move the piston pin higher and make for a lighter piston - though they would need to be custom made....
It's a trade off - the 288 should safely rev a little higher and quicker due to its shorter stroke but a larger displacement, longer stroke combo would make more torque. Either way, I don't think you'd want to turn it much over 4500 RPM.
I plan to make an equal runner length intake manifold from 2" exhaust tubing to mount a 600 Holley 4bbl. and build a set of headers - shorty small block Chev headers have almost the right port spacing - with a change to new flanges will make for an easy fit.
Edmunds did make intakes for this engine and a lot of other flathead 4 6 and 8 engines but are sooo rare (expensive!) and even finned aluminum heads but many of them really didn't flow that well or had casting flaws.
Bendtsens makes tranny adaptors for this engine to bolt on most any trans as well as adaptors for pretty much every vintage engine - if not they'll make one (also not cheap tho...)
Some day....
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2015, 09:36 AM
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I have a Pontiac straight 8 sitting in one of my 33's.
I love the sound that one make running and pulling. Shaamooth
I know it's not a flathead but, I'm eager to hear Bruno's Buick straight 8 run. Although, I don't think the zip tie idea will last very long on the header wraps

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Old 03-20-2015, 11:46 AM
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[QUOTE=Old Iron;419275]I have a Pontiac straight 8 sitting in one of my 33's.
I love the sound that one make running and pulling. Shaamooth
I know it's not a flathead but, I'm eager to hear Bruno's Buick straight 8 run. Although, I don't think the zip tie idea will last very long on the header wraps


OI I have the stainless straps made for that purpose My health has improved so I've been piddling around in the garage some, nothing worth posting pics of yet. My grandpa had a 53 Pontiac, my dad has a 53 Buick and I had a 47 Buick, all were great running engines. Lots of torque but low rpm engines, little over 4000 on the Buicks.

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Old 10-05-2016, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzrodder View Post
I've been hanging onto a 1949 Packard 288 straight 8 flathead that I took out of a 47 Packard I built a few years back. It was a good runner, I took it all apart and stored it in my shed for future use. I did do a complete porting job on it, opening the siamesed intake ports to 1 7/8" from the stock 1 1/2" and opening up the exhausts to 1 1/2", full pocket porting to smooth flow past the valves.
The plan is to get a rebuild kit from Egge Machine with .100 over pistons which will increase the displacement to 302 cu. in. I can have the cam reground with a performance grind and have the solid lifters refaced by Delta Cams in Oregon or Shadbolt Cams in Vancouver B.C.
It's possible to adapt a GM HEI to the stock distributor shaft or Pertronix makes a pointless module for the stock distributor.
Another upgrade that can really help is to re-plumb the oil pump (rebuilt ones available from Egge) to bypass the outlet to a full flow filter then feed it back into the mail oil gallery instead of the stock partial flow can filter. Another important thing to add is a PCV from the tappet cover to the carb instead of the old road draft tube - these two things will clean the oil better and keep contaminents out of the system, making a longer lasting engine.
Another idea for this engine is to swap in the longer stroke 327 Packard crank with the 288 rods - with a .100 overbore would bring it up to 347 cu. in. The longer 288 rods would move the piston pin higher and make for a lighter piston - though they would need to be custom made....
It's a trade off - the 288 should safely rev a little higher and quicker due to its shorter stroke but a larger displacement, longer stroke combo would make more torque. Either way, I don't think you'd want to turn it much over 4500 RPM.
I plan to make an equal runner length intake manifold from 2" exhaust tubing to mount a 600 Holley 4bbl. and build a set of headers - shorty small block Chev headers have almost the right port spacing - with a change to new flanges will make for an easy fit.
Edmunds did make intakes for this engine and a lot of other flathead 4 6 and 8 engines but are sooo rare (expensive!) and even finned aluminum heads but many of them really didn't flow that well or had casting flaws.
Bendtsens makes tranny adaptors for this engine to bolt on most any trans as well as adaptors for pretty much every vintage engine - if not they'll make one (also not cheap tho...)
Some day....
Great information. My buddy had a packard with the eight. Such a nice power train. My Dad ran a buick with an eight for a few years, plus two Hudsons.
Love the noises those cars made.
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  #8  
Old 10-06-2016, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankee Transplant View Post
My Dad used to have a 56 Buick Special with the strait 8 in it ,, wish we still had it ...
Last year for the Buick straight 8 was 1953. Pontiac and Packard were the final holdouts, with 1954 being the final offering from both marques.

Speed parts are few and far between. Edmunds was the main producer for these engines, but they were geared more towards performance upgrades, not raw power (results definitely varied). "Speed" is also a loosely used term here, because straight 8's are anything but fast. They were produced for low RPM torque to move heavy luxury cars around smoothly and quietly. Of course you can improve upon them, but you better have some deep pockets if you expect any sort of performance. Transmissions adapters are available for any of them but again, be ready for some sticker shock...
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:36 PM
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Bendtsens adapter for the straight 8 Buick is $1,100 dollars. you get the 2 adapter plates, crankshaft adapter, flexplate for automatics, mini high torque starter and all necessary bolts. I'm running a 4 speed so I also got a flywheel from them. It is extremely well made and installed without any problems. I don't know what the cost is for the flat eights.

Looked it up...
Pontiac is $1,150
Packard is $900 to $1,100, guess they came in different sizes.
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Old 10-07-2016, 10:56 AM
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...and nobody has mentioned the 324 inch Chrysler/DeSoto...shame on ya'....

And yes, we do make an adapter for them....
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