From: shoeboxdave (Original Message) Sent: 3/7/2007 4:33 PM
Hi-

My engine builder, a welll known guy who shall remain nameless, recommends running rebuilt 8BA flatheads without an oil filter. His thinking is that since flatheads have such poor oil circulation as it is, the value of filtering the oil is offset by the loss in overall oil pressure, and a full flow system is hard to achieve anyway. Therefore, he suggests just changing the oil frequently. Also, he reasons there is no sludge to filter out as the engine is completely rebuilt. Thoughts on this?

Also while I am on the suibject, can I once again ask why synthetics cannot be run in a flathead? I remember posts on this subject some time back, but I can't find them and I would like to hear the arguments against using the latest technology. One would think any engine would benefit from super-slick lubricants, so why not the flatties too?
Especially if I am not going to run a filter....

Thoughts? thanks shoebox


From: redned10 Sent: 3/7/2007 4:55 PM

Many flatheaders don't run a filter, the arguments for and against are about equal from what I've seen? I guess the argument on using a filter with a newly built engine would that it will pick up any minute particles of metal as the motor beds in so that's a time when you should run a filter. From a personal point of view I like to run the semi full flow filter system on my flatheads as it's an easy addition whilst the motor is being built and I take the attitude that any filtering is better than none. But. like I said. there's many on this forum and people who do a lot more miles than I'll ever do that don't run a filter and with seemingly no ill effect - Rumbleseat comes to mind and he does some big miles.

Regards the synthetc oils - I'll leave that one alone as I have no experience with them in flatheads. I did run a synthetic oil in our late model family car for a substantial amount of time but could see no real benefit to the extra price tag that was charged for it.

Redned

From: doby16880 Sent: 3/7/2007 6:05 PM

The price tag for synthetic aside, the designers of antique engines didn't pay the attention to fluid retention, shall we say, that modern engineers do. Many, if not most flatheads leak oil. Synthetics are molecularly smaller than conventional oils and tend to leak from places conventional oil won't even see. In other words, if your flatty leaks dino oil it will leak the expensive syn oil, too only more and faster. You may be able to overcome this by paying close attention to the sealing surfaces during a rebuild. If you just want the slick properties of synthetic try adding Lucas oil to the crankcase. It's probably just as slick as syn oil without the price and propensity to escape the confines of your crankcase. JMT

From: NCbubblebelly Sent: 3/7/2007 6:25 PM

shoeboxdave wrote: My engine builder, a welll known guy who shall remain nameless, recommends running rebuilt 8BA flatheads without an oil filter. His thinking is that since flatheads have such poor oil circulation as it is, the value of filtering the oil is offset by the loss in overall oil pressure, and a full flow system is hard to achieve anyway. Therefore, he suggests just changing the oil frequently. Also, he reasons there is no sludge to filter out as the engine is completely rebuilt. Thoughts on this?

My first thought is to use a straight 30 weight non-detergent oil the first 500 miles or so in order to catch and drain out any metal shavings that are the natural result of new parts working a fit to each other.

My second thought is to change the oil after 500 miles,and then run 15-40 weight diesel oil. This oil still has the high pressure additive that will keep your camshaft from wearing out early or breaking that the newer car oils don't have because they run overhead cams or roller rockers and cams.

Also while I am on the suibject, can I once again ask why synthetics cannot be run in a flathead?

You can if it is a new engine that was thoroughly cleaned and tanked during the rebuild,not just sprayed and wiped down while doing a ring job. IMHO,it's just not as good for your engine as the 15-40 diesel oil is.

My personal favorite is the Mobile DX-1300. Some people swear by the Shell Rotella oil,but I didn't like the Shell anywhere near as good as I like the DX-1300 in my turbo diesel Ford,

From: Speedbumpauto1 Sent: 3/7/2007 6:53 PM

This is a timely subject as I am in the machining stages of a Lincoln V-12. Personally, from the sludge traps I've opened up on this engine and an earlier 1950 V-8, a full flow filter system would be great. I've heard there is a way to modify the flathead for an almost full flow filter. I would appreciate any info on the subject. The Lincoln guru in Maryland I'm getting parts from has a melling high volume pump and special pick up to upgrade the V-12. I think that would solve the pressure problems although newer filters have very little pressure drop.
This is a complete remanufacture/rebuild and I've gone to great lengths to make it spotless. I just can't see not taking advantage of the current technology in oil and filters for this engine, even though it's life in the Zephyr will be a pampered one with few miles. Your thoughts, opinions, recommendations?

From: OriginalJWL Sent: 3/7/2007 8:53 PM

I don't think I'll enter the debate over whether or not to convert to a full filter or semi-full filter. In some cases a filter could be essential, while in others it can just consume space and add weight. Flatheads have gone millions of miles without filters. Still, it would be difficult to argue that a filter wouldn't be "better". I wouldn't view the oil filter as primarily a sludge trap, but rather a device for preventing recirculation of bits and pieces which damage bearings, and journals.

I will make a couple of points about the "poor oil circulation" comment. Frankly, our old Flatheads have an excellent oiling system. When proper clearances are established, and with the correct 8BA oilpump, normal cruise speed oil pressure is around 50 lbs. with 10-30 oil. Check the oil pressure in your old Chevy, Olds, Dodge, etc. etc. sometime. Too, I don't see why installing a filter would result in "the loss in overall oil pressure". The pressure drop through a modern filter is negligble and even a stock type, partial filter(total loss) system only drops pressure about 5 lbs.

The accumulation of "sludge" can be traced to two primary causes: First, is the use of non-detergent oil and second is inadequate operating temperature. A third contributor can be crankcase ventilation but the degree of severity associated to this is below the first two. Certainly extended oil change intervals can contribute also.

I don't see any technical problem with using synthetic oil in your Flathead, after breakin. The excess leakage card has been over-played. However, I personally cannot justify the extra cost and see no reason why the average Flathead engine won't run more miles than the average owner will drive it, by using Delo, or Shell Rotella petroleum oil. The problem with synthetic oil is that the expected change intervals are commomly elongated and I do not agree with doing that with our Flatheads.

From: moefuzz Sent: 3/7/2007 9:57 PM

With the advent of detergent oils and far superior gasoline, Sludge should be a thing of the past.

JMHO, But I would concentrate on a decent pcv system (easy and cheap) as this will all but eliminate moisture and the gases (blow-by and fuel born)etc. that are the key factors in creating sludge.

It's true that during the first few miles of engine break-in, fine metalic particules can/will end up in your oil pan.

A full flow Oil system would catch these rather quickly as opposed to letting them re-circulate thru the engine and bearings, But People have been placing magnets in oil pans for years to combate that problem.

On engines with a lack of filtering system, Just change the oil after the first moments of break in (generally between 15 and 30 minutes), Change the oil again at 100 to 300 miles and change again at 1000 miles.

That's a total of about a case of oil with no oil filters. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

After all, Most of the flatheads that we've resurected, have managed to survive in good enough condition to be rebuilt again and again -With never having a full flow system attached. (And up until the 40's, absolutly no oil filtering system from the factory either).

My 41 coupe started and ran on it's original engine (89,000 miles) after sitting in a field since 1963. It did not come with an OEM oil filtering system, and none was ever attached.
Oil pressure with fresh 40 (straight weight) was about 15-20 lbs cold and 7 to 10 lbs warm. Not a lot of oil pressure for any engine but it is/was certianly enough to cruise down the hiway at 70 mph (on it's original un-opened 239) for the ten years I had the car....

....Ford Flatheads are engines that survived due to their superior metalurgy. A Little more nickel-chrome added during the casting process made for a harder/tougher and more wear resistant block and cylinder wall. (In the 30's and up, chebby and mopar/others were building planned obsolescence, so no need for an engine that lasts longer or is wear resistant)

Ford designed an engine that was made to run on crap oil, crap gas and was boiled in the farmers field in the day and frozen at night -all the while driving on roads made of dust or mud. Hence the accumulation of sludge.

And they still survived in masse with little or no oil filtration.

. ...Even at $2 a quart for oil, This still isn't a lot of $$ for several oil changes per year....

Use a good quality Oil (straight weights were recommended by Ford) and change oil every 1000 to 2500 miles.

In My Opinion, That's a heck of a lot more than most flatheads ever got while running the hot and dusty roads of the 40s on crap gas and non-detergent oil.

JMHO and opinions vary

moe

From: CONRODBENT1 Sent: 3/8/2007 4:58 AM

2 Points of view from me....... Sometime back i had a cam problem . At the time there was no alternitive but to drive the car about 150mls on 6 cyd's to home, not sure at the time what the problem was. Pulled the engine and found a lot of small chips in the sump, most from cam lob wear. I know that if i didn't have the part flow filter fitted it would have destroyed the engine, instead i had to only replace the cam, tappets, & cam bearings.!!.............................................
Theyre's always talk of the miles flatheads did years ago on straight weight oils etc. (which i also used in the early days)
And true if you looked after the engine you could achieve
those figuires........But has anyone thought about how many miles further you would or could get on modern day oils.
A lot lot further in my opinion.!!..80thou. engines could easley become 100 thou engines etc. Modern oils and filters systems get my vote.

From: 51tudor Sent: 3/8/2007 8:55 AM

I have a flathead story from the late 50s. It involves a grandfather of one of my highschool buddies. "Grandpa" had a 37 Ford V-8 that had a major problem with the differential. The Ford garage wanted almost $100 to repair it. So, grandpa went to the Chevrolet dealer to trade for a different car. The Chevy dealer didn't want the Ford on his used car lot. Grandpa took the Ford home, removed the right rear door as well as the seats, chopped out the floorpans, and rigged some pulleys linked from the driveshaft to a pump that ran his irragation system. He pulled water from a creek that ran through his fields.

Grandpa would start up the Ford after supper and run it until breakfast the next day or it ran out of gas. Which ever came first. I worked for a Texaco station at the Lake of the Ozarks every summer and was interested in how he maintained the engine. I asked how often he changed the oil. The reply was "I put a little dab of oil in it before I start it every day." I asked again how often the oil was changed. Grandpa replied, "Aw I reckon it just changes itself". This was about 1957 or 1958.

I went to my 30 year highschool reunion in 1991 and renewed my aquantance with the grandson. I asked about the Ford. The grandson told me that the Ford was replaced with a Kubota stationery engine that ran on diesel. He wasn't sure about the exact year but he thought it was the middle 80s.

That leave about 30 years that the old Ford ran an irragation system. I would not even make a guess on how many road miles that would equal. It would run 8 to 10 hours a day from late spring to early summer every year.

I don't remember if the engine had a filter or not.

From: CONRODBENT1 Sent: 3/8/2007 4:59 AM

2 Points of view from me....... Sometime back i had a cam problem . At the time there was no alternitive but to drive the car about 150mls on 6 cyd's to home, not sure at the time what the problem was. Pulled the engine and found a lot of small chips in the sump, most from cam lob wear. I know that if i didn't have the part flow filter fitted it would have destroyed the engine, instead i had to only replace the cam, tappets, & cam bearings.!!.............................................
Theyre's always talk of the miles flatheads did years ago on straight weight oils etc. (which i also used in the early days)
And true if you looked after the engine you could achieve
those figuires........But has anyone thought about how many miles further you would or could get on modern day oils.
A lot lot further in my opinion.!!..80thou. engines could easley become 100 thou engines etc. Modern oils and filters systems get my vote.

From: carlroseville Sent: 3/8/2007 12:08 PM

Dave just my thoughts, you rebuilder figures that since it is rebuilt there is no sludge anyway...... duh, how does he figure it gets there, only after you run it. My two cents worth, you spend plenty of cash to rebuild a good engine put in a cam, add heads carbs, make a few more ponys, stress the engine out more than Henry started out with and for me I want the extra protection for the main ingredient between the block and bearing surface, the oil. For my 2cents the 95% filtration is the way to go as its cheap and effictive and I don't have to mess with holes in my pans and assorted extra plumbing........JMHO.........Carl

From: 29AV8 Sent: 3/8/2007 5:24 PM

Just gotta jump in too...

I'm not running a filter on my 8BA and I am changing the conventional oil frequently. I don't have enough miles on it yet to know if it's a liability or not. So far the top end is pretty clean, and there is a fine layer on the bottom of the pan. I'm following Rumbleseat's tip in using motor flush on oil changes every so often.

I'm also really not sure how a bit of sludge hurts performance or longevity, despite the TV commercials. Back in the '70's when I was an assistant wrench I cleaned a lot of oil pans and saw some '60's motors that were in really bad shape. But I can't remember seeing anything since that threatened to close off an oil passage or clog a screen. I think PCV's, unleaded fuel, and higher operating temps all made a difference. None of us are going to abuse our engines to that extent. And look at how small filters are today, and the long change intervals.

This may be one of those things that is hard to quantify because we all use our cars so differently.

Besides, didn't 8BA's come with oil filters from the factory?

29AV8


From: Speedbumpauto1 Sent: 3/8/2007 7:26 PM

So, is there a kit to buy for the simple 95% filtration? Seems like that might be a good comprimise. I just can't see force feeding gritty oil to the bearings. This V-12 crank has to go .040 rods and mains. To me that means it's been rebuilt before, maybe more than once and I can't believe that engine had enough miles on it to need the crank ground four times. I've seen lots of newer filtered engines, not too well cared for, that had over 100K miles on them and the crank was still marginal for use without grinding. To me, that makes the filter a positive. That point about a good PCV was great though. Even though some crud gets in through the intake, lots of it is byproducts of combustion, acids and moisture. Where can I get info to modify this system for a filter? Thanks,
speedbump

From: carlroseville Sent: 3/8/2007 8:05 PM
Bump, I'm not familiar with the Lincoln but if the oil gallery is the same as on the Ford the info is on the left on the Tecno-site .......Carl

From: Butchbov Sent: 3/9/2007 6:59 AM

Try this. Just did it on my ne 8BA. You can even get a remote oil kit from Speedawy if you're so inclined. I did & it's pretty nice w/AN fittings & everything. One thing, I could only go with 1/4" pipe holes in the block. Wasn't enough room for larger ones.

I'll try to post some pics in my album.

Butch

From: Speedbumpauto1 Sent: 3/9/2007 8:59 AM

Thanks Butch, I have limited flathead experience but the same number of holes appear at approx. the same locations on this block. So far, I've found lots of the parts to be interchangeable. I might have room for 3/8 pipe. Are you suggesting an advantage to drilling and tapping to that size. It's obvious bigger lines mean better flow but will the galleys in the block support that? Thanks again.
Speed

From: Speedbumpauto1 Sent: 3/9/2007 9:26 AM

carlroseville, Just went to the site and read your instructions. Great job. The purpose of the 7/16 set screw is to block off the original oil passage to the bearings and use only the filtered oil? That's the only part I had some confusion about. Speed

From: finn34 Sent: 3/9/2007 1:32 PM

About oils. Let me tell about my latest rebuild a couple of years ago. It was a 36 "LB". I got some nice nos ford pistons and the shop did a good job boring to factory clearences. They even said they adjusted that for every piston separately! Anyway for the first 300 miles i used the cheapest 10-30 oil i could find (hard to get straight 30 oil). The engine had a magnetic plug. And when i changed the oil i found just a little fine metal powder, from the rings im sure). Then i changed to normal mobil1. And no oil consumption, and no leaks. I added a primitive pcv, a hose from the (modified) front corner of the oilpan to the inside of the airfilter, so i got a little vacuum in the crankcase. In the hose I put some wrapped mesh as a flame protector. The next oilchange about 2000-3000 miles later i found no metal powder on the magnet. But there the story ends as i sold the car (34) for a nice 39. Its engine is a 8ba that has been overhauled by a very flathead-experienced Swedish shop. It too takes no oil, and of course when i changed oil I used mobil1, and still no consumption to speak about.
Im sure the reason that engines today last forever is mostly due to good synthetic oils and the long intervals between oilchange is also because of good pcv systems.
And filters: im sure even fords original bypass system is quite ok, in an h or so most of the oil is filtrated. And remember when an engine is really cold a fullflow filter will bypass a lot if not all oil!
There may be some problems with the newest oils and camshafts, but the flathead valvesprings are not that strong so who knows.
I wonder what the record is for mileage on a flathead with today oils, Rumbleseat did get was it 90000 mi before opening up, and the engine was still in good shape i recall. Anyone else?

From: Butchbov Sent: 3/9/2007 3:46 PM

The instructions on the techno site call for 3/8" NPT, but I didn't have room to go that big. I'm showing 60+# of pressure when the motor is running & everything seems OK.

Butch

From: CONRODBENT1 Sent: 3/9/2007 4:19 PM

Butch.......Speed bump that is the exact pic.of system i have been useing for about 6 yrs, Mike Davidson has a drawing in one of his books. I used 2... 7/16 Allen head grub screws locked against one another too block the passage.... just to be sure they don't come loose. Oil pressure runs at 65.....75 hot
on the worked 8ba.

From: soule46 Sent: 3/9/2007 6:08 PM

Playing devils advocate here. If you are measuring pressure before the filter, could the resistance of the filter (or the smaller than recommended tapped holes) cause you to see on the guage an artificially high pressure that the bearings don't see? Wouldn't a better measure of the pressure at the bearings be after the filter? Does the filter holder divert oil at a "high" pressure like on modern cars. If so at what pressure? If it diverts at less than the 60psi operating pressure that has been quoted, what percent of the oil always bypasses the filter with normal operating pressure (is that whay they call it 95%)?

From: Butchbov Sent: 3/9/2007 8:06 PM
soule46, I can't answer your pressure question, but my intent is to put a tee in in place of the elbow at the block on the return line & put a mechanical gauge in there just to see what it reads. Maybe if I get that done I can answer part of the question.

Maybe someone else can chime in with some answers on the filter.

It's my understanding they call it 95% because the oil to the rear main goes directly to the bearing & doesn't go throught the filter.

Also, I've read all the pro & con on running a filter, but if you have the block down why not spend the few extra bucks? The whole thing was less than a $100.00 & if that breaks your bank, you're probably already broke.

Just my $.02,

Butch

From: Butchbov Sent: 3/9/2007 8:28 PM

Speedbumpauto1, It might be worth your while to go over to the shoeboxford.com site & talk to Ray Marler. He specializes in 49 - 51 Fords & Mercurys, but I'd have to bet he has experience with the Lincoln V12s too.

He's also an excellent source for parts, engine & otherwise. I bought all my engine overhaul parts from him & was very pleased with the price & the service.

Please don't think I'm knocking this site or anyone on it because I'm not, but you can't get to much knowledge.

Butch

From: soule46 Sent: 3/9/2007 10:33 PM

Sorry -- I am bad. Forget everything I asked about the high pressure bypass. That is actually done in the new filters so it should be there and thinking about it more clearly about this fluids problem, as long as the pressure drop across the filter is lower than the set point of the bypass valve, the bypass valve would stay closed -- filtering all of the oil.

That said, if the tubing size doesn't cause too much of a restriction, the placement of the pressure sensor really doesn't make a difference. You just wouldn't be able to measure the pressure drop across the filter (which would increase as the mileage on the filter increases) but I think the max pressure drop is about 10-20 psi before the bypass valve opens (and that would would be with an almost fully plugged filter!). So there really wouldn't be a significant problem with the location of the sensor (other than a tubing size restriction, but 1/4" pipe is fairly large). Sorry for confusing the subject with my earlier post.

From: WallysFlattys Sent: 3/10/2007 9:39 AM

I have to jump in here too.

IMHO, the only way to go is with a full flow (or almost full flow) oil filtering system. I've torn down several flatheads with the bypass filter systems on them and the key is rod and main bearings. They are worn! If you can filter out the grit, the engine will last almost indefinately. I wouldn't build up a flathead without a good filtering system and a PCV system. I don't want to tear it down five years from now and have to replace all the bearings.

One caution, most of the oil passages in the flathead are at least 3/8" diameter. To minimize pressure drop getting the oil into the engine you should always try to maintain a line size of at least 3/8". I go as far as drilling out the 3/8" pipe fittings. They are designed to handle high pressure, 2000 PSI. We're only talking pressures less than 100 PSI here.

Good Luck, Wally

From: tried23 Sent: 3/14/2007 8:35 AM

Can the holes be drilled for the 95% filtering method without pulling out the crankshaft? I think the answer is no or is there a way to get the filings out of the oil passages. I have a motor that I am working on now and I do not need to pull the crank. Neal

From: WallysFlattys Sent: 3/14/2007 11:12 AM

Neal, I personally wouldn't attempt the drilling without tearing down the block completely. The object of the whole excersize is to filter out the contamination and you risk sending some chips right into the cam and crankshaft it you don't tear it down and clean everything after you do the drilling.
All that being said, there is a way to do it. If you pull the pipe plug out of the front of the block (right behind the cam gear) and push a plug (a wad of clean cloth or foam) down the main galley tube to the far end this will keep the chips out of the rest of the engine. You would also want to pull your oil pump and plug that in the same manner from the bottom. The trick is getting the plug out of the galley tube without dragging chips with it. Then blow out the tube from the front of the engine after you're all done. As I said it can be done but I prefer to tear the block down for a good cleaning after doing the modifications.
Good Luck, Wally

 

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