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Antique Gas Engine Discussion

Unstick a flathead!


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  #1  
Old 04-08-2005, 08:00:44 PM
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Default Unstick a flathead!

Howdy,

Any special ideas for unsticking a flathead without removing the head? Have tried ATF, Diesel, WD40, and one other special penetrant. Oh, by the way,
there are 33 bolts holding the head on my straight eight Pontiac and I sure hope to free it the easy way.

Many thanks,

David Graves
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2005, 08:52:54 PM
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

One thing to consider is that the piston rings are probably stuck in the grooves also. I freed up an engine once without disassembly and got it running. This was a small air cooled Clinton engine. Every time I ran it, it would almost sieze up when it got up to operating temperature. The reason being the rings were stuck in their grooves with rust and crud behind them. When the piston and stuck rings got hot and expanded, it got real stiff in the bore. I tore it down and freed the rings and never had anymore trouble with it.

Mike
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Old 04-08-2005, 10:32:15 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

What year is your "pumpjack" David? I've got a 1937 coupe with a straight eight. I had to take the head off and do the valves when I got it.
Be CAREFUL! Even if you get it loose where it will turn, it could still have something like a valve stuck which you could break or break something else that's pushing it. It's worth the trouble to take the head off. If you're not in shape to do it yourself, get some young punk that loves old junk and give him an opportunity to help. It will affect him for life. Kevin
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Old 04-08-2005, 10:56:01 PM
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

Hi Kevin,

This is a '54 Pontiac straight eight motor and trans I hope in an open wheel
Speedster project. Motor is complete and real clean but mighty stuck after
sitting 20 years in former owners shop. Are you at all familiar with the motors displacement, HP and torque figures? I have been unable to find ANYTHING about it on the WEB.....any sugesstions?

I also have a Packard 327 9 bearing motor but it probably needs more work than the Pontiac at this time.

All advice would be welcomed!

David Graves
Nehalem, Oregon
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Old 04-09-2005, 08:56:49 AM
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Keith Smigle Keith Smigle is offline
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

David~

I once owned a 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak with the same flat head 8. It has been a real long time but I believe it is rated at 105 HP and about 268 cu in displacement. I still probably have a few parts laying around, water pump, carb etc.. I believe that 1954 was the last year for the straight 8 also. The head is super easy to take off, it is all right there in front of you!
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Old 04-09-2005, 09:37:08 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Exclamation Re: Unstick a flathead!

I agree with the "take it apart" principle.

If you can't get the engine to turn by either using a wrench on the front crankshaft nut or by barring it over with the starter gear, by all means tear it down.

If there's junk in the bearings, the first time you fire it off, they're history. If the aluminum piston skirts are corroded, the first time you fire it off, they will most likely gall.

Stuck valves, etc., have their own self-destruct sequence.

It's easier in the long run to just bite the bullet and tear the beast down and give it a good cleaning and going over. The ol' "Maniac-8" will thank you for it.

Take care - Elden
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Old 04-09-2005, 09:45:18 AM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

David, I bought a factory reprint shop manual for mine through Hemmings Motor News I believe. I don't remember the company name, but manuals are available for many things, just as they are for these hitnmiss engines.
I will try to find where I got mine today. The speedster project sounds neat.
Shoot us a picture.
Kevin
PS just remember that old pontiacs are not "politically correct" they have a sterotyped "Injun on the side of the engine". And more on the dash, the crank hole cover, all over the place. Be careful someone doesn't sue you when you get it out on the road!
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Old 04-09-2005, 12:19:25 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

Seems to me the Buick Roadmasters had a straight eight up to about 1956 or 57??

Think I'd be flattered if some engine or vehicle bore the resemblance of one of my forefather's in it's emblem.

Bill
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Old 04-09-2005, 09:28:37 PM
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Cool Re: Unstick a flathead!

Your 1954 Pontiac engine is the last of the breed. They went to overhead valves in 1955. They are a very rugged, reliable engine. My friend has an old flat top coupe dirt track car that raced with a Pontiac flat 8 right up into the early 1970's, here in New England. The link should take you to a specs table for the last few years of the flathead. http://carnut.com/specs/gen/pont50.html
As for the Buick the last year for the flat 8 was 1953 I believe. In 1953 you could also get the OHV 8 "nailhead" V-8. We had a 1953 Buick Riviera with the OHV 8 when I was in college in the late 70's. If you need more info on the Pontiac stuff let me know, I work For Ames Performance, we have restoration parts for 1955 to 1981 Pontiacs, but lots of literature and tech going back to the early 40's.
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Old 04-09-2005, 10:11:21 PM
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

I'd pull the head off the Pontiac. If everything is ok, all your out is some gaskets. If things look bad, leaving it on wouldn't work out anyway. That's my guess.

Buick didn't make a flathead 8, heck I don't know of a flathead that they EVER built. They were real proud of their engines that way. Last year of the straight 8-overhead valve was 1953, in the lower-end of the model line, such as the Special. The Super and the Roadmaster had the 322 c.i. V-8, I do believe.

I drove my grandparents '53 Roadmaster Riviera 72R in my college days- bought it from my uncle with 45,000 original and all the receipts, etc. What a rig! Had more chrome on the dashboard than most cars had on their grills. The Buick grill- that's a story all its own.

Had these cool "map reading" lights which were great for rolling your own !!! Turn on the "Wonderbar" radio, and roll on down the highway! I panicked during the gas crunch of 1975 and sold it for a song; after all, gas hit 60 cents per gallon, you know....

Every year when the new phone book comes out, I look up the guy's number who bought it. He must be an old ***t by now.
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Old 04-09-2005, 11:39:55 PM
Tim Christoff Tim Christoff is offline
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

Iv'e got a 48 2 door Pontiac with the straight 8 in it. The car is not much to look at, been sitting for about 40 years. The engine is not stuck. Was thinking of pulling it out and fixing it up for part of my display some year. The orginal battery is still in the car, can't tell but I think it is a 6 volt, am I right? If so, can these things be converted over to 12 volt?
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Old 04-10-2005, 01:54:14 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Unstick a flathead!

Definately 6 volt - POSITIVE GROUND . Easy conversion, replace all bulbs, install 12 volt generater and regulater (or upgrade to 12 volt Alternater - self contained reg. type), install a dodge ignition resister in line with the instrument power supply (to prevent burnout by overvoltage), and have fun! The starter will function on 12 volt, do not crank for long periods of time (not more than 2 minutes in 10) to prevent overheating, or have it re-wound for 12 Volt operation.
Andrew
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Old 04-10-2005, 02:05:51 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Unstick a flathead!

David,
Definately pull the head. AND the valve lifter covers! If the valves are stuck closed, you could end up with cam breakage , at the least, if you free the crank alone. If they are stuck open, they will have to be freed up, and any open valve probably has rust on the face and seat. They will have to be lapped in for optimum compression. This is in addition to the other tips left here for you.
Good luck with your project!
Andrew
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Old 04-10-2005, 12:29:00 PM
BobRR BobRR is online now
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Mackey
Definately 6 volt - POSITIVE GROUND .
Andrew
I think all GM. is 6v Neg. ground? I know Chevy from that time period is.You dont have to worry about the starter I think the 6v. are better built then 12v.If you have the starter,gen.and regulator. Why not just give them a quick cleaning and brushes if needed and leave stock?The 6v system works good as long as everything is in good condition.Was it a running engine when parked?I agree with taking head off and checking cyl. and the valve train. good chance the mice may have moved in.? BobRR
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Old 04-10-2005, 12:48:43 PM
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

It is a negative ground!! Power it up the other way and you will be chasing electrical gremlins for a long time[been there done that].
Peter
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Old 04-10-2005, 09:07:27 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

Is Andrew thinking of the old Fords? I know that some of the old stuff was positive ground, but I don't remember which. Kevin
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Old 04-10-2005, 09:27:29 PM
BobRR BobRR is online now
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

Ford is always postive ground! Their 6V systems are too BobRR
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Old 04-10-2005, 09:50:48 PM
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRR
Ford is always postive ground! Their 6V systems are too BobRR
Except for the Model T.... They are negative ground.... The ones with a starter anyhow.... And a Flathead to Boot....
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  #19  
Old 04-10-2005, 10:40:17 PM
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

Ken when did ford change? I dont know about the T but I believe the Fords in the 30's where pos. ground? Talking Ford is always pos. ground! BobRR
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  #20  
Old 04-12-2005, 12:17:33 AM
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Default Re: Unstick a flathead!

Buicks were an overhead inline 8 going back along time.

Chuck in Central Oregon
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