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Flat head combustion chamber

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farna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/08/2021 at 6:37am
Well, that's a good price for both pistons and rings for a 195.6!! ~$340 for the set...
They may not have specific oversize pistons though. I think the chamber size determined compression on the flat-heads, so all year pistons should interchange -- just get rings with pistons. I suspect all the aftermarket pistons use the same ring set, but may not. I suspect that 0.030 and maybe 0.040 over pistons are sold out at Kanter, but they may still have a few sets. AFAIK there were no 0.080 pistons available and 0.060 are the largest commonly made.


Edited by farna - Apr/08/2021 at 6:41am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wittsend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/08/2021 at 10:53am
Not flathead pistons but since OHV's came up in the discussion ... :

196 OHV STANDARD TRW pistons/pins Set of 6 on Ebay for $150.

196 OHV .030 Silv-O-Lite pistons/pins set of 6 on Ebay for $150.

Crap, the (lengthy) links failed. Easy search on Ebay "AMC 196 Pistons"  
The intended years vary and as I'm told so do the ring groove size. Probably not many (if any) bores that could use the standard pistons.


Edited by wittsend - Apr/08/2021 at 10:58am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/08/2021 at 5:14pm
Getting the correct rings might be a chore, but they show up on e-bay from time to time too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 43n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/08/2021 at 11:54pm
When thinking about flathead engines I always find it good to review the major work that was Flatfire..     flatfire.com

..Is this the ultimate flat head engine?… You will have to decide for yourself..
     but still using the 46 Ford block as a basis then achieving nearly 700 hp and over 300 mph with a little over 300ci stands as testimony to persistence, determination and of course unlimited resources

Reviewing many of the engine photos I did not notice one of the combustion chambers ...wanted to see the twin spark plugs per cylinder…

Since the Pistons are forgings from Ross it motivated me to call them… Mostly out of curiosity as to what a custom Rambler flat head piston would cost… This is what they said:
           
           Pistons $115 each 
           Pins.     $14 each
           Rings.   $ 125-$150

Now back to reality… I hope the Rambler I find has decent compression and/or leak down test… And that I don’t need to buy any pistons!

   I do however have a list of simple changes I would like to try to improve responsiveness, mileage and overall drivability and enjoyment and then I would hope the readers would weigh in on my ideas


      




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/09/2021 at 5:57am
Oh we'll weigh in... no doubt about that!!  Few mess with the flathead. There was a guy on The HAMB that had a flathead 195.6 (172.6 in 51 Nash Rambler, bored out to 195.6) with an Edmunds 2x1 cylinder head and an old McCulluch Supercharger. He quit before he finished, but kept the engine (which he built before going to far with the body). Said he was thinking about putting the engine in a T-bucket. Pics of engine with supercharger in car on page 11 of this thread, lots of pics of engine throughout thread. (link below). A shame he got so far then switched gears -- too many projects!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 43n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/09/2021 at 10:31am
Thank you for the link… Very informative… Will have to go back to it soon since it is so long
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wittsend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/09/2021 at 11:29am
Regarding the supercharged Flathead; there always seems to be two schools of thought here. The ever present LS argument that for the money you can't make more power. The other being someone who wants to do something different. It isn't the pursuit of total HP but rather maximum HP out of a specific engine.

The LS guy will question the time and financial sanity of the pursuit and the other guy will question the uniqueness and creativity of yet ANOTHER LS swap. It seems both sides are ignoring certain truths and interjecting opinion. The reasonable person respects both sides.

 Frankly for me it is "bang for the buck" and I'm like both people mentioned (Oh the arguments that go on in my brain!). I have under my desk the parts for a "poorman's rebuild" on my 196 OHV, wanted to do a 4.0/AX-15 just because people say it is hard to do, I'd also like to do a more modern 4 cylinder swap (dang all those 4 cylinder engines that don't mate to a RWD trans - and, yes, I am aware of those that do) and just the other day bought a set of tight fitting 60's Ford 289/302 stock exhaust manifolds for a V-8 swap.

WHY??? Well if ANY of those options became the most financially reasonable then that is the course I would take. A few years back someone offered me Ford 260 V-8. Should have taken it. I almost bought  2WD Cherokee but without a title disposing the carcass was a problem. If a cheap Miata or Ranger came along the 4 cylinder is still viable. And if none of that comes to fruition well there is always the 196 OHV poorman's rebuild - and if not I'll have parts for sale.

Some people want the nicest looking car, some people want the fastest car. Me, I'm going for the bang for the buck and might I add as little buck as possible. In the mean time I wait... . Let's face it, half the fun of  the hobby is dreaming of what you WOULD do.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/09/2021 at 4:20pm
Rebuilding a 196 flat-head (or OHV) as a driver is questionable money wise, as you will have $340 or more in pistons and rings, another $450 or so in other parts -- then machine work of at least the same amount. $1200-1500 to rebuild.  You might be able to do it cheaper with some careful shopping, such as those E-bay pistons (assuming you can find rings!), but it's still going to be right around $1000+. 

Yes, you can get a good used LS for that amount, but it's a lot more work to put one in. There are other engine swap alternatives (2.5L/4.0L Jeep, or 200/250 Ford six, for example) that would be much easier to install and a bit less money in some cases, but still a good bit of work. If you had to pay to have that work done you're looking at $1200-2500+, depending on the engine (and trans!) used and what additional parts are needed. Add about $1000 if it's an EFI engine for wiring and such. So $2400-5000 for an engine/trans swap (can't use original trans with any viable swap engine).  $1200-1500 is looking more reasonable for a running car now! While you would have more power with the LS, you have to consider what you're going to be using the car for, and future value. A well done hot-rod Rambler with an LS will very likely be worth as much as a restored car today, but it's still a lot of work.

I went over the numbers for a super or turbo charged 196 flat-head. About the same as a 196 OHV, which is an increase of 35 hp. Not a bad increase, but probably cheaper to find and swap in an OHV. The stock 196 flattie produced 90 GROSS HP (about 65-66 NET, comparable to a modern engine... -27%), the 1V OHV produced 125 GROSS HP (about 91 NET).


Edited by farna - Apr/09/2021 at 4:22pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wittsend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/09/2021 at 9:22pm
For sure you have to want to do, what you do.  The last two engine swaps I did doubled the original HP.

 Pinto, put in a 2.3 Turbo/T-5. I had the T-Bird Turbo Coupe as my daily driver for 10 years. Bought it salvaged for $1,500 and got $1,400 when someone hit my wife in it (just door damage). I sold parts for $250 and I'm + $100 after 10 years use and transferred all the parts (engine, trans, CPU/wiring, fuel etc.) to the Pinto. All in it was $150 my actual cost. The 150K motor still runs fine. 84HP to 190HP.

Studebaker Daytona already had the McKinnon (GM Canada) SBC engine. So, engine mounts were not an issue. For $171 I got a 66K miles '85 Corvette engine off E-Bay. Intake, carb and distributor were about $75 all. Pick Your Part provided the 700R4 trans that had every sign of recently being rebuilt that was $80 out the door. 120 HP to 240 HP.

These are the "Bang for the Buck" things I do. Likewise with my '63 American 196 OHV. It all depends on what comes along. So, far for the OHV I've gotten rod bearings for $12, mains for $30 (do need to get the crank turned), rings for $25 and cam bearings for $22. I'll probably never drive any of these cars more than one to two thousand miles in my lifetime. So, even if I get 5k on a poorman's rebuild it will be long after I'm gone. Decent enough is just fine with me.

The bottom line is I'll never have the prettiest car. I'll never have the fastest car. But..., for the money I sure get a lot out of my investment of funds and the enjoyment of conquering a challenge. And that to me is why it is a HOBBY.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tomj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/09/2021 at 9:30pm
Here's my ninety seven cents worth (inflation):

I've already made my decisions about reasonableness. Making Ramblers to drive is what I'm doing, so it's automatically reasonable to do what it takes to make them drop-dead reliable. Both of my cars are drive-to-New-York-right-now ready. (No idea why I would do that though.) 

Financial sanity to me is I can afford it, and I do not do debt. I assume I'm perceived as crazy from the get-go; life is so much simpler that way.

I've looked into the modern-4-banger swaps, they make sense, but are counter to what I find to be phun, and I know the 195.6 OHV PITA can be made reliable because I've done it, and now know how to do it again, much cheaper. I'm fine with 65 mph as sustained top speed (75 capable, peaks higher) in the new car (1960 American two-door wagon). 

I think it helps to have an honest end-use goal. Sunday driver really loosens up the specs. I like the engineering challenge of drop-dead reliability, which dovetails neatly with daily driver-ing. (For the '60, I will relax, greatly, originality, I'm doing another fun interior with an all-carpeted rear ala Nash Greenbrier. OHV, Flashomatic, drilled drum brakes, 2-circuit brakes, alternator, full-flow oil and cooler.)

The OHV has a known list of expensive items to build, and you have to build, but it's still the shortest-path to a reliable engine. THe Flashomatic (T35) is another one, predictable price to rebuild.

THe economic argument for a modern 4-cyl + trans swap-in is that you get a donor in good enoug condition to not open it up for repairs. This seems entirely reasonable, newer to begin with, and modern driveline life of 200K+. If you have to open it up there goes that feature. And fitting it will definitely be a lot of work, which I would assume you have to really love and enjoy doing.

I suspect if you don't do your own work 95%, and pay for it all, it doesn't matter what kind of car you drive because you clearly have a lot of money! lol. Even something mundane like a '65 Mustang has a lot of expenses (repair) or cost (bought good).

Owning old cars is foolish to begin with. Once you've accepted that, why worry further? 


1960 Rambler Super two-door wagon, OHV auto
1961 Roadster American, 195.6 OHV, T5
1968 American, 199ci, T14
AMC pages: http://www.sr-ix.com/AMC/

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