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Flathead Rebuild Suggestions

Brian Cooper
Moparts Member
Posts: 261
From: Blythewood, SC, USA
Registered: Nov 2001
posted 01-19-2003 08:30 AM

I am pulling the 230 out of my 57 after 133K miles of good service. It's been time for about 15 years now, since it has puked oil since Dad drive it in the eighties. (rings are cooked, you can put a socket on the crank bolt and turn it over without a wrench.)
Has anyone here ever rebuilt one of these? What should I look for or look out for when I dig in? I am going back stock, but I want to build it right. I am planning on doing some mild port work while I have it down, give it a good valve job with hard seats, Vintage Power Wagon carries heavy duty pistons, so I know I can make it back into the anvil Mother MoPar made it out to be.

Anything a rookie flathead guy should look out for? This boat has been in my family since new, so I don't want to screw up the #'s block!


Moparts Member
Posts: 1119
From: Woodbridge,CA USA
Registered: Jan 2000
posted 01-19-2003 09:15 AM

All I know about those engines are that there durable. and theres a cooling tube with holes in it that distributes the water in the block and there usually rusted out and sometimes a challenge to remove. I think the parts are still available. Good luck


Moparts Member
Posts: 873
From: Leucadia, CA, USA
Registered: Feb 2001
posted 01-19-2003 11:40 AM

Don't know if it has anything in common with yours, but I did my buddy's '36 Chrysler marine flathead for his old Gar Wood boat. It was a very basic, straight forward build; nothing tricky at all to these motors.
I was amazed at the quality of machine work. Never would have guessed they could get everything so "dead - nuts" back in '36.

Stock cr was 6.0:1 so I had the head shaved .060. Didn't check valve - to - head clearance so there may be room for alot more.

Bowl blended & took the sharp edges out of the ports in the block just like a head.

Put sealant on the head studs cuz they thread into the water jacket.

Almost got a hernia lifting the crank - that sucker make a 440 crank feel like a feather.

Took lots of digital pics during teardown so we could get all the brackets & other crap back in the right place since I had never done one of these before. Printed 'em out & stuck 'em on the garage wall.

We got lots of parts from Egge Machine in L.A. Don't know if they have a website or not.

Have fun; like I said there's nothing tricky there. It's a piece of cake.


Moparts Member
Posts: 2589
From: Medical Lake, WA
Registered: May 2002
posted 01-19-2003 11:44 AM

www.kanter.com has all the engine parts you need for that project.


New Member
Posts: 95
From: N.E. OHIO
Registered: Dec 2002
posted 01-19-2003 11:49 AM

I built some of these in indusrial applications. Pretty hard to go wrong. Make sure the head is flat as well as the deck. Also don`t put cast iron rings back in , go with a MOLY- faced top ring. Also watch for cam to oil pump drive gear wear.


mopar _man
Moparts Member
Posts: 683
From: Newfoundland Canada
Registered: Dec 2001
posted 01-19-2003 04:50 PM

I would go with a softer rink for the pistons. the blocks are not that hard. If you use a hard piston ring , it will be burning oil in no time.


Moparts Member
Posts: 6551
From: WI USA
Registered: Nov 1999
posted 01-19-2003 06:21 PM

The good people at www.dodgepowerwagon.com should be able to walk you through this! Even though it's not truck related, they are very knowlegable about the old engines!



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