The flattie, adorned with chrome plated headers from Red's Headers. These pipes fit like a dream.

I thought I'd provide an update with regard to both the Ford flathead build (which has already appeared as a 5-part series on and in the latest issue of Hot Rod & Restoration magazine), as well as an update on the next engine build project that involves a healthy from-scratch build series of a Pontiac 455.


Here are a few updated photos of the Flathead project engine, now equipped with chrome plated exhaust headers from Red’s Headers. The fit was perfect, providing a true “drop on” installation (the bolt holes aligned perfectly with no need to tweak or enlarge). Flange alignment was also perfect, with no off-angle problems  or sealing gaps.  I also displayed the engine at the recent Hot Rod & Restoration show in Indianapolis, to rave reviews (lots of flathead fans attended the show). Show attendees were amazed at the exterior block finish and seemed to really like the spark pkug wire routing, custom alternator setup and fuel pumping system. While admittedly not the coolest flathead to ever come down the pike, our little red flattie was definitely a popular attraction at the show.  

A view of the right side. Red's offers a wide range of header configurations to suit various vehicle fitments.

I took advantage of ARP stainless studs for header mounting, along with 12-point nuts. This made installation a breeze. The flange holes were perfectly positioned for a true drop-on fit.

One of the engines I displayed at the recent Hot Rod & Restoration show in Indy was the flathead.  The little red flattie drew plenty of admirers. In this photo, publisher Travis Weeks chats it up with a show attendee. The annual show, by the way, was a total success, with a great turnout.  Even though it's not an engine builder's show, since the audience is comprised of custom rod builders and restorers, you might want to consider hitting next year's show to network with this crowd if you want to drum upo more engine business with the hot rod/street rod community.


The next engine project involves a Pontiac 455 that we'll bore and stroke to 501 CID. I've just begun ordering parts and starting to work on the block. I obtained a nice core OE block that was recently bored +0.030", but I'll scoot that out to +0.060" and combo with a 4.500" stroker crank. The components will (to date) include Scat forged H-beam BBC rods, JE flat-top pistons, Mahle/Clevite bearings and gaskets, Melling oil pump, Comp hydraulic roller cam & lifters, a full compliment of ARP fasteners, Pro-Gram Engineering billet steel center main caps, EQ timing cover, PRW polished aluminum water pump, Tuff Stuff chrome alternator, Kaufman D-port aluminum heads, Professional Products Hurricane single plane intake manifold, Holley 850 cfm carb, MSD billet distributor, with more to come. Crank-wise, I'll likely be using a forged unit from Ohio Crankshaft. The block will be machined at Ross Racing Engines in nearby Niles, Ohio. Machining will include align boring and honing, finish-machining the new thrust main cap thrust surfaces, cylinder boring and honing, lifter bore bushing (and restricting the lifter bore oil holes) and decking. The Kaufman heads are being obtained in a bare state, and I'll select and order the valves, spring seats, springs, retainjer and locks soon. Currently, I'm dressing the block exterior surfaces, performing my usual (smooth & polish) detailing in preparation of a high-gloss paint treatment. Stay tuned. I'll begin posting the start of the build very soon. The usual highly detailed and informative build series will appear here, and a condensed overview will also appear in the pages of Hot Rod & Restoration magazine once the build has been completed. Yet another build project that will appear this year is a step-by-step build of a 5.3L LS engine that will yank around 400 HP on a tight budget. In that series, I'll illustrate how to generate a respectable number of ponies without spending a king's ransom. That build is expected to start within the next month.