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Old 08-18-2008, 04:51 PM   #1
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Towing with a flathead

I have a 1941 Plymouth. It is a P12. 4 door. It has a flat head 6 and 3 on the tree. I replaced the engine with a Dodge flathead 6 out of a 1949 pickup. It looks the same but it is a bigger displacement = more horsepower and torque. I also put an electronic ignition in it. new ditributor ect. It has 3 - 1 barrel carter carbs. I also put a 10 bolt rear end in it out of a chevy camaro. Probably 3:08 gears. I always wanted to tow an airstream with this and I am not sure how big to go or how much weight it will tow. Any other street rodders out there doing something like this? Or any one else towed with old cars.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:57 PM   #2
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My 1969 F100 had 3.73 gears, and a 390 engine, also 3 on the column. Most trucks with the 6 cylinder engines had a shorter ratio rear end, like a 4.11. That would enable you to start out without slipping the clutch too much, and the 6 cylinder would be turning about 3000 rpm at 60. Not that you'd probably go that fast...
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:02 PM   #3
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I am wondering how much the old X frame can handle also. I thought about bumoping the gears or swapping the tranny out with a T-5 model.An S10 with a 4 cyl had a close ratio and lower 1st gear
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:08 PM   #4
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The old Muncie 4 speeds had a very low first gear as well. What kind of bell housing do you have on your flathead? If you didn't mind putting access to the shifter in the transmission cover, you could probably put in a floor shifter and a 4 speed. Doing that, you'd be able to start out easier, and you'd still have 1:1 in 4th.
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:10 PM   #5
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There is a plate made for the t- 5 tranny swap. I would use the stock bell housing. The sgifter is mounted forward on the s 10 as apposed to the mustang or camaro mounted rearword. there fore I would have the shifter coming threw the floor under the seat. I was also wondering about a old military tranny. they used flatheads into the late 60s in millitary stuff
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:04 PM   #6
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While on vacation recently, we saw a group of campers using 1940's decade of Fords, Chevys and Plymouths. They were styling and looking great. Sounds like your primary objective. They kept the trailers small and often painted to harmonize with the car. Tear drops to 15 footers were typical.

Have fun and show us some pictures when you are done. Be sure to contact Safari57 as he runs with old time hot rods and trailers.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:22 PM   #7
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Military trans are big and heavy.

Having said that the M37/M43 series are 3/4 Dodges may work out for you. Try Antelope Truck and Equipment if you need some questions answered. I restore old Military vehicles for a hobby and those guys are my main supplier. Norm knows about all there is to know.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:30 PM   #8
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If you provide some data about the car, I could readily give you a sense of the performance.

Weight, tire size, transmission gear ratios, and the power and torque ratings of the engine would be useful.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:13 AM   #9
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Data is limited short of putting it on a dyno, back then they diidnt have much DATA
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:10 AM   #10
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Mustang, are you going to use your '41 to pull the 31 foot Sovereign? Any 6 cylinder engine sounds really inadequate for that job, but what do I know?

I just used my in-law's V6 Trailblazer to tow our puny GlobeTrotter around for a few hours, and it was sure working hard getting up the overpasses. Woefully underpowered for a permanent solution, but luckily for us it's not.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Data is limited short of putting it on a dyno, back then they diidnt have much DATA

Assuming a peak torque output of about 150 lbs ft at 2200 rpm, I'd keep trailer weight to a maximum of about 2500 to 3000 lbs, and not count on towing faster than 50 mph. Performance will be very sensitive weight. Startabiliy (clutch slip) may be a concern with anything over about 2000 lbs. And I'm assuming a final drive ratio of at least 4:1. The 3.08 rear will make towing performance very sluggish.

It would be very interesting though.

My two cents worth.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:46 AM   #12
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Hey, my husband keeps telling me he can pull our Argosy with his Flathead V8. I don't believe it. I feel certain it would not pull the 31' Sovereign.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:50 AM   #13
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Love that one, Juel. If you ever find you need to repaint the Argosy, match it to that pickup. They look great together!
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:52 AM   #14
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I wasnt going to pull my 31 footer with it, but I always wanted to find a smaller one and maybe throw some green flames on it. I have the picture on my profile but dont know how to post it to the thread. I figured a 20 footer max preferablty an old Bambi or small Globe Trotter
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:52 PM   #15
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I wasnt going to pull my 31 footer with it, but I always wanted to find a smaller one and maybe throw some green flames on it. I have the picture on my profile but dont know how to post it to the thread. I figured a 20 footer max preferablty an old Bambi or small Globe Trotter

I'd think you're on the right track with with a small vintage trailer. There's somebody around here towing a Boler fiberglass trailer with a 1940s pickup. They seem to stick to two-lanes, and drive 40 to 50 mph. The trailer is painted black to match the truck.

The flathead V8 pickup may well tow the Argosy just fine. The V8s have a bit more torque and hp compared to the inline sixes. Final drive gearing is a significant factor for starting and climbing hills. Other than that, it depends on how fast you want to go.
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:09 PM   #16
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I think it is the opposite. That is why they used the flathead 6 dodges til the 70S in millittary vehicles. If you go to youtube you can see one pull at the bowling green truck pulls. It is Kind of funny because it has a low 1500 rpm torque range and has such low compression it doesnt move much air. I am A Ford guy but this little L6 motor I think 223 or 232 has proven itself to me.
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I wasnt going to pull my 31 footer with it, but I always wanted to find a smaller one and maybe throw some green flames on it. I have the picture on my profile but dont know how to post it to the thread. I figured a 20 footer max preferablty an old Bambi or small Globe Trotter
Nice. I say you should demand nothing less than a Wee Wind. Closer to the right year, and embodies that "Pan Am Clipper" deco style that'll perfectly match the Plymouth.
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:22 PM   #18
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Is that yours?
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:41 PM   #19
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Nope, googled the two of 'em and Photoshopped them together. I just looked at yours on your profile page though - looks nice in white!
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Old 08-21-2008, 02:02 PM   #20
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That is cool. I am not that good on this thing. Maybe you could photo snap mine infront of a 31 foot soverign
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