FH vs. Clone

Ted Hamilton

helmet painter and racer
So, as a play engine....

I see lots of used FH's out there for $200-300. Also quite a few clones in the $400-500 range.

I know that the FH is on its' way out, but is there still a healthy enough class structure to merit picking up a cheap flatty for my play kart or is the clone better, in your opinion?

Why?

Thanks... ~ted
 

Ted Hamilton

helmet painter and racer
I weigh 150, so I assume I'd be in a light or medium class....keep in mind this is for "FUN", so emphasis would be on longevity of engine between rebuilds, cheap parts, and decent numbers in the class so when I'm mid-pack I'll still have fun...
 

animal 77

New member
well if fun is all it is I would go with the flathead because there are still a lot of parts out there for it, and you can still be competitive with simple mods I think.
 

Horsepower

New member
It depends, look at your local track and see if there is still a good number of flatheads. We still get a decent field of them (6-12) every weekend, but some parts the FH is a thing of the past. I like flatheads myself, but the price of parts adds up, being that you have to rebuild the motor every 8-10 races. With the clone motors, you don't have to worry about not having anyone to run against, every track ive been to gets more clones than any other class. Rebuilding them is fairly cheap, you can run a clone for 2 years and not worry about rebuilding the motor, you may have to change springs every few races though. If I was in your shoes, I would get a good clone motor. They're cheaper, faster, and low maintenance.
 

BrendanFitz #73

New member
It depends, look at your local track and see if there is still a good number of flatheads. We still get a decent field of them (6-12) every weekend, but some parts the FH is a thing of the past. I like flatheads myself, but the price of parts adds up, being that you have to rebuild the motor every 8-10 races. With the clone motors, you don't have to worry about not having anyone to run against, every track ive been to gets more clones than any other class. Rebuilding them is fairly cheap, you can run a clone for 2 years and not worry about rebuilding the motor, you may have to change springs every few races though. If I was in your shoes, I would get a good clone motor. They're cheaper, faster, and low maintenance.
2 years out of A CLONE lol.

Ted go with a flathead. Clones are just to unpredictable
 

jake17j

Member
not sure what is unpredictable about them. to me unless there are some really big counts in flatheads at your track i'd go clone.i have yet to have a clone that didn't last at least a year before needing honed ,rings,just keep up with oil changes and springs once a month. compared to 3-400 bucks every 8 races to freshen a flatty
 

mikelavite#72

Premium User
2 years out of A CLONE lol.

Ted go with a flathead. Clones are just to unpredictable

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i agree 100% ...........................................and why would someone wanna rebuild a flathead after 8-10races ?? if you had to do that you couldnt even race a full weekend ??? if racing fri-sun and you raced 2 heats and a feature that = 9 races so by the time sunday rolls around and you are wanting to wrap up a race weekend and the guy who is running the flathead says ohh wait i'm sorry i am on my 8th race i gotta go rebuid my engine real quick so i can run the feature ..........................REALLY 8 races is all you can get out of a flathead come on man :rolleyes:
 

XXX#40

Member
2 years from a clone .......................:eek:
Mike since you probably never ran a WKA stocker flathead, yes if you ran against good competition, you rebuilt your flathead after 8 or 9 shows, for some they raced on fri, sat. and sunday they would rebuild motors every third weekend
 

Oldschool00

New member
Ok you say play engine, me i would go clone or predator, cheaper in the long run. Run better than a flatty. Runs on gasoline, change oil once per race day. We put over 700 laps on one in one day, that's more than most flattys ever get between rebuilds, and we plan on running it a lot more. All depends on what you want.
 
In tha day the flatty was the best and still is in my opinion, but clones have taken over this area. We don't even have a flathead class any more.
 

rainman

Premium User
Mike since you probably never ran a WKA stocker flathead, yes if you ran against good competition, you rebuilt your flathead after 8 or 9 shows, for some they raced on fri, sat. and sunday they would rebuild motors every third weekend
I agree. Flatheads are more stable according to rules, but you also need to rebuild them very often if you want to stay competitive. Performance really drops after you run 8 to 10 races/classes. Anyway, I though I would never say this, but the way clones have changed you will also need to rebuild them frequently with the long header and the cams and work allowed nowadays, and they have become expensive to run at top level, just the opposite of what this class was supposed to be. As much as I supported them and spent money trying to keep them stock I am tired of them.
 

CarlsonMotorsports

Premium User
Which class will have more rules changes again this winter?

Rainman -- you are right on target -- I hear this sentiment daily here in the shop. While I'd like to tell everyone that the LO206 is the answer, I understand that most tracks down south have never seen a 206 crate engine.

Unfortunately Ted, you will have to choose whichever class has support at the track. Depending on how many cars you want to race with - determines what class you will need to purchase an engine for. Some guys like running in small classes with 4 or 5 karts, others want ultra-competitive high kart count classes. Some tracks have few to no clones, others are all clones. Some have BSP, others AKRA, still yet others Predator. The total fragmentation of our sport by the numerous new engine classes drives me nuts. Nothing like staying at the track passed midnight on a Saturday night just to watch 15+ classes of 4 and 5 karts per class follow each other.

Thanks and God bless,
Brian Carlson
Carlson Racing Engines
Vector Cuts
www.CarlsonMotorsports.com
765-339-4407
bcarlson@CarlsonMotorsports.com
 

ABR #69

Member
Most top builders recommend changing rods every time rebuilding clones. Most are changing valve springs if the kart hits the track once. Turning them the way they are, rebuilds are just as frequent. They aren't even setting lash anymore, set it once. Run it, count turns to get springs off, tighten it back as close as you can and forget it.

Lol, they're already as expensive as everything else. People stop kidding yourselves! Buy whatever you're most familiar with and can have a decent field. It all comes down to tires if you're up front for the most part anyway.

I agree, the fragmentation of classes is terrible.
Ps,+1 to the above two posts.
 

jake17j

Member
It is what you make of it if people are changing springs every race then that's their choice not required. I run a bp class and have less then $500 bucks in mine and it runs right with everybody else.I'm not sure why they don't just bite the bullet and go to bp rules instead of the 2 bsp classes they have now it would make things a lot cheaper in the long run
 

Ted Hamilton

helmet painter and racer
This is so frustrating. I think I'll go buy a Tecumseh and start my own class.....lol. ;) I'm pretty settled on the clone as it offers the most local options and I don't want to do super-frequent rebuilds. I grew up doing asphalt oval with flatties, so there IS the sentimental side, but that's not enough to keep me there....

Thanks for the input, all....
 
Clones are the most popular at the tracks around here, from what i have seen. If you want a engine for fun and to race now then, i would go with a clone. buy a new engine and add a dyno cam, billit flywheel,upgrade the valve srings, rejet carb, add a pipe and air cleaner. HAVE AT IT. of corse as with any engine, you can go from mild to wild. just depends on budget. JMO
 
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