Ford Flathead engine

Ford Flathead engine

Overview


The Ford flathead V8 (often called simply the Ford flathead or flathead Ford when the V8 context is implicit, such as in hot-rodding
Hot rod
Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term "hot rod" is unclear. One explanation is that the term is a contraction of "hot roadster," meaning a roadster that was modified for speed. Another possible origin includes modifications to or...

) was a V8 engine
V8 engine
A V8 engine is a V engine with eight cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of four cylinders, in most cases set at a right angle to each other but sometimes at a narrower angle, with all eight pistons driving a common crankshaft....

 of the flathead
Flathead engine
A flathead engine is an internal combustion engine with valves placed in the engine block beside the piston, instead of in the cylinder head, as in an overhead valve engine...

 type, designed by the Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 and built by Ford and various licensees. During the engine's first decade of production, when overhead-valve engines were rare, it was usually known simply as the Ford V‑8, and the first car model in which it was installed, the Model 18
Ford Model B (1932)
The Model B was a Ford automobile with production starting with model year 1932 and ending with 1934. It was a much updated version of the Model A and was replaced by the 1935 Ford Model 48...

, was (and still is) often called simply the "Ford V‑8", after its new engine
Metonymy
Metonymy is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept...

.
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Encyclopedia


The Ford flathead V8 (often called simply the Ford flathead or flathead Ford when the V8 context is implicit, such as in hot-rodding
Hot rod
Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term "hot rod" is unclear. One explanation is that the term is a contraction of "hot roadster," meaning a roadster that was modified for speed. Another possible origin includes modifications to or...

) was a V8 engine
V8 engine
A V8 engine is a V engine with eight cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of four cylinders, in most cases set at a right angle to each other but sometimes at a narrower angle, with all eight pistons driving a common crankshaft....

 of the flathead
Flathead engine
A flathead engine is an internal combustion engine with valves placed in the engine block beside the piston, instead of in the cylinder head, as in an overhead valve engine...

 type, designed by the Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 and built by Ford and various licensees. During the engine's first decade of production, when overhead-valve engines were rare, it was usually known simply as the Ford V‑8, and the first car model in which it was installed, the Model 18
Ford Model B (1932)
The Model B was a Ford automobile with production starting with model year 1932 and ending with 1934. It was a much updated version of the Model A and was replaced by the 1935 Ford Model 48...

, was (and still is) often called simply the "Ford V‑8", after its new engine
Metonymy
Metonymy is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept...

. When the engine was introduced in 1932, it was a market first in several respects: in cars that were affordable to the emerging mass market
Mass market
The mass market is a general business term describing the largest group of consumers for a specified industry product. It is the opposite extreme of the term niche market.-General:...

 consumer, it was the first 8-cylinder
Cylinder (engine)
A cylinder is the central working part of a reciprocating engine or pump, the space in which a piston travels. Multiple cylinders are commonly arranged side by side in a bank, or engine block, which is typically cast from aluminum or cast iron before receiving precision machine work...

, the first V8, and the first V engine
V engine
A V engine, or Vee engine is a common configuration for an internal combustion engine. The cylinders and pistons are aligned, in two separate planes or 'banks', so that they appear to be in a "V" when viewed along the axis of the crankshaft...

 to become available. It was the first independently designed and built V8 engine produced by Ford for mass production, and it ranks as one of the company's most important developments. A fascination with ever-more-powerful engines was perhaps the most salient aspect of the American car and truck market for a half century, from 1923 until 1973. The Ford flathead V8 was perfectly in tune with the cultural moment of its introduction, leading the way into a future of which the Ford company was a principal architect. Thus it became a phenomenal success. The engine design, with various changes but no major ones, was installed in Ford passenger cars and trucks until 1953, making the engine's 21-year production run for the U.S. consumer market longer than the 19-year run of the Ford Model T engine
Ford Model T engine
The Ford Model T used a 177-cubic-inch inline 4-cylinder engine. It was primarily a petrol engine, but it had multifuel ability and could also burn kerosene or ethanol. It produced for a top speed of . The engine had side valves and 3 main bearings and was built in-unit with the Model T's novel...

 for that market. The engine was on Ward's list of the 10 best engines of the 20th century. It was a staple of hot rodders in the 1950s, and it remains famous in the classic car hobbies even today, despite the huge variety of other popular V8s that followed.

Overview


Before this engine's introduction, almost all mass-produced cars affordable to the "average mass-market consumer" (which was a concept that Ford helped invent) used straight-4 and straight-6 engines. Multi-cylinder V-engines (V8s, V12s and even V16s) were produced, but they were not intended for mass production and were generally used in luxury models.

Even though Ford had an engineering team assigned to develop the engine, many of the ideas and innovations were Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry...

's. The Model A, its variants (B and 18), and this V8 engine were developed between 1926 and 1932, and this period was the elder Ford's last central contribution to the company's engineering. He remained an innovator until his death, but his later ideas were not immediately central to the company's business.

This design had the camshaft
Camshaft
A camshaft is a shaft to which a cam is fastened or of which a cam forms an integral part.-History:An early cam was built into Hellenistic water-driven automata from the 3rd century BC. The camshaft was later described in Iraq by Al-Jazari in 1206. He employed it as part of his automata,...

 above the crankshaft
Crankshaft
The crankshaft, sometimes casually abbreviated to crank, is the part of an engine which translates reciprocating linear piston motion into rotation...

, as in the later pushrod operated overhead-valve engine. Valves for each bank were mounted inside the triangular area formed by the "Vee" of cylinders. The intake manifold fed both banks from inside the Vee but the exhaust had to pass between the cylinders to reach the outboard exhaust manifolds. Such an arrangement transferred exhaust heat to the block, imposing a large cooling load; it required far more coolant and radiator capacity than equivalent overhead-valve V8 engines. Ford flathead V8s were notorious for cracking blocks if their barely adequate cooling systems were overtaxed (such as in trucking or racing). The simple design left much room for improvement, and the power available after even low cost modifications was usually substantially more than could be obtained from an overhead-valve inline six-cylinder engine of similar displacement.

The Ford flathead V8 was licensed to other producers, including car and truck manufacturers in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. It was used by Simca
Simca
Simca was a French automaker, founded in November 1934 by Fiat. It was directed from July 1935 to May 1963 by the Italian Henri Théodore Pigozzi...

 in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 until 1961 and in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 until 1964 for cars and until 1990 in the Simca Unic Marmon Bocquet military truck. In the United States, the flathead V8 was replaced by the more modern overhead-valve Ford Y-block engine
Ford Y-block engine
The Y-block engine is a family of overhead valve V8 automobile piston engines from Ford Motor Company. It was introduced in 1952 on Ford trucks and in 1954 on Ford cars to replace the side-valved Ford Flathead engine and was replaced by the Ford FE engine and the Ford Windsor engine in 1962, and...

 in 1954.

Crankshaft


The crankshaft development for the Ford flathead V8 was pioneering. The engine's production development program began with a forged steel
Forging
Forging is a manufacturing process involving the shaping of metal using localized compressive forces. Forging is often classified according to the temperature at which it is performed: '"cold," "warm," or "hot" forging. Forged parts can range in weight from less than a kilogram to 580 metric tons...

 crank, per conventional practice, but Ford then developed the improved foundry
Foundry
A foundry is a factory that produces metal castings. Metals are cast into shapes by melting them into a liquid, pouring the metal in a mold, and removing the mold material or casting after the metal has solidified as it cools. The most common metals processed are aluminum and cast iron...

 practice, heat-treating
Heat treatment
Heat treating is a group of industrial and metalworking processes used to alter the physical, and sometimes chemical, properties of a material. The most common application is metallurgical. Heat treatments are also used in the manufacture of many other materials, such as glass...

, and materials handling logistics to make the cranks from cast steel instead, yielding in the end a crank just as strong, but less expensive to produce. These new methods were patented.

A simple three-main-bearing crankshaft used the common V8 practice of using each throw for two connecting rod big ends, one for each bank.

The short crankshaft proved quite durable in comparison to six-cylinder engines when roughly handled. For these reasons, the flathead Ford became a favorite among hot-rodders, and this in turn led to a rich supply of aftermarket performance parts. With the use of specialized pistons or connecting rods the stroke of the crankshaft could be increased by welding and regrinding as a method of increasing engine displacement, usually in combination with overboring as described below.

The sought-after crankshaft by hot rodders is the four-inch (102 mm) stroke Mercury version. It can be identified by the clean-out plug in the front of the crankshaft. It measures 5/8" on the Mercury crankshaft and 3/8" on the 3 3/4" Ford crankshaft. These 4" crankshafts came in the 1949 to 1953 engines.

Block


One of the most important innovations in the Ford flathead V8 was the casting
Sand casting
Sand casting, also known as sand molded casting, is a metal casting process characterized by using sand as the mold material.It is relatively cheap and sufficiently refractory even for steel foundry use. A suitable bonding agent is mixed or occurs with the sand...

 of the crankcase
Crankcase
In an internal combustion engine of the reciprocating type, the crankcase is the housing for the crankshaft. The enclosure forms the largest cavity in the engine and is located below the cylinder, which in a multicylinder engine are usually integrated into one or several cylinder blocks...

 and all 8 cylinders
Cylinder (engine)
A cylinder is the central working part of a reciprocating engine or pump, the space in which a piston travels. Multiple cylinders are commonly arranged side by side in a bank, or engine block, which is typically cast from aluminum or cast iron before receiving precision machine work...

 in one engine block
Cylinder block
A cylinder block is an integrated structure comprising the cylinder of a reciprocating engine and often some or all of their associated surrounding structures...

. This was the first time a V8 had ever had that particular level of monobloc design
Monobloc engine
A monobloc or en bloc engine is an internal-combustion piston engine where some of the major components: cylinder head, cylinder block, or crankcase are formed, usually by casting, as a single integral unit, rather than being assembled later...

, which was an example of the production development needed to bring a V8 engine to the widely affordable segment of the market. Most V engines of the time had multiple cylinder blocks bolted to a common crankcase (itself a separate casting). At most, each bank of the V was an integral block, but many V engines had 4- or even 6-cylinder blocks, with cylinders cast in pairs or triples. Like most other engine blocks then and now, it was cast iron
Cast iron
Cast iron is derived from pig iron, and while it usually refers to gray iron, it also identifies a large group of ferrous alloys which solidify with a eutectic. The color of a fractured surface can be used to identify an alloy. White cast iron is named after its white surface when fractured, due...

; but the foundry practice (e.g., workflows, materials handling) was a revolutionary advancement in the mass production of castings. Charles E. Sorensen
Charles E. Sorensen
Charles Emil Sorensen was a Danish-American principal of the Ford Motor Company during its first four decades. Like most other managers at Ford during those decades, he did not have an official job title, but he served functionally as a patternmaker, foundry engineer, mechanical engineer,...

 lived up to his longtime nickname at Ford, "Cast-Iron Charlie", by leading this revolution to bring Ford's first V8 to market.

As with any V8, the block was relatively light for the displacement supported. The bottom of the block formed the parting line for the main bearing caps. The most complex part of the block was the exhaust passage routing. The exhaust valves were on the inside of the V and exhaust flow was initially downward and passed around the cylinders through the water jacket to exit on the outside of the cylinder block. The routing of the exhaust through the water jacket put an extremely heavy load on the cooling system and led to frequent overheating, especially on early models, if the cooling system were not maintained. Somewhat primitive water pumps used until the advent of the 1948 8RT and 1949 8BA models also contributed to the overheating problem. The space for the exhaust flow was also somewhat restricted, so the exhaust passages were tall and narrow in some locations. The gas flow past the rough sand castings could be greatly improved by polishing the passages. The capacity of the block for over-boring (beyond normal boring for wear compensation) was limited by the configuration and the metal available. In early blocks, some cylinder walls were extremely thin due to cores shifting during casting. It was prudent to overbore before relieving and polishing the ports, as a casting flaw such as a sand pit might be revealed, usually fatal to further use of the block. The blocks with the factory 3 3/16 (3.1875) inch bore can usually be safely bored 1/8 inch over standard to 3.3125 inches (84.1 mm) and sometimes can be bored 3/16 inch over standard to 3.375 inches (85.7 mm), increasing displacement a little over 12%.

Bearings


The engine built from 1932 to 1935 had poured main bearings which required skill and machine shop equipment to overhaul. Part of the 1936 production and all production from 1937 to the end of flathead V8 production had both replaceable shell main bearings and connecting rod inserts (unlike the contemporary GM products), enabling straightforward and low cost rebuilding, another reason why the Ford was a favorite of amateur mechanics.

Lubrication


Also unlike the Chevrolet inline 6, Ford products used high oil pressure for lubrication for the main and rod bearings, as do all modern vehicle combustion engines. While this offered no special performance advantage it did eliminate a complex oil jet system in the oil pan. As a side benefit to a prospective purchaser of a used vehicle, this also enabled the condition of the connecting rod and main bearings to be determined indirectly by observation of the analog oil pressure gauge after the vehicle was warmed up, provided that oil of normal viscosity was in use.

Exhaust


The left side exhaust manifold exhausted to the front, where a crossover pipe took the exhaust to the forward end of the right side manifold on the car engines and between the 1st and second cylinder on some trucks, in turn exhausting to a single pipe at the rear. A common conversion was to block off the right forward manifold entrance and route the left side exhaust to a new pipe to form a dual exhaust system with better flow characteristics. These typically involved installation of free-flowing mufflers, which if at a legal noise level still allowed low frequency sounds to pass, giving a characteristic rumbling dual exhaust sound to these systems. In the 1950s shortcut exhaust outlets with manually removed covers were added to street machines in emulation of vehicles intended for high speed straight line racing on dry lake beds, typically located just behind the front wheel, although chromed external runners sometimes extended to just forward of the rear wheel. These covers were referred to as lake plugs, the pipes as lake pipes. This style exhaust was also used legally in sanctioned drag racing and illegally in unsanctioned performance demonstrations.

Internal fuel flow


More extreme modifications were to improve the airflow by removing material from top the block between the valves and the cylinders (called relieving), increasing the size of the inlet and exhaust passages, called (porting) and by polishing the sand-cast surfaces to improve fuel flow. Increased compression ratios could be cheaply obtained by milling material from the head or by obtaining aluminum heads as aftermarket parts. Higher capacity intake manifolds were similarly available. Changing the camshaft to a higher performance version required head removal so that the valves could be held up out of the way, so this was usually done only as part of a substantial rework of the basic engine.

Overhead-valve kits


A popular modification for the flathead was conversion to an overhead-valve configuration, and many such modification kits were available, including the Ardun heads from Zora Arkus-Duntov
Zora Arkus-Duntov
Zora Arkus-Duntov was a Belgian-born American engineer. His work on the Chevrolet Corvette earned him the nickname "Father of the Corvette."- Early life :Zora was born Zachary Arkus in Belgium on Christmas Day, 1909...

 who was to go on to fame as the "father of the Corvette". These conversions were not initially demanded by hot rod
Hot rod
Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term "hot rod" is unclear. One explanation is that the term is a contraction of "hot roadster," meaning a roadster that was modified for speed. Another possible origin includes modifications to or...

ders looking for extra power, as they had not yet exhausted the capabilities of the flathead configuration, but were demanded by users of the engine in trucks and other such high load applications, where the constant flow of hot exhaust through the block to the exhaust manifolds caused the entire engine to overheat; the overhead-valve heads routed the exhaust out more directly, and away from the block.

Modern performance flatheads


Ford flatheads are still hot rod
Hot rod
Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term "hot rod" is unclear. One explanation is that the term is a contraction of "hot roadster," meaning a roadster that was modified for speed. Another possible origin includes modifications to or...

ded today, with a special land speed record
Land speed record
The land speed record is the highest speed achieved by a wheeled vehicle on land. There is no single body for validation and regulation; in practice the Category C flying start regulations are used, officiated by regional or national organizations under the auspices of the Fédération...

 class for flathead engines. The current record holder achieves 700 hp (525 kW) and 300 mph (483 km/h). Note that on one pass the car broke 300 mi/h but did not set a record. Two passes have to be made in order to break the record.

Version types



Types are classified by their displacement.

221


The original flathead engine displaced 221 cu in (3.6 L), with 3.0625 by bore and stroke. The block was cast as a single piece (monobloc) for durability, and a single-barrel carburetor
Carburetor
A carburetor , carburettor, or carburetter is a device that blends air and fuel for an internal combustion engine. It is sometimes shortened to carb in North America and the United Kingdom....

 fed the engine. The 1932 V8-18 with 5.5:1 compression
Compression ratio
The 'compression ratio' of an internal-combustion engine or external combustion engine is a value that represents the ratio of the volume of its combustion chamber from its largest capacity to its smallest capacity...

 produced 65 hp. The 1933-34 V8-40 raised compression to 6.33:1 and power to 75 hp (56 kW). In 1934 a two barrel down draft carburetor was introduced. 1935's V8-48 saw compression drop to 6.3:1, but power climb to 85 hp (63 kW), and torque was rated at 144 lbft. It became the V8-68 in 1936, with compression, horsepower, and torque unchanged.

Production of the original 221 lasted from 1932 through to 1936. These engines can be identified by having the water pumps located at the front of the heads. A similar 221 flathead was used in Fords for 1937 and 1938 but the block was revised to have the water pumps mount to the block. The new design also relocated the water outlet from the front of the heads to the top center of the heads. These, designated V8-78, were offered with standard 6.2:1 compression aluminum or 7.5:1 compression iron cylinder head
Cylinder head
In an internal combustion engine, the cylinder head sits above the cylinders on top of the cylinder block. It closes in the top of the cylinder, forming the combustion chamber. This joint is sealed by a head gasket...

s, rated at 85 hp and 144 lbft (aluminum) or 94 hp (iron). The 1932 through 1938 motors used twenty one studs to hold down each head and are known as "21 stud" motors. This motor continued to be made into the 1950s in Europe.

In late 1938 Ford introduced V8-81A, commonly called the "24 stud" engine because it uses twenty four studs to hold down each head. This engine debuted at the same time as the 239 motor. With 6.12:1 compression, horsepower remained the same, but torque increased by 2 lbft. In 1939, as the V8-91A, compression increased to 6.15:1, power rose to 90 hp, and torque reached 155 lbft; the ratings remained the same for the 1940 V8-01A, 1941 V8-11A, and the last civilian model, the V8-21A, which saw compression rise, to 6.2:1. This engine was used through 1942 for civilian use and saw some use in military vehicles during World War Two. Collectively all 221 motors are commonly referred to as "85 horse" motors.

239


Ford introduced the 239 cu in (3.9 L) V8-99A engine, with 3.1875 by bore and stroke and 6.15:1 compression, in 1939. It produced 95 hp and 170 lbft. This was done to provide a more powerful engine for the Mercury
Mercury (automobile)
Mercury was an automobile marque of the Ford Motor Company launched in 1938 by Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford, to market entry-level luxury cars slotted between Ford-branded regular models and Lincoln-branded luxury vehicles, similar to General Motors' Buick brand, and Chrysler's namesake brand...

 cars, which Ford Motor Company started making in 1939. It was used in Mercurys in 1939 and in Fords in 1946. This engine is very similar to the late 221 engine. As the V8-09A in 1940, compression, power, and torque were unchanged; in 1941, the V8-19A compression and power were static, but torque rose by 6 lbft, while the 1942 V8-29A increased compression to 6.4:1 and power to 100 hp, while torque stayed the same. Postwar, it became the V8-69 (suffixed "A" in Fords, "M" in Mercurys), with compression 6.75:1, 100 hp, and 180 lbft. For 1947 and 1948, only the designation changed, to V8-79 and -89. The 239 was redesigned in 1948 as the 8RT for Ford trucks and in 1949 as the 8BA for the cars. It had higher 6.8:1 compression, but performance was unchanged. The 1950 V8-0BA boosted torque by 1 lbft, the 1951 -1BA by 6 lbft more, while in 1952, as the V8-B2, compression climbed to 7.2:1, power to 110 hp, and torque to 194 lbft, then to 196 lbft in the -B3 of 1953, its final year. The 1948 to 1953 engines have a revised cooling and ignition system. Collectively all 239 engines are referred to as "100 horse" engines, although the horsepower was increased in 1952 to 110 horsepower in cars and 106 horsepower in trucks. This engine was used in Ford's transit buses during their short stint in the transit bus business from the late 1930s to the early 1950s.

The latest iteration of this engine, used from 1948 to 1953, was initially designated the 8BA (see above) in automobiles and the 8RT in trucks. 8RT remained the truck engine designation throughout the entire run from 1948 through 1953. They were essentially identical. Earlier Ford V8s had the unique Ford designed distributor driven directly from the forward end of the camshaft, which was an inconvenient location for maintenance. This final flathead used a more conventional distributor driven at a right angle to the crankshaft and located at the right front of the engine where it was readily accessible. The water inlets and thermostat housings were moved to the front end of the heads, and the 24 studs and nuts that attached the heads on the old engine were replaced by 24 bolts.

136


A 136 cu in (2.2 L) V8-74 version was introduced in the United States in 1937. With 2.6 by bore and stroke and 6.6:1 compression, the engine was rated 60 hp and 94 lbft. The designation changed again in 1939, to V8-922A, but the specifications remained the same. It was produced in Europe in 1935 and 1936, and was used in the many standard Ford vehicles based on the car platform
1937 Ford
The Ford line of cars was updated in 1937 with one major change — the introduction of an entry-level 136 CID V8 in addition to the popular 221 CID V8 unit. The model was a refresh of its predecessor, itself based on Ford's V8-powered Model 40A and was the company's main product. ...

 of the era. It was not very popular with U.S. buyers who were used to the 85 hp cars. Redesignated V8-82A in 1938, V8-922A in 1939, and V8-022A in 1940, compression, power, and torque remained unchanged. The engine was very popular as a powerplant for midget race cars after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. This engine is most commonly referred to as the "60 horse" flathead, or the V8-60. It was replaced by the 226 straight-6
Ford Straight-6 engine
Ford's first straight-6 engine was introduced in 1906 in the Model K. Production ended in 1907. Henry Ford did not like this car, which could overpower its transmission. The next Ford six was introduced in the 1941 Ford. The Ford Motor Company of America continued producing straight six engines...

 in the 1941 Ford
1941 Ford
The Ford car was thoroughly updated in 1941, in preparation for a time of unpredictability surrounding World War II. The 1941 design would continue in an aborted 1942 model year and would be restarted in 1946 and produced until the more modern 1949 Fords were ready.The two previous Ford car lines,...

s, though it would continue to be used after the war in the French Ford Vedette
Ford Vedette
The Ford Vedette is a large car manufactured by Ford France SA in their factory in Poissy from 1948-1954. Introduced at the 1948 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris, it was designed entirely in Detroit , but featured the Poissy-made 2158 cc Aquillon sidevalve V8 engine of Ford's Flathead engine...

.

255


The 1948-1953 255 cu in (4.2 L), referred to as the model BG, was achieved by use of a 4 inches (101.6 mm) stroke crankshaft in the 239 cid 8BA/8RT engine. It was only used in Mercury cars. Known as the V8-9CM in 1949, it featured 6.8:1 compression, 110 hp, and 200 lbft torque, which stayed the same for the 1950 V8-0CM. The 1951 V8-1CM raised this by 2 hp, and 6 lbft torque, The 1952 V8-MA boosted compression to 7.2:1, power to 125 hp, and torque to 218 lbft, while only the name changed, dropping the -MA, for the last year of production, 1953.

Because of interchangeability, the Mercury crank made a popular upgrade in the 239 among hot rod
Hot rod
Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term "hot rod" is unclear. One explanation is that the term is a contraction of "hot roadster," meaning a roadster that was modified for speed. Another possible origin includes modifications to or...

ders, much as the 400 cid crank was in Chevrolet small-block
Chevrolet Small-Block engine
The Chevrolet small-block engine is a series of automobile V8 engines built by the Chevrolet Division of General Motors using the same basic small engine block...

s. In fact, in the 1950s, the flathead block was often fitted with crankshafts of up to 4.125 in (104.8 mm) stroke. In addition, rodders in the 1950s routinely bored them out by 0.1875 in (4.8 mm) (to 3.375 in (85.7 mm)).

337


This engine was designed for large truck service. When Lincoln could not produce the V12 engine
Lincoln V12 engine
Ford Motor Company's Lincoln division has produced three distinct Lincoln V12 engines:* 1932–1942 L-heads:** 1932–1933 Lincoln L-head V12 engine** 1933–1942 Lincoln L-head V12 engine* 1936–1948 Flatheads:...

 it wanted for the 1949 model year, the 337 motor was adapted for passenger car use. The 337 features a 3.5 in (88.9 mm) bore and a 4.375 in (111.1 mm) stroke.

It was introduced in the 1948 two and a half ton and three ton Ford trucks and the 1949 Lincoln passenger cars. It was produced through the 1951 model year. In 1952 it was replaced in the Lincoln passenger cars and Ford three ton trucks with the Lincoln Y-block 317 cu in (5.2 L) overhead-valve V8. The two and a half ton Ford trucks got a 279 cu in (4.6 L) version of the 317 motor.

In the song "Hot Rod Lincoln
Hot Rod Lincoln
"Hot Rod Lincoln" was recorded in 1955, as an answer song to "Hot Rod Race", a 1951 hit for Arkie Shibley and his Mountain Dew Boys. Hot Rod Race tells the story of a late-model Ford and Mercury who end up racing along the highway, neither driver gaining an advantage, and staying "neck and neck"...

", the engine referred to in the original lyrics was a Lincoln V12 not mentioned in the Commander Cody
Commander Cody
Commander Cody may refer to:*The stage name of George Frayne, leader of the rock and roll band Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, and, informally, the band itself...

version.

External links