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Old 02-08-2012, 09:01 PM   #1
Hank the 36
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Default ID numbers on a flathead block ?

Where can I go to ID the serial numbers on the bell housing that I have ? I.E website, book ? I was told it's a 59AB but I'd like to verify.
Thank you
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

does it say 59 on bell housing ??
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:13 PM   #3
Hank the 36
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

On the top of the bell housing this is the numbers I can see: A18744
Thank you 52merc
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

Ford put the serial numbers on the top of the transmission case right above the inspection plate for the throw out bearing. The numbers on the bell housing have not been linked to any thing known maybe a production code or something like that. The big 59 is the only number on the back of the block that tells you anything.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:31 PM   #5
Hank the 36
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

59ab that's what I was afraid of. I can't see the top of the trans case, was it marked anywhere else on the block ?
Thank you 59ab
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

I don't think so. You might have to pull the floor boards up. Or maybe get a mirrow in there.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

By the way, welcome to the Barn!!!!
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

Look for 24 Studs on the heads, water pumps are part of the front motor mounts & water hoses input go to the top middle of the heads & heads usually say 59 A-B as well as the built in as part of the engine bell housing has a big 59 use a mirror from under the back of the engine to look for the 59. a 59 a-b, usually has a crab distrib. just some of the things to look for but it may have been modified along the way.
JMO ~~Walts37~~
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

Walt it does have the letter "A" on the heads and it does have 24 studs on those heads as well as the crab distributor. I will use the mirror method when I have a chance. Is there any difference with a 59a block and a 59a-b block ? There seems to be a ton of variables when it comes to flathead motors.
And thank you for the help and thank you 59ab for the welcome. This flathead stuff is new to me.

Last edited by Hank the 36; 02-09-2012 at 12:00 AM. Reason: sp error
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:22 PM   #10
~~Walts37~~
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank the 36 View Post
Walt it does have the letter "A" on the heads and it does have 24 studs on those heads as well as the crab distributor. I will use the mirror method when I have a chance. Is there any difference with a 59a block and a 59a-b block ? There seems to be a ton of variables when it comes to flathead motors.
And that you for the help and thank you 59ab for the welcome. This flathead stuff is new to me.
Hank I don't know the difference in thea & a-b but do not think it is anything you can see. Sounds like you have a so called 59 ab came out on the 46-47 v8 engines they are a great engine to have. Love mine & have had zero problems since I had it rebuilt several years ago. I am no expert on this subject and you will probably get some better response from the knowledgeable people on this site good luck to you.
. ~~Walts37~~
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

A heads were not standard on the 59AB. If a pencil will sit on the ledge at the front of the block above the timing cover, it is pre 59AB. If not, it is 59AB.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

Sounds like he has 1939-40 Ford heads on the block.
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:51 AM   #13
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

Yep, they were used through 1942. Heads were often changed, that's why the pencil test is used on the block.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:19 AM   #14
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

Thanks guys for all of the good info. I think it's best for me to supply some pics, is there a area that I should focus on ?
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:41 AM   #15
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

To start...assuming no "59" on bell:
look at top of block...is there a "raised" area (actually, the shoulders are lowered) to support the manifold, looking about like an extra layer of gasket but cast iron? Thsi would be something in the 1941--WWII range.
Look at sides of block...if there are two distinct vertical ridges per side starting high on sides and continuing down to pan rail, then '39-40 or mebbe '38 (different crank).
The ridges allow room at bottom for two small casting plugs on each pan rail.
Once age is determined, next step is determining 221 or 239.
NO bolt on part is worth anything in determining age...everything can fit everything 1939-48, and after 70 years of rebuilders and tinkerers anything could have been swapped.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

Hank, welcome to the 'Barn....here's a link to a website to help ID your engine....don't know if any of the numbers on the bellhousing help, but if it has the 59 as in Walts37's pic.....and the serial number for the car/transmission is on the flat place just above the inspection window/plate....which would be just below the 59 in Walts37's pic....good luck....Mike

http://www.vanpeltsales.com/FH_web/f...85to100mid.htm
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:17 PM   #17
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

And...there isn't any 59AB engine, actually. The engines came first with 59A heads, then 59 A--B versions with more compression. The B part referred ONLY to the cylinder head with new design.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:10 PM   #18
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Smile Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

bruce my 48 all orignal coupe has the 59a-b heads how many horse power would that make it thanks ORA
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:40 PM   #19
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

They (59's) are all rated at 100. The "B" head chambers were slightly (4 cc) smaller than the earlier head...Ford syas 5 pounds more cranking pressure, did not write up the tiny change in ratio at all. Really a minor change...and of course there were variations from spec in manufature probably about as large as that. Ford did not even note the differences between relieved ans unrelieved engines. Probably individual engines and individual dyno pulls varied more than identifiable tiny change.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:48 PM   #20
ora masters
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Default Re: ID numbers on a flathead block ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Lancaster View Post
They (59's) are all rated at 100. The "B" head chambers were slightly (4 cc) smaller than the earlier head...Ford syas 5 pounds more cranking pressure, did not write up the tiny change in ratio at all. Really a minor change...and of course there were variations from spec in manufature probably about as large as that. Ford did not even note the differences between relieved ans unrelieved engines. Probably individual engines and individual dyno pulls varied more than identifiable tiny change.
thanks BRUCE
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