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Old 12-14-2019, 07:33 PM   #1
elliott1940
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Default Bren carrier engines

Hello - this is my first post here. I'm looking for an engine I could use in a Bren/Universal carrier. There are a ton of old Ford Flathead V8s out here but i'm a bit confused about which ones I could use in a carrier.

Can anyone tell me what the differences are between a regular Ford Flathead V8 and those used in bren carriers?

I'm told the later 8BA engine sumps are too deep and to use one a hole has to be cut in the carrier floor.

My understanding is the engine I need is a model 81A 239 cu" 3.9L. Can I use a smaller 211 cu"? I think I can, it will be lower power but does it really matter?

From what I can see below I can use any pre 8BA Ford Flathead engine... Is that info correct? There is a 1947 59AB flathead complete with transmission near me which might work if that's the case.

The LP2 and LP2A's had a 95 hp 24 stud truck engine.
The Canadian carriers (Universal Mk1*) were 85 h.p. 21 stud, but later on some units had their replaced with 24 stud motors.
The British Carriers are identified as No.1 MkI, or No.2, MkI., or No.3, Mk1. etc.etc etc. (is that o.k. Michael?)
This will likely raise an arguement, but at least in Jan. 1943 (the date of the Chilwell, Universal carriers, workshop instruction book. the book clearly states on page 3;
No.1 is the 65 hp engine, (21 stud, 18mm plugs)
No.2 is the 85 hp engine, and (21 stud,18 and 14mm plugs)
No.3 is the 95 hp engine (24 stud, 14mm plugs)
I have added the comments in brackets. Pretty much everything Ford had built by 1945, had been used in carriers.



I'm sorry about all the questions, I hope someone doesn't mind having a go at answering some of them.
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:46 PM   #2
Bob C
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

Check out the posts by Big Mike he has a Bren.
https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/searc...rchid=13872773

Bob

Last edited by Bob C; 12-14-2019 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 12-14-2019, 08:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

welcome, bobs post is great info, and you can even send big mike a private message by clicking on his name. i had two t16's years ago, gone now
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Old 12-14-2019, 08:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

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Originally Posted by cas3 View Post
welcome, bobs post is great info, and you can even send big mike a private message by clicking on his name.

Unfortunately, BIG MIKE hasn't even checked-in on the FordBarn since the end of March. DD




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Old 12-14-2019, 08:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

well, i guess his flathead is running good !
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

so, all this jibber-jabber, but no one addressed your main question, which block to look for. i'll take a stab at it. so, your bren most likely came with a 40ish motor, if 24 stud, and some of that time frame are the "tin can" motors that came with tin sleeves in the cyl bores to be replaced instead of boring. after 41 or so i think, we dont see that any more. these are easily identified by what we call "the pencil test". that does not tell if its a tin can or not, just dates the block. the front of the block above the timing cover is fairly vertical, with a horizontal ledge extending to the timing cover, which you can rest a pencil on. the post war blocks, 59a, have a slanted front, pencil falls off. if you have access to the 59a motor thats what i would do, myself. 59 motors have some improvements in the valve angles, and many feel its the best of the era. any motor you buy must be pressure checked and magnafluxed, they are all known for cracking so get that figured out before you stick a bunch of money in it. your military motor would have had an extra port on the rear of the block for an oil cooler and filter that usa civilian motors do not use. the boss is on the block, its just not drilled and tapped. around here we call that the "95%" oil system because really the rear cam bearings will still get oil straight from the pump. google up"95% oil fordbarn" and you will see how its done for when you get to that point. thats enough for now from me, other will chime with additions and corrections i'm sure. so now my turn, do you still have all the side armor ? or is one that was cut down for logging, etc? we need pics here or we dont believe you. you could be a russian agent, they are everywhere these days ya know
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Old 12-14-2019, 11:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

Looks like a C81T in this video. Big Mike says it's a '42 engine. Try this link! DD


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_Wj...ature=youtu.be
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Old 12-15-2019, 05:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

As a proposal for discussion, wouldn't any 37-48 motor work? They are all very similar. Only with the introduction of the 8BA type motors did things change enough to cause a problem.

If the bren carriers have a fan mounted on the end of the crank it might mean that some year specific parts need to be used (39 up?)

As said this is to open a discussion and not intended to be a specific statement of what will fit.

For what it's worth I bought an engine recently that has some signs of military use and the previous owner told me that he was told it came from a bren gun carrier. It is a 1940 99 series ("mercury motor") and has the extra port drilled for the modifications to the oiling system. (Which appear not to have been used).

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Old 12-15-2019, 08:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

If you already have an engine in your Bren, take a couple pics of the engine bay and post here. If there is no engine in your Bren, Google them on the internet and there hopefully will be some pics of the engine so we can help you out in your search.....

Good luck ....
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

Like Mart suggests above, just about any pre-'49 should be able to be made to function just fine. DD
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:04 AM   #11
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

Isnīt the reason for the external oiling setup also that an oilcooler was added atleast for use in hotter areas...
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

Have you looked here for info there is a guy listed as technical advisor for T16 Universal Carrier.

https://www.mvpa.org/resources
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:28 AM   #13
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

There were a number of different versions of the Universal Carrier. The initial versions were in the 21 stud era with 221 cid. The versions most produced during the war used the Canadian C81A type engine to begin with but even they evolved during the war. The Ford Dearborn T-16 version used the 29A 239 cid engine.

I would look for a 59 series engine or maybe a French SUMB engine since they don't need adapters to fit drive train and there are still many of them out there. If you can find an old 29A engine or a prewar 221 engine then it would be more correct but at this point in time, it wouldn't make that much difference and most folks wouldn't know one way or the other. The 8BA would require an truck or Mercury adapter and likely a change of frontal accessories to make it fit and function as the earlier design.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 12-15-2019 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 12-15-2019, 12:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

the op already mentioned that an 8ba interferes with the floor, so really marts comment is correct, any 37-48 motor will have the same oil pan shape and fit the hull. from what i remember the pan is literally on the floor of the machine. to change oil you crawl under and remove a cover to access the drain plug.
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Old 12-15-2019, 01:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

The 49 thu 51 Mercury oil pan would likely work with an 8BA family block since it has similar dimensions to the 59 & earlier pans. A lot of parts would have to be sourced for an 8BA installation. Fit is tight in the Universal Carriers. The 59 series can easily be altered for the oil cooler set up if needed. The boss is there on the block but it would have to be drilled & threaded properly.

If a person gets in the military vehicle circles, there is a surprising amount of stuff still around for the UCs. They kept making them till around 1950 in limited number at the UK Ford facilities.
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:23 PM   #16
cas3
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

for fun, southern parts of memphis (i think) used to sell these with all the armor above the tracks cut off for logging and hunting rigs. they called them "scat cats". dave butler the owner of vintage powerwagons told me once sometime in the 80's they had about 200 of them left, uncut, but the rear axles, the weak link and unique to the machine, were missing. he was offered the chance to buy them at slightly above scrap price, but declined as there was no surplus rear end parts known at the time. ww2 surplus was, is, world wide and still new discovery's are being made today. i wonder if any rear end parts have been found?
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Old 12-15-2019, 03:31 PM   #17
elliott1940
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

Thanks everyone for all their helpful advice. I also messaged BIG MIKE.

Looks like any pre-49 engine will be okay then. As mentioned there are some differences between regular flatheads and those fitted to bren engines. I can try and summarize them below - if anyone can add anything that would be great.

1) Double grooved water pump and crank pullies - I believe these were used on buses - are they easy to swap?
2) Exhaust manifold - pipe goes straight down from front ports. Guess I will have to get some made?
3) 95% oil system
4) Six bladed fan - is that unusual?
5) I read somewhere bren engines had a shallower oil pan. Not sure if that's true or not

Thanks everyone. If I can work out how to post picture I will try to do so to help illustrate what I have just typed....
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Old 12-15-2019, 03:52 PM   #18
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

[QUOTE=elliott1940;1831849]Thanks everyone for all their helpful advice.

1) Double grooved water pump and crank pullies - I believe these were used on buses - are they easy to swap?
QUOTE]


Mac VanPelt shows double crank pulleys to be available...see below! DD



ENGINE - Crankshaft Pulleys & Seals. 21A- 6312 Crankshaft Pulley (dual wide belt) - 5.375" diameter Call for price.
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Old 12-15-2019, 04:46 PM   #19
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

Oil pan is not shallower, however, it does not have the breather opening
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:27 PM   #20
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Default Re: Bren carrier engines

Quote:
Originally Posted by elliott1940 View Post
Thanks everyone. If I can work out how to post picture I will try to do so to help illustrate what I have just typed....
The biggest issue with posting photos is often the file size. The size needs to be reduced to the 500kb range to post.
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