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Old 05-14-2012, 01:46 PM   #21
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

If you do swap...other engines are a better fit and generally capable of more displacement and power as well. In order of fit probably SBC, early Olds, early Cadillac. Many "Modern" (hey, NONE of this stuff is actually modern!) engines have long front cases and accessories and poorly placed sumps for early Ford use...the engines I listed are very compact endways and have rear sump. Remember, '35-6 Fords have VERY short engine compartments and steeply slanted radiators, and are much harder to fit with later engines than say a '32 or '40-48 cars.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:34 PM   #22
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

Hi , I had a '39 Deluxe with a Y block in it and I can tell you it ain't a pain free swap. You will need to cut the firewall , mine was back 2" but as mentioned here the '36 compartment is a little smaller and the radiator is tilted back as well, so you could figure on probably 4" out of your pristine sheetmetal. If you were thinking of mating it up to the Flatty trans, you'd soon find out they're not up to the task , even with careful driving. Best trans for the space would be a Toploader with the Jeep shifter , but you'd likely still have clearance issues around the center of your X member. The oil pan problem is easily solved with a pan and pickup from a 1/2 ton and up truck or the Tbird pan mentioned. If you use the timing cover from either of those engines you can front mount the engine and pick up the stock Flathead mounting points on the frame , but at the risk of driveline sag with all that weight being supported only at the front and extreme rear of the trans case. Best idea is to side mount to the frame using Flathead donuts on a fabricated mount that puts the mount out close to the frame rails so it doesn't put too much side load on the rails. It's all do-able but it makes a mess of your car for very little positive result. Best thing by far is a small block Chevy with the short water pump, it'll slip in there without making a scratch and preserve your precious sheetmetal , which ought to count for something. If you can't get your head around the GM vs. Ford thing.....seek professional help ....or paint the Chevy a Ford colour and fit some Yblock valve covers to it and tell folks it's a Yblock.........most won't know the difference....regards, Col.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:12 PM   #23
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

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Originally Posted by 1928jalopy View Post
I purchased a 1956 272 Y-Block for my 36 Ford 5w Coupe and wanted to know if you have to modify the firewall to make it fit? I know that EMS sells a recess kit but I really don’t want to cut up the firewall that much maybe a small notch…Thanks for your help

Holy Toledo! The man wants to put a Ford engine in a Ford car and we are discouraging him? I think we need to know a few more details before we "poo- poo" the Y- Block swap. Stuff like is this a restored original car or is this a "project" car with less than pristine sheetmetal ? Next is this going to be original driveline or is it going to later model "open" driveline? What steering and suspension etc?

Without the above information I don't think the question can be adequately addressed. I have a different take on the small Chev being the spiritual successor to the Ford Flathead. I think that description assigns too much dignity to what I think was a clever but underhanded ripoff of Ford's V8 performance history. It looks very much like the Chevrolet gang took Olds, Caddy and Pontiac technology and designed that into a package the same physical size as the Flathead Ford. Instantly you become the replacement engine in American performance and race cars. I gotta tip my hat, they were shrewd. That don't mean I have to like it and as a Fordophile I personally wouldn't give the competition the satisfaction. Doesn't seem to bother many though.

The Y-Block Ford took every aspect of what Ford needed to bring a modern OHV to market. Where the Chevy went cheap, Ford went premium. The "Y" crankcase was the best solution to address driveline sag problems. The Y employed the modern short stroke big bore high compression formula that was state of the art at the time. The list goes on but suffice it to say that the Y sprang up or was the true spiritual successor to the Flathead because it met every challenge that Ford faced in the `50's in order to match and surpass the competition. If you want to know the truth the similarities between Ford's Y- Block and GM's new LS V8 engine are quite remarkable and very interesting to me. In fact the LS engine family bears an even closer resemblance to the "Phase II" Y- Block Fords developed in South America and used well into the 1970's. Some of the similarities include the Y configuration of the block itself and it's purpose is much the same; to give support to the bottom portion of the bellhousing to reduce sag and improve NVH issues. The cyl heads used in both engine families(especially the Phase II design) employ symmetrical ports, shallow valve angles (to allow the valve to flow around it's entire periphery not just one side) and very tight and compact combustion chambers to gain compression without resorting to dome pistons. The heads on both engines are held down with 10 blind headbolts equally spaced around the cyls to reduce bore distortion (a weakness on the sbc). The cranks both employ a center thrust bearing. The cam diameter and cam to crank distance on the LS has suddenly become more Ford- like for many advantageous reasons. I think Ford was on to something with the Y- Block. In fact the Y had an even greater impact on the performance automotive scene in both Australia and South America where it's development continued for many years.

I personally think this man's `36 Ford would be refreshing with a Y-Block installed instead of the predictable sbc. I agree that the `36 has one of the tighter engine bays. I have never swapped a Y into one of these cars but I think it would be easier in some ways over say a small block Ford. Assuming this is stock front steering suspension and driveline here is what I would do. I would purchase an adapter to hook the engine to the early Ford trans. Now you have just eliminated the X- member and wishbone modification problem in one fell swoop (which by the way is necessary to install any make engine with open driveline into an early Ford) I would use the Hurst style mount up front which places the engine right on the stock motor mounts. Then I would address any problems with that engine position. The firewall may possibly need a little massaging for distributor clearance. By that I mean a little bumping with a hammer and dolly. The driver's side ext manifold to steering box may be of concern but there are all kinds of possible solutions. Ram Horn manifolds come to mind or the dual exhaust style that go up high them dump way at the back of the engine, or even the single ext with the crossover in front seem like it would work in a pinch. You're gonna need a rear sump pan which you may already have or if not they are easy to find. The single biggest problem is the water pump length I think. As was stated before the `36 is tight in length. Before I hacked out my firewall I think I would look into a marine style belt driven remote water pump or even the new remote electric pumps. They are very reliable and do have some advantages over mechanical pumps. An electric fan in front of the rad would complete the package.

Last edited by Henry Floored; 05-15-2012 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:42 AM   #24
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

the electric fan behind the radiator would more efficent.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:03 AM   #25
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

My dad is installing a 292 with a late model Mustang T-5 in a 36 3 window for a customer, and he had to recese the firewall for clearance,but he is also using a mechanical fan. I believe if you were to use a mechanical fan behind the radiator you would still have to cut the firewall. You will need to use a truck oil pan because it is a rear sump instead of the normal front sump, for crossmemeber clearance.
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:13 PM   #26
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

Anything new on this engine swap ??
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:15 PM   #27
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

Maybe on the HAMB!
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:20 PM   #28
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

There was series of articles Frank Oddo did in American Rodder about installing a small block Ford in his personal '40 Ford without cutting anything. No eliminating the straight axle and installing Mustang front suspension (PUKE!). It took an Early Bronco oil pan and pickup with a rear sump. They have a rear sump because of the front differential. and there was some other stuff involved too. I think there still was a littler butchery? My neighbor was going to do it and never did. He bought a complete dry sump oil system to solve the front sump problem until he read about the bronco pan.

Then ran into a '40 Ford with a 302 in it. The front axle was still there. The firewall was still virgin, nothing butchered. I had to ask for my neighbor, "how did you ever manager to do that without destroying the car"? The secret was a '41 Ford pickup, 6-cylinder, front crossmember. The crossmember is deeper to make room for the longer inline-six cylinder. I don't know any of this for a fact since I did not do the install. But there is a different front crossmember for the 6-cylinder pickup and it sounds like it could work to me.

Maybe somebody else on here will comment on that front crossmember. A Y-block seems pretty big, I'm not sure how much longer it is than a 302? I have one of each sitting out in the garage. I could measure them but I'm in the middle up cutting up a big tree that fell over in the wind.

I bought a complete "F" bird supercharged Y-block in pieces with boxes of extra new parts. Everything is there but the crankshaft and pulley (the supercharger pulley is a big deal. Its made out of unobtanium). I think it still might be in his garage stored upstairs, mixed up with the flathead cranks. I have not had time to explore to look for it. Even has Rebuilt factory supercharged heads. They have different casting numbers, they are thicker in the combustion chambers. $1600.00 for all of it. Extra Edelbrock intake with three 97s on it. NOS 4V intakes. I really couldn't turn it down at that price. I have a 4-inch chopped '32 3-window project I could put it in?

You should be able to find a chart of the different engine lengths. I've seen it before. Then you can check and see what the length of the y-block is compared to the 302 that the guy put it.

I almost bought one of those 6-cylinder crossmembers just to put it away incase I ever wanted to put a 302 in a '41 pickup. Its on the bucket list. I didn't buy it. I must have been poor that day? It has a lot to do with what my IRA did that week. This month has not been kind to the car project fund! The IRA crashed, the one-year-old grandson snapped my prescription glasses in half. The dog got run over. $7300.00 to repair and align her front steering and suspension. That was the flathead rebuild fund and then sum.

Here are a couple pictures of my flathead money.
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:46 PM   #29
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

Jerry. That is one very broken dog leg. If I were you with your recent misfortune I would stay indoors and type on the computer.

Be well. Mike.
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Old 12-29-2018, 07:40 PM   #30
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

That is one nasty break on the pooch's leg. Hope it all turns out well for you and the pooch.
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:45 PM   #31
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

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Originally Posted by Flathead Fever View Post
There was series of articles Frank Oddo did in American Rodder about installing a small block Ford in his personal '40 Ford without cutting anything. No eliminating the straight axle and installing Mustang front suspension (PUKE!). It took an Early Bronco oil pan and pickup with a rear sump. They have a rear sump because of the front differential. and there was some other stuff involved too. I think there still was a littler butchery? My neighbor was going to do it and never did. He bought a complete dry sump oil system to solve the front sump problem until he read about the bronco pan.

Then ran into a '40 Ford with a 302 in it. The front axle was still there. The firewall was still virgin, nothing butchered. I had to ask for my neighbor, "how did you ever manager to do that without destroying the car"? The secret was a '41 Ford pickup, 6-cylinder, front crossmember. The crossmember is deeper to make room for the longer inline-six cylinder. I don't know any of this for a fact since I did not do the install. But there is a different front crossmember for the 6-cylinder pickup and it sounds like it could work to me.

Maybe somebody else on here will comment on that front crossmember. A Y-block seems pretty big, I'm not sure how much longer it is than a 302? I have one of each sitting out in the garage. I could measure them but I'm in the middle up cutting up a big tree that fell over in the wind.

I bought a complete "F" bird supercharged Y-block in pieces with boxes of extra new parts. Everything is there but the crankshaft and pulley (the supercharger pulley is a big deal. Its made out of unobtanium). I think it still might be in his garage stored upstairs, mixed up with the flathead cranks. I have not had time to explore to look for it. Even has Rebuilt factory supercharged heads. They have different casting numbers, they are thicker in the combustion chambers. $1600.00 for all of it. Extra Edelbrock intake with three 97s on it. NOS 4V intakes. I really couldn't turn it down at that price. I have a 4-inch chopped '32 3-window project I could put it in?

You should be able to find a chart of the different engine lengths. I've seen it before. Then you can check and see what the length of the y-block is compared to the 302 that the guy put it.

I almost bought one of those 6-cylinder crossmembers just to put it away incase I ever wanted to put a 302 in a '41 pickup. Its on the bucket list. I didn't buy it. I must have been poor that day? It has a lot to do with what my IRA did that week. This month has not been kind to the car project fund! The IRA crashed, the one-year-old grandson snapped my prescription glasses in half. The dog got run over. $7300.00 to repair and align her front steering and suspension. That was the flathead rebuild fund and then sum.

Here are a couple pictures of my flathead money.


How’s this?



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Old 12-29-2018, 10:56 PM   #32
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

For what it is worth, I have a 59BA motor in my '36 5 window. Definitely no roof for a stock fan. There is only 5 inches between the location for the stock fan on the front of the motor and the radiator. The stock fan, which does mount off of the front of the engine below the generator, is 5 inches front to back. I do have twin electrics in front of the radiator. It sounds like a jet engine when it idles but seems to keep it cool. I have talked with Brass Works and may have them build a better radiator for me, and they do supply a fan.
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Old 12-30-2018, 02:35 AM   #33
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

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How’s this?



That my friend is the way to put a 289 in a '40 Ford, no billet crap. This is the best one I've ever seen done. I like how you kept your 289 in its original 1965 colors, black block and gold valve covers. Correct yellow top coil, factory dual point distributor, correct early Mustang hose clamps, correct bolts. Nice looking headers. Most people would have painted it Ford blue and chromed everything that bolted to it. I've never seen anybody take the Hipo chrome dress up air cleaner and paint it gold, it looks really good that way. The original style air filter element is a nice touch. The fan fits in there real nice. I like the chassis black paint on the fan too. It gives you the impression you pulled a Hipo 289 right out of a new '65 Mustang and dropped it in a '40 Ford.

I've had fourteen Early Mustangs. I ate and slept Mustangs until I burned out and switched to flatheads. I have a nice '66 GT-350 that's been hibernating in the in garage for 36-year's. A dead '70 Boss 302 and two dead '64 Falcons sitting outside, all future projects. I still love those small block Fords.

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Old 12-30-2018, 10:47 AM   #34
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

My buddy is putting a Y block ina 38 right now, a lot of mods, but I think it will be a very unique and cool looking upgrade when done.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:26 AM   #35
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

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There are other OHV engines that might fit better...
i hate to say this but a Chebby!
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:38 AM   #36
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

There's a Black 36 3 window for sale on the HAMB that the sellers say was built in 1956 using a T bird engine into a 39 box. You can just barely see in the picture a slight firewall recess behind the valve covers. It's running a mechanical fan. I think it's a little pricey but it'll probably sell.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:49 AM   #37
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

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For what it is worth, I have a 59BA motor in my '36 5 window. Definitely no roof for a stock fan. There is only 5 inches between the location for the stock fan on the front of the motor and the radiator. The stock fan, which does mount off of the front of the engine below the generator, is 5 inches front to back. I do have twin electrics in front of the radiator. It sounds like a jet engine when it idles but seems to keep it cool. I have talked with Brass Works and may have them build a better radiator for me, and they do supply a fan.
I'm not sure why you would have had an issue with a 59AB and fan fitting into a 36?? The 39-48 blocks had the same external dimensions and the earlier 36 - so no issue there. The only reason you MIGHT have an issue is related to what intake manifold you use (or wanted too) and how you wanted to setup your fan.

If you ran a manifold like the Edelbrock Slingshot (or Eddie Meyer, or Thickstun - and a few others), then the original 36 generator and fan assembly would bolt right onto the front of the manifold. This would put the generator/fan is the stock location . . . so everything fits.

Where you might have had an issue is in how the motor mounts were done - maybe your particular setup has the engine sitting "higher in front" than the original 36 engine would have been - causing an issue with the fan hitting the top-tank of the 36 radiator???

Just wanting to make sure folks don't get the idea that a 59AB in a 36 is an issue.
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Old 12-30-2018, 01:25 PM   #38
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

I have a 59AB engine in my '36 coupe which I installed in 1954. The engine has a OFFY Super dual carb manifold, Harmon Collins dual coil ignition and stock '36 exhaust manifolds. An off-set side mount generator mount bolted to the right head solved the generator location problem.
The fan is mounted to a cut down '39 Ford two brush generator, attached in the stock position on the front of the intake manifold. This type of generator has ball bearings in lieu of bushings. A very common application in the mid '50's.
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:14 PM   #39
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Default Re: Installing a Y-Block in a 36 Coupe

Like this!
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:45 PM   #40
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Like this!

Yes, the cut down '39 gen/fan assy shown in your pix is very similar to the unit I have on my engine, however, my gen is on the right head. I have only replaced the bearing in my fan mount once, add a little oil to them from time to time.
As I recall there was a write-up on the HAMB a couple years ago that detailed how to make the fan mount from a generator.
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