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Old 01-16-2020, 04:24 PM   #1
Bill Dewey
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Default exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

I have a 59ab engine to install in my 36 Ford, can I use 8ba heads due to radiator hoses and 36 radiator. Bill
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

Remember, there is a difference in hose size between 8BA heads and earlier engines. (Unless you purchase the expensive aftermarket thermostat housings.)
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

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Remember, there is a difference in hose size between 8BA heads and earlier engines. (Unless you purchase the expensive aftermarket thermostat housings.)

That's true, but one can always cut a couple of 1-1/4" (or so) long pieces of the small-size hose and place them inside the engine end of the big hoses where the hoses slip over the thermostat housings on the 8BAs. Clamp both sides down snug and solves that little problem. DD
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

There are some hole location and size differences I believe, but a simple modification.
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

You will need to plug a water hole in the passenger side front (right side) cylinder head also. The 8B.A Head will extend a little bit farther forward ,when you compare gaskets you will see the hole I am talking about.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

Anybody ever done this? Do the upper hoses line up? I put an 8BA into a '36 once but used a walker radiator designed for this particular swap.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

Anybody ever done this? Do the upper hoses line up


I've done it and the hoses don't line up too well. In my case I was using Flathead Jacks 'big hose' thermostat housings, and I cut and welded them to achieve a better alignment.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

This is what I am concerned with, If so what do you do to correct it? I have new stainless 11/2" thermostat housings so hose size is corrected
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

It is not really a big deal . . . I ran 49-53 heads on a 59x engine in my 34 Ford. Yes, I had to figure out how to "shim" the waternecks (with a piece of rubber tubing), but outside of that, nothing to be too concerned about.

If you think about it - a 59AB has water outlets in a VERY different location than a 36 engine . . . the 49-53 heads are a LOT closer to what a 36 had . . . than a 59AB.

So - in my mind - the later heads are actually more similar to the originals (location of hoses) than anything from 37 - 48. Yes - you have to plug an 'extra' hole in the 49-53 heads - no biggie.

Okay - enough bourbon for tonight . . . time for some sleep! LOL
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

Okay - this is from 1980 or so . . . so don't start laughing . . .

Specs:

a) 59L block
b) Heads: Navarro 49-53
c) Radiator: Stock 34 Ford

1934Coupe_Blown1.jpg
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

That tells me all I need to know. I wasn't sure when I first saw this thread, but it looks like a pretty good idea after seeing this.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

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That tells me all I need to know. I wasn't sure when I first saw this thread, but it looks like a pretty good idea after seeing this.
Okay - you can have a cold snifter of Bourbon too . . . LOL
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:39 PM   #13
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

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Originally Posted by Bored&Stroked View Post
Okay - this is from 1980 or so . . . so don't start laughing . . .

Specs:

a) 59L block
b) Heads: Navarro 49-53
c) Radiator: Stock 34 Ford

Attachment 419109
Dale you were ahead of the times even back then. Now look at us where has the time gone seems like it was only yesterday.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:22 AM   #14
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

As for the hose sizes, napa sells adapters which are short hoses to change the inside diameter of a hose that you’re using.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:43 AM   #15
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

Bored&Stroked, noth'n to laugh at there....neat stuf....love that pic !
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:05 AM   #16
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

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Dale you were ahead of the times even back then. Now look at us where has the time gone seems like it was only yesterday.
No kidding Ron . . . seems like yesterday at times . . . and at other times a lifetime ago! I need more runway for gosh sakes! LOL
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:11 AM   #17
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

Note: One thing I would explore a bit more if I was doing this today is to rework the rear water passages on the 59X block to allow more water flow (like a 49-53 block) and I might even reduce the passages and flow up towards the front of the block.

We want the cold inlet water (from the pumps) to flow to the back of the block and cool the rear cylinders (which always run hotter) - versus making it too easy to just flow straight up and go back out the front water outlets. This is similar to putting water "log" manifolds on vintage V8-60's . . . to get more even cooling throughout the whole set of cylinders - not just the fronts.

I'm going to have to look into this a bit more . . . but I believe we should be thinking this way!
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:00 AM   #18
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

If I remember correctly, you use the head gasket that matches the head. That should help direct the water flow toward the rear of the block. Need to check how the water passages in the block match up to the head gasket used.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:40 AM   #19
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

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If I remember correctly, you use the head gasket that matches the head. That should help direct the water flow toward the rear of the block. Need to check how the water passages in the block match up to the head gasket used.
Yes - though the coolant passages in the head/block for 49-53 are such that the water volume is at the back . . . the 59X gaskets and heads are the same front and rear.

Anyway - more to explore for sure, but might be better ways to even out the cooling - at least that is worth exploring. I'll do some more pondering and report back . . .
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:50 AM   #20
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Default Re: exchange 8ba cyl heads with 59ab

Wouldn't you try to "port match" the water passages in the early block to match the late gaskets and heads where possible?
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