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Old 06-20-2019, 10:37 AM   #1
rottenron36
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Default 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

I had my 59AB rebuilt after a 21 stud disaster at the same machine shop. They still had my 21 stud cam. When I picked up my engine, they said they installed the wrong cam. As far as I can tell, the 59ab cam was usable. I asked why they used the wrong cam, no good answer. I also had to buy a adapter for the crab distributor. My question are the cams grinds close enough to leave it for now? PS, They ruined my 21 stud block when they installed 2 new sleeves in 4 and 8, both leaked top and bottom. Not known until I put it together. They rebuilt my 59AB to make up for it. So I had to use them. Somehow they came highly recommended. Just part of the nightmare restoring my 36 pickup. I have started and run the engine, and it seemed to run fine. Thanks for your help. Ron
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:54 AM   #2
Jack E/NJ
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

>>>They ruined my 21 stud block when they installed 2 new sleeves in 4 and 8, both leaked top and bottom.>>>


How's the 21 ruined? If the 24's not broke, don't try to fix it. Jack E/NJ
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:25 AM   #3
tubman
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

How about getting a couple sleeves done by some who knows what they're doing? Or did the actually ruin RUIN the block?
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:36 AM   #4
rottenron36
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

I used block seal and I believe it washed all the bearing and ruined them. I have $770 in machine work, $750 in parts, $150 in pressure test, and was scared to put any more money in it. Thanks for the replies. Ron PS I paid $250 just for the rod bearings
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:49 AM   #5
Brian
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

To answer your question, yes, apart from running the spacer for the distributor, you'll have no problems using the earlier cam
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

If they bored out the 21 stud to use 3 3/16 sleeves they might have bored away the connection between deck and bottom...otherwise the block should be saveable.
If it leaks at the bottom where sleeves end i have a trick to fix that...bare block.
The cam geometry between pre/post war engines is a bit different...if you will notice it...not likely...
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

The Tex Smith flathead book has an article where some folks bored a 37/38 21 stud for 3 3/16" ID sleeves. They left a step at the bottom of each cylinder and used JB-Weld at top & bottom during installation to help support the deck for all 8 cylinders. They modified a 4-inch crank shaft to get 255 CID for a 1935 Ford coupe. They ran the Great American Race with it and had no problems. The JB-weld sealed the cylinders but they still set it up for a relatively tight sleeve fit. I don't now how much cylinder wall was removed but in the photos, it appeared to be a lot.

I think I'd look for another machinist if they had sleeve leaks. There is always a way to seal a wet sleeve if a person knows what they're doing.

The prewar blocks had different valve angles than the post war types but I don't think it will affect the use of an early cam in a later 59 series block. All you mention is that is was a 21 stud but there were several types. The 36 block was different than the later 37/38 ones but the later ones can use the block off plates for the water pumps and still use the heads with pumps in them. A lot of stuff can be made to work if you know the parts to use. The 36 had the divers helmet distributor but the 59 series were all crab/rabbit ear types.
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

I doubt if there's any real significant/noticeable difference in performance between the early cam vs later cam on an engine built for the street.
Your mind is probably set on using a crab style distributor rather than a stock 36 distributor, but a 36 distributor will bolt right up to the earlier/longer cam IF the timing gear cover is changed to an earlier 3 bolt style.
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Old 06-20-2019, 04:37 PM   #9
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

I bored a 37 block too 3 3/16 and rah 8ba rods, pistons and crank. No sleeves. block is quite thick/ Had to turn the mains down on the crank.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

Thanks to all who replied, great info and answer. Ron
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:14 PM   #11
deuce_roadster
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

You didn't get the work done in Grant's Pass did you?
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:40 AM   #12
rottenron36
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

Gresham, OR
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Old 06-22-2019, 06:27 PM   #13
rotorwrench
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Ron View Post
I bored a 37 block too 3 3/16 and rah 8ba rods, pistons and crank. No sleeves. block is quite thick/ Had to turn the mains down on the crank.
They wanted uniformity in cylinder wall thickness is why they did it that way. They were worried that the thing would overheat with thin cylinder walls. I would have worried about leaks more than thickness of wall but I can see their point when running up mountain passes in the GAR. They were successful with the project anyway but you know it took them a lot of work to do all that stuff. I guess the GAR entry rules required it have a similar engine to what it came from the factory with or they just could have put an 59 series or Mercury 8CM type engine in there.
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

I too run a 37 block taken out to 255 cubes. Got the bores sonic tested prior to machining, machinist told me there's still enough meat in there for one more bore. I certainly doesn't overheat or any other issues.
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Old 06-22-2019, 09:47 PM   #15
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

'37- early '38, 21 stud blocks can usually be bored to 3-3/16" without a problem. That's not the case for '36 and earlier blocks.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

The -37 blocks usually take even 3 3/16 + .040 but boring it for a 3 3/16 sleeve is like you should try to bore it for a 3 3/8 piston...
Sleeving a 3 1/16 with a std sleeve and boring it to 3 3/16 you end up with a very thin sleeve....
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:20 AM   #17
rottenron36
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Default Re: 21 stud cam installed in my 59AB

Sorry! I should have said my 21 stud block is a 37-38 with the block off plates. Ron
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