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Old 09-13-2019, 05:44 AM   #1
Pandersen33
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Default 39 or 40 truck motor

Im looking to “upgrade” the motor in my 35 sedan. I have found a few motors including a rebuilt 39 or 40 flathead. Are these a good motor for a daily driver type or should i be focused on a post-war engine? Im definitely not looking for a street rod but im in the CA foothills so im concerned about overheating issues.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:43 AM   #2
corvette8n
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Default Re: 39 or 40 truck motor

Post war could be 59AB built '46-48 or an 8BA built '48-53, The '39 or '40 motor is probably 221 ci. I think the 59AB motor is the easiest upgrade. Remember there is no substitute for cubic inches.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:51 AM   #3
flatheadmurre
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Default Re: 39 or 40 truck motor

Staying with an -48 engine will give you less trouble with pulley to frame clearance and more options for mounting the fan to the engine.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: 39 or 40 truck motor

I was under the impression most stuff to upgrade a 59a can be used to bolt on a 221 24 stud. Im mostly looking at some heads and electronic ignition. Also how much power could i look at adding with some offenhauser heads with 8:1 ratio?
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:49 AM   #5
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: 39 or 40 truck motor

The 38/41 99T truck engine is a 239 ci engine. Probably one of the best ones Ford ever built Pumched out more than one to 3 5/16 to 258ci. However, Make sure it's a 99A/T block, it will be marked on the pass side front of the intake side of the block. Now if it itsn't, it's a 221 ci engine with the light crank and 91A rods.
Take these and install them in the 99 block with Milled heads 400jr cam, 2GC carb and you have the ?Sportsman " engine of the 40's and early 50's
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: 39 or 40 truck motor

I have had a 59AB engine in my '36 coupe since 1954. The engine has many upgrades to improved the power out put and reliability.
From my point of view the '42-48 59 AB engines are the way to go in lieu of using an earlier 221 CID engine. As it has been stated in comment #3 the 59 AB engines are much easier to install compared to a 8BA-8CM.
regardless of what engine you use, as to how hot it runs will depend on the quality, condition of your cooling system.
The 39-40 engine you mentioned could be a 239 CID engine, the 39 Merc's had the 239 engine starting in 39.
I have attached a pix of the 59AB engine in my '36 FYI..
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File Type: jpg 36 Frd eng.2.jpg (72.5 KB, 45 views)
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: 39 or 40 truck motor

The Offenhauser heads are good for eye candy. You can achieve the same results with cast heads for a lot less money.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: 39 or 40 truck motor

Just make sure that you have the clearances over the piston in the .040"-.050" range for proper quench no matter what kind of heads you use. This involves checking with foil balls, possible milling and maybe a little grinding to get everything just right. It's probably the single most productive modification you can make to these engines.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: 39 or 40 truck motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Ron View Post
The 38/41 99T truck engine is a 239 ci engine. Probably one of the best ones Ford ever built Pumched out more than one to 3 5/16 to 258ci. However, Make sure it's a 99A/T block, it will be marked on the pass side front of the intake side of the block. Now if it itsn't, it's a 221 ci engine with the light crank and 91A rods.
Take these and install them in the 99 block with Milled heads 400jr cam, 2GC carb and you have the ?Sportsman " engine of the 40's and early 50's
Good post Ron, I will add this to your many threads I have for my appendix section of Nostalgia.

By the way I'm waiting for bow season to start up so I can woop up a batch of "Flathead Chilli"
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: 39 or 40 truck motor

A side bar to flatjack9' #7 comment: I had Offy heads on the 59AB engine in my '36 for about five years, the engine ran very well and had the "Look" that most people want. The engine broke a piston in 1958 and had to be rebuilt. The shop that rebuilt the engine specialized in engines for the stock car racer's, longevity being the key word. The engine had to be re-bored, taking it to .060, stock 59AB heads were milled, domed and fly-cut to improve the compression and flow.
The engine does not look as pretty as it did, however, it has been running since 1958, currently has just under 40k with no issues. I am planning on having the engine freshened up in the near future.
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: 39 or 40 truck motor

So will this motor bolt right in with the 39 water pumps? Or do i need spacers? What else should i be looking at like exhaust or anything? I plan on running an alternator and an electric fan as thats what i have now
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:49 AM   #12
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Default Re: 39 or 40 truck motor

You can use the exhaust manifolds from your 35 engine.
Don´t remember how tight it wil get in front if your new engine has a double sheave pulley...but if it´s an issue the outer sheave can be cut off nicely in a lathe.
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:54 AM   #13
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Default Re: 39 or 40 truck motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandersen33 View Post
So will this motor bolt right in with the 39 water pumps? Or do i need spacers? What else should i be looking at like exhaust or anything? I plan on running an alternator and an electric fan as thats what i have now

The water pumps, '37-48 are pretty much the same, I would suggest you use pumps that have been rebuilt by Skip Henley (spl). The 35-36 log style of manifolds work great on the 59 AB engines, actually better than the later style. The exhaust manifolds on my '36 are original to the car.
My fan mount is a cut down '39 two brush generator that has ball bearings in lieu of bushings. This type of a fan mount is one of those old time deals from the late forty's.
My ignition is a Harmon Collins dual coil with a '42 style crab cap, plenty of clearance.
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