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Old 05-04-2020, 03:36 PM   #1
meanlean
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Default ID Flathead engine

My friend is building a hotrod with an industrial Flathead in his car, now he need to go to inspection and he need building year and horspower for his title. I Googled a lot but could not find anything, I hope you guys could help. the enginenumber is *S54I* stamped between intake and cylinderhead on the drivers side.
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File Type: jpg tims.jpg (38.6 KB, 143 views)
File Type: jpg tims flathead.jpg (40.8 KB, 126 views)
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Old 05-04-2020, 04:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: ID Flathead engine

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My friend is building a hotrod with an industrial Flathead in his car, now he need to go to inspection and he need building year and horspower for his title. I Googled a lot but could not find anything, I hope you guys could help. the enginenumber is *S54I* stamped between intake and cylinderhead on the drivers side.

Welcome to The FordBarn! There is no way to tell for sure what year that engine was manufactured. It has what are commonly referred-to as 24-stud heads, but this engine has head BOLTS rather than STUDS with nuts, possibly an "INDUSTRIAL" feature at the time. The 24-stud arrangement first came-about in mid-1938, and was rated at 85 Horsepower in Ford vehicles. The fan arrangement of being bolted onto the generator like that was LAST used on 1939 Standard Ford engines in automobiles. The distributor design was used only 1937 through 1941. All known Ford serial numbers of the time were precluded by, and finished with a star like your pictures show, but that numbering sequence looks nothing like any Ford vehicles that most of us are familiar with. The "S" COULD possibly stand for something like "SPECIAL", and the ending "I" is actually the font that Ford used to represent the number "1" since about the 1931 timeframe to help preclude fraudulent serial number markings. It should be noted that Ford NORMALLY did NOT mark serial numbers on production AUTOMOTIVE engines of that era. My guess is that it is, like you indicated, a special Ford-supplied industrial-type powerplant. Going by the coupling methods I am familiar with for connecting engines with large generators during my working career, that contraption bolted to the rear of the crankshaft appears to be some sort of "break-away" connector fixture allowing minimum damage to the powerplant if a generator breaker closes to a buss when not properly phased with another un-like power source. So, my GUESS would be somewhere around the 1939 timeline, 85 horsepower, although using existing Ford parts, it's possible that it could have been procured from Ford as late as 1941 or so. Anything else is likely going to prove to be impossible to document from existing records. DD
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Old 05-05-2020, 08:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: ID Flathead engine

It looks like an 85 horse power 221 CID engine from prewar. It could be a 95 horse power 239 CID engine but a person would have to pull a cylinder head to be able to tell for sure. The helmet distributor is pre 1942. If it has vertical bulges on the sides of the block then it is pre 1941. This type wasn't manufactured before 1938. This was the first year where the 24 stud cylinder heads came into use. The 239 CID types came in 1939 for Mercury and trucks.
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: ID Flathead engine

Does it have any marks on the heads? Like 99T.
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: ID Flathead engine

Look for any numbers cast into the top of the block just ahead of the right side cylinder head.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: ID Flathead engine

Thanks guys for all the info already, here is a pic from the head
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: ID Flathead engine

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Thanks guys for all the info already, here is a pic from the head

YEAH, now there's some good pictures! We can now clearly see that what I thought to be head BOLTS are actually the normal STUDS and nuts of that era. The head markings are typical for later 1938 (first application) regular old passenger car application (the " A " in "81A") heads. The "1" in "81A" tells us it is a Ford engine and NOT a Mercury, and will be a 221 cu. inch engine. It still appears to be an engine that was likely purchased from Ford for commercial purposes somewhere between 1939 and '41 or '42, manufactured between late '38 and sometime in '41. DD


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Old 05-05-2020, 02:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: ID Flathead engine

The 81A heads were the common heads for the 221 and the 239 engine at the start of 99A engine production. There were variations as time went on. Some just had a big "A" in the middle of the head (81A). The 239 CID 95 HP eventually was changed to have the 99T heads. Some of the early 99 blocks were stamped "99" on the right side front area of the intake deck. Canadian ones had a casting mark "99" on the front of the block near the right cylinder head deck area. The only way to know for sure is to look at the cylinder decks for the coolant port configuration in the middle of each bank. 221 engines have a trapazoid port and the 239 engines have a round port there.
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Old 05-05-2020, 03:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: ID Flathead engine

Thanks again for that amount of information, man you guys know your stuff! I think my friend has got enough info to convince the man at the office to give him a registration so he can drives his car on the road, so we can have both trips with our cars through Europe. My car has got a French Flathead, already got over 40000 km on it without any problems.thanks again and stay healthy!
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Old 05-05-2020, 03:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: ID Flathead engine

Like your sedan!
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Old 05-05-2020, 07:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: ID Flathead engine

chrysler?
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Old 05-05-2020, 07:26 PM   #12
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Like your sedan!
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:39 AM   #13
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Default Re: ID Flathead engine

It is a 1932 Plymouth PA, with some changes.. , picture is taken in Scotland. We travel all over Europe, last year 3,5 month with it.
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:55 AM   #14
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It is a 1932 Plymouth PA, with some changes.. , picture is taken in Scotland. We travel all over Europe, last year 3,5 month with it.

Who would'a ever thunk it…….a Walter P. deuce with a Henry Flat, in Scotland, no less! DD
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