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Old 06-12-2020, 10:17 PM   #1
Jack Shaft
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Default Can this be saved?



Picked up a pair of 59 AB's,both have water damage..this is the worst,yarded the head on the other side at it was nowhere near as bad,the one piston i could read has STD stamped in it,the bore does have a slight ridge.the second one isn't as bad either and shows a piston .020 over..neither decks look cut,and valve protrusion where I can tell doesn't look too bad.

the way I see it I can go as far as .100 over to clean up the bores,deck the block,cut or fit some new seats but Im new at saving something like this..what do you think?
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:28 PM   #2
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Anything is possible ,you won't know for sure till it is torn down and cleaned ,inspected, magged , pressure tested , sonic tested , looks like it may not be cost effective any needed sleeves etc. may be cheaper to find another block, tear it down clean it and post some pics.
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Can this be saved?

Almost anything can be saved. Last year at the well attended Portland OR swapmeet I bought an excellent and clean 8ba block with all the internals in a box for 200 bucks. While trying to decide if the block for sale two booths down was truly a merc block with a 4" crank for 300.00, I let another buyer step in front and pick it up. Compared to MANY here, I'm a rank amature, having owned perhaps 20 flathead engines. Yes, that engine could be saved, but at what cost and why?
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Can this be saved?

It's okay to walk away. Stand still long enough and have patience and look. When it's in front of you, buy it. Even then... you will have to do something else to fix it.


Better options then that one. In the long run you are better calling someone like H&h and have them send you a short block. Or any one other.

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Old 06-12-2020, 10:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Can this be saved?

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. decide if it was truly a merc block.....

There's NO decision to be made. There is NO differentiation between a '49-'53 Ford or Merc block, save for the paint color applied at the assembly plant! The crankshaft, pistons and other bolt-on components determine either Ford, or Mercury engine identity. BLOCKS ARE IDENTICAL! DD
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:58 PM   #6
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I picked both of them up with a 359SU edelbrock 3x2 intake with 3 97's and an edmunds 8BA 2x2 intake with two 94's,I mess around with bangers some,and for what I paid for the carbs alone I basically got the engines for free. But it appears even with doing my own assembly and valve seat cutting with what you're saying is it still might not pencil out?
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Old 06-12-2020, 11:03 PM   #7
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Have at it! Sounds like a fun project and you know what your doing. Seriously, do it.
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Old 06-12-2020, 11:36 PM   #8
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Thats where I'm at sir, Ive seen enough so far to warrant disassembly.If it continues to show promise my aim is a good running stock engine with a little added fuel and exhaust work,nothing special.I do my own water jacket cleaning and crack inspection with dye penetrant.If it goes well the only thing Ill farm out is the bore and deck work..got about fifty "If's" before I get there.
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Old 06-13-2020, 12:34 AM   #9
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Well that is how it goes. It could be flathead 1 or flathead 100, it's still really about that one. I hope it goes well, at least the very least it will be a learning process and at the very best it will be a runner. Have some fun!

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Old 06-13-2020, 12:15 PM   #10
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So, Jack, seems like it does "pencil" out, given the other good stuff you picked up in the lot. The challenge and the learning process also have a lot of value!!
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Old 06-13-2020, 12:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: Can this be saved?

Wonder how thin the water jackets are now after being subjected to years of rust?

I think it's a "goner".
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Old 06-13-2020, 12:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: Can this be saved?

Judging from the picture. I would hazard a guess you will learn a lot just by taking it apart.
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Old 06-13-2020, 01:26 PM   #13
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Default Re: Can this be saved?

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There's NO decision to be made. There is NO differentiation between a '49-'53 Ford or Merc block, save for the paint color applied at the assembly plant! The crankshaft, pistons and other bolt-on components determine either Ford, or Mercury engine identity. BLOCKS ARE IDENTICAL! DD
I understand that.... The cardboard sign said 51 merc engine. It was a complete disassembled engine. I tried to judge if the crank was 4" stroke by doing some off the cuff measuring and while I was trying to figure it out, somebody else stepped up to the plate and struck a deal.
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Old 06-13-2020, 06:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: Can this be saved?

The block might be good, but removing the pistons will be the biggest challenge. Beating them out with a hammer will deffinately crack the cylinders. I ur off the roda with a torch uae a 3| hole saw to cut the top of the pistons off and then use a chisel to brake up the piston. Usuall takes a couple days, no short cuts. Then have it tested The cylinders can be bored 1/8 oversize to save the block. Good luck.
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Old 06-14-2020, 01:39 AM   #15
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Default Re: Can this be saved?

I've not done it but, you might try to find a REAL hot tank and have them soak it, over night. The Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye and caustic soda, should eat the piston, until only the rod is left. Or, you could try buying some lye and soaking the block in a 55 gallon drum. You have to research the mixture, I used to know it but, have forgotten it.
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Old 06-14-2020, 09:41 AM   #16
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Thinking Ill try a hole saw first,get one that is just smaller than the inside of the piston skirt hopefully weaken it enough.No big hammer stuff,more like surgery.Next order is to run up an engine stand bracket and start pulling them down,just got this on the road so shop time is freeing up some..thanks for all the advice,will post up as it moves along..

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Old 06-14-2020, 11:44 AM   #17
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Jack Shaft... Cute A-Bone! I like the "look" of those tires, too. Any details, or maybe a closer pic? Are those 16s? Thanks! DD
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Old 06-14-2020, 02:04 PM   #18
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215/70 16 rear,20/55 16 front,cheapo amazon/bangkok skins,53 bucks a piece..on blasted,etched and rustoleumed ford wires..just a homemade hotrod,nothing special. paint? bobcat skid steer charcoal acrylic enamel,out here in the peoples republic its illegal to sell,found 4 quarts premixed in the back of the parts room at work..20 bucks a quart..
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Old 06-14-2020, 02:10 PM   #19
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Another question,on model a's ford script on castings means its a 'service' casting,generally not made at the Rouge..the heads on this engine have ford script,so do the water pumps..it was painted powder blue,and it appears its been sleeved back to STD,you can see the sleeve ridges and the marked piston has N-STD in big letters...Ford didnt mark pistons STD,only oversize that I know of,but once again Im speaking model a..Ill post up some pictures,but it appears the plot thickens..
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Old 06-14-2020, 02:20 PM   #20
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Out here in the peoples republic its illegal to sell.

Can I assume you're stuck in Quackafornia? Thank you for the info! DD
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Old 06-14-2020, 02:28 PM   #21
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Your assumption is correct comrade,the peoples republic of commiefornia..I live in the Central Valley with the rest of the slaves.
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Old 06-21-2020, 09:19 AM   #22
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Went back to the well,the water is dirt cheap . 2 8BA builders,truck bellhousing.Got a degree in banger engines,now I'm going to V8 school.
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Old 06-21-2020, 10:43 AM   #23
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Default Re: Can this be saved?

Chuck those engines into a tank of water and leave them to soak for a month, then try a big block of wood and tap the pistons. If they still wont budge, then put it back into the water another month and try again. Motors with severe rust may take up to 3 months to come loose.
Water caused the rust and will also disolve it, works better than penetrating oil or acetone.
I recently did a Model A motor that was rusted solid, after a month, I got all the pistons and valves out, plus got the rings and gudgeon pins out, no problem.
Got this info out of a Aussie hot rod mag and believe me it works, you will be amazed
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Old 06-21-2020, 10:53 AM   #24
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Went back to the well,the water is dirt cheap . 2 8BA builders,truck bellhousing.Got a degree in banger engines,now I'm going to V8 school.

I do believe that lower pan in the picture is one of those 'nice-to-have' truck pans with the removable clutch/flywheel cover, like this one. DD


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Old 06-21-2020, 11:10 AM   #25
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Got the full truck lash up,that drives me to the T5, figuring open driveshaft and 9" rear end
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:26 AM   #26
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Got the full truck lash up,that drives me to the T5, figuring open driveshaft and 9" rear end

You'll LOVE that T5, especially if you're CAREFUL about gear RATIO selection. Using the 'wrong' gear set can certainly mess-up an otherwise WONDERFUL and successful swap experience. It's too easy to assemble the 'perfect' combination with just a little research. DD
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Old 06-21-2020, 01:14 PM   #27
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Im hip on the ratio selection and admire the conversion you did.
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Old 06-21-2020, 01:20 PM   #28
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Chuck those engines into a tank of water and leave them to soak for a month, then try a big block of wood and tap the pistons. If they still wont budge, then put it back into the water another month and try again. Motors with severe rust may take up to 3 months to come loose.
Water caused the rust and will also disolve it, works better than penetrating oil or acetone.
I recently did a Model A motor that was rusted solid, after a month, I got all the pistons and valves out, plus got the rings and gudgeon pins out, no problem.
Got this info out of a Aussie hot rod mag and believe me it works, you will be amazed
Thanks for the tip Viv...the 59's will get done but they have fallen to the back of the line.Plenty of time to soak them.
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Old 06-21-2020, 01:34 PM   #29
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Im hip on the ratio selection and admire the conversion you did.

Thank you....MUCH appreciated! DD
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Old 06-21-2020, 01:44 PM   #30
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Just my sugestion; before going bonkers, 55 gal drum put block in with lye caustic
some water fire wood light fire some "Jack" and "Bud" sit back till the steam comes out
enjoy, cheap, nothing to lose, with some sticks mixed with charcoal brick'kets. Lots of
heat is your friend. Pistons just may fall out. old saying "keep the fire burning" this is
no joke It works and works for cheap. Then dissembled and pretty clean have it thermo
clean'ed comes back pure cast iron: Note the Jack and Bud = women can see through
concrete, well proven at my age LOL try it sam
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Old 06-21-2020, 02:45 PM   #31
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The lye solution will destroy your front and rear main seal retainers, I believe.
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Old 06-21-2020, 03:14 PM   #32
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Betcha Mart could save that motor
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Old 06-21-2020, 04:27 PM   #33
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Dont know Mart..Im a one trick pony,done this kind of crap for a living the last forty years and am that special kind of stupid that also does it for a hobby.
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Old 06-21-2020, 05:36 PM   #34
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The lye solution will destroy your front and rear main seal retainers, I believe.
No; boiling solution; boiling without crank, bearings, seal retainers, cam shaft and cam bearings even rod bearings oil pump all the basic stuff....sam
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Old 06-21-2020, 06:13 PM   #35
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Default Re: Can this be saved?

I just bust the pistons out with a 5X air hammer and a 401 chisel bit after using a small hole saw or large drill bit to start relieving some of the aluminum there. A person just has to be careful to stay away from the cylinder walls & con rods but they will break out pretty quick after you get used to it. Once a few big chunks break out, the piston & rod can easily be pulled out.
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Old 06-21-2020, 10:47 PM   #36
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Dont know Mart..Im a one trick pony,done this kind of crap for a living the last forty years and am that special kind of stupid that also does it for a hobby.
Mart is from the UK and posts here and did a You-tube series on rebuilding his "crusty" knackered/seized flathead. Shows from getting it stripped down to the point where he could run it in his 34 cpe. A budget rebuild by his own admission on a block that some would have considered a "boat anchor". Worth looking at it for the entertainment value as well.

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Old 06-21-2020, 11:38 PM   #37
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Budget build is my mantra..typical cheap ass ford owner..aint nothing cheap about a 34 coupe..
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Old 06-22-2020, 12:03 AM   #38
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This method I saw online from some Aussie hillbilly. One rainy day I did two stuck blocks and kept 16 cylinders blazing for about 4 hours. I ran out of diesel fuel after a bit so started burning paint thinner mixed with marvel mystery oil. When that started running out I added brake fluid and carb cleaner mix and when that ran out I drank the last of the jack daniels and got all 16 pistons out with a 5 lb sledge and a roll of 2" wide lead flashing about 3" in diameter. Conformed beautifully to the piston's crown.
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Old 06-22-2020, 07:03 AM   #39
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Looks like she fired up just fine GB
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Old 07-16-2020, 08:06 AM   #40
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Right bank of the best 8BA,no cracks in the bad areas..some stud leakage but I figure sealing them will take care of it.On to the left side..The rusty 59AB's are still soaking,if nothing else they will become donors to convert the 8BA to center outlet heads and front distributor...I've heard that is possible,any side effects?
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:21 PM   #41
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A conversion to 59 series front is pretty straight forward as long as you use the 59 series cam and gears. This will put the thrust in the right place. A person can use a PCV set up instead of worrying about crank case vent. A hole or two on the deck would have to be plugged to use the older heads if I remember correctly.
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Old 07-16-2020, 04:09 PM   #42
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Some interesting suggestions all good .The last motor I did like that i removed the pan and cleaned some minor rust on the lower barrels ,soaked it for a few days in Gas /diesel and used oil mix in the bottoms of the pistons ,then drove the pistons down (from the head ,like said a block of wood ) until i could remove the crank ,a couple i cleaned the top of the barrels then drove them up .just don't try and force them up past heavy rust,
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