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Old 03-16-2016, 03:49 PM   #1
ajmac
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Default British Built Flathead ID

I am rebuilding a Ford UK built flathead V8 which came from a wartime fire pump. Does anyone know how I can date the block? It has 4 44 cast into the top of the bell housing which could be April 1944 but could also be nothing to do with it! Does anyone know when the Ford UK flathead family tree branched away from ford USA?......1938?



https://flic.kr/p/Fka39S

https://flic.kr/p/Fe48aM
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Last edited by ajmac; 03-18-2016 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

If you click on the links he has posted some very good photos to help I.D. the engine
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

Hi Alastair, I've been trying to do the same and date my British 21 stud engines. I've not found much documented information and have had to piece together what little I do know. There's a number stamped into the inlet manifold face above number 8 cylinder. It should start B18F and may have some stars. I don't know what the stars mean but the B denotes British built, 18 is the 221 21 stud engine and F means that it is for right hand drive applications, even if it was used in a pump or generator. There will then be a 7 digit number. I've got a late'50/early '51 engine with a 513xxxx engine, and a possibly 1954 engine with a 580xxxx number. I've also got an engine that may have been rebuilt in period and has a completely different set of numbers and letters! Good luck, John
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

That looks very close to my 1940 block, but the pan freeze plugs are missing, oh and it's a 21 stud. Is it factory sleeved?
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:49 AM   #5
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

It is basically a 1937 engine built in England through the war. It is set up for full flow oiling, maybe for the oil cooler in a Bren carrier. Numbers in the 18-### are from USA 221 number series, but will be higher than the USA numbers in Van Pelt's list becaus made years after 1942.
This engine (without full flow) was used for civilian stuff before and after the war, used in many carriers, trucks, and cars during. All the British built stuff used this engine, I think, but England also used lots of Canadian 221 and 239 24 stud engines in the many vehicles they imported during the war.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:56 AM   #6
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

Looking at pics, I see you have a lot more of the carrier! That extra oiling port connected I think to an elaborate thermostatic valve and a loop of finned cooling tubing.
Engine in general will be same as a USA '37 except for the oiling system and the possibility it may have locked rod bearings instead of full float. If it used USA distributor I think it would have been the 1933-36 type (never superseded over there), but it could also have had a Lucas. I think English carriers used a one-barrel carburetor with an adaptor to the two barrel manifold.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:57 AM   #7
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https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/i...sxAbUoc4LA8S9A Cooler!
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:38 PM   #8
Graeme / New Zealand
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

I think folks we will have to officially recognise Bruce as the "guru" on this site when it comes to flathead history. I never cease to be amazed by his worldwide knowledge in this area and I'm learning lots of new stuff. Dagenham sure produced some unique stuff for those of us interested in trivia. Thanks Bruce. This is an interesting thread (Thanks Ajmac for starting it).

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Old 03-17-2016, 12:52 PM   #9
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

There's a moderately scarce book out there from Ford England..."Ford at war"...not much tech, but lots of pictures. Ford built and rebuilt engines throughout the war...most spectacular picture shows a new V8 block being drilled f0r nearly all of its bolt holes simultaneously, a whole forest of drills attacking from all sides and everything half obscured in a shower of coolant!
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Old 03-17-2016, 03:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

One of my engines came out of a motor-generator unit and had the single choke carb, no oil filter, a Lucas magneto, double sheave water pumps and a 12V starter - the matching 12V generator didn't come with it when I bought it. It also has both inlet and exhaust valve inserts.
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Old 03-17-2016, 04:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

As I have remarked before on another site, The 21 stud Ford V8 Engine with the water pumps on the block were built in England from 1937 to the end of the war and when the war finished there was a lot of these V8 engines stored in various Depots around England owned by Ford for the military use, as the military no longer required these V8 engines Ford collected them and used them in the Ford Pilot and Thames truck vehicles. Apparently there were no 21 stud V8 engines made after the war. I received this information from good authority in England.
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Old 03-17-2016, 05:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

That throws some light on the Thames truck I saw out the back of the gem fields with a 21 stud engine in it,I thought it was not the original engine.Maybe it was.
will be out that way in a month or so so will have another look.
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Old 03-17-2016, 06:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

I've always heard that the war department purchases didn't really happen until the part or assembly was used by the military. I know that Royal Enfield WD motorcycles were also taken back to be distributed by the sales organizations after being repainted to civilian specs at the factory in Redditch. This way the WD didn't have to worry about new surplus costing them an arm and a leg but the manufacturers did have a lot of work to do to store and sell the stuff after the war.
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Old 03-18-2016, 04:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

Everything looks standard, even the bearings look like new, I guess it had very little running during its life as a pump.











The engine is not for my Loyd carrier, that is already rebuilt, its a 24 stud USA built 221 supplied to England during WW2.


Then...


Now
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Old 03-18-2016, 04:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

Many thanks for the information guys.

I noticed that 1937 USA Flatheads have core plugs in the bottom face of the block where as this UK unit does not. I wonder when the British production changed to this casting or if they were always without core plugs?

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Old 03-19-2016, 04:52 AM   #16
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

Alistair,
I've had/got English 21 studs with and without the plugs in the pan rail.
A note on these English engines, the crank is different to the US 1937- early 38 ones, the English war time cranks have two oil holes per rod journal also the front (snout) of the crank is the same as the later 24 stud cranks, as in its longer than the US 21 stud, I have one running 8BA front parts, crank pulley just plopped straight on, with its seperate "seal" collar.
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Old 03-19-2016, 05:00 AM   #17
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

I see from your pics the rods are early types, these rods (in my experience) use the US style fully floating bearings, can't see a bearing tab notch on your pics? Has yours got one or two oil holes per rod journal?
Most of the British 21's I've played with use 21A or 91A rods that use thick locked in bearings. They have the tab notch machined in. These ones had two oil holes on the rod journals.
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Old 03-19-2016, 06:43 AM   #18
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

ajmac: I see what appears as large core plugs (2) at the rear of the block above the bell housing. You may be aware Ford USA had a problem removing core material from the rear of the blocks, through the small pan rail plugs. The large core plugs at the rear of the block may have fixed this problem. Are there any part numbers on the rods? How about the main bearing caps, in the USA they have a part number prefix are yours marked?
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:44 PM   #19
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID

The rods are marked 91A and the crank cast date tag says 44 which I presume corroborates the 1944 production date.
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Old 03-19-2016, 05:58 PM   #20
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Default Re: British Built Flathead ID






A few extra photos from cleaning the rods and crank.
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