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Old 09-16-2019, 03:12 PM   #1
mcgarrett
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Default Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

My brother has a 1933 Model B pickup with a cracked block that he doesn't think can be properly repaired to be reliable. Early Model B blocks are notorious for this problem. There seems to be only 3 solutions to get it back on the road and maintain a somewhat stock appearance:

1). Find a good "Diamond" Model B block at a reasonable price. This block had better casting quality and doesn't have a tendency to crack but is hard to find!
2). Adapt Model A engine to the Model B oil pan along with making the wishbone mount and pedal modifications.
3). Switch over to a flathead V8.

Has anyone successfully adapted a Model A engine to function in place of the Model B and what are the necessary modifications and pitfalls of taking on the switch? I know about the challenges of grafting the rear part of the Model B oil pan to work on the Model A pan while making sure the rear oil seal is secured. Also, I'm told the dip tray on the Model B sits deeper in the pan and may starve the dippers on the Model A rods, but haven't verified that.

Would appreciate any guidance or advice on solutions, tips, tricks, etc.
Thanks to all.
M. Garrett
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:25 PM   #2
bgarrett
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

Where do they crack?
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:42 PM   #3
mcgarrett
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

The ones I've seen have the problem on #3 cylinder with a crack running from the cylinder bore to the exhaust valve pocket.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:20 PM   #4
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

Find someone that removed the rear part of the "B" oil pan to put it in an A, weld it to the a oil pan , use all the external parts from the original engine for the rest--- sort of simplified
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Old 09-16-2019, 05:06 PM   #5
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgarrett View Post
My brother has a 1933 Model B pickup with a cracked block that he doesn't think can be properly repaired to be reliable. Early Model B blocks are notorious for this problem. There seems to be only 3 solutions to get it back on the road and maintain a somewhat stock appearance:

1). Find a good "Diamond" Model B block at a reasonable price. This block had better casting quality and doesn't have a tendency to crack but is hard to find!
2). Adapt Model A engine to the Model B oil pan along with making the wishbone mount and pedal modifications.
3). Switch over to a flathead V8.

Has anyone successfully adapted a Model A engine to function in place of the Model B and what are the necessary modifications and pitfalls of taking on the switch? I know about the challenges of grafting the rear part of the Model B oil pan to work on the Model A pan while making sure the rear oil seal is secured. Also, I'm told the dip tray on the Model B sits deeper in the pan and may starve the dippers on the Model A rods, but haven't verified that.

Would appreciate any guidance or advice on solutions, tips, tricks, etc.
Thanks to all.
M. Garrett
I will start with the good news. The pedal assembly and wishbone mount on the frame in 1933 so, assuming you are running the 1933 transmission, they are not a problem. You will have to add a fuel pump, use the Model B cylinder head and the shorter 1933/34 water pump on the Model A engine. My advice would be to not try and use a Model engine. While it could be done it will GREATLY reduce the value of the vehicle. I would recommend either finding a Model B engine or installing a V8. The 21 stud V8 engines through 1938 are basically a bolt in, in fact Ford made a water passage block off plate so the dealers could install the 1937-38 engine (find on EBAY). Note that the 1937 and 1938 21 stud engines had insert bearings. I have had a Model B roadster since 1969 and have only heard a few complaints about the Model B engines cracking.

Charlie Stephens

Last edited by Charlie Stephens; 09-16-2019 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:08 PM   #6
Railcarmover
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

Ive got a B block with 21 crack pins in the deck
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:17 PM   #7
Synchro909
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

B blocks are notorious for cracking but I'm not so sure the diamond B is any better. I have a diamond A and a diamond B engine in two of my cars and I wonder sometimes why anybody bothers chasing a diamond block over an ordinary one.
As for the original quaestion, the biggest adaption I think you'll have to make is the flywheel housing and rig up a fuel pump. Electric would be the easiest way to go.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:16 PM   #8
bgarrett
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

have you considered buying a B motor thats all new?
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:46 AM   #9
mcgarrett
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

Thanks for all the feedback. I think we might want to go with the V8 since it seems to be the least complicated solution.
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Old 09-17-2019, 08:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

Long time thoughts ; has anyone ever tried a 8N tractor engine. All I can say is they
run whisper quiet absolutely no vibrations smooth as a cat. And then my son dropped
a 1935 V8 in a 1930 4 dr about two hour job had to buy a radiator and he put F100
steering box which there is much confusion on that; he did not cut or weld anything except we spliced the steering shaft for the original steering wheel. The spark and throttle levers not used just for looks. I know your working on a 33 but some one some where has gone the tractor route with a simple adapter and got rid of the governor. I say this cause my father bought a new tractor 1949 and never been apart till this day and
we use it daily all year raking horse poop.....sam
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:44 AM   #11
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by big job View Post
Long time thoughts ; has anyone ever tried a 8N tractor engine. All I can say is they
run whisper quiet absolutely no vibrations smooth as a cat. And then my son dropped
a 1935 V8 in a 1930 4 dr about two hour job had to buy a radiator and he put F100
steering box which there is much confusion on that; he did not cut or weld anything except we spliced the steering shaft for the original steering wheel. The spark and throttle levers not used just for looks. I know your working on a 33 but some one some where has gone the tractor route with a simple adapter and got rid of the governor. I say this cause my father bought a new tractor 1949 and never been apart till this day and
we use it daily all year raking horse poop.....sam
Is the 8n tractor engine 120 cubic inches? If so, I have no further comment.

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Old 09-17-2019, 10:39 AM   #12
Jim Brierley
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

8N ... NO torque!
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:49 AM   #13
rotorwrench
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

Ford tried the 9N, in commercials no less, for 1941 and they were a dismal failure. Way too underpowered. Even a V8-60 is a bit doggy but it has more power than the 120 cid tractor engines.

I have to disagree about putting a V8 in any model A being an easy bolt it. There is no way it's easy. In a 32, now that's a different story but then they had them as an option.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 09-17-2019 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:33 PM   #14
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

I have heard a lot of stories about cracks in the V8 engines but that may just be the group I am associating with.

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Old 09-17-2019, 06:07 PM   #15
rotorwrench
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Default Re: Need info on adapting Model A engine to Model B pickup.

They either get too hot or they freeze up. Ford didn't use freeze plugs till the Y-blocks came out so all the flatheads were vulnerable.
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