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Old 05-26-2020, 05:02 PM   #1
JayChicago
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Default Curious Engine

There is something curious about the engine in my 37. It doesn't pass the pencil test, a post war block. But it has a 3 bolt distributor and chain cover, '41 or earlier. So, did someone drill and tap this block for a 3 bolt distributor? If so, why?
(The builder's stamp on the engine is: "Motor City Flatheads S.B". I'm guessing it was built 15-20 years ago.)
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Old 05-26-2020, 05:11 PM   #2
JSeery
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Default Re: Curious Engine

They could have just changed the front cover.
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Old 05-26-2020, 05:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Curious Engine

I have a lot to learn. Are you saying the distributor mounts to just the cover, not to the block? I assumed the cover was just sheet metal.
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Old 05-26-2020, 05:46 PM   #4
DavidG
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Default Re: Curious Engine

It's fairly thick cast iron.
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Old 05-26-2020, 06:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Curious Engine

Mark Kirby is likely still around. With his health problems, he had to slow down. A lot of flathead parts will interchange among the slightly different engines. An OEM 1937 engine was still a 21-stud but it was the first year for the block mounted coolant pumps. The helmet type distributor would have been original for the 37. They can be retrofitted with the 21A flyweight assembly as an update. If you want a crab then you can put a 2-bolt cover on but it depends on the cam it has as to what you may need for the distributor drive. These engines are very adaptable.
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Old 05-26-2020, 06:15 PM   #6
tubman
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Default Re: Curious Engine

A lot of changes can be made to an engine over a period of 80 years, especially when guys like us are involved.
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:23 PM   #7
JayChicago
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Default Re: Curious Engine

Thanks everyone for the info. That explains it. Don't know why it was changed, can't know all the car's history, but at least now I understand how it was done.
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Old 05-26-2020, 08:41 PM   #8
V8COOPMAN
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Default Re: Curious Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayChicago View Post
I have a lot to learn. Are you saying the distributor mounts to just the cover, not to the block? I assumed the cover was just sheet metal.

Top is a 3-bolt cam cover associated with engines through 1941. Bottom pic is the '42-'48 2-bolt cam cover. Note the five bolt holes make the covers interchangeable. DD










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Old 05-27-2020, 12:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Curious Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayChicago View Post
I have a lot to learn. Are you saying the distributor mounts to just the cover, not to the block? I assumed the cover was just sheet metal.
Yes, the distributor mounts to the cover.
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