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Old 01-23-2021, 10:45 PM   #1
bucket-o-rust
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Default 32 model b engine

I have a chance to buy a 1932 Ford B engine that is complete and in a 32 Ford truck. This truck has been sitting outside for at least 50 years. What would be a fair price for this motor. The motor has not been opened up or worked on recently. Probley has not run in 50 years. The motor will turnover. What kind of work is required to install this motor in a 1930 model A roadster.
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:23 AM   #2
Chris Haynes
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

It will bolt in to your A. I am sure it will have to be completely rebuilt first.
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

I hope you have a fat wallet! Engine rebuilds cost mucho dinero. Get that B engine as cheap as you can. I would budget at least $4000 from start to finish, and that has to include all the attachments.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

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Originally Posted by Chris Haynes View Post
It will bolt in to your A. I am sure it will have to be completely rebuilt first.
I think there will be a few modifications needed to the pan, especially if there are counterbalances on the crankshaft.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

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Originally Posted by Chris Haynes View Post
It will bolt in to your A. I am sure it will have to be completely rebuilt first.
I think there will be a few modifications needed to the pan, especially if there are counterbalances on the crankshaft.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:33 AM   #6
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

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The B will not drop in. The pan has to be reworked. I believe the A fly housing is used. I don’t remember everything off the top of my head. I just trying to tell you it isn’t a direct drop in, but it can be done.
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Old 01-24-2021, 02:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

I have two vehicles with a B engine installed if you cut the B flywheel shroud off it is a direct bolt in job . The shroud is used in a B car or truck to mate up to the B flywheel housing which has the same bolt pattern as the A housing . There are two different attachment styles of the shroud to the pan one is a continuous electric weld the other is spot welded . You have to cut the welded one off with a cut off wheel being careful not to cut into the pan itself . You can drill out the spot welded style and MIG up the holes . The A pan does not fit the B motor . When you bolt the A flywheel housing to the B engine be sure to fit the paper gasket or you will have a leak from the rear camshaft bearing . Use the small "C" shims at the top two bolts so the housing is square to the block all the vendors sell these. You have to check the runout the "Barn" will tell you how . This is important so the transmission is aligned correctly .Before you fit and run the engine drop the pan and pop out the dipper tray and clean out all the gunge (you will be surprised) and open the valve chest and clean that out as well .All the gaskets are available for the B engine . Check for block cracks around the valve seats USA made engines are prone for this .

John in well locked down Suffolk County England .

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Old 01-24-2021, 04:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

As John said, CHECK THE BLOCK FOR CRACKS. The US made blocks have a strong reputation for cracking around the valves. The theory is that during the depression when sales were slow, Ford cut corners. Being a 1932 motor, it may not have counterweights but probably does. I wouldn't bother if no weights. If you are considering a B block, you clearly are not after a points car but an A motor can be made to run pretty darned well and durably with counter weights and pressure oil feed to the middle main bearing.. Besides, more parts are available. JMHO.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

I have both cars, Model B and Model A. Yes the B has a bit more performance but not enough to justify all that work and expense to change out the engines. One thing that I do not like is the carburetor on the B. It does not use the GAV the same as a Model A. On the B, the GAV is opened 3/4 turn for start and warmup only. Then it is closed. You have no fine fuel adjustment like on a Model A. It is one thing less for the driver to play with, it was progress! I admit I am a traditionalist, I don't like modifications if they are not advantageous. I wouldn't buy a Model A without the original style engine. Just my take, Ed
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

You cannot use the B exhaust manifold as the outlet is angled instead of straight down .You can use the A inlet manifold coupled to the A exhaust manifold and use an A carb .Mine run just fine with Zenith or Tillotson .

John in same place same weather and locked down forever !!!
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

ED, I have a B carb and the intake is bored to match.

It is on an A engine and the GAV for me is 1/4 turn start, then close or leave it alone.
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:00 AM   #12
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

My '31 has a B engine made in '39...the advantages of the later B engines are hard valve seats, oil pressure to the main, larger journals, etc.

As John Carlton said, the modifications to use the engine are few, and consist of trimming the rear of the B pan. Everything else bolts right up. I just re-assembled mine after resetting the rod and main clearances, and the only gaskets that are different from the A engine are the pan and valve cover gaskets. Motor mounts are the same too.

Mine is direct bolt up to the A flywheel housing and uses the A intake and exhaust manifolds, carburetor, distributor, and the A head with 4 bolt water pump. I also replaced the front pulley with a new one and it is an A unit too. Internally it uses the same cam gear and thrust plunger.

A or B, condition would be the issue for me.


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Old 01-24-2021, 11:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

The "B" pan should be used, it should have clearance bosses for the rod nuts. The counterweights are of not consequence, a '32 probably does not have counterbalanced crank. The rear section of the pan, the part that constitutes the lower half of the flywheel housing needs to be removed in order to use the "A" flywheel housing.

The "B" motor has a galley under the valve chamber cover that can be modified to pressurize the main and cam bearings. It is not pressurized directly from the factory. If you make this modification you must provide some sort of pressure relief for the pump.
A filter assembly that filters the oil is recommended, full pressurized filter is preferred.

Another way of looking at this potential motor is this, it sat for 50 years, this means that it has not been "worked" on for 50 years. Thus probably has not been damaged by someone who doesn't know what they are doing.

Condition is the key, disassembly is the only way to know.
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

Ford engineering identified a number of improvements during the A's run. Ford decided to incorporate them all at one time with the 'New and Improved' 4 cylinder engine.

Larger crankshaft journals, and ultimately a counterbalanced crankshaft in late '32

positive oil flow to main bearings

redesigned cam shaft builds torque to 2900 rpm

mechanical advance distributor

larger carburetor with side mounted float

redesigned exhaust manifold

redesigned head (4.6 to 1 compression) and combustion chamber

redesigned water pump

and a number of other improvements

The crankshaft redesign and ultimately counterbalancing along with the mechanical advance distributor greatly decreased main bearing failure. The engine developed 25% more horsepower and the torque band was raised to 2900 rpm. Given 5 years of observation this is what Ford engineering did to improve the model A engine..

The truck engine you are buying probably has a BB crankshaft with pressed on counterweights, these have to be removed to grind the rod journals, people often walk away from that crankshaft if it needs machining .B engines do crack, primarily from 2and 3 exhaust valve to the cylinder. Pinning the crack, installing exhaust seats and cylinder sleeves cures the issue.
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:59 PM   #15
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

@Jack Shaft
You seem to know your stuff about these engines...
I have a question for you - Those weights on the BB counter-balanced cranks look like they'd be fairly easy to remove (but not install). Is it possible to simply remove them for the grinding operation, and just leave them off - you wouldn't have a counter-balanced crank, but given the scarcity of good cranks, would you just end up with a model A type crank balance or not?


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Old 01-24-2021, 01:09 PM   #16
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

Pay attention to John and John, they have it right. If you e-mail me at jimb4e4@gmail.com I will send you the chapter in my book telling the various ways to put a B into an A.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:13 PM   #17
Jack Shaft
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

Yes, basically you'll end up with an early '32 dynamically balanced crankshaft, as long as no damage was done during the removal. The first engine pictured has homemade weld on counterweights, the second is the Ford counterweighted crankshaft (not swedged on weights like the BB). Counterweighted ford crankshafts are out there, you can find them.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:15 PM   #18
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

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Originally Posted by Jim Brierley View Post
Pay attention to John and John, they have it right. If you e-mail me at jimb4e4@gmail.com I will send you the chapter in my book telling the various ways to put a B into an A.
May I suggest buying his book, its a wealth of information.
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:10 PM   #19
Chris Haynes
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

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I think there will be a few modifications needed to the pan, especially if there are counterbalances on the crankshaft.
A ball peen hammer gives rod clearance or cut the clutch cover off the B pan. It isn't rocket science.
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: 32 model b engine

If any of you need and of either type of B cranks, I have dozens of them.
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