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Old 01-11-2021, 02:45 PM   #1
21stud
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Default German H-block?

Hello all barners, I am flathead enthusiast from Finland. Been lurking here long time and learned a lot. Thanks to all members here, sure a lot of knowlegde!

I thought I show some photos of this block I have . I only have block with flywheel, crank, rods, pistons and cam. No oilpan, heads, timing cover or int/ ex manifolds for this.

My past experience is -37 21 stud engines, so just recently I started to identify this one.

It is 24 stud, 239, appears to be STD bore. prewar I believe, because short snout crank with small bearing journals. Bellhousing have cast H and VR below it. No bulges on oil pan rails.

Cam gear is aluminium, surprise? I think it usually is fiber in prewar engines?

I believe it is german because there is mahle pistons and based info I found from this swedish website:
http://www.earlyfordv8.se/h-markt-motorblock/

too bad, no photos of similar engine but later ones are covered well.
mine do not have rear distributor boss in bellhousing, so I think this must be early 24 stud Germany engine. Similar with USA blocks.

Very strange is the fact it's 3-3/16" bore? and cylinder walls are thick. I allways thought all prewar Fords were 221"? is this German equivalent Mercury block?

Other real suprise was main bearings. I assumed this must have small mains as crank is short snout type. but what surprise was to find 81A markings in those bearing caps? still crank have 2.4 mains but bearing shells are very thick to compensate difference? I have never seen bearings like this?

Do you guys have some info about these, anybody else got similar engine?

take a look attached photos, please.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20210110_140626.jpg (102.8 KB, 166 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20210109_180819.jpg (42.7 KB, 164 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20210110_140709.jpg (63.9 KB, 169 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20210109_212520.jpg (37.6 KB, 135 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20210109_180941.jpg (43.4 KB, 142 views)
File Type: jpg thick main brg.jpg (59.9 KB, 142 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20210109_180831.jpg (33.5 KB, 137 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20210109_180838.jpg (33.4 KB, 130 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20210109_180850.jpg (51.1 KB, 132 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20210109_220720.jpg (40.3 KB, 130 views)

Last edited by 21stud; 01-12-2021 at 04:02 AM. Reason: wrong piston size
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Old 01-11-2021, 05:00 PM   #2
alanwoodieman
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Default Re: German H-block?

81a is the designate of 1938 which is the first year for 48 stud engines, you need to look on vanpelts website for block ID's
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: German H-block?

The engines manufactured in the Koln plant generally have their casting marks. I think the 29T was early and G29T was later. They have different heads and a distributor mounted on the back above the oil pump. French engines of the early type usually have their distinct SAF casting marks.

That one appears to be 81A type manufactured in the US. The Canadian type would be C81A. I'm not sure about engines manufactured at the Dagenham plant in England as far as prewar but the 221 wasn't as popular in the UK due to tax problems.

All of the USA 239 engines have round port holes in the center of the deck. That one has the trapazoidal or keystone shape indicating a 221. If it has 3 3/16" +.010 pistons then that would be about as far as a 221 will go normally. A sonic check of the cylinder wall will tell the current wall thickness. I've never seen a 239 with the keystone ports. I have seen some 221 engines that were sleeved for larger bores though.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 01-11-2021 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 01-11-2021, 07:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: German H-block?

Couple Observations:

1) Center Keystone Water Port: Is shaped differently than any block I've seen in the USA - has a radius in the lower portion.
2) Lower Keystone Water Port: Is also shaped differently than any block I've seen in the USA - has a radius in the top portion.
3) I've never seen a crank in the USA with 2.4" mains - nor the bearings that go with it.
4) My guess is that the block could use a standard 2.5" main USA crank with associated bearings.
5) There are two strange holes on the bottom pan-rail - one by the oil pump and one up front - about 1/2" or so diameter
6) I have no idea as to what those 4 holes (with the arrows on them) are all about on the intake manifold surface.

If it is a 3 3/16 bore, then it sure seems like a "Mercury Style" block, though it has some obvious cosmetic differences between it and USA made pre-war Merc blocks or WWII industrial production blocks (which are almost like a 41-42 Mercury).

Hopefully it is a good block . . . then I'd channel some of my inner Finn Sisu and put a stroker crank in it, bore it to 3 5/16 and have some fun!

PS: I'm 1/2 Finn.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: German H-block?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanwoodieman View Post
81a is the designate of 1938 which is the first year for 48 stud engines, you need to look on vanpelts website for block ID's
Thanks but vanpelts exellent website is no help with this. there is only USA block info.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
The engines manufactured in the Koln plant generally have their casting marks. I think the 29T was early and G29T was later. They have different heads and a distributor mounted on the back above the oil pump. French engines of the early type usually have their distinct SAF casting marks.

That one appears to be 81A type manufactured in the US. The Canadian type would be C81A. I'm not sure about engines manufactured at the Dagenham plant in England as far as prewar but the 221 wasn't as popular in the UK due to tax problems.

All of the USA 239 engines have round port holes in the center of the deck. That one has the trapazoidal or keystone shape indicating a 221. If it has 3 3/16" +.010 pistons then that would be about as far as a 221 will go normally. A sonic check of the cylinder wall will tell the current wall thickness. I've never seen a 239 with the keystone ports. I have seen some 221 engines that were sleeved for larger bores though.

Yes, I know later Ford Koln engines had fk casting marks and dist in bellhousing + that wonderfull aluminium oil pan!
they also had same H in bellhousing than this one.

this is definitely not USA made block! I have 39-40 thin sleeve usa block also, 221 and those cylinder walls are very thin compared to this. I will post more pics side by side soon.
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Old 01-12-2021, 01:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: German H-block?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored&Stroked View Post
Couple Observations:

1) Center Keystone Water Port: Is shaped differently than any block I've seen in the USA - has a radius in the lower portion.
2) Lower Keystone Water Port: Is also shaped differently than any block I've seen in the USA - has a radius in the top portion.
3) I've never seen a crank in the USA with 2.4" mains - nor the bearings that go with it.
4) My guess is that the block could use a standard 2.5" main USA crank with associated bearings.
5) There are two strange holes on the bottom pan-rail - one by the oil pump and one up front - about 1/2" or so diameter
6) I have no idea as to what those 4 holes (with the arrows on them) are all about on the intake manifold surface.

If it is a 3 3/16 bore, then it sure seems like a "Mercury Style" block, though it has some obvious cosmetic differences between it and USA made pre-war Merc blocks or WWII industrial production blocks (which are almost like a 41-42 Mercury).

Hopefully it is a good block . . . then I'd channel some of my inner Finn Sisu and put a stroker crank in it, bore it to 3 5/16 and have some fun!

PS: I'm 1/2 Finn.
Bored&Stroked,

thanks, you have a sharp eye for these things!

1, 2 yes, shape of water ports is unsual. I've never seen anything like this before.
3 I think first 1938 usa 24stud engines were with 2.4 mains and short snout just as 1936LB -38 21 studders. Dagenham engines had them postwar also.
4 I sure hope this is good block, if that's the case I've got french 4" going in for sure! bearings should fit!
5 Oh yes, I didn't even notice those holes! more pics will come when I get around it.
6 holes in intake deck have threads and are someones later add-ons, definelately not made by ford. have to plug them, 3 goes to water gallery.

so you're half finn? I feel like home allready
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Old 01-12-2021, 01:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: German H-block?

Some crankshaft photos. that other is french crank for comparison. I just noticed by that photo, short snout is also smaller in diameter?! very strange, will do some more measuring soon. Snout dia is 1-3/16"!!! very small? regular ford is 1-5/16"
Attached Images
File Type: jpg H block crank.jpg (26.6 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg Hblock crank.jpg (40.6 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg german vs french.jpg (38.4 KB, 57 views)

Last edited by 21stud; 01-12-2021 at 04:04 AM. Reason: added dimensions
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Old 01-12-2021, 02:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: German H-block?

Those two holes that B&S refers to in the pan rail is a feature of ALL Canadian blocks with shell main bearings. Is the easy way to identify 36 LB engines without tearing them down. [Look/feel behind the crank pulley for a 5/8 dia hole].... I think they were used in fixtures in the factory when they machined them.
But that block is NOT a canadian block
The crankshaft used in those early 81A engines was the same 2.4 dia mains job used from 36LB through to 38. Runs the fanged rod bearings. That appears to be what your block has. As you say, special thick wall bearings
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Last edited by Brian; 01-12-2021 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: German H-block?

The piston marking of 80.92 if mm, would be 3.1858 and that would be a standard bore.
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Old 01-12-2021, 04:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frnkeore View Post
The piston marking of 80.92 if mm, would be 3.1858 and that would be a standard bore.
Thanks, that is correct. some brainfart my side STD bore it is.
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:13 AM   #12
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Default Re: German H-block?

Welcome to the barn, interesting engine, have fun with the rebuild, what vehicle are you plan on putting that motor in?
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:35 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by corvette8n View Post
Welcome to the barn, interesting engine, have fun with the rebuild, what vehicle are you plan on putting that motor in?
Thanks! If this block passes pressure test, someday it will find it's way to my 29 AV8
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:42 AM   #14
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Default Re: German H-block?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
Those two holes that B&S refers to in the pan rail is a feature of ALL Canadian blocks with shell main bearings. Is the easy way to identify 36 LB engines without tearing them down. [Look/feel behind the crank pulley for a 5/8 dia hole].... I think they were used in fixtures in the factory when they machined them.
But that block is NOT a canadian block
The crankshaft used in those early 81A engines was the same 2.4 dia mains job used from 36LB through to 38. Runs the fanged rod bearings. That appears to be what your block has. As you say, special thick wall bearings
Brian, good info. I have never seen those Canadian blocks. not sure what 5/8 hole you mean?
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:44 PM   #15
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Default Re: German H-block?

More surprises. just looked that cam, it's still in as I haven't took valves of yet.
Could this be steel cam? sure looks like it!
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File Type: jpg H-block cam.jpg (34.4 KB, 55 views)
File Type: jpg H-block camshaft.jpg (26.8 KB, 55 views)
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Old 01-12-2021, 01:02 PM   #16
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Default Re: German H-block?

It appears it is a steel cam.
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: German H-block?

I had a German flatty in my 40 coupe. That motor dated from the mid 50s. It was a nice smooth running motor. It had the rear mounted distributor but I took the cover off the front and ran a crab on an adaptor. A helmet dizzy bolted straight on without the adaptor. Your motor looks earlier, as it only has the front mount distributor. It is interesting to see all the detail differences. I did take the heads off mine, but I can't remember if the deck face had that distinctive shape that yours has on the central water hole.
What are your plans for it?
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Old 01-12-2021, 04:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: German H-block?

Ford of Germany was basically confiscated by the National Socialist government of the time as the company was pressed into wartime production. During this time, designing was done in house since there was a lot of expansion for the war effort. The 3.9 liter engines weren't produced till 1940 or 41 but they were close copies of the engines produced in the US. There were differences though. The rear mount distributor was a later addition and may have even been post war. Koln got hit pretty hard during the war but the Ford-Werke was lucky and was still pretty much intact. My guess it that it may be an early 3.9 that was produced during the early stages of WWII when there was still some automibile production going on.

This is from the HAMB. Check post #2 . Ventilo seems to have a handle on things made during that time frame.
https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/...theads.490642/

The powers that be in Dearborn at the main Rouge plant had very little contact with the Ford-Werke after the take over in 1940 so they didn't really know what all was going on till after the war was over.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 01-13-2021 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: German H-block?

Mart,
my plan is to build it for my AV8, I have french crank and rods, schneiner 248 cam, johnson lifters and high comp heads for it. Hopefully there is not too many cracks.
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: German H-block?

rotorwrench,

thanks, good info. I've searching all over the web, here and hamb but have not found a much about these early engines.

good pics from late engine:
http://www.brandow.eu/div/29GT/index.html
only pistons look same than mine, everything else is different.

this topic on hamb, probably same than mine but pics are long gone:
https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/...irable.748311/
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