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  #1  
Old 01-05-2013, 11:59 AM
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Mercury Flathead

I have acquired a Mercury flathead V8, from what I can figure out, it looks to be a 49-53 239ci or 255ci, but I am not sure.

I am hoping someone on here will know how to tell for sure.

The heads have 24 bolts (not studs)

Complete engine
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Number stamped on top of block next to manifold (pass side rear)
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Top of head (pass side)
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Top of head (drivers side)
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Also, did they EVER use Mercury engines in Ford Trucks?
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2013, 12:22 PM
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Mercury trucks had Mercury engines. That engine appears to be from a car because of the narrow belt.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 51PanelMan View Post
Mercury trucks had Mercury engines. That engine appears to be from a car because of the narrow belt.
Yeah, I figured as much. Just thought I would double check.
What I am really trying to figure out is what this motor is exactly, and what it may have came out of?
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:42 PM
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I'm no expert that's for sure but I think you need to check actual stroke. Through the years a lot of parts get changed, engines overhauled etc.
There is just no telling what you might have.
Just my thoughts.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:31 PM
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The engine looks like a combination of parts from several different sources. The basic block is known as the 8BA and is common to all Ford cars, Ford trucks F-1 to F-6, Mercury cars, and Mercury trucks 1/2 ton through 2 ton built from 1949 (1948 for the trucks) to 1953. The intake manifold is common to Ford cars and all trucks for these years. The Narrow belts are common to 1950 to 1953 cars. The heads are from a 52 or 53 Mercury. The carburetor is completely incorrect for any of these years, it is a Stromberg and has a 99% change of lacking the vacuum setup to match the distributor. The fuel pump is a dual action, so called because the bottom is a vacuum booster. These pumps were common on cars with either overdrive or automatic transmissions and they put a lot of pressure (read wear) on the back of the cam.

The only thing special about the Mercury engines is the crankshaft. These had a 4 inch stroke instead of the 3 3/4 inch stroke of the Ford engines. No trucks came from the factory with the larger displacement engines, though some were installed when the original engine wore out. People sometime put Mercury heads on the smaller displacement Ford engines because they mistakenly think the Mercury heads will add power. They don't. The only sure way to know what crank you have is to pull a head and measure the stroke.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:35 PM
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Stick a stiff piece of copper wire into a cylinder and crank it over with a ratchet. Measure the stroke. It should be 4" instead of ford's 3 3/4". Also might be something like 8cm marked on it but that 'eac' looks familiar too. Only merc flathead I ever had was a cracked one so I put the 4" crank in my ford. That was a long time ago and I forget the details, but the 4" stroke is a sure sign. Dang 38, ya beat me to it...
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:11 PM
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Thanks guys. Well I am probably not going to use the motor at all. I just aquired it by chance. It was sitting in the back of a 49 F1 parts truck I just purchased. Was hoping to identify exactly what it is simply so I could try and put a value on it and properly tell people what it is so I can sell it. As you can see in the pics, its pretty rusted up and I really dont want to mess with pulling it apart and risk busting bolts and so on. Based on what you guys can see, what would you guestimate its worth on craigslist? It is in the way and I would love to sell it quickly. Surely some rat rodder will want to use this thing in their next project.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38 coupe View Post
...

No trucks came from the factory with the larger displacement engines, though some were installed when the original engine wore out. People sometime put Mercury heads on the smaller displacement Ford engines because they mistakenly think the Mercury heads will add power. They don't. The only sure way to know what crank you have is to pull a head and measure the stroke.
Actually, 52 Merc has shown that some intermediate (F-6?) Canadian trucks did use the 255. Pretty darn rare tho.

My engine (239 Ford) also came to me with 8CM Merc heads. Not only do they not add power, they reduce the compression ratio to about 6.0:1, so they do harm. Even on Merc engines, you're better off with 8BA or EAB 239" heads.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:24 PM
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24 stud flathead: 1948/53 Ford/Merc trucks & 1949/53 Ford/Merc cars: Ford: 239 cid (3.19" x 3.75"). Merc: 255.4 cid (3.19" x 4.00").

"Normal looking" distributor located on right (passenger) side of engine.

21 stud flathead: Distributor located at front of engine between waterpumps. Lots of fun (not!) changing points/condenser/rotor, cuz it's difficult to see what you're doing.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:24 AM
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Ditto on that old front mount distributer. I sold my last truck with that setup about 13 years ago. And back then I could still see. As if the location wasn't bad enough, they had dual points that you were supposed to synchronize too. I finally figured out to just take it off and work on it on the bench, but what a thrill to get the '53 and have that modern distributor. Nowadays there is no such thing as a 'normal looking' distributor on anything. I can't even find the points in my kid's honda....... And the value of that engine depends on cracks around the valves and cylinders, but if it does have the 4" crank, it definately has value. A serious buyer will want to see it with the heads off. I've never broken a head bolt on that style, so just go at it with an impact or wrench, they'll be off in about 10 minutes. Crack free and 4" stroke.... try 500.00
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:41 AM
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Your are suppose to remove those distrubutors and do the set up on
the bench on all 32-48's.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:45 AM
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Took me a while to learn that. I later graduated to the '42 crab type distributor, much easier to get on and off. 8ba in my '37. Not original, but the side mount dist is way nicer.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:21 AM
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You don't actually synchronize the points in the 32-48 distributor. Both points have a fixed location on the point plate and operate the same coil. The two points simply give you more dwell than a single point could. Simply get the point gap correct and you are good to go. The Lincoln-Zephyr coil on the other hand has an adjustable point that must be synchronized. Each set of points in that distributor fires its own coil so they must be timed to each other.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:18 PM
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Number Dummy

Just for the record Merc Trucks had the Flathead 239 C.I.D. from 1946 to 1954. The Ford Cars, Fathead 239 with exception of the upper end Meteor which had the Flathead 255 C.I.D. 1952-1954. Contrary to some belief that the Mercury Trucks had the Flathead 255 C.I.D. is wrong. This might have only happened in maybe late 1953-1954 to use up old stock

In some rare occassions you will find some of the 1950-1954 Fords with the Flathead 255 C.I.D. Engines. I believe they were the Police Interceptor Engine.

The front mounted Distributor was used tight up to 1948 cars, and into very early 1949 Trucks. This info is for Canadian built Cars & Trucks, as far as the Engines go.

Further the front mount Distributors were easy to work on as they had to be removed and you could not put them back in wrong, as they had an offset keyway that had to line up with the Camshaft or it wouldn't go on.

Also what another person said here about the Crab Cap its for me definitly the one of choice, easier to work with.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:22 AM
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1953 FoMoCo of Canada Ltd. Ford/Mercury Truck Parts Catalog (May 1953 edition) lists 239 flatty for 1953.

There's no VIN engine code in the 1949/59 Ford Passenger Car Parts Catalog for a 255 flatty.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:22 AM
 
 
 
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