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Hot Rods 49-53 Ford 8BA Flathead V-8

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Simplicity, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. Simplicity
    Joined: Jul 12, 2009
    Posts: 16

    Simplicity
    Member
    from Toronto

    I have included 2 pictures of distributors both commonly referred as "49-53 Ford 8BA flathead V-8" Can someone please educate me... The one with the smaller diameter shaft fits my 1952 F-1 Pick up.. I received a replacement, but its different, fatter shaft with the gear at the bottom. Is it just the front cover that is different? And does my style have a name, so I can get the appropriate fitment?
     

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  2. eaglebeak
    Joined: Sep 17, 2007
    Posts: 1,087

    eaglebeak
    Member

    I think...the one with the longer shaft at the bottom was a later design.
    They will both work.
    But the longer shaft will not fit in the timing cover unless it has the hole for that extension.
     
  3. fordf1trucknut
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 1,066

    fordf1trucknut
    Member

    One if for an aluminum timing cover and one is for a cast iron timing cover.
     
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  4. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,003

    deucemac
    Member

    I would modify a Chevy distributor to match the one used in your truck. Have it recurve to your truck and enjoy it. The loadamatic is NOT one of b ford's best distributors. Head over to the Fordbarn and find Bubba, he does the conversion all the time .
     
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  5. He's on here as GMC Bubba.
     
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  6. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,515

    V8 Bob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The cast iron (shorter) version came with both cast iron and alloy front covers, while the alloy distributor with the extended shaft came only with the alloy cover and lower shaft support. The pictures below may help.
    upload_2017-10-9_8-54-5.jpeg
    Above is the front view of the most common front covers I've seen and come across. "A" and "B" are alloy, "C" and "D" are iron.
    upload_2017-10-9_8-56-52.jpeg
    Above is the back side of the 4 covers. Note the short upper support in cover "A" and the reason for the lower support when using the alloy distributor housing on the right. Covers "B", "C" and "D" all have the longer upper support designed for use with the cast iron distributor housing on the left.
     
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  7. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,467

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks for posting this; it clears up a lot of questions I had. Even with that, I think I have a fifth version of the timing cover. It's a minor variation from what I can see on your pictures, but it is different. The one I have is aluminum and while it does have the timing pointer in the passenger car position (like covers "A", "C", and "D") it also has a cast in mark where the truck pointer should go (cover "B"). I think it says "OBA" next to the pointer and "8RT" cast into the cover, along with a circle where the truck pointer should go. The different pointer locations are required because of the larger diameter of the crankshaft pulley on a truck. I mention this mainly because most people don't know there is a difference between the pointer locations for cars and trucks. I'll take a picture of my cover when I go to my shop today and post it later.
     
  8. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,515

    V8 Bob
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    Tubman, the pictures don't clearly show, but covers "A" and "B" both have the two timing pointer locations.
     
  9. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,467

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Boy, are you sure they're marked? I don't see the markings at all. I'm still gonna post a photo just to be sure, unless you want to post a close-up of yours. There is room for either pointer, but I don't see anything even remotely resembling any kind of marking.
     
  10. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,515

    V8 Bob
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    Here's a close up picture showing the two pointer locations.
    The higher location was used on trucks and '49 Ford and Mercury cars, because of the larger diameter wide belt crank pulleys.
    upload_2017-10-9_10-7-5.jpeg
     
  11. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,467

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I still don't see the specific markings on yours that are plainly cast into mine. I see the two pointers, yes. But NO markings. I have blown the your picture up as much as I can, and I see no trace of the markings that are on mine. One of your covers appears to have two holes, while the other also appears to have two holes, one of which has a pointer installed. Mine has one hole (in the "narrow belt" position") and just a circle cast into the surface where the second "wide-belt" hole is on yours. It also has "8RT"cast into the surface next to the upper cast circle, while "OBA" is cast into the surface next to the lower hole. It's a minor difference, I'll admit, but it's there.

    Or else I've gone blind.:eek:
     
  12. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,515

    V8 Bob
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    I never said my alloy covers were marked, but I have seen and know some are, like yours.
     
  13. Simplicity
    Joined: Jul 12, 2009
    Posts: 16

    Simplicity
    Member
    from Toronto

    That is very helpful, thank you.
     
  14. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,467

    tubman
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    Here is a picture of the cover I am referring to : the numbers cast into the cover should be easily visible in this photo. If I had to guess, I would think that this cover was issued as service replacements late in the flathead era and would accommodate any of the distributors from the "8BA" era. I my opinion, this is a fifth version of flathead timing covers, like I originally said.
    IMG_1016.JPG
     
  15. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,822

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    More esoteric value right here on the HAMB.
     
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  16. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,938

    dan c
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    i've seen the covers with lower support on ebay for premium prices.
     
  17. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,467

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Since the only ones with the lower support are the aluminum ones, the question is what is driving the higher prices : the lower support or the fact that it is an aluminum cover? Personally, I like the aluminum covers.
     
    dan c likes this.
  18. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,515

    V8 Bob
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    If the upper support is short (about 2.5") like my cover "A", an extended shaft distributor should only be used, imo.
     
  19. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,467

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You're probably right. You would end up with a running engine if you used a "regular" distributor with the "A" cover. It would probably last a while. There are lots of instances where later "Service Replacement" parts are not quite "up to snuff".
     
  20. Simplicity
    Joined: Jul 12, 2009
    Posts: 16

    Simplicity
    Member
    from Toronto

    [​IMG]

    Here is the cast timing marks on a cover I had as well.
     
    alanp561 likes this.

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