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Technical C59A - Canadian Flathead

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by jrblack30, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. Can we have a discussion about the Canadian version of the flathead? What can I expect? any known problems with them? any benefits?

    Recently picked this one up from a shop, it was under his bench for 15years. He got it from a local transmission shop where it sat there for years. I put a little transmission fluid down the plug holes and with little effort it is now turning over. It is missing the distributor, carb, and generator, but for the most part I am happy with it so far.

    Here are a couple pics of the lump in the garage

    Canadian heads
    3 ports on back for oiling is a little different than I am used to.

    Block is stamped with what looks like CAB8
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
  2. Has an odd intake C11? 6522-02

    What is this extra port on the intake on the generator mount?
  3. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 927

    Bearing Burner
    from W. MA

    It was said that Canadian Blocks had thicker cylinder walls.
  4. I would consider it to be about the same as a US 59AB. These are my favorite 24 stud flathead for a traditional build. There are all sorts of urban flathead myths about certain blocks, certain markings and certain manufacturing origins being thicker, heavier nickle content, etc.. I've looked at a ton of blocks and sonic tested a lot of them as well - I see the myths as just that. If you have a good engine with a good block, then you're in great shape!

    I would definitely pull the heads - check everything out for rust, mice and every damn thing else. I'd also pull the pan and check the bearings and clean the pan out and clean the oil-pump. If it has the pre-49 oil pump, then I'd put in a later 8BA oil pump. Lastly I'd pull the intake and checkout everything in the valley. If all is good, then all you did is replace some old gaskets - which isn't a bad idea anyway. Best of luck!

  5. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,645


    Here's my Canadian C59A built by Walt (Ford Barn). .125 over, adjustable lifters, 221 24 stud heads (higher compression), Merc 4" crank, Isky cam, Red's headers, Holley 390 4bbl and Bubba's crab.
    Runs like stink in my little roadster.
    59A 1a.jpg
    59a 001a.jpg
  6. Garpo
    Joined: Jul 16, 2016
    Posts: 236


    C59A motors are what we got in New Zealand Fords post WW2. Just the usual problems you get with anything over 60 years old when you do not know it's history.
    The extra oil gallery plug is there for some commercial or military applications when a full flow filter was used. The popular filter mod was done first by the Ford Motor Company.
  7. Anyone know what is going on with the machined port on the generator mount?
  8. That's for a oil filler spout. On bigger trucks they used that manifold, you are missing the spout and cap.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  9. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,603

    Rusty O'Toole

    The only diff I know of is, Canadian Fords had aluminum heads while US models had iron. Have heard that the Canadian blocks were stronger or thicker but can't confirm. Yes the hole is for the oil fill spout. There should be a pipe about a foot long with a filter cap on top.
  10. Where Canadian aluminum heads an option? I have seen very few over the years?
  11. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,603

    Rusty O'Toole

    They were standard equipment. I'm not saying every year but definitely in the thirties - early 40s. The 49 up that I have seen, had iron heads. Maybe 46 -48 as well but can't say for sure.
  12. 13clicks
    Joined: Dec 2, 2014
    Posts: 158


    I have talked with an old-timer and he's been running canadian flatheads for years... he said they run so cool that he didn't run a fan on em. The blocks are fairly bombproof and great for a big bore job. There is a video of him talking here I shot about a month ago.
  13. This has iron heads, I have a pair of Canadian Alloy heads laying on the bench
  14. RobertDip
    Joined: Mar 1, 2011
    Posts: 76

    from Candiac

    I have a few C59A engines, and yes, the thickness of the cylinder walls are much thicker. If the heads are off, feel the cylinder wall thickness with your fingers. Quite a difference. Story goes that in the colder climates, thicker walls saved blocks when being below freezing.....water was the main source of coolant in those days, and if you got caught with your pants down on the outside temp.....this may have saved the day on your block. Racers back in the day loved these Canadian blocks for big bores and overall strength. One way to recognize these blocks are the larger trapezoidal water passages. See photo.

    Attached Files:

  15. 34FordConv
    Joined: Oct 31, 2007
    Posts: 185


    From what I've been told by men who were there, in Canada, trucks had iron heads and intakes, cars had aluminum heads and intakes.

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