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Technical Flathead Question: Narrow or Wide belts?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by the-rodster, Dec 30, 2021.

  1. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,878

    the-rodster
    Member

    I have a 51 EAB that I plan on putting into my 34 coupe.

    It has narrow belts and pulleys.

    For some reason, I'm not fond of them, no reason really, just
    never dealt with them.

    Should I switch pulleys for wide belts, or is it not worth the trouble?

    Thanks,
    Rich
     
  2. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 6,045

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I personally like the narrow belts; they have a sort of redundancy. You can lose the fan but not the generator, and just one water pump instead of both. It might give you an extra mile ot two before it boils. With a wide belt, everything goes. That being said, it limits your choice of water pumps, unless you want to do some pulley swapping. Also, the engine is a little shorter, which helps in swaps like you have in mind.

    I do have trucks pumps and a wide belt on the engine I built for my tub, and everything seems to work fine.
     
    F-ONE likes this.
  3. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,517

    19Fordy
    Member

    You will find that the stock 51 EAB will not fit in your 34 due to radiator and fan clearance problems.
    I have an 53 8BA in my 40 and had to convert to the wide belt system, otherwise the fan blade would cut into the radiator hoses. This has been discussed at length on Fordbarn. Go there and do a search. Here's a start.
    https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=307337&highlight=51+ford+engine+34+coupe
    and
    https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=305726&highlight=8rt+water+pump
    and all this about pumps, fans, etc.
    https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/search.php?searchid=26178301
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
    F-ONE likes this.
  4. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,092

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    Also...
    You will find that the wide belt pumps are all that's available with the Early Ford V8 mounting ears. There is an exception, 1949-51 Mercury pumps have the narrow pulleys with a mounting ear but it's a good bit higher than the earlier or truck pumps. Also, Mercury pumps are a very rare part. Too, they put the fan forward as mentioned above.
     
    sidevalve8ba likes this.

  5. I like the wide belts on a flatty myself.

    The modern narrower belts are easier to find on a run if you loose a belt. So that may help you make a decision. But like I said i prefer the look of the wide belts on a flatty.
     
    F-ONE likes this.
  6. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,878

    the-rodster
    Member

    I just pulled 49-51 Mercury pumps OFF the motor.
     
  7. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,517

    19Fordy
    Member

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
    F-ONE likes this.
  8. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,878

    the-rodster
    Member



    Didn't you have to replace the crank pulley also?
    What did you use?
    How did you do it?

    Thanks,
    Rich
     
  9. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,517

    19Fordy
    Member

    Rich, The thread below shows how I did it. I made a new fan carrier bracket prototype out of wood and then out of metal once I knew it would work. I then passed the same idea on to V8Coopman who designed a similiar set up for a 36 Ford coupe using a Corvair fan hub pulley. Carefully read all of the thread including the links he posted and the various replies of those who posted and you will get a good idea of what to do. You may even come up with a better solution.

    I have a NOS Corvair fan pulley hub (like V8Coopman used) for sale if you decide to go that route. Since your radiator is slanted you might want to PM V8Coopman to get more info. about how they did Heard's 36 coupe. My radiator is a 40 Ford Walker radiator with the walker shoroud from 1999. I also lowered the radiator so it rests on the frame rails. I used 8RT Ford wide belt pumps and had to find fanbelts that would fit. I also modified the aluminum alternator bracket so the alternator would fit lower down as I didn't like it sitting up so high. You may not have to do that . I also installed early style heads on the 8BA block. Motor mounts are 1940 Ford. So far no problems. Take it slow and it will go. Good luck, JIM
    https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=307337&highlight=51+merc+36+ford

    PS: Here is a Bob Drake fan hub pulley that you could also use. That way you won't have to make one from scratch like I did. Also. it's cheaper as 6061 aluminum and bearings are expensive. Carefully think the process thru and you will prevail as changing one thing often means you have to change something elese. You will also need to use the wide belt crank pulley and generator pulley. Feel free to PM me.
    https://bobdrake.com/search?type=product&q=fan+pulley+hub
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2021
    kidcampbell71 and F-ONE like this.
  10. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,092

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    Very good tech.:)
     
  11. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 3,637

    Flathead Dave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from So. Cal.

    Unless you prefer one over the other, leave them alone or figure out which will fit better in your car and go from there.
    I have wide belts on mine because I like the look and have the room.
     
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  12. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,878

    the-rodster
    Member

    Let's say I have plenty of room (the car is far from stock).

    Is the easiest route to just use 8RT pumps, 8BA crank pully and fan bracket?
     
  13. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,517

    19Fordy
    Member

    If you have plenty of room your BEST move and easiest route would be to install your
    stock narrow belt 51Merc engine to see how the stock Merc fan fits in relation to your radiator and radiator hoses.

    You may find that everything will work fine. If it does, stay with the narrow belt set up as changing to wide belts requires lots of changes and modifications that will be a lot of work unless you have access to plenty of fabrication tools. Plus, the 51 Merc narrow belt set up is a much better design as each pump is driven by a separate belt.

    If you find that there isn't enough room then you need the 8RT wide belt pumps and the wide pump crank pulley and wide belt generator pulley. Plus, you will need to fabricate a new fan carrier bracket as explained in previous posts. It requires lots of patience and work. Plus, it's not cheap.

    Bottom line is, it would be easiest to use the complete 51 Merc engine, if it fits. Plus, you will be able to use stock size fan belts. Don't let the wide belt compulsion over rule good judgement. The "U" shaped Merc engine supports will allow the use of the Merc pumps. I believe.

    My only other suggestion is that you examine the stock 51 Merc fan blades to make sure they have no hairline cracks and are not pitted. 70 year old fanblades can work harden over time and literally crack and fly apart. Ask me how I know.

    The thead below describes a fan blade caused death. I had the same thing happen in 1972 with a 1950 Ford pickup fan blade assembly when I was standing next to the fender looking into the engine compartment . Luckily, the blade missed me. It went thru the hood and the radiator. No more old used metal fan blades for me.
    https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/threads/fan-blade-death.165223/
    and

    https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=110948&showall=1

    Be sure to read all the info. provided on this GOOGLE search about stuffing an 8BA in a 34 Ford.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=8ba...rome..69i57.9545j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2021
  14. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 3,637

    Flathead Dave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from So. Cal.

    Truck pumps would be easiest but it still depends on what your needs are.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2021
  15. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,092

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    If you have the room, the Mercury Pumps will be the simplest route. You will need a spacer as the Mercury pumps mounting ear is a couple of inches higher than the Ford Pump.

    If you go with a wide belt....
    You will need 1948-1952 Ford F series (F1-F-6) 8RT Crank Pulley or 1949 8BA Crank Pulley. The '49 8BA used wide belts. 1950-53 used narrow belts.
    You will need the wide belt Generator/alternator Pulley.
    Of course, the Pumps.
    1948-52 8RT or 1949 car fan assembly if you have enough room.
     
  16. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,724

    dwollam
    Member

    No one has mentioned the distributor on the 8ba engines. If ya go to wide belt, what will ya do about the distributor in the way? I run an 8ba with narrow belts and car water pumps in my '40 Standard. In fact put new car pumps on it this fall. I have some unknown aftermarket bolt on adapters that adapt the pumps to the '40 biscuits. Works great. I run a plastic furrin' car fan on an 8ba fan mount.

    Dave
     
  17. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,818

    V8 Bob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The '49 car/ '48-'52 wide belt truck pump housings/pulleys both extend forward for belt clearance to the late distributors, similar to your passenger side narrow belt car pump.
     
    dwollam likes this.
  18. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,724

    dwollam
    Member

    Ah jeez! Of course they do! I should know that. Just not enough coffee this morning to think right!

    Dave the dullard :)
     

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