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Flathead V8 timing gears

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HUGHES AUTOMOTIVE, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. HUGHES AUTOMOTIVE
    Joined: Jun 22, 2006
    Posts: 70

    HUGHES AUTOMOTIVE
    Member

    I have a ford flathead 59a that I may have installed 8ba timing gears. I am running a 59a cam,distributer and front cover. I know the thrust direction is different. I have never fired engine do I need to tear the engine down?

    Bill
     
  2. lowsquire
    Joined: Feb 21, 2002
    Posts: 2,564

    lowsquire
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    not sure, i would like to know the answer to this too. its certainly not hard to change it again if needed, front cover off,drop pan, line up gears, slide off and replace.
     
  3. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 746

    flatheadgary
    Member
    from boron,ca

    for what it's worth, i wouldn't run them. it will slam the cam the wrong way and beat the hell out of it.
     
  4. HUGHES AUTOMOTIVE
    Joined: Jun 22, 2006
    Posts: 70

    HUGHES AUTOMOTIVE
    Member

    I could not find the engine pics. It is it may have the correct gear in engine. I thought I had one of each gears and the one not in my engine is a 59a gear. I hate to screw up the paint to check.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
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  5. flatjack
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 885

    flatjack
    Member

    That crank gear does not just slide off. Need a pretty good puller to get it off. You do want the thrust against the block on the 59AB.
     
  6. lowsquire
    Joined: Feb 21, 2002
    Posts: 2,564

    lowsquire
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    well the one i last pulled off must have been worn. it slid off. was a '39 99A ex military engine, very low miles...you sure?
     
  7. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    Yes - they're usually pressed on pretty well.

    I think I've got an 8BA and 59A gear - will a pic help?
     
  8. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218

    racer5c
    Member

    I am running just the opposite, an 8ba with early gears, In my feable mind I didn't like how the thrust of the cam was going forward pushing on the timing cover, I would change them if I was you
     
  9. duste01
    Joined: Nov 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,213

    duste01
    Member

    I may be missing something myself, but dont both engines turn in the same direction? Why would it matter if the endplay stays the same, and the engine turns the same way. the lifters go up and down the shafts go round and round. I would think that the auxillaries like a distributor might come into play....or maybe the endplay isnt the same? What about it Ernie, I trust your opinion...you got the gears and the pics, how about alittle theoretical light?
     
  10. jetmek
    Joined: Jan 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,847

    jetmek
    Member

    i would want the correect gears. having the thrust against the timing cover might adversly affect the distributor end play, ign and cam timing.
     
  11. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    I always accepted it as gospel that pre-49 needed rear thrust and post to the front, and I long ago had a distributor failure that I blamed on 8BA gears...though I had no idea how to analyze that back then.
    Since then, Ron on the barn pointed out that normally the movement available in there is minimal and so it likely does not matter.
    Stuff: First, measure actual fore and aft play...just pop off the crab and indicate or use feeler gauge.
    Second...I recently noticed that '49 Mercs (and so probably Fords and trucks, have not looked) were made with early gears...changed midyear, book indicates late preferred, no reasons given.
    third...helical gears means forward/aft movement changes timing. Would be easy to measure on a crab, probably slight, but with initial timing set off motor you are assuming proper gears.
    I think both setups have surfaces capable of surviving thrust either way. I would use correct gears if building anew. If I had an engine together, I would measure total movement and also be 100% sure said movement did not bottom against distributor...the thrust capacity of the distributor would fail very quickly against this.
    My failure invoved a distributor that suddenly developed a LOT of endplay. I suspected cam thrust, but was too young and dumb and poorly equipped to find out if I was right.
     
  12. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,950

    moefuzz
    Member

    .


    From what I understand, Ford designed the oil pump drive and the cam and distrib drive gear
    on 8BA engines to apply 'canceling' end play in such a way as to help keep the cam from
    exerting excessive thrust in one direction or another.





    A local here just finished building a Blown 59A and updated to the upright distributer/gears.
    The end result was a few destroyed adjustable lifters as the cam walked far enough to
    cause problems with the lifter to cam lobe. The original machinist blamed the failure on the
    adjustable lifters and installed another set and sent him on his way only to have the new
    lifters fail in the same way.

    It should also be noted that they installed a high volume oil pump which takes more umphh to turn.
    The additional power needed to turn the oil pump may have also contributed to
    upsetting the balance that the 59's stock pump and direct front (drive) mount factory
    correct dist/timing gears would normally apply.

    Our local machinist recommends checking end play on all Flatheads (59 with 8BA gears as
    well as regular 8BA builds). He prefers to use the 8BA front cover that has the 'cupped' boss
    cast into it that accepts the upright distrib cams 'extended' snout.

    (8BA 'cupped' cover on right, left is a 59A cover)
    [​IMG]

    This allows him to add a brass shim inside the cupped boss to take up excessive end play
    and to keep excess forward thrust in check.

    There was a front cover built for 8BA powered military engines that had an adjuster bolt
    designed into the front cover. The adjuster (and shim) allowed for externally controlling the
    cams forward thrust. 'Bert' has converted both cast steel and aluminum timing covers by
    drilling a hole in alignment with the camshafts centerline and welding a nut to the outer
    cover thus allowing for the addition of an adjuster bolt similiar to the rare military 8BA front
    cover. This is also the fix that Bert performed in the case of the above mentioned blown
    engine which was brought to him after it destroyed multiple adjustable lifters.

    Since Late Flathead powered Military vehicles are extremely rare up here, Bert has
    mentioned only seeing the factory 'adjustable' front cover on a few (rare) Flathead powered tank engines.


    hope this is of some use



    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  13. HUGHES AUTOMOTIVE
    Joined: Jun 22, 2006
    Posts: 70

    HUGHES AUTOMOTIVE
    Member

    Thanks for the positive responses. I was sick when I realized what I may have done. I know the difference in the gears. I just mixed up my parts on assembly. I will check the end play of the cam. If it dose not put pressure on the distributer I am running it.

    Bill
     
  14. Kevin Lee
    Joined: Nov 12, 2001
    Posts: 7,406

    Kevin Lee
    Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    I'd like to hear more about these failed lifters. In fact I would love to see pictures.

    Had some lifter problems myself. 8BA with early gears. Lifters were lunched pretty quickly. Have no idea how your friends timing gear choice could have effected the cam that much, but I'd like to see if possible.
     
  15. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Red's in the Engine Talk section said that at one time fairly recently there seemed to be 7 different adjustable lifters drifting around the market...I think most were without any real info as to origin. Many were too soft, and he suggested a simple test. There is definitely really bad stuff around the cheapest supplier end of things. Treasure your Johnsons if you can find any!
    I think Isky and NAPA supply the ugly lump solid one...they seem to be generally accepted as safe. The weight is highly unappealing, but not a real world problem.
    I would assume whatever Red's sells is good, assuming the new owner is maintaining standards. Doesn't Flatattack sell one?
     
  16. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    I've got some lifters and now don't remember where I got them, so I'm treating them as suspect (they are in generic packaging) - I may just drop them off at a machine shop and have the hardness tested and re-hardened as appropriate. Anyone have a ballpark rockwell # to harden them to?
     
  17. coilover
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 601

    coilover
    Member
    from Texas

    I bought some Johnson lifters or at least paid a Johnson price for some that are very heavy. They have slots ball milled, maybe 3/32 deep, into them instead of windows. Did Johnson make several types?
     
  18. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,867

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There is a thread on the "Ford barn" about this. It seems that original Johnson's are still available. One of the guys there followed up on them and found a place that was supposed to have them. When he called, the person he spoke to said they didn't have them. When asked to double check, they found they still stocked them. Post #63 on this thread :http://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3590&highlight=johnson+lifters&page=4
     
  19. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 5,805

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    Paint is easier to replace than metal....
     

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