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The elusive 224/3.7 MerCruiser banger

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tjm73, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. BIGDOG69
    Joined: Jul 6, 2018
    Posts: 21

    BIGDOG69
    Member

    I live in a densely populated area, a lot of stop and go driving, therefore the need for an automatic. As stated earlier I am retired and the car will be used as my "daily driver", maybe 3000 miles a year.
     
  2. BIGDOG69
    Joined: Jul 6, 2018
    Posts: 21

    BIGDOG69
    Member


    I was wondering if there were any block mods needed for the automatic.
     
  3. That makes perfect sense. I made a competition car that was required to use a 4 cylinder engine so I used the 3.7 and was happy with it. It is light and performs well. If this is to be other than a hobby car, do you have an overriding reason to use a merc 3.7? A small v8 or a v6 would be 1/3 the cost , would just bolt together and be reliable. As an old landrover weighs 3300lbs., It can use about 200 hp be sure to upgrade its brakes. If necessary, you can easily lengthen your Land Rover (I lengthened a "Jeep" 2 feet as I needed room between the axles).

    On the other hand, if you want to experiment with the car and spend thought and time on it the 3.7 is a good choice. Your questions show that you have a high degree of interest and motivation.

    I can give you some engine measurements but have no automatic transmission experience. Go to a friendly wrecking yard and measure the front of an assembled transmission with the right bolt pattern. A spacer between the block and bellhousing can be made fairly easily if it comes to that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  4. Beck discovered this 4 years before I did. I starting with a truck bell housing by accident did not know of the problem for a decade
     
  5. see post # 1203 Beck fitted a turbo350 transmission using a 0.730" spacer so you would not have to do anything to the block, make a spacer with an inner opening that will clear the flex plate or flywheel
    also see posts on page 40 1187 and 1189
    a Mercruiser flywheel was drilled for a chevy torque converter.
    no change required for block or bellhousing it is said to simply bolt up.
    A centering piece was made to fit within the flywheel .
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  6. BIGDOG69
    Joined: Jul 6, 2018
    Posts: 21

    BIGDOG69
    Member

    I am a person that "Dares to be different!" In the 80's when everyone was buying new Harley's I bought up their old Triumph parts and bikes. Want to build a 1930's car with a modified body and a "different" 4 cylinder engine, that's why I'm thinking the 3.7 is right up my alley! Got the body picked out, needs a LOT of work to get where I want it. Car would probably weigh around 2200 to 2500 lbs.
     
  7. BIGDOG69
    Joined: Jul 6, 2018
    Posts: 21

    BIGDOG69
    Member

    This is the info I was looking for, although just drilling the Merc flywheel seems to make for a HEAVY setup compared to a flexplate. Thinking maybe machining out parts of the Merc flywheel would lighten it up. Maybe a six spoke pattern retaining a good amount at the starter ring and center.
     
  8. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,373

    tjm73
    Member

    You may not want to change the flywheel. The 3.7 has a large amount of weight spinning and a lighter flywheel may amplify and already inherent vibrations and also make it difficult, maybe even expensive to get balanced. But I could be wrong as these are internally balanced as I recall.
     
  9. It is also important to remember, that in the early to mid 70s, we had the worst gas on the planet. Marine regular was supposed to be 91 octane, and I had to back off the timing in my Ford 302, 175 OMC, because it was pinging. In a boat, that is really serious, because a hot motor, under full load, is only a heartbeat from detonation and damage if it is pinging.
    A friend of mine had the 470, and even though they had a terrible reputation, he had zero problems with it. It must be said, that he treated it better than his wife, ( and he treated his wife well).
    I don't know a lot about the 429/460 engines, even though I own three of them, but the 1973 and later, will have the open chamber.
    Here are the casting numbers
    D2VE-AA 72-74 91.4 cc 2.08/1.66
    D3VE-AA, -A2A 91.4 cc 2.08/1.66

    D4VE 75-78 96.2 cc 2.08/1.66

    D0AE-H police 70-71 73.5 cc 2,24/1.725
    C9VE-A police

    D3AE 73-74 89.0 cc 2.19/1/66
    D4VE 75-78 96.2 cc 2.08/1.66
    Hope this is useful in helping you find the right head,
    Bob
     
  10. I agree that an aluminum head would be good even from the start of a build. I used the cast iron heads as I had them, and found that it is poor economy to rebuild a cast iron head.
    My general impression of the engine is good, most of its faults can be corrected with minor effort. My main frustration was that my first engine had high exhaust gas temperatures . It was a high compression engine that ran on regular fuel without knocking. A more conservative cam profile than stock allowed that as effective or dynamic compression ratio matters more more than static compression ratio. Cylinder filling makes all the difference.
    It is fragile as I found out and lacks cylinder wall metal for more than one rebore. I have one low compression engine bored .040 ...( due to a machinist's error) we will see if it survives.
    The 3.7 does not come with a vacuum advance that should help mpg. I added it to my first engine without success. It should work on the low compression engine, time will tell.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  11. Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  12. bought an additional pickup bellhousing today, the others look alike and are usually too small for a 3.7 merc. I thought $40 was a lot to pay but compared to $20 for one too small it's ok.
     
  13. Mercruiser valve covers are pretty but if the rocker arms hit them because of a higher lift cam, they can still be used if you space them up with the extra gasket that comes in the package so this will cost nothing other than a few dollars for the aluminum.

    Double rubber gaskets squirm around making assembly frustrating unless they are glued in alignment on an aluminum spacer . This combination is like having a triple gasket. As my rocker arms only made light contact, this spacing was enough for my engine. The "store bought" spacers do look excellent.

    Permatex spray adhesive works to hold them in place and has the advantage of being easy to remove. You can see a sandwich of two layers of gasket with aluminum between them. A little dark adhesive from the previous owner remains outside of the gasket contact area. valve cover gasket 003.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  14. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,373

    tjm73
    Member

  15. BIGDOG69
    Joined: Jul 6, 2018
    Posts: 21

    BIGDOG69
    Member

    I don't want to build a "belly button car" with a common engine. The body I have in mind is a 34 Nash trunk back 4 door shortened to a 2 door.
     
  16. What does the Nash weigh? The engines from those days were on the heavy side and produced little power so anything you do will be an improvement.
     
  17. BIGDOG69
    Joined: Jul 6, 2018
    Posts: 21

    BIGDOG69
    Member

    Maybe 2500 lbs. It will be a two seater "Opera Coupe" style build. Plan on using an aftermarket Model A type chassis with buggy spring suspension front and rear, 3.7 Mercruiser engine, 200-4R transmission with power steering and 4 wheel power disc brakes, 9" Ford rear axle, 17" skinny tires and full fenders front and rear, NO running boards! A/C is a must because I live in Florida!
     
  18. beck
    Joined: Sep 20, 2008
    Posts: 168

    beck
    Member

    It has been a long time since I checked in here. I am beginning to work on my 3.7 project again. It has still never turned over. Unfortunately I have forgotten a lot that I have learned along the way. My project has not changed, it was just delayed.
    BIGDOG69, there is an aftermarket SBF flexplate that bolts to the 3.7 crank and has the GM torque converter bolt pattern. In the past pages I gave the make and # of that flexplate. I mocked one up, but never continued with it. I made spacers to place between the torque converter and flexplate. There also needs to be a spacer made for the crank to center the converter. As I said I did not complete mine and I don't know how the 3.7 will behave without the heavy flywheel.
    As Dennis said above, You can space the valve cover higher with added gaskets. For street use I would think the spacer would provide a better seal. On of the guys I know is running a stack of 5 gaskets, another 4 with their higher lift cams and roller rockers.
     
  19. beck
    Joined: Sep 20, 2008
    Posts: 168

    beck
    Member

    If you are considering using an aftermarket aluminum head, keep in mind that the Mercruiser intake manifold will only fit the original style Ford intake surface. That means no Cobra Jet or wilder stuff. I put an A460 style on mine which required a custom intake. Intakes are difficult to make and expensive to have built. I have seen Edelbrock Performer heads used with the stock intake manifold. I don't know if there was port matching required on these. There is probably more than 1 of the Performer heads to fit the BBF. Make sure your buying the right one.
     
  20. I have fitted Mercruiser aluminum intake manifolds to Ford automotive heads and to Ford heads sourced from Mercruiser. There is a difference as Mercruiser mills the head's gasket surface to match their block (The manifold must seal against both head and block.) Without milling, there is a step in the bottom of the sealing surface. I got away with not milling a Ford automotive head by using a thick cork gasket and Permatex Hi Tack to seal the step.
     
  21. beck
    Joined: Sep 20, 2008
    Posts: 168

    beck
    Member

    I haven't milled my Trick Flow head and it looks like it is a perfect match to the Mercruiser intake surface.
     
  22. That is excellent. My stock automotive head's gasket mating surface was about an eighth of an inch
    above the block's mating surface. The best thing I have found that will seal a gap like that is a thick cork gasket.
    My mercruiser heads fit the blocks at the exact same height.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  23. BIGDOG69
    Joined: Jul 6, 2018
    Posts: 21

    BIGDOG69
    Member

    Dennis g here is a picture of the style of car I am planning, but with suicide doors and a trunk back.
    1650.jpeg

    Picture of body I plan on using.

    index(2).jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
    juan motime likes this.
  24. It is a nice looking car. I think because of its ratio of hood to "cab". measure the photo for proportions use either centimeters or an engineering scale to make the measurements...measuring with a carpenters tape will increase the possibility of serious error.

    The frustration in my cars is that there is no room to carry anything larger than a lunch sack.
    Your trunk will take care of that but it will change the proportions, so make a scale drawing and see how you like it. Wheels make a difference in its appearance, I used 35 ford "wire" wheels but finally found that they were the cause of my car randomly diving to one side or the other when braking. replacing them with stamped steel wheels cured that problem.

    ps, the tail lights in the photo are truck cab top lights. I bought some for that purpose. It is ok to buy just one and copy it in fiberglass as the original is diecast and heavy . Fiberglass is easier to work with. The old pointed Cadillac lenses look nice in them
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  25. Brianmit
    Joined: Feb 18, 2020
    Posts: 2

    Brianmit

    I noticed you guys are using the 470 3.7l engine. I have one in my boat. It won't start. I suspect maybe a timing chain. Are any of these parts available anymore ? Thanks in advance
     
  26. Oldfart59
    Joined: Nov 8, 2019
    Posts: 61

    Oldfart59

    Just used ones make shure you have good spark
    I have all the parts for one that I parted one out
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  27. Brianmit
    Joined: Feb 18, 2020
    Posts: 2

    Brianmit

    I have spark, compression and fuel. But won't start.
    Thanks
     
  28. Oldfart59
    Joined: Nov 8, 2019
    Posts: 61

    Oldfart59

    Ok take out number one spark plug crank the motor untell you get compression on it make shure your timing mark is on number one and pull your dist cap off and see were it is pointing
     
    Brianmit likes this.
  29. BIGDOG69
    Joined: Jul 6, 2018
    Posts: 21

    BIGDOG69
    Member

    For mine the windshield would probably move forward to the line at rear of hood opening, and a slightly shorter wheelbase. The light idea is good, but 1 pound of extra weight is not a concern for me, after all this is a street car not a race car! I have found a set of 5 '37 Plymouth 17"X4.5" welded heavy wire wheels, gotta try 'em!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  30. Oldfart59
    Joined: Nov 8, 2019
    Posts: 61

    Oldfart59

    Got a reground camshaft and lifters for sale
     

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    chryslerfan55 likes this.

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