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motor change for 1930 model A

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  • motor change for 1930 model A

    I hope this does not get me in trouble, but i would just like to ask, has anyone installed one of the GM industrial 3.0 181 cu in four cylinder motors, that develop about 85 HP at 3,000 RPM, along with a later top shift syndrome trans (1939 ford trans) in their otherwise stock model A? if so how did it work with the stock differential, i have a 3.54 ratio. my intent is reliability and not a hot rod. with the pricing of rebuilding a stock motor with insert bearings, counterweight crankshaft, full pressure oiling & a touring cam, the prices seem to be quite comparable. i have a friend with a 34 ford with the GM industrial motor & stock running gear, and it seems to be a very reliable set up. i am looking for long term reliability in my car and with the hood on and the exhaust routed through the model A muffler it should sound much like a stock model A would. also i have the Flathead Ted floaters for the brakes... Don from San Antonio Tx.

  • #2
    You might want to ask this ? over on the ****. Years ago many installed Pinto engines, some have used the Chev II 4 cyls, either with automatics or to the 339 tranny. FWIW
    Paul in CT
    Back aabout 63-64 I replaced thee Olds V8 in my 32 with a Pontiac Tempest 4 cyl/39 tranny. Ran good, used it for a few years before I put the Olds back in.


    • #3
      Don we have a Modified forum here, so i'll move this thread over to there. The VFF has a spot for most old ford topics
      3 ~ Tudor's
      Henry Ford said
      "It's all nuts and bolts"

      Mitch's Auto Service ctr


      • #4
        sorry Mitch, I did not see the modified site...... hope i am not in too much trouble......... Don


        • #5
          Originally posted by DonNettleton View Post
          sorry Mitch, I did not see the modified site...... hope i am not in too much trouble......... Don
          It's all good Don, we have a lot of different areas to explore.
          3 ~ Tudor's
          Henry Ford said
          "It's all nuts and bolts"

          Mitch's Auto Service ctr


          • #6
            Don, I haven't done this modification, but will be watching this thread to see what develops.
            I've had thoughts of a 4cyl diesel in an A for long hauling.
            Twiss Collector Car Parts


            • #7
              Don, welcome to the modified forum.

              We like fresh approaches and alternatives here.

              I have 3 28 A/s, 2 with a commodore V6 (basically the same as your buicks) with T5 , and the other has a 221 flathead and 39 trans.

              All reliable and drive anywhere.

              The V6 fits in with no body mods and I run the stock exhaust systems.

              All fits under the hood out of sight and the original unpressurised

              radiater cools fine.


              • #8
                JDupuis, interesting concept for a diesel in a model A. the reason i chose the GM industrial is that it is like the mid 60 Chevy 2 and Nova 4 cylinder 153 cu in motor. those and the Vortec 3.0 industrial is181 ci in and the back of the motor has the same belhousing mounting as the chevy V8 so i can use a chevy to early ford trans adapter and Clings makes the kit for pedals and E brake to fit the early ford top loader trans.


                • #9
                  well, so far i have found out that by going through an authorized forklift dealer here in san antonio that a NEW GM industrial motor is about $10,000 complete. a factory GM re-manufactured motor will be about $4,500. so that is a no brainier, plus the parts manager said they test run the re-manufactured motor. i will need to have a center or rear sump oil pan to clear the steering. there are several compression ratios and i will be getting the lower 8.3 to 1 as it has a longer torque & HP curve and 94 HP at 3,000 RPM.

                  one question: since i will be using a 1939 Ford transmission, does the Model A U joint & clamshell assembly fit the rear of the 1939 transmission?

                  thank you for any information.... Don


                  • #10
                    Gday Don,

                    I am pretty sure the 39 has 6 bolts at clam shell.

                    It looks like you will have abundant power, but the stock A diff ratio will hold you back on speed.

                    Maybe a 3.27 or a Mitchell will be needed?

                    I am running a 39 trans, but will shortly go to a T5 for highway cruising with ease..


                    • #11
                      Thank you Pooch, the car has a 3.54 ratio now and can cruse at between 55 to 60 mph. there is "normal" vibration from the stock non counter weighted motor and i can feel the change in in that vibration when i depress the clutch on the highway. with the mechanical brakes that cruse speed is totally acceptable to me..... i am just looking for dependability if i decide to drive to Alabama to see my son, and at almost 75 years old i am happy with enjoying the scenery at 60 to 65 MPH.

                      i have also installed the modified F-100 steering box and am completely happy with the change in ease of steering that made....

                      my next project for later this month or early next month is getting the Flathead Ted's brake floaters kit that i have installed.......

                      Pooch, i called Clings and he said the clam shell fits the 1939 transmission just fine.

                      i had a 1941 Ford pick up and installed a T-5 transmission in front of a 3.54 differential behind a stock 59 motor and it really brought the stock 59 motor to life. i am sure that you will like the T-5. i thought about doing a T-5 also but had second thoughts about removing the torque tube and converting the differential to open drive. once was enough..... Don


                      • #12
                        I'm running a 2.8l GM V6 and th700r4 in my A cc pickup. (60 degree v6.) It's not a super powerful setup, but will cruise all day at 70mph if I choose to do so. ( I rarely do...) 10 bolt gm diff with drum juice brakes on the rear, s10 disk brakes on front stock model A axle. I'll also mention it has a Suzuki Samurai steering gear with cross steer and Panhard bar. 14" steering wheel feels like power steering.

                        Elvira, my Tudor, is mostly stock, cruises at 40-45 mph, vibrates badly, stops just 'OK' with steel from pedal to wheel. Guess which one I prefer to drive?
                        Last edited by Corley; 08-22-2019, 10:35 AM.
                        CB the Wonderful


                        • #13
                          I am the same.

                          Had a stock early A phaeton, lived with it for a few years then sold it.

                          It was getting a real chore to be pushed to crankshaft breaking vibration speed by tailgaters.

                          Built a 28 roadster from a bare chassis start with a V6 and T5 and loved it.

                          30 years ago, I could drive a stocker and get by (just) at highway speeds back then.

                          But not now, they text, they are on ice, the new cars do 130 KPH in a 100 zone, they are always in a rush.

                          In 2012, I bought a stock 28 CCPU and thought I would try it, as I only live about 12 KM from our local town, but it is single lane main highway.

                          It only lasted 2 weeks of trying, and I gave up and threw a V6 in that too.

                          Now, my trips are not limited to local, I can drive anywhere.


                          • #14
                            here in texas we have 85 mph speed limit on some interstate highways and 75 mph in some other states. when vacation i tow my 30ft 5th wheel trailer with my 2009 ford F150 and am comfortable with 65 mph and it can be spooky with an 18 wheeler blowing past at 85 mph (love that 5th wheel with the trailer weight directly over the rear axle). my model A has a 3.5 differential so i can almost keep up with traffic on the freeways around town doing 60 mph but staying in the slower lanes also means that the idiot drivers cut in front of me when they dive for an off ramp and then with cell phones..... well thats another story... thank you gentlemen for your ideas.....
                            Last edited by DonNettleton; 08-23-2019, 12:13 PM.


                            • #15
                              There was a TT flatbed at the Scottsdale Goodguys show with a Nissan diesel 10 or 12 years ago. The transplant was very well done and almost looked factory .


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