A Short History and Evolution of the Flathead V8, and Making It Modern
Back in 1932, Henry Ford introduced the 221 cubic inch Flathead engine producing 65 HP. And by 1935 HP was increased to 85 HP. Those engines were produced from 1932 to 1938 and were commonly known as “21 stud engines”, due to the head design using 21 head studs
In 1937 Ford introduced a 136 cubic inch variant, producing 45hp.
This engine was only in production from 1937 through 1938.
Although the engine was efficient, it was not very popular with the American public, who were now used to the 85 HP engine.
The 136 cubic inch engine was discontinued at the end of 1938 when the new Inline 6-cylinder Flathead was introduced.
1938 saw the first major redesign of the 221 cubic inch Flathead engine, with the addition of more head studs, now totaling 24 studs. In 1939 the cubic inches were increased to 239 cubic inches and produced 95hp. These engines remained in production until 1948.
During World War II, 1943-1946, no engines were manufactured for the public due to the war effort (or at least, that I am aware of at the time of this writing).
In 1948-1953 8BA/RT blocks no longer had the cast ½ ring.
Ford now used a single stamped metal bell ring for cars or a cast metal bell ring for trucks.
The intermediate ring with 3” depth, was used over the flywheel and clutch and used to attach transmission to the engine.
In 1948 to 1951, Ford produced the 337 cubic inch engine used in Lincoln cars and the F7 and F8 trucks.
Known as the 8EL in the Lincoln cars and 8EQ in heavy-duty trucks, these engines produced more horsepower and torque and weighed over 850 lbs.
These engines are physically larger and used 27 head studs and used a 12” clutch. Although this is a V8 flathead, very few parts from the 59A or 8BA engines are interchangeable.