Last Month I had the opportunity to swap out the original L-Head Engine on a 1931 Ford Model A Sedan with a souped up Rebuilt 4 Banger.  It was a bitter sweet experience because the car use to be mine, and it was something I always wanted to do but couldn’t afford.  To understand how I felt, Imagine yourself working at a really expensive jewelry shop, and all of a sudden your ex-wife walks in with her new man and they pick out the biggest Diamond in the shop and she walks out with it on her finger and smirk on her face.  Yeah, that summarizes it pretty well I think.  Ha, Ha!!

The car was in really good condition to begin with, but the engine was getting pretty haggard.  No smoke, but no power.



Once completely out, take advantage and inspect your frame and suspension parts.  Replace any parts that are worn out and make any repairs to the frame as required.  I applied rust converter and primer over all the exposed metal parts because Japan is a killer when it comes to Rust!






I made room and carefully set out all the parts I removed.  I like to use cardboard to lay parts down because it keeps things from sliding all over the deck.


Then I inspected all my new parts and made sure I had what I needed to continue.



The new Floating Engine mount installation manual was unclear about using the front engine mount.  I found out that it is absolutely necessary.  Not really sure why it’s called a floating engine mount if it’s not really floating, but oh well, you live and learn.  Below you will see what I am talking about.  The front mount isn’t even included.


The original bell housing from the old block was used to mount the new Mitchell trans to the Upgraded L Head.


The humidity in Japan is really bad, so everything must get a coat or two of paint.


Then the real fun.  Time to drop it like it’s HOT!

The pressure plate and clutch were pre-installed by the guys over at H&H, so I just slapped on the bell housing and new Trans and off I went.  Notice the angle I have the engine at.  Really helps when setting it in doing this alone.


I used fender covers while lowering the engine just in case, but they are not really required because of all the room you have.  Just remember to have the rubber donuts and hardware for the engine mounts handy.  If you can get someone to control the engine hoist during this step, it will make your life allot easier.


Once it’s sitting pretty, Time to check the radiator clearance.  If you are using a 4 blade fan, be aware that there are two types of fans available.  One has the blades that run flush to the front of the pulley and the other has an offset that pulls the fan blades back about 1/2 an inch.  You want the fan with the offset for Roadsters, Coupes and Sedans.  The flush type fan is for Trucks, and it will rub on the Radiator.  Unfortunately the radiator mounts are not easily modified on this particular car, so I recommend getting the right fan blade.  Also make sure the fan is not cracked, it will cause you more pain and hard ache later if you install a cracked fan.  Just take my word for it.


Another part that required special attention and fabrication was the throttle assembly.  I made one out of scrap metal I found lying around the shop.


Mounted nicely and works as intended.  What more could you ask for!?!

imageThrottle2 imageThrottle3

Be sure to check that the rubber block is still in place between the rear cross member and the rear mount.


Stay tuned, next week I will go over replacing the ring and pinion for higher speeds and better acceleration.

-Moon Garage