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Ford V8-60

Ford V8-60

Story and Photos by Zac Parks

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There are two Flathead Ford motors that are uncommon today and incorrectly identified. The V8-60 and 337 had a huge role to play in history and I think it’s important to be able to identify and know their origin. In this two part series we will go over both engines and their role in the Ford fleet!

The V8-60 was produced in 1937 until 1940 in America and was named the “60” being that the motor produced 60 horsepower. One of the Ford reasons for the V8-60 was better fuel economy, in 1937 fuel was $.20 cents a gallon, and another being a more affordable engine.

The V8-60 is commonly mistaken for a later style Flathead since the water outlet is in the center of the head. Here you can see a hotrodded V8-60 below, I would suggest looking at the head stud arrangement. The fastest way to identify a Flathead is to count the studs in the middle of the head. If you want to be technical we can safely say there is only one stud directly in the middle and only three rows of studs total, making this head a 17 stud. Next week you will be able to compare the stud formation to the 337, there is a huge difference.

Another obvious trait to the V8-60 is the water pumps and timing cover. They are built into one piece, making this motor stand out from the rest of the Flatheads.

 The 60 had the same style distributor as its bigger brother, the 69A, commonly known as the “Helmet” style distributor seen below. This style distributor kept the spark plug wires out of the crank driven fan.

These blocks had an “integrated” or “casted” bell housing similar to other Flatheads of the era,  but the transmissions are not interchangeable between the V8-60 and the larger Flathead Ford motors with integrated bell housings. Another unique feature of the 60 is the exhaust outlets. Seen below the exhaust outlets on the 60 are all straight up and down with the exhaust bolts lining up, unlike the more popular 221 and 239 motors seen in the second picture below.

The first year of production the side water jackets of the block were welded on, then the following two years the water jackets were casted in with the rest of the block, see below.

The V8-60 was said to be phased out due to the production of the inline 6 Flathead. It was a short four year run with no significant changes made to the motor, but yet the small 60 horsepower “engine that could” made a huge impact on history. The motor was highly used in midget racing and many tractor conversions. Today the motor is being put back into the original cars or being hotrodded for Model As! I think this is an exciting motor for the Flathead and hotrodding community alike. Next week we dive into the 337 big Flathead so put it on your calendar!  Now stop reading this article and get back out to the garage and Get Your Shift Together!

Previous article Ford 337
Next article Difference Between 8BA and 59AB Fatheads


Larry Hansen - July 9, 2023

Thank you Willim for the information. I have been fortunate to find 2 V8-60’s and a transmission fairly close to home. One is a tin side and the other is claimed to be a 38 fully cast block. They are both disassembled. One has aluminum heads and the other has cast iron. There is a flathead builder nearby, I haven’t contacted him yet. It appears that heads and intakes are rare and expensive. I’m thinking of putting a lightweight flywheel on it. Appreciate any suggestions…

Willim - June 13, 2023

There is a whole more to the 60.
Only early cast “1936” were “Tin Side” actually Stamped Stainless Steel fusion welded to the Cast Iron (the 1935-1936 EXPORT ONLY V860 was Tin Side also).

Only the 1940 has the fan on the lower pulley/nose of the crank.
1937-1939 Fan is on Generator.

1937-1939 have a Bellhousing Breather, Short nose Crank with a rear slinger.
1940 have a Road Breather that bolts to the side of the intake under the Generator and a rear rope seal.

1937-1939 Cranks & Rods interchange.
1940 has a .100" larger journals on Mains & Rods.

V860 and N series Tractor use the same starter so NEW starters are available from a tractor store.

37-38 have Tapered water pumps.
39-40 have Square Pumps.
Covers will swap on Block using the correct pumps.

1940 the Holley 92 was Factory Carb and became the service carb over the Stromberg 81

Full Race V860 (Aluminum Flywheel, Eddie Meyer Front Cover/Water Pumps Delete, Aluminum Heads, 2×2 Intake) tips the scales at a whopping 220lbs ready to fire.

Not only did Midgets use the 60 but also Limiyed Inboard Hydroplanes which we hold the honor of having the LAST Ford Flathead (V860) to compete and place in the APBA.
1950 Lauterbach Hydroplane powered by 1937 V860 took a 3rd place over all in a 2 day even on the Trenton Channel (Detroit Rv) in 1988.

With the Bellhousing cut off for use in a Midget or Hydroplane the OAL from the front cover gasket surface to the cut line is 18 3/8" (that measurement was taken from a true Edelbrock Built 60 years ago).
I can get a Factory OAL later today from the Display Engine that is fully dressed as it would’ve been in 1937.

There is MORE about the “Powerhouse” but those are the Highlights.

Larry Hansen - March 9, 2023

Thanks for providing the V8-60 pictures and information. I’ve never actually seen one. What is the length of the 60 vs the 226? How about weight of the 60 vs the 226? I’ve decided that I want one for a speedster project. Do you know anyone who has one they are ready to part with?

Dave Horsnsll - March 23, 2022

Where intakes exchangeable between the 60 and the bigger V8 flatties?

Zac Parks - March 23, 2022

Thanks John I appreciate it! More to come!

John IRving - March 23, 2022

That was very interesting, thanks for providing it!

Zac Parks - March 22, 2022

Hell yeah Dave! That’s a good catch since it already has speed parts!

Dave - March 22, 2022

Just picked one up , a month ago.
Aluminum intake (single carb),
Finned aluminum heads,
Offy water inlets,
And vintage headers

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