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'37 engine rebuild questions

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  • '37 engine rebuild questions

    I am still trying to save an original '37 Dictator engine for my current restoration before I give up and go with a 245 (I have a couple of these as backup). A couple of questions: 1. The valve guides are not removeable on this engine. In fitting valves I have noticed a little slop in some of the guides. Has anyone been successful in knurling the guides to get a better seal or is this even important? 2.If each piston is fitted to each bore at the factory how do you know what size ring set to order? My cylinders are marked from 75 to 9 which I thought was a range from 7 1/2 to 9 ten-thousandths. Is that correct? Standard bore is supposed to be 3.25 inches. A couple of mine measured 3.249 even though marked as above. I used an internal telescoping guage and a micrometer. Am I measuring wrong, and even if I am, the question is still how to know what size ring set to order. Thanks. Tom

  • #2
    Ring size will be standard, .010 over, .020 over, etc.

    You will want standard.

    As far as the .00015 (yeah that's right) deviation among the cylinders, that's about 1/50 of the thickness of a dollar bill. Don't worry about it, there is nothing you can do to duplicate it.

    Valve guides can be knurled, but its not permanent fix. Check with a competent machinist.

    .001 error in using telescope gages is not unusual, don't worry about that, either. Even ID mics aren't any more accurate.

    Put it back together as best you can and enjoy it.

    Tom Bredehoft
    '53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
    '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
    ....On the road, again....
    '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
    All Indiana built cars


    • #3

      The valve guides are definitely removable. The part number is 186666 and is used on all Dictator/Commander engines Models A to 12A, J5, K5, and L5, so finding them shouldn't be difficult.

      The guides on my 27 Dictator are removable. I need new ones but finding these will more difficult than yours by far. I'm probably going to have to have bronze inserts put in.



      • #4
        Terry---Here is a direct quote from the 1937 Shop Manual page 7 paragragh 2 under "Valves and valve lifters--all models". Quote The valve lifter guides in the Dictator engines are an integral part of the cylinder block and cannot be removed. The valve lifter guides in President engines are of the same type as used on the preceeding series eight cylinder models and can be removed from the cylinder block. Unquote.
        I wouldn't have posted the question the way I did if I had not read that information. So is the information in the shop manual incorrect or been superseded by something else? Are the valve guides in a 1937 Dictator engine removeable and if they are what is the procedure? Thanks Tom


        • #5
          Terry---Well, here I am again. Not only did I step on it, I foxtrotted all over it. I kept going over in my head what the shop manual said and suddenly realized that I hadn't been getting it. What it said was "valve LIFTER guides". Not quite the same thing as valve guides. Ever since I originally read that passage in the manual I have been thinking about the wrong thing. I'm glad I caught it myself before anyone else figured out how ignorant that was.

          Anyway now that I'm back on track, the valve guides look like they are either pressed or driven out from the bottom. Is that correct? Thanks. Tom


          • #6
            I think you should yank the original motor and drop in a 245 with a hot cam, aluminum head, and dual carbs. But that's just me


            55 Commander Starlight
            55 Commander Starlight