'17 engine in a '15 car

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'17 engine in a '15 car

Post by dr1960 » Wed May 08, 2019 9:26 pm

Still learning the Model T. My '15 engine needs rebuilt so I plan to put a '17 engine in for a while. Are there any issues doing that i should be aware of? I heard the '17 had a higher head. Will that cause any issues connecting to my brass radiator?

Appreciate any experienced input.

David - Yukon, OK
1915 Model T Runabout

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Re: '17 engine in a '15 car

Post by Kerry » Wed May 08, 2019 10:02 pm

The 17 had the change to high head in the last few months of that fiscal year but if you have the high head, use your 15 outlet and a good soft top hose and it will fit.

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Re: '17 engine in a '15 car

Post by Adam » Wed May 08, 2019 10:10 pm

Actually, if the ‘17 has a “high head”, just buy a head gasket and substitute the low head and water outlet from your ‘15, and everything is the same.

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Re: '17 engine in a '15 car

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Thu May 09, 2019 4:05 am

The high head might not fit under the firewall. A lot of brass car owners notch the firewall a little to clear the high head for whatever reason they want a high head (sometimes modern high compression aluminum heads or other after-market heads, sometimes simple availability). As for connecting to the radiator. Personally, I dislike notching out the firewall for that reason. Regardless, use the low angle brass radiator outlet from the head.
Just for kicks. Take a low head and a high head. Set them on a smooth tabletop. Push the outlet bosses together and look at the difference. The truth is, there is some variation form one low head to another low head. There is also some variation from one high head to another high head. So it stands to reason that from a low head to a high head will also vary some amount. How much different heads have been "decked" or "milled" accounts for some of those variations. The difference between high heads and low heads ON THAT DETAIL is negligible. One time I placed a low and a high nose to nose? They lined up almost exactly.
That was my experience.

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