Flathead Engines

Pictures of a French flathead engine

French Flathead on a shipping palletFrench flathead engine. These were made for the French military up through the 1980's. The engine has late 8AB style heads but the bell housing is similar to the 59AB.
Front view of French Flathead
The distributor is the later 8AB style. The water pump pulleys have different diameters. The crank pulley drives several belts.

Top view of crank shaft pulleyTop view of the crank shaft pulley. You can see that the water pumps are driven by different belts.

Detail of left hand water pumpDetail showing the lefthand (driver's side) water pump. I assume the bracket is for a generator.
Detail of intake manifold
Detail of the front of the intake manifold. On an 8AB engine, the crankcase vent tube would be here. Something similar seems to come off the right hand side instead.

Left hand exhaust manifoldLeft hand exhaust manifold showing the cast bell housing and the starter motor.
Identification code in bell housing
Trying to show some of the identiication code cast into the bell housing.
Identification plate
More identification numbers on a plate riveted to the engine, but the flash made the numbers unreadable (without the flash, it would have been too dark)

Rear of engine with governor and revolution counterRear of the engine. In addition to the oil filter, these engines have a mechanical governor and a revolution counter. Remember, they were built for the military, not for racing.
Close up of revolution counterDetail of the revolution counter. No, I don't believe it only turned 100 revolutions! But I'm not sure why it wasn't set to 0 either.
Right hand exhaust manifold

Part of the exhaust manifold on the right side of the engine. These used dual exhaust (no crossover).
Left hand exhaust manifold

Exhaust manifold on the left side. Makes you wonder what sort of vehicle it was in. On American made cars (left hand drive), the steering box causes problems for exhaust headers on this side.

Top of engine

Top of the engine showing the carburetor, fuel pump, and governor at the back of the block.


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Last modified Saturday, March 23, 2002
All pictures taken by the author (well, the better ones were probably taken by my wife...)
Tom Teixeira