Ford's First Dual Over Head Cam V-8

Think the overhead cam, 4 valve, aluminum engine in your current car is trick?   It might be, but that stuff has been around along time and was standard in the Ford engines used in the Sherman tank if WW II. The1100 cu. in engine manufactured by Ford Motor Company is an all aluminum 60 degree V-8 with dual overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, dual carbs, dual magnetos, and hemispherical combustion chambers.

The story of this type of engine, as told to me, [author unknown as this was taken from an eBay ad] goes like this:   During World War II, Ford developed an aircraft engine similar to that of the Rolls Royce/Merlin and Allison engines of that era.   It was a 60 degree V-12, all aluminum (block & heads), dual over cam, 4 valve engine.   This engine was built to typical aircraft standards: Light as possible with total reliability and performance in mind.   Everything is safety wired or staked with incredible attention to detail on every part.   However, this engine never went into production as an aircraft engine.   The Army needed an engine for their new Sherman Tank.   There was only one catch: it had to be reduced down to a V-8.   So Ford lopped off 4 cylinders and it went into production as a V-8.   (This was not a problem, as Henry pioneered the V-8 anyway!)   This was a modified aircraft engine that was standard in about 13,000 of the 49,000 Sherman Tanks.

This engine is equipped with dual Stromberg 2 bbl carbs, dual magnetos (one for each cylinder bank), exhaust manifolds, water pump, fuel pump, carb linkage, etc.   It also equipped with a large aluminum bellhousing, heavy flywheel and super duty dual disc tank clutch.   The camshafts are gear driven, but not like that of a Ford 427 SOHC.   Rather, they have shafts (1 for each bank) that has another gear on the other end driving both cams simultaneously.   Ford actually produced 3 versions of this engine, the GAA, GAF & GAN but the differences were very minor, consisting primarily of different carb types and different governors.

The starter is 24 volt.   This engine also has 2 small external drive flanges on the side of the timing chain cover that were used to drive the radiator cooling fans.   This is a large engine, but not as big as you might assume because is a 60 degree V-8, not the typical 90 degree type.   I was going to put this engine into a wild roadster type vehicle for show and rod runs.   [Gas mileage was about 0.8 miles per gallon for the 30 ton Sherman Tank.]

Pictures and Descriptions:

Front top view of the engine, showing right valve cover, carbs, manifold heater tubes, exhaust manifold, and both of the magnetos (mounted in front of the motor).

Front view showing dual mags, water pump, front carb, etc.

Left view showing large valve cover, starter, etc.

Rear view showing bellhousing, companion flange, etc.

Bore Stroke Displacement Compression Ratio Torque Horsepower
5.4" 6" 1100 Cu. In. 7.5 1050 Ft-Lbs @ 2200 RPM 500 @ 2600 RPM
137.16 mm 152.4 mm 18.0 Liters