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Ford & Fordson 6-cylinder diesel engines

Ford and Fordson 6-cylinder Diesel Engines

This very useful article was posted by 'Arthur Ford' in 2006 in - Diesel Talk and has been reproduced in an edited version (Click here to read the full post). It was originally written in response to a queery regarding a marinised '6D' engine.

Ford (of Britain) launched the "E1A Fordson Major" tractor in 1952 with a new overhead valve 4 cylinder 220 cubic inch diesel. This engine was known as the "4D". Shortly afterwards the "4D" was made available for fitting into the "Thames ET6/7" range of lorries (up to 5 tons payload). There was also a petrol version of this engine of approx 200 cubic inches. The competition however offered 7 tons payload, so Ford needed a new model of lorry to compete. This was known as the "Thames Trader" and was launched in May 1957 with the option of a "4D" or a new "6D" engine depending on the payload. The 6D was simply a 6 cylinder version of the 4D and therefore had a capacity of 330 cubic inches. There was also a petrol version of this engine of approximately 300 cubic inches.

There were effectively 3 flavours of the 4D engine: Agricultural / Automotive / Industrial. The agricultural version didn't rev as quickly as the automotive version - approx 1800rpm instead of approx 2400rpm. The industrial version had slight differences like a decompressor for starting with a handle.

Unlike the 4D, the 6D only had 2 flavours: Automotive / Industrial. A limited number of 6D engines were used in Agriculture by companies like County and Roadless for 6 cylinder 4 wheel drive Fordson Majors. A number were also used in combines / grass drying plant etc, but these were basically Industrial engines being used for agriculture. Ford themselves never really developed an agricultural version of this engine, and never built a 6 cylinder Fordson Major, although many were later converted.

The Fordson Major was produced until 1964, whilst the Thames Trader and Industrial engines were produced until 1965. During the production run of these engines (1952 to 1965), numerous minor changes were made, although the engines retained their basic design and dimensions throughout, with many of the parts being interchangable across the years. Some of the more significant changes include:

With the launch of the Mk2 Thames Trader in 1962, the 6D engine was fitted with the "FL" cylinder head. The 4D had the "FL" head from 1963. Please see the following link for further details of the "FL" head (courtesy of Steven B). Thames Trader 'FL' Head

In April 1965 Ford launched the "D-series" lorry to replace the Thames Trader. Contrary to popular opinion, these lorries didn't have a "beefed-up" 6D, they had a whole new range of engines. These new engines had dry cylinder liners and a new block / cylinder head / sump etc. The first of these engines were offered in 330 & 360 cubic inch configuration, and a Turbo 360 was offered in 1968. The automotive versions of these engines were fitted in the lorries on a slant. The Ford Cargo replaced the D-series. The majority of marinized Ford 6 cylinders diesels that you will see nowadays are based on D-series / Cargo engines. The old "Thames Trader" engine (which you have) are scarcer to find now. The easiest way to identify the "4D / 6D" engines from the later engines is the external drive shaft to the injection pump.

On the 4D engine, either a nylon or a rubber coupling will be found as an injection pump drive shaft coupling. The injection pump drive exits the block from the timing gears, through the aforementioned coupling to the injection pump. On the 6D engine a drive shaft of approx 6 inches length is used to connect the pump to the timing gears. On both the 4D & 6D engines, the drive will be seen rotating whilst the engine is running.

The later D-series / Cargo engines however have the pump mounted directly to the timing gears and no moving parts will be seen whilst the engine is running.

Ford themselves never produced a marine version of their engines, however many industrial engines were marinized by third party companies. Going by the part numbers you have given, you have a marinized Ford 6D.

Judging from the cylinder head part number you have given (510E 6050-E FL), your engine dates from between 1962 (introduction of FL cylinder head) and 1965 (end of production).

I hope this helps you to understand what engine you have.

With regards parts availability, these engines are fairly easy to get bits for. A significant number of Fordson Major tractors are still in use around the world, and a large number have also been preserved / restored. Consequently, a lot of parts are being remanufactured for the Fordson Major, which don't forget is just a 4 cylinder version of your engine.

It should be easy to get hold of Valves, Valve guides, Pistons, Liners, Small end bearings, big end shells, main bearing shells, crank seals, water pumps etc. since they are all used on the "4D". Parts specifically for the 6D might not be quite so easy to get hold of, although they shouldn't pose too many problems.

The industrial engines were designated 589E, 590E, 591E, 592E for the 6 cylinder petrol, 6 cylinder diesel, 4 cylinder petrol, 4 cylinder diesel respectively. The Thames Trader 5 ton diesel (RHD) was denoted 510E, and the Thames Trader 5 ton petrol (RHD) was denoted 508E. The Fordson Major was designated the E1A.

So in general when looking for parts, try to find parts that start with either 508E (in the case of parts common with the 6 cyl. petrol eg. crank shaft), 510E (in the case of parts specific to the 6 cyl. diesel), or E1A (E1ADDN / E1ADKN) in the case of parts common with the 4 cylinder. Avoid parts that begin with a 2700E number (eg. 2703E / 2704E etc.), since these refer to the later D-series / Cargo type engine.

Ford 2700 4 & 6-clyinder Diesel Engines Parts List, for Models 2701E, 2703E, 2704E, 2706E, 2708E & 2709E

Ford 2700 Diesel Parts List

Ford 2700 Diesel Engine Workshop Manual

Ford 2700 Diesel Engine Workshop Manual

Ford 2700 Deisel Engine Operators Handbook

Ford 2700 Diesel Engine Operators Manual

Ford/Lehman Parts Appendix

Ford/Lehman Parts Appendix
Ford 330, 360, 365, 380 & Dover Model & Series Table Ford Diesel Engine Table