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Nash Engine Identification

Guest mktsc

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Guest mktsc

So the wife and I just became caretakers of the 1947 Nash 600 Slipstream Sedan that her grandfather bought new. He recently passed, and we're thrilled that the family chose us to look after it. The car has been in the family since 1947, hell we even have old black and white photos of her grandparents with the car when they were dating. It was repainted in the late 80's and reupholstered at the same time.






Vid of it running:




I've been doing a ton of research and putting in a ton of wrench time and finally got it started, although it won't idle.  One of the issues they had with the car the last time it ran (3yrs ago) was that it was overheating.  So before I started it, I had the radiator professionally tested and flushed by someone who works on old radiators.  I also replaced the thermostat with the correct 160 degree unit (had a 180 in it), and flushed the block with a hose.  I also removed the aftermarket electronic fuel pump and sourced a stock mechanical unit.  After doing basic tuneup stuff like plugs, cleaning points, fresh gas, etc.  I fired it up.  I held the throttle open enough to keep it running and watched the temp gauge (aftermarket unit).  Once it reached 190 I shut it off.  After doing some more homework, I ran it again and measured several places on the top surface of the head with an IR thermometer.  I got temps of between 200-210.  


In the course of working on the car, I've had a few incidents that have thrown flags that the engine isn't the one original to the car.

-the tag on the Carter WA-1 carb reads '780s' which when cross referenced, references a 1951 Nash Statesman

-the distributor cap and rotor that I purchased for a 1947 Nash 600 were much smaller than the ones currently on the car

-the mechanical fuel pump that was on the car was different than the one needed for a '47 600 with manual trans.  I assumed it was just being used as a blank off plate since the arm had been removed and an electronic unit was installed, but I'm starting to wander if it was the original.


​So my question is, how do I definitively tell which engine is in the car and if it's the original or not?  I've attached pictures of some of the markings I've found on the block.


What looks like a date stamp that reads: 5-21-54



And a service tag attached to the drivers side of the block:





Thanks in advance,



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  • 3 weeks later...

That is a replacement service block. That was a common way for Nash to mark a service block when it was installed so the next mechanic could look up that part number (311XXXX) and get the correct parts for the motor.   Look on the upper left hand corner of the engine block below the head and you might see a six or seven digit number stamped not cast, with an alpha character in it.


Assuming it is a correct engine for one of the Nash series made in 1954, here is the text from the Standard Catalog of American Motors (no longer in print but available from literature dealers and on Ebay occasionally.):   Starting engine serial numbers for J-1001 for the Nash Statesman series 40.   Starting engine serial numbers were A246001 for the Nash Ambassador (series 60).   Starting serial numbers for Nash Rambler were F170001.  


Keep in mind that since this is a service block it may not have had a serial number stamped on it to correspond to a specific Nash body style or series.  You can probably contact Doug Galvin at Galvin's Rambler Parts in Lodi, CA (google it) with that 311XXXX number above and get the specifics on your engine, bore, stroke, compression ratio.  Etc.  Good luck.  Joe

Edited by pacerman (see edit history)
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OK I did some more checking with the guys on the AMC Forum and a guy with an old parts book had this answer:  " I've got a 1949 to 1956 parts book and it lists that part number for 49/50and 51/52 Model 40 series or Nash 600 or statesman depending on the year. It also says less flywheel and vibration damper.It can be used with or with out the hydramatic  automatic transmission or with a manual transmission. It's the first number in my 1949 to 1956 parts book. so, it would be the flat head motor."     


Now the fact that the block has a casting date of 1954 probably means that AMC/Nash kept producing this motor until at least the mid-50s as a replacement motor for older Nashes. 

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Guest mktsc

Thanks a ton for the info.  I confirmed with my wife's uncle that the engine was indeed replaced in the 50's sometime with about 80k miles on it.  The specifics were lost when my wife's grandfather passed, hence me trying to track down the engine's lineage.  I want to make sure I can source proper replacement parts.


So am I to assume that because it has a service block tag, that it was replaced with a new OEM engine?  Not sure how these service tags were used, but it sounds like a dealership would've done the work for it to receive this tag.  


BTW, I've made a lot of progress on this car since first posting.  I identified the cooling issue that took the car out of service almost 20yrs ago.  The rubber coupling that connects the output shaft of the generator and drive shaft of the water pump was broken and the water pump wasn't turning at all.  I sourced and replaced that coupling as well as sourcing a NOS water pump rebuild kit.  Car runs awesome now.  


For the full story and progress updates, feel free to visit my thread over on the HAMB.





Edited by mktsc (see edit history)
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