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The Tucker Engine Assembly Line

A press photo dated June 29, 1948, showing the Tucker engine assembly line and its workers. The original design for the Tucker engine design did not work out so he ended up modifying the Franklin air-cooled flat six which was made by Air Cooled Motors. This 334 c.i., 166 h.p. engine was originally intended for the Bell model 47 helicopter.  Tucker’s engineers made many changes to make it compatible with an automobile installation along with converting it to liquid-cooling.

After successful testing, Tucker bought Air Cooled Motors for a reported $1.8 million and canceled the aircraft contracts. Since this appears to have been an established assembly line it is possible this photo was taken at the Air Cooled Motors plant. At the bottom of the post is a color film produced by the Tucker Public Relations Department in two parts.  The Old Motor photo.

5 responses to “The Tucker Engine Assembly Line

  1. The Tucker was NOT a helicopter engine ! Engineering used the concept of a flat 6 cyl. engine. They then designed a completely new engine for use in an automobile. I do not have access to Tucker records but I doubt that any parts from an aircraft were used in the Tucker. As an example, look at the crankshafts. Franklin aircraft engines do not run at high RPM, consequently the lack of counterweights. Even the camshaft has to be redesigned for high RPM Aircraft engines use separate cylinders whereas the Trucker has the cylinders cast “en-block” Remember. the Tucker was water cooled

    • Sorry Phil Lundy but the Tucker engine really was from a Franklin helicopter engine (6V4-178) except it used the camshaft from an airplane engine (6V4-165), built by Aircooled Motors Inc. (not Air Cooled Motors). Most of the parts were DIRECTLY from the 6V4-178 (a.k.a. 6ALV-335). Obviously the heads and cylinders were different because the engine was perverted to water cooling. Find a part number from a Tucker engine, like a con rod or crankcase, then look at a Franklin parts book. Or something simpler. Compare the stamped crankcase cover (it says Franklin, in script) of both engines. Same part number. 17542. Or stop by. I don’t have a Tucker engine but I have a bunch of AMI publications.

  2. were there any 4 bbl motors built are the engine parts interchangeable with other brands such as ford interested to know such as thermostat housings fuel pump asembley are there any records of tucker 6 cy motors out there. thank you.

  3. Roy –can you tell me more about the AMI publications ? I’m a new fan of the Tucker and wonder if the AMI stuff has been reprinted.

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