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I have a chance to buy a running hercules 3.7 DT for 300 bucks, and it includes everything-ford adapter, flywheel, clutch, starter, alternator, vacuum pump. turbo, injector pump. First off, are these engines known for any major problems? I've searched up and down but can't seem to find much info on them. The engine is out of a 1983 bread van and is rated for around 100 hp. How come you never hear anything about them? Any info is appreciated!
 

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Buy it, worst case you can resell it to the military guys, they used the Hercules engines to repower Dodge M37's and Kaiser Jeep M715's & M725's if it runs its a deal even if it needs a rebuild.
These engines are strong and last a long time if maintained.
Good luck,
 

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Hook it up to a zf gear it fast ,get some good mpgs, wont take long to pay for itself at that price. Wouldnt take it on any long distance trips unless you would consider abandoning the whole vehicle, as you may not be able to get emergency parts as you would with a 4bt, that is the only reason there isnt much demand for these motors.
 

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First and foremost, the most important thing you need to find out about it, above all else... is it a series I or series II?

I can let you know what it is if you have a pic or two. I have yet to find a series II in an early '80s breadvan. I suspect that based on price and where it came from that you have a series I. Worth the $300 but not alot more. If series II, worth 4-5 times that.

There were important changes made to the series II that allow it to live at the power levels it is rated at. Turning up a series I to series II power levels equals "boom" or meltdown.

I know a little about these engines as I have two of them, have found out what I could online and have talked on the phone with folks about these.

Also, I have taken to calling mine White-Hercules, and thus W-H acronym. Both of mine were made by White and thus have White data plates. But the design is all Hercules and was simply made while under White ownership initially. Later, they were made under the Hercules name.

Ken
 

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The Hercules were good running diesels used in tractor applications as far back as WWII. I had a 3 cylinder version in a tractor in the 1970's and it ran like a top. Look up the history of the Hercules engines for more info.
 

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how come the series 1 engines are worth so little? I'm aware that they are rated for less horsepower, and can't really be turned up, but I would still think a ~4 liter running turbocharged diesel that is easily swapped into a ford truck would be worth a little more....? Thanks again!
 

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how come the series 1 engines are worth so little? I'm aware that they are rated for less horsepower, and can't really be turned up, but I would still think a ~4 liter running turbocharged diesel that is easily swapped into a ford truck would be worth a little more....? Thanks again!
Low demand? I don't know but the price you mention is right in there for what I've seen, been told about, paid myself, etc for a series 1.

I think series 1 Hercs are worth about $500 running, series 2 are on par with the Cummins 4BT both in power and value. In a sense I think the series 1 are a nice find in that they are so darned cheap for a good engine if the power level meets one's needs/wants. One of mine is currently in a '68 CJ5(currently stalled project). For me, it will be fine and I got it very cheap.

Years ago, I bought two series 1s, fan to output yoke(Warner T19), accessories, aircleaners, etc for less than half of what a single, engine only 4BT was going for from the same seller. The 4BT is seemingly in high demand, the series 2 Hercules 2300 is not, the series 1 is wanted even less for the obvious reason of the limited power. The series 1 were offered in 75 and 85 HP versions as far as I know. The series 2 was 108 and 128 HP. Reportedly, they are 125 lb lighter than a 4BT. I know they are not particularly heavy but I have not weighed one. I just know from my experience moving various engines around in the garage with my hoist that I've had heavier engines on the hook.

Ken
 

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The White-Hercules Diesel conversions in bread trucks...I really like mine!

I have a chance to buy a running hercules 3.7 DT for 300 bucks, and it includes everything-ford adapter, flywheel, clutch, starter, alternator, vacuum pump. turbo, injector pump. First off, are these engines known for any major problems? I've searched up and down but can't seem to find much info on them. The engine is out of a 1983 bread van and is rated for around 100 hp. How come you never hear anything about them? Any info is appreciated!
I own one of these engines in a 1982 Ford bread truck. Gets 19 mpg loaded on the freeway (hilly or flat).I can get better milage at lower RPMS...25MPG if I travel as just 40 mph. (I did this once in the middle of the desert to conserve what fuel I had remaining). Very reliable, always starts. 100 HP seems a bit high to me...I have always understood it was 85HP with the turbo, 67HP without. Even with a turbo it is very underpowered still...but can pull a 12K vehicle up Siskyou pass (I-5 in southern oregon) about the same speed as a semi-truck. Very narrow power band, not well suited to the T-19 four speed in my truck. A 5 or 6 speed is really needed. I am adding a brownie over-under to help with the lack of gears.

My only fear is losing the injector pump for I have seen only one for sale in the past 4 years. Other parts I seem to see regularly on eBay. We should start a White-Hercules support group!
 

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It's always good to hear from another White-Hercules 3.7 owner, jottoh12! My two W-Hs are out of vans like yours, '82/'83 Ford breadvans.

I believe you are correct in that the 100HP estimation is likely not correct as that would have to be a series 2 engine. All of these early '80s Ford breadvans with a W-H 3.7 have been series 1 as far as I know. However, a series II could have been swapped in at some point in time. A series 2 w/turbo is at 108 - 128 HP rating, quite similar to 4BT in that regard. The Series 1 turbo'd are 75-85 HP, as you mention yours is.

The IPs on mine are a Roosamaster and a Stanadyne so I imagine rebuilds could be performed by a reputable shop as this style of pump was quite prolific for many years after these were produced. Perhaps this could be a lead to rebuilt unit: http://www.jobbersinc.com/roosamaster.htm

Mine both have SB Ford pattern housings/flywheels and thus would be an easy swap to any manual that was behind a SBF. The M5R2 would be a good trans for lighter duty, the ZF for heavier. My FIL has a ZF from a '95 F250 in good shape but it's larger than what I need. I likely will swap to a M5R2 someday, currently I have the T19 close ratio behind both(one in garage, other in never ending CJ5 project).

Ken
 

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Not the greatest of pics, it'd be nice if the data plate pic legibly showed the stampings. Ad says D198, which it may be. In passing, it looks like a NA 2300(3.7) to me but the 198 may be similar, I don't know. If it is a 3.7, of what I can see, nothing says series 2 to me.

How's that M5R2 treating you in that beast of yours?

Ken
 

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Holding up great. I have about 8k miles now on the swap and no issues. I had a tranny shop check it out about 2 weeks ago because I am chasing a noise I can't identify and they said all components looked good. Not the fastest shifting tranny but still fun to drive.
Dave
 

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I look at two aspects that thus far have always been different between series 1 and 2. The injectors and the exhaust manifold.

On series 1, the fuel supply enters the injector low on the side with the return coming off the top of the injector. This arrangement is reversed with series 2.

On series 1, the exhaust manifold is very rounded, basically a "log" style, with a pipe-like appearance. With series 2, it has some flat planes, clearly not pipe and the shape of the casting is more "directional" to the flow.

Turbos and IPs are different but those are not as easily spotted in photos as the injectors and manifold. As well, the factory paint color was blue for series 1 and red for series 2, but paint is easily changed.

Series 1:


Series 2:


Ken
 

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Ken, Sorry for the delayed (4 years plus) response.Thanks so much for the confirmation that a different small block ford tranny might fit. I will find a ZF tranny and set about installing it., After all these years I am certain this is a series 1 version. I think it a fine engine, very reliable. It does need more gears than a wide range T-19. I five speed would be the ticket. Thanks again!
 
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