I thought I read that there was a water pump change in 37 and if it did happen did the water pump get longer or shorter,getting the new 235 ready to drop in my 37 and found what I think is a original fan which hits the balancer. There is only 1/4 inch between the fan and radiator with the present engine that has a 49 to 54 fan and I am trying to get a little more distance,found a fan off a 46 to 48 that has notches to clear the balancer but it has thicker blades that might put me back where it is now. Both engines are 55 to 62 235s with 54 water pumps with the adapter.
Your problem has me scratching my head. In your first picture it looks like you are using a 16" passenger style fan. I have never seen one of those hit the balancer. In fact with a 1954 balancer, as you have, and my adapter with a 1953-54 pump the fan should be in the factory position. There must be more to the story. What am I missing?
Balancer was not all the way in but the fan is now only a hair away from the balancer,going to get a 1/8 spacer made and use the black 16 inch fan. The rusty fan is 18 inches and what would it have came off of originally,I took it off a 46 to 48 car.
Here are a couple of pics of my '54 235 in the '40. I used a new water pump from rock auto , it was 4mm longer than the original (I shortened it to fit), my fan is 18" and clears the balancer by about 3/8" . There is maybe less "set" on the blades than you have. There is no interference at all . It is very close to the radiator. Like you , I have also got more cores in the radiator.