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Projects 1950 Plymouth 440 swap

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Michael Yasko, Sep 11, 2021.

  1. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 2,004

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    I guess I don't see it ? He didn't stop because it didn't fit or work or because the job was "too tough", he stopped because he changed direction. There is a huge difference between the 2....
     
    Budget36 likes this.
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,846

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Probably a lot better than hacking up a 5 lb box to put a 20 lb engine in it. I worked on a lot of those 49/early 50's Mopars in high school in the 60's as the instructor worked summers in the local Dodge dealer's shop and we ended up with a lot of older rigs at school during the school year. Memory says that there isn't a lot of space between the inner fenders in one.
     
  3. Michael Yasko
    Joined: Sep 11, 2021
    Posts: 22

    Michael Yasko

    It won't matter what they think or anyone else. I like the idea but I'm still worried that sooner or later I won't be able to find parts for the motor/transmission.
     
  4. Michael Yasko
    Joined: Sep 11, 2021
    Posts: 22

    Michael Yasko

    And what did you predict exactly?
     
  5. Michael Yasko
    Joined: Sep 11, 2021
    Posts: 22

    Michael Yasko

    Actually if you remove the dog house and set the motor in place there is room. Not a huge amount but there is room lol
     
  6. Michael Yasko
    Joined: Sep 11, 2021
    Posts: 22

    Michael Yasko

    You sir are spot on lol, the build itself was honestly pretty easy but cars like these with the original motors are harder to find everyday. I don't regret any of this tho, it was a fun curve and pushed me to engineer and think outside the box on alot of situations with it.
     
  7. Jessie J.
    Joined: Oct 28, 2004
    Posts: 402

    Jessie J.
    Member

    Thread has supplied the information and pictures that show a 440 WILL fit into a ‘50 Plymouth without great difficulty. Thanks for showing us your hands on experience Michael, and good luck with whatever direction you proceed with the project.
     
  8. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 546

    proartguy
    Member
    from Sparks, NV

    I did not see any info here about a completed swap of 440 in a ‘50 Plymouth. Saw references to a ‘40 Ford, ‘40 Chev and a ‘48 Plm. There were the pics on Plymouth site which show the 440 oil filter problem and those had some serious firewall mods to get the engine back enough. Just about any engine can be put into something with enough modifications. A good swap is one where the engine fits well, is not too heavy and easily serviced. Building a gasser style or race car is not the same. Even the manufacturers created some maintenance nightmares by cramming big engines in.

    As far as keeping the flathead, there is a reason a lot of people run them - they are good engines with full pressure oiling, don’t run hot. I have had several and the best thing in using one can be an overdrive or five speed trans which makes for more pleasant highway driving. A drawback is speed parts have become harder to find the last ten years or so. In the last 17 years when people ask about my ‘51 they usually say, “does it still have the flathead six?”, and are somewhat disappointed when I say no it has a 318. For crowd appeal a flathead may be more desirable.
     
    Fitty Toomuch likes this.
  9. I installed a 318 poly& cast iron auto in my 1940 Dodge in 1973 & its a fairly straight forward swap although I did end up using a rack & pinion for the steering.......as for the mopar 6 they can be tarted up quite well, this is a pic of the finned headed twin carbed 230 I intended to install in the 41 Plymouth Coupe I had.........anyway your choice but a mopar small block, 273 to 360 would be my choice now................andyd
     

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    Budget36 likes this.
  10. dart4forte
    Joined: Jun 10, 2009
    Posts: 174

    dart4forte
    Member
    from Mesa, AZ

    What are you going to use the car for? Cruising, drags, Ralley? If it’s for cruisin with a shot down the 1320 then a small block is a good option. You can do a lot with a small block. On the other hand if you are set on a big block and want some good old fashion torque then go with a 400 stroker, 400 block with a 440 crank. Rods and pistons would be the major expense followed by your choice of heads.

    With the big block option ease of maintenance will have to be considered. Block huggers help ease the PIA of changing plugs. Another major factor will be steering. A good power rack will be your friend.

    One thing to keeps in mind bigger is not necessarily better.
     
  11. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 2,825

    oldiron 440
    Member

    I've swapped the 440 into many different vehicles over the years and have had a blast doing it. You need to realize early that a die grinder with a cut off wheel, sheers, cutting torch and plasmas cutter are your friend. There are oil pans with front, center and rear sumps to get around the steering. I like the HiPo manifolds but you might need to work the firewall on the drivers side a bit. The oilpump/filter can be a challenge but there are fixs for that also.
    The 440 is a big old gall that likes to dance, have fun!
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
    das858 likes this.
  12. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,835

    gene-koning
    Member

    I've quoted this post more so for the picture then the question about the exhaust. The picture didn't post, the post was number 45.

    The picture clearly shows the motor sitting quite far forward of the firewall. Having done several of the late 40s Plymouths, and knowing these Mopar RB motors quite well, I suspect this motor location would have never worked. All would have been great until it was time to bolt the front sheet metal back on. That is where he would have realized he would have had no place to put a radiator. I'm really pretty doubtful the radiator support would have even cleared the water pump. This motor needs to sit back at least 6" more rearward then where the picture shows the motor sitting (firewall clearance would likely have been needed, at least it would have had to be made flat). If the motor would be moved back, then I doubt the steering column would have cleared the upside down exhaust manifold, and it probably would not have cleared the manifold mounted correctly either. The motor probably needs to be shifted towards the passenger side an inch, maybe more.

    This is not to criticize the OP, he never reached the point of finding out it probably wouldn't have worked the way he had it set up. This is to point out to possible future builders something that probably would not have worked. A big block Mopar in a 50 Plymouth is not a simple swap, its a very tight fit. Everything needs to be in pretty much the exact location. If you under take a project like this, before you weld up the motor mounts, I would advise to at least put the radiator support and front fenders on to be sure everything is going to work. Gene
     
    RodStRace likes this.
  13. I just looked at the original posters "engine in" pic again and Gene is absolutely correct .....there is no way that a radiator support will fit with the engine as it sits........the oil filter apart from other things is sitting in front of the front crossmember.........apart from moving the engine over to the passenger side to clear the steering column I can't see how the oil filter/pump is going to clear the front crossmember without moving the engine back at least 6-8 inches into the firewall.............my 2.5 Oz cents worth.........andyd
     
  14. Michael Yasko
    Joined: Sep 11, 2021
    Posts: 22

    Michael Yasko

    Haha no that wasn't the motor location. The pic you are referring to was about the headers being upside down to clear the steering. I did push the motor back up against the fire wall and had the rear axle with driveshaft hooked up. I should have gotten pics when I did but meh
     
  15. Michael Yasko
    Joined: Sep 11, 2021
    Posts: 22

    Michael Yasko

    Right you are but wrong lol. The pic you both were referring to was only about the headers, not the actual motor location. I did alot more work after that, I was just curious of I could flip them upside down
     
  16. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,092

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    This is a tired argument that does not hold water....

    There might have been some truth to this when Clem used his big greasy book and rotary dial at Mom & Pop's auto parts. No luck with Clem, then you had to thumb through the big Hemmings and crank up the wall phone. Those days are gone.

    Now parts for everything are 3 days away. Clem is closed down and the guys in front of the screen at the box store can have it here Tuesday. It does not matter if it's a 2005 Chevy or a 50 Dodge....the parts will be in next Tuesday.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
    loudbang and oldiron 440 like this.
  17. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,835

    gene-koning
    Member

    That was probably pretty close, it would have been a week from this Tuesday, right up until this current product shortage (and all the other contributing factors). It could be a couple months now, unless it has something to do with the modern electronics, that could push the date way back.
     
  18. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,835

    gene-koning
    Member

    Most anyone that has no experience with either these cars or these motors would have made the same assumptions about the motor placement I, and a few others did. Since you have no updated pictures, my statement still stands. As pictured, it would not work. Gene
     

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