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Hot Rods 1954 Corvette V8 Conversion

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Trent R., Jul 27, 2021.

  1. Trent R.
    Joined: Apr 27, 2021
    Posts: 8

    Trent R.

    Hopefully someone can help, we are trying to swap a 265 or 283 into a 1954 corvette. Is there a bolt on motor mount for this swap? Are the V8 conversion mounts the same for a 1954 Chevy bel air as for the corvette?

    Thanks,
    TR
     
  2. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,567

    1934coupe
    Member

    I could be wrong but I believe the chassis is the same as a 55 corvette and therefore 55 mounts and things should fit. Maybe someone else has more info on this.

    Pat
     
    Trent R. and seb fontana like this.
  3. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,430

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Your car uses the same frame as the 49-54 Chevy passenger cars. The center was modified on these. Front suspension is the same. Same parts will work.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  4. Why are you Putting a Different engine in the Corvette The Car is A Classic
    Just Asking.??

    Just my 3.5 cents

    Live Learn & Die a Fool
     

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,258

    squirrel
    Member

  6. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,672

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    If the full size car frame is the same Murray custom rods in Dallas makes some very nice bolt in mounts
     
  7. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,430

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It is the same up until 62
     
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  8. Gasser_Dave
    Joined: Aug 18, 2013
    Posts: 101

    Gasser_Dave
    Member
    from St. Louis

    man, either my frame is a lot smaller than I think or the 54 vette is larger. I would have bet the frame was smaller. Good to know
     
  9. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,430

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    These sedans are not much bigger than a modern Accord or Camry, in fact, they also weigh about the same. A 54 Vette weighs 2886#. A 54 Sedan is 3200#. A Honda is 3000-3400#
     
  10. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,990

    BJR
    Member

    Just buy a reproduction front engine mount for a 55 Vette V8. They bolt between the water pump and the block, and use rubber biscuits on each side.
     
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  11. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,115

    jimdillon
    Member

    The standard front engine mount will work fine. The only problem you may have is that there was not the dimple in the frame for clearance of the mechanical fuel pump on the early six cylinder cars. You either have to adapt the early frame for the fuel pump or go with an electric pump. I believe they changed the frame for ease of removing and installing the fuel pump for the V8 for the 1955 model year.
     
    Hamtown Al likes this.
  12. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 5,028

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Dang, kids can’ t leave anything alone! BJR has your answer.
     
    Hamtown Al likes this.
  13. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,430

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The Vette is 13" shorter in the middle of the frame. This area was modified.
     
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  14. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 613

    KenC
    Member

    You've got good answers on 'howto'. But, I'm gonna offer an observation. I'd leave it stock as a classic, but if a swap is the way you want to go, why settle for a little more HP, when a 350 or 400 fits just as easily and makes LOTS more power. JMHO
     
  15. Trent R.
    Joined: Apr 27, 2021
    Posts: 8

    Trent R.

    So let me get this straight, a 1954 Chevy passenger car V8 conversion mount will fit in the corvette, but we will have to run an electric pump to avoid notching the frame. To clarify, my grandpa restored this corvette after it went through a flood. We have tried everything to get the 6 cylinder running better. The car runs way too rich with 3 carbs no matter how much you lean them out. My grandpa had a 55 corvette in the early 60s with a 265, so we will install an engine to replicate that. Of course we will keep the original 6. Here a picture of our last outing in the 54.

    Thanks,
    TR
     

    Attached Files:

  16. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,115

    jimdillon
    Member

    Not sure how some of the V8 conversions will work with the stock steering box. If you were to replicate what the Corvette did with the 1955 Corvette V8 I believe it would work well. The front frame mount I run across at swap meets but the towers that it attach to are a bit harder to find. The motor mounts you have on the six cylinder is a bit different, I believe.

    Here is the saddle mount you would need.
    E12881.JPG
    Then here are the pieces that bolt to the frame on the 56-62 Corvettes.
    s-l640.jpg
     
  17. Dennis D
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 740

    Dennis D
    Member

    In one of the old Corvette books I read they made a statement about the frame on the Corvette was unique to the car and "the car would never be cheap to build". If I could remember the book, I would get the exact quote from it. I believe the statement was from Zora Duntov. D
     
  18. Bert Kollar
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,043

    Bert Kollar
    Member

    I think you need to sell it to me and i will properly rebuild the motor, carbs, ignition and powerglide and save the classic.
     
  19. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,578

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    So the carbs are messed up and you want to change the whole engine? Why not just have Carbking rebuild the carbs?
     
  20. Trent R.
    Joined: Apr 27, 2021
    Posts: 8

    Trent R.

    We have this thing about driving our cars, there is a reason they offered the V8 in 55, the 6 was slow and ran terrible. If Duntov was still alive he’s back me up on that. My grandpa who owns the car is 80 years old, it needs to be reliable, he’s tired of having to push it around. That’s coming from a guy that loves the 6 cylinder Chevy.

    I appreciate all the help,
    TR
     
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  21. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 783

    v8flat44

    I have to jump in here. I drove a 54 Vette in 1962 & that 6 is the sweetest sounding thing & capable of some H P. I can see a 4 speed in there replacing the "Glide"....but man keep that wonderful Tripple carb SIX.
     
  22. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,990

    BJR
    Member

    I restored a 55 V8 at work and drove it around testing it. Ha Ha. The 265 moves that fiberglass body around great.:D
     
  23. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,578

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Better go bigger than a 265 or 283 then. If you could find a Chev truck 261 six and give it a cam, some compression and the Vette carbs and exhaust it would easily out perform the stock 265 or 283 at least up to 50 MPH. I live in Canada where we got the 261 in Pontiacs from 1955 to 1962. A stock 261 will out drag a stock 265 or 283 up to 30 MPH then they are even until 50MPH when the V8 starts to pull ahead.
     
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  24. Trent R.
    Joined: Apr 27, 2021
    Posts: 8

    Trent R.

    To clarify, I’m not against keeping the six installed. Maybe someone here can identify the problem, it starts fine when cold, then after getting it on the road and driving fine for about a mile, although smoking black. Then the engine starts to die slowly in drive, then we put it into low and still slowly dies. Until eventually it just quits. Almost like it floods itself out, but the carb mixtures at set a 3/4 turns as I heard was recommended because they run to rich at the factory 1 1/2 turns. Then when we finally get it restarted it won’t run above 1000 rpm with the accelerator floored and linkage working correctly. Then it dies again. The spark plugs were new, new gas, good oil pressure and compression.

    Frankly we’re stumped
    TR
     
  25. cavman
    Joined: Mar 23, 2005
    Posts: 648

    cavman
    Member

    My brother and I both had '54 Corvettes back in the sixties, the things that gave us the most problems was those old dual diaphragm fuel pumps. If it still has one, try a regular pump. He ended up with a homebuilt 4 bbl manifold and kept it for 40 yrs.
     
  26. Sounds like the exhaust is plugged up
     
    lostmind likes this.
  27. Tickety Boo
    Joined: Feb 2, 2015
    Posts: 1,359

    Tickety Boo
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Check the fuel pressure, possibly the fuel pump internal regulator is sticking, pushing fuel past the needle and seats, sometimes the ethanol fuel does this to machanical fuel pumps.
     
  28. TCTND
    Joined: Dec 27, 2019
    Posts: 245

    TCTND
    Member

    While I'm certainly a V8 fan, I wouldn't do that swap simply because the six isn't running right. Whatever is wrong could certainly be corrected for a lot less money and time than that conversion would cost, then you could use the saved cash for a 5-speed conversion and really enjoy the car. As far as the the frame being unique, it is in that it was shortened. Otherwise it's a standard '53 ish passenger car frame. The corvette retained this through '62 even though the rest of the line got new chassis' in '55.
     
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  29. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 6,695

    Budget36
    Member

    Sometimes you have to just break down and either take the car to someone who knows how to work on a dual carb 6, or have them come to you. I’m way past the point in my life of trying to preserve a classic, heck, I’d giggle to see a blown Hemi in a Dussenberg.
    But if you and your circle of friends can’t get a 235 running right, I’d have to question your ability to put a V8 in in the car.
    Surely it would be worth the effort to find a competent person to at least take a look and run some diagnostics on it.
     
    73RR likes this.
  30. Trent R.
    Joined: Apr 27, 2021
    Posts: 8

    Trent R.

    We’ll be sure to check the fuel pump and exhaust before the next run. I appreciate all the help and comments. For the record though we did take the corvette to a competent mechanic who tuned the car to the best of his abilities. The car still ran the same way it does now.

    Thanks Again,
    TR
     

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