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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. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 21,907

    Staff Member

    does the car have automatic chokes? it sounds like a sticking choke problem to me. make sure when the car is warmed up that the chokes are wide open.. I can't believe all the people here lobbying to keep cars stock... I thought we were hot rodders here??
  2. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 7,265


    Well Trent, did the mechanic give you a “health” report on the engine?

    It’s been mentioned I’m sure, but …

    intake vacuum at idle and then again at say 2500 RPMs.

    Dwell setting, plug gap and what they looked like. I could go on, but just home from my night shift;) and will start babbling soon.

    But think about this

    Cost of an engine. You mentioned a 265 or 283. A fresh one is most likely not available, so several months in the machine shop.
    Then there’s the exhaust, what’s needed and has to be done for it to swap in.
    Will you need a carburetor, distributor? You will need a fuel pump, all accessories and brackets for the V8 to work.
    Is the radiator adaptable to the V8?
    Then there’s the fuel line routing.

    Wiring should be okay.

    Now I understand your grandfather is 80, he might recall the day when it was common and a weekend thing to go find a low mileage 265/283 and do a weekend thrash and have some fun.

    He has 20 years on me and I recall those days as well too. But everything we needed was available at the local yards and wasn’t that old when we used it.

    I’d bet you’d be into 5k bill minimum, to swap a V8 into that car, and it would be 2022 before it was on the road.

    Maybe let folks know what area you’re from and some guys might know who you should contact to get it running right, or at least tell you what the issues are and how or if they can be dealt with. Heck. The engine may be dead. It is near 70 now.

    Night, er,… morning? ;)
  3. Try c1/c2 section. There are a lot of knowledgeable people there on both tuning and 54-V8 swaps
    kidcampbell71 and Moriarity like this.
  4. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,148

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Seems the op's grandpa is set on the V8 swap, replicating a car from his past.
    At 80 years old, my guess he's set in his ways (okay stubborn), I am at 65.
    Good advice from scotty t with his link to the Corvette site.
    Good luck on the swap.
    scotty t and Moriarity like this.
  5. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,161


    Not going to get into an argument about whether or not to swap engines; not my business.

    But concerning the original triple carb six running rich:

    Three major possibilities:

    (1) Electronic distributor conversion without upgrading to an alternator!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (2) Parts house carb kit (fuel valve orifices too large)
    (3) Electric fuel pump (too much pressure for stock orifices)

    Now if you combine any two, or worse, all three.........................

    The Carter YH carbs, if properly rebuild and adjusted, run great AND are reliable.

  6. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,653


    Been years since I have heard a real corvette Blue Flame running. Sweet sweet sound!!!
  7. SicSpeed
    Joined: Apr 23, 2014
    Posts: 653

    from Idaho

  8. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,161


    Had very little time on first post. Adding to that post:

    In the 1930's Carter developed a "spring-loaded needle and seat" for both off-road and marine use. The original Carter YH number 2066s carbs used fuel valve number 25-228s which is one of the special spring-loaded versions.

    The seat is the same as a normal seat, but the needle has a small vertical hole machined into the top into which an even smaller conical spring is inserted. Sitting on top of the spring is a pin that resembles a miniature golf tee. The spring tends to cause a much more even fuel level in the bowl.

    Not saying they do not exist, but I have yet to see one of the cheap FLAPS rebuilding kits that contain the spring-loaded fuel valves; as they are significantly more expensive to produce than the standard fuel valves. These are absolutely critical in the YH, OR the carburetor WILL flood.

    Even if the proper fuel valves are used, another problem which may arise with someone not familiar with these. When the spring-loaded valve is used; the float MUST be adjusted by taking the measurement with only the weight of the float pressing on the spring. The spring MUST NOT be depressed by the "mechanic's" finger. Obviously, spring fatigue would result in an incorrect fuel level.

    Since the YH is a horizontal carburetor, absolutely essential that correct parts are used, and correctly adjusted.

  9. @carbking Thanks for that information, Jon. It's great when experts can give insight into things, most of us would miss.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
  10. @carbking

    this guy knows !!!!!

    keep that sweet sweet 6 in there !

    I had a 3 carb split exhaust 261 with a solid lifter cam in it and a 5 speed .
    Still my favourite combination.

    I’m 100% biased to inline 6’s
  11. Dennis D
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 791

    Dennis D

    Friend of mine cured a lot of the carb problems on his 54 when he installed a pressure regulator on it. Most of the time before that his problems were due to lack of driving the car. He sold the car after owning it for many years and bought a 32 five window. Drives the snot out of that one! D
  12. Dennis D
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 791

    Dennis D

    They had a choke that had one pull mech. on them connected to three cables.
  13. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,954


    I like the reply of a built 261 for it!
  14. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 21,907

    Staff Member

    so have you checked to verify when the choke is pushed in that all the choke blades on the carbs are fully open??
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,056


    I'd second the motion to send the carbs to Carbking and have him go through them.

    Or at least pony up and buy the correct kits from him. I've used at least one of his kits and there a difference than what you get from the parts house.

    As far as the swap, As a couple of the guys have said, it can be done using almost all "original style" parts and outside of a couple of small things would be reversible in the future if someone felt the need. Grandpa's car and if he wants to cut the value by a bunch so he can enjoy it the way he wants to so be it.
    Algoma56 and VANDENPLAS like this.
  16. Dennis D
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 791

    Dennis D

    I just answered the post. Another guy is working on this one. BTW, I forgot to add that I modified the choke cables on my friends car. Originally the three cables came together in the center of the choke pull. Even lubed real well they were a bitch to pull on or push off. It helped if you pushed down on the gas pedal taking the tension off of the idle cams. I separated the cables and made a couple of plates to attach them to the push/pull mechanism, worked much better and still looked correct from the dash side.
  17. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,572


    If all new members would indicate where they're located they may be able to find local experienced help. I also would send the carbs to carbking for a quality rebuild. But only after the engine was determined to be healthy. There are so many variables that can effect reliably that any one malfunctioning will cause problems. Good luck to you and your Grandpa
    Tman likes this.
  18. iagsxr
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 158


    Yeah no you really didn't, the competent part. Even if there's something esoteric with the carbs he wasn't comfortable working on he should have been able to diagnose the problem. And I wouldn't bet $100 it's in the carbs, or it could be as simple as a piece of debris under one needle.

    When you say it starts fine then when does it start running poorly? Will it idle indefinitely? Is the problem time dependent, heat dependent, or engine load dependent? Let's do some actual diag here.
    Tman likes this.
  19. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,161


    OK - PLEASE DON'T send the carbs to carbking!

    Thanks to all for the recommendation, but far too busy with the manufacture of rebuilding kits to still rebuild carbs.

    We simply do not rebuild carbs any more.

    We can virtually always supply a kit made in the USA (by us); we generally have other parts not contained in the kit, and the tech advice is free; but NOT doing carbs.

    Jon (carbking).
    kidcampbell71 and Budget36 like this.
  20. Utahvette
    Joined: Sep 4, 2012
    Posts: 251


    I've only done this 3 times so bear with me. There may be someone out there that can add to this. You will need a steering box spacer between the box and frame. The motor mount towers will need tabs welded to the frame to attach them to. Then you can use the later engine mount between the water pump and block . The fuel pump will clear the frame without the relief. You'll need a V8 radiator and shroud. You'll need to do a few minor mods to fit them. You might need to clearance the hood, it has a support right where the air cleaner lands. Transmission kickdown linkage will need to be V8 style. Might as well change to 12 volt system too. Meaning starter, generator, bulbs and fuel gauge. The oil pressure and the water temp is mechanical so they will work but you will need a 55 intake manifold with the sender port in the left rear corner. The amp gauge will be fine as will the heater motor. You'll need to fab in later model throttle linkage. And lastly a 55 style exhaust system. So it's kind of a big deal, but not to big.
    egads, bowie and jimmy six like this.
  21. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 10,004

    jimmy six

    The most important item will be the CorVette side trim….. need to see the big Vee…
  22. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    Let see. Install a carb kit or install a whole new engine. Decisions, decisions.
    kidcampbell71, lostmind, Tman and 2 others like this.
  23. With all the Corvette Experts on here. NOT ONE of you mentioned the all important Steering Box Spacer that that moves the box out away from the frame rail and gives clearance for the left exhaust manifold. The spacer came in the 55 V8 and later Vetts
  24. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 21,907

    Staff Member

    post 50 mentioned it just a few above yours....
    bowie and kidcampbell71 like this.

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