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Customs 1957 Cadillac considering engine/tranny swap need some guidance

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 51ChevPU, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. 51ChevPU
    Joined: Jan 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,076

    51ChevPU
    Member
    from Arizona

    Several months ago I spotted water in my crankase and immediately addressed it by pulling the heads for a gasket change. While the heads were out I had them serviced at the machine shop and put it all together with the help of several HAMB members. Drove it for a few weeks until I noticed water in the oil again. Thinking it may be the block, I put in some bars head and block sealer just to keep it going for a bite longer.

    Now the question is should I take my stock 365 and hydramatic and do a rebuild or am I better off simply putting in a 472 or 500 caddy engine. I've also thought about the small block chevy route with overdrive.

    I'm hoping there are some members that have already done these swaps that can give me the positive and negative points of their engine/tranny swaps.

    Thanks
     
  2. bob3757
    Joined: Sep 26, 2008
    Posts: 160

    bob3757
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Tigard, Or

    I would suggest looking at www.donshotrodpage.net. Click on "personal projects ", then on 1957 Cad.He has a very detailed build thread going. It looks like there is quite a bit of frame modification needed. Hope this helps. Bob
     
  3. elricho
    Joined: Jul 19, 2009
    Posts: 198

    elricho
    Member

    Rebuild the 365-I put a 454 and turbo 400 in my old 57 coupe and the money and time it took me to do it would have paid to rebuild the 365 twice!!!!!
     
  4. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787

    r8odecay
    Member

    IMO, you need to find the source of the water getting into the oil before you can answer this Q.
     
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  5. 51ChevPU
    Joined: Jan 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,076

    51ChevPU
    Member
    from Arizona

    I checked out donshotrod page on his 57 build and the caddy 500 is not the easiest of swaps.

    Maybe the SBC should be a consideration. Any hamb members put in one in a 57 caddy?
     
  6. 48 Chubby
    Joined: Apr 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,015

    48 Chubby
    Member Emeritus

    I think that the small block Chevy is quite likely the very best all around engine ever built.
    But it don't belong in a Cadillac car.
     
    dan c likes this.
  7. thaugen
    Joined: Sep 18, 2007
    Posts: 174

    thaugen
    Member

    ^ What he said.
     
  8. carmak
    Joined: Aug 8, 2005
    Posts: 451

    carmak
    Member

    A numer of years ago a head on my 57 Coupe DeVille cracked (most likely your problem) and I pulled the engine to do a rebuild. Once I started to look into the cost of rebuilding I considered other options.

    I had a SBC in the shop so I set it in the engine compartment to do a test fit. It did not fit well. As large as the Caddy is the window for correct engine location is quite small. I also set a Pontiac 400 in it and it fit better then the SBC but still not well.

    I ended up rebuilding the 365 and I think it was the right call.

    I have a 57 parts car out back if you need a head.

    Carmak
    Riverside, Iowa
     
  9. stealthcruiser
    Joined: Dec 24, 2002
    Posts: 3,738

    stealthcruiser
    Member

    Yes, in '94, a Buddy and myself installed a 76 model Caddy 500 in his 57 Sedan De Ville.................It was no picnic, but it can be done.
    We made "pockets" in the stock crossmember for the motor mounts and for oil pump / filter clearance, modded an Eldorado pan and pickup for oil pan duties, and we placed the radiator in front of the core support to allow running a stock, big ass clutch fan!
    The radiator we used , ( if memory serves), was from some type of 64 model Buick "Sport Wagon", as it was a massive 4 row, and fit the space we had.
    Made a nice cruiser, but what got it parked was the need of a brake upgrade, during which time life happened , and he 2 kids in "rapid succession":eek:

    It's parked in his garage, and gets cranked when he invites me over for his special batches of home made beer, known as "Big Gut Brew".............Yeah, I have to take by big battery charger over and do the cranking for him.

    It'll fit............................I have no pics, as I don't remember having the ease of a digital camera back then!!!!

    EDIT..................................I saw you were referring to and SBC....................If 'yer gonna' do a swap, put something in place with some inherent torque in STOCK form..............It is a Cadillac after all, and quite portly!!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  10. CharliesChopShop
    Joined: Oct 27, 2011
    Posts: 8

    CharliesChopShop
    Member

    Hey, just one more food for thought I helped swap in a 454 in a 60's caddy and when he got ready to sell it most of the people that had money didn't want it due to the motor change. Carmak was right their was no room where you needed it.
     
  11. Your Cadillac weighs upwards of five thousand pounds and needs an engine with some torque just to pull away from the curb.I thought about an engine swap but instead I rebuilt my 365, it wasn't cheap but I'm glad I did. Even pulling and installing the stock engine was no picknick.
     
  12. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    365, and the '56 olds style hydromatic..... aint cheap but it aint suppose 'ta be, it's a caddy, otherwise all the riff raff would be rolling in them
     
  13. feeeser32500
    Joined: Sep 30, 2011
    Posts: 23

    feeeser32500
    Member
    from PA

    i am in the middle of putting a 500 in my 56 coupe deville and i can tell you it dont fit and takes alot of work to make it fit. ther is a long list of things that need to be done but in the end itll be well worth the efert. if it was easy everyone would do it. if you want the list so far let me know
     

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