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Projects 1957 Hillman Husky 392 hemi build thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HuskyV8, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    I've been trying on and off to put a 1957 Chrysler 392 hemi in to a Hillman Husky. Figured I'd get it up on here to document what I've done so far. You can see additional photos of this and other Rootes cars (Sunbeams, Hillmans and Humbers) on www.dougscars.com

    My project started out with a 1959 Hillman Husky. I quickly found out there would be many challenges getting the 392 in there. The 59 has a rise in the frame that would interfere with the exhaust manifolds so I began looking for alternatives. I'm not that experienced so my skills limited what could and could not be done. What I can't do was farmed out to local builders or fab shops.

    Here are some photos of what I started with. The ultimate goal is not a trailer queen but a car I can drive anywhere and not be worried about it getting a scratch or ding. Current plans call for the body to remain as is with faded paint and primer showing through the worn paint.


    These pictures are of a the 59 Husky body I started with. Found it just north of San Francisco.



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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
  2. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    I found an NE57 Chrysler for sale in Southern California so I went to have a look at it. It was in a Jeep CJ hooked up to an aluminum T-10. It had farm implement tractor tires all the way around. The motor was purple metal flake with white valve covers.

    I bought it and loaded it on the trailer and brought it home. Sure enough at the gas station a guy asked me...."that thing got a hemi in it?" I laughed and said it did. The motor was all there but stuck. A little PB Blaster freed it right up. Do you know how far you can shoot that stuff out of a spark plug hole? I got it all over the stucco on the side of the garage. What a mess. Glad it wasn't my house:)

    Here's the motor on the way to Kodenko Automotive in Santa Paula. The 260 is also going to be rebuilt for a friend's Sunbeam Tiger.

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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
  3. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    I bought one of those plastic replica blocks from Pyr. I figured I didn't want to be lifting 700 lbs in and out of an engine compartment. It's nice because everything bolts up to it as if it were a real block.

    I soon realized the 59 Hillman was too rusty so it became a mock-up car to see if it was possible to get the 392 in there. I know it can be done because I've seen pictures of it. I wanted to know if I could do it. Here are some shots of the plastic motor in the engine compartment. Like that pvc sprinlker pipe as a crank? This has the old water pump on it and it still fits in there. As you can see I've removed most of the sheet metal in there.

    Interesting side note....I had previously sold this Hillman on eBay for $261. The buyer sent money but never showed up to collect it.


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    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  4. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    Since the first body was too rusty I began the search for another. I found one in Fresno. This was the panel version so it was extra cool. It had been in the same family since 1968. I soon had it on the trailer on the way home to Morgan Hill. I love the steering wheel.

    IMG_6803 Towing to Oakland.jpg husky 2.jpg IMG_3397.jpg IMG_6806.jpg IMG_3405.jpg IMG_6809.jpg IMG_6811.jpg IMG_6812.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
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  5. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    Not long after getting it home I discovered that it was going to be too much of a challenge for me to get the 392 in that engine compartment. A chance encounter with Steve (The Soda Jerk Works) who had a 56 Hillman Husky revealed that the earlier husky had a flat frame and a longer engine compartment. The flat frame would make fitting an exhaust and front end much easier and would allow the 392 to sit lower.

    I now was searching for an earlier 1954-1957 Mk Husky. I'd seen many of the later cars but hardly any of the earlier variety.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  6. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    After months searching Craigslist I found a Husky in a desert in Southern California. I went to look at it a few days later....trailer behind truck so I knew I would probably come home with it. It was rough but I made a deal and loaded it on the trailer. The story goes the previous owner put a Volvo motor in it and ran around town with it. Some kids stole it and ran it in to a tree.

    Check out the custom rear end. This proves a little bailing wire, chain, and some wood can fix anything. Not sure what they were trying to do though.

    DSC00152[1].JPG IMG_6864.jpg IMG_6865.jpg DSC00218[1].JPG IMG_6866.jpg DSC00153[1].JPG DSC00157[1].JPG DSC00222[1].JPG IMG_6741.jpg IMG_6742.jpg IMG_6745.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  7. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    I began the long process of stripping the new body. It had a Volvo motor that had to come out of it. Once that was done I stripped the rest of the parts. After looking at the car for a few months I decided it was just too rough to use as a platform for my 392.

    By now my 392 was done so I had to find something to put it in. I had looked at a 57 Husky years before but couldn't remember where it was located. I hadn't paid too much attention to it because at that time I was looking for a 59 Husky.

    I searched the internet for the ad for the 57 but couldn't find it. I remembered the car was in Alameda so I started looking at Google satellite maps with the hopes of finding the car in a picture. Sure enough after about an hour I found what looked like the car. The satellite image even had the name of the business. I called the guy and told him how I'd been trying to find him for years. When I told him how I found him he said you're not a stalker now are you? At that point he still had the car but had grown fond of it and didn't want to sell. He had it suspended on one of those Home Depot type racks and liked to look at it. I offered him my panel Husky in trade and he went for it.

    A week later I trailered the panel Husky to Alameda and met up with the guy for the swap. Before starting the forklift he offered me a swig from a bottle of Jack Daniels. I declined as it was only 11 in the morning. I had to hold out until at least lunch time. He turned and poured some of the JD in to the carb of the forklift. I knew the color looked off..it was gasoline in a JD bottle. I'm still not sure if he would have let me drink it.

    Here are some shots of how I found the car.

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    Motor done by Kodenko Automotive ready to go!

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    Timing cover, valley pan, and intake manifold from Hot Heads

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    That's a Ford 260 sitting next to the 392. The Ford looks tiny. You can see the nose of my American Bantam Speedster in the background. A whopping 45 cubic inches of power.

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    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  8. Thumper
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,611

    Thumper
    Member

    When ya' gotta have a Husky...nothin' else will do...! :D
     
  9. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    I got the blue Husky home and started taking inventory. It was full of junk. I found out why it was off the road…..there was a large hole in the block. The more and more I looked at the car the more I realized that this one was no better than the previous Husky.
    IMG_6814 bringing home.jpg IMG_6822.JPG IMG_6862.JPG IMG_6863.jpg IMG_6821.JPG IMG_6818.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  10. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    I decided to plow forward with the car since there just weren't any better cars out there.

    I test fit the engine before any cutting. It looked like a better fit than the later 59 Husky. Strange...the 392 mock up motor doesn't look too big or out of place between those frame rails.

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    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  11. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    This was the level of rust I was dealing with. The gas tank was gone. So was the area around it. That pile of debris on the floor was a lot of rusty metal. It was time to find a new body.

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    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  12. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    While I was looking for another body I had been busy trying to find other parts for the build. The wheels I decided on were AR magnesium 15 x 8 for the back and 15 x 6 for the front.

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    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  13. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    I know it's not traditional but I found an IFS for the front and soon found the 15 x 6's wouldn't work. The 15 x 8's wouldn't work either because I was going to use an IRS and didn't want to have to tub the wheel wells. I gathered all my spare wheels and worked a trade with Greg Shelton. I think I traded 10 wheels plus cash for 4 good wheels.

    Greg had a set of 15 x 4 American Racing 200S wheels that were perfect for the car. He also had a set of 15 x 7 of the 200S wheels for the rear end.

    200s.jpg IMG_7036.jpg IMG_7038.jpg IMG_7840.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  14. Phillips
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,261

    Phillips
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  15. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    The IRS was from a Maserati. Very much like a jag rear end. It was a 3.54 posi unit so it would be perfect.

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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  16. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member


    GO HAWKS...my dad went there.
     
  17. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    After a year long search I found another Husky for sale. This was in Washington....about 800 miles away. I didn't have many options so I hooked up the trailer again. It looked ok in the pictures. I left at 4 in the morning and was in Washington about 4 in the afternoon.

    The car looked pretty good but wasn't perfect.

    6-23-10 045.jpg 6-23-10 053.jpg 57 Hillman Huskey 006.jpg Copy (1) of 57 Hillman Huskey 001.jpg husky 4.jpg husky 5.jpg 6-23-10 060.jpg selling stuff 009.jpg selling stuff 0080.jpg husky 12.jpg 57 Hillman Huskey more 015.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  18. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    Well I wasn't going to drive 800 miles and come home empty handed. I made the deal and loaded the car up for the long return home. I got home around 5 am. Never slept...drove straight through so the total trip was about 25 hours.

    Husky 2.jpg husky 3.jpg husky 13.jpg husky 14.jpg husky 15.jpg IMG_7811.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  19. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    A few more from the day I brought it home.


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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  20. farmer12
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 7,699

    farmer12
    Member

    Yes! Great story so far and looking forward to this build. And especially the 392! Subscribed!
     
  21. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    These are some shots of the initial clean-up. Lots of junk to clean out. Even rubbed out the paint a little to see what it would do.

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    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  22. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    Now that it was cleaner the motor had to come out. This one didn't have a big hole in the side.

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    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  23. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    I learned you start a project with the wheels you intend to use. That way you can figure out how much everything gets narrowed. I started taking measurements of where the original wheels were located so I could put the AR wheels in about the same spot. This meant I also had to get measurements of where the fenders were. I used the garage floor to make all my markings. It seemed to work.

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    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  24. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    I found a Heidt's IFS at an estate sale. Got the complete unit for $500. Getting it on the car was beyond me so I took it to Pacific Fabrications.

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    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  25. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    more IFS shots. When I called Heidt's to see how much I could narrow the front end they told me to call a guy named Doug Lyle...because he could tell me how to narrow it for the Husky. I told them that I was Doug Lyle. I had put a 302 in a Husky before so they did a web search and found me and assumed I could help.....I wish.

    I think we ended up taking 8" out of the front end crossmember. Fatman fabricated a rack also narrowed 8"

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    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  26. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    Here's the positioning of the wheels. I knew it probably would have been simpler and smarter to go with a complete frame from Art Morrison etc....but this is the way I choose to do it. Like they used to in the old days of making it work with what you had.

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    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  27. HuskyV8
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 534

    HuskyV8
    Member

    Now that the front was done it was time to concentrate on the rear end. I needed to figure out how much it needed to be narrowed. I went down to Home Depot and got some 1/2" pipe and some flanges to try and figure it out. I came up with what I thought looked good and took some measurements. looked like the rear would have to be narrowed to 48"-49". This is about at the limits of what you can narrow a Maserati/Jag IRS.

    IMG_8258.JPG IMG_8259.JPG IMG_8261.JPG IMG_8263.JPG IMG_8266.JPG IMG_8267.JPG IMG_8268.JPG IMG_8151.jpg IMG_8152.jpg IMG_8159.jpg IMG_8176.JPG IMG_8177.JPG IMG_8178.JPG IMG_8153.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  28. flynstone
    Joined: Aug 14, 2005
    Posts: 1,564

    flynstone
    Member

    here is a pic of my Hillman rear end, ford shortened, the car has a buick v6 and a Toyota frt clip
     

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  29. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 10,170

    AHotRod
    Member

    So....... How many Hillmans do you have now?
     
  30. flynstone
    Joined: Aug 14, 2005
    Posts: 1,564

    flynstone
    Member

    lookin for nice rims like yours
     

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