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Projects 265 Chevy in '38 Ford

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Artiki, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. Artiki
    Joined: Feb 17, 2004
    Posts: 2,008

    Artiki
    Member
    from Brum...

    I posted a pic of this a few weeks ago and got enough interest to follow it up with more details. There's nothing ground-breaking here, just using readily available stuff to complete a conversion that has been done loads of times since '55, I guess.

    So, couple of years ago I bought myself a very solid and neat '38 Tudor to replace my AV8 phaeton. I just wanted a bit more comfort and leg room. This is what arrived...

    [​IMG]

    A neat and tidy sedan running a juice conversion (of sorts) and a stock 221 flattie.

    [​IMG]

    Drove well, looked good, and got me to Pendine Sands for the VHRA Amateur Hot Rod Races a few weeks later.

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    However, it needed a bit more oomph for my liking and whilst I've played with flatties - both four and eights - for a few years, I decided something else might be in order, particularly as the price of power for a flathead isn't going down...
    Last summer this came up on eBay over here. Been gone through, Crane cam installed, for roughly the same price as a pair of ali heads, intake and pair of carbs for the 221.

    [​IMG]

    Looking like it was freshly taken out of a brand new '56 Chevy, 265 cubic inches of overhead valve mayhem. Well, y'know...
    This is how it arrived via courier...

    [​IMG]

    And once unwrapped...

    [​IMG]

    It was at this point that I sat looking at it for a few weeks, wondering what on earth I had bought. They're not rare over here at all, but it's the first I've had. I was also thinking hard about transmission choices and how to mount it in the chassis. First up was obviously pulling the flathead out, leaving a big hole. A Hurst mount was chosen for ease of mounting, but it was also decided that I'd rewire the lighting system and refresh the steering components whilst I could get to them easily. Despite having a T5 on the workshop floor, I decided to rebuild the '38 trans too.

    [​IMG]

    Speaking of which, great service and advice from Van Pelt. The trans is shifting far better than before and isn't jumping out of 2nd any more. I'd never done a trans rebuild before either, yet VP's book made it very simple to understand.

    Once rebuilt and mounted to the engine via a Wilcap adapter, the engine dropped straight in. And in mean, straight in. I had to 'persuade' one small area of the firewall, but that was it. The mount landed directly on top of the old mount rubbers, the trans bolted straight back in, the torque tube engaged easily. It took less than 2 hours on my own, including making a cup of tea. It's almost like Henry planned for this swap...

    I did find that the 'C' spacers to be too small under the Hurst mount, so I made my own using thick wall box section with gained 5mm in height which was just enough to clear the top of the U-bolts.

    [​IMG]

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    What I didn't take loads of pictures of was the back ache involved in making the exhausts, especially around the steering, and I certainly didn't take any pics of the complete nightmare I was having with Rochester carb, nor the weeks of lost time tracing an ignition fault, to say nothing of having to scrap much of the juice brake conversion and start again, and run all new fuel lines from the tank. It has kicked my ass for much of this year.

    This pic is of an aborted test drive that ended in disgrace 50 yards from my garage door, needing me to be pushed back home by some friendly locals...

    [​IMG]

    Eventually all the faults were traced, including fitting an Edelbrock 500 in place of the Rochester and modifying the original oil bath air filter (it was very important to me that I used this) to sit on top of the E'brock and which has a K&N filter inside, and this is what I ended up with.

    [​IMG]

    I'm happy to stick my neck out and say that it just looks so right in there, like it was meant to be. Nothing against flatheads at all (I used to organise the Flathead Meltdown over here and regularly participate in the Banger meets when they first started) but this is making me question why I slogged away for so long on those old things.

    I wanted to get the timing and carb dialled in so I booked some rolling road time, and it ran up at 148hp and 208lb of torque, which I am more than happy with. Twice the horses as the stock 221 for the cost of some cast aluminium repro parts...

    [​IMG]

    So last weekend we hitched the trailer and took the '38 to Prescott Hill Climb for the VHRA GOW! weekender. The car performed faultlessly all the way there and back and even got a couple of runs up the hill.

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    I decided against going for a pair of 700s on the back and keep the car looking totally stock.

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    So yeah, there it is. My 265 Chevy-powered family cruiser '38 sedan. Well happy.
     
  2. Artiki
    Joined: Feb 17, 2004
    Posts: 2,008

    Artiki
    Member
    from Brum...

    If some of my pics aren't showing, click on the X, it'll redirect to my bucket account.
     
  3. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 2,397

    BuckeyeBuicks
    Member
    from ohio

    Can't go wrong with a sbc.!! Flatheads are OK if that's what you want but the cost of flathead parts and repairing all the cracks in them has went nuts. I think you made a great switch, drive it and change the oil once in a while and enjoy the heck out of it:D
     
  4. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,624

    raven
    Member

    When I was first building my roadster, my plan was to use a flathead Ford. I looked into the cost of rebuilding it and quickly decided that I wanted speed and power over ‘the look’. I’m glad I did. Your hot rod looks great and I bet you can drive it more without the worries attached to a flathead.
    r


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     

  5. Old-Soul
    Joined: Jun 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,614

    Old-Soul
    Member

    Wouldn't it be red? ;)

    Lookin' good nestled in there.
     
    Artiki likes this.
  6. I am just wrapping up this same conversion on my 39 Standard, just with a 283. What did you use for an alternator bracket? Just the stock generator mount modified to take the alternator? Wrapping up the last bits before I can start the motor and need to figure out how to get that mounted using 55 56 265 chevy exhaust manifolds. and clear the hood side.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  7. Artiki
    Joined: Feb 17, 2004
    Posts: 2,008

    Artiki
    Member
    from Brum...

    I bought a bracket from Danchuk then made a piece to match the gennie I was using. That crapped out quickly so I've thrown a modern alternator on for now, just to get me to winter.
     
    Nailhead Jason likes this.
  8. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    I am just curious, but are you running a mechanical fuel pump, and if so, does it fit without hitting the frame? Years ago, my cousin had a '37 with a 265 that had a little torch work done to clear it. @BuckeyeBuicks , the car I speak of was owned and built by Dean Pidcock, Keith Zimmerman's brother in law, and was supposed to be the first small block swap in the area, a '55 265.
     
  9. Artiki
    Joined: Feb 17, 2004
    Posts: 2,008

    Artiki
    Member
    from Brum...

    No, I ditched the mechanical pump for an electric mounted at the back. The old pump wouldn't clear the Hurst.
     

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