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Technical 324 Olds to early Ford trans

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Torchie, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,011

    Torchie
    Member

    I want to mate a 1954-324 Olds engine to a early Ford trans. Has anyone out there done this and could share some insight. I have done multiple thread search's and got lots of great Olds info but nothing about this particular swap.
    My main concern is in getting the right fly wheel. 176 tooth count but other than that don't know much else.
    Any and all help. Links. Pics. Info. Would be great.
    Thanks as always...
    Torchie.
     
  2. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,473

    Anderson
    Member

    I recently searched for the same with not much info. Glad you started this thread. I do know you use a stock Olds/Cad flywheel, will need an adapter for the pilot, and bellhousing adapters are commonly available, Wilcap for example.

    What I can't find definite info on is what to use for the clutch. A later 10" flathead clutch disc and a stock Olds pressure plate?

    Is the Olds pressure plate exclusive or is there something else that is similar and easily available?
     
  3. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,197

    Koz
    Member

    I'm doing the same thing. I'm far from an expert on this but here's what I've come up with that works so far. The engine I'm using is a '56 324. I have an old Wilcap adapter plate, super simple, that puts the trans on the back of the block. This plate is essentially a piece of 3/8" stock drilled and shaped to fit and Blanchard ground to be parallel. I may make another that incorporates my sidemounts when I actually get the thing in the frame. I secured a new pilot bushing from Wilcap which adapts the Ford pilot to the Olds crank. My crank was drilled for the pilot bushing, my understanding is not all are. I did need to wipe a few thousands off the adapter to get it to draw into the crank using some homemade tooling to pull it in straight, but nothing drastic.

    I have a 145 tooth Scheiffer NOS, bronze insert flywheel for mine with an 11" organic disc and a stock Ford, '48 pickup style pressure plate. I'm using the generic "78" case trans stuffed with '49-'50 Ford sideshift gears. I am working on the box as we speak and it is vitally important for the trans to be super tight if you expect it to last in back of the torquey Olds. To make this combo work I'm using an earlier 303 starter that works with the 154 tooth ring gear. My Dad did a lot of these and unfortunately I can't ask him anymore but this was his favorite combo. I know there are others that will work.

    If anybody is interested I can post pics of any of this. The adapter is still available from Wilcap along with the pilot to the best of my knowledge.
     
  4. bgbdlinc
    Joined: Jan 11, 2002
    Posts: 522

    bgbdlinc
    Member

    Try contacting member 'Goatroper2' an expert on olds engines, etc. I got the following from him for my '58 371 and early Ford trans -starter swap housing, mini-starter, adapter, correct flywheel, etc.....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
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  5. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,011

    Torchie
    Member

    Thanks for the replys.
    My understanding is that the 56 and later crank ends were only drilled for a pilot hole if they were sticks from the factory.
    Yes the Wilcap adapters and pilot hole bearing are still available as Speedway has them in their current cataloug. Finding an original 176 tooth 324 Flywheel can be hard but they are still out there. Berendstens (sp) make a new flywheel for these engines.
    There appears to be some amount of wiggle room in regards to starter/Flywheel combos when using s different housing like shown in earlier post. And most use the mini starter due to clearence issues(i.e. Steering box) with the DS starter motor.
    This may all be a moot point for me now as I went to look at the 54-324 and it was not quite what was promised. But please keep the replies coming as I may find another or this thread will be of help to others.
    Torchie.
     
  6. von Dyck
    Joined: Apr 12, 2007
    Posts: 678

    von Dyck
    Member

    After you get it all together, drive it gently! Those little bitty gears will not take a lot of pounding.
     
  7. 1941coupe
    Joined: Jul 4, 2010
    Posts: 390

    1941coupe
    Member

    I did this swap last year on my 46 merc coupe 303 olds,got adaptor,steel 154 tooth flywheel,10 in borg beck clutch setup,pilot adaptor form wilcap and a mini starter from ross aka goatroper2..
     

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  8. I did one of these in pre-history. I had to move the starter to the right side of the car. I got the starter mount off a Caddy and had 1/4" trimmed off it and it bolted to the Olds. Don't know if this applies to your build.
     
  9. 2 nailbender
    Joined: Aug 13, 2006
    Posts: 108

    2 nailbender
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from iowa

    Lots of info. here search 'rocket, olds, 303, 324,' keep hunting it's there. You have to sift through a lot to find what you want.
     
  10. I did this swap in 1958. I put it in a 36 ford coupe. starter moved to other side other than that it was a straight forward swap. I was 50lbs lighter and had brown hair. (In a DA)
     
  11. BobF
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 230

    BobF
    Member
    from Poway, CA

    I put a 303 50 Olds in my A after the flathead V8 got tired back in late 50's. Used to be the cheapest swap to an early Ford with early trans and torque tube rear. I think the flat plate adapter was $14.95 w/pilot brg from Honest Charley Hisself. I used a stock early Ford truck 11" clutch/pressure plate, 36 Ford floor shift that was behind the flathead V8. Everything bolted up as I recall, no re-drilling anything.
     
  12. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,968

    dan c
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    koz spoke about using 49-50 side shift gears in an earlier trans. if you're talking about passenger car gears, could the zephyr gears work in a 49-50 passenger trans?
     
  13. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,197

    Koz
    Member

    I have put LZ gears in a sideshift box. Internally they are the same, (sideshift/78 case), to the best of my knowledge. If I remember correctly I had to do a bit fiddling with the shift forks, nothing major.

    As a side note, and not to hijack the thread, I am wondering just how reliable this combo has proven for some of the other guys on here. I've had great results running the '39 style box behind mostly SBC. This is my first Olds package and I'm learning a lot. I've beat the shit out of them including a fair amount of street racing and I've never broken either the trans or banjo rears. I do go through the trans and tighten them up considerably along with some work to the banjo including a "slider bolt" and safety hubs. I also always torque my axles to 200 ft. lbs. and I've never broken a key. My understanding is a lot of the trans complaints from the old days revolved around using junk yard transmissions that were already notoriously loose and expecting them to hold up in front of OHV motors.

    There are a lot of threads on here about this but it's always good to ask. I will add..... I've never found a trans more fun to drive than and early Ford box with some oats in front of it.
     
  14. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,197

    Koz
    Member

    I might add, it is not necessary to swap the starter side to side if you don't have clearance issues with the steering or other stuff. I think most of the guys running Vega boxes or cross steer are probably safe. I'm keeping my starter on the left side and it clears everything nicely. Also I need to comment, this is one heavy sucker! The aluminum starter bell saves about 30 lbs. over the stocker.
     
  15. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,011

    Torchie
    Member

    Thanks for the pic 1941. Mine is/was going into a 1941 Ford car chassis.
    What did you do about the"Ear" mounts that are on the Olds bell housing? In the pics it just looks like you are using front engine and rear trans mount. And did you have any issues with steering box clearance. Also do you have any pics of your front motor mount setup?

    One of my neighbors did a nailhead into a 40 Ford back in the day and he followed a "How-to" in one of the little pages. It showed dropping the steering box down one inch for clearance. Nailheads also have the DS starter on them.
    Thanks again for the replies and keep them coming...
    Torchie.
     
  16. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,473

    Anderson
    Member

    I ordered some clutch pieces today, will report back if they work or not.


    Posted using the Full Hot Rod H.A.M.B. App
     
  17. 1941coupe
    Joined: Jul 4, 2010
    Posts: 390

    1941coupe
    Member

    no ear mounts needed, I had a 40 ford that had the same setup no problem.mine being a merc I had to modify the columm w/ujoints to clear exhaust manifold,with a 41 chassis no steering problem that I know off, front mounts are bolt on,you will need to rotate the lower part of the fuel pump,or use an electric I have both
     

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  18. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,197

    Koz
    Member

    Side question.... I like to use a single stage fuel pump, (no vacuum function). on mine. Anybody know of a pump application that will work on the '56 324 to retain the mechanical pump?
     
  19. 1941coupe
    Joined: Jul 4, 2010
    Posts: 390

    1941coupe
    Member

    I have seen one with a homemade block off plate on top of pump,never seen a factory setup
     
  20. 1941coupe
    Joined: Jul 4, 2010
    Posts: 390

    1941coupe
    Member

    repro mounts are on ebay @$55.00 ...lookup oldsmobile hurst mounts 303 324
     
  21. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,516

    Paul
    Editor

    If Tony is watching maybe he can chime in, would a late 394 pump without vacuum work here?
     
  22. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,516

    Paul
    Editor

    The repo mounts on ebay are nicer than the originals
     
  23. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,197

    Koz
    Member

    I'm going to grab a 394 pump from my supplier and see if it matches up. Good idea! Also those are some sweet mounts! I can't whack a set out for that money so an order goes out tomorrow. Thanks for the "heads up". If the pump doesn't work, I need to get an order out to Tony at Ross Racing anyway for some other parts and I'll see if he has any suggestions.
     
  24. 1941coupe
    Joined: Jul 4, 2010
    Posts: 390

    1941coupe
    Member

    IM002372.JPG the trans will hold up fine if its rebuilt and tight,if your going to beat up on it all bets are off,i just rebuilt two 39 style trans one is open drive the other is closed.i know a guy upstate that's running a 324 in a 40 2dr and original driveline been in there for 50+ years
     
  25. cometman98006
    Joined: Sep 4, 2011
    Posts: 216

    cometman98006
    Member

    Back in 1956 I put a 324 olds in my 34 ford 5 window. With the adapter it bolted right in with no starter problems. The stock olds flywheel worked and I used a ford truck clutch. Be sure to get the clutch/flywheel assembly balanced. I decided to start racing mine and on the 2nd run the clutch came apart blowing off the back of the engine. I was doing a little over 100 MPH and almost to the traps-- Thank God I had built a good scatter shield, I was in college and had to sell the coup and always wondered if they got it back on the road again.
     
  26. Dago 88
    Joined: Mar 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,719

    Dago 88
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    29-08-2009 012.jpg I have this set up in my roadster very easy & strait forward. I used a '48 open drive with a column shift. Being right hand drive makes it a lot easier for starter motor clearance. View attachment 2788311 View attachment 2788311
     

    Attached Files:

    32 4door likes this.
  27. I got a 371 pump without the vacuum, that works on my 324.
     
  28. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,516

    Paul
    Editor

    What year 371?

    I've got a couple I'll look at this evening
     
  29. 1957. The number cast into the housing is 4317.
     
  30. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,011

    Torchie
    Member

    Side question for you Olds guys.
    So it appears that I scored the Olds 324 after all.:) It's a runner but I want to put it up on an engine stand to do a freshen up. Does the stand attach to the back of the block extension or should they be treated like a flathead and mounted from the side so there is no chance of cracking anything? I use a heavy duty 4 leg stand.
    Thanks for the replies and have a safe and Merry Holiday season.
     

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