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Featured Projects 350 Chevy or 351w into a 50 merc coupe?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Sickboys50, Sep 19, 2022.

  1. 350 chevy

    78 vote(s)
  2. 351 Windsor or Cleveland

    48 vote(s)
  1. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,577


    Good enough, There is a lot to be said for keeping it simple. Going practical outweighs pleasing certain segments of car guys. From putting the 350 Buick and then 350 Olds in my old 51 I can say that some engines are just a hell of a lot simpler to install and with a sbc there is so much stuff available to make the whole deal a lot easier for a guy on a budget.
  2. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 2,212

    from Napa

    That is your OPINION- I will not resort to calling your OPINION "absolute crap"- but you are obviously part of "The Great Chebbrainwashed" lol... Careful getting so heated up with your
    "opinions", you might have a stroke :eek:

    55 Chebbie.jpg
  3. Los_Control
    Joined: Oct 7, 2016
    Posts: 809

    from TX

    Thats the main thing, enjoy the process & have fun.
    arkiehotrods and Sickboys50 like this.
  4. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,586


    Firstly, I'm not the one with his panties in a bunch, and not to get into a pissing match or who's got the neatest engine, but...Current count in my garage is one car with a Chevy (and, get ready, it's an LS), three with Chrysler Hemi's, one with a DeSoto Hemi, and one with a 302 HO. That happens to be in a Ford, so I'm not against a Ford in a Ford...:cool: Secondly, you can't seriously be advocating that first build for a 16 year old and dad who hasn't built a car, ever, is a swap on the magnitude of yours. Cubic dollar builds aren't what this guy is asking for, you and I both know a small block Chevy in an old Ford is hands down the easiest, least expensive, and best performance way to get into hot rodding. You can afford and have the skills to pull that off, he doesn't. That's not real world advice.
    osage orange, Crafty, ottoman and 5 others like this.
  5. You are NOT helping.
    ottoman and Baumi like this.
  6. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,586


    Baumi likes this.
  7. Los_Control
    Joined: Oct 7, 2016
    Posts: 809

    from TX

    Cmon guys, lets not be rude. @MeanGene427 has a opinion & is a very good one.

    If we are going to do this, lets do it right the first time!

    I remember when I was 16 years old, I had to remove the air cleaner on my 1951 ford V8 toss a rag over the carb to choke it enough to start in the winter.
    Would start & run all day after that... til the next morning.

    Looking at @MeanGene427 photo .... what a joke for a 16 year old building a first car.
    57JoeFoMoPar and Sickboys50 like this.
  8. Yah, let's try to keep it real for a first project and a 16 year old. This is why I do so little on the H.A.M.B. anymore. Seems most "Can you help me" runs clear off the rails with look at me, see how Kool I am keyboard Clowns.
  9. Sickboys50, Pist-n-Broke and X38 like this.
  10. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,449


    Check out kits for all options, heck, even might be one for a Mopar LA engine, not a clue. Ask about who’s used this kit, etc. and how it worked out.
    I don’t mind the LS route , but I do know (I make a living at work with my laptop) I don’t want to spend a week wiring one up and programming, etc to make it run right, etc.
    But at 60 years old, I like simple and the least amount of effort to get to the end result.

    I’d think since this is a father/son project, I’d want to do what can ever keep the son involved and turning a wrench, etc.

    If it’s hard for you, it’ll be worse for him.
    Sickboys50 and Pist-n-Broke like this.
  11. First project, go cheapest and easiest. That would most likely be a small block Chevy. Too many project never get done because someone put an ego into the decisions and makes thing more complicated than absolutely necessary..

    As a kid from the sixties, the small block Chevy motor was always the swap of choice because it was the cheapest and easiest. It is still the same sixty years later. After you get the first project on the road and run it for a while, then plan your next move. …but don’t do anything the hard way for your first project. Stalled projects kill interest.
  12. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,769


    Somehow, I think that SOHC '55 Chev isn't a low budget build.
    Crafty, ottoman, Baumi and 3 others like this.
  13. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,421


    500 Cadillac is the way to go
    Sickboys50 and anthony myrick like this.
  14. LOL! but it's a Merc, and not a Camaro!
    Sickboys50 likes this.
  15. Dan Coburn
    Joined: Jul 26, 2022
    Posts: 110

    Dan Coburn
    from Kelso WA

    I'm building a 41 super deluxe right now and doing the sbc. People from all over think I'm crazy for not putting a Ford in a Ford.....I just disregard their comments and tell them to worry about their own 40's build....the best part is the ones bitching don't even have one. (guys at work, friends etc) so it doesn't matter. All I know is a sbc is cheaper to work on, make good power if built right, and downright reliable. As mentioned it was thing to do back in the day anyways. You and the boy build whatever you want, after all it's his car. Have fun!
  16. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,586


    It was a great opportunity for him to show off his car and hijack the thread though. ;)
    Crafty, ottoman, Truckedup and 4 others like this.
  17. aussie57wag
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 409

    from australia

    Unless your on tight budget why limit your choices to regular common generic engines. To keep with an old school custom them you could use an early olds, Cadillac, hemi or y-block. Or a host of other cool old school engines. Built and maintained properly any one should give many miles of dependability.
    Yes the sbc was used in the 50s-60. But not if one wanted to go fast. Almost every other manufacturer had faster more powerful engines. But they were the easy way out. Look at old magazines see how many had other engines.
    Think Hirohata merc.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
    warbird1 and Sickboys50 like this.
  18. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,053


    The most DEPENDABLE car I ever had was an old '64 4-door Bel Air with a 2 barrel 283. The automatic choke still worked, I could pat it twice and if it would roll over it would crank, even in below 0F weather. It was dependable enough that I sold it to Daddy and Mama ran it on her mail route for years. These days a 283 doesnt make a lot of sense, you can build a 350 that is faster for less money. You might even find somebody with a 305 they'd give you to get out of their way.
    When I was 16 I didnt have my own car, I still had to borrow one of the old man's vehicles and I usually had to at least wash and vacuum it out for that privilege. It was a given that I did all the yard work and whatever else I was told to do around the place. I'm pretty sure everybody here remembers how proud they were to have that first car that they could call their own, no matter what their friends thought of it. I hope you and your son have a good time with the project. Good Luck!
    arkiehotrods likes this.
  19. Everyone is talking about money to me it's a question of what is the theme of the build?
    If you are going for 100% period correct and are building a late 50s to say a 1961 style build a Ford Windsor is out of the question they didn't come out until 1962 and the 351 W wasn't introduced until 1969.

    How much welding, fabrication experience do you have? I have never seen a engine swap that was a bolt in. (even a small block Chevrolet)

    Most bolt in kits are mass produced and are left long need finishing or are just flat out poorly built!

    To quote Jesse James "It's a direct bolt in...If you have access to a Bridgeport, a lathe, a welder and 20 years of fabrication experience!
    0NE BAD 51 MERC likes this.
  20. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 2,212

    from Napa

    Yep, the sbc was a favorite of folks who didn't have a lot of money- they were cheap at the junkyard. Guys with more than a couple nickles to rub together and wanted to go fast found a bigger Olds, Pontiac, Cad, Hammy, or even a Lincoln Y-block. Cheap and easy is just-eh. An SBC crate engine with a potato cam and a bunch of Speedway chrome and billet doo-dads is just boring and unimpressive- and belongs in a street rod, not a hot rod. Of course I like genuine boomers and shakers- not potato or Thumpr cams. My OPINION lol :p
    73RR, warbird1, Boneyard51 and 2 others like this.
  21. Sickboys50
    Joined: Sep 11, 2022
    Posts: 9


    There is really no theme or direction to adhere to....we simply want the most economical, most dependable motor+trans setup. He really has no dedication to any type of build as he is totally new to the experience so the nostalgia part is not an issue....the car will not be shown....its simply for fun and driving to meets and hang out. Be as much of a daily driver as possible. no other expectations outside of that. He just happens to love the 50 Merc and I want to continue to encourage that while not making the project too imposing.
  22. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,469


    Nice cammer engine. A down payment on a first house worth of Ford V8 sounds perfect for a high school kid on a limited budget, doing his first engine swap.

    What you're not realizing is that for all the dick-swinging by you in this post, every person with a running and driving car makes more horsepower than your car. My 350 chevy powered Olds. My 324 powered Olds. My 4 cylinder 2008 Ford. My zero-turn lawnmower. I could go on. All currently have more horsepower than you. Because when I get into those cars and turn the key, the engine starts, I put the car in gear, back it out of the garage and drive out into the world. Your car can't do that. Fact.

    When push comes to shove, getting your car out and on the road is the paramount objective. This kid is trying to put something together to look cool in his high school parking lot, in REALITY. I don't know what's more traditional than that. If your car isn't on the road, it exists either in theory or in potentiality. And if there is anything "lamer" than having a SBC in your car, it's having to whip out your iPhone at a show or cruise in to show pictures of your car and engine to the people with cars there because your shit doesn't run or isn't finished.
  23. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,469


    Ahhh, it was only a matter of time until you showed up here to offer your pearls of wis-dumb.

    You do realize the Hirohata build predated the first SBC by 2 years right?
  24. Mopar Tony
    Joined: Jun 11, 2019
    Posts: 445

    Mopar Tony

    Ok here is my opinion coming from a guy who doesn't have a ton of cash to toss around. I am a junk yard builder kind of guy. I don't buy much new stuff, everything I use usually comes from something else, I may rebuild it but it wasn't probably brand new.
    With that being said find a 77 to 88 caprice or delta 88. I just sold a 79 Delta 88 that ran and drove with good interior 350 olds motor and 350 trans for 1,000 bucks. you take one of these cars and either pull the motor from it or clip it at the fire wall to that merc and use EVERYTHING off of it. the 10 bolt axle, motor, trans, interior if you have to. You will save a ton of money and it will be a way easier project. Is this my favorite build to see? No it isn't, a period correct merc is my favorite, but it is affordable and a great driver. That is my two cents and that is what I am doing because I am feeding 3 kids and I want my merc done myself.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
    57JoeFoMoPar likes this.
  25. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 2,181


    Brand loyalty is alive and well in my neighborhood. If the Merc was sold to me with a sbc in it I'd have a chain on that orange lump as soon as it hit my driveway. If the 351 takes more effort to install so be it, its hot rodding and not everything is supposed to be easy.
  26. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,956

    from Brooks Ky

    The thing you should concentrate on is geting the engine into the car and getting it running and driving............

    That will give your son an incentive to do other things on it while he is driving and enjoying it. If it takes a long time because you get into too many other things you want to do to the car.....and it just keeps sitting while you work on it......your son will develop other interests. Concentrate on just getting it running and driving as quickly as possible.:)
  27. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 2,212

    from Napa

    A buddy just drug home a pretty solid '38 Ford, and 3 days later found a 5.0 V8 Exploder that runs great for $800- there's the entire driveline, including a nice narrow rear axle and OD trans
    osage orange and ffr1222k like this.
  28. THANK YOU, Bryan!!

  29. I bought my 50 Merc my sophomore year of High School. Same reason you and your Son are bringing yours back to life. It started me down the road I've walked since, a car nut, Car builder and Business Owner. To be worth a cent you must be able to read your potential customer's desire. Cost shouldn't be part of taking on the Job but you have to know how far you can go and not destroy their Wallet. I've done pretty good at that in that every Customer I've had over all my years still calls me a Friend. I read your direction in the first 2 posts you put up. Your not being Cheep just not making a big investment in something fun. That's a smart move with anything involving a kid. Dependable as possible is a must or it will fail to keep him vested in his desire to keep after it. I love Vintage stuff but know how hard some very simple pieces can be to get and also how a simple part can make a project sit for an extended period of time. Kids don't do well sitting and waiting. I can't think of a single part you can't get in 2 days for a S.B.C. Also if you don't mind running a Stick Shift you don't need to buy anything past the back of the block unless the S.B.C. don't come with a stick Flywheel. I don't know what part of the Country your in but if you'r close to the North Wet you could stop by and see first-hand what it takes to keep it simple.
    ffr1222k likes this.

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