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Projects 53’ ford customline swap

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Iron crypt Steve, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Iron crypt Steve
    Joined: Dec 30, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Iron crypt Steve
    Member
    from CALIFORNIA

    Hey guys just im new to the page, and I hope I’m in the right spot, if I’m please please help direct me.

    anyways I’ve just recently picked up a very clean 53’ ford customline fordor sedan. Original flat head v8 still in it but not running. I was originally planning to swap to a fuel injected 302 but now have decided I’m not going to. I want something a bit bigger. My buddy had a 430ci motor and cruiseOMatic trans for sale from his 63’ continental, So of course I had to buy it and now after a few measurements it’s going to be a bit of a tight fit. I’m a certified welder by trade and build custom utility work trucks, so the fab shouldn’t be anything to hard for me, but I’ve never done a swap like this before, and was hoping to get some insight to what I’ll be in store for, or any tips that might help me or save me headaches.

    Thanks in advanced for the help, I look forward to your responses!
     
  2. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,399

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    The only thing I think you will have problems with would be the oil pan if you are retaining the original front suspension,the flathead had a center sump pan and I would think the 430 has a front sump. I have wanted to use one of those engines in a 55 or 56 with a 4 speed.
     
  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,917

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The big problem with the oil pan is that those engine were in only a very small handful of car models and oil pan choices are somewhere between slim and none. That and some parts may be now on the "rare part"s $$$ list. My mom had a 58 Mercury Colony park wagon with one in the early 60's and that thing would fly.
     
  4. Diavolo
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 810

    Diavolo
    Member

    I came across a web page a few years ago with a guy with a 53. He had a front sump and he just cut a big hole in the cross member and boxed it in for pan clearance. He was racing it on the 1/4 mile track so it had to be safe.
     
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  5. Iron crypt Steve
    Joined: Dec 30, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Iron crypt Steve
    Member
    from CALIFORNIA

    Yes the flat was a midsump and the 430 is a front sump, I was thinking just to nothch the cross member to clear the pan. Hopefully I’ll have the clearance to fit once I do that.
     
  6. Iron crypt Steve
    Joined: Dec 30, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Iron crypt Steve
    Member
    from CALIFORNIA

    Yeah parts for that motor are pretty slim, luckily my buddy actually has two good runners, I might buy the second one just for that reason. They are front sump pans but I should have the clearance once the crossmember is notched.
     
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  7. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,478

    Rand Man
    Member

    Keep us posted. I love those big Lincoln motors. Might be up for a swap in my ‘53.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  8. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 786

    flatheadgary
    Member
    from boron,ca

    a friend had a '53 and put a 385 series 460 in it. he notched the crossmember too. ran like stink too.
     
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  9. Iron crypt Steve
    Joined: Dec 30, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Iron crypt Steve
    Member
    from CALIFORNIA

    Well I got the old flatty out, notched the crossmember ALOT! And my first fit up seems to go really well! All the issues I saw originally seems to not really be an issue, now I have to slap the trans on and test fit together before I start boxing in and making my motor/trans mounts.
     
    Rand Man likes this.
  10. Iron crypt Steve
    Joined: Dec 30, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Iron crypt Steve
    Member
    from CALIFORNIA

    Progress so far
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,407

    Squablow
    Member

    That is a monster notch, you might consider welding in some vertical ribbing from side to side, inside the crossmember before you make up a top plate for it, it might add some cantilever effect for strength.

    Looks like you'll have really good steering clearance with this setup though, which is a problem with other engines, so that's a plus. And you can bolt the radiator in front of the core support for space as well, looks like it should work out fine.

    What rearend are you planning to use?
     
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  12. Iron crypt Steve
    Joined: Dec 30, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Iron crypt Steve
    Member
    from CALIFORNIA

    That’s exactly what I planned on doing, I’ve got a nice aluminum radiator for it also but going in front of the core support I’ve got to notch out the front valance a little bit so I can get the hood clearance, but the motor is so long the only place I can put the radiator is out in front so I’m ok with that. And I’m planning using an 89 fox body gt posi rearend I picked up for really cheap,I believe it has 3.08 gearing. I’m just going to swap axels so I can keep the stock lug pattern. Hang get a nice drive shaft made.
     
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  13. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 905

    birdman1

    We raced a 383& 430 in a dirt track car in the 60s. The early 58s had better heads with bigger valves. We used a isky ee-500 solid cam. Bitch would fly down the back straight
     
  14. Iron crypt Steve
    Joined: Dec 30, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Iron crypt Steve
    Member
    from CALIFORNIA

    Just a few update pictures on the 430 swap on my 53, crossmember is now all boxed in, motor mounts are made and tacked in place, motor is set perfectly centered and leveled out, with a nice 3 degree drive shaft angle, I need to still make a trans mount but that should be easy. Started mocking up my massive radiator last Friday, notched the front valance and dropped it into place, I had to cut out the front frame crossmember and lower that aswell. But she’s coming along very very.
     

    Attached Files:

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  15. Mopar Tony
    Joined: Jun 11, 2019
    Posts: 242

    Mopar Tony
    Member
    from SE Iowa

    Looking good
     
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  16. JUSTIN PERSINGER
    Joined: Apr 28, 2020
    Posts: 95

    JUSTIN PERSINGER
    Member

    Looking Good! I really liked the cross bracing on the cross member.

    Sent from my XP8800 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  17. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,110

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    It looks like you do nice work. I think the large cutout you made could still use some strengthening. It looks as though the front of the pan is slightly behind the front of the crossmember. I would look into either welding the cutout piece back in place or bridging the gap with a wider (& thicker) plate. It will help a lot for retaining the original strength. The point where the forces concentrate will be at each side of the cutout rather than the bottom....If you fashion something, even if it has to bulge out slightly in front to clear the oilpan, you will help ridgidity a lot. Looks good as far as your fab work skill.
     
  18. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    I was also thinking a bit about the crossmember, and wondered if you could plug weld the top plate to the cross bracing underneath, to tie the top and bottom together a bit more. My friend had a '53 with a '56 Buick engine in it way back when, so I'm really interested in how this goes. Keep on posting.
     

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