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53 Plymouth v-8 conversion

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by alfonsothefons, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. alfonsothefons
    Joined: Jul 15, 2011
    Posts: 45

    alfonsothefons
    Member
    from Georgia

    i am pulling my flat6 and hy -drive this fall and looking for tips on dropping car on a 99 durango frame or
    installing durango drivetrain in car .
    i have the 5.9 in durango with the 4 speed auto and leaf sprung rear and front disc
    pros and cons thanks
     

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  2. 35desoto
    Joined: Oct 6, 2009
    Posts: 765

    35desoto
    Member

    First off good choice - real happy to see a mopar engine go into a mopar - no more belly button engines!!!!!!
    Everything will need fabricating esp engine and gearbox mounts
    Do search on here for some of the 46-48 mopar engine swaps - the suspension setup is similar and the engine bay space again similar
    Steering box cleareance will an issue yet not insurmountable
    There are others on here who will chime in with some real good advise
     
  3. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 482

    proartguy
    Member
    from Sparks, NV

    Here is an article I wrote about swapping a 318 and torqueflite into a ’51, pretty much the same as a ’53.
     

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  4. ironandsteele
    Joined: Apr 25, 2006
    Posts: 5,327

    ironandsteele
    Member

    ..... what?

    why go through all that trouble? durangos are pieces of shit, pure and simple. you'd be ruining a perfectly good car, which looks to be pretty nice. if you want simple and reliable, throw a small block in it and be done with it.
     

  5. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,947

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    First of all, Durangos are NOT pieces of shit.....doubt the poster ever actually owned one. I put a 100,000 on one, a lot of that towing, and found it to be an excellent vehicle.

    Nevertheless, trying to put your '53 Plymouth body (a model I have owned a few of) on a Durango chassis is a totally impractical idea for a variety of reasons. Too many to enumerate here.

    The rear end (axle assembly) is waaaaay too wide for your car. And if it is the 9.25 version, waaaay too heavy as well. In either case, 8.25" or 9.25", they are six lug ( 6 on 4.5" BC) and your choice of wheels is fairly limited compared to the 5 on 4.5 or 5 on 4.75 BC's.

    The Mopar Corporate 8.25" inch axle is a good choice and is found under virtually all versions of rear drive Mopar cars and Jeep Cherokee/Liberty in narrower widths than Durango and with 5 on 4.5" BC. There are also other good choices, a Ford 8" being one of them.

    Ray
     
  6. ironandsteele
    Joined: Apr 25, 2006
    Posts: 5,327

    ironandsteele
    Member

    no, i never have owned one. but i've had to repair PLENTY. they are crap in my opinion. and yes, that was my point, it's not very feasible to do this conversion.
     
  7. I'm getting so every time I read where someone wants to do a chassis swap, I want to go to their house and cut the late model chassis into pieces and hide parts of it.

    In any case, depending on what year Durango we're talking, you may need to either come up with intake/carb/distributor to run it sans computer, or you may not be able to do that, since a lot of later transmissions are also run by the computer. That alone zaps the feasability right out of it, before we even get into will it fit, how do I make body mounts, how do I hang the radiator support, and that it will sit like an SUV when you're done instead of a car....
     
  8. alfonsothefons
    Joined: Jul 15, 2011
    Posts: 45

    alfonsothefons
    Member
    from Georgia

    the durango is my personal suv of last 9 years its had is moments but cannot fault it,
    most problem are owner originated and cannot blame truck for it.
    ,and i am planning just a straight swap ecu and all stock inj and tranny ,and if i cannot use chassis so be it.
    there is enough front disc kits to change the front over,and i really do not care if i have headers or not.
    i will shop rear ends no big deal.
    i will not cross breed the car with a piece of poop chevy or ford. to be like the masses that sub everything out and the only strain they suffer is the pen against checkbook. thanks
     
  9. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,551

    73RR
    Member

    There really is little to be gained by swapping frame assemblies. The stock frame is quite decent for all but the most serious racing applications and as you have found the front disc swap is pretty easy.
    The early Dodge and Plymouth are getting more popular and there are many threads detailing the swap like proartguy shows.

    .
     
  10. cowboy1
    Joined: Feb 14, 2008
    Posts: 914

    cowboy1
    Member
    from Austin TX

    Don't do it! If your chassis is in good shape use it. A engine swap is ok. My chassis was totally rusted out so I have no choice. It's a lot of work. Your Plymouth looks 1000 time better than mine did. There are disk brake conversion kit out there to help bring it up to modern brakes. you can even swap out the rear for better brakes and keep it matching your engine swap but please don't swap out the frame. it's not worth it IMHO.
     
  11. alfonsothefons
    Joined: Jul 15, 2011
    Posts: 45

    alfonsothefons
    Member
    from Georgia

    i tend to agree from what i read it has 4 cross members , using the a body 8.75 rear with 3.42s
    and freshened up 360 with the 4speed auto
    i do not plan to pass the 500hp mark anytime soon,
    i might in couple of years if i can afford it
    and put a roots blower but streetable,
    and i figure when i do
    i will be ready for viagra also

    i have bookmarked your blog a while back my hat off to you and your 53
    cowboy 1
    that's what sparked the notion
     
  12. The harness transfer isn't a bad idea, if you can get it apart carefully there's no reason not to use it. May have to get creative to set up the fuel tank, though.

    Next problem you're going to run into, you'll have to come up with an electronic speedometer for it. If you like the look of aftermarket gauges, you're good, presuming there's one that will fit this - I know '50 has round gauges and '54 has a specific cluster. It's not a deal breaker, but another pain in the butt.
     
  13. NateSedan
    Joined: Jan 12, 2008
    Posts: 59

    NateSedan
    Member
    from Oregon

    I agree with the above who say keep the original chassis. There is really nothing wrong with them. Disc Brakes are easily done if you want to.
    As far as drive train goes we are doing a 318 into a '50 plymouth right now and the biggest issue is the steering box. It is tight but can be done. Rack and pinion is also an option but we are sticking with the original unit. We have also decided to do a tilt front end to make access later a little easier.
     
  14. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,706

    n847
    Member

    Yeah keep the original chassis! Oh and Durango's suck! I can personaly introduce you to 3 people who can vouch for that!
     
  15. Stan Back
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 963

    Stan Back
    Member
    from California

    Well this ought to start a disagreement. My '54 2-door is channeled 4" over a '82 El Camino frame. For $250. Disc brake conversion, correctly proportioned rear brakes, and a Turbo 350 to hook the 354 Hemi to. Oh sin of all sins! Road race rear coils, heavy duty front spring with one coil (as I remember) chopped. Nice and low, handles great, looks good, too.

    Less money than a disc brake conversion, too.
     
  16. alfonsothefons
    Joined: Jul 15, 2011
    Posts: 45

    alfonsothefons
    Member
    from Georgia

    here is another option a fella at car show offered a dodge 241 hemi with tranny
    will it bolt in ? or totally different beast in plymouth chassis vs dodge
     
  17. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,551

    73RR
    Member

    Although closer, it will still require some work. The advantage is that the 53 Dodge had the 241 so you are 'close'. Hopefully, the 241 comes with the exhaust manifolds. Here is a pic of a 53 Dodge with 241 that was in the shop awhile back, and yes, it is a tight as it looks.....:cool:

    [​IMG]

    If the 241 needs much work then you may want to go back to the 318-360. The EarlyHemis can suck up lots of cash. Same for the old trans, even with the 241 I'd recommend a late TF.

    .
     
  18. alfonsothefons
    Joined: Jul 15, 2011
    Posts: 45

    alfonsothefons
    Member
    from Georgia

    it has 30k mileage and was running when pulled ,fellah put 360 in it
     
  19. nomads reedley
    Joined: Nov 13, 2008
    Posts: 7

    nomads reedley
    Member

    How about a 340 - 6pk and 4 speed ? Cool................
     
  20. alfonsothefons
    Joined: Jul 15, 2011
    Posts: 45

    alfonsothefons
    Member
    from Georgia

    i have a 340 but it is a waste to put in anything but a period car
    its a 71 block from a cuda and hard to find
    the 360 are a dime a dozen and you can mess with them break em toss them away
    and perfect for mopar rodding
     
  21. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,947

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Way back in 1962 I put a 270 (dimensionally the same as 241) Dodge Hemi in my buddy's '53 Plymouth Convertible. While very similar, the Dodge chassis is wider behind the front crossmember and the steering boc is outboard from the centerline compared to the Plymouth. What I did was cut the inner "C" channel section of the frame ahead of and behind the steering box and pushed the inner "C" section into the outer, therby narrowing the rail and moving the steering box to the left sufficiciently to clear the starter. I then boxed in the notch and put a 1/2" gusset or "fishplate" on the outside the rail to add some stength to the narrowed portion.

    This swap is what led to the new and improved 2nd version of my homemade floor shifter for the Mopar selector type trans described in another post.

    Ray
     
  22. alfonsothefons
    Joined: Jul 15, 2011
    Posts: 45

    alfonsothefons
    Member
    from Georgia

    to install or pull do i remove front clip to expose engine or pull from top?
     
  23. yetiskustoms
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,930

    yetiskustoms
    Member

    please let me see this car!!!


     
  24. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,947

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL


    I'd pull the front clip. Not that difficult......only a handful of bolts down each side of the fenders at the cowl and one or two under the radiator core support. For an hour or two's work it raelly opens everything up to see well and access to work on it.

    Ray
     
  25. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,551

    73RR
    Member


    I agree. That is how we got to the 241 in the previous photo.

    .
     
  26. alfonsothefons
    Joined: Jul 15, 2011
    Posts: 45

    alfonsothefons
    Member
    from Georgia

    somebody had to ask for pics:D
    i think you mean the el camino swap
    but heres mine
     

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  27. I actually had a 53 Plymouth Hardtop when I was 15...they're pretty rare cars....and cool looking too.

    As for the swap....IMHO, doing a whole frame swap is not the way to go. Unless you've done this before (like...several times), the end result ends up just not looking right.

    If you're set on using a MOPAR powerplant, that's cool, but scrap the frame swap idea and get yourself a 318 or if you're wanting to go fast, a Hemi, fabricate some motor mounts and a transmission mount.....find a 9 inch rearend, have a driveshaft shop make you a driveshaft and bam, you're off to the races.

    An IFS would make it ride nicer but that old Plymouth would probably be fine like it is also.

    Of course me being the guy who refuses to follow the herd....I'd probably drop a hopped up slant six in that bad boy and REALLY be the oddball. Don't you know that would have them scratching their heads when you popped the hood!

    You know if you get a 76 slant motor, they have an uber-simple little electronic ignition system in them from the factory....hmmm....a slant six in a 53 Belvedere....I wonder what happened to that 53 Belvedere of mine. :)
     
  28. alfonsothefons
    Joined: Jul 15, 2011
    Posts: 45

    alfonsothefons
    Member
    from Georgia

    i had a 62 lancer before this
    i like the slant six but hate the distributor placement
    and will never deal with that pain again
     
  29. yeah....but just think of the extra room he'd have in the engine bay of that 53.
     
  30. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,859

    Frankie47
    Member
    from omaha ne.

    These cars came with an ifs from the factory...so yeah I guess the old plymouth is happy already.:)
     

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