Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects Best economic drive train build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Johnny Vannz, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    Car: 1950 Plymouth Special Deluxe
    Current drivetrain is good. Stock 218 flathead 6 with a 3 on the tree.
    I would like to build something as a transplant just to have something fresh just in case or maybe to swap and then rebuild the current drivetrain. No matter what, I would like to rebuild that one at some point with a dual carb setup and a split exhaust but the Thing is, I don’t want to build 2 of those as it doesn’t seem cost effective for a poor boy. While shopping for something to rebuild, what would be your advice for the easiest swap with readily available parts that are lower in cost? A later model straight 6 with accompanying trans or? I am not interested in power, in fact prefer an economical and reliable build over a v8 build all day.

    More about the car:
    I have been working on the interior. Did the door panels but still have to finish the rears. Tinted the quarter glass. Paint the wheels red and beauty rings are on the way. Got tassels in the windshield and hula chick is ready to install. The car came with the stock block out plate for the stereo and so I just scored a nice Bluetooth set up and bolted a tablet mount to the empty lighter socket for my tunes in my iPad. Making a cool windshield visor setup soon I’m designing that I can’t wait to share with y’all once I have the cash to get the materials. I did also get some headlight visors on her. Brand new tires so I don’t want to buy new ones.. may go with the flex seal route rather than port a walls... anyone wanna chime in on that?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,660

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    @Johnny Vannz

    I'd recommend a Dodge or (later) Plymouth 230 to build. The extra cubic inches are a decent gain, percentage wise. You could do it with you current block and a 230 crankshaft. Some accommodation in either the rods or pistons will have to be made due to the stroke increase.

    A Chrysler flathead six of 250 or 265 cubic inches can also be fitted, but they are longer than your current engine and require radiator movement and a clearance notch in the front crossmember for the oil pan. However, based on your statements, I think the 230 is your best bet.

    I have one in my '49 Plymouth 2 door and it’s a great driver for mild cruising. I installed a '55 OD trans which helps on the highway.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
    firstinsteele, Mimilan and ekimneirbo like this.
  3. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,619

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    There are lots of ways to look at what you want to do.
    One thing is that it seems to be a pretty decent car body wise and staying with Chrysler stuff might be a good way to go.
    If you go with a 6 cylinder, I'd definitely keep it some Chrysler engine.

    You can do like most people and put a smallblock Chevy with an overdrive . Still get pretty good mileage and be able to cruise.

    The thing is that if you go with a six, stick with something from Chrysler, maybe a later overhead engine and some type of overdrive. If you go with a V8 almost any brand is OK but Chevy is the least expensive usually.
     
  4. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,353

    el Scotto
    Member
    from Tracy, CA

    I put a slant six/three speed stick/Dodge Aspen rearend into a '50 Dodge Coronet sedan and it was hoot.

    dodge.JPG
     

  5. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 698

    Mimilan
    Member

    This ^^^^ stay with the "small" or "short" 230 .
    You can pony up some $$$ for a finned alloy head [not cheap] and dual carbs and split exhaust manifold and a good free flow exhaust.
    Get a good cam grind [short duration as these engines don't rev] and you'll be good for 150hp to 155hp.
    Compare that with a Chrysler 4.0 six from an '87 Cherokee which has 173 hp.

    Back in the 60's my father in law used a 230 in a dirt stock car.
    The block was "decked" so the pistons were above the deck. [there is no such thing as piston to valve contact on these]
    Then 0.050 was milled off the head.
    If you can find a "P2 head" # 632955-2 it has a combustion volume of 89.5 cc
    or better still a 1958 " LD1 head" # 1676337-2 has a combustion volume of 75.4 cc.

    You want an "honest" 9.0:1 compression

    If you go too high in valve lift or mill too much off the head, you'll need to flycut valve reliefs

    Mate the engine to a modern 5 speed trans [T5]

    If you want to go modern six use a Chrysler 4.0 six from a Jeep Cherokee.
     
    Hnstray and ekimneirbo like this.
  6. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,592

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    What about a Jeep 4.0 I6 out of a Cherokee? Great, durable motors, with a Chrysler connection. You could use the FI or adapt a carb pretty easily. I had a Grand Cherokee with one and an overdrive automotive, it’d knock down 25 mpg in the brick Jeep. Plenty of power, too.
     
    flynbrian48 and ffr1222k like this.
  7. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,660

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    ‘re the Jeep 4.0 mentioned in above posts......

    The Jeep 4.0 six is an often overlooked engine when people are looking for an in-line. I have years worth of experience with them and they are TOPS in my book. If a person wants even more from it, they can be stroked to right at 5.0.

    But even stock, the HO 1991 and up, is rated at 190 hp.

    Very durable engines and a variety of transmission have been fitted, both stick and automatic.

    While the good ‘ol slant six has been a dependable engine for decades, the 4.0 Jeep would be my choice for a swap. Just an opinion......nothing more.

    Ray
     
    RMONTY and ekimneirbo like this.
  8. rustydusty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2010
    Posts: 1,730

    rustydusty
    Member

    I had a 318 with a 727 trans 0519181041.jpg in my '50 Dodge, lots of power, and reasonable gas mileage.
     
    Elcohaulic and caseywheels like this.
  9. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,895

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If you can find one of the 2WD Cherokees, with the AX-15 5-speed, grab that, too.

    Maybe even the rear axle. It is about 58" wide, and has the same bolt pattern.

    Come to think of it, grab the driveshaft, too. You can have it shortened to fit.
     
    Hnstray and ekimneirbo like this.
  10. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,895

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Maybe even the whole pedal assembly, brake booster, master cylinders, etc.

    Heck, get whole one, and start transplanting parts. They make them for 15-straight years, and many were fleet vehicles. If you live where rust is a thing, you should be able to score one, cheap.

    I sold my last Cherokee, with 275,000 miles on it, with its original engine, never apart, with still good compression, running fine.
     
    Boryca, Hnstray and ekimneirbo like this.
  11. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,619

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Yeh, the Jeep with the 5 speed.........You can buy them cheap, and build them cheap and it would keep the nostalgic look.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  12. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,895

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yup. Easy to get a 4-barrel manifold for one, too!

    The second to last generation ones, up to 1996 used a locked in distributor as a position sensor, as well as distribution (ECM controlled timing). You can take that right out, and run a regular distributor, and hold down.

    Come to think of it. I think I have a last-generation 4.0 EFI manifold in storage.

    It has a center big enough to be milled, drilled, and tapped, such that it could take a 4-barred, or a couple 2-3 two barrels, maybe.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
    Hnstray likes this.
  13. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,425

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    The Pontiac 389 with a Turbo400 is the best bang for the buck..
     
    Blues4U likes this.
  14. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    Thats definitely more along the lines of what i was think
    This sounds like the path for me. Looking around kind of quickly it looks as though the 230 parts are at least a bit easier to find. Curious as to where you would source full rebuild kits for one if you had to?
    In considering your transmission i would love to have overdrive, of course, but I am also okay with the current transmission. Is your 55 trans just a 3 speed with something like the BW overdrive setup? With the cable and electron solenoid? If so is that run on 6v or have you converted to 12?
     
  15. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    hows that?
     
  16. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    In my mind i was wondering how well a 4.0 would work/fit.. ? I love those engines but would love to stay with a 3 on the tree... I remember some old FSJ's having 3 on the tree manuals but cannot remember what they were paired with? What say you about the 4.0 and a 3 speed? How does that look ?
     
  17. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,352

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    For your needs a flathead Dodge or Plymouth 230 would be ideal. The 1957 - 59 model had the best high compression head, most HP, some even had a 2 barrel carb.

    There is a lot that can be done to get some extra power without spending a lot of cash. Mill head for more compression, modify the intake for 2 carbs, split the stock exhaust manifold for duals, shave down the flywheel for whippier acceleration, get a reground cam. The last 230s had 132HP, you could get that up to 150 or 175 without too much trouble, and not over match your stock drive train, brakes, etc.

    The 250 or 265 Chrysler/DeSoto engine will fit but is a little longer, you need to move the front motor mounts 2" forward and move the radiator .

    Look around, you may be able to find an engine cheap from someone who is doing an engine swap, or from a junkyard, etc. and rebuilt it at your leisure. Parts are cheap and easy to get, and the engine is not hard to work on.
     
  18. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    Yeah I think the 230 is looking like my best bet for sure. I have questions about the jeep 4.0 but only because i am curious. I want a flathead just cause the car has a flathead, but in searching for parts the 218 is neither easy to source or cheap. Sounds like the 230 from your thoughts and a couple other peoples, will be exactly that.
    I appreciate the input.
     
  19. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,962

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    23052-1224350258-2417958f3780726486eb7b02284c64d3.jpg
    This had a I6 from an old mail Jeep. Stabbed a big cam in it, had the head redone, a Clifford 4bbl intake with a 2bbl Demon carb and a stainless Jeep 4.0 header. The stock 3spd was rebuilt and had a converter made. Ran like all hell was breakin' loose. Not really an economical engine even in a 1500lb car but damn it was fun!
     
  20. Where is home, Johnny?
    A little story regards the plymouth engine. Way back last century, when I was young and dumb [er ], I owned a 1947 Dodge 1/2 ton PU. With an engine from a 1949 Plymouth. One fine spring day, I loaded the pu, which had a long 3/4 ton bed, and a 12 ft UHaul trailer to the hilt with all our worldly possessions. Headed for Clinton ,Iowa from Carl Junction, Mo. Scale man said I was too heavy so had to increase registration wt. I had troubles and then some. BUT, that little engine was not one of them. Just kept purring away. What would the PU have done with a warmed up 230? Go for it!

    Ben
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  21. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    I love the 218. Suits me fine but i also like to know what i have and i would really love to truly familiarize myself with the drivetrain in the car as, although my mechanical experience has been somewhat extensive, my experience with this era is not. I guess thats why i want to build something of the era for her and then build the 218 afterward.
    I dont imagine that the parts for these will get any cheaper and the price difference just in pistons alone is immense between the 218 and 230 unless i am just looking at the wrong sources.
    O, I am in York pennsylvania
     
  22. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    Cool, seems i have inspired peace! Bonus!
     
    firstinsteele and Hnstray like this.
  23. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    Also, great story! I love that about an engine. When I ended up with this car i was actually shopping a volvo 240 for that reason; reliability. Thats what i want out of an old car. I have no need for HP or ripping and tearing up the road. People love seeing this old car around town. I have had so many questions and people stop to say they love the car. Tons of kids go nuts when i hit those big old horns. Not one has ever asked my how fast it goes, or whether i have a v8? How many HP? Not one. Its my daily driver at this point and i get pretty good gas mileage. I do really love it. I think a dual carb setup might net me better mileage if set up right and i do like a little more sound in my exhaust because i keep my music up and i like to hear/feel my engine. Other than that, she is so perfect!
     
  24. Listen to Ray here. ^^^^ A later valve in head 6 not a flathead. Nothing against flatheads but they are just not economical. Any 6 is going to be less cost effective than a v8 but a valve in head is the way to go.

    if I wanted to stay MOPAR I would look for a slant 6 our of an early to mid '60s Chrysler product. If I didn't care what brand I am partial to the GM 292 or the Ford 300. Both have lots of transmission options. GM also makes a pretty good V6, (I have a good one that I keep for no real reason but it is really late model). There is always the big inch GMCs but they are like hens teeth and I doubt that they would be an econo option.
     
  25. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,352

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    218 and 230 are practically the SAME engine, the 230 has a 1/4" longer stroke that is all. You can turn a 218 into a 230 by putting in the 230 crankshaft and rods, the pistons are the same. 230 was used in Dodges, the 218 in Plymouths, but starting in 1955 the Plymouth got the 230 engine too.
     
  26. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,660

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    @Johnny Vannz ......the OD trans in my ‘49 is the same trans as in your ‘50, but with the BW R10 unit. That trans (with OD) became available in 1952 models and was used through 1956 models. Through 1955 they were 6 volt, ‘56 got the 12 volt systems. My car is currently still a 6 volt vehicle.

    It was about 25 years ago when the swap was done with the 230, which came out of my 51 Dodge that got a 265 Chrysler six At that time, 5 speed sticks with integrated OD were not so common. Ironically, these days it’s gotten much more difficult to find an original 3 spd manual w/OD for your Plymouth.

    Also, it’s a Plymouth only trans until 1955 model Dodges because the Dodge version used a really loooong input shaft in’53/‘54, changing to the shorter shaft in ‘55/‘56. In the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, the majority of Dodge, DeSoto and Chrysler were sold with the semi-automatic.

    In today’s market, should you want an OD trans, it would be worth considering a more modern 5 speed. But with that change you lose the trans mounted parking brake of your current setup and rear axle swap becomes at least desirable, if not absolutely necessary, to compensate for that. A Jeep Cherokee (not Grand Cherokee) from about 1991 thru 2000 is the sweet spot for that axle. Those had the Mopar corporate 8.25” axle. Prior years were Dana model 35, an ok axle, but I’d prefer and recommend the 8.25”. The most common Cherokee is 6 cyl automatic and those came with 3.55 gear ratio. That would be a good choice in my opinion. The manual 6 cyl models were 3.07. The much rarer 4 cyl models ....stick were 4.10, automatics 3.73.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  27. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,660

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Correct except for the 230, in USA produced/sold, the 230 was standard beginning with ‘54 models.

    Ray
     
  28. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,352

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Ha ha ha the flathead Dodge is harder to beat than a china egg. Did you know they used to deliver a whole house with 1 Dodge truck? During WW2 they built thousands of small, 2 bedroom houses called "wartime houses" or sometimes "strawberry box houses". They were prefabricated, delivered with 2, 5 ton trucks. Later they put a trailer on behind, and delivered a WHOLE HOUSE with one 5 ton truck. I knew a truck driver who delivered them, he said he hated it when they gave him a Ford truck because he never knew if it would make the grade or not. One time a Ford stalled on him on the Hamilton Heights, he had to get out, block the wheels, set out flares, and wait for the cops to come then send for a tow truck. He never had a problem with a Dodge truck. It might do it in low gear but it always made the grade.

    upload_2020-8-11_10-7-51.jpeg
     
    dana barlow and Hnstray like this.
  29. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,015

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    You do realize this is a hot rod forum, right?
     
  30. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 519

    KenC
    Member

    You must have misread the sources. The pistons are the same, 218 and 230. Only the rods and crank are different.
    Watch eBay for parts. I just put a 230 together using parts picked up one at a time there. NOS .040 rings in an original box, .010 off-shore rod bearings at less than 1/2 parts store pricing etc. Milled head .060 modded the intake to accept a 2bbl from a 318, splitting the exhaust now.

    The thing about a later inline swap is that forces you to do the transmission too due to the rear motor mounts being on the clutch housing, as well as the pedals. And there is usually a problem with length, the 218 is short!

    No question, a Jeep 4.0, slant 6, Ford 300 or Chevy250/292 will deliver more power and mileage. But only you can decide if the extra fab work and cost is worth it.
     
    Cosmo50 and Hnstray like this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.