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Projects Best economic drive train build

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

  1. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,583

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    @Johnny Vannz ...have you stumbled on to “Vintage Powerwagons” ? They are in Iowa, Fairfield I think. In any case they have scads of surplus MOPAR parts and are reputed to have very attractive prices. A LOT of Power Wagons were 230 powered, as well as Industial engines, airport tugs, etc. Check them out.

    Ray
     
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  2. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,201

    goldmountain

    Here in Canada, the Canadian cars all came with the 25" long engine so they fit very well. They changed the bore and stroke dimensions to get a smaller displacement that was more in line with their American counterparts. I purchased a rebuilt 251 for my truck from the local Chrysler dealer because they had them in stock since they were commonly used in combines.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  3. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,291

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    That is a good tip, last time I looked they had NOS pistons for $75 a set of six, to fit 218 or 230
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxzO_Oy1EMLIWVFzSHRzNjlOMWs/view
     
  4. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,669

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    I don't see how there is any other answer than a SBC. The goal is reliable and economical, there is no other answer, save for maybe a SBF. There is often the notion that a smaller engine is a more economical engine, it's simply not the case. Torque curve and power band, together with gearing, are going to give you the best economy. Sure a 4.0L Jeep engine would work, but just as the 318 actually got about the same mpg as the 4.0 in the Cherokee, I'd be willing to bet a 302 with T5 or 350 with a 700R4 will give you better performance, reliability and economy.
     
  5. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,583

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    @57JoeFoMoPar .......if only objective criteria were applied, in ANY realm of human activity, it would be a very different world.....

    In our chosen hobby, what people drive, build, like, dislike, all is very subjective. If not, there would no variety and little fun in it. Without subjective motives, the hobby might not exist.

    As the French expression goes...”viva la difference”...(my apologies to French speakers among us for my representation there)

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
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  6. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 7,114

    jimmy six
    Member

    There is definatly room under the hood for a bent 8 but I sure like the Jeep idea or possibly a GM overhead cam 6 from the small-Mid SUV's. With all the guys worried about HAMB friendly with all the electronic on their 4wheel disc brake cars I wouldn't concern myself. I frien has a 52-3 Hudson coupe with a 300" Ford six in it that's a perfect car. Cruises nice and hauls the mail with ease.
    Whether new or not Jeep is Chrysler now... So your keeping it in the family as they say.
     
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  7. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,869

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    Is this thread about either one? ;)
     
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  8. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,441

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    A difficult to administer rule here is that all engines should be examples of 1964 or earlier design and production. Many things originated before 1965 but continued in production after that date. That makes it difficult to always say something is acceptable......or not. Example is the venerable smallblock Chevy which is the undisputed king for building hot rod and custom vehicles. First available in 1955 but gradually improved and resized and produced long after the 1964 cut off. It makes sense to give a little leeway here since the largest segment of virtually any kind of hot rodding utilizes some version of this engine. The problem is that its well nigh impossible to make a rule that always works perfectly or can be applied perfectly.
    The 4.0 liter Jeep engine was not produced in 1964 but is a descendant on the 6 cylinder Jeep engines produced in 1964 by AMC. The 350 Chevy was not produced in 1964 but is a descendant of the 265/283/327. Other versions such as the 262,267,302,305,307,and 400 are routinely installed or discussed as a basis for building something to install. When someone mentions a derivitive of the Jeep linage, the line blurrs as to just how far you want the rule to bend. While discussion of the 4.0 may technically not fall within the guidelines of Hamb, its ancestors do.
    Common sense will tell you that the cost of the items you have to find and the ease with which you can find them is going to play a part in being able to build something you like. You can find completely assembled rebuilt Jeep engines on line for about $1k. Its going to be tough to buy the parts much less the machining for most other engines for that....and thats assembling it yourself. The reality is you want something cheap and reliable, so its worth considering this engine even if it doesn't fall neatly into Hamb guidelines. I'm reasonably sure that some of the more knowledgeable Jeep guys would be willing to help you outside of the Hamb if the subject becomes problematic.
    You just have to learn how to "tippytoe" around some things.
     
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  9. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 452

    proartguy
    Member
    from Sparks, NV

    I would say the thread is about hot rodding, which is modification for performance or appearance. But the site is about preservation or adherence to a subjective impression of hot rodding.

    As far as the Plymouth in question they have a fairly short engine compartment, the only one I saw with a OHC Pontiac six had some serious firewall surgery. I do not recall seeing a slant six in one.

    The flatheads are good motors and with hop-ups certainly fit the old school ethos revered here. An overdrive makes all the difference. The drawback is speed parts are kind of hard to find, so the suggestions to mill the head and modify the intake for dual carbs and exhaust for dual exhaust might be the low cost alternatives. The 230 crank gives more torque, but the stock 217 seem to rev better, to me.

    It seems like a lot of effort and money to do a temporary swap and the o/p might be money ahead to do it as you want the first time. Looking to do this in an economical way is probably the essence of how hot rods have been done. As to suggestions for the 4.0 Jeep six or five speeds, etc., that is hot rodding, it may not fit the paradigm of traditional aspects as far as parts, but is still hot rodding.
     
  10. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,869

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    Don't take my posts in this thread too serious, just adding some levity. Guy says he's not interested in power and I just wanted to poke him a little, but it's all good.

    BTW, I do like the suggestion for the Jeep 6, good engine.
     
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  11. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,291

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Unfortunately there isn't room under the hood of a pre 1955 Plymouth for anything but a six, and not a very long one at that. Even a slant six is too long. It is possible to squeeze in a V8 if you offset it to clear the steering but then you have the problem of the transmission, and if you change the trans you lose the hand brake which is on the trans on those cars so you have to change the rear axle. A seemingly simple engine swap means changing the whole drive train. If simplicity and economy is an issue it is far better to keep the flathead six, or sell the car and buy a newer one with a V8.
     
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  12. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,201

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I had an older neighbor who drove dump trucks on a construction projects shortly after WWII. He told me the contractor had a large variety of dump trucks. The more senior drivers would take the GMC's first, the Dodges second, Ford sixes third, Ford v8's fourth, and Chevrolets last.
     
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  13. OLSKOOL57
    Joined: Feb 14, 2019
    Posts: 468

    OLSKOOL57
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


    Don’t know about the power aspect, but your Plymouth’s green exterior reminded me of my father’s 1949 Dodge 2dr.cpe. In 1955 or so. I was about 8yrs.old at the time. For what ever reason the steering wheel striped on the column. Wheel came off, father hit brakes an stopped in the road. Opened trunk and got out a pair of vice grips. locked on top of column and drove home. ...........Never forget that.
    Nice Plymouth, by the way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
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  14. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    I had thought about that as well... thinking though, if possible, I would like to keep it a flathead
     
  15. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    Thanks. I love her! She was indoors for years after a soft restore and the old fella passed away. Leaving behind 28 cars I guess this one wasn’t that valuable to them and they let me steal it for 4 grand. Drove her home 2 hours and I haven’t stopped driving it since. These were a poor mans car and she is right where she belongs; in the trailer park.

    Awesome story! I remember my dad having a Granada that the forward gears went out in. We loved in the city and was about 20 minutes from home when it happened. We drove all the way home in reverse. I will never forget that either. I was about 8 as well!
     
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  16. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    I knew that they were used in trucks but I didn’t know that. That’s awesome. I know they are in a bunch of old equipment of all sorts. I think it’s a block worth keeping/building for the reliability alone!
     
  17. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    right on. I may have gotten confused when looking. I guess I will start hunting down an engine. I am sticking with the old small block flathead
     
  18. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    Awesome man, thanks!
     
  19. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    There are a million reasons I am leaning towards trying to stay with the flathead setup... a big one is I don’t like doing what everyone else does. Another is a bit of a nostalgia and sentimental thing. I could add a lot of other things to that but they are probably the 2 main reasons. I’m quirky man. When I’m done, the car will reflect who I am. Anyway, I do appreciate the thoughts. Short of any fab work that I just do not have the space to do at the moment, the sbc would be the easiest for me as I have a good bit of experience to lend to those engines but I want to get to know these old blocks for the experience
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
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  20. Johnny Vannz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2020
    Posts: 75

    Johnny Vannz

    I mentioned that I am not concerned about power.. I am not. I figured someone may try and bust my balls about it; and go figure. But I don’t care either. The truth is I plan to do what I can in the realm of a poor mans flathead 6 with a little bark and a little bite. Those mods though I do not consider to be for power... I will do the dual carbs, I plan to split the exhaust manifolds, I may have some machine work done as well and that is likely about all. The reason I say that isn’t for power is because almost every 4 cylinder hunk of crap I have owned over the years has more power than that would yield I would imagine. A man of my “stature”, and the way I live, wouldn’t have the money or the aspirations to make this the kind of hotrod most folks like in this forum in the 50’s or 60’s. Idk, why I am rambling. The guys that pick apart another guys style bug me a little I guess. I do all my own work. I am very creative when it comes to aesthetics and small custom parts. I never own anything that looks or is like the next guys car. I feel this car is a certain kind of reflection of me. I like how it’s coming about.
    Anyway, I will hunt down another engine to build in that way and get to know it the best I can. I hope to rebuild a matching trans as well and then do it all again when I swap. That may sound silly to some but it’s what I want to do. I do hope to hunt down one of the OD setups too! That’d be cool but honestly the highways around here don’t move that fast and I do just fine so it isn’t a necessity either. She likes 60 mph and if they ever finish the roads in the area she may stay in her lane at that speed! Lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  21. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 2,866

    carbking
    Member

    If you truly love the 218, the best thing you can do to show your love is to replace the horrible Ball & Ball carburetor with one from a 1947 Chevrolet (Carter W-1 574s).

    Plymouth did this in 1947 with the incentive from Carter when the plant producing the Ball & Ball carbs went on strike. Plymouth received several complaints because of this..............................from neighbors of the folks that bought the "strike" cars with the W-1. ;) Seems the W-1 was good for about 25 percent better fuel economy and about 5 MPH top speed when compared to the Ball & Ball carbs. The only catch is the W-1 will require an older (1939) intake manifold, as the throttle body is a size 2, and the Ball & Ball is a very inefficient size 3.

    And for those doubters, here is proof of original Plymouth production:

    http://www.thecarburetorshop.com/Carter_574_Plymouth.pdf

    Jon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
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  22. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 2,866

    carbking
    Member

    Read this after I posted above. The duals with Ball & Ball carbs will provide "eye candy" but will NOT provide either the power or economy of the single W-1.

    The cylinder intake port configuration of the 218, like the 216 Chevrolet, is three sets of 2 ports. Trying to feed this with 2 carbs always results in a A/F imbalance (leaner in the two center cylinders). Three smaller carbs, assuming a triple intake is available for the 218 (I don't know if available), can work well. The problem the Chevy folks often have trying to run triples is firewall interference with the rear carb.

    In hot rodding, physics and mathematics are your two best friends (followed closely by cubic money ;) )

    Jon
     
  23. Cosmo50
    Joined: Sep 8, 2011
    Posts: 214

    Cosmo50
    Member
    from California

    This is what I was going to suggest. If you are already planning on putting the flathead back in the car in the future, why go thru the aggrevation and trouble of trying to do a swap right now.
    Kanters has complete rebuild kits. I have seen the dual manifolds before on eBay. I would also search your local craigslist as well as here on the HAMB for parts.
     
  24. Hang in there, Johnny! I like your attitude. I have about the same, to the point of doing OT things to my Buick Inline eight.
    Now, the 230 , with the longer stroke might make enough extra torque for the O D transmission or a higher speed differential. For economy, ya know. The mods to my car/engine have raised mpg to 20+ hwy and 14+ town.
    Whatever, PLEASE keep us informed. I really like to read about something other than a Ford with a SBC!:):)

    Ben
     
  25. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,669

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    You literally titled this thread "Best Economic Drive Train Build". Also, I'm going to take a quote from your original post,

    "While shopping for something to rebuild, what would be your advice for the easiest swap with readily available parts that are lower in cost?"

    I don't know why you're; going through the gyrations of this question if you're dead-set on putting the factory flathead 6 engine in, making it a reflection of yourself, any other reasons, etc., when the factory engine is neither low cost nor has readily available parts. In fact, it would be quite the opposite. If you use the flat 6, and need parts, expect to be limited to certain suppliers that specialize in those engines, and expect to pay a premium for them. Make no mistake about it, the flathead 6 is an obsolete engine, and even good parts houses like Napa don't stock a full array of parts. This is a reality that those of us that run obsolete engines like first-gen Olds, Y blocks, early hemis, learn to live with. On the other hand, a SBC wouldn't be the easiest swap given the body and chassis you have, but would be both low in cost and have readily available parts. Obsolete engines are virtually never the "Best Economic Drive Train Build" choice.

    @Hnstray is absolutely right, most engines are reliable. Until they're not. And then they need to be fixed, which comes at the expense of both time and money. You'll stand a much better chance of trouble-free operation if you have a completely rebuilt engine (ie fresh machine work, bearings, rings, new cam, fresh valve job, etc.) rather than sticking a "good used" engine in that has god-knows how many miles on it. For a Flathead 6, this comes at an increased cost. Add an electronic ignition system, and better fuel system, and you'd have yourself a real good runner that would be very reliable. But again, at a cost, and without readily available parts.

    I don't think an interim solution is the right thing to do here. Just pick the engine you ultimately want to run, build it, and put it in.
     
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  26. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,273

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    Hear me out,
    Your whole premise is flawed. While I understand the logic, there's no economy here. I'll explain.

    Upgrading to a later engine (OHV) in a Mopar of this era requires such a significant modification to the car that once you go there.....you don't go back. You can I guess if you save everything but it makes no sense to do so economic or labor wise.

    To have a parking brake, you'll have to change the rear axle. To mount a later engine there's mounts and all the modifications there. Clearance issues....You gotta do that stuff. Trans coolers if you go to automatic...shifters. It goes on and on.

    After you do all this, it's all coming back out after you hop up the original engine?!!!

    Economy wise,
    Stay with the engine you have if it is indeed a good runner.
    Tune up the car. Most are out of tune, most cars of that period came from the factory out of tune. The first step of hot rodding is tuning up a stock engine.
    If you want to go further, hop it up in the car. Order parts, put them on the weekend. Again this is traditional hot rodding.

    If you have to have a all out Mopar flathead,

    find one of the same design like Ray suggests, build it, then put that in the car. This would be a simple re-engine versus a full blown engine swap.
     
  27. clunker
    Joined: Feb 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,613

    clunker
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Boston MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    ^^^^^^^^making a lot of sense^^^^^^^^

    Especially since it’s currently a running, driving car.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  28. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,291

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    I think the OP asked because he did not know if there was an easy swap. This is a perfectly sensible question. The answer is, no there is no easy swap. But the flathead six is not a bad engine, they are reliable and economical and can be hopped up to a certain extent. They are easy to work on and parts are easy to get and not expensive. So the best choice is to keep the original type engine. He can now go ahead with this without worrying that he is missing out on something, or getting into a costly rebuild for nothing.
     
  29. hkestes
    Joined: May 19, 2007
    Posts: 558

    hkestes
    Member
    from Plano, TX

    I had a 57 model 230 in my 48 Plymouth with an R10 OD. It would easily cruise at 75 and knock down 19-20 mpg on the highway. The R10 is getting to be a little tough to find but you can easily adapt a T5 from an S10 or swap the rear to get better gearing to help economy.

    [​IMG]
     
  30. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 452

    proartguy
    Member
    from Sparks, NV

    An interesting post #51, from carbking. On a 230 in my ‘46 I ran a single 32/36 Holly/Weber and with some jet changes it performed very well with an overdrive trans.

    For the economical route the o/p wanted, the old flatheads run good that is why a lot of old MoPars retain them.
     
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