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Projects dropping a chevy 250 into a 48 hudson (maybbe)

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by morecowbell, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. morecowbell
    Joined: Mar 31, 2014
    Posts: 56

    morecowbell
    Member
    from colorado

    with Father's day coming up this weekend I have time to finish up the brake lines. Next week I am starting the 12v conversion.

    Now I WANT to keep the Hudson all Hudson. However I also have to be able to move the car in a couple weeks as I may be losing my garage space and will not have the means to work on the engine.

    I have been told that the engine will run and I've been told that both it and the trans may need full rebuilds. Of course the reality won't be discovered until I try to get it running. Right now the trans is stuck from sitting 50 years. The engine at minimum needs a thorough cleaning of the lower pans and a general inspection.

    i posted this same question over at the HET forum (super friendly and helpful people). I am posting it here in hopes of learning a little bit more about a possible temporary engine swap.

    A guy locally has a 73 Chevy 250 and 3 speed manual trans for sale that is running and was rebuilt not too long ago by Jasper (has the receipts). If I cannot get the stock 8 cylinder to run without a complete overhaul, would the 250 be a fairly non-intrusive engine swap? I want to put the stock engine back in but if this swap can buy me the time to get the engine rebuilt right or even find another Hudson engine in running shape I want to consider it as an option. If this will necessitate destroying the engine bay and firewall etc etc then I will pass.

    Anyone have any practical info?

    Thanks all.

    - jason
     
  2. cb186
    Joined: Jul 5, 2013
    Posts: 264

    cb186
    Member

    Are you trying to get it drivable or a couple years, or just be able to move it from its current location? Sounds like a lot of work just to move it. I'd pull the Hudson motor/trans and get them rebuilt and let the car be undrivable in the mean time.
     
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,820

    squirrel
    Member

    I doubt you'd have to destroy anything to fit it in, but you'll want to take a good look at what might be in the way, and spend some time with a tape measure both on the existing engine and the engine bay, and the donor engine and transmission etc. Look at the driveline, see if it might be compatible (I dont know what they used in Hudsons back then), see if there are any crossmembers in the way, see if there's enough room between the radiator and firewall for the new engine with it's water pump and fan in place. The shape of the oil pan may be different, and run into steering or crossmembers. Figure out if there are any possible mounting points in the right place for the new engine and transmission. Look at the clutch and shift linkage. Is the exhaust pipe on the same side?
     
    volvobrynk and mcyunger like this.
  4. mcyunger
    Joined: Jan 17, 2010
    Posts: 178

    mcyunger

    exactly what squirrel said.
     

  5. themodernartist
    Joined: Feb 16, 2006
    Posts: 155

    themodernartist
    Member

    Hi Jason,
    There is nothing wrong in updating your Hudson. These days there are so many options available to you. Seems you are already converting over to 12 volt system so you are not a "Purist". You have to remember that nowadays you are contending much with higher speeds on the roads. You are also having to deal with getting parts if for some reason you should break down many miles from home. You can't just walk into your local Napa or AutoZone store and get a Hudson engine/trans part. I would recommend looking into something that was newer than the 73 and had an automatic transmission with it. Either going with a 6 or an 8 would be your preference. The newer the engine/trans combo the better. On the plus side, you would already be setup for A/C which would be great on those hot summer days. If you keep your original front clip suspension, there is a Hudson guy that makes a disk brake conversion and it is quite inexpensive. The only thing you need to be careful of is the oil pan clearance on what engine you decide to use in the Hudson. I used a Painless Universal Fuse panel along with my 12 volt system. Here again you have many options these days. In closing, I would suggest a newer engine combined with an automatic trans. This also gives you the ability to have overdrive. Oh I almost forgot, I also am using a dual master cylinder on the firewall for safety reasons. How do I know all this, because I'm doing it.
    Peace,
    Chaz (the elder)
    This photo was taken before I took out the old engine and went with a newer Chevy engine. (my preference) but it shows the dual master cylinder.
    New Flat Firewall 2.jpg
     
  6. morecowbell
    Joined: Mar 31, 2014
    Posts: 56

    morecowbell
    Member
    from colorado

    thank you all for the insight

    I would like to keep it Hudson at some point. In other words I can't make this into a mountain i'll never climb by yanking everything and doing a clip etc etc etc. I already rebuilt all the brakes front to back with new parts and a new single master cyl with the assumption that i was going to keep it Hudson. I prob should have stepped up to a dual but i was trying to keep it close to original - at least in theory.
    I like chevy 6's and i like the idea that if i do a transplant that it's still an inline engine and i am hoping requires only engine mounts and poss a trans mount in terms of deviating from originality. I will want to put the Hudson back in - or at least have the option to.
    I could get lucky and have it fire up etc but after setting for 50 years I would think it should be gone through. I'm just looking for a way to make it a driver while the engine is redone. If I don't it will become yard art and then I'll get distressed. That's how I am. I wish I could just let it sit and get to it as I can but that's not in my nature and tired of trying to fight that.
    So it's trying to hash plan B. Thanks for the tips on making it an auto but I don't want an automatic. had plenty of em and I chose a manual car because it's what i like and miss having a stick. Just personal preference. I am not trying to build a kustom or anything fancy. Just make it safe, and fairly reliable and be able to not get run over on the occassional hiway runs.
    I like the 250 loaclly beacuse I can hear it and take it for a ride and be assured that the driveline runs and shifts. It will also get me all the 12 v parts i need. It's very short money - less than 1/3 the cost of a Hudson rebuild kit. There's plenty of room in the engine bay and ive read that the 250 oil pan etc clear and can use stock stearing and rear end.
    Thanks again for the help. I am loving this car and hopig to get it fired up in the next couple of weeks.

    - jason
     
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,820

    squirrel
    Member

    Park the donor vehicle near the Hudson for an hour or two, and look everything over very carefully, take your time.
     
    volvobrynk and firstinsteele like this.
  8. themodernartist
    Joined: Feb 16, 2006
    Posts: 155

    themodernartist
    Member

    Hi Jason,
    Go with what your heart tells you. I was just offering alternatives. I guess as I get older (77) I am thinking more about safety. The '73 Chevy engines are dependable and if you like standard shift, go with it. There are a couple of guys on the Hudson forum that have used 6 cylinder Chevy engines in their Hudson using their original Hudson front frame clip.
    Peace,
    Chaz
     
  9. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,820

    squirrel
    Member

    I suppose it might take longer, but then again it might not...when I was in high school, I swapped a 396 into my truck to replace the six, it took about 36 hours (friday morning till saturday night). You just need to do your homework, so you have solutions for all the problems you'll encounter.
     
    firstinsteele likes this.
  10. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,455

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Don't waste your time unless you are doing a permanent swap. Even changing engines for an identical engine is 2 or 3 days work (maybe less if you are a Hudson expert). To do the kind of swap you are talking about will take weeks for an amateur if you can even finish it. The chance of doing the swap and getting it on the road is less than 50/50 and the chance you will ever change it back is nil. I can say that because I have seen a dozen guys with the same plan on this board and others and don't know any that actually did it.

    Best plan is to check the car out and see if you can get it running. If you don't know about old cars see if you can find someone who does. I have gotten lots of old cars running. Batting average about .800 and out of those more than half were good enough to put back in commission without major work. Don't go ripping things apart, the more you know about cars the less work you need to do, to know if it will run or not.

    If the engine needs major work it would still not be much more work or expense than a swap unless the rod is sticking through the block.

    There are lots of 'geniuses' that will say 'just yank out the old engine and throw in a Chevy small block' but believe me, there is a lot more to it than that. And you will find the 'geniuses' are never around when you need them lol.
     
    ClayMart likes this.
  11. peter schmidt
    Joined: Aug 26, 2007
    Posts: 657

    peter schmidt
    Member
    from maryland

    Theres a guy local that put a 250 into his 51 hudson it's out of a c10 with the truck manual 3 speed behind it if you want I can give him a call and see what all was involved I think it was very minimal I think they got it done over a weekend or two. Looks like a pretty easy swap. I have a 49 with a 283 and th400 it use to have a bbc in it before I got it but it has been clipped with a g body subframe.
     
  12. 100% Matt
    Joined: Aug 7, 2006
    Posts: 2,584

    100% Matt
    Member

    The real value in your car is that it happens to be a Straight 8 vs the Straight 6. Just sayin....
     
  13. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,409

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    UnderswI have to go along with what Jim wrote as far as the swap goes and can only add that I'd suggest coming up with a new driveshaft (at least new to the car) and not do any changing to your drive shaft if you intend to swap back. You have to understand though that you will have to fab mounts that bolt in with minimum mods to the chassis and not make any changes that can't be changed back.
    I'd get everything I could get from the truck including the shift rods that you can modify without regret if needed rather than modifying yours.

    By the way, in 1989 I put a 250 in my 48 as a temporary fix so we could take the truck to a custom car show and that engine is still in the truck now. I don't think you will have any trouble room wise as the six should be several inches shorter and not really taller than the 8.

    Looking at a number of Hudson engine photos I see that the exhaust is on the opposite side of the engine from the Chevy 250. I didn't find one photo of clutch linkage to see what is involved there and that may be a challenge. It looks like you could go a couple of different ways on the front engine mounts.

    I'd still tow the car to it's new home and rebuild the straight eight and be done with it if you plan on putting it back in. Put that third of the cost towards the cost rather than an engine swap and go from there.
     
  14. morecowbell
    Joined: Mar 31, 2014
    Posts: 56

    morecowbell
    Member
    from colorado

    thanks all,
    well it has been a tiring few weeks since I updated this post so here goes:

    After spending a week under the car pulling the lower control arms and cutting the coils, then dropping the crossmember to be able to access the 34 bolts for the oil pan(s) I was able to clean and reinstall both the upper dipper tray with 2 quarts of oil and the lower pan. This was not fun doing by myself!! Got the crossmember buttoned up with the cut coils and I'm liking the stance. Moved on to trying to start the engine and found out I have 0 compression in 1 cyl and 55psi in another. Rest are about 90-110 with one oddball being at 128?

    So i put some marvel oil in this morning and will add some more later on and recheck the compression. If that's no go I will try to push the valve down through the head (as I was told can be done). The carb doesn't seem to leak which is good. Got a new starter solenoid and a new battery. Need to find new points for it but can't seem to locate any. The car bucked once or twice when trying to start it but that is all. Even with starting fluid and or gas in the carb.

    I still have my chevy 250 that i can swap in. I have this terrible way of putting the cart wayyyy before the horse so I am trying to reel myself in from going bat-shit crazy with swap ideas etc. Hoping to get at least some compression n the dead cylinder without pulling the head. I have to travel for work in a week or so and if it isn't running by then I think I will pull it and see how much effort will be to add the 250.
     
  15. There was a Hudson (a few years earlier than yours) with a 292 Chevy 6 in it at Steel in Motion this year, ran well down the drag strip. It was dark blue/black in color. I do not have a pic but bet someone does out there on the web.
     
  16. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,507

    steinauge
    Member
    from 1960

    Typical sticky valves on a flathead that sat for a long time.You can unstick them easily enough.Dont be afraid to pull the head if you have to ,its easy. If you can get the thing to run at all the valves will generally unstick when the engine warms up.Dont forget to clean and set points etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
  17. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,422

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    So...instead of the 250, better look for a Chevy straight 8.
     
  18. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,455

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    There is a valve cover on the side of the engine. On some cars you have to take the right front wheel off and go in thru the side of the inner fender. Take the cover off, turn the engine and see if the valve is moving. If it is stuck try oiling it and prying it down, it should snap down with a light pry. Oil it and turn the engine over a few times then try starting.

    If the valve is badly stuck STOP you will have to take the head off, and find a mass of rust or possibly a mouse nest but most likely it is only stuck a little.

    Your compression sounds good except the 2 low ones of course. You should be able to get it running at least well enough to drive around, and probably a ring and valve job at most to put it in good running condition.

    Did you check the crankshaft and bearings when you had the pan off?
     
  19. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,317

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    Putting in a Chevy engine sounds like more work than rebuilding your Hudson engine or putting in another Hudson engine. The engineering has already bee done for you. It is SO much easier to put a bolt in a hole that already exists-even if you wanted to swap the petite eight for one of the bigger Hudson sixes.

    Is the Hudson a manual or automatic trans?
     
  20. morecowbell
    Joined: Mar 31, 2014
    Posts: 56

    morecowbell
    Member
    from colorado

    i got compression on all cyls!! now need to rebuild the distributor as i have no spark. but making progress.

    i have a standard trans currently and want to remain with a manual.
     
  21. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,275

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    Jason;
    Did you get the trans to "unstick" yet? Reason I ask, is because, iirc, Hudson used a wet-clutch. Iirc, ~ 72 coke-bottle-cap-sized cork discs, run in 'Hudsonite', which again iirc, was 50% 10wt oil n 50% kerosine. A search will correct me I'm sure. My old '29 Essex has the same thing, & due to improper storage technique, both from the P.O., & then me, the cork pieces rusted to the flywheel(ya, I know cork doesn't rust, but rust from the flywheel permeates the cork, locking it to the flywheel & pressure-plate.), & the clutch will not disengage. You're suppose to stick a block of wood in the clutch pedal to keep the disc away from the flywheel for long term storage. Or you have to rotate the flywheel/clutch/pp quadrants thru the hudsonite every so often, so that no part stays dry for long. Usually, neither got done.
    Good luck. Sounds like you're on a roll... :D . Is the trans an O.D.? Does make life easier.
    Marcus...
     
  22. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,455

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Automatic transmission fluid is a good substitute for Hudsonite and it is a pretty good penetrating oil too. I would give it a shot and let it soak in , you never know your luck. If it doesn't work and you have to take the clutch out, the clutch plate can be relined with bottle corks, yes seriously. You will have to drink a few bottles of wine or get some from a wine making store.

    The corks are inserted in round holes in the steel pressure plate and cut off to the appropriate length. The secret is to push half the corks in from one side and half from the other. That way they cannot work loose. Then trim them with a sharp blade to the correct length or thickness of clutch plate. Hudson dealers used to have a special jig for this that clamped to the work bench.
     
  23. Rusty, really? and the corks are the correct dia? cool. about how far should they stick out?
     
  24. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,455

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  25. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,317

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    That'r great news that you have a manual. I had almost forgotten about the wet clutch. That's what we had in this '49. I should have kept that car.
    [​IMG]
     
  26. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,275

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    Hey, Rusty, thanks for the info. Eventually, when I get back to the '29, I'll give that a shot.
    Marcus...
     
  27. morecowbell
    Joined: Mar 31, 2014
    Posts: 56

    morecowbell
    Member
    from colorado

    I am still having troubles getting the engine to run so am considering my alternative of running the chevy 250 and manual trans until I can have the Hudson mill rebuilt properly. I read on here that the shift lever on the stock Chevy 3 speed puts it very close to the dash. I had been considering dropping a T5 behind the stock 1971 250 to help with the gear ratios and had been focusing on the ones from an S10 which put the shifter location in the middle. Wondering if the Camaro version with the shifter at the rear might be a better option in the car using the stock bench seat?

    thank you all.
     

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