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Technical Falcon Motor Swap-6cyl to V8

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by docmayo, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. docmayo
    Joined: Oct 19, 2011
    Posts: 1

    docmayo
    Member
    from Tucson

    I want to put a SBF-V8 into a 1962 Falcon. Worried about suspension stiffness and overall frame (in this case unibody) stiffness. Also do I need to do something with the rearend?

    thx
    docmayo
     
  2. rd4pin
    Joined: Feb 2, 2010
    Posts: 176

    rd4pin
    Member
    from louisiana

    In the late sixties I owned a '60 Falcon, after cutting the shock towers, I stuffed a 272, 292 and lastly a 312 Y block into it. I didn't notice any real problems with the suspension. The rear end I ran was a 9" from a '59 Edsel, which fit fine. I believe most '57 to '59 Ford 9" width are the same. I even ran the 4 bolt 13" front tires and 15" 5 bolt rears tires.
     
  3. They came with an optional 260 V8 in 63. Just bolt in a Windsor V8 and yer done. You should update to the 5 lug suspension, V8 springs and I believe there were shock tower stiffeners on the V8 cars. Everything can be done with factory parts
     
  4. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    Id be surprised if the bodies were different, but I never had a 6 cyl car, so I guess I don't know. The '63-'65 convertibles had a plate that bolted across the bottom of the driveshaft tunnel to stiffen them up. You could put one of those on your car. Or just make one.
     
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  5. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,461

    RmK57
    Member

    I would at least use an 8 inch rear end out of another Falcon or Mustang if your doing a v8 swap. The 57-59 Fords are the narrowest 9 inch but are getting harder and more expensive to buy. Maverick rear end may also work.
     
  6. The 6 cylinder cars DO have different bodies; much lighter construction. For the '63-65 V8 cars (and all same-year convertibles with any engine), Ford used much thicker metal (I'd guess 12-14 gage vs the 'normal' 18-20 gage) for the frame rails and inner/outer rockers, plus added 'torque boxes' tying the frame rails and the rockers together, all resulting in a much stiffer body. The shock towers used heavier-gage metal in selected places also. For most 'normal' driving, the lighter six bodies will be ok, but I have seen some develop stress cracks in various places. You can get a Falcon/Comet-specific strut tower brace and bolt-on lower crossmember from Delta Bay Mustang, I'd highly recommend these, most particularly if handling is a goal. You can also get weld-in subframe connectors, again recommended if any serious performance use is planned.

    The same thing is true of the early Mustangs and '60-63 Comets, there were 6 and V8 bodies. Interestingly enough, Mercury switched to the heavier V8 bodies for all '64-65 Comets regardless of engine for better handling and NVH.
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  7. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,894

    El Caballo
    Member

    Where did you hear this? Sounds like urban legend to me.
     
    need louvers ? likes this.
  8. No legend, I've seen it. I used to have a '64 V8 Comet and acquired a dealer 'info sheet' where they pointed out that the 'new' '64 Comets used the heavier 'V8' bodies for all models. You can also just look under a 6 and V8 car and see the differences if you look semi-closely; heavier metal for the inner/outer rockers and torque boxes on the V8, no boxes on the 6 cars. I also saw it in person when I replaced the passenger-side front floor on my Comet. I was offered a free floor panel out of a '64 Falcon with a 6, when I cut the floor out I found frame rails made from the same gage metal as the floor, not the much heavier stuff used on my V8 car. There IS a difference....
     
  9. DdoubleD
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 221

    DdoubleD
    Member
    from Michigan

    Springs will be different. Also the brakes (V-8's use larger brakes). Radiator, wiring, engine mounts and frame brackets will need to be had. Transmission? Driveshaft, and various brackets and linkages for accelerator. (Doner car?) As for the body, as long as it's sound, and your not building a torque monster motor, it should be ok. It's been done before, just a bit more work dropping a V-8 into it. It can be a fun project you just want to study all the details first. Good luck. BTW welcome.
     
  10. DdoubleD
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 221

    DdoubleD
    Member
    from Michigan

    Yes I'm sure the idea was to commonize parts with Mustang too.
     
  11. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,894

    El Caballo
    Member

    I could see where a torque box would be used, etc. My question is the gauge of steel, and I still don't buy that. It makes zero manufacturing sense to do what you are saying they did vis-a-vis lighter and heavier sheet metal. I've owned 6 and 8 powered early Mustangs and there were zero differences as far as sheet metal was concerned. On principle this merits further investigation.
     
  12. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,147

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    Had many Falcon /Comet / Mustang never seen any difference other torque box added to all later bodies .
     
    need louvers ? likes this.
  13. Hey, don't believe me, measure for yourself. As far as manufacturing, Ford did this for the same reason they used different brakes, rearends, etc... to save money. They sold a LOT more six cylinder Falcon/Comets than they did V8s, I'm sure it added up.
     
  14. Another thing you might consider is resale. There are so many small differences that if I was in the market I would pass on a car that started with a 6 and ended up with a V8. If you want a V8 find a car that left the factory with one.


    Charlie Stephens
     
  15. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,147

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    No legend. I can walk out to the garage and see it anytime I want.
     
  16. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,894

    El Caballo
    Member

    It's the thin gauge I'm not buying, just to clarify.
     
  17. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,147

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Want me to mail you a piece?
     
  18. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,894

    El Caballo
    Member

    Sure, find a V8 one as well and we can compare. It doesn't make sense to use different thickness of steel on things like frames and shock towers as the loads in the vehicle can change, not just the weight of the engine which is not really that much when you take into consideration the overall empty weight of the vehicle and under load.
     
  19. The basic stampings look identical; same bends, holes, etc. But if you have access to both versions, you can easily see the difference if you know where to look. On any sedan/hardtop, check the flange thickness on the front framerail where it extends under the front floor for the floor to be welded to it. The metal flange will be about 4 times thicker on a V8 body compared to a 6 body. Do the same check on the inner rocker panel; the V8 will be visibly thicker. The V8 torque box is the same gage as the rails. You'll find the same thing at the rear framerails. Now, I have seen at least one Falcon type where this isn't true; I parted one each '64 and '65 Rancheros, both original 6 cars, and both had the heavier V8 type rear framerails and torque boxes but both still had the lighter 6 front rails and no front torque boxes. I assume this was because of the weight they were expected to carry as 'trucks'. I can't say if this were true of the earlier '60-63 6 versions or the wagons, I haven't personally looked at those. So now you're up to at least five different bodies; 6 cylinder sedan/hardtop, V8 sedan/hardtop, 6 and V8 Ranchero, and convertible. The convertible with either motor used all V8 metal, with even more additional bracing added to both sides of the flooring and cowl to give the stiffest possible body shell. The convertible bench and bucket seats/console are unique to that car because of the floor bracing.
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  20. jdownunder
    Joined: Aug 21, 2007
    Posts: 334

    jdownunder
    Member

    My first car was a 64 6cyl all Aussie Falcons from 60 to 64 came 6cyl
    I put 289 auto into it had to grind a small piece off one manifold because
    It knocked on the steering box. You should update the rear end
    Look at 64 65 mustang front component stuff I'll bet my left nut some
    Of that is inter changeable. I changed mine to 5stud and found bigger front
    Springs
    Also converted a 6cyl 65 mustang to an 8 that shit was the same as early
    Falcon
    I would not be worried about any metal gauge difference
    Yes if you wanted big hp I have also welded 3mm or 1/8 flat bar
    To the under side of the rail but I wouldn't do this for a stock 8cyl
    As the 6cyl construction will easily handle the 8cyl
    J
     
    DdoubleD likes this.

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