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Technical Newer motors in 55 to ,59 Chrysler products

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by junkyardjeff, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,734

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    Looking to build a new road car and do like the 55 to 59 Chrysler products and how easy is it to install a later 318/360 in them,can it be done with parts from the parts store or custom fabrication. I am more familiar with Ford products of that era that it can be done very easy but never done any motor swapping in the older Mopars.
     
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  2. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,734

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    Since no one replied it tells me it can not be done so I am going to stick with mid 50s Fords.
     
  3. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 5,148

    wicarnut
    Member

    I would think there are some MOPAR men on here, I can't answer your question, but I'm sure it can be done, a good friend of mine put a 413 in a 64 Plymouth, bolted right in and he's done some OT 360 Challenger cars, has never complained about special parts or needed machine work as he comes to me for that. IMO, Some of the 50's mopars were pretty Kool, unique rides, definitely not as popular as Ford GM, sometimes It's fun to be different.
     
    38 mopar_fan likes this.
  4. Well, Chrysler introduced the "B" motors in '58 so any of those should bolt in pretty easily I would think.
     

  5. NWRustyJunk
    Joined: Jan 2, 2017
    Posts: 388

    NWRustyJunk
    Member

    The level of difficulty and fab work involved in the swap will vary depending on what your car originally had in it, and what you are planning on swapping in. Basically, any newer style Mopar big or small block can be made to work. Worst case scenario, you are looking at fabricating (or at least altering stock) motor mounts, tranny mount and shift linkage/kick down.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  6. Any later big block will bolt right in with the correct mounts.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,121

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If they are like the late 60's early 70's Mopars the K member has mounts on it specific to the block design. Not a big deal to change if you go from a B motor to the small block but you may have to do some fab work.
     
  8. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,636

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    With a good grinder, welder, and maybe a hot wrench, anything will fit!
     
    Bruce Fischer and belair like this.
  9. My '57 Plymouth came stock with a 318 so I don't see any problems. I bet you can do the swap with factory mounts if you know what to look for.
     
  10. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,515

    73RR
    Member

    You will need to better identify which year-make-model you start with and then settle on which engine you want to swap. None of the work will be horribly involved but some combos will be less 'friendly' than others. MaMopar was making alot of changes in those years and you will need to be up to speed on the car you select.
    Although a 318 might work ok in a smaller Dodge/Plymouth, it might not like working overtime in a Chrysler/DeSoto.
    And, if you find a 55-57 Chrysler, why on earth would you remove the Hemi (or Spitfire) engine? And, the 58-59 Chrysler are going to be B or RB engines so same question.........
    Additionally, you probably won't find a manual trans car in oem trim so you will be dealing the 'button' drive, and no, you cannot attach a post-62 engine to a pre-62 trans. (Although I am working on an adapter for this swap it is only 60% at this time.) You can use a later trans and rig up a new shift arrangement. Don't forget that the emergency brake is attached to the trans tailshaft so you will also be swapping in a new axle. Fun stuff, eh??

    .
     
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  11. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,734

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    The model I get depends on price and condition but would most likely be a Dodge or Plymouth,if what I get has a factory B or RB motor it will stay but get a newer 727 and rear end. I am used to mid 50s Fords where I can get mounts from Autozone to drop in a 302 or 351 or a FE will bolt in with original mounts,I want to have a drivetrain where is something breaks on the road I can find it easy.
     
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  12. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,604

    belair
    Member

    The real problem is finding one that hasn't rusted away :p.
     
  13. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,461

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Here you go......:D original.jpg
     
    73RR, mgtstumpy, 49ratfink and 3 others like this.
  14. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,734

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    I know I do not want one that was originally from my area,looked at a 57 wagon a couple weeks ago that would fall apart if the wind hit it too hard.
     
  15. what some have said - 55 to 56 V/8 could use stock motor mounts with later mopar engines....finding a nice pair is not easy - that said - the trans mount would be a location item depending on your choice of trans.....try the web site - the "Forward Look" to see what those guys are doing.....not really as hard as say....putting a SBC in a mopar
     
  16. Mel
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 544

    Mel
    Member

    If you want to be able to find parts so easy, Mopars are probably not for you. Some parts are easier to come by than others, but it really varies between make and model. You'll have to do some research before buying to be sure it's worth your trouble.
     
  17. Arominus
    Joined: Feb 2, 2011
    Posts: 394

    Arominus
    Member

    Hold on to your hat, you're going for a ride in the state of Chaos that was Chrysler in the late 50's. I know the 57-59 really well so i'll focus on that.

    First off the 55-56 are cool cars.... they are also COMPLETELY DIFFERENT body/chassis wise than the 57-59, i can not emphasize enough how big of a change over year 57 was. 55-56 don't have stock mounts for the B/RB engines. 55-56 run on coil springs vs Torsion bars for 57+. The list is endless.

    The 57-59 was built in a modular way which does allow a lot of interchange for chassis parts. The plymouth is 118" with the corporate short front end and the short body. The dodge is 122" with the short front and a 4" stretch in the cowl to rear end dimension. The Desoto and 57 Chrysler line is 126" with the long nose (4" longer) and long cowl to wheel. There are 2 exceptions to this, the 57-58 Firesweep and the 58 windsor, which are built on the 122" chassis. The wagons are 122" on plymouth/dodge/firesweep and 126" for the rest of Desoto and Chrysler. The Imperial is its own deal unique from the rest, unlike 55-56 where is was the Chrysler chassis and body. As far as suspension parts, the 57/58 118"/122" use the same front suspension parts with the 126" cars using different a-arms and torsion bars (longer). Imperial used its own stuff again. Starting in 1959 the front end was standardized across the line, torsion bars interchange from 1959 to 1964 among the big cars allowing for an easier time finding bigger diameter bars vs the 57-58 stuff which are hard to get HD bars for. Engine families available in the 57-59 will swap around, the A/B/RB/Poly/Early Hemi all swap around and have factory mounts that work and all of them fit in each other, including the 392 into the plymouth without removal of the heater box. The heating/AC system in 57 and 58 interchange across all makes, 59 is 59 only changing the shape of the box, the blower and going to vacuum controls instead of cable and engine oil (AC only) like the 57-58.


    The 59's would actually be my choice if i could pick any of them, they are better built, have a more modern HVAC setup and are a bit underrated vs the 57/58. They are the last full frame cars Chrysler built as they changed to unibodies in 1960 which were again, very different cars.

    *PHEW* thats a hell of a post. Hope that helps you out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
    brad2v, Evil Emery and 73RR like this.
  18. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,177

    gene-koning
    Member

    Considering Mopar (Dodge division) hasn't installed a b or rb motor in a car since 1978, and hasn't installed an LA motor in anything but a truck since the mid 1980, and then changed over to the modern Magnum (Not the 60s Magnum) motors in those trucks since about 2005, going into any parts stores and buying something off the shelf for a 318 or 383 is pretty unlikely. The reality is, you probably can't buy much for a 60s or 70s 302 off a parts store shelf either. I believe in some locations, buying anything more then 10 years old off a parts store shelf may difficult, but they can order something for you.

    That said, the modern Magnum motor series can be installed in those 50s Mopars and they can be converted to carbs and old style distributors if you want to. Gene
     
    38 mopar_fan likes this.
  19. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,515

    73RR
    Member

    .....we may have scared him off the scent......o_O

    .
     
  20. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,734

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    No not yet but it all depends what I find,I plan on looking all winter to see what is out there that I like.
     
  21. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,177

    gene-koning
    Member

    I'm probably going to sound like a grumpy old man, but if your considering a 50-60 Mopar, I suggest you buy one with the best possible body and is the most complete car you can find. Its a lot easier to find/update a drive train then it is to find replacement parts for rusty, damaged, or missing body and interior parts, or find replacements for broken windshields & back glass on this era Mopars. There is very little aftermarket support for most Mopars of this era. That means for most body, interior, and front & rear glass (and glass rubber gaskets), you will be limited to locating used stuff. Gene
     
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  22. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,734

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    If I get one with a manual trans I might not change anything except maybe for a 5 speed but finding anyone who can still work on those old automatic trans is getting hard so I would like to at least adapt a modern automatic trans to the original motor if its equipped with a automatic.
     
  23. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,916

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    You gave 29 minutes for people to respond to your generic question about a five year sweep of Chrysler products during the period where they made the most dramatic changes during the company's history. I cannot stress how different a '55 Plymouth is from a '59 Imperial.

    If you really have a notion that you're going to "run down to the parts store" for your mid-late '50s Mopar parts, forget it. I mean it. Right now, just drop the whole idea and go back to the safe space of your Ford stuff. These cars take specific knowledge to work on and a lot of determination and patience to locate parts for. Or you have to be willing to dump all the original stuff and start over with a focused plan to retrofit a gaggle of later-model parts to the early chassis/body.
     
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  24. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,734

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    All I was wanting to know if later motors could be bolted in easily and from what I am reading it can not,I have owned a few early 50s Chrysler products in the past but they were all stock.
     
  25. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,734

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    My experiences with Chrysler products are the flathead sixes and then it jumps to the late 60s to the mid 70s,I was just wanting to know if one can use part from this and part from that to get a motor in but if that is the case then if I get one I will figure it out. Might look at a 50 Chrysler 8 passenger sedan and it will need everything changed but not sure if I want that big of a project right now.
     
  26. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,734

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    With the mid 50s Fords it was probably a freak accident that factory mounts work and hoping it could the same with the Chrysler products.
     
  27. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,143

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    Now that's better :cool:. Looking all Winter is showing a lot more patience than your original 30 minutes.
    What I'm saying is that it looks like you'll need a lot of patience (for info and project time) as this sure seems to be a lot more involved than swapping a 55-57 Chevy's SBC for a BBC on a Saturday morning and driving it that night.

    While there's been some awesome information shared here, the swap you speak of is not a typical HAMB project or common with these cars. Most mid-late 50's Mopars get restored and retain their (Hemi, etc) powertrains. You might find a tutorial on the net somewhere. Possibly someone on a Forward Look, etc. site picked up a solid roller that had been stripped of its Hemi and dropped a later Mopar drivetrain in it and made it his driver. You see this more commonly with old (Dodge) trucks than cars.
     
  28. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,734

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    If I get one it looks like I might be the one who finds out if there are some factory mounts that might work,from my limited experience with the Chrysler V8s the motors seem to have the mounts in the same area on the motor.
     
  29. Arominus
    Joined: Feb 2, 2011
    Posts: 394

    Arominus
    Member

    Factory B/RB mounts from a 58/59 mount a big block mopar from the 60/70's. Its a bolt in with the exception of the crank flange, if you want to run a pre-62 trans on the 60's motors you need to swap in the crank from a 62-65 motor. The flange thickness changed in 66. So a 66+ crank bolted to a 62-65 trans will lock the driveline when tightened.

    Crank flanges:
    58-61 B/RB/everything else 8-bolt like the 426 hemi (426 flex plates bolt up)
    62-65 B/RB 6-bolt like the rest of the 60's motors, but a slightly thicker flange
    66+ B/RB what you're used to from the muscle car era.

    If you want to run a 66+ 727, you have to modify the trans crossmember and change the rear end for a park brake. The push buttons will shift a later 727 with an adapter cable from A&A transmissions, but you will NOT have park as there is no provision for this in the buttons. The 57-61 motors outside of the B/RB use the small block trans pattern and with an adapter can run the small block 727 or the 92-95 A-518 overdrive (aka 46RH). The 518 is what i'm bolting to my 392.

    Manuals are a rare sight in the 57+ cars and were 3 on the tree, you find most of the parts in the flathead cars. If you convert an automatic car to manual you'll have to figure out a pedal (or get one from manual car) and make a hole for the shifter in the floor.

    After all that is said, my choice would be to run the motor that came in the car if it was a v8 car. The hemi based polys, hemis and A series polys can be made to run pretty strong. Of these the cheapest to run/build is the 318, the LA stroker cranks work in the A block for an easy 408" build. The hemi/poly is more expensive but they run great. The Chrysler hemi/poly is the easiest to get parts for. Dodge/Desoto motors are their own rabbit hole, with desoto being the hardest to get things for.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
    Gotgas likes this.
  30. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,734

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    Lets see what I can find and go from there.
     

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