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Projects Olds Rocket 303 into a 40 Ford coupe build thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by F&J, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,182

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm not one to be able to do a good build thread, but I will give it a try.

    First post is just some backround info on what style of swap, and why.

    My favorite AMT model as a kid, around 1960, was the 3-in-1 40 Ford coupe. I sure didn't need another big project, but I found myself looking at 40 coupes at the many old time hotrod shows we have here in Southern New England.. and, the first real hotrod I saw in person, around 1962, was a dark emerald green metallic 40 Deluxe coupe with an overhead V8 at a grubby old car shop in my cousin's town. I was too young to know what motor it was, but the valve covers had no name, so it could have been a 57-58 Rocket:confused:. It was $600, and I was saving up for another AMT kit:D

    So, I ended up with a hamb 40 that has the stock column shift trans, but no motor. I did have a complete 1953 Olds standard shift motor and trans that I found this summer.

    The reasons I decided to use the Ford transmission are many; I did get to drive a column shifted 48 Plymouth woodie last year, and I liked it a lot. It fun to drive on the secondary roads around here, like a blast from the past. Like Paul once posted :"I like my cars to feel old". I am on the same page there. I also like trying to do things the old way, with old parts....and, this type of swap should be very simple...I think.:rolleyes:

    I just got the car a couple of weeks ago and I really need to finish my other Olds powered hotrod this winter. I do have several large buildings, but I only have one heated work bay that I can't tie up with a non-running car. I'd have to push it outside and then go into the back of the longest building whenever I need the work bay. So, this car has to get yard drivable in a week. It won't be clean or pretty right now, just drivable, so I can concentrate on rust repairs first.

    I will only do one or two more posts today, as I need to get out there to start making the pilot bearing adapter today.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  2. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,049

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Good luck.

    I'll keep an eye out for the rest of the build. It should be interesting.
     
  3. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,182

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    One part I needed for the swap was the old style flat plate adapter to bolt the Olds to the Ford bell. I got lucky at the last two swaps of the season here, this past weekend. $10 got the plate, but not the pilot bearing adapter.

    The repro one has the top 4 Olds holes tapered to use flush fitting allen bolts. Mine is not. So, if you can see in the pic, on the plate, using normal bolt heads will hit the outer edge of the Ford bell. I plan on using/finding allen head bolts, like some headers use. I will then need to make 4 divots in the bell to clear the bolt heads with a grinder.

    Flywheels: I have 2 choices, the stock 50-53 Olds V8 145 tooth or an older 40's Olds 6 cylinder lightweight 145 tooth. I did some quick measurements off the motor and the Ford TOB, and the 6 flywheel won't work: It's clutch face area is further in towards the crank. That would leave no room for the pilot bushing adapter, and the TOB would not reach the Olds pressure plate. So I am using the V8 wheel.

    Clutch disc: I asked a V8 guy from Fordbarn who was here about Ford disc sizes. He said probably later flathead cars or trucks should have a disc that is bigger, to go with the 10.5" Olds pressure plate. I ended up finding a nearly new disc at Sundays swap from a 50 Merc for $5. It is 10" and fits fine.

    So, today I need to try to get the measurements to get the pilot bushing adapter made. Wishing myself some luck with that :)


    ...and yes, that is a mini starter...more on that issue later :D
     

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  4. Good luck as well! I'll be following along.
     
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  5. Dave50
    Joined: Mar 7, 2010
    Posts: 1,751

    Dave50
    Member

    Subscribed Frank goodluck
     
  6. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,261

    rd martin
    Member
    from indiana

    i understand about not tying up the work bay! you and i have talked about my cad lasalle swap over to chevy which im trying to get back to. so now im watching your progress.
     
  7. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,588

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    That's along with a Cad in a '40 are THEE choice combinations. At least down here in the south. Man I am stoked for ya!! That's going to be awesome seeing that thing shoe horned into the engine bay.

    As for the mini starter you can go that route or Hildebrandt made a starter switch plate that put it over to the other side.

    I'm going to keep my eye for some updates!
     
  8. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,402

    Paul
    Editor

    what are you planning for engine dress up or performance?
     
  9. while this post is hot, can someone tell me this. im putting a 303 in a 53 chev. the motor is set up for a stick. i was told this motor had a ford trans in a early ford.any idea what clutch disk it would have. my plans are to use a 37 lasalle trans. so what disk do i need.
     

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  10. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,402

    Paul
    Editor

    I can see that 303 with an Edelbrock 3x2 with 97s, a Mallory distributor and Belond headers, and a little chrome dress-up, generator, coil, regulator, pullies, fan...
    and maybe a little Von Dutch on the firewall and radiator.

    I'm ready for your next up date :)
     
  11. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,514

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.

    Uselly the clutch disk would also be 37 lasalle ,no mater what the other parts,this is so tranny power shaft fits,check bushing in crank to be sure it fits tranny.if not make one the dose.
     
  12. bushwacker 57
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 470

    bushwacker 57
    Member

    I have a Speed- Gems bushing it is 1 inch out from the crank flange were it seats . To the face of a 203 Fafnir Sealed roller bearing i used the same when i Installed a 53 cad motor in my F1 pu. also the snout of the clutch disk some times you have machine some off .
     
  13. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    Ah, so that must be why the mystery hot rodder made the crank hub to flywheel spacer I mentioned to you earlier that was on the '53 303 I ended up with. If you want, I'll get you an exact measurement on it just so you'll know what you need if you ever do want to use it.
     
  14. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,182

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'll answer the questions first, before showing what I did today:



    <HR style="COLOR: #e5e5e5; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #e5e5e5" SIZE=1><!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->


    I almost bought a 331 Cad with the Eldorado factory tripower from Russ Schaller a month or so ago. I just didn't think I'd ever use it, and it sold quick.





    You'd better look at the end of the crank to see if it still has the Olds-to-Ford adapter bushing. If it does, it needs to go back to stock Olds bushing. Your old disc is probably like my Mercury disc, or maybe out of a Ford truck...coarse spline that started with the Model A Fords, and up through the flathead era.





    I sold off most all the early Olds goodies because I thought I'd never use them. An old friend of mine, and I, bought out the entire untouched stash of Olds race stuff from an old dragracer that was mentioned in "Cool Cars, Square Roll Bars". He quit racing his 37 Chevy coupe gasser in 62. I still have his J2 tripower and carbs that he bought new at the Olds dealer back then. He planed the intake to fit a 324. I also have the carbs and a good pile of his Eelco linkage to work with. He still has the 37, but he went streetrod with IFS and a SBC. I enjoy talking with old time Olds guys...their eyes light up when they relive their past. ;)


    Right now the 303 is a 4 barrel. I will add the trips because I always ran multiple carbs :) I do have a set of 1956 #10 heads that I should put on so that the port sizes match. Just don't have time to do the valves right now, even though I have the valve a seat grinders. My other Olds rod has all the good stuff from front to back; took a long time to find all old stuff, but I like it a lot. Don't know if I can go through it again. Simple build sounds good right now.

    I might just go J2 look with 53 valve covers, not sure. It will keep a generator. My 1970 daily driver is factory EFI with a factory generator, so they are fine by me.







    Thanks for the measurements. I must have triple checked 10 times so far, and I kept coming up with a 1-1/4" bushing extension??? There is a GOOD chance I screwed up, I do make my share of mistakes. Pics to come tonight..








    I just don't know how they made the 6 cyl flywheel work, after measuring things. I am starting to think it might be just the ticket for a S-10 5 speed...because the input pilot is longer, as well as having the splines further forward? I don't have a trans to measure, though.
     
  15. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,182

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Here's today's progress. I had a lot of company showing up all morning, so I got a late start. Company is good, it would be pretty lonely without friends..

    I was measuring every possible thing to try to make a sketch of what the bushing extension needed to be. I used the grease and metal rod trick, to push out the factory Olds pilot bushing. I knew I'd need to get it out damage free so I could machine it to fit the adapter. I was filling the pilot hole with a greasegun and it seemed to be taking a lot. Pic 1 shows that it has a very deep, 2 stepped hole.

    So, I figured the adapter would hold better if I had a interference fit on both of those bores. Pic 2 shows the adapter being drilled right through so that it does not trap air when I mash it in. I'm glad I remembered to do that. :rolleyes:


    I ended up machining the ID and OD of the Olds oilite bushing to fit the Ford pilot, and to press fit into the adapter.


    I know squat about different interference-fit oversizing for various metals and diameters, so I just guessed. When I went to intall the adapter in the crankshaft, I couldn't really know for sure if it would go in super tight, or end up being a bit too easy. So, I decided to use Loctite Bearing Mount. That may be a huge mistake, because that adapter went in very hard. It never would have gotten loose without the loctite, so I hope I never have to take it out.



    Last pic is decieving, it looks very odd in person with it sticking out like that. Yes, I checked to see if the Merc clutch hub would clear it, and it clears with room to spare. In the morning, I will go through the bell and motor face measurements again, to see if I made any huge mistakes here. I hope it's OK because the adapter is permanent:eek:


    The Mail lady drove down to the shop with a package; I just ordered the Ebay repro Hurst style front mounts Sunday night after the swaps, and I got them today. They look great, and they are priced really good. I doubt I could match the qualitly in a full day of work. Soooo, I have enough stuff now to put the motor in.

    Update maybe Thursday...
     

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  16. bushwacker 57
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 470

    bushwacker 57
    Member

    FJ the bushing i have can be adj mine is a FITS all and yours is made to fit. I also used hurst mounts it was a fun and easy swap. :)
     
  17. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,182

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


    I was worried mine was wrong, so I just got back from measuring things again, now that the bushing is there. 1-1/4" is what mine needs with the old time cast iron plate. Maybe some plates are thicker or thinner, which would change the specs.

    I think I am OK to put the motor in tomorrow. I hope to find the 4 allen head bolts I need in the morning. The local Fastenal store went belly up this summer, so I may have to try several hardware stores.

    And I just ran the measurements on the firewall. I don't think anything needs to be cut or dented for the Olds to fit.
     
  18. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    I just miked tha flywheel spacer, and it's .246, so it must have been made from 1/4 inch thick steel. The engine it came from was bolted to an early Ford trans, as I saw the car it came from. Dunno, just dunno.
     
  19. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,182

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


    I compared where the ring gear would be on each flywheel. Without a spacer, both ring gears would be in the same relationship to the starter gear. So, with a 1/4" spacer, it will ride on a different spot on the starter gear. But the stock starter gear teeth are longer than the ring gear teeth, so I guess it still meshed OK.


    I wonder how they made the TOB reach the pressure plate.... I am thinking I need to move my bearing a bit closer, but not sure if I can. I did a couple of Model A bearings this summer, and the inner ID mounting surface of the bearing is not a flat wide surface. It has a wide groove in the center. So, if I made a 1/8" spacer between the bearing and the bearing holder, the bearing might not seat tight to the holder. I will look into that.
     
  20. Steve 38
    Joined: Jan 5, 2007
    Posts: 490

    Steve 38
    Member

    Can we see some pics of the 40?
     
  21. what is the grease and metal rod trick?
     
  22. Dago 88
    Joined: Mar 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,660

    Dago 88
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I did the exact same combination for my roadster & got a pilot bushing from Willcap saved a lot of headaches & was only $50 landed in Australia.
    Cheers.
     
  23. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,182

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    As soon as I drive it out into the lot :) ...and trust me, it ain't a peach




    The principal is hydraulic pressure to push the old bushing out; Fill the hole with grease. A greasegun is easier than trying to push grease in there because you'd end up with an air pocket which won't work. Now that the hole is full, take a metal rod that fits good in the bushing, and hit it hard. The bushing will start to come out, then add more grease to keep it coming out, if the rod gets too deep and hits the crank. Easy and quick this way.




    I never tried looking for a repro bushing. I don't usually buy any catalog parts at all, I make stuff or find old hotrod pieces. I just got the "new" old South Bend lathe, and I like running it because it works so nice compared to the 120 year old one I had. I traded 3 hours of minor body work and paint blending on a Durango for the lathe :) ..and I even had the correct urethane color in stock;) I've been adding a lot of equipment that I get dirt cheap in the last 3 years. I wish I had this stuff when I was younger, because you can make almost anything, rather than wait for the mailman.






    I hope I can find the allen bolts this morning, then maybe get the motor in and bolted up to the trans, then work on the front mounts.
     
  24. My 37 Ford has a Caddy in it ,same flywheel as your Olds. My first clutch was an 11" LaSalle, within in a month one of the release fingers bent. So I went to a Scheiffer 11" pressure plate .You can also use a Ford truck 11" pressure plate , use the Lasalle disc with it. This is in reference to the post from Buddysyard.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  25. general gow
    Joined: Feb 5, 2003
    Posts: 6,214

    general gow
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    looking forward to this. sounds like it's gonna be a cool car.
     
  26. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    Now that you mention it, somewhere in the jungle that is my garage is the throwout bearing that came from this setup. I should dig it out and see what it looks like. Probably something that was on every parts store's shelf when the car was built fifty years ago, but isn't so easy to find today.
     
  27. I seem to be absolutely terrible with keyword searches. I can only find one pair of Olds mounts on ebay... mind sharing who the seller was, so I can get a pair? Thanks! :)
     
  28. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    I believe it's skdptb.
     
  29. Steve 38
    Joined: Jan 5, 2007
    Posts: 490

    Steve 38
    Member

    Thats OK, when you get the chance. I'm building a '38 Deluxe coupe with an Olds, so am following this thread with interest. And mine ain't no peach either.
     
  30. Plung
    Joined: Aug 15, 2011
    Posts: 166

    Plung
    Member
    from San Diego

    can't wait to see some pics of this one!
     

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