Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Put a 287 V8 in my '52 Pontiac Straight 8 Sedan

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by theold52, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. theold52
    Joined: Mar 24, 2017
    Posts: 25

    theold52
    Member

    Hi guys. I just purchased my 3rd Pontiac. This one is a 1952 "Pontiac 8". It is much like my 1st car when I was a kid. It has the straight 8 motor hooked up to a dual range Hydramatic. I bought a real nice 287 last year in LA and replaced the motor/trans in my '55 sedan. Took that '55 motor and trans and put it in my 1957 nine passenger wagon, which had no drivetrain. Now I have found the stock 347 and Jetaway and that will replace the motor in the '57 wagon. So I will have a running 287 which I replaced mains and freeze plugs and timing chain. Runs good. Phew.!
    So does anyone know if it is pretty easy to pull the stock '52 engine/trans, and then stuff in the 287 and hydramatic? The straight 8 runs OK, but it might be a plus to change it out if it's a pretty straightforward swap. I appreciate any advice. Hope I posted this in the right place. Thanks.
     
  2. You are going from long and narrow engine to a short & wide engine. Leave the straight 8 if its a good engine.
     
    sevenhills1952 likes this.
  3. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,232

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    I would point out that Pontiac, Olds and Buick shared their chassis and suspension 'architecture' from 1937 through at least 1957. Not saying that '37 and '57 are 'identical, but year for year they are very much alike. The point being, Oldsmobile used the Rocket V8 from 1949 onward in essentially the same frame as your Pontiac. Not only that, but they shared the GM A and B body shells, depending on specific model. So, steering column placement, for example, is essentially the same as well. And, the Olds and Pontiac V8's are close in dimensions........sooooo.......to my way of seeing it, it sounds promising. But you have the car and the power train and, presumably, a tape measure.

    edit: I will concede, there may not be a major performance gain for the effort involved, but it just depends on what motivates you to consider this swap.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
    scrap metal 48 and tubman like this.
  4. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,097

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    RRer's like those straight 8's.... I would do it and sell the 8. If possible I'd move the engine trans unit about 3" farther forward giving you clearance at the back. Good luck.
     
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. sevenhills1952
    Joined: Mar 14, 2018
    Posts: 643

    sevenhills1952

    I'm with wolf. I can't see any advantage, it's bound to be worth more with the straight 8. Sell it to me as is!

    Sent from my Bell Candlestick
     
  6. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,748

    KoolKat-57
    Member
    from Dublin, OH

    I believe the '54 Pontiac was to get the 287 originally but Chevy put up a stink!
    If the 287 was to go into the '54 I would think it will go into a '52.
    Take some measurements on the frame of your '55 for reference as to how it will mount up,
    KK
     
  7. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 5,459

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    Around 1961 a friend's big brother in Jr. high had a pretty nice '52 8/hydro he drove to work, stock as a stove. One of his co-workers offered him a pretty nice '56 Star Chief coupe for the '52, and take over the payments … he did, & said there wasn't a damn thing the '52 wouldn't do better than the '56. Co-worker wouldn't trade back, needless to say.
    If your '52 is running, I'd leave it alone.
     
    sevenhills1952 likes this.
  8. theold52
    Joined: Mar 24, 2017
    Posts: 25

    theold52
    Member

    Looks like about a 50-50 split on changing over. The tape measure will be my guide if I decide to go with the V8. The straight 8 has some blo-by I noticed while running today, and would need a rebuild of the 2 Jet for sure. I appreciate the opinions.
     
    scrap metal 48 likes this.
  9. theold52
    Joined: Mar 24, 2017
    Posts: 25

    theold52
    Member

    I rebuilt the 2 Jet and fixed the transmission. The blo by has cleared and is minimal. It is a red block L8. Other than running a tad hot, it is very smooth. I replaced the water pump. And it still was able to leak at the block face. Today I noticed there was no thermostat. Put in a 180* and the pump pressure has lessened so no leaking. Runs at 210* at the sensor, rear, head, but the coolant is 176*, checked with my laser tool as it enters the rad. Not quite sure what to go with. A new aluminum radiator would work wonders, that's for sure. Pretty neat engine though. Idles like a sewing machine.
     
    scrap metal 48 and Hnstray like this.
  10. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,232

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Thanks for the update.
     
  11. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,970

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Glad it worked out for you. If you ever decide to make a change, this may be of interest. When I was in high school in the late fifties, there were a few guys in the area running early fifties Oldsmobile engines in early fifties Pontiacs. As a Ford guy, I never did it, but from what I remember talking to these guys that it was a pretty easy task, if you kept the Hydramatic. I can't imagine that substituting a Pontiac V8 would be much different. I remember one in particular that was lowered a bit in the rear, a little more in the front and ran no hood with an Olds with 6 carbs with "frog-mouth" carb scoops painted orange on the inside. That car looked wicked pulling into the high school parking lot.

    If a bunch of high school kids in the fifties could do it, I'm sure you can. As to keeping the straight eight? That is more a question of engine condition and aesthetics. (Rebuilding one is very expensive, and speed equipment, if you want it, will have you tapping your 401K.) As I remember it, the straight eights were real slugs; the Olds powered ones were not.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
    Hnstray likes this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.