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Technical Thunderbird 429 C6 in a 35-40 ford chassis, will it fit?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Crusty Chevy, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. Hello all, I have a 1940 Ford coupe that needs a engine/transmission. I have a line on a free for the taking 429/C6 45,000 miles it is a 360 horsepower 4V motor. My chassis is currently stock but I do have Chassis Engineering parallel leaf and split wishbone kits in the parts pile and a 8" ford rear. I want to keep the solid axle. My floors need replacing so a new trans tunnel is in order, anyways.

    So is this doable? Will it fit? Speedway sells a weld in mount kit. Where will interference be? I can cut the inner fenders. Steering box? Can I keep the bones? Splitting OK, or (gasp) 4 link? Will the chassis need full boxing? What an I forgetting?

    Thanks in advance-

  2. Yep it will fit.

    Firewall and trans tunnel with be your biggest woes. The steering will probably need to be addressed and yes you can split the bones. probably wouldn't hurt to beef the chassis a little bit.
  3. It will be tight, but you can make it fit with some massaging. I would be looking for a 460 4x4 oil pan and rear sump. That will help you get the motor a bit lower in the chassis. Boxing is practically a must, that is a big block with lots of torque. C6's are big and long, you may want to look into other transmission options, something a bit smaller and with overdrive will make your life a bit easier. Headers and steering box clearance will also be fun.

    Good Luck.
  4. I'd look for a 9" rear too. Ford limited factory use of the 8" to small blocks for a reason...
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  5. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,189


    The firewall will need major work.
  6. Free motors are never free are they? A big block Ford and an auto was never in the original plan but when life gives you a gift you tend to jump on it. I was originally thinking SBC and 4 speed, safe and simple. An auto was an outside possibility I was struggling with as I see many old timers near me having a hard time enjoying their old cars with the third pedal and I want to keep this one till I am dirt. I was thinking it would physically fit but what would the ancillary "costs" be vs. building a mild SBC and not having to do quite so much modifications. Thanks for the input, guys. Anyone else?
  7. Nope.... But while a SBC is very nearly a drop-in given the aftermarket these days, you still have to factor in the costs of acquiring said SBC. Free is free... and a 429 will haul that Ford around very well even in stock form. It doesn't take very much to really 'wake them up', a cheap way to add the 'hot' to hot rod....
    Dog_Patch likes this.
  8. 397M6675A460.jpg
    Jegs has this Ford Motorsports kit for $180, looks like it will make a decent difference in engine height.

    In Googling (is that a word?) this I only came up with one post on another forum from 2002 on someone doing this exact swap:

    "I sold a few years back a 1940 Ford Coupe with a 429 and C-6. I have learned the hard way - start from the front a work[​IMG] back. Do not get hung up about cutting the firewall. and do not worry if the engine sets a little off center to the passenger side. The 429 was a real job. The floor mounted brake petal had to moved some - it hit the bellhousing. I will never do a 429 again - just too big and heavy and a stroker 351W will run as well for much less weight and size. Good luck."

    So I guess that is a sort of proof of concept. What about the weight? is it really that much more that a early Cad or early Hemi that I have seen more often as alternative power plants.
  9. Really no difference in weight; the early Caddy is 700 lbs, early Chrysler hemi is 735, the 429 Ford is 720. Put an aluminum intake on, you're now below both. Those early V8s were heavy....
  10. a little bump for the night time crowd.....
  11. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,795


    I'm sure if you plan everything out, you'll get it done. Having a BB as a gift would sure get me motivated.
  12. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,214


    Man I don't get want it to be a lifetime ownership, but willing to butcher the heck out of a 40 for a free gas hog BBF ? Gas will not stay cheap

    If it will be for life, work on the other parts of the resto, and have more time to think about powering it. Take time to look up which engines were all time favorites for 40 Fords

    I do have a distaste for a later Ford in a Ford...Years ago, a local guy had a top shelf souped flatty powered 37, that even the firewall was block sanded and polished. He got frustrated with the flathead running hot, so he ripped it out and went 302 A/T. Geez, the firewall was so butchered and tunneled, just to say "ford in a ford" What a beautiful car that got ruined...or at least damaged. Certain engines are just too long for that 40. And some say buy aftermarket pumps or whatever to get them shorter, but you are spending more $ on a poor fitting motor....kind of like that repro oil pan adding $$costs before you even start.

    Some 40s get hacked up even for SBC because the guy wants the long pump and drive for whatever reason. ?
  13. blue57ford
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 491


    Get the engine and transmission regardless. Get them and store them while you study the pros and cons of the possible swap. In the end, if you feel the swap will entail more than your willing to tackle, sell them and put the money towards something you're willing to swap in.
  14. I do agree with you. I appreciate the slap back to reality. This is the dream car but the dream never included a BBF. There is a old tank '40 in the mountains near here with a early Caddy, that is the dream. It fills the bay, but just looks right. The more I look into the BBF the less it seems like a good deal for my '40. I do not want a 1000lbs weight on the front and I really want three pedals. I will take it anyways, its a good motor someone might have something to trade for it. Livin' the dream.
  15. Genius, thanks
  16. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,214


    Great reply....." a lifetime dream".. so..make it special if you will keep it forever!!

    Moriarity is a Moderator on Hamb. He did his 40 coupe with the early 331 Caddy and he can't stop saying how nice it fit, looks, and runs. I would think he used the 40 sideshift or 39 top shift trans and stock torque tube rear, but you'd need to PM him for details.

    I went with another old favorite on my 40 coupe, the early olds Rocket 303 using the stock 40 column shift trans. I always wanted to try the swap since in the early 60s when I saw one as a kid. Best fun swap I ever did, fit great, nice ride, and steering was light enough for a woman to parallel park.

    There are many choices, just think some more
  17. Texas Eli
    Joined: May 28, 2012
    Posts: 40

    Texas Eli

    I've used that oil pan before on an OT swap, it's about as tight to everything as can be.
    With that said, I measured out a 429/C6 for a '48 Coupe years ago, and realized I didn't have a large enough hammer. There was a Streetrodder years ago (early-mid 1990s) where the guy installed a roots-blown 429/toploader (complete with Jeep shifter) into a '40, and it was a massive amount of work.

  18. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,150


    720lbs for BBF engine, add another 165lbs for a BBF C6 and another 37lb for torque convertor.
    A 429 is 27" wide, 29" long and 29" high.
    By comparison, roughly a:-

    • SBC is 26" wide, 28" long and 27" high and weighs 575lbs; and
    • SBF (351W) is 24" wide, 29" long and 27.5" high and weighs 460lb
    I say go for it
  19. Here is the wrap up. So I wound up working a three way deal, and in the end traded the 429/C6 for a nearly complete running take out '49 Olds 303 with an attached Hydro. It is a single 4bbl motor from a high line car. It is just missing the dipstick and air cleaner and one of the rocker covers was a bit smushed by the PO when it was taken out.

    IMG_0304.JPG IMG_0314.JPG IMG_0305.JPG
  20. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,214


    Your valve covers are newer than 49-50. Here is a list of HAMB numbers to ID it for sure. You really do need to know which year 303 for two reasons;
    -the 49-50 Hydramatic trans uses a hard to find U-joint yoke. fits 41? to 50, Hydra and 50 Olds stick.
    -the 49-51 303 uses 1.5 ratio rocker arms and rocker stands. The old way to get more lift from a stock 49-51 cam, was to get 1.8 rockers and stands from a 52-up 303 or 324.

    the stamped numbers will be on a machined pad of the cylinder head gasket surface, and I think 303 were located on driver side between #5 and #7 exhaust ports. It is an extended cast tab sticking out more than the head is.

    1949--8A1001 TO 8A193864 H PREFIX=HYDRA MATIC
    1950--8A194001 TO 8A568689 H PREFIX= HYDRA MATIC
    1951--8C1001 TO 8C287312 B PREFIX= SYNCHROMESH
    1952--8R1001 TO 8R214478
    1953--R215001 TO R549482
    1954--V1001 TO V355083
    1955--V400001 TO V983275
    1956--A001001 TO A385513 New Jetaway A/T only
    1956 STICK and old Hydramatic will be the older V code, number range unknown

  21. 8C23064 and no prefix. Casting number on the bellhousing looks like 559948
    Looks like it is a '51, it has #2 heads, but has a stock iron single four barrel intake with a 4Jet which I thought was not until 52? I guess that is good news on the transmission yolk as I need one. A buddy took it in trade and had someone who wanted the 429 so one free motor and transmission for another. The transmission fluid on the dip stick is clean, no oil/sludge in the exhaust, distributor shaft has zero play, even the oil fill tube breather has the metal wool element intact and there is very little oil in the wool, and it turns over. Story was a guy in Florida was having issues with the county on cars on his land so he pulled a bunch of runners out and junked the bodies which had the usual Florida ocean salt air rust issues. Now the question is how far to open it up, I guess the valve covers and oil pan are the easiest.
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  22. CoolYourJets
    Joined: Dec 16, 2016
    Posts: 172


  23. Still parts collecting and finishing up work on my 47 chevy coupe which the wife insisted gets done first when I was "allowed" to buy the '40 a year ago. I intend to start a "real time" build thread after Steel In Motion in mid-May which is the goal to get the chevy going, which I should make. I have yet to crack open the Olds except a valve cover which was full of the usual old car flaking paraffin wax based oil mess. I have been reluctant to buy any Olds goodies until I make sure it is not a boat anchor.
    CoolYourJets likes this.

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