Originally Posted by 909johnjohn
im new to this discussin form i have a 50 ford and want a motor swap my flatt head 6 to a 73 FORD 302 MOTOR / 3-SPEED TRANS out of a van can this be done? will it fit what motor mounts to use tranny bolt up? how hard or easy to do a swap like this could really need some help thanks john
John, there are 101 little things that will jump up and bite you on an engine swap if you don't know what to anticipate.
First off, get a couple of books and read through them thoroughly. That's the cheap and easy way to find out how to do stuff like this. Here's a good start for you....
But I'll give you an overview of the procedure.
Block the vehicle up off the floor so you can have room to get under and around. Use approved safety jacks on all corners and maybe even a couple in the middle of the car at the sills. You can't have too much protection. You want the attitude of the car the same as it will be when running, level, front rake, lowered rear or whatever. Open the door and lay a level on each door sill for the front to rear angle. For side to side, use a long level frame rail to frame rail or on one of the crossmembers that you know has not been damaged. Doesn't hurt to check the level at a couple of different places on the car.
It will be much easier if you remove all the front sheet metal. The problem with doing this is that some fellows fail to document where all the shims go, then they're in trouble when it comes time to bolt the front back on. As you disassemble the front, bag and tag the shims or shim packs as you remove them and make clear notes where they go on the car. If you want to leave all that on the car, you can do it, it's just easier with it all removed. But yeah, you can do it with just the hood removed. Use a scratch awl to score marks around the hinges before you unbolt anything so you will be able to put the hood right back where it was.
Do the repair work to the engine, clutch and transmission before you begin. You don't want to have to remove the whole mess to replace a clutch disc or throwout bearing after it's all in.
Bolt up stock motor mounts to the block and the trans case. Drop the motor/trans into place. Make up some means of keeping the unit in place once you get it where you want it. Use plenty of wood blocks or other stuff you have laying around. CAUTION/WARNING: NEVER USE CONCRETE BLOCKS OR CLAY BRICKS FOR SUPPORTING ANY PART OF THE CAR OR ENGINE. THEY WILL SHATTER AND COULD RESULT IN INJURY OR DEATH.
You want the carburetor mounting pad of the intake manifold to be level with the ground fore/aft and side to side. Use a bubble level on the pad. Never mind what the attitude of the car is, level the motor by the carb pad on the intake manifold. You can move the motor/trans unit sideways off the centerline if you want to, to miss the steering box or whatever. The trick is, you want the whole unit to be parallel with the centerline of the car (90 degrees to the centerline of the rear axles). You do not want the engine/trans skewed in there. You want the centerline of the crankshaft to be parallel with the centerline of the car. If you move the motor to the passenger side of the car, then move the transmission tailshaft the same amount to the passenger side. It's difficult to explain properly without a diagram to show you, but maybe you will figure what I'm saying.
Pay attention to the motor against the firewall. You want to leave enough room to get a socket on the bellhousing bolts to drop the housing later on for repairs. Also, you want some room between the top of the bellhousing and the bottom of the tunnel to allow radiator air to escape and cool things down.
Probably the easiest way to install the motor is to use a custom crossmember that utilizes the motor mount brackets on it. Here's an example...
You can trim the tube if you end up with the motor moved laterally. Just remember that the clearance between the trans or bellhousing will become tighter also, so don't forget to leave room between the tunnel/floor of the car for everything to fit and work properly. If the stock engine crossmember is in the way, chop it out of there. You can add a crossmember or two once you have the motor located with the tubular mount.
Same thing with the transmission mount. Chop the stock crossmember out and use a tubular aftermarket piece.
When I do an engine swap, I bolt headers onto the motor before finalizing the mounts so that I know they'll fit. If there is any sheetmetal in the way, cut it out with a Sawzall or other tool. Headers are too important to allow something to get in their way in my opinion.
Go to a boneyard and choose a mid-70's car that had a 302 in it. Cut the radiator core support out of it right next to the fenders. Also get the radiator, shroud, fan clutch and OEM steel fan. Once the motor is in place and finalized, cut the stock core support out of the car and weld in the boneyard core support once you have the water pump, fan, and fan clutch attached to the motor. you will want the radiator attached to the support and the shroud in place as well. Position the fan blades in the center of the shroud hole with the fan halfway in and halfway out of the shroud hole. Purchase a brand new radiator and fan clutch for the year of the core support you got at the boneyard. This will assure a bulletproof installation. At least it always has for me.
OK, there's an overview. Do some reading and get to it.