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Old 03-07-2006, 09:42 AM
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55 Ford Fairlane engine & trans swap

I have a 1955 Ford Fairlane with a 272 cid with a ford 2 speed. I like what it is for now but I want to put a 351w/C4 with a mild cam in next summer . My question is what all is involved or should it pretty much line up and go in fairly easily with NO major mod ? Can I also leave the stock rear in or will the 351 tear it up ? Is there anyone that has done this swap yet ? I would like to find out ALL the issues before I start . I did read an earlier review where someone did the same thing but already had a 289 cid in his car already .
I want to have all the parts when I do my swap !
Also what headers will line up for the swap ? I have done engine swaps before ( in 1970's ) but it's been a lone time !

Thanks ,
Jim

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Old 03-07-2006, 12:45 PM
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351W to 55 Fairlane

Your stock rear end should easily hold up to the 351W. In years past, everything from 312's, 289's, all manner of FE blocks and Lima blocks have been dropped into 55-56 Fords with out rear end changes, and have held up quite well.
As far as mounts go, you may be able to get away with putting in a set of chassis mounts for a Mustang, Granada, or Maverick. This will require either drilling holes to bolt in the chassis mounts or else welding them in place, then using stock 302/351W engine mounts with them. Just be careful to measure what you are doing. A good way to work with it is if you have an old beat up worn out 302 to use for mockup. Gut the engine, and with the bare block, and oil pan installed, bolt the engine and chassis mounts to the block, then lower it down into the engine bay, This will tell you immediately what modifications you need to make to ensure good solid mounting and alignment. If possible, also mount the transmission you are planning to use as well. Mount the tranny to the engine block. This will greatly assist you in getting proper alignment, and will tell you what, if any, modifications you will need to do to the transmission crossmember. Be sure to save the slider yoke for your proposed transmission as well, as the one from the old Ford O Matic probably wont work in it. You may well have to have a new driveshaft made, depending on whether your old one is long enough or not, or it may have to be shortened, if your drive shaft is too long. Essentially, what the other person did to put that 289 in the Fairlane applies for the 351W as well, since the blocks are the same length, use the same mounts etc.
If using the stock mounts for a 351W proves unfeasable, you can opt for a universal type engine mount, which is readily available from most speed equipment dealers. This is bent tubing with flanges welded on both ends to cradle on your frame, and use stock factory engine mounts.
Best of luck, this isnt a hard swap to do, but it is slightly time consuming.
If you have any questions or concerns about mods to the 351W, feel free to send me a PM.
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Old 03-08-2006, 04:36 PM
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351 to fairlane

Max ,
Thanks for ALL the information in the swap ! I thought everything should be real close . I was planning on the drive shaft replacement . I figured that would be a must . It will be lots of fun doing this . I haven't done one since I was 16 yrs old . I am now 52 !! I just want a little more under the hood , but not too much . I wanted to be able to drive it with out costing me a fortune !
Is the 351w a better choice than a 302 ? What is your thoughts on this one ?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 03-08-2006, 05:17 PM
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Just my 2 cents but I have a 351w in my pickup and it works just fine for me..you can probably use some stock exhaust manifolds as Ford made several designs I have some that are rear exit..might save a buck or two and work for you as well..The engine I have is stock and performs well for what I want..

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Old 03-08-2006, 06:48 PM
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re: 55 Ford Fairlane engine & trans swap

Sam ,

Thanks for your 2 cents !!! I just want some input due to the popular 302 in the Mustang now and see what other people are using .
I like the 351w . I had one in my 67 fairlane and it ran real strong and gave me no problems . If I go with the 351 I would like to put a mild cam in it . I will go with headers too .
Thanks ,
Jim
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:35 PM
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NO Replacement for Displacement

In my humble opinion, while the 351W outweighs the 302, 525 lbs. compared to 460 lbs. for the 302, since the blocks are the same length, and the 351 being only slightly over an inch taller and about 2 1/2 inches wider, I would opt for the 351. Weight wise, the 351 and your old Y block are about the same if maybe the Y block being slightly heavier.
The 351W is a strong stump puller with stock or near stock heads and capable of easily producing 1 HP per cubic inch, with out having to get radical.
As for headers, I would recommend going with shorty headers for the 5.0 Mustangs. If nothing else, get a set of the factory headers off of a 5.0. There are a lot of sets of them in salvage yards or you may know someone that has built up a 5.0 Mustang. The factory headers dont flow anywhere near the aftermarket jobs, but they are superior to any of the cast iron manifolds with the exception, MAYBE, to the mid 60's manifolds used on the 271 and 306 HP 289's. The biggest drawback to the HI PO manifolds are that they are extremely pricey, even the reproduction models, and they do weigh as much as stock manifolds. Another positive side effect of running the factory headers is that they are about 25-30 lbs lighter than stock manifolds.
You didnt note what year 351W you are using, and if you havent gotten it yet, You might consider the HO version 351W that was put in the mid 80's Ford Pickups. They have a lot larger cam compared to the early 351's. Cam specs being 195/195 duration @ .050" with .416/.416 lift for the early and standard 351 and 206/221 duration @.050" with .445/.453 lift for the HO cam.
The HO also came with a 4 bbl carb and intake. With your application, rebuilding one of these engines with a mild bump in compression and some minor porting work would put you up in the 250-260 HP area at the rear wheels, along with adding a set of factory Mustang headers. The advertized HP was 210 HP for this engine. One recommendation on the heads, regardless of what model or year of 351W you go with. If you do nothing else, grind out the "tonsil" in the exhaust ports, This tonsil is where the air injection comes into the exhaust runner, and it blocks anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 the exhaust runner. For an hour or two with a good quality rotory file, you can easily pick up 15-20 hp. While the peak HP figures dont seem like much, the gains in the lower and mid range are really great. Just some thoughts from a guy thats been messing with SBF's and 351W's since the late 60's.
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:45 PM
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Hey!

I've got a 351w in my 55, and I used stock motor mounts with the single stud.
I had to modify the stock cross member a little. The problem I'm running into is the exhaust manifolds, some early mustang's will probably work, but restrict
my motor so I'm making some custom headers for it. I've seen people put a 302 in real easy, shorty headers fit perfectly. Another problem that I'm running into is the rearend and drive shaft, they don't make bastard joints small enough to convert the c6 yoke to the small drive shaft, and vice versa
a different drive shaft to the rearend. But thats what makes it fun with hotrods.
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Old 02-25-2010, 10:49 PM
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Now the Truth

I moderate the 52-56 Ford owners group on the HAMB,many of us have done SBF swaps in these Fords,I have a '54 Customline with a 5.0 and AOD so here is the real deal on mounts, you can use 1977 Ford F-150 mounts and they will drop right into place,an AOD or C-4 will line up with the 54-56 transmission crossmember, use a Geniuine Suspension transmission mount (see pic#1) my AOD is hooked up to the stock rear using a 1986 Crown Vic drive shaft using a NEAPCO conversion u-joint to mate it to the '54 rear(pic#2).The 289-302-5.0 swap is best to do because the exhaust manifolds are very close to the A-frames and steering box the added width of the 351W will make for a challenge,oddly enough the FE motors would fit better than the 351 due to manifold placement,here is a pic of my Ford note the clearance to the steering box.Also you must use a front sump pan like 65-68 Mustang.You can see I used a mini-starter from DB Electrical for even more clearance to the exhaust,there are a few more tricks to make this an easier swap,feel free to pm me for info.I see that I responded to an old post but there are more of these Fords getting noticed lately so now info is out there.
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Last edited by JeffB; 02-25-2010 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:15 PM
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I will have to look for that universal joint. Thank.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:29 PM
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correction

I reread my fisrt statement and meant to write modified my transmission crossmember. But like I said in my first statement Its been a fairly easy swap.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:33 AM
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Drive shaft for C6 swap

I am putting a 302 with a C6 in my 55, and I need a drive shaft...Know what length I need to look for or what vehicles I can find one in?
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:46 AM
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Did you even try to google it or search this sites database?

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Old 07-30-2013, 05:58 PM
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Hey 68novasuperslow...did you read any of the threads? Now, do you have any actual useful information for me?
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55HotRod View Post
Hey 68novasuperslow...did you read any of the threads? Now, do you have any actual useful information for me?
All the info on your swap can be found here: THE H.A.M.B. No Bowties allowed
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