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Old 02-19-2008, 08:36 PM
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59 T-Bird Engine Swap??

I need some advice on what I should do. My 59 Bird has the original 352 engine and trans. Should I rebuild it or put a 84 5.0 injected regular motor in it with the trans? The engine is complete with A/C and power steering. I also have a 350 Chevy that I could put in it. Should I keep it all ford? It's going to be a custom, so I don't care about originality. I've been a Chevy guy. I don't know much about Ford stuff.

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Old 02-19-2008, 08:44 PM
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FE Block

I would definately stay in the FE family, there are so many choices,352,360,390,406,410,427,or 428 and they will make ubreal power when built right, plus your already set up for it Keith
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:50 AM
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55 Fairlaine 302 swop

Hi all, I picked up a 55 Fairlaine with a stuck 272 y-block. I want to stuff a 302 with an AOD trans in it. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Dale in Minn.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:23 PM
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The 302 will sit in the cradle with 1964 FORD 289 insulators. You will have to dry fit the AOD to see if it clears the trans tunnel and/or to modify it.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:45 PM
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I have a 59 292 y-block very good running engine and theres lots of speed equipment out there for the y-blocks I will take $500 you can call me at 352-321-2788 Keith
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale T.
Hi all, I picked up a 55 Fairlaine with a stuck 272 y-block. I want to stuff a 302 with an AOD trans in it. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Dale in Minn.
Hey Dale you hi jacked my thread. I want to hear more thoughts on my problem. I will stick with Ford in a Ford. How good is the 5.0 motor? Does it have as much power or more power that the 352?
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STRODDER
I need some advice on what I should do. My 59 Bird has the original 352 engine and trans. Should I rebuild it or put a 84 5.0 injected regular motor in it with the trans? The engine is complete with A/C and power steering. I also have a 350 Chevy that I could put in it. Should I keep it all ford? It's going to be a custom, so I don't care about originality. I've been a Chevy guy. I don't know much about Ford stuff.
Living in California, you will have a legal problem if you bring the T-bird up to a modern engine. All emissions for the new engine will be required on the chassis and engine. That means fuel vapor recovery, legal exhaust with cats and exact pipe, the instrument panel will require a "Check Engine" light, etc. Then you'll have to ding/dong with the BAR and CARB. If you don't follow their rules and ever get caught, count on them making a poster child of you similar to Jessie James and his quarter of a million dollar fine and having to retrofit or park everything he built.

The best solution is to put in another FE or, and this was an option back then, an MEL 430 to its stretched version the 462. The 352 in the bird was always a dog, you can brighten up the performance and stay with an FE as it will look original with a 390/tamed 406/410 or 428. If you want bigger and retain a numbers matching block, the 59 352 has a lot of meat in it and can be bored easily to .125 or .130. With a 3.78 inch crank that puts 390 with a .05 overbore and 390 pistons and rods, or 406 with a .130 overbore using the 3.78 crank and rods. 410 can be had with a 3.98 inch 428 crank and a .05 overbore and 428 with a .130 overbore.

Frankly except for a suicide full out race motor I like to stay conservative on overbores and would go to a 4.05 bore which gives you the choice of 390 or 410 depending on crank selection. A .05 overbore on the 352 with stock crank will go to the Edsel 361 and a .130 overbore will take it to 374 inches. However, without a stroke increase these 352 growths don't add to bottom end grunt which the bird needs. Remember that Ford moves pin location in the piston and often the rod when stroking a motor so do research and ask questions.

The 59 automatic is the Borg-Warner 3 speed, it's not a very strong transmission, a late 60s C6 would be a better choice.

If you can score a Lincoln with a 430 or 462 and its tranny, this makes a powerful and economical cruiser out of the bird, finally mating enough engine to let that tank roll with ease.

A 350 Chevy would detract from the cars value and certainly has nothing to offer power or economy wise to over the 352 and friends. To really get into the torque the bird needs to cruise nice, you really need to take the SBC to 383, 400, 406 or more. That's as much cost and hassle as doing the 352 into something the car really needs.

Frankly, if it were mine I be shopping for a Lincoln to put in it. My father had one back in 1960, that thing would melt the Firestones right down to the rims. Plus you could run it from Berdoo to Vegas at a 100 + all day long without the slightest strain.

Bogie

Last edited by oldbogie; 02-20-2008 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:24 PM
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If it were my car I would stay in the FE family, simply because the car is already setup for it and there is a good selection of speed parts available for it. On the flip side, the 5.0 has an even better selection of speed parts available, can be built cheaper in most cases, and is an easy candidate for FI, which would help reliability and overall drivability, BUT you may have to modify a few things to install the engine/tranny combo.

Now if this choice is simply between the 352 and the 5.0, I would say 5.0 all the way.

Edit: Given your location and the resulting issues with emissions testing, the 5.0 isn't an option. As usual, I'll defer to the more wizened among us in the ways of the fords of yore...

Last edited by SAATR; 02-20-2008 at 01:29 PM. Reason: missed the location
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:51 PM
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Thanks guys for your reply. There is no smog check in California for a 59. Even when you sell it. So that wouldn't be a problem putting a 5.0 in it. The 5.0 I have is in a 84 T-Bird that I bought. It has FI, A/C, and power steering on the motor. It has a serpentine belts on it to. The Trans will go in the 59 also. If I have to modify the floor I will. I don't want to go over board on the cost of the whole project. That's why I want to use what I have. Can a regular 5.0 be made into a 5.0 HO?

By the way I'm selling the 47 Studebaker Truck in my avatar
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Old 02-20-2008, 04:59 PM
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Did that come from a river bank in Illinois?? Looks like one that used to set around here. I can't see the front very well, but it looks like a '58 grille.
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:11 PM
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It might have. I got in Northridge California where it sat for 30 years. Almost no body rot. Only the floors have to be replaced. Once I get the body off, and blast all the paint off, then I'll really see what I have. Being a convertible I think it's worth spending money on it. I rather put money in the Bird than the Stude Truck.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STRODDER
Thanks guys for your reply. There is no smog check in California for a 59. Even when you sell it. So that wouldn't be a problem putting a 5.0 in it. The 5.0 I have is in a 84 T-Bird that I bought. It has FI, A/C, and power steering on the motor. It has a serpentine belts on it to. The Trans will go in the 59 also. If I have to modify the floor I will. I don't want to go over board on the cost of the whole project. That's why I want to use what I have. Can a regular 5.0 be made into a 5.0 HO?

By the way I'm selling the 47 Studebaker Truck in my avatar
I beg to differ, you need to be very careful here. What I said was, if you bring a modern engine into the 59 T-bird, you are now legally bound to bring all the modern engine and chassis emissions equipment into the car and have it emissions certified. this isn't me speaking this is the law in California. While engine and driveline changes are allowed under CARB regulations they state that the vehicle and its engine must comply with which ever is the more stringent regulation that for the year of the chassis or the year of the engine. So a modern engine also makes the vehicle subject to an annual emissions inspection. If you bring a modern emissions engine into the car and avoid the waltz with BAR and CARB to legalize the change, which you can do, and get caught, they are likely to make a poster child of you. This carries some pretty hefty fines. Given that there is a push by the green community to make all cars for all years suffer an inspection, going forward I think you need to plan for this eventuality. As knowing California pretty well, this is a question of when not if it's going to happen.

Keeping the bird's engine stock appearing may retain some chance of sneaking thru the new regulations when they hit. You can count that when Obama is president the greens where you live and elsewhere will push stiffer emissions regulation.

Bogie
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:48 PM
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I just looked at the California Smog Laws. Here's what I found.

http://www.dmv.org/ca-california/smog-check.php

I think the law you might be thinking of pertains to custom built cars. Like the hot rods that have fiberglass bodys, and an aftermarket frame. They fall under these laws. I'm not saying that your wrong. I want to know for sure what the law is. If thats true, then I will rebuild the 352. The California Smog Laws change by the minute. If you saw something different than I did, send me a link so I could check it out for my self. I had a Smog Lic here in So Cal from 1969 to 1990. I do try to keep up with the latest laws though. And I do hear ya about them changing laws for the 1975 and older cars.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:51 PM
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I'll take the caddy convert.
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:44 PM
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The 55 Caddy belongs to my son. It's a 4 door made into a 2 door convertible. He has to finish the right side. Kool sled huh.

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