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-   -   Cadillac 390 to Chevy 350 Engine Conversion (http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/cadillac-390-chevy-350-engine-conversion-115548.html)

62cadillac 05-07-2007 04:19 PM

Cadillac 390 to Chevy 350 Engine Conversion
 
I have a 1962 Cadillac with a X-Frame Body and would like to see if anyone has any pointers on converting to a Chevy 350 Small Block Engine?

matt167 05-07-2007 06:10 PM

why not upgrade to a 500 caddilac?

curtis73 05-07-2007 08:32 PM

good point; about the same cost when you consider its mostly a bolt-in and waay more torque, plus you won't have to change trannys. I just sold a running 500 for $50

Converting to chevy is no problem with a bit of drilling/welding, but you'll need a different tranny, and chances are the caddy tranny is the super long tailshaft. You'll need a different driveshaft, different tranny, engine mounts, etc.

joe_padavano 05-08-2007 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by curtis73
good point; about the same cost when you consider its mostly a bolt-in and waay more torque, plus you won't have to change trannys. I just sold a running 500 for $50

I'm pretty sure the 62 tranny uses a different bellhousing bolt pattern than the BOP pattern on the Caddy 500. Even the 64-66 Caddy TH400s used a unique bolt pattern and do not interchange with any other GM motors.

oldbogie 05-08-2007 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 62cadillac
I have a 1962 Cadillac with a X-Frame Body and would like to see if anyone has any pointers on converting to a Chevy 350 Small Block Engine?

You will feel the loss of torque big time. But the only real problem which is simple to fix is the engine to bellhousing bolt pattern. Adapters can be had.

But if I didn't want a caddy motor, I think you'd be happier with a big block Chev in there.

Bogie

joe_padavano 05-08-2007 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldbogie
But the only real problem which is simple to fix is the engine to bellhousing bolt pattern. Adapters can be had.

Don't bet on it. The 62 trans uses a different bolt pattern than the later model BOP transmissions. Adapters are NOT readily available.

matt167 05-08-2007 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joe_padavano
Don't bet on it. The 62 trans uses a different bolt pattern than the later model BOP transmissions. Adapters are NOT readily available.

adaptors can be made for anything. there are company's that will make them custom. my friend had 1 done by a guy ( 1 man company ) in Washington

Deuce 05-08-2007 06:04 PM

I like 350 Chevrolets as good as anyone and better than most but WHY ???
The Cadillac is heavy ... and needs a lot of torque to get moving. If you must change engines ... find a later, bigger Cadillac engine ...

Trust me ... :thumbup:

F-BIRD'88 05-08-2007 08:58 PM

Why do you want to change the motor to a chevy.
These old caddy motors were state of the art domestic engine design of the day. Remember SBC's were designed at the same time and designed to be cheaper to build.
You'd be taking a step down for a lot of bother. What's wrong with the caddy motor that can't be fixed. Sell off all the chevy parts ya got laying around to help finance rebuilding or repairing the caddy motor as required.
I'll bet what ever is wrong with your caddy motor can be fixed for less $$$ overall than swapping in a SBC. You can even do some modernizing like electronic ignition to eliminate the old Delco points.

Trans Am Tony 05-09-2007 12:16 AM

I would buy a 500 Caddy and put the 472 heads on it. Hot Rod magazine did that in an issue a while back, and got over 500 lb/ft of torque running 91 octane. They put that monster into a 1978 Chevy Chevette (required full rollcage, removing the firewall and other major mods). It was a BEAST!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

joe_padavano 05-09-2007 08:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matt167
adaptors can be made for anything. there are company's that will make them custom. my friend had 1 done by a guy ( 1 man company ) in Washington

Agreed, but responses to this thread had implied that a 500 would bolt up to the 62 trans or that you could use a BOP-to-Chebby adapter available from Summit to install the SBC. Most seem to be unaware that the 62 Caddy trans and engine used a unique bellhousing bolt pattern.

62cadillac 05-09-2007 03:40 PM

well my main concern was to find something that anybody can work on for cheap. I've already purchased a 350 Chevy Engine and 350 Turbo Trans to do the swap. I'm not trying to build a Race Car or anything, just a Daily Driver that I can depend on.

F-BIRD'88 05-09-2007 04:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 62cadillac
well my main concern was to find something that anybody can work on for cheap. I've already purchased a 350 Chevy Engine and 350 Turbo Trans to do the swap. I'm not trying to build a Race Car or anything, just a Daily Driver that I can depend on.

You're spending hundred dollar bills to save dimes and quarters.

oldbogie 05-10-2007 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joe_padavano
Don't bet on it. The 62 trans uses a different bolt pattern than the later model BOP transmissions. Adapters are NOT readily available.

Thanks for making me realize how ancient I've become. When first reading the thread, I couldn't understand all this talk about not being able to mate a Chev engine to a Hydro-Matic. I knew that B&M made an adapter, I could see it in my minds eye. So I went to the B&M site but couldn't find a reference. When I got home, I pulled the old B&M catalog off my bookshelf and looked it up and sure enough, just as I remembered, there it was! So I plugged into the web at home and fed it the B&M part number, nothin'. So I went back to the catalog thinking I messed up the part number. At that point I realized the musty, tattered, brown paged catalog was 45 years old.

Great, just great! Now it has tear stains to go with its aged pages.

Bogie

joe_padavano 05-10-2007 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldbogie
Thanks for making me realize how ancient I've become.

Great, just great! Now it has tear stains to go with its aged pages.

Bogie

Yeah, getting old is a ******, but it sure beats the alternative... :thumbup:


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