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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 07-17-2012, 08:37 PM
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Maybe a cadillac northstar from an STS or eldo.

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Old 07-18-2012, 11:41 AM
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Ok, as others we are a little taken aback at the thought of hotrodding this amazing piece of American automobile art, yes ART. Thank God for the designers and companies who created such beautiful pieces of art for us to gaze at and dream of what can be accomplished by man.

The thought of swapping the complete frame, I am sorry but I just as soon see a gallon of gas poured on it and burn it to the ground.: spank:

Even the thought of an engine swap of any kind curls the hairs in my nose. Personally I believe a car like that should be left alone, it should be treasured and drove as the lady it is, not some fake boob show girl. (though they are nice to have around too).

If you think that doing this swap is going to save you money over rebuilding the original you are dreaming. So let's get that out of the way, if that is the reason you are thinking about this forget it, bite the bullet and start the process getting this beautiful car back on the road in all it's former glory.

I LOVE hot rods and mods, I drove a 48 Chevy for many years with a mid engine mounted Buick 401 carb sitting right between the seats! I have a tire smoking 13 second bright red muscle car. But there are some cars better left alone, that Cord is one of them. I drive a little 1959 Rambler every day, 196 ci Flathead motor with a three speed on the column. It wasn't easy finding what I need to rebuild it, finding a person to do it, it cost more than if I had put a later model motor (it's a very easy swap, a Ford inline six literally bolts in) but I wanted to know what it was like to drive a 1959 car, and I enjoy the hell out of it and I am so glad I didn't modify it.

Please, really do a lot of study and think about this good and hard before you do such a thing, I see no reason personally. I don't know your car and maybe after a little study I would find that the transaxle is junk and there are impossible to find parts and so on, maybe I would find that, I don't know. But I do know that when you have an odd car you need to do your home work a little bit and at first it looks very daunting, it's like learning how to play an instrument. You have nothing, you work and work still you produce no music, after months of practice all of a sudden WHAM you are playing music where just the day before you couldn't. It's like that, you start studying this car and it is so overwhelming, NO ONE can be found that knows a thing about, no parts can be found, it is hopeless or so it seems. Then all of a sudden you start finding parts and people and you become part of the Cord community! When you become part of that community the info and parts will be coming out of your ears! I have a Rambler parts place not 40 miles from me and their phone number is in my cel. It's easier to get parts for that car than the 2006 Mercedes ML350 I have in the shop right now. I can get nearly ANYTHING for that car with one phone call.

I say this the same way I called my 26 year old son up one day a few years ago I told him I will say it once, this one phone call, I LOATH your girlfriend, I think she is a piece of crap. If you should decide to stay with her I will put a happy face on and assume I was wrong and you know better than I do. But I just wanted to make it clear she is a piece of crap as far as I am concerned.

I say this in the same way, I loath the idea of modifying that car in anyway. It turns my stomach. But if you should decide to do so and I have any advice on how to make it happen for you I will do so.

Brian

What a beautiful piece of art!
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Jerrycord View Post
i'm 75 years young and want enjoy the car now, i need all the info i can get for this conversion thanks,jerrycord
Good idea; do it while you can. Follow your dreams. Get it done . When you are pushin' daisies, you won't care what has been done to it.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:05 PM
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The problem is it may not make it any faster to get done! This car is very odd and there is nothing made for it. So it isn't like buying a 39 Ford with a blown motor and ordering out of the Speedway Catalog all the mounts and radiator and stuff and bolting in a crate motor bought at the Chevy dealer. This is a whole different animal and simply finding the right person you could get that motor rebuilt or fixed and on the road faster.

Brian
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:18 PM
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Guys this is the chassis we are talking about here. Any fatman kits for this? Nope, this is quite the different animal!

Sure it "can" be done, hell yes the right guy with the fab knowledge he could make it happen. But we are talking about a guy who "just wants to drive it". We have to be responsible and steer him in the right direction to make his dreams of driving this car become a reality. I can see this car being cut up and sold in 15-20 years by his kids in the estate sale.

Start looking into having the original drivetrain repaired FIRST!

Brian

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Old 07-18-2012, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerrycord View Post
Hi everybody i just bought a beautiful 1936 cord westchester and i want to convert to a gm v/8 front wheel drive to eliminate the troublesome cord drivetrain i'm 75 years young and want enjoy the car now, i need all the info i can get for this conversion thanks,jerrycord
One other thing to consider Jerry. You advised you are 75 years old. Do you really want to spend possibly 2 years getting a project like this completed. If you are wanting to drive a really nice car in the near future, you might look into selling the Cord. It should bring the kind of money that would buy you a nice car that is road ready.

John L
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:46 PM
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That of course is another option. I just picture a beautiful RUNNING 1924 Buick Roadster in my brothers neighborhood where the grandson talked grandpa into "restoring" it. It sat in the garage torn apart for 10 years and then you guessed it, they sold it at grandpa's estate sale.

Get out there and buy a finished car and DRIVE IT!

It's no Cord but here is a beautiful little Olds sedan for only $15K you can't get that Cord going for that if you paying someone to do it.

1937 Olds (click here)

Brian
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:16 PM
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Here you go!!

Buck it off behind the firewall, Fab up a frame like ZZR....R does, the rest is....... history?
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 05:29 PM
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I believe anyone who thinks they can find a front wheel drive transaxle that will fit the Cord is kidding themselves. The engine sits so far back (or the axle is so far forward) that no modern drive line would work. Many people don't realize that when Cord went bankrupt the tooling for the body was purchased by Graham. They used the same body on a rear wheel drive car, the Graham Hollywood. The Cord could be converted to a rear wheel drive car but you are now talking about major floor pan and suspension work. I really don't see this being a practical swap at all.

1941 GRAHAM HOLLYWOOD

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Old 07-18-2012, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by studeelover View Post
Buck it off behind the firewall, Fab up a frame like ZZR....R does, the rest is....... history?
Nuthin to it! The motor is only about a foot wider than the Cord motor, just hit it with the shrink ray and make it smaller. The motor also hangs out over the axles where the Cords motor sits behind the axles. So to put that Olds motor in the cord it would require moving the "coffin" grille forward about two feet, oh yeah that would look great.

To swap another motor is going to take a LOT of home work!

Brian
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:43 PM
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I really don't see this being a practical swap at all.
"Practical"? not in any way shape or form. "Doable" is even questionable. This is a very difficult swap every way you look at it.

FIRST you need to look at things reasonable, its like a marriage. You look at her VERY closely, you try to knock her off her pedestal. If after you have tried and she doesn't fall, you marry her. NOW is when you put those friggin rose colored glasses on and IGNORE the faults.

This swap is not looking like a good marriage to me. I say go look for another woman while you still have a chance.

Brian
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 06:25 PM
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OK, your age is a problem but you MAY live to 95 years old and have your kids driving you around in your Custom Cord in your later years! Good to see you still having the desire and drive to Hot Rod your car.

I agree with some of the "don't touch it, restore it" guys but it is still a piece of machinery and most museums that want one probably have one in their showroom!

Now for the drive train, I have been playing with mid-engine designs for years and the LATER systems starting with the Fiero and including the Front Wheel Drive Caddy Northstar are options...that won't work. As has been pointed out, you have a "Front Wheel Drive" as in the front wheels are forward of your engine, NOT on the sides like all of the modern FWD cars have. The blocked off rear drive and 4-wheeler option also won't work because again the wheels need to be next to the engine, not in front like your design needs but they are still a possibility. Catch is you will have to settle for the drive gear ratios designed for a 4-wheeler and not a road Luxury car.

All is NOT doom and gloom for your project however and I will offer a solution. The older Olds Toronado 425-455 THM-425 drive train and some of the slightly newer THM-350 drive trains will work if custom built for your application. Older Caddy FWD drive trains are the same and have as large as 500 c.i. to work with. Junk yards will have them around if you are not in the "recycle belt" where they scrap out everything from '90 and earlier for Iron values and the crusher! What you need to do is take the engine and transmission and mount it in the "normal" as from the factory style. Then you remove the differential and install a TH-400 tailshaft onto the Toro transmission, which is on the drivers side of the engine and facing forward. Then you build a short drive shaft that extends the correct length to a custom mounted Corvette independent suspension differential and axles/brakes etc... The Vette differential will need to be "flipped" turned over so that the drive direction is correct otherwise you will have 3 reverse gears and one forward! This will be a LOT of work but it will work and is "doable" if you have the mechanical skills to get it done. Oldsmobile and Caddy aftermarket parts are a lot more expensive than your low budget Chevy and Ford parts but they are out there and you can get new aluminum heads from Edelbrock etc. if you want to play with them. Engine adapter plates are also available if you want to bolt on a Chevy engine in place of the Toro. No reverse engine rotation is required, it will all be done with the flipped differential. These kind of basic mods were done on Corvairs 20-30 years ago and they showed to be reliable. You will also get the option for big disk brakes on the front end which can't hurt with a Boat like that on the road!

Hope these ideas help!

Swiss
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:45 PM
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All is NOT doom and gloom for your project however and I will offer a solution. The older Olds Toronado 425-455 THM-425 drive train and some of the slightly newer THM-350 drive trains will work if custom built for your application. Older Caddy FWD drive trains are the same and have as large as 500 c.i. to work with. Junk yards will have them around if you are not in the "recycle belt" where they scrap out everything from '90 and earlier for Iron values and the crusher! What you need to do is take the engine and transmission and mount it in the "normal" as from the factory style. Then you remove the differential and install a TH-400 tailshaft onto the Toro transmission, which is on the drivers side of the engine and facing forward. Then you build a short drive shaft that extends the correct length to a custom mounted Corvette independent suspension differential and axles/brakes etc... The Vette differential will need to be "flipped" turned over so that the drive direction is correct otherwise you will have 3 reverse gears and one forward! This will be a LOT of work but it will work and is "doable" if you have the mechanical skills to get it done. Oldsmobile and Caddy aftermarket parts are a lot more expensive than your low budget Chevy and Ford parts but they are out there and you can get new aluminum heads from Edelbrock etc. if you want to play with them. Engine adapter plates are also available if you want to bolt on a Chevy engine in place of the Toro. No reverse engine rotation is required, it will all be done with the flipped differential. These kind of basic mods were done on Corvairs 20-30 years ago and they showed to be reliable. You will also get the option for big disk brakes on the front end which can't hurt with a Boat like that on the road!

Hope these ideas help!

Swiss
Swiss, and here lies the problem that I am battling with this whole thing. I think it's our responsibility to tell people NOT to do things as much as it is HOW TO do them.

The suggestion made with the Olds/Toro drive train is miles wrong. He could run out and start buying stuff with suggestion such as that and be SCREWED.

The motor in that Cord is WAY behind the center "axle" of the front end, further back than a Ford of the vintage. Hell, its further back than a Model A even which put the front crank pully just behind the axle if I remember right.

Look at this photo, the radiator is even behind the axle I think. It is at the very least even with the center of the axle, with the motor a foot or so back!



You can clearly see that the motor is way behind the axle.




Here is that Olds Toro transaxle with the axle going right under the middle of the oil pan!





That would put the front of the motor about where the grille is on that Cord.
I am sorry it just isn't an easy swap. I can't think of a modern front drive car that would work. I honestly don't see a quick solution, sure there are some wild ideas out there to make it work. But no "swaps", it would take SERIOUS redesign work and fabrication.

Here is a forum for you Jerry, move into the Cord community and see what you can find. http://forums.acdclub.org/phpbb2/index.php

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Old 07-18-2012, 07:49 PM
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Quote: Swiss, and here lies the problem that I am battling with this whole thing. I think it's our responsibility to tell people NOT to do things as much as it is HOW TO do them.

The suggestion made with the Olds/Toro drive train is miles wrong. He could run out and start buying stuff with suggestion such as that and be SCREWED.

The motor in that Cord is WAY behind the center "axle" of the front end, further back than a Ford of the vintage. Hell, its further back than a Model A even which put the front crank pully just behind the axle if I remember right.

Look at this photo, the radiator is even behind the axle I think. It is at the very least even with the center of the axle, with the motor a foot or so back!


Ok Martin, you don't want him to do this and worry when I come up with a solution that you don't understand without photos. So I will provide photos to satisfy you and show what I was talking about but you didn't understand.

I don't normally make suggestions to Screw someone and their build! I have been playing with the Toronado variations for many years and have plenty of information about them in all kinds of cars from Porsche to Vectors to Datsun Pickups and lots of other project cars using them. Here are some photos of a Corvair conversion where the owner wanted the full back seat and moved the engine rearward.

This is the 400 tailshaft mounted to the Toro drivetrain. It allows a normal drive shaft to be bolted to the trans output shaft of the TM400 tailshaft.


Here is a bottom side view of the drivetrain, note the drive shaft on the right side of the picture coming out of the Toro tranny.


And finally the differential photo which places the differential fully in front of the Toronado engine with suspension attached.. This car used a solid differential but I think for the Cord conversion the suggested independent suspension of an older Vette design would work best.


This would easily work to replace the Cord drive system. Still lots of work but it CAN be done. Lots of engine options but the easiest is to just bolt the 455 Olds or the 500 Cadillac engine to the Turbo-Hydro THM-425 and make it run.

Martin, YOU can tell him NOT to do the swap. I am going to advise him on HOW he can get it done and end up with a more modern engine/drivetrain and enjoy his car the way that he wants it to be. His money, his time and his car. If you don't want him to HotRod it, then buy it from him with a $$$ offer that he can't turn down, restore it yourself and stick it in your living room!

Don't forget that you have to flip the differential over to maintain the forward drive speeds because you have reversed the direction of the ring and pinon by mounting it backwards.

I would say that doing it this way it would be possible to make minimal changes to the original Cord frame and suspension arms etc... It could probably be done so that the car could be restored to its Factory drivetrain later to restore its value. Aluminum motor/Trans mount plates could be fabricated that would minimally impact the frame tubes and there is no need for the complicated "modern" electronics beyond maybe an HEI and MSD ignition system. Same with the Vette differential. Use adapter plates rather than going wild welding in new frame members. Plenty of room there for the big Olds/Caddy engine and if you need a smaller engine, the small block Chevy can be adapted to the THM-425 tranny.

Again, hope that this helps you work out solutions to your questions.

Swiss

Looking at the photo of the old Flathead engine in the Cord engine bay it would probably work better to use the small block Chevy engine or maybe even adapt in one of the physically smaller Ford engines to fit and clear the stock steering shaft etc.. Those old Flatheads didn't seem to be very wide since they didn't need the space for the OHV valve train etc... You can build those small blocks up over 400c.i. these days without problems and plenty of lightweight parts are out there for them. Cheaper to build up than the Olds or Caddy engines.

Last edited by ScF; 07-18-2012 at 07:55 PM. Reason: Added text comments
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 07-18-2012, 08:09 PM
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What you are describing is what I referred to as my last comment, "But no "swaps", it would take SERIOUS redesign work and fabrication."

What you are laying out is a SERIOUS redesign and fabrication. The front axle looks like it would need to be an independent as the holes in the frame wouldn't allow a differential to be stuffed thru and not big enough to allow enough movement.

It would be a lot of money, MUCH more than people think when they start the project. Without exaggeration James, figure out what it will cost then double that, then TRIPLE that and you will be close. It is not a joke, there is no way you can figure something like this out and you WILL be in it a lot more than you think.

It's all good, you have a lot of knowledge with these set ups, looking at that stock frame in the Cord and see if you can give him some advice to make it happen. It's like I have said it isn't so much as to talk people out of stuff, but to not look thru rose colored glasses and give them the cold hard facts. If after they understand the cold hard facts they want to do, then go for it.

And simply using a Toro drivetrain isn't even close to the workable.

Brian
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