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Old 10-27-2020, 10:33 AM   #1
hmmech
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Default flathead to ohv engine swap

I would like to replace my flathead v8 engine on my 53 ford crestline to an easy ohv engine replacement, have heard using the y- block may have problems, any suggestions ?
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:31 PM   #2
rotorwrench
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Default Re: flathead to ohv engine swap

This thread is about the Y-blocks. https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=270366

The front cross member can be a problem for front sump engines. Both Y-blocks and Windsor SBF had pans that may solve that problem. Flatheads mount on the sides of the water pumps and later Ford engines mostly mount on the sides of the block unless they were truck applications. Some truck applications stick out a bit far on the Y-blocks.

Anything can be done but there is no bolt in other than a flathead V8.
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Old 10-27-2020, 04:24 PM   #3
Daves55Sedan
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Default Re: flathead to ohv engine swap

'53 was the last year for that car frame series. May need to cut motor mount brackets off the frame and re-weld in new location for a Y-block. Also, a car engine oil pan will not work due to frame crossover pipe, but possibly a truck or '55/56 T-Bird oil pan might work.
Transmission may need an adaptor plate to bolt to Y-block engine and you need to make sure starter motor (which actually mounts on bellhousing) will fit with your existing trans bellhousing AND that the starter drive will engage with your existing flywheel. Will need to get a '54/55/56 Ford car radiator for V8. They only have ONE inlet hose from single water pump.
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Old 10-27-2020, 05:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: flathead to ohv engine swap

You are going to get a lot of "expert" help on this. Okay, first, your MANUAL trans will bolt to a y-block bell housing. However, your trans is a little wimpy so try to find a later one. The input splines were changed over the years, simply use the appropriate clutch disc. Your existing radiator can be used by blocking off one upper, and one lower hole with a soldered on piece of brass plate. Your existing radiator is probably junk, or close to it, so just source a new one. 54-56 radiators fit. The clutch linkage from a 54-56 is supposed to fit, but it didn't fit on my 53 Ford. Could it be made to fit? yes, but I would prefer doing a hydraulic set-up. Use a 56 as they are made to clear a left side exhaust pipe for duals. All y-block starters are the same, 54-55 are 6-volt. Oil pan. Why does no one realize that the y-block oil pump is on the OUTSIDE of the engine, and you can modify the pan any way you want without affecting anything but the pan, and the pick-up tube? T-bird and truck oil pans will work, but not perfectly, it depends on how you mount the engine. Better to modify a passenger car pan to suit your needs. Tie rod clearance is the main issue here. When it comes to the mounts figure out everything else first, so you don't have to re-modify everything to fit your mounting setup. Get some expert advise from someone like Butches Cool Stuff, instead of listening to "water cooler" advise, or gossip from a chatroom, as once done wrong, everything else will be wrong too. This is a relatively simple swap, and once you have done it, (hopefully properly) you will understand.
You know, and I hate saying it, but a chey conversion is easier to do , and you can buy a new in the box engine for barely 5K, which is less than doing a rebuild on a y-block. Easier, less money, and more power.
Also a Mopar 318-360 is a center sump oil pan engine like your flathead, and that is doable too, but more expensive. Now THAT could possibly be cool.
BUT with both of these engines, you will have to deal with a trans swap, or an adapter setup, which can get expensive.
A Ford Windsor engine can be done also, and that could possibly be the easiest of all. Again Butches Cool Stuff has a bolt in conversion. Check it out.

Last edited by packrat5; 10-27-2020 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:20 PM   #5
chain drive
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Default Re: flathead to ohv engine swap

in 1957 i put a 1952 olds engine and tranny in 1953 hardtop and left the outside stock we had a ball with they are still scrathing there heads
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: flathead to ohv engine swap

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Yeah, those were the days. Caddy or Olds, or a couple of other weirder motors. I wish I was still there, but now 4 cylinders rule, and sometimes a 6 cylinder. Pfhoey!
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: flathead to ohv engine swap

there was a1953 mainliner 4 sale recently on craigs in my area it had a chevy 350/turbo 400 i was going to look at it but i was a day late asking price was 5k ,sbc fit but steering linkage is a problem .they used to sell a dropped center link back in the day for this application
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:56 PM   #8
hmmech
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Default Re: flathead to ohv engine swap

my 53 ford has an ford o matic trans., would be hard to bolt up to, thinking about a sbf with an automatic to fit like a 302cu in., anyone ever swap one of these ?
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:42 PM   #9
packrat5
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Default Re: flathead to ohv engine swap

Tie rod clearance is the problem with using a rear sump engine in this chassis, which is most engines. The dropped tie rod setup is the common cure, but not the best. The drop makes them weaker. The right way is section a chunk out of the rear of the oil pan.
Now that we know you have an automatic car, the easiest conversion would be a Ford Windsor with the attending transmission. Don't even think about using that old dinosaur automatic in the 53. And no, it won't bolt up. If you are going to go that route, why not use a 351? The setup is the same. Butches has a bolt in kit for this exact thing. Don't go cheapie on this, and cobble up some crap. Do it right from the beginning, and you will not be sorry.
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:44 PM   #10
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: flathead to ohv engine swap

Thanks, that helps a lot.
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: flathead to ohv engine swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmech View Post
my 53 ford has an ford o matic trans., would be hard to bolt up to, thinking about a sbf with an automatic to fit like a 302cu in., anyone ever swap one of these ?
I have helped numerous guys with this swap it is pretty EZ with this kit. https://butchscoolstuff.com/52-53-fo...t-kit-2501cpb/ Since you have a Ford-O-Matic car it can easily be hooked up to a Ford AOD using a Lokar shifter lever. Here are some pictures showing the mounts on the drivers side and passenger side the Ford AOD transmission will sit right on the factory '52-'53 cross member by just redrilling two holes. The last two pictures show Lokar Part # ACA-1807 connected to the Ford-O-Matic column and the AOD. There are several headers that will clear the steering box nicely with no alterations needed the ones in the picture are HEDMAN 88400's, that's if you use a 302 aka 5.0 the 351W is wider and those can't be used. If you have more questions feel free to message me.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Butch's '53 swap.jpg (89.7 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg Butch's '53 swap 4.jpg (48.7 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg AOD53.jpg (35.8 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg AOD 2.jpg (52.6 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg 1-oops.jpg (43.0 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg 50's.jpg (32.3 KB, 25 views)

Last edited by JeffB2; 10-29-2020 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:17 AM   #13
rotorwrench
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Default Re: flathead to ohv engine swap

Now I'm wondering which 52/53 Ford cars would have had the 15-inch dimension that they show between the firewall and the rear edge of the front cross member where it meets the frame rail? Were those V8 cars or 6-cylinder cars?
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Old 10-29-2020, 05:50 PM   #14
JeffB2
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Default Re: flathead to ohv engine swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
Now I'm wondering which 52/53 Ford cars would have had the 15-inch dimension that they show between the firewall and the rear edge of the front cross member where it meets the frame rail? Were those V8 cars or 6-cylinder cars?
In every case I have been involved in the 15" kit is for Fords the 17" kit is usually always Mercurys from the same era, I founded and moderate the 1952-59 Ford Social Group on the H.A.M.B. since May 2009 we have a HUGE file that covers all kinds of upgrades,facts and where to get parts on our site. The difference between the six cylinder cars and the V8 cars from 1952-56 is in the front sheet metal seen in the lower right of this illustration,this positions the radiator further forward allowing for more fan to radiator clearance. If doing this in a car that had a V8 flat head or Y-block using the early pre-1970's "short" water pump can gain you about another 3''-4" clearance. The oil pans used in 1952-53 cars are the Fox Body dual sumps and it is easier with 1982 and later blocks that already have the drivers side dipstick like pictured above. 1954-59 SBF swaps use the front sump oil pans from pre 1980 cars that also have the dipstick in the timing cover.
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File Type: jpg 54 fender.jpg (19.5 KB, 13 views)
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:43 AM   #15
hmmech
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Default Re: flathead to ohv engine swap

I have decited to go with a ford 302 with a c-4 trans on my 53 crestline. i will check with Butches cool stuff for kits, any info on this swap will be much appreciated
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