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GregLaR

1957 Engine Swap?

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Hi Guys, 

                   I have an opportunity to purchase a '57 at a very reasonable price from a good friend of mine. The car has been sitting in his garage for almost 15 years and it will need some restoration/refreshing. It has a very straight, rust free southern California body with hard top only. It was an original black/black car with 312 and standard trans. Only trouble is the orig engine is long gone. 3 speed trans and bell housing are still in the car as are the exhaust manifold and exhaust system. I don't think I'll have much luck in locating another complete 312 without paying dearly for it. So I'm wondering what other Ford engines will bolt directly to this original bell housing? I have a 1970 302 that's clean and runs excellent. It's currently coupled to a C6 automatic. I would prefer to keep the manual transmission if possible.

Seeking your input.

Thanks, Greg

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Look for a 292.  More plentiful and a lot cheaper than a 312. You can't tell it apart from a 312.  The hard thing is trying to get all the Tbird specific parts such as the pan, Some are reproduced, like the water pump spacer.  Fan should be no problem.  A lot of the brackets are reproduced.

 

TBirds used a standard Ford generator but the rear plate and front pulley are Tbird specific

 

Any other engine will require engine mounts.  No other Ford engine will bolt to your bellhousing.

Edited by paul2748 (see edit history)
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Call Tim at Hill's Thunderbird Center (740) 949-2217.  They usually have a great selection of "55-"57 Thunderbird parts.

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Hill's Thunderbird Center performs award winning restorations and keeps an inventory of hard to find parts.  During the restoration of my 1956 Thunderbird, They were able to find an NOS set of rear shocks for me. 

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I'd start with the Thunderbird specialist as suggested above.  If you don't find what you need, I'd also try John Mummert over in El Cajon.  Not a 'bird guy,  but lots of y block parts.  http://www.ford-y-block.com/. Not a bad drive over from PSP, I've done it a number of times.

 

Tim McMasters up near Visalia http://yblockguy.com/, also an engine builder. 

 

Ted Eaton at http://www.eatonbalancing.com/.   No telling what parts they may have in inventory.

 

You might also try at http://forums.y-blocksforever.com/default.aspx.  There was a 312 crank up in Oregon a little while back.

 

 

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I know it's been a while and I don't know if you decided to buy the '57 or not. Anyway.  The "Y" block engine is mounted with a front mount and a rear mount on the transmission. Then there are steady rests on both sides of the engine. (Think of something similar to sway bar end links.). Your best bet, as said earlier, is to stick with the "Y" block engine for ease of installation. I have a '55 but it has been changed to a 302. It was done before I got it. There is fabrication of a mounting system required to do that kind of installation. Everyone who goes for the conversion runs into issues with the steering box and exhaust manifold interference. Some people move the engine a little higher to clear the steering box. Some people move the engine a little to the right side to get away from the steering box. Definitely some planning and then good fabrication skills are required. Something else is that the "Y" block is a very heavy engine and the others are lighter. The front of the car will be higher or you will need to use some method of lowering it to get the ride height back to where it belongs.

I have seen "FE" big block engines and small block 289's, 302's in cars and they all mentioned the issue with the steering box. One guy however told me he used a 351W because it is one inch more narrow than the 289 / 302 but it's one inch taller. He told me that he got the headers for a mid  - late 60's Mustang from PYPES and they worked out pretty well. He also said the other thing is you have to be wary of the pan sump. He said he used a pan off of a truck for his install.

Edited by fordrodsteven (see edit history)

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I have a 292 CID engine, casting number B9AE 6015-F.  I believe that casting number was manufactured in '59 and '60 for use in cars and trucks.

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