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View Full Version : '55 185 into a '49 w/ 170???



carl
12-27-2004, 01:26 PM
Can I swap a "55 185 into a "49 with a 170?
If so are there any modifications I'd have to make?
Can I use my '49 tranny?
Thanks
Carl

Sonny
12-27-2004, 03:17 PM
Dunno how I missed this one Carl. I don't have too much 6 cylinder experience, but I know they're physically different, with the 185 being longer. If your car is a Champion, then I think you would have fit issues. You probably already know the the 185 was put into the Commander, which had a longer front end.

Now, having said that, one of our SDC chapter members put a 170 into his '49 Land Cruiser while he rebuilt his 185, and I don't think it was a big deal, (obviously he had enough room). I don't think he had to change any engine frame mounts around, so the 170 & 185 mounts may be the same. I know he used the same bellhousing and transmission.

I know this isn't too much help, but I'm sure that StudeBob or one of our 6 cylinder guys can answer this one for ya.

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

studegary
12-27-2004, 03:30 PM
I am not a six cylinder guy either, but I think that you missed the mark on this one, Sonny <G>. The 185 is a bigger displacement version of the 170 (longer stroke) and is not the bigger (displacement and physical size) Commander engine.

Sonny
12-27-2004, 04:05 PM
D'oh! [:I] Shows how much I know about the 6 cylinders. So, you're answer to Carl is to go ahead and swap away? ;)

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

DEEPNHOCK
12-27-2004, 05:33 PM
Should be able to do it just fine.
I think the dipstick tube location is different (further forward) on the later engine, but since you are using the whole thing, it should be OK.

Calvin Lowell in Jax, FL has a neat Motorcraft 2bbl conversion for sale off oh his old Lark engine. Might perk yours right up.
Jeff[8D]


quote:Originally posted by carl

Can I swap a "55 185 into a "49 with a 170?
If so are there any modifications I'd have to make?
Can I use my '49 tranny?
Thanks
Carl


DEEPNHOCK@worldnet.att.net
'61 Hawk
'37 Coupe Express
http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock

Roscomacaw
12-27-2004, 07:39 PM
Carl,
You don't say what SORT of '49 this would go into. [|)] But one thing you'll HAVE to do if this '49 is a car (not truck) is change over the oil pan. The sump is in a different place on the 49 (to clear the suspension/frame configuration) so you'll need to swap the '49's pan and oil pickup tube to the 185 block. Now since the 49 has the dipstick made into the oil filler cap, you can take those filler tube and the dipstick/cap pieces off the '49 and swap them onto the 185 engine so that they match the pan. The 185 still has a filler tube but IT has it's dipstick/dipstick tube affair seperate and mounted just in front of the starter motor. You could just leave that tube there and cap it. But you'll have to use the 49 filler tube and dipstick/cap combo with the '49 oil pan since the sump essentially moves from front to rear between the two engines. And said tubes are just a wedge fit into the block. They can be changed with a bit of determination and judicious tapping[^]

OH! [:0] One other IMPORTANT thing to note! IF this 185 has been mated to an automatic transmission, the six special bolts that attach the flex plate to the end of the crankshaft will be TOO short to bolt a stick shift flywheel to! And the time to make damned sure you have the right bolts there is when you have the oil pan off. To change those bolts requires the oil pan and the rear main bearing cap to be off! It'd be a real pisser to discover that AFTER you'd swapped oil pans. This goes for ANY '50 or later Stude engine (they first introduced automatic trannies in 1950). The ones mated to standard shift trannies have longer bolts in the crank end than those that were mated to automatic trannies. And one lenght bolt will not work in place of the other! [xx(]
You said this 185 is from a 55, right? IF it's from a '55 model, the starter ring gear on the flywheel (assuming it's a standard shift car) would have the right number of teeth to work with the '49's starter. If it's a 56-7-8 vintage 185, it would have a ring gear who's tooth count would be incompatible with the gear on the '49's starter. IF the flywheels are the same diameter, the ring gears can be swapped. For that matter, you could just swap flywheels as well.
Another point to consider is the alignment of the bellhousing. If that 185 has it's "original" bellhousing (and it's the same depth as the 49's bellhousing), you'd do well to use it. I believe the '49 tranny would bolt up to the 185 bellhousing OK.
If you're gonna use the bellhousing from the 170, then you might wanna consider "dialing it in" before bolting it up to the 185. Bellhousings aren't universal fit items. It's whacky to comprehend but Studebaker fitted EACH bellhousing to a particular engine block. This leaves open the very REAL possibility that a BH fom one engine isn't aligned precisely when bolted to another engine. With standard shift trannies, it's not as critical as with an automatic. That said, it CAN cause clutch chatter if it's too much out of alignment. It can be very aggravating to have the car shudder every time you take off.
Those points considered, you should have no problem using your '49 tranny and the engine should sit and fit fine in that '49. If this '49 is a TRUCK, you shouldn't have to bother with swapping oil pans. The 185 pan should do fine in the truck. ;)

Miscreant at large.

carl
12-27-2004, 09:29 PM
I'm new to this forum so please bear with me.

I want to thank everyone for the replies so far!!!

My '49 is a Champion convertible with overdrive.

The '55 185 motor has a 3 speed tranny attached so the 6 special bolts that attach the flex plate to the crankshaft should be ok. The 185 is rebuilt & is a good motor. I'd like my '49 o/d tranny to hookup to the 185.

This forum is great...thanks for the info!!!

Carl

Roscomacaw
12-27-2004, 10:59 PM
Wow Carl! A ragtop! I could love that baby. You come back with your questions anytime.;)

Miscreant at large.

Sonny
12-27-2004, 11:27 PM
Yeah, beautiful car Carl! I hope you can keep us updated on the progress, and a picture or two wouldn't hurt. :) Put all ya want right here, http://racingstudebakers.com/coppermine/index.php, then you can post them anywhere you want to post 'em on the 'net.

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

carl
12-28-2004, 12:02 AM
Mr. Biggs/Sonny:
I tried to post a picture but it told me it was too large.
I'll try to adjust it somehow.

I bought this 49 conv from Colorado...never any rust...beautiful underside...it was dry stored from 1972 til 2000. It's been repainted it's original blue color, new uphol.,new top...it runs and drives...i haven't sorted out the overdrive yet.

i was thinking of selling it...haven't decided yet...too many irons in the fire...not enough time to enjoy it like it should be...i couldn't pass the car up because it's rust free condition was so unique and i love these cars...

Carl

Sonny
12-28-2004, 12:28 AM
Sounds like you have a winner there Carl. You can try to send the pictures to me that you want posted. I have some pretty good software to get 'em down in size without losing too much resolution.

Sure hope you can keep your car....

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Roscomacaw
12-28-2004, 12:47 PM
That sounds like a cool ride, Carl. Tell us what sorta glitch you're experiencing with the OD. First thing to do (since this car's been sitting a long time) is to pull the fuse from the OD relay on the firewall and check to see it's good. Clean the ends of it and clean up the little fingers/clips that it snaps into on the front of that relay. Oft times, just a bit of oxidation will keep it from passing current.;)

Miscreant at large.