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putting a 454 in my 49 Champ

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  • putting a 454 in my 49 Champ

    [?] I just got my first studey. A 1949 champion deluxe. It has a flat 6 but i have decided to go hot rod. i have a Chevy 454 and a 400 tranny i want to put in it. Has anyone out there tried to put a BBC in a studey? any suggestions? (except "don't do it"). Thanks, Dave

    Dave Herbeck
    w_dave_herbeck@yahoo.com

  • #2
    I don't know about the 49s, but I've seen BBCs in the 53s and Hawks. Plenty of room for the big guy.

    sals54
    sals54

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    • #3
      There's a guy in Annapolis (no, not JDP) that did just that swap, so it can be done. Sorry, don't have any details.

      nate

      --
      55 Commander Starlight
      http://members.cox.net/njnagel
      --
      55 Commander Starlight
      http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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      • #4
        tex, I don't want to burst your bubble, but I put a 390HP 390" Chev in a 53K. The 3rd exhaust port is right inline with the steering box. You have to jack the engine up high enough to get a set of headers on it that it will not fit under the stock hood. They fit better in Larks and Champ trucks. The 49 was not built for the V8 and is very narrow.I am not saying not to do it but if you do use another engine. Unless you go to R&P and a Fat Man front end.

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        • #5
          thanks for the input. i had wanted to find a sbc 400 but had the 454 already.
          hey, N8N, do you have any idea who that was that did it?
          let me ask this, do you have any idea what frame would have the same sizes i would need?

          Dave Herbeck
          w_dave_herbeck@yahoo.com

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          • #6
            There was a fellow at the International meet years ago in Nashville who had a big block in a 49, but it was a Commander, which has a longer engine compartment. The engine compartment of a Champion is probably going to require moving the firewall back to fit a V-8. In a full on hot rod this might not be an obstacle considering all the other challenges.


            1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, both w/overdrive.Searcy,Arkansas
            "I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."
            "In the heart of Arkansas."
            Searcy, Arkansas
            1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
            1952 2R pickup

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            • #7
              Dave

              I guess I'm an old school guy. Do a little measuring to see the general fit of the BBC. If it looks close, pull the hood, radiator, support, 6 cyl and tranny.

              Put the BBC on a hoist and lower it into the engine compartment. Settle it into the area you want it to live in and look at what needs to be moved to install it. I know it's an 850# experiment but only you know what you are willing to do to make it fit. You might be pleasantly suprised.

              Dropped a couple of nailheads into places that looked to small but fit quite well.

              As someone said previously, "I own a torch, It'll fit. [}]

              Bob

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              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by N8N

                There's a guy in Annapolis (no, not JDP) that did just that swap, so it can be done. Sorry, don't have any details.

                nate


                That was a 2R truck N8.


                --
                55 Commander Starlight
                http://members.cox.net/njnagel
                JDP/Maryland
                JDP Maryland

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                • #9
                  A 47-49 champ car will barely swallow a SBC with a stock firewall (and a mustang 2 suspension). You would have to totally replace the firewall to make a BBC happen. Is it possible, yes. Would a small block fit a ton better, yes.

                  54 Champion coupe
                  48 Champion Convert
                  54 Champion coupe
                  48 Champion Convert

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                  • #10
                    I have a 454 in my 52 Champion with a stock front end and steering. But its been said, the 49 Champion is even stubbier up front then the 52. And your steering and suspension is different than mine, so I can't vouch for anything there.
                    I did not have to set the whole firewall back, just a 12 inch section in the middle to clear the distributor and bell housing.
                    Also, you must use the short nose water pump. Even then I think there is no room for regular fan. I am planning on an electric, and the radiator will probably need to move ahead a bit. For you, more than a bit.
                    Here is the best picture I have, you can see I don't have all this worked out quite yet.


                    Motor mounts and trans crossmember were homemade. The drivers side exhaust, as was mentioned, is going to be a challenge. The mechanical fuel pump fits, but barely. Lots of little things get in the way. For exmaple with the motor so close to the firewall, the stock pivot for the gas pedal can't be used. Te battery location has to move. Etc....
                    Plus there is so litle room behind the dash of these cars, that moving the firewall back even a little starts causing a host of other problems.


                    www.studebakerhardtop.com

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                    • #11
                      From 51 on, since the cars were available with a V-8 things got easier. An SDC friend in Michigan once had a 51 coupe with an early Hemi and he said it was an easy swap.


                      1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, both w/overdrive.Searcy,Arkansas
                      "I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."
                      "In the heart of Arkansas."
                      Searcy, Arkansas
                      1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                      1952 2R pickup

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, you can fit any engine into any car, if you persevere. Some swaps are easy, some are hard, and some are ridiculous.

                        I'd call this one moderately hard.

                        You WILL have to upgrade the brakes, rear axle, and suspension. No way the stock parts will support the weight and the power of that combo.

                        I'd suggest looking at doing a "clip job" using an Aspen/Volare K-member. In this case, you don't cut the stock frame rails, just clean the stock suspension hangers, etc., off them, and lay them flat on top of the K-member and weld them down. That gives you disc brakes, power steering, and room for a Mopar V8, which should also suit a BBC. And the fitment and welding is much easier than trying to marry a Brand X C-section frame rail to the Stude hat-section frame rail somewhere under the firewall. You should be able to find some articles on this type of job on-line, or in magazines.

                        You could use a Ford 8.8" rear axle, on beefed-up stock-style rear springs, and then you would have the same wheel stud pattern front and rear, too.

                        Good luck with your project.

                        Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
                        Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                        • #13
                          So far you guys are giving great input. I plan to set it in place before i bother rebuilding the motor to see if i can handle the task. if not i will just keep trying to get a good sbc. thanks again and please keep giving me input.

                          Dave Herbeck
                          w_dave_herbeck@yahoo.com

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                          • #14
                            Doesn't Summit or someone sell plastic versions of all of those engines, just for this purpose? Get one of those, and you will see what you are up against. You can pick them up with one hand and put them in and out.

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                            • #15
                              Absolutely, I bought a plastice 700R4 on ebay, did my mock up and then sold it again on ebay. Really makes things easy.

                              quote:Originally posted by Chucks Stude

                              Doesn't Summit or someone sell plastic versions of all of those engines, just for this purpose? Get one of those, and you will see what you are up against. You can pick them up with one hand and put them in and out.

                              On its way to a 15.097 Spring 2006.

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