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Ah, the joys of engine swaps

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  • Ah, the joys of engine swaps

    There a lot of considerations for swapping engines, I happen to be working on exhaust at the moment.
    Take a look at the picture, this is a 454 Chevy in the 115" wheelbase...1952 non-land cruiser.
    These are Summit/Patriot block huggers. Very well made, especially for the price. 18 Ga and 1.75 inch tubes. "Regular" type headers would be an even bigger nightmare, so the block huggers seem the best starting point. Way better than heavy and ineffective stock manifolds.
    Stil...notice any problems? A little fender trimming was no big deal. And I do have to jack the motor up an inch of the mounts just to get the header in. But take a look at that front tube and the surgery in process. It's either take out a bite...or move the entire tube. Still mulling this choice over.
    Of course after this choice then we figure out how to deal with the way the header dumps right on top of the stupid tie rod.

    FYI the drivers side is about the same. Shockingly these particular headers clear the steering box. For the most part.

  • #2
    OK, a close up...

    The upper A arm is INSIDE the header tube a significant amount. The thing is, even though cut goes way into the tube, the area change is not that much. Near as I can figure, the thinnest spot the tube will be down about 30% cross sectional area.
    Any motor guys out there see this as a worry?


    • #3
      Sorry to see that Dan. All the work you've done and then to have this happen really sucks. Is it possible to position the engine either forward or back 3 inches to gain header clearance? I'm certainly not an engine expert, but choking the exhaust just doesnt look right. Good luck.

      1949 2R17
      R is for Rusty

      In the middle of Minnesota
      In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.


      • #4
        Dang, that stinks! I'm no engine guy either, but what about makeing the headers "hug" the block more, by some carefull bending?

        Dylan Wills

        '61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon
        Dylan Wills
        Everett, Wa.

        1961 Lark 4 door wagon
        1961 Lark 4 door wagon #2 (Wife's car!)
        1955 VW Beetle (Went to the dark side)
        1914 Ford Model T


        • #5
          Do what I did... Get fenderwell headers!

          Alex Nelsen, 15 year old Studebaker nut.
          1954 Champion Coupe
          Lizella, GA
          Alex Nelsen, certified Studebaker nut.
          Driving a 1954 Champion Coupe powered by a Chrysler 383.
          Lizella, GA


          • #6

            You'll need the Studebaker Racing guys on flow etc, but if it was mine, I'd think there is too much restriction. I'd bulge the pipe out in the most convenient direction to make up for most of the volume lost.

            To make my headers fit in the 54K, I cut the top of a couple of pipes almost through, bent them down close to the block and added metal back to the pie shaped area. Had to make a few adjustments to the pipe location and position.

            Remember if you get real close, it can be wrapped with header wrap.

            If you can't make it purddy, make it go fast.




            • #7
              That's why I don't think I will ever tackle a job like that, it would make blood just shoot out of my eyes

              Let us know what you decide.

              Robert (Bob) Andrews- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys)
              Parish, central NY 13131

              GOD BLESS AMERICA


              • #8
                quote:From BAMS50

                That's why I don't think I will ever tackle a job like that, it would make blood just shoot out of my eyes
                Aw Shucks, Dan. If was easy, everybody would be doing it, like golf.[)]




                • #9
                  Kind of extreme over having to reshape/reroute a few inches of exhaust tube. Looks like if it was tucked in as tight to the flange as the next tube there would be no interference.


                  • #10
                    Dan, it is impossible for me to tell from the supplied pictures - but it looks like you could have the #2 cylinder primary go straight down for ~ 6" before going back to meet the collector and you would miss the upper a-arm traffic jam.

                    Alternatively you could have that primary come up, go over, then down - but that would make it crowded in a different spot.

                    By the way, on BBC up to ~ 700 hp I have never found much if any power impediment from having just ONE pinched primary tube, especially when the pinched spot is only 2" or 3" in length. Looks ugly, but no real power impact. If the tube was flatened for 6"+ then it is a problem, or if more than one primary is flattened that is a problem. As it is BBC ports have their own variations in flow anyhow.



                    • #11
                      Thanks all.
                      I'm glad for the opinions. I can't have you all standing the garage with me, having a PBR and staring at it. So this post is my virtual bull session about what to do.
                      Don't think I don't enjoy the challenge! I'm thrilled it's only one tube causing trouble! After all I'm the fool who waited this long before tackling the headers. Should have been figured in years ago.

                      Alex, I ran fenderwells on first hot rod, 66 Nova. They are cool but also not without certain challenges.
                      Way too late to talk about motor position, but I'll assure anyone doing a swap like this in the stubby 52 chassis...your motor will also be in this spot. It's the one spot between firewall and clearing the steering with the oil pan. You would not want the motor any farther forward anyway. To go rearward requires full width new firewall. (even now it's notched.)

                      Anyway, the #2 tube sticks out farther becuause of where it goes into the collector. On the southeast corner per the picture. These tubes are not going to bend. I like the bulge idea, this could be done opposite the cut out.
                      It's either that or bring the whole tube up and over. Requires cutting the whole collector off, and re-welding all the tubes back on after the new one is made. And that's going to kind of block a spark plug too.
                      Thomas was glad to hear your opinion. I have a local racer here also say that BBC exhaust is plenty big for my ~450 HP plans.



                      • #12
                        I think you are fine on the exhaust with your power goals. Standard cast iron manifolds will support that kind of power and even with your restriction you should outflow the stock cast manifold.


                        • #13

                          A good estimate of area at the narrowest point is 64% of full tube area. The transistion into and out of this neck will be pretty smooth. Still have not decided, last night I moved over to the other side. Same problem, but with #3 cylinder. We'll see how much that one eneds cutting...



                          • #14
                            Hey Dan,
                            If it was mine. I would cut and reroute the one tube. A couple of cuts, a couple pieces of pipe, and a couple PBR's and it will be good to go. A good exhaust shop could do this for you with the header off & some sharpie marks from you where to cut. They would probably like doing this verses putting a farting muffler on an Import. [}] I would be concerned with the cooking the upper bushing if the tube isn't moved. Some header wrap would go help too.



                            • #15
                              Update. Warning, the following solution is not CASO approved.
                              In other words, this is how to turn $170 headers into $500 headers.

                              But as the A arm interference was too much to notch around, something proper had to be done. Here is the passenger side after a new tube has been made. This is beyond my skills. Local racer did this work and it is excellent. His Tig welding is suberb.
                              He's also doing the drivers side, and building custom collectors on the bottom, to get me past the tie rods. Gonna do er up right.