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Why no Fords?

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  • Why no Fords?

    I was at a large car show at the MN State Fair Grounds a few weeks back and saw lots of small and big block Chevy and a few Hemi engine conversions in a variety of cars. What I noticed was the complete absence of any Ford engines used in conversions. Why are Ford engines not more popular for swaps?

  • #2
    Because they need to be fixed or repaired daily?

    Sorry, couldn't help myself.

    Comment


    • #3
      Parts are not as cheap and plentiful at SBC. The same could be asked for any number of other relatively high volume V8s, Pontiac, Buick, Mopar, etc. Take a look at A Summit or Jegs catalog sometime.

      Dan White
      64 R1 GT
      64 R2 GT
      Dan White
      64 R1 GT
      64 R2 GT
      58 C Cab
      57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

      Comment


      • #4
        The small block Fords (289, 302, 351 W) are dimensionally bigger than a small block Chevy making swaps tougher. Virtually all have a front sump oil pan which makes transplanting into most cars impossible at worst and a nightmare at best. Rebuilds are less expensive on a small block Chevy. Crate motors (factory) are far cheaper for the Chevy. Speed parts are more plentiful and cheaper for the Chevy.

        If your goal is big HP, a big block Chevy will get you there faster and cheaper than a big Ford. Most of the big Fords (FE motors) are dated technology and expensive.

        If you want something special (Hemi, nail head Buick, Rocket Olds, flathead Ford V8, Studebaker [8D]) you pay a pretty hefty price for the "cool factor" for both the power, transmission, and adapting it to the body and chassis.


        Dick Steinkamp
        Bellingham, WA

        Comment


        • #5
          Everyone with a hot rod is looking for a combination of cool and cost. A lot more nailhead Buicks and older Rocket Olds engines are finding their way into more 'traditional' builds. SBC, Hemi engines, Ford flatheads and early Cadillac OHV engines see a lot more use.

          I'm more of a '50's and '60's type car person, but one day it would be cool to have an older hot rod. I'd really like an old truck from '30-'35.

          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Tom - Valrico, FL

          1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed

          Tom - Bradenton, FL

          1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
          1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

          Comment


          • #6
            Ah, the larger size (and therefore weight?) along with the sump location are the probable killers. I remember back in the 50's and 60's that swapping was not very common. Occasionally I would see an OHV Cad or Olds conversion and once and a while a big six GMC with a Fisher head in a Chevy, but in most cases the cars original stovebolts and flatheads were souped-up. Life was simpler then.

            Comment


            • #7
              cortica37 wrote -
              quote:I remember back in the 50's and 60's that swapping was not very common.
              Say what...?

              Since time began...engine swaps have been popular. Here in So. Cal., you never knew what was gonna be under the hood. In the mid-60's there were two 56 Chevys with Hemis in them...at school!! And I went to a small high school.
              In Collage, I had two friends that had the Crown kitted Corvairs, one with a big block Chevy and one with a small block Chevy.

              Around town...as is today (as noted...) little Chevys were in everything small (Vegas, Corvairs, Aston Healys, etc.) and later, big Chevys were in bigger cars...you even saw 60's Ford engines in 60's Chevys. Bigger in place of smaller..every swap you could think of.

              In pre smog cars...it'll never change...and so it shouldn't!

              Mike

              Comment


              • #8
                Chevy parts are cheap. That's why some even put Chevy engines into old Fords. I personally would never want a Chevy engine in anything.
                What idiot would design an engine from scratch and put the distributor way back there? I don't get it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  quote:Originally posted by theGman
                  What idiot would design an engine from scratch and put the distributor way back there?
                  Studebaker engineers. [)]


                  Dick Steinkamp
                  Bellingham, WA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Say what...?

                    The trend toward engine swaps apparently was much earlier in S Cal than here in the Midwest. I think you speak of a later period then I. The Crown conversion came out in the late 60's and of course the highly forgettable Vega didn't appear until the early 70's. But, I do recall some Austin Healy 3000/Chevy conversions in the early 70's. The difficulty here was that most of the Chevy and Chrysler V-8's weren't available from salvage yards for many years.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well.....................Studebaker put the distributor in the back also. So................Chevrolet had idiot engineers and so did Studebaker. Among the mistakes I've always thought Dearborn made was in the great number of V8 engines they produced. Ignoring the flathead, Furd built something like FIVE (or more) distinctly different V8 engines in the years 1954 to about 1984. What......they never could get the design right? If Dick S. is correct (and I'm NOT implying that he isn't) and the Windsor Furd is BIGGER than the 283/327/350 Chevy (physically, I mean) then Furd built FOUR small block V8s and Two or THREE big blocks. Count them up: the wonderful Y block, the original 260/289 (which is physically smaller than a Chevy), the Windsor 302/351, The Cleveland 351 (which, for it's displacement, is a huge engine), the 332/351/390/406/428 engine, the 429/460, and I don't know where the 427 fits in. Go figure? Why all the distinctly different blocks? Trying to get it right? Must have something to do with Fix or Repair Daily.

                      wagone and the Old R2 Avanti

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                      • #12
                        Actually, I believe the 221, 260, 289, 302, 351 are essentially the same external dimensions. The problem (for swaps) is that they are about 2" longer than the small block Chevy. Greater when you use the short pump from an early Chevy.

                        http://www.wagoneers.com/FSJ/tech/En...swapchart.html




                        Dick Steinkamp
                        Bellingham, WA

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I never measured the Windsor engine but it certainly looks smaller, especially in width and weight (extreme thin wall castings). I do know that early on in the life of the "second generation Ford overhead valve V8" the people in Dearborn wanted to stroke the "original Windsor" to 3 1/4 inches (to make a 327) for the early GT 40 Le Mans program, but they found that the rods were so short (something like 5.15 inches) and the deck height so close to the crank centerline that a modest 3 1/4 inch stroke could not be used. Hence, a short while later for use on the street they raised the deck so that they could get a 351 cu inch engine on a 3 1/2 inch stroke. So the funny thing in the land of Dearborn engineers is, in the very year (1962) that Chevrolet introduced the 327 (in Corvettes), Ford started producing the 221/260 V8 (soon to be the 289), which could not take a stroke longer than three inches (for 302 cu inches). So.......I'm not so sure that Chevrolet had idiot engineers, at least NOT because they put the distributor in the rear. And they got by for 30 years with three V8s while Ford was building something like five or six in the same time frame. They may have had the distributor in the front, but designing an engine is a little more complicated than that.



                          wagone and the Old R2 Avanti

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                          • #14
                            The real reason street rodders don't use ford small blocks or prefer chevy is because of swap-a-bility. If you have a small block ford and need a starter you have to be almost perfect to get the right part. The Chevy small block interchange is almost unlimited. We swap parts(intake water pumps distributors) all the time. Something breaks at a friends house he has the gaskets and all for a fix. I do have friends with the 302 and they are very satisfied with that motor. The 351 C or W is a very good motor also as far as interchangability, I don't know. Remember ford had the first big block and it was great!

                            Studebakers forever!
                            Studebakers forever!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              quote:Originally posted by studelover
                              Remember ford had the first big block and it was great!
                              What was it and when?

                              (beat the 392 Chrysler hemi?)




                              Dick Steinkamp
                              Bellingham, WA

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