Tony T-Type

Small block swap

7 posts in this topic

I recently purchased a 54 Special sedan. The original fireball engine hasn't ran in over 20 years. I am the President of the Southern Arizona Buick Club so parts are easy to come by and I have multiple engine options here. My buddy is pulling his beefed up 340 small block out of his 67 to get the big block from his dad's wildcat. I have the opportunity to grab this  running motor pushing alittle over 300hp and 375ft lbs with a turbo 350 trans for about $350. Not bad considering the the cost of rebuilding the original just to get 150hp.  Don't worry I'll keep it around for reinstall.... eventually. 

 

Anyone have any experience or tips? I have fabrication experience so I'm not scared of a plasma cutter and welder.  Most of my auto experience is with new vehicles so this is a bit out of my wheelhouse. 

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For the same work involved, soup up a 322.  You will have to do a whole different rear suspension because of the original torque tube setup.  Then all that extra hp means upgraded brakes and steering so you can enjoy it with confidence...

If you need a 322, I have one.  If your hood has rust-through, I have a very good one as well, and could deliver from SoCal this summer...  Tons of other stuff as well.   Doors, trunk, etc.  Just my vote. But hey, your car, so have fun with it.

Welcome to the forum!

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Thank you! The whole car is actually really solid no cancer. It doesn't have good looking patina either so it'll get painted.I was looking to install airbags anyway so NBD just more or less getting it all bolted down and sorting out the driveshaft length etc. I had a 59 Apache with a 383 stroker with no power steering or power brakes WE DIE LIKE MEN! 

I definitely will upgrade the brakes since it'll be a family car. Probably a separate thread to start later but hopefully there is some disc setup from some other car that will bolt up like a Tahoe or something you can get from a junkyard. The actual kits are like $1500!  As far as the extras I think everything is there. The whole interior is destroyed so that will get done too.

Is there any resource for any engine swap on these or am I about to write the book?

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Welcome Tony! Like the padre said, it will take lots modifications but do what ya gotta do! It would be cool pulling away from a mustang in a more door Buick! You might have to tub it, all the hp goin against all that mass will equal burning rubber! Lol

Did you look into trying to start the ol nail?

again, welcome and keep us posted on your progress!!!

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Chris who is on this site has a bagged and Olds engine in his Special.  Hopefully he will sign on and let you know what is involved with a project such as this.    

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I haven't tried starting it yet. It's over at my friend's house because I bought it before I could sell the last project car and I have HOA to deal with so now that the Porsche is gone I'll get the 54 to my house this week. 

I may just drop a battery in and grab some starter fluid just to see. My main problem is that I have a one car garage that's 10ft wide and 22feet long so literally no room to work. I'll have it backed in so I can work under the hood.

The cheaper I can get this thing going the happier my wife will be. I still need full interior and a new windshield so that right there is a pretty hefty chunk of change since I haven't found any kits that you could just slip over the foam of the seats. It's a long term project car and I'm ok with that but still anxious to drive it.

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On 4/3/2017 at 9:38 AM, Avgwarhawk said:

Chris who is on this site has a bagged and Olds engine in his Special.  Hopefully he will sign on and let you know what is involved with a project such as this.    

That's me. Olds 307 and 2004r. 4 linked and bagged in the rear

MrEarl likes this

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