Volume II, Issue 1, Page 2

1/2/2007

ENGINE SWAPS MADE DIFFICULT!

Part One

Actually, I'm not making them difficult, they ARE difficult. From the perspective of a professional speed shop, it's maddening to read and hear stories about "easy" engine swaps. "I swapped in a 440 and my Volare ran easy nines!" It's true that some swaps are easier than others but they all take plenty of preparation and work. Even swapping in a freshened up version of the same motor the car came with takes hundreds of dollars worth of tools, many hours, and a good plan. Anyone who tells you otherwise is blowing smoke up your tail pipe! I say all this not to discourage engine swapping; far from it, I think old cars all deserve new engines, but it must be approached with an appreciation for the magnitude of the project. This will be the first installment--a few snapshots and things to consider before jumping in.

Here's a typical sweet engine swap candidate, a '65 Plymouth Belvedere II two door. This is the body style that they made the legendary A990 package cars from. This one's got mismatched little 14" wheels, bad brakes, bad floors, and an old sleeping bag for a seat cover. The Flintstones era 318 Poly motor is dead as a door nail. These Neanderthal engines weigh as much as a 440 with half the horsepower and they stopped making anything new for them in 1966. Even if it ran like a top (and they frequently do) it would be a good motor to swap out for something better. 

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