can a 472 caddy motor fit in a 1940 Hudson coupe ?

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
edited April 2014 in Street Rods
I have a chance of picking up a 1969 caddy hearse with a 472 motor the hearse is junk but was contemplating of squeezing it in the coupe which now has a chevy 307 which I justed pulled any thoughts?


  • 46HudsonPU46HudsonPU Posts: 594Administrator

    Hello '40coupe',

    Welcome aboard! 

    Good to have you.  I'm sure you'll find a wealth of information here.

    I've moved your post to the 'Street Rods' area (from 'Greetings & Introductions') so you can get some feedback on your upcoming project...

    You may also want to visit the Hudson Essex Terraplane Club website, and consider joining that Club - Members come for the cars, and stick around because of the great folks there!

    We hope you enjoy your time here at the Hudson Essex Terraplane 'Open Forum' -

  • Thanks Rick,

    I was a little nervous, I posted in the wrong forum I didn't want to piss off any purist right off the bat thanks for switching my post I did try a few times but couldn't get it to happen.

  • lostmindlostmind Posts: 1,491Expert Adviser

    I had a friend that had a 472 in a 47 pickup. Was not a good driver, very heavy in front , lots of heat.

    I would suggest a smaller , lighter engine.

    Wellington , Ohio
  • Ol racerOl racer Posts: 2,605Senior Contributor
    I have a Chevy 406" in a '46 Pickup with no problem sitting level... A lot of room even for a V10 but I suggest with a heavier motor like a Caddy installing a little stiffer front Spring available at any spring Shop.... I louver the hood to rid some heat and trim up the inner fender panels. Nice thing the Mounts (rear anyway) are probably close to utilizing for the Caddy...
  • DocHublerDocHubler Posts: 985Expert Adviser
    My response assume that your car is pretty much all stock and not just a rusted damaged hulk.  It already has a Chevy 307, and don't know how many mods have been done already.  If a lot, then go for what you're thinking of doing.  If it can go back to stock, read on.

    If you're going to put all that engine power, weight, and need for gas into a 70+ year old car designed for 90-100 HP and speeds/handling not exceeding 60 mph, throw away the frame and keep the sheet metal.  You'll have to install all the other items you'll need like disc brakes and seat belts to come up to code and of course buy the appropriate frame and engine (well that would come with a fairly modern frame).  You'll have to cut up or eliminate the inner fenders as there won't be room for the engine that your'e want to install, and you'll have to figure out how to get everything remounted on the new frame.  Probably want PS and AC as well.  Or you could put an appropriate Hudson Six engine back in it and use it for slow n' easy cruising.  Put the the money you save from redoing the coupe into buying a car designed for that type of speed.  And everyone wonders why the old car hobby is expensive. It doesn't have to be quite as  bad it you keep things closer to what they were designed for.  Yes, I'm more of a purist, but  really I don't mind people that want to mod their cars -- their car their money.  Unfortunately, a lot of them get in too deep, lose interest and don't have the money, and then the entire thing just goes to the scrapyard anyway.  If you want to put a huge V8 in one of these, please be sure you install seat belts and new disc brakes unless you want to put the steeing column through your chest and split your noggin open on 12 ga steel dash if you have to do a sudden stop while speeding down the freeway.  Actually, it's a good idea for many of us that keep our cars stock anyway.  I just question this all the time now:  what is this need to get an old car to speed down a  freeway?  I think many of us consider the enjoyment came generally slower cruising and looking/stopping to see the countryside.  If you want a muscle car, get one, instead of all this effort into something that you'll be the only one probably that's interested in that particular combo.
  • Lee ODellLee ODell Posts: 2,700Senior Contributor
    edited April 2014
    Hellos 40coupe.

    Welcome to the forum. There are a lot of modified as well as original Hudsons in the H.E.T. Club. And some members are dreaming to own their first Hudson. It is your car to do as you please. Build it the way you want it and you will be happy. Build it to someone else's vision the total satisfaction may no be there for you.

    The Cad engine is a little longer and wider then SB Chevy and only about 50-60 pounds heavier. The length of the engine bay, engine exhaust to steering gear box and trans to X member will be your main clearance issues. The Cad trans will be too long to clear the X frame. May need to change to a Chevy turbo 350/400 or 200R/700R. The overdrive feature of the later two would be a good feature to have. The 200R would give the best clearance with X member but would need to be built to handle near 475 ft lbs torque. Dany Spring has a 308 in his 40 Coupe and his wifes sedan with 700Rs. The Cad engine may be close in length to a 308 but shorter than a Hudson 8 engine. The El Dorado exhaust manifolds may fit tighter to the engine for better gear box clearance.

    It will take some measuring and if the measurements look promising some trial fits will come next.

    In the late 50s my Dad installed a 57 Olds big engine/trans and steering box & collum in his 46 PU. So big V-8s can fit. I'm still keeping an eye out for that truck. He sold it before I got out of the Army in 1966.. But the 40 may have a shorter engine bay making for a bigger challenge.

    The 472 in the 40 would make an awesome performer. Be prepare to replace rear tires more often and double the Chevy SB fuel consumption or worse. I only asked to borrow my Dads 500 inch El Dorado once. I remember an article where a junk yard 500 inch Cad installed in a 1964 El Camino went 110 MPH at 1/'4 mile drag strip. A 472 would also make some impressive numbers. The Cad engine gas mileage kept me from installing my 472 in my 64 El Camino. The 327 SB was getting 25 MPG.

    Keep us up to date on your plans and progress. Pictures would be exciting to see. I get excited seeing progress on any project original or modified.

    Lee O'Dell
  • Lee ODellLee ODell Posts: 2,700Senior Contributor
    edited April 2014

    Just wondering what your goals are with your 40 coupe. Cruiser, rat rod, street rod, custom, show car, daily driver, etc.???

    I saw a unfinished 39 Hudson with a big block Chevy on craigslist. I believe the engine bay on a 39 is smaller than the 40 if that helps with your decision.

    Whatever you deside, first get it drivable before anything else. That keeps the interest alive and you can

    always take it for a drive while completing other fix its.

    Lee O'Dell
  • lostmindlostmind Posts: 1,491Expert Adviser
    Lee , put up a link to your 39 for sale
    Wellington , Ohio
  • TwinHTwinH Posts: 706Senior Contributor
    Im a fan of the big Cadillacs. My 65 Impala wagon has had a 500" Cad under the hood since the 70's. Lots of engine specific info here.  Cadillac forum

    New engine build for mine now.
  • paulrhd29nzpaulrhd29nz Posts: 273Member
    I have a 455 Buick and TH400 in my 47 coupe. Car is a blast.Listen to the people that tell you if you are going to put power in it to put on disc brakes. I have Hornett brakes and plan on putting on disc brakes.The TH400 fit in the tunnel fine. Mine is a 47 and not sure about the differance in a 40. Good luck. I have a 46 2 door sedan with a hopped up Hudson motor and it is fun too.
  • Lee ODellLee ODell Posts: 2,700Senior Contributor
    Haven't hear from you lately. What plans are in the works for your car?
    Lee O'Dell
  • Lee ODellLee ODell Posts: 2,700Senior Contributor
    I forgot to mention a suggestion for engine weight concern that has been mentioned. You might consider putting Hudson PU front springs in your 40 coupe. Pickup springs are much stronger than car springs. They will handle the heavier engines. The 57 olds engine in my Dads 46 PU weighs 700 lbs. with added hydro trans. weight is probably around 900 lbs. The 46 PU front end handled that weight just fine. The heavier weight also gave the truck a smoother ride. It was no longer a harsh riding truck like before with the lighter original Hudson engine/trans.
    Lee O'Dell
    In my 47 coupe I used Napa vari load # 277-5271 ,the Moog number CC655. These are a varible rate spring and ride and work great. No bottoming out,did not raise the front end up. The car drives,rides and handles great with these springs.

  • dougsondougson Posts: 688Senior Contributor
    Why not an AMC 327?, Keep it in the (sort of) family. The problem with the pre-war narrow engine bay cars is heat, as stated above. A larger than stock 3-row radiator with a powerful electric fan would be necessary, maybe headers and aluminum on top.
    Doug Smith - "Toby Knoll Garage"

    1951 Muntz Jet
    1953 Woodill Wildfire/Dodge
    1954 Hudson Hornet coupe/Grand National Tribute car
    1955 Studebaker Speedster/Cadillac - "Studillac"
    1956 Corvette SR Replica

  • hudsontechhudsontech Posts: 4,606Senior Contributor
    In all honesty you can stuff just about anything into just about anything.  If you are crazy as a bed bug and have a death wish you could stuff a 427 Hemi into a Crosley - but I wouldn't want to ride it it.
    It all comes down to (1) how much money do you plan (or want) to spend and (2) how much you understand about the front end dynamics, ie how much weight the front end will bear and what you have to do to make it safe.
    Back in the 50's I put a Dodge 241 (I think that's right - memorys gone south) hemi in a 1939 Dodge coupe - built a couple of those things using 1939 and 1941 Coupes.  If I were doing it today I would sure as hell put disk brakes in the front, at least.  We got away with things like that back then because we didn't have a clue as to what we were doing. Go to a junk yard, haul the engine along with a 4-Speed tranny and clutch from a Dodge truck and a rear axle from a heavy duty pickup.  Hey, it worked!!!!  John Law wasn't amused, however.
    Lot of good advice here.

    Alex Burr
    Memphis, TN
  • hudrodguyhudrodguy Posts: 18Member
    hello there,
    i too have a 1940 hudson coupe (with a 307chevy v8 / 6 pack carb / stainless steel exhaust / caddy 375 turbo trans)  i have attempted to keep the exterior as original as possible (altho' i did "suicide" the doors and "frenched" the taillights) and keep the interior the same (there was some floor work done to create a trans tunnel but you never see it under the carpeting) ... there have been numerous alterations to the original frame to make to combo work such as power disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, new tilt chrome column, triangulated 4 bar and ford 9" rear ... on and on ...
    the real advice here is.. go with what you can afford and don't let anyone tell you what YOU want .. this is your peice of rolling art and the final say is yours ... you will come accross difficulties that may seem unbeatable .. stand back, take a deep breath and continue on 
    it took me 12 years before i was able to drive my car ... then i drove it all over the east coast (73k miles in 10 years) before i realized how unsafe it really was (it was built by me as a  daring young man without a sense of safety) .... it is now at the end of a 3 year, frame up rebuild with all safety issues addressed ... thank god i didn't wreck it during those panic brake situations ... 

    lesson #1 install power disc brakes on the front at least, before even attempting to install the big caddy motor
    lesson#2 install that big motor, radiator/fan combo, new front springs and enjoy it
    lesson#3 reinstall the seat tracks to the floor after being ripped out by the pushback of the torque .. (this is from personal experience)

    if i can be of any assistance, let me know

    good luck

  • Ol racerOl racer Posts: 2,605Senior Contributor
    edited February 2016
    I hope you doing the build. It will be awsome, but put seat belts in...
  • 39hudrat39hudrat Posts: 7Member
    I installed a 460 ford with a c6 into my 39 Country Club, but, that was after I clipped a 2003 ford Ranger front frame section. It also has a 07 Ford Explorer rear independent suspension. image
  • PaulButlerPaulButler Posts: 975Administrator
    @39hudrat ; one nice looking car!

  • 39hudrat39hudrat Posts: 7Member
    Thanks Paul, great to be here
  • Lee ODellLee ODell Posts: 2,700Senior Contributor
    40coupe, Did you install the Caddy motor? This topic was started 2 years ago. How is your project is coming along? Lee O'DEll
  • dondeb2009dondeb2009 Posts: 5Member
    Oh it can be done! I didn't do it, but I bought one that is done. They took a 71 deville and cut the front clip off. Welded it to the stock Hudson in front of the x member. No issues with the firewall or hood, but you will beed to make sure you have the right oil pan and pickup or it will drag on,well, pretty much everything on the road. image its tight but not too bad as I've seen a lot tighter. No prob doing spark plug changes or anything .
  • airbrushguyairbrushguy Posts: 360Member
    If you can dream it, you can probably build it....1938 Hudson....2500hp BBC
  • hudrodguyhudrodguy Posts: 18Member
    well, the summer has passed and work has progressed at a "glacial" pace on the hudson .. but ... we have made steps to get her back on the road soon ... there is a brand new high performance chevy 350 installed in the frame rails where the tired ol' 307 has lived for the past 25 years ... i will wait to fire it off until the front sheet metal is reinstalled (along with a new radiator/fan combo) ...
    i'll have new pics to post soon
    1940 hudrod
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