looking for recommendations 1940 hudson

Jennrich827Jennrich827 Posts: 21Member
I have a 1940 Hudson. we are wanting to replace the front and rear end. any one have any recommendations? were replacing the original Hudson motor and transmission with a 350 small block.


  • Uncle JoshUncle Josh Posts: 2,594Senior Contributor
    Please save the motor and tranny as the rest of us are looking for that stuff.  If it's the model 44 eight, there are only half a dozen of them left.
  • Jon BJon B Posts: 6,890Administrator
    I think this one has the 175 cid, 6-cylinder engine
  • Jennrich827Jennrich827 Posts: 21Member
    its a 6cyl
  • 1954Hudson1954Hudson Posts: 123Member
    leave it alone !!

  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 315Member
    great idea getting rid of the old anchor and updateing the drive train.

    Whats the wheel base on the 40?
    40s are not unibody like steepdowns are they?
  • Jennrich827Jennrich827 Posts: 21Member
    wheelbase is 114 inches... the paper work I found online says it should be 113.
  • rkee0308rkee0308 Posts: 23Member
    You could always do a chassis swap and get an updated suspension and motor all at the same time with simple body mount fabrication. I did a search yesterday for another member on here and found a first generation Blazer would be a good candidate. It's your car so do as you please. Though it is always extremely helpful to put up anything you're pulling off your car onto here so someone else can either rebuild or reuse it.


  • 33kc198933kc1989 Posts: 369Senior Contributor
    No chassis swap.  Before you know it won't be finished and you will have a turd.  I'd leave alone or just motor and rearend swap.   
  • KdancyKdancy Posts: 2,349Senior Contributor
    I see these unfinished projects all the time. Owner gets in over their head and the project is left to rot into the bin of history. Keep it simple and within your ability. Don't let other "dreamers" lead you into a forever project that won't work as well as what you started with.
  • 33kc198933kc1989 Posts: 369Senior Contributor
    Kdancy nailed it.  
  • 1954Hudson1954Hudson Posts: 123Member
    Kdancy nailed it !!!
  • rkee0308rkee0308 Posts: 23Member

    I agree with Kdancy, a chassis swap is a massive a lot of work and plenty of people get burnt out on the project. I see that on all projects though, not necessarily just chassis swaps. Was just trying to provide an alternative route, wasn't attempting to lead anyone into a "forever project" as you said.



  • Jennrich827Jennrich827 Posts: 21Member
    I was told if we didn't swap chassis it would be a really bumpy ride and we wouldn't be able to drive faster than 45 mph.
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3,575Senior Contributor
    So who told you these "Alternative facts"???
  • Jon BJon B Posts: 6,890Administrator
    YIKES!  Who is giving you advice?

    (I regularly cruise all day at 60mph in my '37 T, with its "primitive" chassis!)
  • allanallan Posts: 190Member
    I drive my '38 and '47 70mph (both overdrive on 3X5 with 4:11 rear) with no problems.
  • BrowniepetersenBrowniepetersen Posts: 3,043Senior Contributor

    As you can see from the last two posts someone is giving you some bad advice.  We have a lot of modified 30's/40's Hudson's running around with SBC and 10" ford rear ends.  As a matter of fact, most of the hot rods on the road today use this combination.  You need to get with some Hudson folks that have done this swap and take some notes.  A regional or national meet would be the perfect place to do this--look one up in your area or join us in San Diego the last week of august and see your project under construction and in action....  We have a lot of Hudson's that attend during the process.

  • Jay GJay G Posts: 364Expert Adviser

    All the above advice is great but no one has asked you what you want to do with the car.  What do you want to use the car for?  Cruising around with stretches longer that 30 min on the freeway at speeds above 60mph...... go the modification route, new engine and drive train.  You will be happier.  If you are cruising around town go stock.  I have a 37 straight 8 and there is no way it can do freeway speeds without blowing up (no overdrive).  I have a 46 pickup that I added and overdrive and tall tires to.  It will go 60 for short periods of time but is not real happy.  50 - 55 is much more to its liking.  So really consider what you are going to use the car for.  I have a 53 hornet with a stroked 308.  It loves to go fast all day long......  The vintage coach guys got it up to 97 the other day while tuning it and I think there was more left in it.  It really pulls but it also has a triple weber setup.


  • 53jetman53jetman Posts: 1,225Senior Contributor
    An example of "Bad Advice" above!  We have driven a 46 Pickup continuously at Interstate speeds for over 200 miles at a time with the original 3 X 5 six cylinder with overdrive transmission and a 4.11 rear end.  All the truck would say was "lets go some more - I really like this".  The trouble with most of you young bucks is you start dreaming of modifications that can be done at large sums of money, and you don't even try the car or truck in it's original form before jumping to conclusions of what must be done.   Pardon me, but I just get wound up on this subject and am concerned that before long nobody will be enjoying HUDSONS and there will not be any original examples left for people to admire and enjoy driving.  These cars do not suffer from the inadequacies of the comparably aged Ford, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, Chrysler,  Kaiser or Nash models of the same comparable age.  Hudsons were built to travel and give those inside the car a great traveling experience.  As for the 308 ci Hornet, I have a '54 that dearly loves to run - in fact it will do an honest clocked 112 MPH in stock form without any help from exotic aftermarket equipment - so there again what is the need to butcher the originality of the car just to say "look what I've added to this old car" ! ! !  I'll get off of my soap box now.
  • LanceLance Posts: 768Member
    Well said Jerry.  Cheap advice from armchair wannabe's.  None of them ever turned a wrench on an origional Hudson. BTW It takes a real man to restore a car. Anyone can cut one up
  • Ric West INRic West IN Posts: 451Senior Contributor
    AMEN,  Well said,  Jerry and Lance.  Each time I read these type of comments, my blood pressure rises.  The 4.11 rear is best for use with overdrive if you wist to cruise at + 70.
  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 315Member
    Well from the young bucks stand point :*
    I say if you own the car its yours to do with what you like. Its you who has to drive it and enjoy it.
    It can take a lot of cash to restore or to modify.

    Having done both I can tell you its much harder to modify properly. Instead of just ordering XYZ part from a site or from a collector as you follow the manual you need to do math & do the research to make sure it fits and will work with everything else.
    If you live in a country with strict rules on modification then the degree of work man ship has to be much higher than just restoration.
  • DocHublerDocHubler Posts: 980Expert Adviser
    The 1940 onward Hudsons had a great suspension on the front end for it's day (the rear end being similar to most other brands); it was fairly advanced.  Replace worn out suspension parts if needed, but otherwise, the car will ride fine.  If you want a hot rod, then go buy one, or build one from what you have, but remember, that will be $$$.  Your car has its original equipment and body/frame once -- probably gone forever once altered.  In my experience, driving old cars takes skill and that's part of the fun -- you have to actually drive the car.  If you want a car that drives itself, buy a new car.  As all have noted above, you've been given advice that is absolutely wrong. 
  • ValVal Posts: 746Member
    Your money, your car, your choice. Personally I like the original stuff. Drives just fine and its a lot of fun. Maybe I cant go 80 on the freeway but how many Hudson's are on the freeways these days. My 39 is fine just the way she was built. But I did add an overdrive trans. 
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3,575Senior Contributor
    Val, just interested, what  overdrive did you fit to your '39?  My Jet has 4.1 rear + o/d, and will happily do 70 m.p.h. all day, which is higher than the allowable here.
  • ValVal Posts: 746Member
    Geoff, I am not sure other than it is a 1950 single lever O/D. I know some modifications to the frame had to be made. Minor I think. If you email Doug Wildrick or catch up with him on the club forum he can give you more detail maybe as they are the ones who suggested I go with the O/D and told me what type to get. I got it from the president of my local chapter.  
  • hudrodguyhudrodguy Posts: 9Member
    hello there,
    i must comment on this as i also have a 1940 hudson coupe ... the car was in bad shape when i found it in a junkyard with a tree growing through the floor and out the side window ... my plan was to modify the car into a hot rod ... 35 years later, the car has gone through various changes (v8 chevy, 400 auto trans, ford 9" rearend) but the front end suspension was retained due to its' design and very nice handleing characteristics ... i did install a manual rack and new column because of slop in the multiple tierods and bell crank steering design of the original ... i have tried to keep the exterior as original as possible altho' i did "suicide" the doors to better match the "suicide" hood ...
    if anyone needs certain 1940 hudson coupe parts, i have some motor and trans parts, brake parts, wheels and tires, etc ... let me know your needs
  • Jennrich827Jennrich827 Posts: 21Member
    Do you happen to have a generator?
  • Jennrich827Jennrich827 Posts: 21Member
    Well i have 3 friends who " cut up cars" and hotrods them out. When we first got it one of them who doesn't believe in keeping anything origional came over and looked at it. Proceeded to tell my boyfriend all of the stuff he should do. When i stepped in and said no...im keeping it origional he got all mad and left and said not to call him he would never help us. These guys aren't mechanics but they call themselves that. My dad who is a gm mechanic calls them parts changers. I bought this as a project hoping id have it started already but now my boyfriend doesnt want to help me because he doesn't want it origional.
  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 315Member
    well thats a bit rude of ya man if you ask me. he should be stoked you are into cars and you found a rare cool old one.

    I would say battle ahead. Watch youtube and ask questions here. these guys love the old Hudsons and have a huge amount of  experience. 

    Seeing you stuggle away might kick your boy in to action. I love working on my Hudson with my missus who is learning so much.

    Start slow dont just go rip shitz out. Take heaps of photos and videos so you know how to put it back together. May seem obvious now its together that those four screws go there but months/years latter it might no longer. so short videos help.

    Contact local car clubs etc they may be able to help or recommend people for the parts you are not confident doing.
    If suddenly it all feels to much and you just cant see any progress or light at the end of the tunnel. Close he door walk away or out source to get some help.
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