replacement engine for 1938 Hudson 112 - 212 cu in

Hi guys: 
I've used this website before and been given good advice on how to keep my 1938 UK registered RHD Hudson 112, with a 212 cu in flat head straight six engine, on the road here in the UK.  But she's 83 years old, and the engine has totally failed now, probably the camshaft.  My mechanic thinks the best way to proceed is to get a replacement engine and use the good parts of them both.  I hope that there are a few such engines out there:  I'd welcome any help. 
John Gooderham, West Sussex, UK.
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Comments

  • BigSkyBigSky Posts: 942Senior Contributor
    Funny but I was just talking to a buddy with a 175ci engine in a 39.  Bottom line, you better be 100% sure you want to have that 212ci redone and are prepared for the cost, challenges & lackluster performance in the end.  
    I don’t mean to rain on your parade but my buddy & I have been down this road & in some ways still in it…
    Best of luck with your project!
  • ValVal Posts: 1,009Member
    I would say talk with TalentR on this forum. I don't think he has a 212 but I know he has a 175. You may be able to use some things from that.   
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 4,259Senior Contributor
    You say "probably the camshaft"?  I would go further and find out exactly what the problem is before you write it off. It may just be the camshaft gear,  or any number  of things.
  • JohnGooderhamJohnGooderham Posts: 37Member
    Hi BigSky, Val, Geoff:  Thanks very much for your prompt and helpful comments.  I'd be content to use a 175ci instead of 212ci assuming most parts are interchangeable.  How do I talk to TalentR, please?  
  • DoctorvauxDoctorvaux Posts: 36Member
    edited August 27
    Hello John,
    I have a (later) Hudson 262 engine for sale.  I am in Hampshire, near Basingstoke, so not far away from you.  I have seen comments from other people on the forum in the past, that they have fitted such an engine to a 1938 car. I am not sure what this involves, but others on the forum could probably advise. It might be another option?
    The engine was running and driving in my car until about 6 months ago, when I swapped it for a 308 with twin H. The engine was a little fumey from the engine breather tube, so I would advise checking it over and planning on renewing rings at least.  On the positive side you would end up with a bit more power and an engine with pressure fed bearings as opposed to a splasher engine. The bearings are shells, as opposed to babbitt metal in the 212.  Please let me know if you are interested in the engine.
    Best regards, Brian.

  • barrysweet52barrysweet52 Posts: 608Expert Adviser
    Find out whats wrong with your motor, however its always good to have a spare. There are plenty of 212 engines around. They look the same as a 175 from the outside, with the exception that the 175 has only 1 breather pipe and the 212 has 2 pipes. The 175 head will boost the compression on a 212. The 175 conrods are different to the 212, but plenty of 212 conrods around. So if you can pick up a 175 locally not a problem. You can only bore both motors out by 30thou. Good luck
  • JohnGooderhamJohnGooderham Posts: 37Member
    doctorvaux & barrysweet52

    Thanks both:  Ideally, I'd much prefer to get/use 212ci - rather than either 175 or 262.  But I'm not ruling anything out yet.  If  there are indeed plenty of 212s around - and I'm not doubting that - how do I contact sellers?  If that sounds stupid, then I am. 
  • ValVal Posts: 1,009Member
    Hi BigSky, Val, Geoff:  Thanks very much for your prompt and helpful comments.  I'd be content to use a 175ci instead of 212ci assuming most parts are interchangeable.  How do I talk to TalentR, please?  
    Sent you a PM with contact info
  • Jon BJon B Posts: 7,294Administrator
    You ask how to contact sellers of 212 CID engines.  I don't know what sort of a modified and street rod community there is in England, but if there are any magazines aimed at this demographic, you might want to consult their classified ad sections.  Those who are converting their pre-War Hudsons to modern power (Sacrilege!) would probably be quite happy to find a buyer for the 212 engines they're removed.
  • JohnGooderhamJohnGooderham Posts: 37Member
    Val:  Thanks; I've emailed Tallent, as in your message.

    Jon B:  Thanks; I'm keen to use 212ci whole or parts.
  • barrysweet52barrysweet52 Posts: 608Expert Adviser
    If you find a 175, its easy to convert to a 212. In addition to the above, place add in the WTN, and also look there for a motor. You havent said whats wrong with your exist motor
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 2,276Senior Contributor
    That 262 is a major step up in technology and reliability over the 212 and is readily available in your area!
  • paulrhd29nzpaulrhd29nz Posts: 247Member
    262 is a dead ringer in my world. A substantial upgrade. 
  • JohnGooderhamJohnGooderham Posts: 37Member
    Barry, Dan and Paul:  Many thanks for your comments and advice, which I'll heed.
  • Trevor JTrevor J Posts: 460Expert Adviser
    The problem I have with everyones obsession to go faster and I get it everyone wants to be safe out there with the other traffic.  But if you go faster you still have to stop.  So my question is are you going to upgrade the brakes steering etc and so it goes on.  Might as well in some cases just get a more modern car
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 2,276Senior Contributor
    My comment was not to go faster just more reliability and staying Hudson!
  • BigSkyBigSky Posts: 942Senior Contributor
    I believe a lot of it depends upon how one intends to use the car.  If one wants all original & is ok staying close to home then original is ok.  If one wanted to travel 8-10 hours away often maybe the big 6 would work better.

    Traveling cross country is different than in the 55mph interstate speeds of 30-40 years ago.  People are even more different these days & few would help or even could help.  Times change, which is why these cars are so appealing as they take us back to a better time & place.  You can always change your mind & thus engine, etc, hope you find what you need to at least get her on the road & do some time traveling!
  • lostmindlostmind Posts: 1,388Expert Adviser
    Your comment about someone being willing or able to help is correct , unfortunately.
    But I think it applies even if you have 262 engine in it.
    It's really a matter of your comfort zone I think.
    I had a 1929 Hudson I drove to 4 National meets. When I got there Jack Smith
    was always there first, with his 1929. He always said he had to drive 1400 mile to get out of Canada.
    Didn't matter if he was driving his sedan or coupe , he would pull his camping trailer behind.
    I had a 1937 Terraplane I drove to 8 different states, original engine .
    I fixed what was wrong first , then drove it. 60 was comfortable, 65 started to get 
    strained a little.
    Neither car left me on the side of the road. Can't say that about all my stepdowns I've owned.
    When your40-50 years old you still enjoy challenges , today I wouldn't want to drive 
    either one outside the county, I've had enough challenges at 77.
    A good 212 and 4:11 gears and 650/16 tires will be fine.
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 4,259Senior Contributor
    Well spoken!

  • JohnGooderhamJohnGooderham Posts: 37Member
    Trevor, Dan, BigSky, lostmind, and Geoff

    Thanks all for the comments.  I'm not hoping to go far in her - a maximum round trip of 100 miles.  So on balance and in the interests of keeping my 112 as original as possible, I'm now getting close to finding a suitable pre-war 212ci and getting that shipped to the UK for my mechanic to rebuild using the best bits of the old and from the replacement.  If that doesn't make sense, please tell me.
  • bob wardbob ward Posts: 1,288Senior Contributor
    edited August 30
    If it were me I'd first be doing an autopsy on the present engine. The result will point to the best course of action.
  • terraplane8terraplane8 Posts: 560Senior Contributor
    Trevor, Dan, BigSky, lostmind, and Geoff

    Thanks all for the comments.  I'm not hoping to go far in her - a maximum round trip of 100 miles.  So on balance and in the interests of keeping my 112 as original as possible, I'm now getting close to finding a suitable pre-war 212ci and getting that shipped to the UK for my mechanic to rebuild using the best bits of the old and from the replacement.  If that doesn't make sense, please tell me.
    I think a good 212 is fine, they are a very smooth running and torquey engine, a pleasure to drive behind and seem very reliable too. My one has a 112 head to raise the compression to around 7.3:1 (higher than stock which I think was 6.0:1, but not too high) and it runs great on crappy 91 fuel (this is the non-US octane scale).

  • JohnGooderhamJohnGooderham Posts: 37Member
    Bob & terraplane8:  Thanks again.
  • JohnGooderhamJohnGooderham Posts: 37Member
    Dear All:  I'm still searching for 212ci engine for my 1938 Hudson 112, as the trail for a possible replacement seems to have gone cold.  Any advice would be welcome.
  • 7XPacemaker7XPacemaker Posts: 491Senior Contributor
    Not sure how you would fit a 262 in a 112 anyway without beating the firewall back. A jet motor-yes. A 262? I don't think so without major work. I think that you would also have to remove part of the "X" frame to get the transmission to fit in there.
     Everyone seems to think that it is really easy to find 212's. Maybe it is if you are looking for a rear distributor one. Side distributor 212's are NOT that easy to find. I have been looking for one since I bought my '39 112 and I am not overseas. I looked at a 37 Terraplane last weekend. It didn't even have a side distributor engine. It was modified to accept a rear distributor. I know that Hudson did have a TSB on where/how to cut the firewall in order to utilize a later model block in an early model car. I can't seem to find a car that had that part factory installed on it.
     If you find one that needs to be rebuilt, you better really want to keep it stock because that rebuild is not going to be cheap. Keep in mind, side distributor 212 engines were discontinued around 82 years ago. They are not plentiful. I get tired of hearing that they are.
    Sorry for the rant.
  • BigSkyBigSky Posts: 942Senior Contributor
    Isn’t it always the case that when you don’t need something there are 6 for sale but the minute you need one, they can’t be found!  I imagine someone is sitting on a couple but either hasn’t heard your looking or they aren’t motivated to part ways with it.  

    I’m sure  there are guys sitting on the parts I have been in search of for almost 20 years (37 Hudson hood ornament, badge & center grill chrome strip).  However even after years of a constantly run ad in the WTN & numerous posts on the forum I haven’t heard a word.  The worst part is my all too real fear is that someone with the parts I search for will die, only to have family members who don’t know or care just throw away those parts I am in need of because it’s a bother to deal with….
  • JohnGooderhamJohnGooderham Posts: 37Member
    Hi   7XPacemaker & BigSky

    Thanks a lot both (seriously, as that might sound a bit unintentionally sarcastic).  I didn't expect finding a 212ci suitable for my 1938 Hudson 112 would be easy.  I've not yet given up hope.  And my grandsons keep asking me how the hunt is going.  I'm now also looking in New Zealand, as Hudson were assembled there as well as in the UK.
  • BigSkyBigSky Posts: 942Senior Contributor
    You mentioned in your original post that the “engine had totally failed”, are you saying it’s worn out or has there be block damage, etc.  If the block is still good one may at least have the option of finding replacement parts needed.   

    For example, cam shafts can be reground & even have metal added to the lobes if needed then ground to an original or “hopped up” performance cam grind.  I know there are guys that still have performance grinds for these old splashers.   

    Also a savvy machinist can usually find a modern vehicle’s current production piston which would possibly work with the old 212.  Blocks can even be repaired if cracked or broken.  So depending on what’s wrong with the existing engine it may very well be salvageable.
  • terraplane8terraplane8 Posts: 560Senior Contributor
    I agree with the above post, I would take the engine apart and see exactly what is wrong with it. It may not in fact be too bad and you may find parts easier to obtain than a whole engine which may not be perfect in any event.
  • Jon BJon B Posts: 7,294Administrator
    Just a warning: If you do continue searching for a usable 212, don't forget that Hudson changed the engines circa 1940 or 1940, so that the distributor sat on the top of the block at the rear.  So, for instance, a 1946 212 would not be a good replacement unless you wanted to do major surgery on the firewall, to carve out a place for that distributor to sit.
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