Swap Packard 352 for small block chevy?

edited November -1 in Street Rods
Sorry if this has already been covered. If so, please direct me to the information. I am working on a 56 Hudson Hornet Hollywood with the Pacakrd 352. I would like to know if anyone knows of information out there to convert to a small block chevy and a T 350 or 400 auto trans. Has anyone done this? Is there a kit? Where can I find info on this swap?



Thanks for any help you can provide!

Comments

  • There are several of us that have done this. Some things that you have to watch, are.....the clearance of the distributor and the firewall, the clearance of the exhaust, through the steerarm and the tie-rod(driver side). The rear of the trany slip joint will have to be placed in-between 2 unibody supports. I've emailed, and talked to several people over the years about how I did mine. Eastwood has been kind enough to make a webpage, for me to post pictures, and give information on how I did it. Go to http://eastwood.squarespace.com/wesleys-hudson/ and you can see some of the stuff I've done. I send them some new pictures monthly, and they update the website. I hope you can do most of the work yourself, because paying someone to figure this out will be VERY EXPENSIVE. Good luck, and post pictures of your work. We LOVE pictures!
  • Wow! Thanks for the link! This will be very helpful. You do really nice work! Unfortunately I don't have all the skill or facilities to do what you do, but again, I do appreciate the information!!!



    Bart
  • Don't let the lack of skills, or a shop stump you. How about going to a High School Auto Shop class, or a tech-school? Someone that's looking to challenge the students. You'll probably get away with just buying the parts..........and letting the students take turns driving the finished product.(ha) My last piece of advice, is to make up your mind, about EXACTLY what you want the finished project to be, then, STICK TO THE ORIGINAL GAME-PLAN. I've seen a lot of projects get messed up by changing ideas mid-stream, or always changing to the latest thing that comes down the pike. Good luck on whatever you decide.
  • Very good advice! My idea was that is a small block chevy engine would drop in easily, I might go that route because I know how to work on those engines and parts are easy to come by. If the conversion is not pretty simple, I will probably rebuild the 352 Packard engine. We bought this car for my 12 year old daughter who for some reason really got in to Hudsons. We figured this would be a great way for her to learn new things and a way for her to have something to do to keep her from getting in trouble.



    I can't tell you how much I appreciate your replies with information and advice. This car is really straight with very little rust. It has not been registered since 1976. It truly has been sitting in a barn for more than 20 years. I took a bunch of pics while the car carrier was winching it out of the barn and on to the truck. It cleaned up pretty well, but now the real work starts! I don't want to do this for my daughter, I want her to do it with me so she learns and gets a sense of accomplishment.
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 2,598Senior Contributor
    Unless you have a game plan and money (as well as someone to help guide you when you get stuck), as noted above, to put into a swap I would advise against it. Swaps can be interesting and fun but unfortunately a lot of them get side tracked when things get tough or the money runs out, and end up half or less done. Many end up either junked or on ebay as I have seen many times. Is the Packard engine stuck or what is the problem with it? How many miles are on the car? Parts for these engines are not too hard to come by. The one minor drawback is the Ultramatic trans which I assume this one has. It is an OK automatic but you need to remember it was made by Packard and was their first and only automatic. Check the oil and see if you can get it to turn over, if it does it most likely will start with some minor work. You may be surprised that you will not need a engine rebuild at all, just clean out the oil pan and a bit of freshening up. If it does not turn over or is stuck you will need to work a bit more and come back for some more tips on what to do next.



    If I were you I would try to get the car on the road first and then decide if you want to make the effort to do a swap. The last thing you or your family will want is a car all apart in the garage or driveway when the interest evaporates. Believe me I know I have been there done that! My Hudson sat in my garage for 20 years before my wife threatened to have it hauled away if I did not get it running. Once I got the motivation back and got it on the road it has been a delight and a lot of fun driving, much more fun than having it take up the garage and hearing about it all the time!!!!!
  • Get the 56 engine running. Get it driveable then see what you want to do with it. I dont think Wes is working on a 56 Hudson which is all together different than a stepdown. As Dan said get it on the road first.
  • Oh boy, another SBC swap! Neato!
  • Thanks alot for the advice guys, I will probably not do the swap since it is not a slam dunk with some sort of kit. The 352 Packard seems to be frozen. There is still oil in the crankcase and water in the radiator. The gas tank was emptied and is dry. I was hoping to put in a battery, file the points and add some new gas and have the car start. No luck, just kind of a clicking noise, maybe the starter. I pulled all the plugs and tried turning it over by wrenching the crankshaft bolt and no luck. I was told the Ultramatic had some issue like only reverse and 2nd or something like that, so the plan now is to pull the tranny and have that looked at. While the tranny is out, I will try the turn over the engine again (I sprayed some anti seize in each plug hole) and see if it will move. If not, I will pull it and go through it.



    Thanks again guys for all the advice. Feel free to keep it coming!



    Bart
  • MikeWAMikeWA Posts: 1,505Senior Contributor
    I had a '55 Packard 400 hardtop with 352 and Ultramatic, both of which functioned properly. It was a good performer, and I'd go with fixing up what you've got rather than trying what would probably turn out to be an expensive conversion. Another possibility would be to convert back to Hudson engine and transmission, or Hudson engine and later GM transmission w/overdrive, for which there is conversion hardware. Don't know what you'd run into in a post-'54, though.
  • Your 56 has an enclosed driveline, which limits your conversion options.
  • You could go to a Nova rear axle or a Ford 8" and just eliminate the torque tube altogether. Go with a 700R4 or a 200R tranny. Do the 350 thing. You will have to fab up your own mounts - this is one of those cars where an individual's fabbing and building talents, as opposed to their check-writing skills, can really shine. No "kits" on this build!



    Since you DO have to fab, why not go with an AMC 390/401, or a Mopar 318 or 360? Even a Buick 3.8L with a turbo, if you insist on a GM drivetrain? The SBC just screams "me, too"!!! And you'd spend the SAME money, whatever oprion you choose! Dare to be different!
  • Aaron D. ILAaron D. IL Posts: 1,675Senior Contributor
    Great to hear it's going to be a father-daughter project and nice to hear more younger folks taking a shine to Hudsons...... one thing you might consider rather than the Packard engine it the other stock Hudson engine the AMC 327 V8. Might be an easier conversion possiblity. Or as someone else endicated a Hornet 308 with GM Hydramatic.
  • Personally, I'd keep the Packard V8. Chevrolet made more small blocks in one week than Packard made over 2 years of production. There's tricks to them, like the lifters are the same as a 318/340/360 MOPAR, and the oiling issue is solved with the Olds oil pump adapter that I helped to invent. If you have any questions on Packard engines, pm me or visit www.packardinfo.com We'll be glad you did!
  • Hey now let's not impose such peer pressure on the man. If he wants to swap in and SBC and give me his Packard for my pickup project, let him. :D
  • boozoo wrote:
    Hey now let's not impose such peer pressure on the man. If he wants to swap in and SBC and give me his Packard for my pickup project, let him. :D



    That works for me, keep those Packard engines going!!
  • BrowniepetersenBrowniepetersen Posts: 2,870Senior Contributor
    Do not be in too big of a hurry to walk away from a chev 350 "Belly button" engine. If you visit a local hot rod car show you will notice that it is the engine of choice. There will be 350's in 85 percent of the cars there. And, any one there can tell you how easy it is or give you the name of the guy that did their work. I like the 350 but would want a tranny that has overdrive and perhaps add one of those new injected 3X2's from a number of carb shops--grab a Hot Rod Mag and check it out. As an example, there is a guy in town that does the swap of any car, any engine with a chev 350 and can normally do it for about $600.00 plus parts. If that is your issue, talk to a few hot rod folks, you might catch them at the local drive in cafe...



    If you grab a "rat-rodder" they can give you the specks on various engines for various cars. I recently put a Pontiac 455 in a pick up truck. I saw a 454 in an ElCamino a few weeks ago and a big block hemi in a 33 Hudson. It is not rocket science. There are positives for going original and there are benifits for new mechanicals. Check it out and make the best decision for you and your needs...:o



    56hudson wrote:
    Thanks alot for the advice guys, I will probably not do the swap since it is not a slam dunk with some sort of kit. The 352 Packard seems to be frozen. There is still oil in the crankcase and water in the radiator. The gas tank was emptied and is dry. I was hoping to put in a battery, file the points and add some new gas and have the car start. No luck, just kind of a clicking noise, maybe the starter. I pulled all the plugs and tried turning it over by wrenching the crankshaft bolt and no luck. I was told the Ultramatic had some issue like only reverse and 2nd or something like that, so the plan now is to pull the tranny and have that looked at. While the tranny is out, I will try the turn over the engine again (I sprayed some anti seize in each plug hole) and see if it will move. If not, I will pull it and go through it.



    Thanks again guys for all the advice. Feel free to keep it coming!



    Bart
    Brownie
  • PaulButlerPaulButler Posts: 963Administrator
    jgrouch said:
    Did you ever do car?
    Who knows , whoever it was isn't on the site anymore unfortunately.

    I'm locking this thread now 

This discussion has been closed.