View Full Version : engine swap

05-21-2015, 11:43 PM
Hello, I was impetuous enough to buy a 1960 T-Bird that was not running. Now I'm certain that the engine needs to be rebuilt. I've checked with Kanter Auto Products and found the cost of a "Master" overhaul kit to be $1800 for parts and of course that does not include machine shop work. And, its unknown what needs to be done for the transmission. Forgetting originality it seems that buying an engine and transmission from a salvage yard and fabricating mounts would be the better monetary solution. Has anyone made such a swap? If so, what engine/transmission did you use? What were the difficulties in making the swap?

05-22-2015, 06:48 AM
I buy used engines to tear down and overhaul. No, it isn't cheap but in the end I have a brand new engine full of modern components that will last 250,000 miles (like a modern engine). I only care that the castings are not cracked. If they are, Magnaflux will show cracks right away and I stop pouring any more money into it.

Take nothing for granted and only believe half of what you hear regarding past history of the engine. I usually get a set of 390 engine and C6 transmission from a early 1970's F or E-series trucks or just about any of Ford's car lines. All these parts bolt on directly because they are FE engines like yours but much more plentiful and parts are cheaper than 352 parts.

There are a few cut-rate parts kits you can buy but I steer clear of all of them. I use name brand parts and a good engine machine shop that has been in business for decades. Again, none of this comes cheap.

If you want the biggest bang for your buck and you don't care about originality, get a 351Windsor/AOD from an F-series truck or car line. There are tons of them out there because this is basically a Mustang engine, all the vendors support great parts at good prices and you get the benefit of an overdrive transmission to save your gas money over time.

You could always buy another 'unknown' engine for half nothing but now you're shootin' craps. It might be ok but chances are folks are getting rid of it cheap because the engine is old and worn out. Then, you'd have two old sets of engines.

Find a reputable engine machine shop/rebuilder in your area and listen to him. Good shops offer a warranty for at least a year or two for free. If they offer no warranty, go on to the next shop. Engine building is precision work, not something you slap parts on and expect it to last.

Both of these engine swaps have been done many times on an old Thunderbird and procedures are all over the net. - Dave

05-22-2015, 05:37 PM
Thank you for the information. I guess I have to get comfortable with the idea that I over reached my abilities when I bought this 60 T-Bird. Nothing to do but keep trying. Someday I'll drive it. Tom.

05-22-2015, 05:58 PM
Hi Tom, I'm currently in the process of rebuilding my 58 with a 351w /c4 conversion. Fairly straightforward so far if you would like any info on mounts, headers etc let me know. I'll be more than happy to upload some pics and part numbers etc.

Dakota Boy
05-22-2015, 10:21 PM
Hey I felt like you at first too. "What in the world did I get myself into?"

But I got over it. You will too.