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Transmission swap

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  • Transmission swap

    Hi Guys, the 352 in my 60HT project is not well, parts for the 352 are virtually non existent here in the UK so I have taken the sacrilegious decision to have a little swap around. I have just found a 351w, cammed, tuned, roller rockers, hyd lifters etc fully rebuilt for a reasonable price, coupled with a FMX transmission.
    My question is, am I better to get the leaks done on my original cruise a matic, (not well known here) and if so will it mate ok to the 351, and keep it, or go with the FMX (the FMX is not very well known over here either).
    I fully understand the purists amongst you will say keep everything original but parts over here make it very problematic and I just want to get the vehicle mobile and usable.

    Please be gentle with me

    Regards, Mal

  • #2
    If the rest of the car is in absolute pristine condition or you have that goal to eventually reach that point, I would stay true to the original engine and transmission. However if you want to drive and enjoy your car and this engine and trans package is available I see no reason not to make the swap so you can drive and enjoy your car. The swap should be able to be accomplished without making modifications that are not reversible at a later date should a return to stock be made. Save the original parts as you or someone else may want them.

    Other's opinions may vary, but in the end its your car to build the way you want. Good luck and enjoy!


    • #3
      If you just have leaks in the Cruise-o a local transmission shop can rebuild it for a fraction of the cost of what you're talking about doing. You'll have to have custom motor mounts, transmission mounts, and drive shaft to make all that work. I just rebuilt mine. Most of the leaks were at the front seal, and that was caused by a lot of were in the first two bushings starting at the front.

      With regards to the 352, it's not at all similar to the 351. The 352 is an FE motor, a big block, which includes the displacements 332, 352, 390, 361, 390, 406, 410, 427, and 428. Ford made millions of FEs and lots of parts are interchangeable. The 351W (I assume yours is a Windsor mated to an FMX, not a Cleveland) is a later design, part of the small block family (221, 260, 289, 302, 351W).

      If it were me I'd disassemble the engine and replace the few parts that are worn.
      Last edited by Yadkin; August 11th, 2014, 09:01 AM.


      • #4
        Hi Mal,

        I am in Southampton and I just got the mx in my squarebird rebuilt. The guy said he originally ordered an fx kit, but realised it was wrong and had the mx kit the next day. The point being he was able to get both kits over here.

        Cost me 1300 all in. Car being collected on a trailer, gearbox out, rebuilt, back in and delivered. Took 5 days. From barely moving in reverse, I managed to wheelspin it in reverse, with barely any throttle ... by accident I hasten to add

        If you like I can see if I can find out where he got the bits from.



        • #5
          I'm definitely replacing the 352 with the 351w just wondering if this will mate up to the COM?
          Or am I better to replace the COM with the FMX?
          Which would be the better trans to go with?
          The fabrication work required isn't a problem, it's what I do for a living.



          • #6
            Mate your SBF engine with an AOD (automatic overdrive) transmission. There are many more AODs around than COMs or FMXs. In fact it's easier to find transmission mechanics that know AODs than ones who know FMX, COM or Fordomatic transmissions.

            Not that long ago, Ford put SBF and AODs in everything including pickup trucks and panel vans. The overdrive gear can allow you to put a low gear in your diff., then make up rpm loss with fourth gear. - Dave
            My latest project:
            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
            --Lee Iacocca

            From: Royal Oak, Michigan


            • #7
              Great idea Dave. I love the AOD. My first new car was an 85 TBird with a 302 and AOD. The tranny was my favorite part of the car. It had a mechanical lock-up in all four gears, and was very predictable with downshifts on throttle input.


              • #8
                I'm more confused than ever, if I put an AOD tranny in, will I need to replace the gears in the diff or will it be ok?
                I have found several AOD box's but at around $1200 from a junker was considering either sticking with the COM and getting it overhauled or use the FMX that came with the 351.
                Is the gearing of the FMX the same as the COM?