V8 Conversion Help??

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Tyler Dennen 1 year ago.

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  • #615

    Raniag Bascos
    Participant

    Hello All! I’ve worked on a customer’s 64 Clark for the last 5 years now. His transmission is starting to make some noise so we’re going to be pulling the powertrain out of the motorhome. Considering a V8 conversion or turbocharging his slant 6. The current motor has an offenhauser 4 barrel aluminum intake w/ eldelbrock 4 barrel carb, mated to a clifford performance long tube header set w/ 2.5″ mandrel bent exhaust system. We’re looking into different options and was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction? Someone that I can talk to that may have some more information on the subject? Anyone have any input?

    These are some of our ideas…

    -Kent 455 olds V8 w/ auto transmission retrofit?
    -Heard of someone doing a 500ci cadillac engine/ trans?
    -Turbocharging the slant 6 & rebuild manual trans
    -V8 conversion using small block 318/360 mopar engine. (late model 5.9 dodge 1500? Get fuel injection?
    -Anybody know the bolt flange for the transmission? Possible custom adaptor for LS swap??

    Any input would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks, Ray

    #616

    Jess Bressi
    Participant

    Ray, the answers to your question are driven by how much money you want to spend and whether your customer wants a stick or auto transmission. There are a number of the Chrysler “B” V8 Block conversions with a stick on the road (uses old trannie) and it is a successful swap, particularly if you can find a later model, I believe late 1967 to 1969, transaxle to use as they were heavier duty (the 69 even had CV’s in some cases). I see the required adapters for sale periodically on the Yahoo Cortez site and elsewhere. It is virtually a bolt in swap and is a lot less expensive that the Olds/Caddie swap. The other successful swap is the Kent drive train with either the Olds 455 or Caddie 500. The Cortez factory even did the Olds 455 swap back in the day. You would bring your old underpowered Clark one day and sometime later it would exit with a Kent drivetrain. You need metal fabrication and welding skills to pull this swap off successfully. You also need the entire cradle from a Kent which is not too difficult to find as Kents are being junked out due to perceived unrepairable rust all the time. If you are near Southern California, you should visit one of the local Cortez club’s (the Cortez Viajeros) outings as we have an Olds 455 powered Clark in the club as well as access to owners that have Chrysler B block powered rigs. Jess

    Jess Bressi, OC CA
    1974 Side Bath/Rear Bedroom
    19.5" Rims/front disc brakes/3.71 Final drive
    Keep on Cortezz'n

    #618

    Moose
    Keymaster

    I think Jess pretty much nailed it. To do the mopar small block swap, you’ll need a marine bell housing for that engine (fairly rare), or fab something yourself. The thing to be wary of here is that the axles and U-joints of the early Cortezes aren’t really designed to handle the weight and torque of the V8. There are quite a few out there who have done it, but I’ve also heard from members who say they’ve had some issues (overheating too). I personally think that the best solution is to build a stroker slant six. Doug Dutra has talked about his builds this way on slantsix.org. There are also members there who have added turbos and fuel injection to their slants.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by  Moose.
    #668

    Tyler Dennen
    Participant

    Jess,

    See you have a disc brake conversion on your Cortez. I have a 78 I’d like to convert to disc. Do you have any pointers ?

    #671

    Jess Bressi
    Participant

    If you go to the Yahoo site and “documents” section, I posted literature and articles on Cortez disc brakes. URL: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/cortezmotorhomes/info

    You have two existing choices for a Kent: find a Hurst/Ariheart set up and bolt it on (what I did to my 72 rear bath) or find one of Charlie Hill’s bracket sets that use 79 Ford 4×4 rotors, calipers and pads with Hill’s custom brackets. A future possible choice is that some of us in the So Cal Cortez Viajeros club are looking at having a run of the Hurst/Airheart caliper brackets made as they will work with a modern 4 or 6 piston Wilwood style caliper.

    Jess

    Jess Bressi, OC CA
    1974 Side Bath/Rear Bedroom
    19.5" Rims/front disc brakes/3.71 Final drive
    Keep on Cortezz'n

    #672

    Tyler Dennen
    Participant

    Jess.

    Thank you for the heads up. I will check out your articles on the yahoo groups page.

    I would be interested on the custom caliper brackets. I would like to support a modern caliper. let me know how that goes. Do you have a set of brackets to use as a mock up?

    #673

    Jess Bressi
    Participant

    Yes, I have the brackets to use as a model/mock up. They appear to be the same for both sides. They appear to be a forging but I’m not a fabrication expert. It may be possible to make them from two pieces of 1/2 place welded together with very high quality welding and then milled to shape or one about 1″ or so thick round that is milled and cut on a lathe to make four brackets at a time (each bracket is about 90 or less degrees of a circle. I wonder if there is anyone on this site with the knowledge of how to properly make these???

    Jess Bressi, OC CA
    1974 Side Bath/Rear Bedroom
    19.5" Rims/front disc brakes/3.71 Final drive
    Keep on Cortezz'n

    #674

    Tyler Dennen
    Participant

    Can you post a picture, or email me at onequick911@yahoo.com. Give me some dimensions. I have two metal fab shops in town. Maybe I can get an idea from them what it will take.

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