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1932 Ford Roadster Engine Swap Part 2

by Dave on March 1, 2016

Quint Meland’s new Deuce roadster is a tribute, although somewhat more civilized, to the Model A he raced in high school. The car arrived at our shop with a 351 Cleveland motor and a C4 trans. Our first task was to swap in a big 400 inch Oldsmobile and Turbo 400 Quint had built at Mondello Performance. It took a lot of shoehorning, you can see photos here…

When we left off, Gary had started to build the headers. A key part of the tribute, Gary was able to capture the look of the original roadster’s headers, but at a level of craftsmanship appropriate to the new build.
Quint2_2 Quint2_3

Installation of the Olds motor required a lot of peripheral work, but in some cases it gave us an opportunity to improve upon the car’s original build. The throttle had been positioned right up against the brake pedal. Unless you had the feet of an eight year old, braking in a panic situation could have led to disaster. Moving the throttle meant modifying the transmission tunnel and carpet, but it helped better align the throttle cable with the linkage while making Quint’s footwork much safer and more comfortable.

As Gary predicted, the swap would require a bit of firewall work, but the stainless cove he built virtually disappears behind the distributor.

Big ol’ nasty headers sure changed the look of this car. Wired, plumbed and filled with fluids, the big Olds fired instantly. It didn’t take more than a couple of minutes to blue the headers.
Quint2_7 Quint2_8 Quint2_9

We’re not sure who’s going to have more fun in it, Quint or Shirley.


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