Gathering parts for a V8 swap

289 - 351 cid Small Block Performance

Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby Coolball » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:46 pm

The decision has been made....taking out the straight 6 and dropping in a V8. I have tons of questions most of which I'm sure answers are available on the www. but there are some crucial questions I have in order to gather some parts up for the swap. I can find parts, I just need to know what to find.

I went and saw a friend today who has a 77 Grenada available for parts and from what I have read that front end swap is common. What years of donor parts should I be looking for and more specifically will anything on the 77 year Grenada work for my swap? The front discs are there although the assemblies on both sides were removed by torching through the a-arms. That's a potential problem providing I need the a-arm. Do I?

The car has a 302 available in good shape for some machining and a rebuild with a few performance goodies. One thing raised in discussion was the motor mounts. Please chime in on what donor cars I could find the mounts on, or somewhere online? The next question was the trans, not sure what's in the Grenada but I guess what I would be looking for would be a C4? My friend has the necessary V8 bell housing. Next question was about the rear. It's in the Grenada (unknown ratio) but my friend said it was an 8.8'' but wasn't sure on the length or if it would swap in without being shortened. Anybody know if that's a direct bolt in or if I should get on the hunt for something else?
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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby ZRXwannabe » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:09 pm

I am doing almost the exact same swap right now. I am using a 79 302 and C4 from 79 fairmont. These mid to late 70s 302 where the lowest horse power ones ever made. But they are all basically the same motor so increasing horse power is not that difficult. The biggest problem is the heads. I'm on a real tight budget so I went with a pair of factory GT40 heads from a 96 5.0 explorer. These can be had for 2-3 hundred bucks and are an OK budget performer in stock form. If your gonna pay to have them ported and bigger valves or anything much more then a clean up your better to save your mony for better heads. The frame mounts I bought were for a 66-70 small block mustang. They are a one piece unit compared to a weaker 2 piece pre- 66. You also need the matching motor mount. Motor mounts available at local parts store. Frame mounts I got off ebay. There is a place in Dearborn Mi that has a ton of reproduction parts. They have reprodution mounts but they are well over $100. There web site is http://npdlink.com/store/index.php?p=home As for the trany mount, the C4 one is available but I dont have the info available. I am going to try to modify the 2 speed mount. You will also have to do some fanagling with u-joints and the trany end of the drive shaft. As for the rearend, I don't think they put 8.8s in the granada. If it has a removable rear cover on the rearend I THINK it's the smaller 7 whatever rearend. They did come with 8" rears also which again I THINK are mostly a bolt in to the comet. I got an 8" out of a 65 mustang. Also the 9" from the full size 57-59 fords is pretty much a bolt in too. Exhaust is another place that can be expensive. The best headers are , from what I have read are Dougs tri Y, but around $500 I think. I have not yet started to reasemble the car so I make no promises on this info as fact. As I do I will be posting. If I have given any misinformation then don't be afraid to correct me. I will take no offence.
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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby Coolball » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:43 pm

Thanks for the step towards guidance. I've been mostly showing off the car to friends this evening and reading all kinds of stuff about comets, falcons, grenadas and all else that comes along with trying to find that one bit of solid information on the internet. I ran across multiple rear end length charts that say the 64 Comet rear is 58'' mounting surface to mounting surface and that also the Grenada is the same 58'' in length. That's great news but the question I could not find an answer to was are the spring perches the same for a direct bolt in fit. The rear end I looked at in my friends Grenada had the removable pumpkin in the front so it's definitely an 8'' rear or possibly a 9'' which I've read also came in the Grenada although I'm not sure if that was strictly for the 351 motor. I'll dig into finding the info on that one later. But either way it goes, looking like I found a good donor for the new rear.

Those mounts are quite a penny no kidding.
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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby ZRXwannabe » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:31 am

I got my mounts on ebay for $53 plus $11.65 shipping. Also, in case you don't know, the way to tell 8" from 9" is looking at the bottom bolts holding the pumkin in. If you can get to all of them with a socket then it's an 8". If you need a wrench to get on one of them it's a 9".
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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby postcarguy » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:26 am

The Grenada front-end parts will work for disc brake conversion. I would however spend the money to get a proportioning valve. The one on the car might work, by why skimp there? If the Gernada has steel wheels, hang on to them, you'll need them. The disc brake hubs have a larger center hole. You won't need the a arms just the spindels,hubs,calipers, and the master cylinder. Also keep the brake lines, from both cars. they will be differant, but will make fabbing the new ones MUCH easier. Grenada parts 78 and earlier will fit, In 79 They went to more of a strut style front end.
I have done this conversion on a 65 404. since you have a 6 cylinder car, you may have to sorce a few parts like drag link and tie rod ends, sleeves and pitman arm. I'm not sure about the steering box for 64. Good Luck
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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby 383MERC » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:00 am

I used all 65 mustang suspension components on my 63 except the center link. I may have used the granada outer tie rods to get the correct pin taper for the ball joints. The taper in the granada will be larger than the falcon/comet/mustang. If you go to the CSRP website, i believe they have great details on the swap with all the interchange info you will need. I actually bought new granada spindles from CSRP with early mustang geometry to help with a severe bump steer issue i was having. Stock spindles should be ok for a street car though. We were doing a drag car that went through a lot more suspension travel. I have also seen bushings for the tie rod patered pine to adapt from one to another. Mark
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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby Coolball » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:21 am

Great information! I'll admit it I really don't know snot about Ford but I'm enthusiastic about the learning curve on this project. Thanks everybody for pitching in and sharing your experiences here and helping the odds of this project from fall flat on it's face.

I'm really surprised that there isn't more aftermarket or replacement mounts available for the early Mustangs. Looks like that is really the only hold up moving forward, either spend the cash or wait for a good deal to come along. We only have a few local yards here and most of the junkers come from Montana's rigs. Lots of pickup trucks but not a big selection of older classics available. I remember living in Phoenix and going to the pick and pull yard and the selection of cars available as far as the eye could see. I have to outsource the parts on the internet a lot of the time.

I'll be getting the Granada spindles and calipers and will most likely order new rotors and pads, tie rods and sleeves and the center link, and the new proportioning valve. I want to convert the brakes to an assisted set up and have gathered up some info on using the Geo Metro booster and master cylinder. I think it will be a huge improvement from where it is now. I haven't got into the brakes but I think the previous owner might have installed the shoes wrong, the pedal is brick solid and has about maybe a half inch of travel. Since the drums are going away I don't have much of a reason to address it. Will the Metro brake parts be sufficient for the new discs and V8 set up?

I also want to convert to power steering but haven't found a write up on that yet. Will any of the Granada parts work or should I take a different direction?
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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby Coolball » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:54 pm

So the previous owner DID install the shoes wrong, they were backwards and also the self adjusters were wrong too! I spent the morning mumbling to myself about some people who just shouldn't work on cars :lol: scary!

I've been confirming parts and will be getting a 302, C4 with cross member and an 8'' rear plus all the odds and ends I will need for $200 so this project is on it's way. I'll be grabbing the tie rod ends but here's my questions

Will the granada spindles fit on the comet stock upper and lower ball joints,, also I plan on getting the granada outer tie rod ends and was wondering how the thread size compares to that of the comet. Which adjusting sleeve works or how does that work if they are different sizes?

Onto more V8 stuff -- what headers will fit the bay properly,, I was looking at mustang,, any chance of long tubes and dual exhaust all the way out back? I haven't been able to find any specific exhaust kits for the comet other than universal which if it came down to works but I would prefer something pre fab if possible.

I'm holding off on the power brake conversion for now and want to get the front done asap so we can drive the car while the 302 gets machined and the parts collecting and assembly phase begins. Can't order my parts until I get the block tore down and see what it needs for machining! My patience is getting away from me lol in part because of another concurrent project build that's been 2 1/2 years ongoing,, an 82 Z28 ground up refinish with all out goodies and a hopefully 400hp sbc.
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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby B_Hix » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:47 am

Coolball wrote:I've been confirming parts and will be getting a 302, C4 with cross member and an 8'' rear plus all the odds and ends I will need for $200 so this project is on it's way. I'll be grabbing the tie rod ends but here's my questions


Man thats a score right there ^^ - good deal! Use the "C" word sparingly here - I refer to my "C-word" as "Brand-X" - keeps me from getting ran off with pitchforks and tourches :mrgreen: .

As far as headers, Jegs and Summit both list headers for the Comets by specific year application, so you have several choices in the full-length category. Great builtd - best of luck with it.
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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby 383MERC » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:10 am

The upper and lower ball joints should be the same. It has ben a while since i did my conversion, but i'm pretty sure the thread size on the tie rods are the same and normal adj. sleeves are all you need. When i was researching my parts i read a couple places where people said they had to shorten the threaded portion of the tie rods about 1/8" or so to get enough room for correct adjustment, but i did not experience this. Everything went together normal. Mark
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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby Coolball » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:45 am

B_Hix wrote:
Coolball wrote:I've been confirming parts and will be getting a 302, C4 with cross member and an 8'' rear plus all the odds and ends I will need for $200 so this project is on it's way. I'll be grabbing the tie rod ends but here's my questions


Man thats a score right there ^^ - good deal! Use the "C" word sparingly here - I refer to my "C-word" as "Brand-X" - keeps me from getting ran off with pitchforks and tourches :mrgreen: .

As far as headers, Jegs and Summit both list headers for the Comets by specific year application, so you have several choices in the full-length category. Great builtd - best of luck with it.


For a few years I lived a block away from the yard that has all this stuff and having gotten to know the owner pretty well he gives me great deals. He's an old school guy, the yard was originally his fathers so he's been doing this his whole life. I always learn something new every time I talk to him. The guy is like fountain of knowledge.

Lol @ B-Hix I had to get that one out that and hope nobody notice. :lol: I'll call it "the flogger" from here on out :lol:

Looks like I'll be trying to find a pair of the GT40 or GT40P heads this week as a start. How do they clean up with a little work on the runners?
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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby B_Hix » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:04 pm

What research I did before buying my heads indicated that GT40P's were the way to go as far as low-cost iron heads, but seems like I remember some in the mustang forums complaining that they had a straight plug design er something.... Seems they had issues with headers - sorry, but I have inhaled a lot of paint since then :mrgreen: Not sure exactly what it was, but the mustang forums had a lot of back and forth on the GT40P heads saying something was hard to do, or causes issues with.... ????

Not sure any more.

um

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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby Coolball » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:12 pm

From what I read they are exactly the same head with the exception of the GT40 is a straight plug where as the GT40P is an angle plug. I also was reading that the "P" had a 58cc chamber design and the non P heads were something like 60cc..buuuut lots of research to do yet. I'll go with what ever I can find locally for a small price or if not I'll get a bare aluminum set of something and assemble them a bit later.

Don't quote me on this but the GT40 heads are identified by three lines running vertically on the front of the head. The GT40P heads have four vertical bars and a P stamped somewhere in location to the #1 plug hole. Found in 96' and up explorers.
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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby ZRXwannabe » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:23 pm

It's the opposite. The GT40P has the stright plugs which have clearence issues with some headers. The regular GT40 have the same design as all other production ford heads. The straight design in the P heads also creates a bit of a shroud on the intake valves. In spight of this they are supposed to flow a bit better then the GT40's and have smaller combustion chambers for a little more compresion. The headers I am getting are http://www.summitracing.com/parts/HED-88400/?rtype=10 You can't use them with the stock colemn shifter linkage. You have to use a cable shifter as far as I can tell. Here is another link that will tell you all about the different headers and just about anything else to do with comets or falcons. http://www.autokrafters.com/v4/go.gnf?s ... duct=45002




Coolball wrote:From what I read they are exactly the same head with the exception of the GT40 is a straight plug where as the GT40P is an angle plug. I also was reading that the "P" had a 58cc chamber design and the non P heads were something like 60cc..buuuut lots of research to do yet. I'll go with what ever I can find locally for a small price or if not I'll get a bare aluminum set of something and assemble them a bit later.

Don't quote me on this but the GT40 heads are identified by three lines running vertically on the front of the head. The GT40P heads have four vertical bars and a P stamped somewhere in location to the #1 plug hole. Found in 96' and up explorers.
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Re: Gathering parts for a V8 swap

Postby ZRXwannabe » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:36 pm

The Gt40's came on the 96 and early 97 5.0 explorers, later 97 and newer had the GT40P heads. The P heads had smaller exhaust valve then the regular GT40's but as I said above actually flowed better. Heres a link to an article about porting the P head. http://www.diyporting.com/gtpin.html It also shows the shroud I mentioned. Also the GT40 heads chamber was more like 64 cc. also the P's have the emmision tube connection points on the back of them and the GT40's don't. If you can find a set of GT40 from an early 90's cobra engine they have the bigger valves of the GT40's but smaller combustion chamber of the P's. Coolball is correct about the 3 bars and 4 bars.
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