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Thread: M-37 Engine Replacement

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    Post M-37 Engine Replacement

    Hi Everyone,
    I'm the owner of a 1951 Dodge M-37 which just threw the number 5 and 6 connecting rods coming home from a parade. The Cam Galley is destroyed so I need to find a new block/engine.

    So here's my question - will any Chysler Corp L-head six cylinder (Ie: Chrysler / Plymouth / Dodge) block bolt in?

    I understand that some people have managed to adapt a 318 V-8, but that it requires quite a bit of custom machining.

    Any guidance will be greatly appreciated.

    Terry (DRGW3612)

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    4 Star General citizensoldier's Avatar
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    Just about any of the smaller flatheads will work,Dodge,Chrysler,Plymouth 218 to 230 range.. You will need to keep the M37 manifold set because it dumps in the rear and has the low profile intake. The 237,251,265's will work also but they are longer and you will have to move the radiator forward, do some new motor mount holes abut a 1" in front of the old ones on the frame and find a exhaust manifold that dumps in the rear or modify your exhaust to fit the center style dump manifold.
    V-8's can be done but yes some mods are needed to do this.
    "The right thing at the wrong time is no longer the right thing" Grandma Mattson
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    1954 Canadian M37 W/W "Oliveoil"
    1971 M816 "Yard Whore"
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    4 Star General vtdeucedriver's Avatar
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    head over to the www.g741.org
    were all about the M37.....................you wont regret it!

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    4 Star General rosco's Avatar
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    Seems like there is also a 245. Seems like the Canadians used a slightly larger version. Also the 230 can be bored some. The bottom line on the flatheads (for me at least) is that there is no measureable difference in performance. The truck was built for Off Road, with some On Road capacity. The 230 hogs its way through, not fast, but surely...... Last time I rebuilt mine, I spent about a $1000 on machine work, getting the tolerances just right, by a hot rod shop, that also does work on Antiques. It is a truck that does not lend itself to easy conversions. I use mine daily on the ranch here.

    I am open to challenges with the young Guys. With three barrels of fuel in the back of any other pickup - when they get them stuck, I'll drive a circle around them, chained up, with the stock 230 engine!

    Lee in Alaska

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    4 Star General Jones's Avatar
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    The Chrysler sixes are pretty close to a drop-in.
    The Chrysler blocks are longer but we found that on a lot of them, the stamped steel piece that bolts to the front of the engine can be reversed and that puts the motor mount tabs at the bottom just the right distance back to line up with the motor mount holes in the frame.

    Just a word to the wise: The flathead six truck and passenger car engines are different block heights. Mixing up the rods/pistons/heads will either give you an engine with a compression ratio so low it will barely start or and engine that won't turn over because the pistons hit the tops of the combustion chambers.

    Did the 318 install and it's miserable. New motor mounts, radiator relocate and a custom machined transmission rear bearing cap to accomodate the rear motor mount.
    And as if that wasn't enough, I further outsmarted myself by thinking a OD transmission would be the hot set-up.
    When I was all done I had a truck that would go faster in 4th than it would in 5th unless the road was dead flat and I had zero headwinds. Never mind negotiating hills.
    Jones
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    4 Star General citizensoldier's Avatar
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    Good reference on the flatheads..
    Flathead Six Engine Numbers
    "The right thing at the wrong time is no longer the right thing" Grandma Mattson
    MVPA#22218
    1954 Canadian M37 W/W "Oliveoil"
    1971 M816 "Yard Whore"
    1952 Curtis Wright M44/M34 "Mo gas momma"
    1952 M42 project "money pit"
    1968 M109A2 "camper special"
    1977 M887x4 "should be scrap"
    1986 M1028x4
    1956 R2 crash truck "Argyle"
    1943 WC51
    "I don't think the United States needs super-patriots. We need patriotism honestly practiced by all of us"
    Dwight Eisenhower
    Avatar= "319" the scrounger hobbit finding parts at 2012 Findlay show.

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    4 Star General citizensoldier's Avatar
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    There are many combos of bore and stroke that come out to many different cubes..
    201,228,218,241,236,251,331,265,281,377,306
    "The right thing at the wrong time is no longer the right thing" Grandma Mattson
    MVPA#22218
    1954 Canadian M37 W/W "Oliveoil"
    1971 M816 "Yard Whore"
    1952 Curtis Wright M44/M34 "Mo gas momma"
    1952 M42 project "money pit"
    1968 M109A2 "camper special"
    1977 M887x4 "should be scrap"
    1986 M1028x4
    1956 R2 crash truck "Argyle"
    1943 WC51
    "I don't think the United States needs super-patriots. We need patriotism honestly practiced by all of us"
    Dwight Eisenhower
    Avatar= "319" the scrounger hobbit finding parts at 2012 Findlay show.

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    4 Star General bubba_got_you's Avatar
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    im one of those nut jobs that did a 318 swap but i also went with a newer tranny (np 435 i think) and i have never been sorry for doing so. it is a rock soled motor and it has never left me stranded even with all the abuse I have given it. Now going with the 318 is not for everyone! If you like the stock sound don’t do it! And if you aren’t prepared to spend some money and a lot of time…don’t do it! The up sides are that you can get parts from any parts store along the road, and I can get 65mph out of mine (but speed is not everything). If parades and the odd joy ride I would just pickup another 230 and drop it in. it would be the easiest and the fastest. As I use mine almost everyday I decided the right thing to do was go with the 318.
    Well that’s my opinion.
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    General TaylorTradingCo's Avatar
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    I have a M37 that I am going to part out that still has the motor in it. I am told it still ran when parked year ago. I would sell it for $400 + S&H.

    Derek Taylor

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    LOL, I have four T245 230 cubic inch M37 engines in the back yard... Two "runners" sitting in a M101 trailer and two "parts blocks" sitting on pallets. If shipping wasn't a bear, I'd sell you one of the runners for $300 just to get it out of my hair...

    The 318/360 swap used to be easier when you could get a kit from Ray at Helitool (uglytruckling), but it still was some work.
    Jay Lucarelli (sp) did an amazing job documenting his Chevy 350 swap and produced a really nice manual as a result that even included full sized drawings for the motor mounts and such. I have a couple copies on the shelf since it is a nice reference for other items as well.
    I have a website that tries to tell you what I did in installing a Cummins 4BT into my truck (with two different transmissin combinations - did one, then changed a couple years later), but a bunch of the small stuff is missing and may never get added. I am way behind... On the other hand, if you are going to do this type of swap, I figure that you have skills and will want to "tweak" the install anyway...
    There is a truck in my yard getting a GM 6.2 transplant (with a Spicer 3053A) that will end up on the website sooner or later...
    A buddy accross town just put a big block V8 into his, a lot of work, but what a ride...

    Easiest to do is to put a 230 back in and keep it stock, Canadians used the 251 so that isn't too hard a swap and is "correct" in a sense. A friend in Florida has one with a 260 (same block as the 251) and it has numbers close to my baby Cummins, but is drinks gas like it was going out of style whereas my Cummins barely sips...

    Think long and hard about how you want to use the truck. If you change out to something other that a flathead from the Dodge familly, you will be wanting to change out a bunch of other stuff on the truck so you have to balance conversion costs, running costs, maintenence issues, your abilities (financial and skillsets), etc.

    Good luck.
    Organizer, Graves Mountain Trailrides and Rally aka Virginia Rally
    '53 M37 with Cummins 4BT, '63 XM708 dump
    '68 M274A5
    '51 M38
    '70 XM813, '71M817, '70M816 (sold)
    '83 M931

    www.garbee.net/~cabell
    www.ncmvpa.com
    www.gravesmountaintrailrides.com

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