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53 Wagon


John Wright
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I have just been left a 1953 Pontiac Chieftain wagon that has been in a barn for about 25 years, we hauled it out and the straight 8 is locked up, will a 53 Pontiac 6 bolt in ?  The 6 had a 3 speed and mine has an automatic. We have tried to free up the 8 but have had no luck.

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:welcomeFP:

Looks to be in decent shape! Apart from the engine. I do not have an answer but sure one of the other guys can assist.

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The motors mounts may well be different. You may to research that or test fit it yourself between the mounts for the six and the eight.

Bolting the straight-six vs. the straight-eight up to the transmission should not be a problem. They should have the same bolt pattern. Both engines should work under the original 6-volt or an upgraded 12-volt system. Only other things are little things like different length radiator hoses and having to adjusting the fuel line between the location of eight to the six's fuel pump. 

I would also check the flex plate on the eight. If the L-8 engine is locked up, the flex plate could well be rusted and pitted and you may need to source a new one. It may not even bolt up the six, you will have to double check the bolt patterns between the cranks of the six and the eight first to be sure. I suspect they will but I can't be 100% certain. In the long run, you may be better off just getting a new flex plate for the six and skip checking the old vs new. You clearly can't use the flywheel off the six.

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Awesome ride....WOW.   I would love to work on that project.

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WOW WEE! Now that is COOL 😎 Welcome aboard and thanks for saving that Ol Pontiac 👍

A quick look in Kanter Autos E-Catalog under '53 Pontiac show only Front side and rear mounts with no individual engine listings, So you may be in luck with a 8 to 6 swap.

 

Keep us posted

Cheers.

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Agreed. Keep us posted. Post lots of pictures too please. We'd all like to learn.

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Welcome to the site great looking old wagon...
Noticed you said that the straight 8 engine was seized up.....Was it seized due to a mechanical failure or just rusted (rings to the bores..possibly from moisture over the years...??) The reason I ask is....Years ago my dad came up with an old Cadillac (1949) that had been sitting in an old shed for years and the engine was locked up...So what we did was use a process called electrolysis...Basically what we did was reverse the oxidation process using a car battery and charger and an electrolyte made out of water and washing soda (sodium bicarbonate) If I remember correctly he used right at one tablespoon of washing soda to one gallon of water...So we pulled the engine out of the car and removed the intake manifold..valve covers...water pump...oil pan.... timing cover ... freeze plugs ETC...Then submerged the engine in a plastic kids wading pool large enough to completely get the whole engine underwater then added the washing soda to the water and mixed it up really good so as to be sure it did not clump up....Then from the 12 volt car battery using jumper cables hooked the ground to the engine block which turned it into a cathode....Then we used a piece of steel rebar as an anode which we hooked the positive cable to the hot side of the battery then submerged the rebar in the solution placing it real close to but not touching the engine block with about 6 inches or so sticking up above the water level where the positive lead was hooked to....The rebar will be consumed during the process so you would need to keep an eye on it and replace as necessary...so that the positive cable does not become submerged into the electrolyte solution...It is a slow process took about three weeks to clean and derust the Caddy engine...It worked really well and when it was done...We rolled it over by hand with very little effort...The black powder residue that was left  on the engine came right off with stiff brush...Then the engine was quite easily disassembled any wearable parts replaced reinstalled in the car and was driven across country to Seattle from North Carolina and back with no issues.....I am sure that I have missed a few details as this was 30 some years ago.....
Electrolysis Might be something worthwhile to  check into if you want to reuse the original engine......Good luck with your project and keep us posted.....

TLBT

 

 

 

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Well we freed the engine up but it has 2 stuck valves that should not be a problem, I do need a fuel tank and fuel pump and master cylinder. I have ordered the head gasket and tstat housing gasket. one step at a time. Thanks

 

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That's great progress.

Edited by Frosty
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  • 1 month later...

The engine is back together with rebuilt carburetor and fuel pump, the fuel tank was bad so went to a marine fabricator and had an aluminum tank made but now the sender is frozen ,does any one know of a sender for a 53 wagon. Thanks

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