Possible Silver lining - don't hate, just constructive advice please

I have a 1968 XR7 factory 302 2V. 95K one owner (Mother in law bought new). Car has been sitting since 1996. Gas tank rusted away, typical vinyl top rust spots and by front doors. Bottom very clean as TX/LA/FL car over the years.

Here is my issue and thought. I have had the car got 6 or 7 years but haven’t done much as I dont have a budget. I also have a 1994 Caprice Wagon with a 265hp LT1 and T56 6 speed trans. I have about $8-10k into the motor, trans and disc rear end . I finally got the car 95% sorted and 2 days ago I was hit from behind at over 50 mph. The full box frame and body are destroyed but the car still can be driven (except dragging sheet metal on the ground).

Seeing how I have a now well sorted driveline, I’m thinking the obvious here…Befpre everyone jumps on me about it not being a Ford engine, does anyone know of one that exists? I found a thread from 2008 where there was a ton of bashing going on, but seeing if I can make lemonade here…I will never recover the $$ I spent on the driveline and would love to drive the Cougar someday…

Isnt this what hot ridding is all about :slight_smile:

Anything can be done if you’re willing to put in the time but I don’t think it would be easy. Engine mounts would be custom as well as the tranny mount, entire rear suspension and drive shaft length. Has it been done I don’t know. The firewall spacing and radiator placement based on engine length would be my first concern as it would be the hardest to modify. Then engine height including EFI spacing to hood and likely a custom oil pan even if you’re converting to a Mustang II front suspension… the list goes on.

The 68 302 is rated at 230 HP but actually makes more and with a few upgrades to the intake/heads will do 270-290 although it would still outweigh your set up.

A two owner southern 1968 XR7, 302, 2 BBL, depending on condition, might be worth more to sell as is than another Caprice wagon or Impala would cost to transfer your drive train into.

Good luck and if you do the swap out I would love to see the pictures.

I’m all for Hot Rodding and Customizing. So you’ll not get any bashing from me.

But from a fabrication standpoint, it will be a ton of work to make that Caprice driveline work in your car. I think if it was me, I would find another Caprice or Wagon and swap all that GM stuff into the replacement.

Or find someone willing to purchase that driveline for their project and then use the proceeds to put toward a Ford-based driveline for your Cougar.

It has indeed been done, you might be able to get some helpful tips from this thread on MCN. He figured out all of the aforementioned issues, so it’ll give you a head start on what to do for mounts, oil pan, etc. Granted, he cut a hole in the hood for a giant scoop, so you may have to figure out a different low-profile intake manifold.

It is blasphemy, but I can see why you’re thinking of doing it based on your situation. It’s a way for you to have fun with your Cougar and salvage your good drivetrain. You can always save all the original stuff and put it back in later. It’s not as blasphemous as converting a Cougar to electric, which has also been done… :confused:

You didn’t say if the Cougar runs.
I’ve never heard of anyone putting a Chevy engine into a Ford product! :wink:
It just sounds like a whole lot more trouble than it’d be worth.
I’d off the Chevy parts and put the proceeds toward the Coug.
Still it’s a drag your car got ruined, but a blessing you are OK.

I say go for the path of least resistance. Take your insurance money, consider buying the salvage back from the insurance company, resell it piece by piece on craiglist and you should net a nice profit, if you do not see yourself easily making $100 per hour let them deal with the salvage. Sit on the sidelines and a deal will surface in time for a 100% complete, ready to slip in, performance drive-train with a five speed from a Cougar or Mustang. As values rise on these cars many are opting to remove 4 wheel discs, 5 speeds and hot motors to go back to original.

So Don that being said, should I leave my s code 67 gt with the power 4 wheel drum brakes? My car is far from a show car but was debating on switching at least to front disk.

Sorry not trying to hijack the thread.

For safety I would swap the front discs if you’re gonna drive it above 30 MPH and save the old parts for the next guy to swap back.

My first 68 had four wheel Drums and it stopped good the first time but by the third hard brake you were white knuckling it into the corners. Still remember the smell of the Bendix linings…

Personally I would never swap any GM motor into a ford but that’s me. I completely understand the budget aspect and it’s more important that these rare cars see the road rather than sit and rot away, don has a great point as well, if you know money Can be made from parts on your wrecked wagon try selling them to put towards cougar parts.

Don is right, don’t do it. Sell and/or salvage what you can and keep the Cougar powered by a Ford engine. It would seriously devalue the car if done otherwise.

Maybe the best course is to sell the Cougar as it is right now. Putting the Chevy driveline in it will drop the Cougar’s value. Then buy some thing that your drive line would bolt into with minimal trouble. Firebirds seem to be reasonable compared to Camaros, but there are tons of other choices. Lots of cool mid sized wagons that started life with a 305. Do something where the drive line would add value not subtract it.

Front Disc brakes is a no brainer especially on a big block. Rear discs add no value and minimal added safety

thanks everyone, Its still all up in the air as the insurance first offer is a joke (about 50% of what a stock wagon in mine’s pre wreck condition sells for). I seriously doubt I’d really go this route as just the fabrication to get the 6spd into the wagon was alot more than I anticipated. My buddy is wrapping up a mid 00s GTO 6.0/t56 combo into the same wagon as mine and his fab costs have been almost 3x mine (I just needed to make the trans fit and add pedals).

For this, custom motor mounts, cross members, sourcing original manual pedaals and console for the cougar, etc etc etc add $$$$$$$$$$$$$. Even with the sorted driveline probably cost close to another running wagon with the swap done.

Worst part is how heart breaking it is as I had 5 years of spare time into the build and was soooo close to being done…


Not sure if you will be able to see the carnage… :frowning:

Oh and my wife would never allow me to sell the Cougar. Too much emotional attachment. I totally understand as I also have my Dad’s Austin Healey I grew up in.