1953 Engine Transplant


Bigger Hammer
Feb 28, 2011
S. Jersey
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Quick question. My 53 pickup comes with a tired F4 engine. I have a recent rebuilt Hurricane 6. Will the 6 fit right in place of the f4 or must the engine mounts be moved. Any others changes needed or modified.
Welcome to the forum!

Yes, the motor mounts will need moved.
Also, the shroud on the grille should prove to be too long. You'll either have to find a new grille with a shorter shroud, or cut yours down and reattach the radiator mounts.
Welcome !
You will also need to change the transmission input shaft to one that came stock with the six cylinder engines, The sixes are longer. Bell housings are different between the two also. Plus I think the clutch linkages are different.
A lot has already been mentioned, however there is a difference in the frame too. The front member has a different shape, however a 4 cyl frame can be modified. The motor mounts are already mentioned. The front piece is different, the radiator is closer to the front. The ingoing shaft on the gearbox is longer, but as far as I know the bellhousing will fit. Originally the 6 cyl is also fitted with 4.88 or 4.27 gearing in the axles, compared to 5,38 for the fourbanger.
Your Willys was built with a 4 banger. Why do you want to reinvent the wheel? I understand your motivation, but with all the heartache that comes with making this swap, you will never be satisfied with it. You will be money ahead by selling the 226 and rebuilding your F4. You will save money in the long run and be happier with the end product. The F4 is a cool little engine. It'll never be pavement pounder, but you can improve the power on them during the build and they run great. I know, because I had one in my first pickup. All i'm saying is; think hard before you go cutting things up. :roll:
I think your right. At heart I'm a purest. I was hopping it was more or less a drop in. I know I can a bit more out of the f4 with some easy mods. I guess I just like the looks of the flathead more. Any idea of the going rate of a flathead 6 these days. I can always use the extra money to help finance the rebuild. I have other neat things I just got out of a truck I purchased last week (really 2 trucks). One had the 4.88 axles and truck overdrive. I hope thats an easy switch.
I'd like to thank everyone who helped with there input, that made my decision much easier.------Semper Paratus
If these inputs have helped you, then all is good. Admitedly, the flat heads do have a certain cool factor about em', but when you pop open your hood for someone and they're stumped over no intake manifold and you tell em' about the valve configuration and why an "F" head isn't a flathead; well, there's some cool points in that as well. :)

As far as selling the 226...It's story time :)
I acquired the 226 I've been running back in 2003. That's when I decided to ditch the V-8 and other items and go back to stock. I paid 200 for it. Pulled it apart for inspection, put in a new oil pump (why take chances), changed the timing gear set and it ran great for years.
The poor wagon has been sitting for a while now, because I pulled it out two years ago and have been waiting for time and funds to rebuild it. At one point I got tired of waiting and decided to "trust" somebody about an engine, sight unseen. I was told it was a runner and as soon as I got it I could drop it in and head down the highway. I'm not a trusting guy, so was a bit leary of it. After a few more phone calls, I let my gaurd down. I paid 500 for it, plus shipping. When I opened the crate, what I saw was a turd. This thing definitely had not run in years and was out in the elements for at least as long. I was pissed. Made the phone call, pissed him off and that was that. At the end of this month, it goes to the machine shop, and It'll come back to life. A few months ago I acquired another 226 from Pivnic (on this forum), for very low money. I didn't care if it was running. It's all there and for the price, I just couldn't pass it up. A friend of mine is hanging on to it, until I can get to Colorado and pick it up. I'm in Missouri. So essentially, what i'm telling you is somebody out there wants it. I know you said it was a rebuilt engine, but how do you know? Was it done professionally? Are there receipts? Did you do it? Did someone tell you, it was rebuilt?? Lots of factors, so let me say this. To do a professional rebuild on these engines, barring problems with cracks, it's an easy 3,000 to 4,000 bill. If someone did a garage job on it; anywhere from 300 to 1,000. My opinion (and that's all it is) is that if you don't have proof of a rebuild, you can't run it, but it turns well, looks decent and you want to sell it quick...put it up for 5 to 600.
You can always barter.
If you have proof, are extremely convinced, have time to burn and can start/run it and it includes accessories...1,200 to 1,500 Don't quote me on that though. :lol: There is a market for them. Not that I need a fourth, but hell, if you were near me, I'd probably go for it. :lol:

The axles shouldn't be a problem and the overdrive is a piece O' cake. My wagon has an overdrive and I dig it.
Ok, that's about it. Keep us all posted on stuff and good luck.
Great advice-thanks! What I can tell you about the rebuilt 226 is, I did see the engine, thats all I can attest too, no recipes, just someone I met only once word for it. It is semi clean, nothing my pressure washer can't clean up a bit more. I will try to fire it up & see if it runs. I was thinking about the same in the price range as you. Nice feature is I have 2 that I got in this deal. If I get on the high end of fore said I come out ahead with purchase price and shipping costs plus a ton of good parts to help with my build. I'm like a kid in a candy store at this point, can't wait for warmer weather. Will post some photos when I get a chance. Again thanks for your time and input.----Semper Paratus
ABSOLUTELY. Looking forward to reading and seeing more.
Man, is this fun, or what?! :cheers: