Re: 1953 Packard Patrician 327 9 main upgrades or engine swap?
Posted by Ross on 2020/12/24 20:00:54
Well, let's see. If you want high power and some economy ditch the high friction 9 main and use a readily available 5 mainer. I believe the cranks are actually more torsionally rigid in that they did not require the whomper-stomper vibration damper they installed on the niners.
Port and relieve the block yourself. Send the cam out to Crane Cams and see what they can do with it. They did several for me over the years. Change over to solid lifters. Find some better pistons to take the strain. If you are going to turbocharge it just use the stock manifolds and save the hassle. The 359 head on a 327 will hardly change the compression and buying a good one will leave you behind on your mortgage.
Your biggest challenge on mileage is the "side of a barn" aerodynamics.
Easiest and most versatile--and the most fun--option for the trans is factory 3 speed with overdrive. You can run that with the existing 3.54 axle. And everything just bolts in.
I am using a 53 with 327 and overdrive as a shop truck. We put something like 4000 miles on it in a year. It gets about 17 mpg utterly stock with the 2 bbl. I hardly ever drive it faster than 75. In contemporary roadtests the 4 bbls did better but I don't care for their slow tip-in. Cold weather short trips use a lot of gas because of the warmup.
I don't worry about modifying these cars as they are not hand built works of art like some of the prewars. They were built with moderate care on an assembly line like a Maytag wringer washer. There are plenty of original or authentic examples to represent the marque to an indifferent public. A little hint of the near future is to go to the Packard page on ebay and then click on "completed listings".
I do honor them as they were very good at being cars. A 53 Packard is far more pleasant to drive than a 53 Buick for example--especially if the road has curves.
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