1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425
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500, 472, 425, 368 Discussion, 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425 in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; My uncle gave me the bus he's had since 1974. It currently has a Caddy 425 in it. I am ...
  1. #1
    BigBlueBus is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425

    My uncle gave me the bus he's had since 1974. It currently has a Caddy 425 in it. I am told that the motor came from a Hearse. What years would this motor have been offered? I need to replace the head gaskets, valve seals, and lifters. What are my
    options for intake manifolds with this motor?

    This bus because my life long project. I can't wait.

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    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425

    77-79 got the 425. Moving this to the engine section...

  4. #3
    cadillac_al is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425

    Interesting ride, I'd like to see some pics of that.

  5. #4
    BigBlueBus is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425



    a little engine fire never hurt anyone. You can see that mechanically I have my work cut out for me. The body is perfect.
    The Ape Man likes this.

  6. #5
    cadillac_al is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425

    Well, most of the hard work has already been done. If the body is mint then that is a big plus. A paint job is going to make a huge difference. Personally I don't have a great fondness for the 425 and I consider them disposable like 307's. I guess if you have lots of time it can be rebuilt to run fine but I am under the impression that there are still used ones out there for a reasonable price. Better yet a nice 500 is very reliable and the big bus would appreciate the extra torque. It should be a fun project in any event. I always wanted a bus for camping and concerts. Thanks for sharing the project.

  7. #6
    deVille33 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425

    Looks like my brother's old "Baby Blue".
    cadillac_al is correct concerning the torque output with the bigger engines, but I disagree with his appraisal of the 425 versus the 307. The 307 has poor block design and has a tendency of web shifting. The 425 block is quite stable and relative to both bigger engines. In my experience the 425 is very durable and will outlast other engines that frequent the GM stable.
    Any intake that will fit the 472 will interchange with the 425. The 472 intake, in stock design, is dual plane and doesn't have EGR. The aftermarket has a couple offerings, but you have to consider what you have for your engine basics.
    With this engine mounted in the bus, you seem to have sufficient clearance around the right exhaust manifold to trade it out with the 472 exhaust manifold. This will result in less restriction from #1 exhaust port and a more even flow of exhaust pulses. If there is enough clearance, you could mount a set of chevy BB headers with the use of an adapter plate.

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    steelybill is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425

    An "uninformed" (dumb) question; What brand is the 307? Is that an Oldsmobile engine?

  9. #8
    cadillac_al is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425

    10-4 Bill

  10. #9
    BigBlueBus is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425

    Blowing the dust off of this project. The work will officially begin tomorrow. Parts were ordered to get her running. The need to move it from its current location has kick started this. Between that, being done with school, and having a solid job bringing in sufficient funds now. I am very excited. I have also decided, this bus is getting Oak floors inside. Haven't decided anything else with the old girl, but she is getting hard wood floors.

  11. #10
    BRUCE ROE is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425

    Good project, show us the paint job. I'll wager, that 425 moves the bus a lot
    better than the original engine. Does the engine still have its original TH400
    transmission attached? if so, the year will be stamped on the ID plate.

    The 425 doesn't have the brute power of a 68-70 Cad 472/500. But those
    engines required fuel you can't buy today. The 425 will happily run on todays'
    crap gas, get decent mileage, and require less maintenance than the earlier
    engines. You should make sure the timing chain has been replaced, though.
    Bruce Roe

  12. #11
    BigBlueBus is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425

    Well I have it running very well on the 425. New carb, a few gaskets, and rebuilt the distributor and shes good as new. Now the problem I am runniing into is the transmission will not shift out of first. It did shift once under high RPM and it slammed into second. Do you guys think this is a valve body issue, or a module issue? I have checked vacuum, and it seems to be strong. Also, am I correct that this is a TH400 tranmission behind this motor?

    As for the paint job, it will cost me a lot in materials and time to get this painted. I am honestly just thinking about spraying clear POR-15 over her the way she is. I will knock the lose stuff off, and keep the bus looking creepy.

  13. #12
    cadillac_al is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425

    Sounds like the vacuum modulator isn't working if it has good vacuum. I would start there anyway since it is easier.

    It would be so hard to get a new paint job to look good on an old bus that i think I would prefer the current aged patina. Maybe just a black top would protect the worst of it and not be too noticeable. Some people use John Deere black for cheap jobs. It's supposed to be pretty durable for outdoor equipment.

  14. #13
    deVille33 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425

    Any shops in your area that specialize in heavy trucks? There is a heavy truck shop local to me that paints school buses relatively inexpensively.

  15. #14
    cadillac_al is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1954 Ford Bus with Caddy 425

    I have been looking for a bus this summer for storage and almost every one I have seen has a below average paint job on them that makes them look kinda shabby imo. Only one looked nice and it was dark green. Nobody wants to spend the time (lots of it) to prep them for a nice paint job. Any paint job is still better than original yellow that most of them were. That's why I wouldn't want to spend the time and money painting one if it is going to come out shabby looking anyway. Maybe you could find a good graffitti artist that would work cheap.

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