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Old 07-02-2006, 09:58 PM
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400ci motor in a 62 Impala question???

Hey guys, I was starting the process of tearing down and rebuilding a 283 for my 62 impala when the other day a buddy of mine called and offered his 400ci chevy motor to me for $300. The motor was torn down, cleaned up, cylinder honed and left to sit. Its all there minus cam and lifters and the heads were ported as well as new mains and freeze plugs. I would like to buy it to put in the 62, would their be any problems with bolting it to an 2speed aluminum powerglide? Also would the stock torque converter need to be changed out for something a little more balls? thanks for looking and happy 4th. Kevin

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Old 07-02-2006, 10:05 PM
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The 400 will bolt right up to a PG. Problem is, PG`s are only a 2 speed, and 1st gear in a PG is close to the same as 2nd gear in a TH350. If it were my car, I would use a TH350, it`s lower first gear would greatly help low end acceleration. If your stuck on the PG, then I would have it rebuilt with beefier components added. Many drag racers like PG`s, but they are only beneficial if you have 3 things, a weight under 2700 pounds, lots of stall, and really low rear gears.
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by workingclass
Hey guys, I was starting the process of tearing down and rebuilding a 283 for my 62 impala when the other day a buddy of mine called and offered his 400ci chevy motor to me for $300. The motor was torn down, cleaned up, cylinder honed and left to sit. Its all there minus cam and lifters and the heads were ported as well as new mains and freeze plugs. I would like to buy it to put in the 62, would their be any problems with bolting it to an 2speed aluminum powerglide? Also would the stock torque converter need to be changed out for something a little more balls? thanks for looking and happy 4th. Kevin
TH-400, Ford 9" rear, mild stall converter and a 1 piece driveshaft from a truck (take out the mid bearing and hog out the frame...it fits), 3.70 - 4.10 gears.

Easy 13 sec car.
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:53 AM
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You'll need a 400 flexplate with the smaller converter bolt pattern if you keep your 2 speed. If your "PG" is the original it is actually a cast iron Turbo Glide and isn't going to last long behind a 400, ditch it for at least a TH350 and preferably a 200-4R OD. Not only will the car be more fun to drive and perform better but it will be about 100 Lbs. lighter. If you care about the future value of your car do NOT "hog out the frame" and install a 1 piece driveshaft, either modify an S-10 2 piece shaft to fit or get one from Empire. The problem with the stock setup is that GM put the slip yoke and carrier bearing in the front half which can't move. The back half that moves with the differential bangs and jerks on the carrier bearing eventually destroying it. The S-10 and Empire shafts have the slip yoke in the back half which takes the strain off the carrier bearing. The Ford 9" is a good idea, it's strong and at a casual glance looks like the stock rear. Easier and cheaper to get parts for too.
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Old 07-03-2006, 02:03 PM
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re: 400ci motor in a 62 Impala question???

Thanks for the responses guys. Man, I have some decisions to make!!! The trans in the car now is not the original and is in deed a aluminum pg. I'm trying to do the car on the cheaper end since most of my time and money has gone to replacing the entire floor. I think i'll look around on here some more on ways to beef up a 283 and then sometime down the road look into building up the mill. thanks for looking and for your time.

Kevin
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Old 07-03-2006, 02:31 PM
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Just to let you know, all the cash you sink into the 283 will not equal the ponies the 400 can produce. It's like the number of times guys ask on the MonteSS site about sinking cash into their stock 305s and everyone responds with, "Buy a 350 instead."

The 400 are externally balanced and do need the appropriate balancer and flywheel for them. (ask me how I know about this)
Any 400 I've seen has the larger 8" harmonic balancer.

You may be able to pick up a decent TH350 transmission for very little money. I bought the complete 350 engine + TH350 trans + driveshaft/headers/all engine compartment wiring/and a few smaller parts from a '79 Camaro being parted out for $300 and the seller pulled the engine/trans for me. I purchased another '57 in late Oct, 2004 and got everything but an engine. So this engine/trans combination is going in my sixth (actually nineth) '57.

The 200-4R O/D transmissons are nice but around town mine seems to fall short? It may be the weight of the body or the 305 V8 infront of the trans that causing this? My '86 LS Monte is basically a stock 4th generation Monte Carlo but the trans does have a definate shift to it. The engine has a stock Q-jet carb (I happen to like them) with single exhaust, A/C, cruise, tilt, delay wipers, tach, tripometer, bucket seats + console, power steering, brakes, windows, and door locks. The car is more or less an SS underneith with SS steering box, and sway bars. So maybe carring around all these toys is affecting performance?
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Old 07-03-2006, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippie
You'll need a 400 flexplate with the smaller converter bolt pattern if you keep your 2 speed. If your "PG" is the original it is actually a cast iron Turbo Glide and isn't going to last long behind a 400, ditch it for at least a TH350 and preferably a 200-4R OD. Not only will the car be more fun to drive and perform better but it will be about 100 Lbs. lighter. If you care about the future value of your car do NOT "hog out the frame" and install a 1 piece driveshaft, either modify an S-10 2 piece shaft to fit or get one from Empire. The problem with the stock setup is that GM put the slip yoke and carrier bearing in the front half which can't move. The back half that moves with the differential bangs and jerks on the carrier bearing eventually destroying it. The S-10 and Empire shafts have the slip yoke in the back half which takes the strain off the carrier bearing. The Ford 9" is a good idea, it's strong and at a casual glance looks like the stock rear. Easier and cheaper to get parts for too.
I suggest the 1 piece shaft as the mid bearings on the two piece ones (stock, s-10 & aftermarket) never lasted long enough to take out the carrier bearing. We had two major weak points in our '62; the drive shafts and the transmissions. TH-350's never lasted more than a couple of weeks, the one aftermarket we put in (TCI) snapped at the bell housing leaving a couple of inches of it bolted to the block and the rest on the ground. The TH-400 did a good job holding up.

These cars are quite easy to get to hook on launch and that coupled with the torque of the 400 shifting at 5500 will destroy drivetrain components quick. We blew a 9" once all over the road bending the axle tubes in the process. That car ate 7 TH-350's in a matter of two weeks.

Obviously, if you want to retain stock value you may not want to hog out the mid bearing carrier housing, but if you want reliable street/strip performance it is a good idea.

Mid 14's on street tires and 13.90's on slicks plus 18-20 mph is not a bad thing.

How good are the Empire 2 piece shafts rated?
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonestar
How good are the Empire 2 piece shafts rated?
I know where you're coming from but I got the idea he wanted more of a cruiser hence the suggestion to keep a 2 piece shaft and not to cut on the frame. A solid X-frame is hard to find these days. The Empire shafts are reportedly good for over 500HP.

I have owned 10 '62-'64s over the years and as much as I like them I would never try to make one a race car for the very reasons you listed in your reply. It's an exercise in futility. They're classy as Hell and make great cruisers and even decent street performance cars but to go really quick and keep one together..............$$$$$$$$$$$$$ No thanks.
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippie
I know where you're coming from but I got the idea he wanted more of a cruiser hence the suggestion to keep a 2 piece shaft and not to cut on the frame. A solid X-frame is hard to find these days. The Empire shafts are reportedly good for over 500HP.

I have owned 10 '62-'64s over the years and as much as I like them I would never try to make one a race car for the very reasons you listed in your reply. It's an exercise in futility. They're classy as Hell and make great cruisers and even decent street performance cars but to go really quick and keep one together..............$$$$$$$$$$$$$ No thanks.
Ironically, our '62 lives today with a 283...

Those x-frames love to twist under heavy power, ours was originally a 409 car.

MI2600 can ask his son-in-law about Ritchies "black (female dog)" and post more on it. That car was an awesome ride...I miss it.
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