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Old 07-04-2005, 10:21 PM
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'57 283 into '58 and later GM cars

i recently got a sweet deal on a 283 from a 57 Bel Air. id like to swap this motor into my 79 Malibu but i may have a problem with engine mounts. any Tri-5 guy will know that a 57 V8 block utilized front style motor mounts. in 58, they were changed to side mounts.

at first, i had thought about fabbing a bracket to weld onto the block then drill and tap it for modern mounts. but being a thin wall cast iron block, i dont think the block will be able to support the weight and the torque of the motor, therefore, im left to proceed to plan B.

Plan B is to fab a custom engine cradle just forward of the crossmember that goes under the oil pan. with this plan, id use the original front style mounts.

is this what someone else in my situation would do ?

btw, first post as a new member. if you ned any additional information, feel free to ask. im open to criticism as well.


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Old 07-05-2005, 05:33 AM
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not sure...

this might help...might not?? www.chevytalk.com


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Old 07-05-2005, 06:04 AM
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Old Ramblers have the same situation, up to 1964. You're right -- the block isn't likely to be thick enough to drill and tap for side mounts. I've seen this handled two ways:

1. Make a front crossmember and use the original front mounts. On the old Ramblers the front CM is stamped sheet metal and easily bolt out. It's simple enough to make some brackets to bolt in and use the original. I've seen a late 50s Chevy with an early V-8, but don't recall if the original CM was bolted in or a tubular CM was used. I would think one of the "universal" tubular mounts bent to go under the oil pan could be used, though engine pad points might need to be moved to the correct location.

2. Fabricate a bracket that mounts to the side of the engine. You can use 1/8" sheet steel. Must be bent to use oil pan and exhaust manifold mounting bolts. I've only seen one done this way. IIRC the guy used 5/16" studs in place of three or four bolts on the oil pan rail for the bottom (drilled the 1/4" holes out), bent the plate up along the block, then carved it around two or three of the lower exhaust manifold bolts. Two 3/8" bolts were through the plate for the pad itself, welded in. I don't recall if the bolts were welded in or nuts were welded ont the back of the plate. This looked good, but took a lot of thinking/measuring to get right. I think the guy said the first set he made weren't quite right, had to make adjustments then made a second set that looked much better.

I've done this, but the opposite of what you're doing -- putting a late model engine in an early car. I've went both ways depending on engine. For a 2.3L Ford four in an early (54) Rambler I made "arms" extending forward from the orignal side mount locations. For a V-8 I've used a universal tubular mount modified to bolt into the car (just modify length and ends).
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