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Old 05-10-2006, 12:53 PM
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Engine in the box of a 63 econoline Pickup

I'm thinking about putting a chev 350 in the box of my old econoline, I've heard that it can be done using the trans axle out of on old front wheel drive tornado or other chev's that ran the front wheel drive configuration. I talked to a couple fabricators today and one said it could be done and the other said he didn't see how it could be done. One point that was brought up was that because there would be little or no drive shaft that I'd have to get an independent suspension rearend which makes sense. Has anyone here done this or seen any articles on something like this? Any help to get me started would be great. Thanks.

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Old 05-10-2006, 01:50 PM
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Couple of choices..One is to find the drive system from an olds Toronado or the Front drive Caddy and use something like that or in the old days we turned the engines and tranny backwards and used a Casale V-drive..Dunno who has the Casale any more or if it is even made these days..

The Little Red Wagon a famous exhibition wheely car used the Casale as I remember but that was 30 years ago or so..

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Old 05-10-2006, 02:07 PM
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Ya the Little Red Wagon ran a Hemi in it, but part of the engine was still in the cab which is what I want to eliminate. I guess I need to find one of these cars and take a look at the setup. Is the Casale V-drive some sort of marine aplication?
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:20 PM
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Casale built marine v drives for the flat bottom race boats and ski boats..Been years since I had anything to do with one of those..

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Old 05-10-2006, 04:29 PM
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Cost would probably be prohibitive but the C6 Vette has the trans mounted to the back side of the diff.
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:52 PM
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I guess I'll go scouring through the wrecking yards (it's fun anyway) and see what I come up with. I've found a freshly rebuilt 350 for $400 bucks so there's one part of the puzzle down.
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Old 05-10-2006, 06:26 PM
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What about any of the front drive Rivieras from the 80's? I would imagine that a chevy motor would fit because I think they used the corporate motor at that time. If you found on you could hack the fram an graft it to your econoline. You would have to do something about the the steering or have a 4 wheel steering vehicle... which would be cool but a little impractical to make it work right. The largest problem beside the fabrication is that I have no idea how those front drive transmission help up with any kind of power put to them.

Alternate combos could be to use a t-type riviera's turbo 6 cylinder...
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Old 05-11-2006, 03:39 AM
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Well I wouldn't use the front axle only the transaxle but the riviera is another model I can look into. The engine I'm getting is aboot 350 hp I think that finding an indepenent rearend may be as troublesome as the transaxle.
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Old 05-11-2006, 08:47 AM
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Hereīs Infomaniacīs van with the motor in back.
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:58 PM
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Since you are planning on using a Chevy engine, I'll point out the obvious...a Corvair transaxle and suspension. They are all over the place and pretty cheap, they use the same innards as a regular 4 spd so could handle the power. There is also an abundance of adapters available. Some bolt to the stock bellhousing flange ( a Corvair engine was reverse rotation so when it is flipped it works for a normal rotation engine) and some use an input shaft from a regular 4 speed and mount up to what would be the front of the transaxle when mounted as in the Corvair. I built several V8 powered Corvairs in the early 70s and they never seemed to break any drivetrain stuff. The axles are the same as early IRS 'vettes and 'vette disc brakes can be adapted.
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodz428
Since you are planning on using a Chevy engine, I'll point out the obvious...a Corvair transaxle and suspension..........................
Now THAT is cool!!! I'm dreaming of a phony mcclaren now.
Which trans is the corvair automatic based on?
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerrodsmike
Now THAT is cool!!! I'm dreaming of a phony mcclaren now.
Which trans is the corvair automatic based on?
mikey
IIRC the Powerglide...... yeah BUT the 4 speed cars which were more common used Muncies.

If you used an early ( 60's or 70's) Toronado or Eldorado transaxle with an adapter to bolt it up to the Chevy it should position the engine just about in the middle of the box and they used a FWD variant of the TH400 called a TH425. Good strong transmission. Use the stock axles and suspension from the FWD car but eliminate the steering. A lot of mid engine V-8 Corvairs were built this way.

If it were me I'd be tempted to sell the 350 and grab the Olds 455 or Cadillac 472/500 along with the transmission and use one of those instead.
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:17 PM
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'66-up Corvairs used fully-synchronized Saginaw 4-speed guts. 3.11 low gear, I believe.

Crown Engineering made what I think was the first Corvair/V-8 conversion. It used the Corvair transaxle just as it came in the car, but with the V-8 engine attached to the front of the trans, just like you'd see in an average Impala. Clark's Corvair Parts ( www.corvair.com ) used to have some of Crown's old stock, and still may.

Another V-8 conversion was done by Kelmark, but it turned the Corvair transaxle 180* in the car, and adapted the V-8 to what used to be the rear of the differential. This allowed the engine to be far enough to the rear that you could use the stock front seat, which was impossible with the Crown kit.
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Old 05-20-2006, 06:35 AM
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The Toronado/ElDorado used the big 425 auto with the 455 and 472 engines. Sometime in the early to mid 80s the Eldo and Toro (maybe Riviera too) went to the corporate small block and still used a longitudinal mounted front drive V-8. That should bolt up to an SBC. I think it's TH350 based whereas the 425 was TH400 based. The trans is basically the same internally as a rear drive. At the back of the trans (the 425 and smaller one) is a wide drive chain that turns a shaft that runs forward to the diff, which is mounted to the right side of the engine. It sits right where the trans and engine meet, with a shaft running between the oil pan and trans to the other side. The chain is like a 4x4 transfer case chain.

Since someone mentioned a V-drive, you could do the same thing with a 4x4 trans and transfer case. Lock the transfer case in 4WD and turn the engine around backwards. The transfer case would be under the front seat with the "front" driveshaft connected. You'd have to modify a rear axle with a big offset though. I've seen car transporters made from 4x4 trucks cut off behind the cab and a trailer welded on the back. Makes for a low bed, front drive only of course.
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Old 05-20-2006, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farna
Sometime in the early to mid 80s the Eldo and Toro (maybe Riviera too) went to the corporate small block and still used a longitudinal mounted front drive V-8. That should bolt up to an SBC. I think it's TH350 based whereas the 425 was TH400 based. The trans is basically the same internally as a rear drive.
I wasn't aware of that. Hmmmm, the wheels are turning............
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