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Old 07-19-2004, 01:14 AM
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forgive me for such a newbie question

within the last year i have converted from the import scene and turbo 4 bangers to building a passion for older cars. i see their value and like their style. i'm trying to read so many different things and change all the lingo i am used to as in imports, but it's sooooo mcuh to take in. i'm just wondering how do you guys tell what engines/trannies will mate together and if they will fit in your cars? Or do most people do a lot of cutting/welding/modifying on their own? I'm starting researching now and plan to buy a project car after a year or so, i like the late 60 camaros, 65-67 gtos, but i think i want to build a mid-late 60s mustang and make it kind of look like eleanor. i know that probably sounds lame to a lot of you but i just can't get over how beautiful that shelby looks. and i ask about the engine/tranny/fitment issue because i would like to bump up the 302 which will prolly come in the car i buy. thank you for your help and any good stang sites you guys know for older mustangs would be greatly appreciated. i'm glad to finally be a part of this site! thanks in advance

Chris

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Old 07-19-2004, 06:17 PM
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Hi Chris,

glad to see you've been converted. i'm waiting for the import scene to crash, around my area anyway, which will happen sometime. anyway, you're not going to learn everything overnight so the best thing to do is just keep looking around and ask lots of questions. check out some classic car shows and cruises and you will meet lots of nice/cool people with a lot of cool cars who would be more than happy to talk to you about their cars.

it sounds like you're leaning toward a muscle car, which is fine. but just remember that the popular cars like camaros, mustangs, etc. are great for finding parts but cost a lot of money to replace. there are so many older cars that you can pick up pretty cheap because nobody else thinks they're cool. depending on how much work you want to do, there's always 50's/60's cars, complete, for only a few thousand dollars. go to a site like Autotrader.com or .ca and do a search for cars under 1970 and under $3000 and you'd be surprised at some of the nasty machines that are in there.

as far as knowing what engine goes with what, nowadays it doesn't really matter. there are so many tranny adapters and things that you could hook up an old studebaker V8 to a 700R4 if you really wanted to. the only limits on an engine/tranny combo is whether or not it will fit in the engine bay.

that's all for now. good luck in finding a cool ride.

JB
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Old 07-19-2004, 08:09 PM
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thanks for the kind words! but that's what i mean, how do you determine without have the engine and car at the same time how the geometry all fits and the angle of the driveshaft and stuff to make sure everything will go smoothly? is there a site with all the adapters that a lot of people use as far as the tranny/engine combos? i'm interested in putting together some combos. yeah i wouldn't mind a 34 ford coupe or somethin (deuces are just way too expensive), or an old t bucket, those are sick. But i thought about that and i don't really have a garage where i will be living (i'm goin to restore the car at my parents house in the garage) so a car with a top would be more preferrable, which is where the mustang/camaro/gto are more practical, as well as they ahve more room to just be more practical for a daily. i don't want this as a daily because i'm a dealer so i always have other cars to drive, but it will be a pleasure car that i will drive probably 3-5 days a week. oh yeah how long to most of these newly rebuild/crate motors last? say like a zz4 right outta the box with 350 hp, cuz i know they don't last like EFI engines correct? thanks for all the help so far!

Chris
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Old 07-20-2004, 03:36 PM
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Chris,

as far as engine combos go, 90% of rods have GM drivetrain, SBC 350 and 700r4 tranny is pretty popular. it won't really matter what combo you have with regards to driveshaft angle. every rearwheel drive vehicle is basically the same after the tranny. as long as there's a tunnel for the shaft you'll be alright. the engine and tranny are going to sit flat no matter what. you just have to have the right length driveshaft to compensate.

when you get a car you'll have to decide on what brand of power you want and then how big. it'd be easier to stick with something that's going to drop right in your vehicle if possible. it's not that you can't put in whatever you want, but if you get into a custom fit situation, then you have to change motor mounts, tranny crossmember, possibly steering clearances, etc. so for a beginner i'd keep it simple.

also, crate motors are a good choice because you have a brand new engine with all the building done and you also have a warranty. it might cost a bit more than building an engine yourself but you save time plus you have warranty. there's plenty of sites that sell crate engines so do some surfing and see what's available and at what $$.

you'll just have to figure out what kind of ride you want and how much hp you're looking for and, most importantly, how much you want to spend. if you are patient and can hit some swap meets, etc. you can pick up a lot of used parts if you want to build something of your own.

take care,

JB
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Old 07-20-2004, 05:49 PM
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thanks for all the advice JB. When I do build the car i want it to be MANUAL for the love of god, everyone and their mom has got the turbo350 auto tranny it seems! autos are no fun! hehe (dodging bullets). I think in the long run about 15 grand would be practical to have a very nice ride since i can do most of the labor myself, i can weld/cut/redo interior/fiberglass/bondo so that will save me a lot of money. oh yeah and i was still wondering how long would a crate motor last me that's approx 350 hp with proper maintanence and very occasional drag racing? i'm hoping at least like 50k without a rebuild, or am i fishing too far?
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:50 PM
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Check out www.stangnet.com and www.mustangworks.com.theyare two good mustang sites.If you stay with an engine/trans.from the same company that your ride is,you should be able to use most any engine/trans combo from that company as long as you stay with bb engine/bb trans or sbengine/sb trans.
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Old 07-21-2004, 06:59 PM
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thanks for the help.....on a side note, anyone wanna buy a 97 audi a4 1.8t? lol just picked it up at an auction today :-)
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Old 07-22-2004, 09:35 AM
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A crate 350 will last as long as a factory production engine with proper maintenance. Some companys call their motor a 'crate motor' but they may be a basic 'rebuild'. You have multiple choices at a dealership, Mr' Goodwrench motor (rebuild) or crate motor (everything is factory new). Ford and Chrysler have the same type of set up. If you buy from a parts store, you will get a rebuild.

Maintenance is the key for any engine. The last Chevy truck I had, it had 238k miles on the original 350 when I sold it. Before that, GMC 305 w 168k when I traded it in for a new one. Maintenance will save the motor for a long time, even with occasional drag racing.

I have a 'crate motor' from GM in my 38 Chev Coupe. I expect it to last as long as I do.

Transmissions are a personal preference. I would like to have a 6 speed in my 38 but I enjoy cruising in parades, etc and a manual is not the ideal set up. Put what you want into your car, based on the expected use.
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Old 07-28-2004, 06:08 PM
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MOST of us put in an engine drivetrain of the same make as whoever made the body. makes it easier as they just bolt up
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Old 07-29-2004, 07:12 AM
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The first thing I'd decide is the era, then make, then model of what you want. From that point you can assess how modded you want the car to be and settle on what motor you're looking for. For the older Ford's, a top load 4-speed will mate to just about anyone of their motors. If you're looking for Elenor, it'll be a 427 BB.
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