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57Chevyman 01-23-2002 04:47 AM

*^&%# HEI in a 57 Chevy
I purchased from Danchuk the 871A side motor mount kit which moves the motor forward 3/4" so an HEI will fit. Well it fits, and it does not. When I put the cap on it clears the fire wall but the plug wire boots rub on the back side. With the frame siting level on the floor the motor is tiped back about 4 1/2 degrees. I would put a shim under the trans tail but then I think the bell housing of my 700 r4 will hit the lip were the toe board and firewall meet.

Should I shim the trans up about 1/8-1/4" and if nesisary trim that lip or fold it down? Or should I forget the hole thing and go back to a... dare I say it... Points tybe distributer and a high voltage coil.

454impala69 01-23-2002 06:24 AM

Mike, I know this suggestion could cost you some money....but are there other HEI's out there that may offer you additional clearance....for example I've been looking at my MSD catalog and they seem to have a large variety of configurations. Also, what HEI did Danchuck have in mind when they sold you the motor mount kit. If this doesn't turn out to be an option and I was doing it I would opt for the tranny shim and trim the toeboard as necessary as long as the drivetrain geometry isn't altered significantly. One other thought...when converting an S-10 to a small block, I recall that Advance Adapters recommends a large ball peen hammer to obtain distributor clearance by hammering the firewall in a little. Sounds like a felony if this was done on a 57 though...but it may be an option. Again, If I was doing it, I would probably use the ball peen hammer underneath on the toe boards, less visible there. Let us know how it turns out...Scott

Jooooooe 01-23-2002 04:12 PM

You don't necessarily have to go back to a points distributor, you can use a Mallory Unilite, it's electronic and very compact. The coil is remote from the distributor just like point types.

gearhead 01-24-2002 08:50 PM

A cheaper way to get HEI without resorting to a completely aftermarket (expensive) distributor would be to go with an electronic conversion from Pertronix. Guys with these in the Chevy 6's really like them and have not had any problems that I ever heard of. I believe its around $75 for a SBC. Uses a stock point type dist.

Making minor "adjustments" to the body should not be anything to loose sleep over, just make sure that you do it in an asthetically pleasing way, or you will ruin the resale value later on.

As for Danchunk, I restored a '66 Malibu a few years ago, and thier catalog had the most expensive prices out of about 10 catalogs I had. If you haven't allready, get a copy of Hemmings Motor News and order every catalog for your car that you can find and do some comparrison shopping.

1meancuda 01-25-2002 05:05 AM

Woohoo! A fellow Wisconsinite! I agree with gearhead that you should check into Pertronix's kits. As long as the points type fits without any body modifications, these kits might be an excellent solution for you.

Larry Day 01-25-2002 06:44 PM

I am in the finishing stages of doing a frame off on my 57 Nomad. I put in a ZZ4 crate motor which came with HEI and long water pump. I bought Danchuk side mounts that keep the engine in the stock location. I am using a Bow Tie built 700R4. My HEI fits with about half an inch clearance. I can remove the HEI with out having to remove the cap. I have a Griffith aluminum radiator in the V8 position using a short water pump. I am using a Flexolite 7 blade fan about 3/4 inch from the radiator. I am having trouble finding headers that will work with angle plugs and clearing the 605 power steering

57Chevyman 01-25-2002 08:15 PM

I am using the 3/4" forward mounts and only have about 1/2" of clearance at the back of the cap. I do not think my distributor will come in and out with the cap in place. I am planing on using a long water pump and a recored 6cyl radiator in the 6cyl position. I am not using headers. I am using late model truck ramshorn manifolds. You might want to check with Mike McCulleys Classic Chevrolet 559-226-8196.

good luck

CrazyCraig 01-26-2002 07:46 PM

...stick with the HEI and use the hammer...

Roy Newton- exprotech 01-26-2002 09:32 PM

If the HEI dist will not fit use HEI parts in the point dist.This system works well and gives no trouble.ROY

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