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Old 10-17-2010, 09:17 PM
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SBC Engine Mounts in 1950 Chevy Truck

We have a 1950 AD with a TCI Mustang II IFS and cross member. We're installing a crate 383/700R4 combo and need input regarding where to locate the engine mounts. We know a lot of you guys have done this engine swap and we would appreciate any answers, advice, measurements or photos for reference.

Here's the situation: All the sheet metal is off and we have located the cab on the frame for reference minus the front cab mount spacers and rear cab shackles. We test fitted the 383/700 and ran into different problems depending on where we located it. If we located the engine with 1" or so HEI distributor clearance to firewall the 700R4 had firewall clearance issues. If we lowered the mount to clear the 700R4, the mechanical fuel pump had clearance problems with the inside right frame rail. If we moved things substantially forward to allow fuel pump and 700R4 clearance, the mechanical fan (not yet installed) clearance appeared insufficient.

Here are some questions: Going with an electric fuel pump appears to be an option. What are the pros and cons on this? Another option appears to be an electric fan in front of the radiator. Again, what are the pros and cons? Will forward placement substantially impact weight distribution/performance given a truck's already light rear end? What is the minimum trans to firewall clearance? What angle should the engine be at? I have been told to level the engine and to adjust 2-3 degree to the rear. How thick are the front cab spacers? Does the absence of the spacers and rear cab shackles significantly impact the height of the cab/placement of the engine mounts?

Again, any specifics about your build or help is appreciated.

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Old 10-18-2010, 05:12 AM
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Electric pump.. I like to be as far back as I can get.
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:30 AM
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Thanks. We're 1st time builders so we really appreciate the help.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:09 AM
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Your instincts about sliding the engine back for weight distribution were right on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Father & Son
Going with an electric fuel pump appears to be an option. Another option appears to be an electric fan in front of the radiator. Again, what are the pros and cons? Will forward placement substantially impact weight distribution/performance given a truck's already light rear end? What is the minimum trans to firewall clearance? What angle should the engine be at? I have been told to level the engine and to adjust 2-3 degree to the rear. How thick are the front cab spacers? Does the absence of the spacers and rear cab shackles significantly impact the height of the cab/placement of the engine mounts?
I've done quite a few projects over the years. My first one was slow and problematic until I went to an old school guy named Red Farmer in North Carolina. He looked it over for a few minutes, got out a torch and went to work. A cut here and a cut there...

His philosophy was we don't care much where the vehicle wants us to put an engine that doesn't belong in it. We put it where we want to. Since then it got easier.



I like the electric fan in front of the radiator idea, partly cause it's clean looking and more so because it frees up some Horse power and fuel mileage. Pump shaft appreciates it too.

Your instincts about sliding the engine back for weight distribution were right on. I like the engine as far back as possible, lowering it helps.. You can weld back a substitute gusset or whatever for anything you cut out.

You can prefab some sheet metal for the chunk you might take out of the firewall. The heater is on the right side so the duct work in the middle can be dealt with.

I might use a Mallory Unilite distributor to gain an inch or two, electric fuel pump too.

I might spend some time getting the cab where it's going to be first though. And you can make adjustments to that later if need be. You'll do fine if you keep in mind that you make the rules, not the truck And there are a lot of people on this forum that have more experience on this than I do so keep up with the posts too.. Good luck
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:42 PM
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Thanks - much appreciated
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:14 PM
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old trucks already have too much weight over the front wheels, nature of the beast but try not to make it worse.
while my 58 was designed for a v8 it did not like the 2 plugs coming out the back of the distributor
i fabbed a box to house the distributor and was also able to move my motor back an inch by doing so


i used a 700r4 trans also. my only interference was at the front 12'' of the floor
my 58 had a bellhousing hump and a flat floor over the trans.
i fabbed a trans tunnel to give me some clearance over the trans
not the best pic to show this but you can see what i did


everything was covered up by my consol


this may also fix your problem with the mechanical fuel pump.
if you can use it do so. electric fuel pumps are another fail point.
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:05 PM
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Great! Thanks for the tips/info Ogre. The photos are helpful as well. How much clearance did you end up with at the firewall for the distributor and trans? What about your oil pan to cross member clearance? We really appreciate it.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:13 PM
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Agree with Duntov 100%. Bolt the headers on the motor and drop it in the hole. Cut out anything that's in the way. Weld pieces back in to cover up the holes after you have placed the motor. If you have to cut out a crossmember, then cut it out and re-build another crossmember farther forward or rearward. You're the boss. Do whatever you want to or have to in order to get the motor in the truck.

As far as the electric fuel pump, mount it as close to the tank as possible and as low as possible without getting it in harm's way from junk on the freeway. Mount the pump to rubber, then mount the rubber to the truck frame or crossmember. I use the black rubber that comes as a muffler mount. It is about 1" by 3/4" and has holes in it. Cut the rubber from the steel part of the muffler mount. Mount the rubber to the truck, then mount the pump to the rubber. I had trouble trying to find such an animal when I was googling for a photo of these hangers. Maybe they don't make them any more. At any rate, use some good sturdy rubber pieces to mount the pump.
Here's a good pump to use.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MAA-4070LP/
It's factory set for 4 psi.
This pump is set at 6 psi and may work. The pressure will drop a little through the run of fuel line from the pump to the carb, so this pump may work as well....
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MAA-4070M/
YOU NEED ONLY 5 PSI MAX AT THE CARB INLET. Higher pressure than that will overpower the needle and seat in the carb and blow raw fuel into the intake manifold. You will never get the motor tuned with this going on. This 4070LP is a low-pressure, high-volume pump, so run a 1/2 inch fuel line from the tank to the filter and from the filter to the pump and from the pump to the carburetor. The fittings on the pump and the filter will be 3/8 inch. Use adapters to 1/2 inch and run 1/2 inch line tank to the carb.

You want to mount a cartridge or spin-on fuel filter right at the tank first, then the pump immediately after the filter. Use a short connector piece of QUALITY fuel hose instead of solid connections at the pump, both on the inlet side and the outlet side of the pump. Solid connections will drone constantly and make you nuts from the sound. That's why you mount the pump in rubber. YOU NEED ONLY 5 PSI MAX AT THE CARB INLET. Higher pressure than that will overpower the needle and seat in the carb and blow raw fuel into the intake manifold. You will never get the motor tuned with this going on.

Do not use that fosdick black rubber hose for making your connections between parts. Use only quality hose specified for fuel use.
Here are some of the quality hoses I'm talking about....You'll find other makes and specs at....for instance....NAPA.... (Genuine Parts Co).
Aeroquip FC300
Aeroquip FC332
Aeroquip Star Lite 200
AQP socketless
Earl's Prolite
Fragola Performance Systems Series 8000 Push-Lite race hose
Gates LOL Plus
Russell Twist-Loc 836
Russell XRP HS-79
Dayco Imperial Nylo-seal tubing
Goodridge 536 & 710
Or any other kind of premium quality fuel line hose. I just don't want you to use the cheapo, fosdick black rubber hose that will deteriorate and rupture or leak. Sometimes, that stuff breaks down inside and will block fuel flow. You can't see it, so you can't find the problem. Or a piece of it will find its way between the needle and seat in the float bowl.

I might use a cartridge filter such as this one...
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MAA-3140/
That uses these replacement filters...
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MAA-3141/

There are hundreds of different pumps, filters, etc. that you could use. I'm simply showing some examples of parts that I know will work for you.

The whole idea here is to filter the fuel before it gets to the pump and use a pump that will produce sufficient pressure and volume through a 1/2 inch line so as to eliminate the need for an inline regulator to bring the fuel pressure down to a point that it will not overload the needle and seat in the float bowl.

Here's a roll of 1/2 inch aluminum line like used on drag race cars. I see this stuff on every other car that comes through tech inspection....
http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/15101...rentProductId=
Secure the line to the frame every 12 inches with insulated Adel clamps such as these...
http://www.jegs.com/i/Russell/799/650990/10002/-1
Ace Hardware has these in several sizes.

Last edited by techinspector1; 10-18-2010 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:59 PM
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f&s
dist has a lot of space around it now.
i moved the engine back until i had an inch of clearance to the valve covers.
i too have a mustII xmember, about 3/4'' clearance to the oil pan
a pic of my motor mounts for ideas


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Old 10-18-2010, 05:22 PM
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"Just like Downtown"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre
f&s
dist has a lot of space around it now.
i moved the engine back until i had an inch of clearance to the valve covers.
i too have a mustII xmember, about 3/4'' clearance to the oil pan
a pic of my motor mounts for ideas


Pics of Ogre's work remind me of the old days when the Southern phrase was "Just like Downtown". Nice work start to finish.
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:24 PM
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As far as cooling, I am on the side that says to use the same arrangement the factory used in these earlier cars and trucks. I like a mechanical fan system and will not use an electric system on anything I build.

I'm certain there are components that are available out there to make up a whiz-bang electric fan system. I'm just not interested in messin' with 'em. Now, for you guys who are gonna make noise about less hp used to cool the motor, the power to operate the fan is made by the alternator and the alternator is operated off the crank, so don't try to tell me that there is less power used with an electric system. It takes the same or even more hp off the crank to operate the electrical system because of the efficiency loss. Fellows, there is no free lunch.

Sorry Father and Son, had to get that off my chest.

Now, starting from scratch, we need a radiator that has sufficient square inch area to transfer the heat generated by the motor to the atmosphere. I would be thinking something around 375-400 square inches and 2 or 3 cores thick. I'd go to the boneyard with a tape measure and look at all the radiators that are in front of a small block Chevy. Measure them up, take pics, whatever. When you find one that will fit into your core support, write down the year, make and model, so that you can order a new radiator from your favorite supplier.

I bought a new 2-core aluminum/plastic radiator from Checker Auto for my daily driver pickup truck. It was $120. I don't care if it doesn't last as long as a copper/brass unit, it was only $120. And it cools the motor on the 4th of July in stalled traffic in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.

You'll need to direct the airflow into the radiator from the front of the truck. Look to see if there is a way, for instance, for the air to ride up and over the radiator because of the space between the top of the radiator and the underside of the hood. If it can get through there, you need to install baffles that will direct the air through the radiator, not around it. Check the side and bottom of the radiator to make sure air cannot get around the radiator.

Now, we have cooling air coming through the radiator and we have a good radiator mounted. The next thing is the shroud. We want a tight-fitting shroud so that the fan cannot pull air from around the sides, top or bottom of the radiator. All air that enters the engine compartment must be pulled through the core of the radiator. I like to use OEM parts because the manufacturers spent untold amounts of money to engineer the stuff to work properly. So, I use a steel, 18", 7-blade fan. Grab one from the boneyard. Lay it down flat and measure the pitch of the blades from the floor to the edge of the blade. A good fan blade will be about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches pitch. Some of the diesel Olds motors from the '80's have a 3-inch pitch. Don't you just know that they hauled in some air.

The blades should fit into the shroud hole with about 1 inch of clearance all around the hole and with the blades sitting halfway in and halfway out of the hole or maybe just a tad deeper into the hole, say 2/3 in and 1/3 out. The fan will be driving off the water pump. Before installing the new water pump, hold the housing in one hand and twist the impeller with your other hand. The impeller must not move. That's another hard overheating problem to find, the impeller slipping on the driveshaft. Check for a little clearance between the housing and the impeller and between the impeller and the rear plate. If there is any touching going on there, you will have a noise that is hard to find. Also, make the proper clearance between the water pump plate and the timing cover. Also, use the proper diameter pulleys so you get the proper fan speed. Oh, and use a thermostatically-controlled fan clutch on the pump shaft.

Be aware that there are serpentine systems out there that turn the fan blade counter-clockwise, so don't be fooled by this. As you are holding the fan blade in front of you and looking down on the top edge of the blade, if the blade has a Northwest/Southeast orientation, it is a conventional Vee-belt fan blade. If the blade has a Northeast/Southwest orientation, it is a serpentine blade. You need to know this when scrounging through the boneyards for parts.

That's my best shot for a bulletproof cooling system, although there are some excellent tips and procedures written here.....
http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/w...cooling_system
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:47 PM
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On to the actual mounting of the engine and trans. I'm sure somebody makes a mount that will drop the motor and trans into place. I will take the contrarian point of view and suggest some ways to do it.

Here's a crossmember that accepts stock-type Chevy motor mounts and bolts or welds to the frame....
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/S-B-B-...ount,3273.html
Uses these rubber mounts...
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Small-...unts,7959.html
Or these polyurethane mounts...These may transfer a little more of the vibration of the motor to the frame/seat/your caboose/steering wheel.
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Polyur...DisplayId=7959

Here's another mount system that may work with some tweaking. I have used this arrangement on a few cars. Works out sweet.
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Chevy-...unts,8473.html
Here are the instructions....
http://static.speedwaymotors.com/pdf/720-4771.pdf

Here are some stands that will work with the stock rubber motor mount. Just trim/cut the stands for the location where you want to weld them in....
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Univer...unts,1905.html

Maybe this arrangement would work for you. These are AD Chevy frame adapters....
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/1949-1...ters,6673.html
That work with this mount....
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/1955-1...DisplayId=6673
Here's the install illustration....
http://static.speedwaymotors.com/ima...neMounting.gif
And instructions....
http://static.speedwaymotors.com/pdf/135-6023.pdf
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:40 AM
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Ogre & Tech: Thanks for all the info & photos. They are a big help. Ogre, we wish we had the rails on your 58. There appears to be a lot more room. The rails on our advanced design 50 really pinch narrow from the cab mount forward. Then again, as we're learning, each build comes with it's own set of challenges.

Update: We refitted the engine last night, massaged the lower firewall at the cab trans cover and removed the fuel pump - victory! We have a good fit with ample dist, oil pan & trans clearance!

Now for a decision on the fuel pump. We can modify the cross member & rail to allow for the mechanical pump & fuel line connections or go with an electric pump. Any more opinions on the efficiency of each - pros & cons? So far our thoughts are that placing an electric on the rail provides accessibility and eliminates the need for additional mods but will of course necessitate spending $ which is fine if it improves efficiency. Modifying the frame is more work but since we already have the pump, it's free.
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:09 PM
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I would far and away prefer to use a mechanical pump because of the simplicity of the system, but you have to use the correct mechanical pump. We have had a go-round on this forum lately with trying to find a mechanical pump that won't overpower the needle and seat. You don't want to use a pump that puts out so much pressure that you then need a pressure regulator, because I'm told that regulators don't work that well with an engine-driven mechanical pump. Simply start with a mechanical pump that delivers 5-6 psi and have it over with.

Here's an Edelbrock high volume pump that is factory set at 6 psi. I'd rather have 5, but 6 will probably work ok, particularly if you use a Holley carburetor. They'll tolerate 6 1/2 psi.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EDL-1721/

If you use the pump you have, make sure you install a tee at the carb inlet and run a line back to the firewall and up past the back of the hood to the cowl. Temporarily mount a mechanical fuel pressure gauge with duct tape or tie wraps or whatever on the cowl, so you can monitor the pressure delivered by the pump as you drive. This is the only way you will know definitively if you have the pressure under control or not.
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:40 PM
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Thanks Tech. The Edelbrock pump we have came with our dyno'd crate engine - another reason for staying with it. Anyone in favor of an electric pump? In at least one related discussion we were told they are more efficient. Not quite sure if this is true or exactly how but it seems possible.
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