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Old 09-29-2005, 09:08 PM
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tight fitting 350 suggestions?

Hi, I'm putting a Chevy 350 into my Jeep CJ5. The distance between the firewall and the radiator is limited, so I'm wondering if there are any common ways of dealing with this concern. I once had a Ford Ranger with a 302 which had a serpentine belt with no engine-driven fan, but electric fans in front of the radiator. Is there some similar setup for the 350? Any other ideas or comments? Thanks.

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Old 09-29-2005, 10:06 PM
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I have dealt with this problem on several of my projects and the only two things you can do to shorten the length of the engine is to remove the stock fan and put an electric unit on the radiator, and use a short style water pump as apposed to the long style. To avoid a costly mistake I would try to measure everything 3 times before you buy a lot of parts. Also look at the radiator and the fire wall to see if its possible to move the radiator up or cut part of the firewall out without getting into a major project. If all this fails you might consider going to a V-6 which is shorter in most cases.
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Old 09-30-2005, 09:11 AM
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Not knowing what year your CJ is there was two different length front ends. The newer ones(starting sometime in the early 70's) had longer hoods, fenders,and engine compartment to accomodate the 258 inline six. There is plenty of room in those to stuff a V-8 because Jeep put 304's in them as well as the six cyl. Since your grill is also the core support it's easier to modify it to move the radiator forward then it is to move the engine back.
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Old 10-03-2005, 12:25 PM
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CJ-5 says it all. The longer Jeeps are CJ-7 and were introduced in 1976. They weren't increased in length for the AMC six, they were increased in WHEELBASE so an automatic trans could be installed and still have enough driveshaft. CJ-5s were made from 54-83. 1971-83 models could be purchased with the AMC six. The radiator was moved forward a little (in the existing brackets) and a short shaft water pump was used. A V-8 should fit anywhere an in-line four was length wise. You might need a short water pump, and because the old Jeep F-head (overhead intake valve, in block exhaust valve) had a long stroke and small bore it was kind of short. But if an AMC 304 V-8 will go in (bore centers are the same as big block Chrysler, so the block's a bit longer than an SBC) the SBC should. AMC sent them out of the factory with 304s starting in 73 -- but no auto trans availble until the CJ-7.
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:01 PM
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CJ5 until '76 was the "old" style, CJ5 and CJ7 were both updated to the "new" style starting in '76(CJ7 was introduced in '76).






these are the knowledge pages from Novak adapters. there are similar pages on the Advance Adapters website. search the web. small block chevies have been swapped into jeeps as much as any other ride... lots and lots of info out there.

short water pump is a good idea, as is sinking the radiator a little into the grille. gotta keep in mind what type of fan you plan to run.kep in mind that steering shaft clearance will be a factor as well.

If you have a pre '76 cj5, you might want to consider boxing the frame to hold up to the small block a little better. check your frame around the steering box for cracks, and around both ends of the rear spring hangers for rust damage, especially on the '76 aqnd newer ones.

is a thread on another board that I am on that has several pics of my Jeep I am building.


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Old 10-04-2005, 12:40 AM
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Cut firewall

It doesn't take long to cut and bend or move the firewall but you have to do some welding. Cheaper than different engine and all the extra parts just takes time. ALL this streetrod stuff is MAKE it fit and work.
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Old 10-04-2005, 01:53 PM
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Thanks for excellent issues and comments. I actually bought my transfer case adaptor from Erik at Novak. So I did read what I could find there. I don't want to move the firewall, as rear driveshaft length can be too short already. The engine is a given, as it was built previously (by my step-bro who began the project many yrs. ago). I've got an old, but unused, alum. radiator on the way, so I don't know the exact dimensions. I figure I can probably squeeze some room there by moving the radiator forward if needed.

My questions (So Far):

Do serpentine belt systems w/ elect. fans inherently save front room, or is a v-belt system just as small, or is it dependent on the short waterpump?

In case a serp belt IS smaller, would ANY 350 sbc serpentine system be mountable on ANY 350 block? I've seen parts listed on ebay and wonder about applicability.

Thanks again.
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