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Old 05-17-2012, 09:35 PM
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what do i have to do to put a 454 in my 73 nova

i have a 73 nova i want to put a 454 in. what do i need to do to make it work i will be using a th400 trans. i know i need new motor mounts but i dont know which ones will work or out of what car they will work from. also will my trans crossmember work it has a three on the tree in it now with a 307. please help

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Old 05-18-2012, 04:55 AM
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I haven't done a 73. But I've done several 68-72. Assuming the front sub is similar.

You can do this with the stock small block engine mounts, The big block 67-69 Camaro..68-70 Nova frame and engine mounts work better, They position the engine lower and to the right.

But the small block mounts will work. Interference with a power brake booster is an issue. Not bad. Sometimes a dimple in the valve cover will cure it.

You will need to remove the heater core and flip it (as the factory did) so the outlets come out closer to the fender, Drill two holes in the heater box and re-install. You can by pass this mod. But the BBC head is very close to the stock heater outlet and will break the pipe if you try to move the engine around for install or maintenance.

Stock BBC's used a radiator that mounted to the sides of the radiator support as opposed to the small block top and bottom mount. A recored small block or aftermkt radiator will work.

Trans crosmember for 400 turbo was different from the std trans/350 autos. I see repros on Ebay periodically. The stock crossmember can be modified. Driveshaft will have to be shortened. Approx 3".

Stock rear end will not last with big tires and "spirited" driving.
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:00 AM
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I've done the swap also, and stock type valves cover height wont hit the booster, but anything taller will. You can replace the booster with a late model smaller booster and it's a direct bolt in.
The radiators for a big block Camaro are all top and bottom mount, and you can simply relocate the rubber on the bottom, then buy the wider top for about $24 for a chrome top. You'll need to open up the core support to allow more air to the wider radiator, but I think you'll find Chevy stamped a ridge in the sheetmetal so you can simply cut along the ridge with a jigsaw or sawzall.
I modify the heater boxes the same way by removing the box and flipping the core 180 degrees. I also cut the heater box in half while it's off and tack a sheetmetal strip over the cut so future removal of the core is a 10 minute job, not an all day job.
I've always used the stock smallblock motor mounts, and if you use them with the shorter valve covers you might not have to do the heater core swap. This picture is with small block motor mounts on engine and frame, stock booster, original heater core, and the 427 in my '71 Camaro. I actually had to trim the fins off my Edelbrock valve cover on the pass. side rear to keep them from digging into the heater hoses. The booster is close, but I can still easily remove the valve cover.
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