what is the involvment of an engine swap? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 02-02-2004, 10:55 PM
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what is the involvment of an engine swap?

I want to make my car go faster and sound better. I want to put a sbc into my '50 chevy sedan. I'm interested in knowing the steps involved in preforming an engine swap. I know that I would also have to get a new rear end that would except the new tranny. I know the motor will fit with the stock manifolds as I have taken careful measurements of a 350 and the engine copmartment I want to put it in. The only thing I would have to relocate is the parking brake but I don't see how that would be difficult. Could someone give me some ideas on that? I'm pretty sure the steering colum will not hinder anything but if it does how would I get around that? It looks like nothing would hit underneath the engine as it would have to be perched ontop of the framerails.
The other thing is the length of the motor. The manifolds look lie they will exit nicly into te firewall without having to cut much. To fit the motor in the pullies would literlly be an inch from the radiator. i was thinking i could put eletric fans infront of the radiator blowing air through the radiator before it got to the motor. Will this adequetly cool the engine? The last question I have is the transmission. will it be able to fit underneath the hump if i make some mounts to suspend it? Could i just use a little discrete lever to engage drive instead of hacking a huge hole into the floor? I like my bench seats.
If some of you guys could enighten me on this process i would be really happy.
-Sam

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Old 02-02-2004, 11:19 PM
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Sam,

If you have never done this then you are in for some HARD work.
You are correct that the engine will fit but I think I would use the "shorty" headers rather than the stock exhaust manifolds. Your idea will work for the fans too.
You didn't make it to clear about the transmission you are going to use so I am figuring you will use a th350 or a 700r4 either one will fit under the hump. Both transmissions will need a trans mount which you can build or there might be a kit from one of the custom parts houses. Shifting can be done with a cable shifter mounted anywhere you want, within reach of your hands.
You will need to have a new drive line built too.
Park brake handle can be moved with ease.
New engine front mounts will need to be made and welded in place. I like using a cable for the carburetor too. That way when the engine torques over you don't end-up with the engine over revving because the linkage got all bent up.
Steering might need some moving too but you will not know for sure until you test fit the engine in it's new home. But you can use an after-market column and steering wheel and solve that problem.

Good Luck and Have Fun
Scholman
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Old 02-02-2004, 11:52 PM
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One experience that I had with something this complicated was in High School Auto class. On a 69 Camaro I don't remember what the original engine was. It was a class project car that started prior to my class. We had a heck of a time getting the motor mounts to line up where we needed them. But as I recall all the problems we had steamed from the motor mount position. We even ended up changing wheel wells because of the mess. I would be willing to say though, if you take your time, measure, mark, and plan, it won't be as bad as 24 kids x 3 classes x 4 years of work.

Also when I changed motors in my 71 Skylark we also changed transmissions, my shifter link was a hit an miss thing we ended up with a cable for a hole other car.


Good Luck!
Laura
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:49 PM
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schoolman,
howcome you would use shorty headers vs stock manifolds? If it's because they perform better? I don't mind because I want to get something done before I try to enhance the engine. If it's because they fit better that makes sense, but aren't they really expensive? How much does something like this cost if I already have the motor and tranny? The tranny is from a 4X4 '75 pickup and I assume it will work because the $x$ (typo left intentionally) differential is a seperate unit.
thanks for your reply,
Sam
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Old 02-03-2004, 10:30 PM
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Sam,
You can buy the shorty headers for around 100 dollars maybe even less if you go to a swap meet on a weekend. One reason I would use them is they take up less room than the cast manifolds and the other reason is you will gain some horsepower too.
The 4x4 trans will work if your drive shaft will bolt up to the output shaft of the transmission.
Have Fun
Scholman
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