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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 2 1955 chevys. One is a 6 cylinder 3 speed stick the other had a 400 SBC with a 350 trans. What I would like to know is will the six cyl trans and bell housing bolt to a small block 400 V8? This will only be a cruser not a dragger. The 6 cyl is a real oil burner and the 400 V8 is in good shape. I do not have the time or money to get into a major enginr swap and I do not want an automatic.
PLEASE HELP
 

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The 3-speed should bolt up with no problem, although you may not like the gearing.
Also, the 55-57 blocks had front engine mounts. The later engines went to side mounts, but with so many later blocks in those cars there must be some aftermarket answer.
 

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hosep,

The six cylinder bell housing will not fit the V8 you will need to find one for the V8. I think the three speed will do just fine for getting from "here to there" but it will not do well in a street race I mean grudge race at a race track.

Scholman
 

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It will be easier in the long run to put the V8 with the automatic in it. You have to get the V8 engine mounts anyways, the side mount kit that you can buy is better. A rear crossmember is no big deal.

If it's just a cruiser, you will be more happy with this setup. Just my opinion.
 

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Odds are your 400 has the front bosses necessary for the front engine mounts that were used in 55 - 57 Chevrolet V8 cars. Later model engines use these bosses to mount details such as PS pumps, alternators, compressors, etc. I recomend going ahead and getting a side mount kit if you don't already have the front mounts. The larger diameter dampner up front on the 400 requires a little editing on the mounts in order to clear properly. The Two Door 55 I drive has a 406 / 4 speed setup in it and this is one of the details I ran into putting it together. I am running a Saginaw four speed with an original V8 bellhousing/clutch setup.

You can run a later model bellhousing if you want though. It requires some extra attention and some creativity when it comes to clutch pedals and such. The four door 55 I own had a Monza style cable clutch setup using a Monza clutch pedal when I drove it last.
 

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I stand corrected...I think. I've got a '57 Saginaw box, which I believe came from a 6 cylinder, that appears to have the regular Chevy bolt pattern. Is it just the bellhousing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
HELP I HAVE A MESS

I have 2 V8 bell housings, 2 V8 fly wheels, 2 V8 clutch assy. The short clutch fork. I have a auto in my other door slammer and wanted a stick in this one. I once took a 6 cyl out of a 63 nova and put in a 327. All the six stuff bolted up on that one.
I have the front motor mounts from the 4 door 6cyl. They are the same as the v8 in those years. I just hoped the six cyl trans 55 stuff would bolt up. then it is a swap the parts around. I still am not sure the 3 speed 55 trans would bolt to the 6 cyl bell housing or that the 6 cyl bell housing would bolt to the V8. I am trying to get this all lined up and install the power train before I put the body back on the frame. I also have a 375 automatic which is a little stronger than a 350 but the same size. The automatic is a problem in that both radiators I have are for sticks and no trans cooler. I was told that a seperat cooler is not the best way to go. So another complication. The drive shaft is the correct length for a 350 or the 375 automatic. I have a 4 speed but can not identify the trans other than the splines are correct and the bolt pattern is correct. It has 3 shift levers on the cover but 4th gear is a over drive gear. So I have a pile of crap and what direction to go???? If I try the 4 speed over drive critter the drive shaft is to short. Not a good thing. I have enough things that are to short. But the 4 speed does have a good floor shifter on it. The V8 that was in it is a 400 small block with 4 bolt mains. the compression is 126 pounds plus or minus 2 lbs. over the 8 cyl. So I figure it has a smog compression of 7.5-8 : 1. I am leaving the top alone and may replace the mains and rod bearings. Pop in an better cam and add the cross ram with dual holleys. So there is not a lot of ponies here. I can not do the heavy work myself any more so I have to get the parts lined up and pay some one to do the muscle work. I do not have the funds to mess around with it.
 

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If you want a stick, and you have the bellhousing, I'd think a Saginaw, or Muncie would be a much better idea.

I know how the theory of, "This isn't a race car, just a cruiser" works. Any true rodder will want to find the full potential of their ride. I'm not sure the old 3-speed is up to the task. One good hard launch from a green light, could leave you picking up pieces of tranny, out of the roadway.
 

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I don't think that the 6 cyl mounts are the same as the V8, but maybe you can make them work with some grinding and drilling.

The 4 speed with the 3 shift levers in the cover sounds like a Saginaw. How do you know that 4th is an O/D?

With the body off, it should be easy to lay everthing in there and piece it all together...................
 

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Re: HELP I HAVE A MESS

hosep said:
I have 2 V8 bell housings, 2 V8 fly wheels, 2 V8 clutch assy. The short clutch fork. I have a auto in my other door slammer and wanted a stick in this one. I once took a 6 cyl out of a 63 nova and put in a 327. All the six stuff bolted up on that one.
I have the front motor mounts from the 4 door 6cyl. They are the same as the v8 in those years. I just hoped the six cyl trans 55 stuff would bolt up. then it is a swap the parts around. I still am not sure the 3 speed 55 trans would bolt to the 6 cyl bell housing or that the 6 cyl bell housing would bolt to the V8. I am trying to get this all lined up and install the power train before I put the body back on the frame. I also have a 375 automatic which is a little stronger than a 350 but the same size. The automatic is a problem in that both radiators I have are for sticks and no trans cooler. I was told that a seperat cooler is not the best way to go. So another complication. The drive shaft is the correct length for a 350 or the 375 automatic. I have a 4 speed but can not identify the trans other than the splines are correct and the bolt pattern is correct. It has 3 shift levers on the cover but 4th gear is a over drive gear. So I have a pile of crap and what direction to go???? If I try the 4 speed over drive critter the drive shaft is to short. Not a good thing. I have enough things that are to short. But the 4 speed does have a good floor shifter on it. The V8 that was in it is a 400 small block with 4 bolt mains. the compression is 126 pounds plus or minus 2 lbs. over the 8 cyl. So I figure it has a smog compression of 7.5-8 : 1. I am leaving the top alone and may replace the mains and rod bearings. Pop in an better cam and add the cross ram with dual holleys. So there is not a lot of ponies here. I can not do the heavy work myself any more so I have to get the parts lined up and pay some one to do the muscle work. I do not have the funds to mess around with it.
If you run a 350 or 375 transmission you will hve to get a bellhousing engine/transission mount kit from a place like Classic Chevy or Danchuck. Since you have the V8 stuff you need for a stick, I'd recomend going that route. Use either the three speed or the four speed, they should both mate up to your bellhousing if they are GM items. Btw - the drive shaft you want in order to use that four speed or a 700r4 for that matter is from a 1982 Buick Regal with a 2004r transmission. I picked on up from the junkyard that needed new u joints for $20. You will need a u joint that is NAPA part number 372 for the driveshaft to mate to the stock rear axle on a tri-five (it adapts the inner/outer type clips). The other u joint for the yoke side is whatever the stock replacement part is for the driveshaft. You will need to get new front mounts or convert to side mounts. The choice is yours. The 6 cylinder front mounts in those cars can be used for big block motors but I don't recall anyone using them for small blocks. If the angle bracket pieces that bolt to the block are the same, you can go the route I did for my front mounts on my Two Door. I broke one of the original studs that connects the motor mount to the frame. I went to lowes and bought two similar size grade 8 bolts. I went to carquest and bought eight of those little rubber donut things used for some kind of Ford transmission mount (I forget the part number, but they are 3 dollars each and Carquest has a picture book to order from). This and the thick metal washers you have from the 6 cylinder mounts is almost everything you need. There is still the detail of the inch or so spacer that the original V8 mount stud had. You can cut a piece of blak pipe to make the difference here or use washers. I used the equivalent of two separate inch lengths of pipe cause its what I had laying around. I can show you some pictures if you'd like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
the CARS catalog shows the frount mounts are the same for the 6 or the V8. I already have the mount conversion from the automatic in the 2 door. But I still am going to weld up a cross member at the tail shaft. I did some wokk on it today and things did not go well. If I could sell the lot I would. I have health problems and it is really geting beyond me. My door slammer is more that enough to satisfy my urge for speed, but it is going to sell as well. If any one is interested I can give you a great deal, but in the meantime I will continue to work on it till I can unload it.I tried to list it here in the classified and got a bad cashiers ckeck, I do not want to go thru that again. As far as the over drive 4th gear, I put it in 4th and turn the input shaft, the out put turns a little more than 1 1/2 revolutions. so ther you have it. I am leaning to the 375 automatic and sell the stick trans, both. Unless someone comes alone and wants a package deal.
Do not get me wrong I need the help to get this done. Thank you for the input. But to be truthful I have congestive heart faliure and that is not so good. My brother passed 2 years ago with the same thing. I really would like to purge the cars and the shop so the wife does not have to deal with it.
Thanks again hosep. any more input would be a great help.
 

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Neat, so the studs for the 6 cylinder mounts are the same as the ones for the v8's. I didn't know that. My impression from looking at them was that the 6's studs had a little more spacer to them than the v8's. Learn something new every day.
 
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