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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can't believe it, but I installed a 98 5.7 engine in my 76 Nova and just gave the flywheel a quick look and figured it was the same as the old 305. Now that I'm ready to bolt up the torque converter I see that the flywheels holes are a different diameter than the converter. I don't want to disconnect everything to pull the engine, and truth be told I don't want to fight with dropping the transmission out with a floor jack either.

Is it possible to back out the bell housing bolts and push the trans back enough to gain enough room to change the flywheel out? Or will I have to pull the drive shaft, crossmember and everthing else and completely drop the trans to get enough room?
 

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Vince is right..If you have the room to move it back,And your very careful,It has been done a lot.. :) Just don't knock the trans off the jack !!! :pain:

You will still have to undo the drive shaft..You should be able to get bye with just pulling the drive shaft..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's what I was hoping. I'm thinking I might undo the crossmember on one side so it can pivot back still attached to the rear mount.

I remember the heck of a time I had getting this turbo 350 in the first time. I'd installed a lot of transmissions, but something about this one made it seem extremely touchy and top heavy. I bet it rolled off my little floor jack 4 or 5 times, even with a piece of 2x6 to even the load.
 

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TNshadetree said:
That's what I was hoping. I'm thinking I might undo the crossmember on one side so it can pivot back still attached to the rear mount.

I remember the heck of a time I had getting this turbo 350 in the first time. I'd installed a lot of transmissions, but something about this one made it seem extremely touchy and top heavy. I bet it rolled off my little floor jack 4 or 5 times, even with a piece of 2x6 to even the load.
I have had a few that tried to get me too.Just have to be careful.. :)
 

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It will be tough to get in to properly torque the bolts. Personally I think you are flirting with disaster. bolt a piece of plywood to the jack and strap the transmission to it. In order to slide it back you are going to have to disconnect almost everything anyway. Why take a chance of getting hurt or breaking something.
Just my .02
 

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Might want to get a piece of 1/8" x 1" steel bar and drill a couple of holes in it and bolt it to the front of the trans to keep the converter from sliding out while you're not looking and crashing down on your foot. :pain:
 

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get some longer bell housing bolts(3-4 inches long) and put them on each side of bellhousing above dowels, block up rear of engine,them slide the trans apart from engine. bolts will keep trans in line. You may have to lower cross member or take bolt out of trans mount. I have done it this way on the gravels. It can be done.




TNshadetree said:
I can't believe it, but I installed a 98 5.7 engine in my 76 Nova and just gave the flywheel a quick look and figured it was the same as the old 305. Now that I'm ready to bolt up the torque converter I see that the flywheels holes are a different diameter than the converter. I don't want to disconnect everything to pull the engine, and truth be told I don't want to fight with dropping the transmission out with a floor jack either.

Is it possible to back out the bell housing bolts and push the trans back enough to gain enough room to change the flywheel out? Or will I have to pull the drive shaft, crossmember and everthing else and completely drop the trans to get enough room?
 

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Be very careful.... this stuff is not worth getting hurt over.

Something that is heavy will fall easily and quickly. A co-worker got hurt bad less than 20 feet from me 3 years ago. Thankfully he recovered after surgery on his arm.

:cool:
 

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I agree Crosley, my brother lost most of 3 fingers when the edge of a trans pan landed with his hand between it and a 2X12. Nothing like having to go gather up fingers before I drove him to the ER. :pain:
 

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With the floor pan of the Nova in the way, you won't get it slid back far enough to work on it without dropping it down, you will be lucky to move it back more than an 1" or so before the bell housing hits the trans tunnel. You will spend more time struggling to work around it than you will just getting it fully out of the way.

If this was a truck you might get away with what you're thinking, a lot more floor pan clearance there. Short cuts usually end up taking longer.

Could try pulling the oil filter or starter to get enough room to get in there and just drill the holes oversize.
 

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Can't speak to a Nova, but I have successfully done this in an A-body. I was able to remove the trans mount. leave the crossmember in place, and slide the trans back over the crossmember. I did this with a floor jack. It was not that hard.
 

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I tried to do it on my 89 Chev truck, but you have to do everything as if the trans is coming out so there was no real benefit. The trans x memebr has to be unbolted to allow it to slide, the driveshaft removed to allow it to slide, you might as well drop it and give yourself the room. Not worth the bother. IMO.
 

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In a Nova (as with most cars) you'll have to pull the driveshaft. Leaving the driveshaft in will only allow you to slide the tranny back about 3/4" which isn't nearly enough. Some cars you can get lucky and just undo the rear trans mount and slide it back, but almost all of them (like your Nova) you'll find that for every 1" back you want to go, you have to come down 1" to clear the tunnel. After about 2-3" of rearward travel, I think you'll find the top of the bellhousing wedged against the flexplate, the dipstick tube hopelessly pinned between the block and tunnel, and the tailshaft wedged up in the tunnel.

I did it for many years by actually removing the tranny. Its really the only way to do it. You'll spend hours figuring out how to do it the "easy" way only to realize that you could have had it out in one hour if you just jumped in and did it.

Here is how I did it; jack up the car as high as possible with two jackstands to support it. Then I put a jack with a board or soft pad on the tranny pan, remove the crossmember. Then I put a block of wood or another jackstand under the engine oil pan and lower the jack until its equally supported by the jackstand under the oil pan and the jack under the tranny pan. Then you can proceed pretty quickly from there. The distributor is the most likely thing to limit how far down you can let the back sag down. Some guys take the cap and rotor off and let the distributor support the weight of the engine against the firewall, but I don't.

Depending on the car, I sometimes lay a 4x4 board across the hood opening and drop a chain down to a bolt hole to support the engine, and I've even used a bike lock cable to hold one up by the cowl opening. Use common sense and you'll be fine. I have since purchased an engine support bar because I have done enough FWD swaps that it was necessary for safety. I also bought a nice attachment ($44 at AutoZone) that replaces the round jack pad on my floor jack with a big H-shaped platform specifically for use with things like motorcycles, ATVs, and transmissions. It even comes with ratchet straps to hold the tranny on it while you work.

These days I manage a shop, so I just use the lift and the tranny jacks at work :)
 

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I would just drop the tranny, not a big deal. Make sure that your flexplate doesn't have a dual pattern. By that I mean my converter has provisions for 6 bolts, but the flextplate has three bolt holes for one pattern (slightly inward towards the crank), and three for another pattern. You can use only three bolts if that is your issue.
 
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