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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi
I am new to hot rodding and am building a roadster of 20's style. I have just found out that I can fit any small block or inline engine but don't have any idea or preference what to use.

I want reliability, relaxed street driving, easy highway cruising, easy installation. All for about $5000 without the shiny bits ( I will do all the work myself). Although I do plan on dressing the engine up quite a bit later on.

My question is what combo of parts would you use and what ratio trans and rear axle would be most recommended? I know I am going to get a bunch of different answers but I am hoping there might be a general consensus!

Thanks for taking the time to answer.

Tires are 32" OD
 

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It is a matter of your preferences ... :)

Most anything can be made to fit. The SBC is the common choice. Easy to find, easy to work on ... plenty of power ... and the parts availability is unsurpassed. :cool:

I would stay away from weird combos " just to be different "
I have heard all the comments and statements about " I am tired of seeing SBC's in everything " ... but the fact is ... they work :rolleyes: Breakdown on I-77 in West Virginia @ midnight with a dead fuel pump ... and see how soon you fix it with a early Olds, Pontiac, Studebaker or other " different " engine.

On the way to the NSRA Nationals in Columbus Ohio ... back in the 80's ... I had the SBC mechanical fuel pump quit. It was midnight ... by 3 o'clock in the morning ... I had found a used SBC fuel pump, had installed it myself ... washed my hands, had a cup of coffee and was back on the road ... TRUE STORY ...
 

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As you want a complete drive train (engine/trans/axle combo) for $5000 look for a complete well running donor car. You should be able to get a relatively new and low mileage car for that kind of money and be able to buy engine and tranny mounts as well as a rear suspension for your money. As Deuce says, and I agree, Chevy is good way to go. But if you are knowledgeable about Fords, Mopars or other GM products use one of them if you like. Definitely look for an overdrive transmission if you are going to use an automatic or look for a 5 or 6 speed if you want a standard. They will give you a low first gear for getting up to speed quickly and a high final gear for highway travel and good mileage.

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I, like Deuce, am tired of seeing Chevys in everything, unless it's a Chevy. You didn't state what brand of car that you were going to build, but if it were I, I would try to use the same brand engine. ala; Ford, 302 or 351, Chevy, 283, 301, 327, or 350, Mopar, 273, 318, or 340, Olds and Buick, thier older aluminum V-8s or 350s. There are also the American Motors engines out there. If you have a Pontiac (my favorite), you're out of luck. Pontiac never made a small block, although a Pontiac block is only a little heavier than a small block Chevy.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies.

I was hoping to hear some suggestions for ideal combinations.

Such as Ford 351w, Ford AOD with 9 inch and 3.00:1. Would this be street friendly? Like I said I don't have any preferences whatsoever. Need auto trans. though.


Bill
There is no brand, I am building my own body from scratch. Vaguely similar to a Ford roadster.

Thanks.
 
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