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Ok, it has been discussed and the final decision has been made, I'm going to put a small block v8, a newer 3spd, and a late model rearend in my '53 chevy, but the first thing I have to know is how much of the firewall supports do you cut out for the v8 motor? Second, do you still use the rest of the lower part of the support, and reinforce it to the firewall? Third, can you use the original tranny crossmember for this swap or do you have to cut it out and make a new one? In any event I hope it all goes well and be the best move I could make. Thanks for all your help and support.
 

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I wouldn't think you would need to cut any of the firewall out. Your car came with an in line 6 which was longer than the Chevy small block so it should fit just fine without any firewall mods. When it comes to engine and trans mounts you'll probably have to either fab some up or use bolt in or weld in aftermarket crossmembers with the mounts already built in. That would be the easiest way to go.

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Yes, you have to cut the lower firewall braces. It really depends on how you position the engine and if you are trying to use the original steering. Yes you will need to re-inforce what is left. A piece of 16 ga. sheet metal ( make a box) welded to the remaining upright will provide support. You will have to make a crossmember. I use .120 wall tubing.
 

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Hmmm... interesting.

If I had set the hemi forward about an inch on my '53 pickup (which came with the same engine the '53 cars did) I wouldn't have had to touch the firewall. For a SBC which has the distributor in the same location as the early hemis, I wouldn't think it would be necessary to cut much of anything. But then again I'm not using stock suspension or steering and that may be where the difference is.

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