Considering V8 swap but want to leave rest of drivetrain alone

Discussion in '1947-1954' started by Chiro, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Chiro

    Chiro Member

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    Hi all (and especially Evan because I'm certain he's done this in the past. :D).

    As stated above, I'm considering retiring my tired old 235 I6 and replacing it with a V8. Nothing outrageous, just something to get me down the road. I plan on using an early Corvette 265 left sided exhaust manifold (front dump) to clear the steering box so no crazy horsepower. I currently have a Muncie SM 420 4-speed (open drive) and a '72 Nova rear in it. Stock straight axle in front with Speedway disc conversion.

    I have heard of some people using a task force V8 bell housing to mate with the V8 because it has the rear mounts on it which will mate with the mounts on the cross member already in the truck which would keep the same trans I have and would eliminate the need to fabricate or purchase a trans mount (as I really want to use the trans I have). This also means I don't need to modify the firewall either from what I've heard.

    Anybody know what V8's would bolt to the above mentioned bell housing, what flywheel I need and what clutch I would use (hopefully the one I have now), etc., and so on?

    Has anybody done this or know of someone who has?

    Thanks,
    Andy
     
  2. coilover

    coilover Member

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    Andy,
    Have done a number of these and your plans are well thought out. IIRC your truck is a 55.2 so the TF bell housing should mate up to your angled cross member. The SM420 input shaft length and spline count is the same as the 235 but can't remember if trans to bell housing bolt pattern is the same but no biggy if not. The last V8/420 I used the bell housing was off a 65 GMC so trans bolted right up. When mounting the V8 have the left manifold on and position the engine so the little "dip" in the exhaust manifold is in line to give clearance between the inside top corner of the steering box and the manifold. Engine can then be centered in frame. If you carefully remove the mechanical temp sending unit from the six you can drill and tap the V8 coolant crossover and use your factory capillary tube rather than paying big bucks for an extended length one (picture). The easiest accelerator set up is the universal "spoon" type--$20. We use the Ford with the floating accelerator pedal and the integral return spring but it is more hassle to install. No shift rod fabbing with the 420 but you will need to make a clutch release rod. On any specific problem PM me. Our first shop truck was a 53 with a 265 that got the snot driven out of it for a number of trouble free years but really NEEDED better brakes.

    S10 054.jpg
     
  3. Chiro

    Chiro Member

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    Thanks Evan for responding so quickly. You are the MAN. My truck is a '55.1, not a '55.2 as you stated unless you made a typo and was thinking of '55.1 but typed '55.2 instead. If you meant '55.1 then is everything you wrote above the same?
    Thanks,
    Andy
     
  4. coilover

    coilover Member

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    I KNEW you had a 55.1 but brain was on vacation or fingers were drunk.
     
  5. Chiro

    Chiro Member

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    Have recently scored a nice running 283 with all the brackets (including A/C) from a friend of mine for free. Assembling parts in preparation for this swap. Still looking for the proper bell housing as per Evan.
    Andy
     
  6. JD Dial

    JD Dial Member

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    Any bell housing from 1963 to1972 6 orV8 will work.
     
  7. JD Dial

    JD Dial Member

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    Sorry, pickup not car.
     
  8. JD Dial

    JD Dial Member

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    I have several, but shipping would be more than it is worth.
     
  9. Chiro

    Chiro Member

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    Update on this thread:

    The '66 283 has been secured. The correct bell housing that will bolt up to the stock cross member has been secured and the correct 1955 265V8 exhaust manifolds have been secured. This all allows me to retain the rest of my driveline AND the stock steering on the truck. This will allow a substantial increase in the get up and go factor of my truck and retire my tired, old 235 I6. Now all I need is the time and space to make the conversion. We will be moving to Virginia this year and I'm probably going to put off making the swap until after the move. I will have a much bigger garage at our new home which will make this swap so much easier as my current one-car garage is housing my hot rod.
    Andy
     
  10. RidesWithYah

    RidesWithYah Member

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    Congratulations on your progress. What are you doing for motor mounts?
     
  11. Chiro

    Chiro Member

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    RidesWithYah likes this.
  12. Chiro

    Chiro Member

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    ^^^...But, does anybody have any ideas regarding motor mounts for this when I will still be using the original trans/bell housing cross member and mounts for the trans? Evan???
    Thx,
    Andy
     
  13. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    Very interesting old school swap plan. I would love to follow this, with plenty of pictures, if possible.

    Steve.
     
  14. coilover

    coilover Member

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    Andy,
    You have a couple choices with your bell housing rear mounts. First is Speedway #91018033 which is the one we use most as it puts the mounts pretty much out of the way of steering and exhaust and makes engines very stable, unlike the flopping around of the timing cover plate mount of the old six. Also if the future ever included an overdrive type trans or even a (gasp) automatic then these mounts would have you set up. Second is Speedway #1356023 which is an early Corvette clone set up designed by GM for use with bell housing rear rear mounts. Also very stable but limits one to a generator driven power steering pump which are getting pricey.
     
  15. Chiro

    Chiro Member

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    Thanks for the reply Evan. I was trying to figure out how to fab up a mount using the biscuit style rubbers and that fits the bill. Steve, I will definately provide multiple pics during he swap but you're going to have to be patient on that as I'm not planning on doing this until well after we move to VA this year. This is all long range planning.
    Andy
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
  16. Chiro

    Chiro Member

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    Also to Evan. What's the best and naturally most cost effective radiator to use for this swap? I will also be installing A/C in the truck when I do this swap. I have heard that some have used a first generation Mustang radiator. Is that a thing??? does it even fit in the original (uncut) radiator support?
    Andy
     
  17. coilover

    coilover Member

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    Andy,
    If your factory radiator is in GOOD shape it will cool a V8, especially a 283. We usually add an aftermarket fan shroud with a/c but I've personally ran one without a shroud but I am in the country so spend little time in heavy traffic. A search of aluminum radiators for your truck will show them in the $150-$250 range. The two row with 1" tubes cool better than four row with 1/2" tubes.
     
  18. Chiro

    Chiro Member

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    Thanks Evan. My factory radiator is in good shape so problem solved, plus I have a spare in storage that is actually in better shape than the one currently in the truck.
     
  19. coilover

    coilover Member

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    We have an AD in the shop right now with the mount kit that takes the flat head Ford cushions. This one has a MII ifs so just the passenger side is what you would use on both sides of yours. The left side has a custom frame bracket to give room for the steering shaft to the rack and pinion; which you don't need.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    Subscribed .

    ? Have you retired Andy ? .

    For those who are newer members here, Andy reached out and pretty much saved my life some years back, I didn't ask , he just saw I was in a very bad place .

    He did this whilst raising up two (? IIRC ?) boys , working, running a business and so on .
     

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