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454 engine in a 1951 Chevy truck!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ROADSTERJEFF, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. ROADSTERJEFF
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 400

    ROADSTERJEFF
    Member

    Got chance to pickup a (1982) 454 big block and transmission with only 50,000 miles. Will it fit in a 1951 1/2 ton Chevy truck with out cutting the fire wall.
     
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 26,413

    squirrel
    Member

    maybe if you move the radiator forward far enough! short water pump helps

    steering clearance is fun too
     
  3. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,482

    junk yard kid
    Member

    my buddy isnt haveing that problem, its headers for him
     
  4. 52pickup
    Joined: Aug 11, 2004
    Posts: 847

    52pickup
    Member
    from Tucson, Az

    It should fit... making everything else fit around it will be the challenge! :D
     
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  5. The Shocker
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,531

    The Shocker
    Member

    Not sure about the 55 1st series and down ,but i have seen a 454 in a stock 58 Chevy Apache ,and it fit pretty well and it was mated to the 4 spd granny.I think it would be real close on the firewall ,and radiator on the 51 ...
     
  6. rainh8r
    Joined: Dec 30, 2005
    Posts: 793

    rainh8r
    Member

    You can do it with the short pump, small-cap distributor, and custom headers. The steering is right there, so moving it to the left is necessary if you try to use exhaust manifolds. They also need a really good radiator and a way to get the hot air out from under the hood-the engine fills the compartment pretty full, and big blocks don't like to get hot.
     
  7. OldSub
    Joined: Aug 27, 2003
    Posts: 1,067

    OldSub
    Member Emeritus

    I've seen it done very nicely. Here are a couple of pictures I took at Billetproof Chehalis in 2008.

    [​IMG]
    I didn't see anything that looked butchered and in fact this swap was cleaner than some small block swaps I've seen.

    [​IMG]
    This was the steering clearance solution.

    This truck was running cast iron exhaust manifolds.

    I'd go for it!
     
  8. Michael_e
    Joined: Mar 15, 2005
    Posts: 384

    Michael_e
    Member

    I've thought a lot about this swap also, but was told it would be really tight. What is that steering setup in the pics above? I really want to keep the truck rated at 3/4 ton so that almost rules out the mustang II option. Going the 1/2 ton route would make things a little bit easier, but i really want the 3/4 or even the 1 ton rating 'cause i seem to end up doing a lot of towing.

    Mike
     
  9. ROADSTERJEFF
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 400

    ROADSTERJEFF
    Member

    Thanks for all the input.
     
  10. N8B
    Joined: Sep 28, 2009
    Posts: 479

    N8B
    Member

    We are sticking a 89 454 w/ T400 and a Gear Vendor in a 52 Chevy pickup. One option we are looking at is a hurst style front mount. Like everyone else has said, short water pump.
    Sorry no pictures as of yet.
     
  11. MO_JUNK
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 391

    MO_JUNK
    Member
    from Rolla, Mo.

    Yes, lengthwise it will fit but you have to cut the x-brace rods in the core support and move the radiator forward a couple inches. You can trim the valence and make it neat. Also, you'll need to run the short waterpump. I did it with a 75-79 front steer subframe and used a U.S. Radiator called "the desert cooler". I made sure the valence sealed good around the radiator and the truck ran in the 180-190 degree range even with the a/c on and flat-towing a 26 T tub. The picture in the responses above is of a later model (mid to late 70's) chev. truck (or later)steering box mounted to the outside of the frame in front of the axle(near the core support). You then fabricate a steering arm that fastens to the top spindle/backing plate bolts and steer via the left front wheel. You'll need to make a short drag-link as well. This is a good set-up. There was an article on this set-up in Street-Rodder I believe. It would have appeared in the late 70's or so. Kits for this swap were available if you are not a fabricator. This is a good set-up if you are staying with the original axle and you can use the manual or power box. A later model column can be swapped easily and is hooked up via standard PTO or borgeson joints and double-D shaft. If you Google "Sam KImbrough" you will see the Custom and Classic Trucks article on my truck from 1995. A big block looks good in these trucks. I ran stock exhaust manifolds and had plenty of room to change plugs, etc. Again, my truck had a sub-frame but I have seen the other set-up and it looked clean. Good luck. Sam
     
  12. Double Caddy
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 704

    Double Caddy
    Member
    from virginia

    I know its not the same but I am finishing up putting in a 454 in my Cadillac. I used the short water pump and the altenater bracket I used from transdapt requires headers not exhaust manifold.
     

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  13. OldSub
    Joined: Aug 27, 2003
    Posts: 1,067

    OldSub
    Member Emeritus

    I'm pretty sure the one in my photo is one of the kits.

    The trouble with the kits is that they assume you're dealing with a 1/2-ton frame, and the profile of the 3/4- and 1-ton trucks is just enough different you are going to be fabricating that part even if you buy a kit.

    I spent a lot of time considering modifying a kit to put power steering on my 1-ton GMC project. I'm running a 500 Cadillac instead of a 454 but many of my challenges are similar.

    There are more pictures of that truck and the power steering setup at http://www.oldsub.com/images/2008/06/28/. Be forwarned most are big and located on a slow server. The first picture of this truck is 100_4357.jpg.
     
  14. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,982

    fab32
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Go for it. You'll have all the help you could ever want right here on the HAMB
    and it would make one hell of a tech thread. I'm gathering parts for something similar but a '48 F1. Mine is going to have a Dakota front end via an Industrial Chassis (Elpolacko) front crossmember, BBC and 4L80E into a 9" rear.

    Frank
     
  15. 68 C10
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 47

    68 C10
    Member
    from Athens, GA

  16. AnimalAin
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 3,382

    AnimalAin
    Member

    This swap was covered in one of Petersen's Engine Swapping specials in the mid-70s or so. Like most, it isn't impossible, but a long way from bolt-in.
     

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