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Projects 1940 Chevy Sedan big block project

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jp52, May 15, 2017.

?

Keep the big block or find a smallblock

Poll closed May 22, 2017.
  1. Big block

    6 vote(s)
    66.7%
  2. Small block

    3 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    A very generous friend just gave me one of his project cars, a pretty solid partially completed 1940 sedan. The previous owner welded a '69 nova subframe on. They hung. 454 2bolt motor in it as well. The car needs a new transmission tunnel welded in and some patches for the floor. My plan is to clean up the big block (hopefully just rings and seals) run a simple wiring harness and update the front brakes to discs. It's been re-painted at some point so I'm considering some traditional or original colors or maybe just leave it as is. One great surprise was a rebuilt TH400 in the trunk along with a tilt steering column out of a Chevy truck and a limited slip 10 bolt under the rear. All in all its a great place to start. The interior was partially re-done with strange velour but the front seat is all original white "leather" I think. I'll upload some photos as soon as I can, looking for any advice you have on a radiator and how to make the big block work in that tiny engine bay.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,308

    squirrel
    Member

    that could be a fun car....

    make sure what the engine is. so you get the correct flexplate, etc. 454 has a weight, 396-402-427 don't.

    That seat has been reupholstered, it was most likely mohair originally.
     
  3. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,847

    greybeard360
    Member

    I built a 40 coupe several years ago for a friend. Rides and drives great. 350/350 with 8.8 and M2 front end. We got a walker radiator that they build for them that has a/c condensor already mounted. Keeps the motor nice and cool in the Texas heat.
    [​IMG]

    Sent from my Moto G Play using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  4. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,457

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Looks like the front clip was put in way to far back in front wheel well, you can say it's the angle of the pic but I would bet it's not.................................
     
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  5. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    squirrel,

    Thanks for the insight, in that case I feel better about re-apolstring it. To be honest it's pretty ugly.
     
  6. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    Interesting observation, will have to get some wheelbase measurements and see if it's off from the original. If so....well it's is a project after all.
     
  7. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    That's a great looking car, thanks for the advice.
     
  8. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,457

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    You can't go by stock wheel base dimensions , it's a stand back and see what your eye likes. Where's that Nova steering box located? Sometimes the core support and box want to be in the same area (interference), some take a short cut and mount the clip further back. Hope that's not the case. Anytime you lower the front that much it changes the wheel base & look of the wheel to wheel well........................................
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
    verde742 likes this.
  9. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,886

    40Standard
    Member
    from Indy

    looks like a solid project, keep us posted
     
  10. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    Nope. It's 113" dead on. Must be the nearly flat tire,angle of photo or something.
     
  11. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    Thanks will do. Tonight I'm sourcing motor and trains mounts so I can get all that in place to start repairing the floors and replacing the transmission tunnel.

    Any recommendations on what gauge sheet metal to use? I'm going to take the slow and frustrating route of oxy acetylene welding it. I figured don't have a lot of metal to replace and it's good practice. Plus I can save the cash I would spend on a MIG and put it toward the car.
     
  12. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    Interesting point. The nova steering box is behind the crossmember so nowhere near the (missing) core support. The previous builder pretty much seems to have removed all the bare essentials that hold the front fenders and nose on the car. Going to take some creativity to get the body lines all lined up again.

    It is really low in the front. That's for sure. And I agree there's too much space in front of the front wheel.

    I guess bigger rubber could help a little...
     
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,308

    squirrel
    Member

    To cheat to get the wheel centered in the fender, you could do some creative body work on the fender :)

    or cut off the subframe and put it where it belongs
     
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  14. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    oh the joy of trying to figure out what the previous owner did....
     
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  15. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    Yeah, I'm going to see if I can get this thing to start and roll down the road in the next 365 days. Then I'll park it in a field and stare at it long enough to decide if the wheelbase bothers me. At this point its still the best looking car I've owned.
     
  16. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    sorry, 364... its been 24 hours already and all i did was pull out the front seat and carpet, figure out the motor info and come up with a plan.
     
  17. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,216

    Happydaze
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Do think about the exhaust and pedals / brake master before you go too far. You'll find they want to occupy the same, cramped space and you might be best considering swinging pedals and firewall mounted master cylinder. Unless you just hang the exhaust under the frame, but your ride height pretty much already dictates that's not feasible.
    Chris
     
  18. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    I'm thinking firewall mounted master cylinder for sure. No real room underneath. Yeah the exhaust is going to be tight. I have been researching motor mounts. Looks like the frame mounts are for a small block so I'm pulling the motor and sorting that out first. Any recommendations on motor mounts?


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  19. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,308

    squirrel
    Member

    With the subframe, you'll probably have to make things to fit, because the location of the original mounts vs. where the firewall is, probably won't match up.

    Small block mounts will work with a big block, you know
     
  20. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,847

    greybeard360
    Member

    The firewall needs to be recessed so the motor can sit far enough back to allow room for cooling fan etc. The firewall was toast on the one I built and I used a firewall that was recessed for the sbc and the front floor and trans tunnel. At the time the rear floors weren't offered so I fabbed those.

    Sent from my Moto G Play using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  21. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    Strange. I've got a bolt through the drivers side mount but passenger is off by an inch.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  22. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    According to the PO the firewall was moved back and it's definitely all new metal.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  23. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,308

    squirrel
    Member

    There are a couple different size pads for the older style Chevy V8 mounts, you need to match the rubber part to the metal brackets you have. I don't think it's a big block/small block thing (although I could be wrong). The mount bolt holes on the engine block are in the exact same location on big and small blocks, relative to the bellhousing.
     
  24. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    See below for the drivers side motor mount situation. Looks non-OEM to me....Any thoughts? The Motor mounts on the block look like aftermarket solid mounts like those sold through JEGS etc. but the lower ones look like they were removed from either this or another vehicle and then re-located with that piece of plate.
     

    Attached Files:

  25. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    here is the passenger side.
     

    Attached Files:

  26. jp52
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 120

    jp52
    Member

    it almost looks like they were trying to push the motor back with those plates...
     
  27. Those are OEM mounts, just different eras. The chassis mount is designed for insulated engine mount(60's) and the steel engine mount you have was from 70's and later, for a rubber insulated chassis mount. You'll have to pick one style and go with it.
     
  28. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,457

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    DSCF7962.JPG I hate to keep harping on this but NOW is the time to fix that front suspension, not after you get your trans/motor established. You don't have to cut it off completely, here's very crude sketch of how I have done it. Looks to be about an inch or so off. I would look for a stock core/radiator support, that piece is the secret to getting your front sheet metal lined up. After that's installed modify as needed......................................
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  29. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,308

    squirrel
    Member

    heh...I've never seen anyone try to do that with Chevy motor mounts! it's pretty funny.

    I'd see about buying some mounts for a 1960s era Chevy. Like I said earlier, there are a couple different thicknesses. you can probably do some googling to figure out which ones you need, or buy some and see if they fit, then if they don't, try the other ones. My guess is if you get some that would fit what was originally in the subframe, it will work.
     
  30. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,457

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Motor mounts; I buy this type for non racing. Can get the part number if your interested.
    Get some 2 1/2" sq. 1/8th" tubing or thicker. Bottom out to mount, mark holes, drill holes, cut to length AFTER LEVLING motor/trans.............................
    DSCF7963.JPG DSCF7964.JPG DSCF7965.JPG
     

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