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Projects 1955 chevy truck motor swap

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Vincent Garcia, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. Vincent Garcia
    Joined: Oct 23, 2018
    Posts: 49

    Vincent Garcia

    So I have 1955 Chevy Truck with a 235 straight-six and have had it for about 2 years like that. I use this truck as a daily driver (30 to 45min commute) out in San Diego and am wanting to put in a V8 motor because I want a bit of an easier drive and to have more power and fun with the truck. I want to know if this is possible to do with a stock frame? or if a new clip is needed. Want to know any other tips and recommendations to do this. I have researched these motor swaps for a while and know I can do a motor swap but I don't know the best way to fit it in there. I've done a motor swap before but it was just replacing a 350 motor, btw I'm 22 and haven't done a front clip swap but any advice and tips are greatly appreciated.

    Can I keep a stock frame and put in a v8 motor? will a clip swap make this more reliable and safe of a build? all and any tips are appreciated.
     
  2. If you have a TF 55 they came with a V8 stock as an option, if you have an AD 55 then there's kits to put in a V8. I don't see a reason to clip the truck myself, just do a universal crossmember and bolt it to the stock trans or do a floor shift 5 speed with the stock V8 bellhousing.
     
  3. Vincent Garcia
    Joined: Oct 23, 2018
    Posts: 49

    Vincent Garcia

    Im assuming the style V8 I want to put it wouldn't matter, Im deciding between a 350sbc or a 5.3L gm truck motor. I do notice most the time either someone doesn't have a stock frame or they clip it. I was curious if they clip it just for lowering reasons or to fit an oil pan and not have to deal with the solid axle and oil pan hitting.
     
  4. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,705

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    People clip it to give them independent suspension, usually disc brakes and power steering. Yes it lowers it but it gives you a more updated drivability. It is in what you want.
     
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  5. Vincent Garcia
    Joined: Oct 23, 2018
    Posts: 49

    Vincent Garcia

    True, I don't know why I forgot about all the extras that come with swapping a front clip. Anyone recommend a certain front clip swap such as a 70s camaro or a mustang ifs?
     
  6. Clipping it might fly here, but I can tell you that an LS motor won't. I have a 283 that I might put into my Panel if the 261 dies and I think that would move it pretty good (and even tow with it). Like 41 said, the clip is to get a more modern ride and modern accessories.
     
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  7. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 563

    Mimilan
    Member

    Hey mate! you are 22 years old, please don't do "the dismantle of death"
    Get a running motor and trans combo [SBC is easiest ] and use a kit.

    here's one here
    https://www.performanceonline.com/1...and-transmission-crossmember-kit-with-mounts/

    A 305 and 200-4R trans would be cheap as chips [with overdrive for your daily commute]
    The 305 is small enough to be economical ,but is larger than the 283 these originally came with. The 3.48" stroke makes is user friendly, and the O/D on the trans will save you a rear-end ratio swap

    Shocks and new spring rubbers [and radial tyres] would get it reasonably comfortable. I you dont like bodyroll then add a anti-roll bar.
    For safety ,a tandem M/C is advisable.

    Do this one thing at a time, and try and keep it on the road as much as possible
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
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  8. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,900

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Putting a clip on one is obsolete 90's technology. There are just flat better ways to do it now.
    If it is a Task Force 55 Chevy truck a small block is a bolt in deal with a Truck V8 bellhousing and flywheel and some front motor mount work.
    LS type which is not friigging HAMB friendly is going to take a lot more work.
    First photo being a 55 first series advance design body style that has a few extra challenges to do a V8 swap that mostly include dealing with the steering box that is right in the way of most any and all left side exhaust manifolds.
    Second photo is of a 55 Second series "Task Force" truck that could be bought originally with a V8.
    If you have that body style and use the original transmission as I mentioned earlier the main things you need are the V8 truck bellhousing and V8 flywheel plus figuring out the front mounts. You also need V8 throttle linkage and the V8 exhaust.
    I've known several guy who have driven a six cylinder TF truck in the shop in the morning and drove it out that evening with a V8 in it all done. You have to have all the pieces there but it can be done.
    If you you have been driving the truck for a while and are comfortable with the way the suspension and steering works there is no reason to change it. If you decide to lower it you can have your axle dropped by Sids or buy one from him and lower the rear to match. There isn't much room between the axle and frame if you decide to put the rear axle on top of the springs though. Enough if you just drive it but not enough if you haul loads often.
    Now, what body style do you have?


    55 First series.jpg 55 3100 farm fresh.jpeg
     
  9. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,153

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Is it an early 55 (54 style) or late 55 (new style)? What kind of transmission? Either way a V8 will fit and you don't have to change the suspension, axle or anything like that. There is all kinds of room for a V8. Easiest would be a 350 or 305 with a carburetor and electronic ignition. Simple swap and good reliable transportation.
    The details of the swap depend on exactly what model of truck and trans you have.
     
    flatford39 likes this.
  10. No, clipping won't fly here.;)
     
    alanp561 and harpo1313 like this.
  11. Vincent Garcia
    Joined: Oct 23, 2018
    Posts: 49

    Vincent Garcia

    I really don't want to clip it but want to lower it and not able to find a drop axle for my year. but I can also go with a mono leaf which I might do.
     
  12. Vincent Garcia
    Joined: Oct 23, 2018
    Posts: 49

    Vincent Garcia

    I have 2nd series 55 chevy, and the setup on my truck is a 235 inline 6 with a 200r4 already connected, have been driving that for over 2 years and its solid but moving to San Diego and the hills I drive I can tell is stressing out the motor. I have a dual carb and exhaust setup I installed on it and its been fun but want more power from the truck.
     
  13. Vincent Garcia
    Joined: Oct 23, 2018
    Posts: 49

    Vincent Garcia

    1955 chevy truck 2nd series is what I got. I have a 2004r floor shift automatic transmission behind my 235 inline six. A 350 swap I know I can do but always had this little thing that I wanted to put lq4 in one of my trucks but might just have to go with a 305 or 350 for ease of installation and dealing with no computers.
     
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  14. Vics stuff
    Joined: May 24, 2014
    Posts: 290

    Vics stuff
    Member

    If it was a second series 55 , a V8 swap would be fairly easy. You will need engine mount adapters for post 57 engines . The first series V8's all used a front engine motor mount design and the 58 and newer used the traditional on the side motor mounts .
    I would stick with electronic ignition and carburetor to keep things simple.
    I would never clip a vehicle. Causes more work and added cost then just buying a IFS kit with a much cleaner look and better ride.
    That is what I am going to do to my 55 second series 3100 and using a LS1 engine and 4L60E transmission .
    Vic
     
  15. Vincent Garcia
    Joined: Oct 23, 2018
    Posts: 49

    Vincent Garcia

    Trust me I wont do the dismantle of death. Got 3 trucks I am currently building and I do them all at the same time but one at a time. Currently about to start doing some fender and cab corner repair but the motor is getting weak and is something I want to change. I always do like to keep my stuff running when possible though but when i got all these parts at the blaster, I might as well do the swap with basically the front clip off.

    I have a 200-4R already in the truck running and driving so just attaching a 305 v8 doesn't sound bad, would literally just be a motor swap and a new adapter plate. I would possibly just go with a 350 for that extra power because I recently got a beater commuter car because I got long trips I'm going to be making.
     
  16. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,619

    raven
    Member

    Getting an axle dropped for your truck is really no problem. Sid can drop it. Simplistically the easy way to lower the front. What rear end are you using?
    r


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  17. Vincent Garcia
    Joined: Oct 23, 2018
    Posts: 49

    Vincent Garcia

    Who is Sid? The rear end I have is a factory rear end to the truck.
     
  18. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 563

    Mimilan
    Member

    I suggested the 305 because you can pickup a donor car. A 350 is just as easy to do.
    If you already have a 200-4R in your truck, just remove the adaptor.
    The 200-4R should bolt straight up to a SBC [if it is a Chevy variant]

    With a 200-4R already in place, are you running a rear crossmember?
    If so , all you need is the front mounts because 1/2 the swap is already done.
     
  19. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,446

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    @Vincent Garcia ......you do not need an “adapter plate” to put a Chevy V8 in place of your 235 six engine. The 2004R trans you have just bolts up to any SBC V8 as is. The 2004R trans case has a ‘multi-fit’ bolt pattern that fits either Chevy or Buick, Olds, Pontiac (aka. BOP). You will need a compatible flexplate (flywheel).

    Plan on using side motor mounts, not at front of the engine type. The side mounts are much better at supporting the engine weight when using a transmission with a rear mount such as your 2004R.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
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  20. Vincent Garcia
    Joined: Oct 23, 2018
    Posts: 49

    Vincent Garcia

    Yes, I already do got a tranny cross-member in place. Do you know if a vortec 350 motor out of a 1996 to 2002 truck would be able to bolt right up to a 200-4R
     
  21. Vincent Garcia
    Joined: Oct 23, 2018
    Posts: 49

    Vincent Garcia

    Sounds good to me, https://www.performanceonline.com/1...Kz9O6HQwhrofgP51Ew2jOiDIMVmqs7RgaAhGOEALw_wcB
    Is this a good setup to get?
     
  22. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,446

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    @Vincent Garcia .....an engine mount as shown in the kit is very suitable type for your purposes. You may not need that particular kit since you already have the trans crossmember/mount. Cross members of that style are widely available....try Summit or JEGS, just to name two sources to consider.

    Ray
     
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  23. Just my 2c, but I read your post about the radiator issue.

    I would find a stock manual transmission bellhousing and stock front mounts to LOCATE the V-8 in the correct position. Then fab some side mounts, I'm sure there are "kits" for this as well. It's a little extra work, but if you are willing to cut the frame and replace that with a newer model, it's a piece of cake.

    Now find the correct V-8 sheet metal. There are different pieces around the radiator for the 6 and V-8.
     
  24. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 3,753

    southcross2631
    Member

    My brother drove a 59 pickup for years with a 235 3 on the tree. In fact he drove it to Az. from Michigan to pick up an O/T Monte Carlo that I had found for him to restomod for his wife. He tow dollied that car back over Wolf Creek pass . Not fast, but he made it.
    Later he swapped in a 327 with a Muncie 4 speed. It was almost a straight bolt in. He got some V8 frame mounts and a V8 bellhousing. He put over 300,000 miles on that truck. He worked construction.
    He pulled many car trailers with it. Stock front end and 4 wheel drum brakes. He ended up putting a later model truck rear end in it for taller gears.
     
  25. Ericnova72
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 369

    Ericnova72
    Member

    Yes, direct bolt-up to a Vortec 350.

    You'll need an adapter for the crank flange and the right flexplate to do an LQ4 swap.
     
  26. Vincent Garcia
    Joined: Oct 23, 2018
    Posts: 49

    Vincent Garcia

    Not a fan of a manual transmission swap for this truck and do not really want to cut up the frame.
     
  27. Vincent Garcia
    Joined: Oct 23, 2018
    Posts: 49

    Vincent Garcia

    That's rad. Yeah I love the truck and the setup, it's loud and slow and fun to cruise but I want something with a little more get up and go. Drove this truck all down California and ran fine and probably can go a lot longer but want a V8 in it now. I also have drums all the way around still and haven't had any issues, just maintenance them myself and it's been cherry.
     
  28. Vincent Garcia
    Joined: Oct 23, 2018
    Posts: 49

    Vincent Garcia

    Thanks for that info, very helpful, would the lq4 have a problem not being ran with a 4l60 or 80?
     
  29. You should read my post more carefully, since you asked for help, the first rule is to understand what the response is.

    I said LOCATE the engine, not replace the transmission. Since something moved and damaged the radiator, this would be my #1 concern, not to happen again.
     
    6inarow and raven like this.

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