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Projects 1957 Chevy MEL-icious Intent Build

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by fordman1, Jan 16, 2023.

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  1. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    I have been working on this build for a few years but the world transpired against me for a bit and drastically slowed down my progress. Now I am back at building a 1957 Chevy into both a street/strip terror as well as a family hauler. The impetus for the project happened with a brand new second child, turning 40 years old and finally realizing that the days of fully utilizing my Model T were over except when going on solo rides. A friend was parting out a 47-54 Chevy truck and I was gifted a straight axle so my search was focused on something with four doors to make car seat maneuvering as easy as possible, a roof to keep out the Oregon rain and something fast enough to run at the summer Wednesday night drags at PIR. IMG_2031 (2).JPG
     
  2. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    My grandfather is probably the most influential person in my life so when he was turning 40 he already had three kids and could have been pondering the same things in life. He was probably worse off as far as being able to support a hot rod habit but it would have been 1964. So the whole project is around the premise of "what would Warren have done?" He would have gotten the cheapest or free car from someone he knew and then pulled the largest running motor out of anything he could find and then with some North Dakota farmer ingenuity, made it all work. He later would set up a 1956 Bel Air for my uncle with a 394 and matching big rear end out of the family 1962 Olds once it was parked, so again more precedence.
     
  3. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    IMG_2013 (1).JPG IMG_2014 (1).JPG IMG_2015 (1).JPG IMG_2034 (1).JPG IMG_3102.JPG IMG_3103.JPG Not being a Chevy guy I stumbled onto a 1957 that was missing its drivetrain but seemed like a great start for a very low price as it was a little bit of a drive out of Portland. It was fairly straight with not too much rust so I scooped it up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
  4. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    IMG_3142.JPG IMG_3143.JPG IMG_3144.JPG IMG_3225.JPG IMG_3226.JPG IMG_3227.JPG IMG_3228.JPG IMG_3230.JPG IMG_4344.JPEG IMG_4345.JPEG IMG_4346.JPEG IMG_4347.JPEG The car had been driven hard and likely off road. Plus I had that straight axle so first step was chop off the front frame and fab up some 2x4 for a front clip.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023

  5. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    IMG_2692.JPG IMG_2693.JPG IMG_2694.JPG IMG_2695.JPG IMG_4260.JPEG Next up was Wheels and Tires. Craigslist and FB Marketplace as well as Ebay resulted in crusty chromed steelies and Cragar S/S narrow front wheels.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
  6. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    IMG_4262.JPEG IMG_4576.jpeg Now I am getting excited about this thing! About this time after rolling the front end back and forth a hundred times I am noticing it is pretty crooked and bent and still needs a full brake kit. Again FB comes to the rescue with a 1950 Ford F1 axle with a full speedway brake kit installed. The center chunk was missing from the Tri Five rear so I was already planning on a 9". Again Ford guy so all the wheels I have are Ford bolt pattern.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
  7. Like where this is going…keep us posted.
     
    fordman1 likes this.
  8. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    62042179031__FBE3E387-BF24-4FFB-A518-6450201898D9.JPG IMG_4682.JPEG IMG_5572.JPEG IMG_5573.JPEG IMG_5574.JPEG IMG_5575.JPEG IMG_5576.JPEG IMG_5577.JPEG IMG_5578.JPEG IMG_5579.JPEG IMG_5580.JPEG IMG_5581.JPEG IMG_5582.JPEG IMG_5725.JPEG Started working on the front stub for the frame rails and made them the same width as the spring packs on the Ford I beam. I bought two different front springs (four packs) just in case I needed the longer or shorter springs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
  9. FrozenMerc
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,112

    FrozenMerc
    Member

    Is the thread title a hint as to the future power train??? I am hoping for a 430, just to rankle the purists.
     
  10. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    61290581864__242A89D2-2619-40E8-8594-1D392200F140.JPG IMG_1961.JPG IMG_1965.JPG IMG_4349.JPEG IMG_4355.JPEG IMG_4357.JPEG IMG_4361.JPEG IMG_4569.JPEG IMG_4570.JPEG IMG_4573.JPEG IMG_5726.JPEG IMG_5727.JPEG Next up is power plant. I was hoping to find something cheap, as powerful as possible, late 50s to early 60s, something atypical as well as something my grandpa would potentially use. What I ended up with was a motor pulled for an LS swap though it had been running and drive and only needed a new water pump. For the princely sum of $200 I had a 1962 Lincoln 430 and auto transmission. Gobs of torque and not your typical engine swap. While searching local junkyards I came across a 1958 Edsel with an E475 410 ci engine that I got to dress up the MEL engine as an earlier generation. The '58 was a 340 hp and 475 ft lb of torque motor so I am hoping with the better intake, Big Block Chevy fenderwell headers, better holley 4 barrel, pertronix distributor that I can be close to 350 hp and 450 of torque. Also this gave the name of MEL-icious Intent due to the Mercury Edsel Lincoln engine family.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
  11. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    IMG_5728.JPEG IMG_5735.JPEG IMG_5736.JPEG IMG_5737.JPEG 61290579385__2FE2F502-2F44-4E06-A68E-23E1F896AFC6.JPG IMG_1966.JPG IMG_4359.JPEG IMG_4443.JPEG IMG_4444.JPEG IMG_7033.JPEG IMG_7312.jpeg With the '57 Chevy and the '58 Edesl I also have acquired some gauges for under the dash and a floor shifter for the transmission. I also bought an Eelco gas pedal and scored an Edelbrock 6x2 Intake for a potential future induction system. I was looking for MEL parts and also accumulated almost enough to build two more complete motors. I had heard it was possible to adapt FE manual transmissions to MEL blocks but unfortunately it puts the starter in the wrong spot as well as the crank not being drilled out for a pilot bearing. My plan is to not give this first motor any mercy so I can have another one built up to make more power once I get used to this package.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
  12. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    IMG_8580.JPEG IMG_8581.JPEG IMG_8582.JPEG IMG_8583.JPEG IMG_8584.JPEG IMG_8586.JPEG IMG_8587.JPEG IMG_8588.JPEG IMG_8589.JPEG IMG_8590.JPEG IMG_8591.JPEG IMG_8592.JPEG IMG_8593.JPEG After way too much moving the engine, measuring, leveling, moving, measuring, up/down, etc. I said to hell with it and just welded in engine mounts to move forward. I modified the chevy mid mounts that held the saddle of the transmission and now use them to mount the engine. I then made my own transmission mount to hold the big Lincoln 3 speed. Another chunk of 2x4 tube spans between the front spring hangers. I have been luck to have a fellow HAMBer (1971BB427) helping with his knowledge and set up the suspension with the swing shackles at the rear.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
  13. [​IMG]
    I believe this man is making race car noises!
    Love the build!
    Love a sport sedan! And the Fomoco powertrain is super cool. Go, man, go!!
     
  14. FrozenMerc
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,112

    FrozenMerc
    Member

    Awesome! The early MEL's ('58 to '61) use the same bellhousing pattern as all FE's, so the starter location is the same as the FE as well.

    Keep up the good work.
     
    bchctybob, Spooky and fordman1 like this.
  15. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    IMG_8611.JPEG IMG_8612.JPEG IMG_8613.JPEG IMG_8614.JPEG IMG_8615.JPEG IMG_8616.JPEG IMG_8617.JPEG Next up is the fact that the MEL engine is front sump pickup for the oil pan and that will cause all sorts of problems but given that the MEL and FE share so many parts I bought a canton rear sump 4x4 oil pick up tube for a 390 and it bolts right in. With that haul of MEL parts came two extra oil pans that at the time I didnt realize were not for these engines. As far as I can tell, the are for 460 fords. So some slicing and dicing is in order to make a one off rear sump pan.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
  16. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    IMG_8619.JPEG 63710106044__A0BD54A6-D731-42C1-9863-C5E646B44E6C.jpeg I have been talking to Slover Machine out of California about adapter plates to run 460 BBF intake. With how the engine is sitting I would like to run a Ford Tunnel Ram with a 6-71 or 8-71 blower on top poking through the hood similar to the Tunnel Cram that David Freiburger built on Motortrend.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
  17. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    20170608_172053-e1538669667211.jpg blower1.jpg blower2.jpg blower4.jpg blower6.jpg blower7.jpg cyr2.jpg cyrdragster.jpg drag3.jpg DSC06580.jpg DSC06583.jpg Gizzle_Hopper_MCACN006.jpg Gizzle_Hopper_MCACN016.jpg Gizzle_Hopper_MCACN025 (1).jpg Gizzle_Hopper_MCACN028.jpg IMG_0150.JPG IMG_1827.JPG IMG_1829.JPG IMG_1830.JPG IMG_2045.JPG IMG_2046.JPG IMG_2202.JPG IMG_2244.jpg.f2c06289770997806b2aa04f1928f2a4.jpg IMG_2551.jpg IMG_2760.JPG IMG_9432-grizzlehopper.jpg lincoln_engine.jpg lincolnpotvin.jpg MEL 671.jpg melblwr1.jpg In case anyone doesn't think MEL engines were historically used for racing, here is some bad ass stuff I have found.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
    winr, don colaps, 550Coupe and 13 others like this.
  18. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    005-2018-Engine-Masters-Kaase.jpg 009-2018-Engine-Masters-Kaase.jpg 222193_Engine_Web.jpg 404733-49.jpg DNzHE-SUQAEcSX-.jpg ffbea33c354b9c336c65041e3af288ff-700.jpg melblwr2.jpg s-l1600 (4).jpg s-l1600.jpg s-l1600-2.jpg A few more engine candy!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
    winr, don colaps, Outback and 10 others like this.
  19. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    001.jpg 8fe7a5acb1633c6059292c36acdf8458.jpg 31c69bc2ecdd5b40cb2515fbebefca2b--chevy-chevrolet-truck (1).jpg 61d50cbc135f6c0798498abe1f9146ca.jpg 2998344344_a532185a9f_b.jpg 8593032859_ac69d27ff0_b.jpg Cruisin-for-a-cure-2009-61.jpg roadkill-takes-america-2015-tulsa-raceway-park-fan-appreciation-night-drag-racing-burnout-0022.jpg t2ec2053.jpg u.jpg Here is some of the four door gasser inspiration I have gathered as well. 001.jpg 8fe7a5acb1633c6059292c36acdf8458.jpg 31c69bc2ecdd5b40cb2515fbebefca2b--chevy-chevrolet-truck (1).jpg 61d50cbc135f6c0798498abe1f9146ca.jpg 2998344344_a532185a9f_b.jpg 8593032859_ac69d27ff0_b.jpg Cruisin-for-a-cure-2009-61.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
    Jet96, Nailhead A-V8, Spooky and 3 others like this.
  20. Tow Truck Tom
    Joined: Jul 3, 2018
    Posts: 2,031

    Tow Truck Tom
    Member
    from Clayton DE

    I'm always Talking about how proud I was of Ed Roth for using a 406 in his 55 Chevy.
    Now I'm proud of you too.
     
  21. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    Like I said the time frame is about 1964 but I also know my grandpa would have continually upgraded things over the years. I looked at Hot Rod Drag week gasser rules, SEGA rules and 1962-64 drag racing rules and am trying to follow them as closely as possible. It will have towel city cheater slicks and likely coker firestone 6.40x15 front runners. I hope to run a top loader 4 speed someday as well but want to get it on the road as fast as possible. I have header flanges coming from Ed in Minnesota that will be welded up to the Speedway fenderwell headers. A scratch and dent power gen alternator will be going on the engine as well shortly.
     
  22. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    I was hoping some guys would see how cool it could be with a FoMoCo powerplant. Thanks guys for not flaming me yet!!!
     
  23. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    A 1965 F100 radiator came as a package deal with the rear end and fits perfectly between the new front frame rails so I will trim back the splash pan and build a mount for that as well. I got an F100 steering box in that deal as well but it is too long. I ordered two more early 60s Ford boxes and sent back the shorter of the two. I think the one I kept is for a '63 Galaxie and has a nice flat vertical mounting location. As of now other than the body, 3/4 of the frame and rear springs are all that remains as Chevrolet. Everything else is Ford. :)
     
  24. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 4,348

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Is it possible to shorten the manual trans input shaft, and use a large o.d. pilot bearing where the torque converter registers? This is gonna be a neat build, and I also like the 4 door hardtop.
     
    Atwater Mike and fordman1 like this.
  25. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    My two concessions for safety and current technology will be front disc brakes (yes precedent for that back in the 60s but no need to start any arguments) and I am going to try to hide a prius electric power steering under the dash out of any sight. I may add AC depending on how things go but that will be down the road.
     
    Tow Truck Tom likes this.
  26. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    That is a good question and one I will look into. I have three more cranks and blocks to play with.
     
  27. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    Should also mention it is a Sport Sedan, came with silver vinyl with black and silver cloth seats but I may step away from all that black. Is onyx black with black wheels. It has a pedal and column shift that is absent as well as a butchered trans tunnel that someone used a gas axe on.
     
    aussie57wag likes this.
  28. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    00B0B_ePi5mAea7Dz_1200x900.jpg 00k0k_fi21Jahrhht_1200x900.jpg 00z0z_gHlImxVtxdr_1200x900.jpg 007.jpg 018-1955-chevy-gasser-orange-crate-verschave-interior.jpg 25-1955-chevy-sedan-gasser-boschma.jpg 26-1955-chevy-sedan-gasser-boschma.jpg 29-1955-chevy-sedan-gasser-boschma.jpg 32-1955-chevy-sedan-gasser-boschma.jpg 55 Gasser Cage 13s Feb 2010.JPG 55 Gasser Cage 34s Feb 2010.JPG 1955-chevy-gasser-interior.jpg 1957-chevrolet-gasser-interior-seats.jpg 1957-chevrolet-gasser-steering-wheel.jpg 1967-chevy2-speedwy-motors-19.jpg 1967-chevy2-speedwy-motors-20.jpg 1967-chevy2-speedwy-motors-21.jpg 13652262915_6bb2a79b14_b.jpg boschma4.jpeg boschma11.jpeg boschma12.jpeg boschmadash3.jpeg DSC01011.jpg DSCF0140.jpg F9A48DFE-8D4C-442E-B790-2B4672496EFF.jpeg gasser7-685x385.jpg GasserInterior.jpg Hog-Ringed-Seats-630x535.jpg hrdp_1008_03_o+randy_mannings_1955_chevy_gasser_wagon+redone_upholstery.jpg Mikes-Gasser-34.jpg Here is some interior inspiration. Also I have scrounged up six 1965 Mustang bucket seats that will pick the best four to be for all four passengers. Thinking about making the interior turquoise in color as the Mustangs, 57 Chevys and Edsels all shared a similar color palette.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
  29. Greg Rogers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2016
    Posts: 817

    Greg Rogers
    Member

  30. fordman1
    Joined: Jan 11, 2008
    Posts: 394

    fordman1
    Member

    In the pile of engine parts I received a short block with this tag on it that looks to be NOS from 1962 and never ran. 64037905766__F7C7E772-E7EE-40C1-929F-BA240AC9F94A.JPEG 64037906656__373D725C-3176-469D-989B-B13406654D85.JPEG
     

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