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Technical 1959 bel air

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by 1959Buick, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. 1959Buick
    Joined: Sep 14, 2013
    Posts: 86

    1959Buick
    Member
    from BC Canada

    Hello,
    I have a question about a 1959 Chevy Bel Air engine and transmission swap.
    I would like to install the 350 engine and the TH350 tranny from my 1979 Camaro into my 1959 Belair (the Camaro is my first car I bought and I restore the car at the moment back to all original condition) Do I need the engine and transmission mounts from a 59 or 350 car. And what else do I need?
    Thanks for any help
     
    Jerone77* and chevy57dude like this.
  2. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,092

    chevy57dude
    Member

    Ecklers # 40 -139161-1
    $60 Side mounts for your later model SBC without front mounting holes. You may need a trans mount also.
    BTW - you picked the right car to put an engine in! JMHO
     
    chop job likes this.
  3. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,092

    chevy57dude
    Member

    [​IMG]
    Sorry, pic didn't load 1st time
     
  4. samurai mike
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 488

    samurai mike
    Member

    6 or 8 those mounts are already in the car.
     
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  5. Evil Emery
    Joined: May 10, 2017
    Posts: 90

    Evil Emery
    Member

    The 350 will drop right in. A trans swap will consist of fabbing a crossmember, driveshaft, cooling lines and shift linkage. You wouldn't be the first to do that swap.
     
  6. samurai mike
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 488

    samurai mike
    Member

    3 speed, 4 speed and turbo 350 bolt to stock cross member
     
  7. samurai mike
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 488

    samurai mike
    Member

    also 3 speed overdrive, 4 speed and short shaft turbo 350 use the same length driveshaft.
     
  8. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    Member
    from Central Ca

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
    Billy_Bottle_Caps likes this.
  9. 1959Buick
    Joined: Sep 14, 2013
    Posts: 86

    1959Buick
    Member
    from BC Canada

    Thanks Evil. Thanks for the info. I know the crossmember needs a little work some say it will work just at it is. (will see). so do I need the Side mounts like chevy57dude said?
     
  10. 1959Buick
    Joined: Sep 14, 2013
    Posts: 86

    1959Buick
    Member
    from BC Canada

    Thanks to all. Greeting from Canada
     
  11. 1959Buick
    Joined: Sep 14, 2013
    Posts: 86

    1959Buick
    Member
    from BC Canada

    Thanks. My old 283 and the old powerglide getting tired
     
  12. 1959Buick
    Joined: Sep 14, 2013
    Posts: 86

    1959Buick
    Member
    from BC Canada

    thanks, I know the driveshaft will work, I was not 100% sure about the cross member
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  13. Evil Emery
    Joined: May 10, 2017
    Posts: 90

    Evil Emery
    Member

    The mounts on the 350 will drop right onto the 59 frame mounts. The 59 does not have the motor mounts on the front of the engine block.
     
    chevy57dude likes this.
  14. Kerrynzl
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 2,284

    Kerrynzl
    Member

    This ^^^^ Only Tri-5's use front mounts and bellhousing mounts .
    A 350 will bolt in where a 283 was
    Sell the T350 [or keep it for your Camaro restoration] and hunt down a TH200R4 .

    The cost of an aftermarket cross-member and shortening the driveshaft will equal the cost of a used TH200R4. and you'll get the benefit of an overdrive.

    The 59 has a 3.36 rear-end, combine that with a 2.74 first [compared to the powerglide 1.82] and it will be quite crisp around town.
    With the 0.67 O/D it will cruise at 75mph at about 2100 RPM
     
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  15. 1959Buick
    Joined: Sep 14, 2013
    Posts: 86

    1959Buick
    Member
    from BC Canada

    I tried to find a 200R4 for a long time now. Hart to find in Canada. Buying from the US way to expensive at the moment Can $ is 30% less than US Plus import Tax and 1700.oo For shipping, So I will have to use the 350 for now
     
  16. Kerrynzl
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 2,284

    Kerrynzl
    Member

    Canadian $ is on par with our "Pacific Peso" [NZ Dollar] so I understand the situation. Our shipping is worse.
    Powerglide's , TH350's and TH200R4's all have the same distance from the Engine block to the transmission mount which is 565mm [seeing that you're Canadian]
    So the Engine Trans combo is a bolt in.

    The only variation could be the extension housing ,which would alter the driveshaft length.
    Get under your car and measure the trans mount bolts to the driveshaft seal. You could be in luck here with your TH350

    The TH350 has the same ratios as the TH200R4 minus the OD so it is definitely an improvement.

    You'll want to check for Fan Clearance because the 283 uses a short waterpump [I'm not sure about fan spacer though] and the 350 will have a long waterpump. But you have both engines so you can swap parts over if needed.
    Luckily the '59 went to front steer so there won't be any oilpan clearance issues [the curse of Tri-5 swaps]
     
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  17. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,092

    chevy57dude
    Member

    Thanks for the correction guys. Trying to help the man out, I learned a little myself.
     
  18. biscaynes
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,648

    biscaynes
    Member

    frt half of the driveshaft will need to be shortened 2"
     
  19. 1959Buick
    Joined: Sep 14, 2013
    Posts: 86

    1959Buick
    Member
    from BC Canada

    I bought a TH350 with the short (6 inch) end shaft. Same lengths as the PG. You are right about the water pump. I have to use the short pump and the balancer from the 283. My first idea was to keep the 283, but the starter is bold to the bellhousing

    Canada eh
     
  20. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,636

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    • Everything's a bolt in, EXCEPT for the trans. The trans cross-member will be fine. BUT, even with the "short shaft" TH-350, you'll have to SHORTEN the front half of the 2 piece drive-shaft. If you could find a 62-64, full size car, aluminum Powerglide, that would be a direct bolt in, or the front half of the drive-shaft from a 4 speed car. But. who wants to use a cast iron Powerglide these days, or even an aluminum Powerglide? NO ONE! There are vendors selling conversion kits for the column shifter and the stock detents for the conversion (ie: Limeworks). Hardtop or sedan? I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
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  21. 1959Buick
    Joined: Sep 14, 2013
    Posts: 86

    1959Buick
    Member
    from BC Canada

    Thanks for the message, but why? Both tyranny's have to same lengths.
     
  22. Ralphies54
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 736

    Ralphies54
    Member

    I thought by 58,59 starters were bolted to the blocks like the 57 Turboglides and not to the bell housings? Jump on me if I'm wrong!!!
     
  23. Not all Power Glides are the same length and should not be confused with the later glide.
     
  24. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,636

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There are 2 cast iron Powerglide lengths, a 25 inch 58-62 X-frame cars (62 327 got the new aluminum Powerglide), and a 28 inch 55-57, also used in trucks 55-62 . There are 3 aluminum Powerglide lengths; 25 inch 62 327 (62 283's got the cast iron unit), and 63-64 X-frame cars, a 28 inch used in 62-67 Chevy II/Novas, 65-73 full size cars, most trucks 62 (with 327) to 73. There is a really odd 32 inch long Powerglide that was used in big trucks (???), but I've never seen one. TH-350's had 3 lengths, a 28 inch, a 32 inch, and a really long one (36" length?). You just have to match up lengths, or do some shortening of the front drive-shaft, depending on what transmission you use and it's length. There's a difference in slip yokes also; course spline 55-65, fine spline 66 on. Confusing enough? So, ALL X-frame Glides, both cast iron and aluminum, are 25 inches long, and can be swapped back/forth. The shortest TH-350 is 28 inches, which means to fit, the slip yoke has to be replaced with a fine spline, and the front drive-shaft shortened.. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
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  25. 1959Buick
    Joined: Sep 14, 2013
    Posts: 86

    1959Buick
    Member
    from BC Canada

    Thanks for the info Butch. I appreciate all reply's
    Thanks Herbert
     
  26. 1959Buick
    Joined: Sep 14, 2013
    Posts: 86

    1959Buick
    Member
    from BC Canada

    Well mine has bolts on the Bell housing. I have a Canadian made Bel Air.
     
  27. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,636

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ALL were bellhousing mounts' until the 327 arrived in 62; it was block mounted, and then everything after that became block mounted (except for some trucks). Swap to a 25 inch long aluminum Powerglide, or go with the short TH-350 and shorten the shaft. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
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  28. 1959Buick
    Joined: Sep 14, 2013
    Posts: 86

    1959Buick
    Member
    from BC Canada

    I had to replaced the starter solenoid on my 283 engine. You are right the starter bolds to the bellhousing, but the engine block has also the mounting set up on the engine block
     
  29. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,636

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    '
    That was done for the optional Turboglide transmission that used a block mounted starter; those bellhousings were too thin/weak for a bellhousing mount starter. That actually started in 57 when that trans was an option, but the 265's of that year also had the starter pad, even though you could't get that engine with a Turboglide. The 265 and 283 of 57 used the same casting number block. I am Butch/56sedandelivery
     

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