Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects '57 Chevy Imposter

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by TimCT, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hey Guys,

    I'm calling it an imposter because I love the gasser look - all business, purpose built. I don't have deep enough pockets to make a genuine period correct recreation, so I'm not going to offend the gasser gods by calling it something it isn't. However, it will have as many period touches as I can afford. A couple years back, I picked up a '57 4 door (sorry, its all that was in my budget). Looked halfway decent in the ads, and was billed as 'running and driving'.

    Of course, looks are always deceiving. It wouldn't start when I showed up. The oil smelled like 89 octane from the repeated starting attempts at full choke and stomping on the gas. I wasn't particularly worried, I had other ideas for an engine. He showed me a video of the car doing a burnout without anything flying off of or out of it, so I was sold. I looked past the warts (as we all do) and brought it home.

    20160217_133016.jpg

    It was originally a 283/PG car, though by the time it came into my possession, it had a 350 from a '79 truck bolted to a BOP TH350. Conveniently, the PG and the original block (bored .050, missing main caps and covered in surface rust) were located in the trunk. Anyone need a '57 only block? Free to any sort of home. I assume I'll need to haul the PG off to the scrapper myself.

    Over the months, I worked on it when I had time - new rear springs & shocks, new fuel tank, and a rebuilt front suspension and steering. For front springs, I used the stock 6 cylinder springs, Moog 656 if I remember right. I also put a horseshoe spacer in each spring pocket to bring the front end up a little - I'd like to get it level with the rear, not looking for the nose high look. I got some cheater slicks from Towel City for the rear, and some no-name blackwalls for the front. I tried to find a tall tire for the front, though now I'm hoping its not too tall to play nice with the fenderwell headers. Still not sure how I feel about the rally's up front, they may get the heave-ho. Keeping the steelies on the rear for sure. It already has a manual disc conversion up front, and it'll keep its manual brakes, at least for now.

    20160319_092310.jpg
    20160412_183346.jpg
    20161112_165140.jpg

    20170826_131211.jpg

    After that, the motor and trans came out so I could prep the engine bay for the new motor.
    20170529_134727.jpg

    The old motor & trans got sold to fund the new build: a sbc 400. I know the 400 might be OT, but I'm going to see if I can disguise it to look like an early small block - can I make it work with an intake with a front oil fill, and sneak a PCV in the back of the intake, so I can run solid valve covers? I haven't looked too far into it, I know threads exist that I can peruse when I get to that point. I got my hands on an old Mallory dual point with a flat two piece cap that I'd like to use as well. Also, I was given the block, crank and heads 17 years ago and I've been waiting for the right project to use it on, so here we are.

    20180107_134907.jpg 20180108_065709.jpg

    The motor itself supposedly had low miles. Legend has it that it came out of an OT wrecked '72 Impala, and eventually made its way into another OT '70 Z28 that an old friend used to run at CT Dragway. When he gave me the motor, he couldn't find the rods. Now I think I know why, because it threw at least one of them and gave a parting shot at the bottom of #1.

    20180127_131123.jpg

    Presently, the car is waiting patiently for me to get the block and crank to the machine shop to be cleaned and magged before I spend any money on it, though I think both will check out fine (or at least usable). I'm not too worried about the chip, its about an 1/8 long, and I'll deburr it before I drop it off. The block is a STD bore, and the mains seem to say the same about the crank, that its never been turned. No ridge to speak of in the cylinders.

    Anyway, that's where I'm at. I've decided to use 5.7" rods and speed pro flat tops because they fit nicely into my budget. After I get the rotating assembly together, I'll have to make a decision on the cam. Things that will come into play with that: rear gear is probably 3.36, but I have an OE style posi to put in the OE axle, so I'll probably be making it a 3.55 or 3.73 car, but that's down the road. Also, I'm going to be using the stock heads to get it going (I know, I know). They've got 1.94 valves and the guides are pretty tight. I may just have a valve job done and call it good while I save up for a pair of Darts. So I'll be trying to find a cam that's passable with the stock heads but that will really shine with some decent heads. With the flat tops, I'd stay with a head with a 76cc chamber, so the compression stays around 9.5:1, I want to stick with pump gas.

    Trans will be a super T-10 from an OT vette. A Hurst V-gate crossed my path for the right price that was set up for a Muncie, so I'm hoping it will be somewhat plug and play with the ST-10. The trans came with a Competition shifter as well (though without a handle) that I can fall back on if the V-Gate doesn't pan out. It was modified sometime during its lifetime and the 'brass knuckles' were swapped for a lever that looks like it came off a B&M pro stick.

    Anyway, thanks for reading. Its almost embarrassing to say that the above represents 2 years of work, but with a toddler at home and that dream of a gravel driveway to work on, I suppose it could be worse. The must do punch list (other than build the engine) is pretty short: brake lines, fuel line, clutch linkage and some wiring. I'm actually fairly excited to be this close to have a moving vehicle capable of annoying the neighbors.
     

    Attached Files:

    chevy57dude, Vanness, swade41 and 4 others like this.
  2. fmstruck
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 23

    fmstruck
    Member

    You'd be surprised how little it takes to anger those gods.
     
  3. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hah - I've lurked long enough to know that you're correct.
     
    theman440 likes this.
  4. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    56sedandelivery
    Member Emeritus

    You definitely have a lot of work ahead of you. Be sure to buy the correct flywheel and dampener to go with the externally balanced 400 engine where not all SBC parts directly swap. Different rods, other than stock, will mean re-balancing the lower end. Is the Positraction just the carrier, or a complete third member? If it's only the carrier, it will fit a non-posi housing, but two internal support ribs have to be ground down to clear. You'll most likely have to side mount the engine; with the large 400 dampener, there's not enough room left for front mounts. I'm not even sure the Hurst cradle mount will clear a 400 dampener (anyone know?), but it can be modified. Where are you located? I have several sets of new, aftermarket, large journal, 5.7" connecting rods (for cheap). And, I have a friend who deals in 55-57 Chevrolet cars AND parts. Welcome to the wide world of HAMB. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018

  5. @TimCT Where are you located? depending on where your at, I would come and get that 283 block, I might even have some parts you'd want for your build I could throw you for it....
     
  6. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,696

    chevy57dude
    Member

    Another '57 going back together, great news!
    Yep, not calling it a gasser is best, It's a corrupted term these days.
     
    Deuces, Squablow, 62hotcat and 2 others like this.
  7. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hey Butch, thanks for chiming in! I am indeed aware of the differences between the 400 and your typical SBC. I'm prepared to have the machine shop balance it, and I was ransacking the garage this weekend trying to find the balancer I had for it. All I could find was a brand new balancer for a 350, of course, that I didn't even remember buying. The posi is just the carrier, and I know I have to modify the third member to get it to drop in. That'll be a project for after it gets rolling and moving under its own power. I'll probably end up putting aftermarket axles in it at that point as well. I've also got a set of McGaughy's side mounts to make the conversion. The hurst style mount that was in it was sketchy to say the least, it has some big pieces cut out of the cradle and the stands for no apparent reason, so I decided to go side mounts and get a crossmember for the trans. I haven't bought rods yet, so I'd definitely be interested in hearing what you might have that would help my budget! I'll send you a PM.

    Jason, I'm in southern CT, on the shore. If we're talking a swap and I have the time, I'm not above loading the block up and meeting you somewhere. PM me your email address, I have some pics I can send you of the casting number and stamped number on the deck.
     
  8. LOL instead of calling it a gasser why not call it a hot streeter. Seems as though there were lots of quick street cars that never saw the track when I was young. Sort of a street brawler.
     
  9. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm not gonna get too hung up on what to call it, it's a 57, 'nuff said! Lol

    However, I'm not planning on putting the front bumper back on, maybe just a spreader bar between the frame horns. It's just my luck that the car was missing the one bumper I DO want, the rear one.
     
  10. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Although, now that I'm thinking about it, brawler is starting to grow on me. Thanks beaner!
     
  11. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,696

    chevy57dude
    Member

    There's a rear bumper around here. If you're anywhere near PA.
     
  12. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,725

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    In '60, my '28 Roadster Pickup bud, 'Sneaky' said he was collecting '57 Chevy front bumpers.
    -In case they ever came back in style...
     
    belair and RaginPin3Appl3 like this.
  13. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hah! That's a good one. I imagine fronts are much more plentiful than rears.
     
  14. philo426
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 2,064

    philo426
    Member

    Yeah they were too heavy for the gasser guys.
     
  15. RaginPin3Appl3
    Joined: Mar 31, 2016
    Posts: 1,172

    RaginPin3Appl3
    Member

    Hey, this is basically what I'm doing with my 57 4 door! I'm going for less of a gasser look, more of a 60's high school kid's car but really similar to yours!
     
    Clay Belt likes this.
  16. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414

    southcross2631
    Member

    I will make you the same offer that I made RaginPin3Appl3. I have a weatherstrip kit for a 57 4 door brand new in the box. Pay the freight and it's yours since he did not reply when I told him the cost of shipping. $ 14.43. PM me your zip code and I will give the cost to ship.
     
    harpo1313 and belair like this.
  17. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks southcross! PM sent.
     
    harpo1313 likes this.
  18. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Chevy57dude, thanks for the heads up, but PA is a little far (at least until I'm sure I can't find a half decent one in CT)
     
  19. philo426
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 2,064

    philo426
    Member

  20. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Interesting. Never thought of moving the center bar down like that.
     
  21. philo426
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 2,064

    philo426
    Member

    Yeah I thought it looks pretty cool!
     
  22. Good build, keep plugging away and you'll be able to drop those toddlers off at school one day in it.
     
  23. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,067

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    scotty t likes this.
  24. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Nothing particularly exciting to report so far - the block and crank went off to the machine shop last week. Hopefully they check out okay and I can put the rotating assembly together.

    Currently in love with the NiCopp lines. I cleaned up and painted the M/C, and started running new lines, that stuff is amazing. Bends like warm butter and seems nearly impossible to kink. After a little practice, it flares really nicely.

    I do have a question for the everyone here that's smarter than me - the M/C looks like the later model GM style that Danchuk sells with their front disc conversion kit. The two lines that came out of it looked to be something like 1/4" and maybe 5/16"? I'm doing the entire car in 3/16". I got all the flare nuts for 3/16" line that fit the fittings on the M/C, though now I'm wondering if its OK to use the smaller diameter line on a M/C that has a bigger flare seat for a bigger line. In my mind, the inverted flare should cover a range of seat sizes, but now I'm not sure. What say you?
     
  25. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    [QUOTE="I do have a question for the everyone here that's smarter than me - the M/C looks like the later model GM style that Danchuk sells with their front disc conversion kit. The two lines that came out of it looked to be something like 1/4" and maybe 5/16"? I'm doing the entire car in 3/16". I got all the flare nuts for 3/16" line that fit the fittings on the M/C, though now I'm wondering if its OK to use the smaller diameter line on a M/C that has a bigger flare seat for a bigger line. In my mind, the inverted flare should cover a range of seat sizes, but now I'm not sure. What say you?[/QUOTE]

    Well, I just went with what I had. Everything went together fine with no leaks, bled out fine and I have a good pedal. Hopefully it all stays that way.

    Got some gifts back from the machine shop a couple weeks ago. Block checked out fine and went 30 over. Same with the stock crank, it went 10/10 under. It all got balanced with the 5.7" rods and whatnot (don't want to linger too long an OT variant of the small block I'm using) and I got the bottom end put together with all the shiny new parts. I was cursing myself because I forgot to pick up some Plastigage before I decided to assemble everything, and then it dawned on me to just KISS and measure everything. The mic and caliper came out, and everything was perfect, right in the middle of the spec (002, I think it was). No hard spots when it turns over, so I may just have done it right. The Scat rods clear the pan rails as well, so I'm very happy about that.

    That's the end of stage 1 (stages based on budget). While I'm saving, it will give me a chance to decide on a cam. I keep hearing good things about Howards, so I think that's the direction I'm going in.
     

    Attached Files:

  26. Johnny Gee
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 9,555

    Johnny Gee
    Member
    from Downey, Ca

    This is why I say mine is themed. Also I don't care what other's think. They are low on the totem pole as the majority of people that see it like it because I stayed early to the theme of "Gas Coupe" and not "Freaked".
     
  27. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Themed, thats a good one! Love your avatar, by the way. I think I'm going to be doing a chrome spreader bar up front, as well.
     
  28. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,564

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Hope you had the aftermarket heads drilled for steam holes....
    I'm surprised nobody mentioned that yet....
    Unless I missed it...:confused::oops:
     
  29. TimCT
    Joined: Jun 6, 2017
    Posts: 169

    TimCT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Gonna get it going with the stockers for now, don't have the coin for aftermarket heads at the moment.

    Ive heard both things - that you absolutely have to drill steam holes, and that it doesn't make a bit of difference. When I get there, I'll probably follow suit with the General and drill the steam holes.
     
  30. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,564

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Good man!!!.... ;)
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.