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700R4 in a '62 Chevy Truck?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fan Attic, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. I need a go/no go opinion on swapping drive trains in 1962 Suburban. They've got the torsion bar front suspension with a bell housing mounted 4 speed. I was driving mine a little hard last fall and knocked the front bearing out of the trans. it's a 235 with pretty short legs and I was looking for an excuse to warm it up a little anyway.
    I've got a good running 292 and fresh 700R4 that would really make the old girl a nice driver but I don't see an easy way to get the automatic in there around the torsion bar cross member. Anyone done one of these that could suggest the right way to make it all fit and look right?
     
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,971

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't think there is any easy way out on that one. Probably the simple way would be to swap in a coil spring crossmember and delete the torsion bars.
     
  3. Hmm, that torsion bar front end rides like a cloud, when you're going strait. Maybe I'll try to find a '60-'62 V-8 bell housing to fit the 292 and hang a six speed off of it. Thanks for the feedback. Nice truck!
     
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  4. mike hohnstein
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 262

    mike hohnstein
    BANNED
    from wisconsin

    I hear that. Back in the day I had a 61C-10, went to Chevy dealer and bought the V-8 bell housing, came w/235. Put in every type V-8 Chevy built,283, 327, 348, 327 again, broke many T-10s, Munchies, final deal was a 73 454 w/a 71 Chevelle Muncie, truck rode great and was really quick, but when the first fuel shit happened got too expensive to tow the race car so the old truck got sold.
    You got the plan, good luck on finding the bell housing.
     
  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,148

    squirrel
    Member

    Brad54 has a Mopar manual 4 speed overdrive 833 trans in his early 60s suburban, it's the one that Chevy put in their trucks in the early 80s. One version of it looks just like a Chevy trans on the front, so it's pretty much a bolt in.

    Another approach is to swap the rearend, although I think you have to monkey with the panhard bracket. If you get a later 60s rear, and put gears from a late 70s truck with 3.07 ratio, it'll help.
     
  6. Thanks for the feedback guys. Since I already have to find a tranny I'm thinking finding a sturdy OD model would save some work. There are still a few "antique" wrecking yards out here so I think the bell housing is first on the list. The 235 still runs good but every time I see the 292 languishing in the back of the shop I re-decide that's "The one".
     
  7. I think I found my bell housing this weekend (still have to pick it up) so now it's off on the transmission discussion. I really want an overdrive so it will make more than grocery runs. A buddy has a used Tremec TKO-500 but he thinks it's worth more than the truck (IMHO). Is there anybody out there that's in love with one of the later model manual OD's from a GM truck that I could wrestle out of one of the carcasses at the crusher?
     
  8. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member

    Glad to hear you want to keep that front end. Most people "don't get it", and want to toss it in favor of the newer coil front end.

    That was done quite a bit before repro 60-62 ball joints finally became available.
     
  9. Yea, my first truck in high school was a '62 Suburban (if you ignore the '48 CJ2A) and I had a "BUNCH-O-FUN" in that truck. I found its sister about 2 miles from where I bought the first one a few years ago and brought it back to the living as a daily driver. My first one was a factory 283/4 spd that was a lot more fun than the 235 is today. I'm thinking the torque and economy of my 292 with a little OD should put it back in the #1 spot for day to day stuff (and an occasional trip) for several more years.
     
  10. Ohhh! That's what we used to call "Perma-wood"! Excellent links to exactly what I was hoping for with the first post. It just doesn't look possible with the old stuff in the way. 292/700R4 is on it's way for my little homely jalopy. I think I've even got a '62 Catalina column in the rafters that has a glide shifter linkage on it. I'll do what I can for a "build tread" since I'm still an FNG.
     
  11. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,008

    Brad54
    Member
    from Atl Ga

    One of the fun things I discovered with my '61 Suburban is that the trans has to come out through the floor, particularly when the exhaust is still installed.

    Obviously, you'll need to put side motor mounts in when you go with the trans cross member, rather than the original bellhousing: These trucks had a 3pt mounting system, but they had one mount up front under the harmonic balancer (with a Horseshoe-shaped mount), and the ears on the sides of the bellhousing, with the trans hanging in space.
    Factory Power glide trucks had a trans cross member and cast steel side motor mounts. The later stamped mounts can be used, but you'll need to make a spacer block for them... I think it's a 1-inch spacer that goes on top of the frame rail.

    I'm real happy with my 4spd manual OD, but am seriously thinking about going to an LS and automatic with overdrive. Definitely going with an LS, but I'm on the fence about the auto trans.

    As for the front suspension, I'm glad you're keeping it--they do ride great! Only problem is there are no replacement torsion bars on the market... Torsion bars are like any other spring--they get tired. I have a fix, but haven't gone through and prototyped it yet.

    I DO have a prototype front sway bar at a shop for these trucks though! With luck, I'll have a working bar in a couple weeks. '60-'62 Chevy trucks are the only Chevy trucks you can't get a front sway bar for. Well... "were" the only trucks!

    -Brad
     
  12. Hey Brad, Have a look at the factory front sway bar from a '68 to '72 Chevy. I was able to take the frame and A-arm mounts from a '71 and mount them up on my '62 and it works pretty well. The motor mount perches from the latter trucks are also a good start for side mounts in the earlier models. I used '68 perches to put a 327 in a '62 pickup several years ago and as I remember it only required drilling a couple extra holes for a bolt in.
     
  13. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member


    Also, the 3/4 ton version from those years is beefier, if you need it. Same brackets, same great fit on 60/66's
     
  14. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,008

    Brad54
    Member
    from Atl Ga

    Yeah, it's not that it can't be done... But I want to do a couple things differently with it--I want the angles to be right, I want it to clear everything, and I want "dog-bone" end links that bolt to the factory holes in the control arms.

    I've got a good bit of time and effort in having these specific-fit bars manufactured. A lot of guys are looking for bolt-on bars, not ones that have to be "made" to fit. Lots of guys with the T-bar front suspensions complain there isn't a good solution.

    -Brad
     
  15. Well, you know how life goes. I'm finally getting started on the 292/700R4 swap and try as I might, have yet to find definative info on a compatible flexplate/starter combination. The motor donor was a 6500 series '66 chevy with 4 spd/PTO/Trans mounted e-brake. I've seen enough SBC flexplates with the center cracked out of them that I'm not too excited about drilling nine 1/2" holes in the center of generic 153 tooth plate so is there a 168 tooth starter to fit the '69 P-30 292 plate if I slot the converter holes?
     
  16. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,148

    squirrel
    Member

    are there three holes in the block to attach the starter? if so, then pretty much any 1973-up Chevy starter from a truck should work.
     
  17. Thanks Jim, I'm wrapping up the tranny build right now and will then get the 292 on the stand for a quick refresh. I looked and the existing starter bolts are horizontal into the bell housing flange on the block so it looks like I may be able to keep that starter and it's present attachment?
     
  18. So much for critical decision making at the end of the day. The stock starter bolts to the bell housing. The block only has two starter mount holes, both in line parallel to the fly wheel. The good news is this engine is rebuilt, complete with the spec tag, and has a crank shaft that has a flywheel/flex plate flange the same as a 1st gen SBC (7/16" bolts and one dowel pin!). The block casting number is a 3851659 (63-76 Chevrolet 292). The tag says the crank is 0.010"/0.010" and the bore is +0.030". Guess I'll buy a 153 tooth flex plate and find the right starter snout in the pile and get busy!
     
  19. dixiedog
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,205

    dixiedog
    Member

    Fan - I had a 61 Apache 10, which had a small block and T-350 behind it. I had wanted to go 700R4 route but the X frame on the C-10 put the trans mount in an area of the X that I couldn't get to work. I thought 200R4 with bronze upgrade but sold the truck with the 3 speed.

    Mine road like a limo with the torsion bars, the previous owner welded a tab to the torsion bar to get more lift out of the saggin spring. It worked

    Big problem was exhaust manifold vs headers, went with center drop rams and worked great with the exhaust pipe down the outside of the frame.

    I have a 65 suburban now with the ladder frame - 292 & 4 spd. I am thinking about the 700R4 myself
     
  20. 292 donor.jpg 292 tin.jpg 292 waer pump.jpg 292 parts.jpg 700R4.jpg Well, so much for the plan. My once good running engine apparently had a little water in it when I stored it which froze and broke the block all along the bottom of the jacket on the left side. I tried to weld it up and ruined it. Went and pulled a long block out of a '63 C-30 at the local U-Pick, had it machined and moved the "new" rotating assembly from the broken motor to the donor. Several of my new parts for the "late" 292" didn't fit the "early" '63 block (cam bearings, main seal, etc) so more $$.
    Found a flex plate and starter in my pile that would work and got everything together with the rebuilt trans. Check out the difference between the old C-30 and newer C-60 water pumps and bypass hose.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2020
  21. 292 Left.jpg 292 Right.jpg Old X Memb.jpg X memb cut.jpg Shifter and X Memb.jpg I used the C-60 Manifolds so that gave me a full 2 1/2" exhaust. I went with the smaller bypass hose water pump so if it ever fails out on the road I'll have some hope of finding one at a parts store. Nobody lists the 1 3/8" bypass. Pulled the truck into the shop and pulled the front clip and drive train out. Used a cut off wheel and cut the welded in bell housing cross member out and cleaned up the frame. I used the old cross member to build the new tail shaft cross member. As mentioned elsewhere, the frame is already drilled for a tailshaft mount cross member so I just cut some plate to fit, bolted them to the frame, mitered the ends of the old cross member and glued them together. When I got the long block I also got the factory side engine mount brackets from the '63. I air chiselled the rivet heads off the original front engine mount and a drift punch to push them out of the holes and got rid of the front engine mount bracket. It's true, the early frames for these trucks (60-62) are an inch shorter so I had to cut 1" spacers to sit on top of the frame for the side mounts to work. The 700R4 sticks back into the drive shaft hole in the torsion bar cross member several inches, but it all fits pretty nice. I decided to keep the 4 speed look in the cab and broke down and bought a Lokar instead of transplanting the old Pontiac column.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2020
  22. firewall.jpg WS Frame.jpg old dash.jpg POR Trim.jpg POR Floor.jpg WS Frame painted.jpg firewall.jpg WS Frame.jpg old dash.jpg POR Trim.jpg POR Floor.jpg WS Frame painted.jpg I had re-painted the truck back to GM white when I got it years ago and the paint has held up well, but the interior had never been painted and the dash really looked scabby. I decided while the access was good to clean up the interior and firewall. That meant pulling the windshield and replacing the original factory windshield seal which had completely failed with 2" gaps at the bottom corners and big cracks everywhere else(more $$$). I'm glad I did it but it added quite a bit of cost and time to my "two weekend" project, and getting that windshield with the stainless trim back in kicked my butt. I finally gave up and hired a couple guys to put it in. Money well spent!
    I went back with what I thought was the original interior color, but when I started spraying it was obvious I guessed wrong. The new "desert beige" is a long way from the silver/gold/tan that was in there. I decided I can live with it.:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2020
  23. paintman27
    Joined: Apr 23, 2011
    Posts: 282

    paintman27
    Member
    from new jersey

    Curious to know what converter your using and the stall speed. I am in the process of doing the same engine /tranny combo.
     
  24. Last edited: May 3, 2014
  25. I just bought a stock converter from the local transmission parts guys. This is going to be my daily so I didn't need anything special.
     
  26. Thanks Joe. I looked at your build several times, very nice work! I thought hard about duplicating your cross member but decided the old one just sort of belonged in there. I'll just have one exhaust pipe to snake through there and I think I can make it fit. We'll see.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2020
  27. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,008

    Brad54
    Member
    from Atl Ga

    So did you end up keeping the t-bar suspension?

    -Brad
     
  28. Brake pedal 1.jpg Brake pedal 2.jpg Brake pedal 1.jpg Brake pedal 2.jpg
    I did Brad. It rides SO nice and everything is in good shape so I'm just cleaning it up and giving it a new coat of chassis black. I had already retro'd a front sway bar from a '71 C-20 onto the front end, now I'm thinking I may try to a fit a front bar from a late 70's K-5 Blazer to the trailing arms in the rear. I'll get some pictures if anyone is interested.

    I also stole an idea from Cody Walls' FANTASTIC '59 Chevy build and am using the original dual piston master cylinder to split the brake hydraulics. Here are a couple shots of what I did to the pedal assembly to push both accuator rods with one pedal. I know I may need to mess with the timing (rod length) to ballance front to back but it's all adjustable.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2020

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