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BB Chevy in a 49-52 stock frame??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jkane, May 12, 2012.

  1. jkane
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 70

    jkane
    Member

    Has anyone put a big block Chevy into a stock framed 49-52 Chevy? I am being told it is almost impossible. Before I get too far down the road with this project I thought I better ask. The frame has a MII front end and I know the firewall supports need to be trimmed for a V-8, but the header and steering clearance is a concern.
    Thanks
     
  2. jkane
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 70

    jkane
    Member

    Sorry, car not a truck.
     
  3. jkane
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 70

    jkane
    Member

  4. prnoddl
    Joined: Mar 29, 2008
    Posts: 5

    prnoddl
    Member
    from wi

    I posted a question yesterday about installing a Big Block in a 49 Chevy, got the same response you got. Guess I'll just have to do it and document everything. Already know brake has to come off floor and mount master on firewall, emergency brake into garbage for know. Remove two body mount supports at firewall, have mustang suspension installed. Installing manual transmission so clutch master also to firewall, try not to clutter no room for stick clutch linkage saving room for exhaust. Don't want to cut firewall to much so its going to take some thought. I'll keep in touch
     

  5. Chevy54
    Joined: Sep 27, 2009
    Posts: 1,413

    Chevy54
    Member
    from Orange, CA

    It can be done, Ive seen a few. Your rite tho, when speaking with the owners they had the same problems to over come which were steering and exhaust manifolds/headers. If you want to run the BB just go into it knowing that and plan accordingly. Good luck and post a detailed thread for all down the road.
     
  6. These cars are tight. As someone who has installed plenty of V8s, SBC and a few others, you will need to recess the firewall. I also suggest shifting the engine and trans to the passenger side by 1.5" to give you a fighting chance of getting exhaust and steering in the same area.
     
  7. Chevy54
    Joined: Sep 27, 2009
    Posts: 1,413

    Chevy54
    Member
    from Orange, CA


    ^^^^ Listen to Steve, he knows!! A great source of correct information!
    (Hope all is good over in AZ buddy!)
     
  8. Boones
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 9,665

    Boones
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Kent, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    I think moving the master cylinder to the firewall might create interference issues if you also use a Power booster as it may hit the valve cover unless you can get it high enough on the firewall to clear. I have been researching this also (infact I asked a similar question last year). This is my second motor swap into a 49-54 and I keep running into the same issue. (steering box and more importantly the steering arm. I think you can get away without notching the firewall but you may have to move the radiator forward slightly (not an issue as there is room). I am actually going to modify the radiator support and widen if I do the swap to run a larger radiator. (but i have decided I will be going MII front susp before attempting this swap.) From what I can tell the dimension from the rear of the block to the motor mount is the same on both a sbc and BBC. the BBC has more area infront of the motor mount, plus you have the water pump which I think is slightly longer than a short pump on a SBC.
     
  9. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962

    davidbistolas
    Member

    Hmm... Popular topic all of a sudden.

    I'm attaching a couple of pics for reference. I'm using a Chassis Engineering Mustang II front crossmember and an Ididit column. You can see that there's not a lot of room to work with if you're using anything bigger than a SBC. So measure your block carefully. Anything is possible with a big enough hammer.

    A couple of points. I moved the whole engine and transmission UP one inch. Up as in vertically. I did this to give me room to pull the oil pan if I need to and so that I had room for a tranny mount - my Muncie lands right on the factory crossmember, so I see no point in cutting it out.

    Even with the mustang II- steering clearance is tight.

    [​IMG].

    That pic is from an earlier mockup, before the 1" uplift on the motor, but you can see the steering arm comes close to the truck exhaust manifold i'm using.

    Here's a shot of it running. Note the distance to the stock radiator.

    [​IMG]

    Here's another measuring/reference shot. Front of the small block chevy ( motor mount boss ) to the rad support/crossmember. This is the one right under the rad.

    [​IMG]

    As I understand it, the big block itself is 4" longer than the small block. That's 4" forward inches, unless you recess the firewall considerably. As you can see in the above photos.
     
  10. jkane
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 70

    jkane
    Member

    The Fatman MII stage III is installed. I went with the Fatman motor mounts so that I can snake the steering between the mount and the frame( Fatman uses a solid round bar of steel and arches between the contact points). I ordered the Walton firewall mount brake assembly because I could see that there was not going to be any room for the frame mount. Once we get the motor mounts welded in we can set the motor and see what clearance issues we are going to have. I guessed the radiator would have to be moved forward. I think I am OK on the firewall. The exhaust and steering are the issues. Keep those suggestions coming and I will keep you posted on the progress.
     
  11. mrconcdid
    Joined: Aug 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,157

    mrconcdid
    Member
    from Florida

    Oh yes it will fit, but I did recess the firewall almost 4 inches, mine is a cadillac motor, and its about the same size or bigger than a big block chevy. I was able to use a mechanical fan and shroud from an s-10. I used stock manifolds a mustang II front end with power steering.

    Godspeed
    MrC.
     

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    Last edited: May 31, 2012

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