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Technical Big Block Chevy into stock '55-59 Chevy Truck

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by s55mercury66, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,177

    squirrel
    Member

    I think there was only one type of mount, but there are different companies making them.

    Might be able to shim it, if the mounts you have seem to have good rubber.
     
  2. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,617

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    I think you are right, they seem to be the same from '54-'84. It's probably time for some new ones, I don't know if they changed these out when they installed this bell, and that was 20 years ago, maybe more. I have a lot of mine (conveyor) belt here, I will probably use that for shims if needed. I am also going to try it for cab mounts.
     
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,177

    squirrel
    Member

    I would use metal shims, just cut some rectangles from steel bar and drill a hole in the middle. Although there is an alignment pin, also, isn't there?
     
    Johnny Gee likes this.
  4. If the exhaust is too close to the steering box. There is a real possibility of the heat adversely effecting the steering sector. I would possibly try and shift the steering sector by cutting out part of the frame and plating it on the outside. Or making the exhaust dump out the front by using a passenger side manifold on the drivers side. Naw I wouldn't do any of that. I would grab some hedders from my hoard and make them fit. Or cut and weld to modify the stock manifold. Ive welded plenty of cast iron. You stick it in a propane fired barbeque grill. Get it really hot. Turn off the flame and weld it while its still hot with nickel rod. Have a helper lightly hammer (peen) on it when you are welding.Fire up the gas grill and slowly reduce the heat and cool it down over several hours..
     
  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,177

    squirrel
    Member

    I haven't noticed the steering box having any serious problems in my truck, which has had a big block in it, with headers almost rubbing, for close to 40 years. Also didn't have any real problems with my 55 Belair, similar situation, I drove it like that for 20 years, almost 100k miles.

    It's not optimal, but it works.
     
  6. I crammed a lot of FE,s into 55 & 56 fords. And there wasnt enough air flowing around the engine. The firewall got too hot. thick jute padding and carpet helped. And the steering sector would get too hot and cook out the 90 wt. So I filled it with gun grease. Then I fashioned a heat shield from a asbestos shingle
     
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,177

    squirrel
    Member

    Chevy steering gears use No. 0 grease, not gear oil.
     
  8. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,617

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    There are spacers about 1 1/2 inches long, should be pretty easy to make a couple of them a little bit longer out of some tubing. Old Wolf, you gave me a good chuckle with the "Naw, the hill with that". If I have to do any more than just shift things around, it will get headers. Sooner or later it will get some anyway. I need to score a service manual, I have heard of packing the box with grease, but always thought gear oil came in them from GM. Funny, the only steering box problem I can recall having was in a '55 Ford Crown Vic I had forty plus years ago. With a 390 in it. That box was dyer than a popcorn fart.
     
  9. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,617

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    We put used motor oil in it, and it freed it up a good bit. The car was so rusty I ended up scrapping it. I still have the warranty tag for that Crown Victoria here, just looked at it a few days ago.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  10. I once about 40 years ago put a 390 horse 427 in a 63 chevy truck using the stock engine mounts. Beat the firewall till the heads cleared. Then cut away part of the upper frame rail to clear the exhaust manifold. The clutch bellcrank was in line with the exhaust manifold outlet. So I reduced the with of the bellcrank. And drilled and tapped the exhaust manifold to accept the clutch pivot ball. Then the fake gas shortage happened. And no one was driving gas hog big cube engines. I pulled the big block and installed a 230 six. and the six was soon swapped for a 283. That 283 would start burning oil on number 8 cyl. Foul the spark plug. I would pull one head and put new rings on that one piston. and after a few thousand miles the oil pumping would return. So one time I changed the piston and rod. pretty soon it started tapping sounded a lot like a lifter pecking. And one day it came apart. I tore it down and you could see the piston had been tapping the head. I suspect it was a warped cyl. and the changing of the piston was too tight in the skirt. and one skirt broke allowing the piston to cock sideways and tap the cyl head. and eventually the entire piston broke. It made it home about 6 miles. nothing but a rod and piston pin in number 8 cyl.
     
  11. I installed FE's in every 55 & 56 Ford I ever drove. Used the stock manifolds from a 59 galaxie 352. And every one the steering sector got too hot. The oil in the sector would cook out and get on the exhaust and really smoke and stink.
     
  12. scenarioL113
    Joined: Oct 9, 2019
    Posts: 3

    scenarioL113

    Hi everyone! I am going to give some input on this thread that may be helpful to some. I am putting together a 1956 Chevy 3200 and installed a 454 LS6 with the original bellhousing.
    For the exhaust manifolds I had a pair of L88 exhaust manifolds from a corvette. I think a 1966 to be exact but not 100% sure. I could get the casting numbers if need be. I know they are rare manifolds and are not cheap BUT they fit like a glove. The driver side manifold fit around the steering box and shaft like it was made for this very application Plenty of clearance.
     

    Attached Files:

    s55mercury66 likes this.
  13. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,617

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    How are you mounting your engine, front or side mounts? Nice to see another one is going together with the stock bellhousing. Post up those casting numbers when you get a chance.
     
  14. Crayons
    Joined: May 31, 2019
    Posts: 47

    Crayons
    Member

    When I did this swap on my 55 Cameo, I used a rear steer Chevy ll sub frame. Marked the floor where tires were centered. With the front sheetmetal off, cut the frame off at the firewall, rolled the subframe to line up with the marks on the floor, then plated between the subframe and the existing frame. Left the trailing arms on the subframe to use the stock crossmember for the tranny (M21 Muncie ). Took about 3 hours. Had to fabricate brackets to mount front bumper. 396 bolted in with no clearance problems, used headers
    Was pretty darn fast (as I remember)
     
  15. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,617

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    That's cool, but this thread is about putting big blocks into STOCK trucks, NOT about using frame clips.
     
  16. scenarioL113
    Joined: Oct 9, 2019
    Posts: 3

    scenarioL113

    This is the manifolds I put in my 1956 Chevy Truck. These are a stock picture but are identical. For reference purpose only. I believe the passenger side # is 3880828. Driver side is hard to read bc it is mounted. There are different casting numbers for different years but I think that 1966 to 1969 Corvette 427 L88 are the same. The driver side runs long and below the steering box where the flange is and allows room for clearance. These were specific for corvettes (I think) to maximize the clearance in such tight configuration.
     

    Attached Files:

    s55mercury66 likes this.
  17. scenarioL113
    Joined: Oct 9, 2019
    Posts: 3

    scenarioL113

    Furthermore, I did end up using a cross member that i bolted to the frame for using "side" mounts. I was trying to use the "front" mounts but it was just leading to too many clearance issues for me and the brackets that I was fabricating I felt was too much of a compromise to utilize.
    I am very happy with the cross member I installed.
    I think that "front" mounts in this application would work fine but due the use of the stock fuel pump location and use of a stock fuel pump it was a no go for me.
     

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