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How Will I get This Big Engine Into That Little Space?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 4woody, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. 4woody
    Joined: Sep 4, 2002
    Posts: 2,076

    4woody
    Member

    I took the SBC out of my '38 Chrysler to replace it with a Mopar 383 big block.

    On paper it looked like it would fit, and in real life it will, but it looks like the front crossmember will need modification, and I'm looking for advice on exactly how to modify it.

    Here are some pics:
    Its all the way back against the firewall-
    [​IMG]

    Water outlet is about an inch from the crossmember, and over it by 1" as well (1" tape there for reference)-

    [​IMG]


    This shows where I need to make space for the oil filter adapter (I'll put the filter remote); and how much I'll have to cut for the balancer/lower pulley,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The x-member is like a big box of maybe 10ga steel measuring 6.5" front-to-back x 5.5" tall at its smallest point @ the center/front.

    Right now I'm thinking of making a cut for the pulley about 7" left-to-right, 2" down, and 2.75" front-to-back. It would be a half moon shape using a section of 7" heavy wall tube cut in half (and obviously a bit of flat stock) to box it.

    I'm thinking much smaller notches- also boxed- for the water outlet & oil pump.

    Am I on the right track?? Is there a better way?
     
  2. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,917

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    There may some great suggesdtions coming...but my first reaction is A) if you are absolutely commited to this engine, consider recessing the firewall and moving the engine rearward B) choose a more swap friendly sized engine. You could use a 383 or small block 400 Chevy....not mopar, but you know it fits.


    Ray
     
  3. dlmann
    Joined: Sep 13, 2011
    Posts: 12

    dlmann
    Member
    from az

    you could use an earlier style water pump housing which will have the water pump inlet on the drivers side and is much higher--also the oil filter has many options--one is a napa #1516 [2 7/8x4 3/4] also there are many oil pan configurations with different sump locations that may be to your advantage [such as front sump ,middle sump and rear sump----hope this helps --dave
     
  4. I would move the firewall back an 1" and a half. Lose some leg room but solve a lot of problems
     
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  5. 4woody
    Joined: Sep 4, 2002
    Posts: 2,076

    4woody
    Member

    I thought about stepping back the firewall as well. I wasn't sure which string of dominoes (I did this, therefore I had to do that, which caused this other issue...) I wanted to knock over.

    If I move the firewall back I start to run into tranny position issues. As it is the tailshaft extends into the center of the center X member, and I'd have to remake at least the center of the floor, and the shifter still needs no end up in the right spot...

    I think- so far- that modifying the front crossmember is easier, and the end result has fewer unintended consequences-...if I can do it in a way that doesn't sacrifice strength.
     
  6. 4woody
    Joined: Sep 4, 2002
    Posts: 2,076

    4woody
    Member

    The oil pan is fine, it is the length of the pump that causes the problem.

    I have a driver's side water pump housing. I'll hold it up there and see if it buys me any real improvement. Good idea.
     
  7. 4woody
    Joined: Sep 4, 2002
    Posts: 2,076

    4woody
    Member

    The oil pan is fine, it is the length of the oil pump that causes the problem.

    I have a driver's side water pump housing. I'll hold it up there and see if it buys me any real improvement. Good idea.
     
  8. 4woody
    Joined: Sep 4, 2002
    Posts: 2,076

    4woody
    Member

    I was just staring at it some more...

    Maybe it would be better to just section the whole affected area a couple of inches? That would make a kind of step down in the back 1/3 of the center of the crossmember all the way from the water outlet to the oil pump. Would this be a better way?

    More thoughts & advice please!
     
  9. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    chaos10meter
    Member
    from PA.

    Torch, welder and a grinder you can get anything to fit.

    I put a 468 in an old S-10 for a dude, torch/welder/grinder.
    He might have to pull the radiator to change a fan belt but it's in.
     
  10. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,241

    73RR
    Member

    First off, you get mega points for putting The Chrysler back in the Chrysler!!

    As to the crossmember, I think you're on the right track with cutting a section and lowering it to clear the three issues. One, full width dropped section, will look neater than three cutouts, IMHO.

    .
     
  11. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    Member
    from Benton AR

    I am "voting" for recessing the firewall three inches, using the short water pump, AND trying to re-clock the oil filter mount.

    Just a guess on my part, but I am thinking that it might be a little busy in the radiator area if the engine isn't moved back some.

    In any case, with the engine touching the firewall already, for your plan to work as presented, the firewall is going to need to be clearanced at the least anyway.

    I am here, and can only see pictures, and you are there which allows better thinking through the situation,,,, but.....

    While notching the cross member might be "faster" right now, I am inclined to think moving the engine back a couple inches is the BETTER long term solution... IMO, more room to play with almost always generates a better result, and results in less "compromise" due to space considerations.. Just my 2 cents though...

    I have no doubt that the cross member notch job could be handled in a way that that everything will look and work well, it could also quickly become a miserable hack job is a person ain't careful.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  12. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,241

    73RR
    Member

    No can do on a Mopar. The filter mounts direct to the oil pump.

    I agree on the crossmember, it can look really nice or really......


    More pics of the car would be nice.:)
    .
     
  13. 34toddster
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 1,469

    34toddster
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Missouri

    I think I would leave the firewall, with my long legs I need all the room I can get, also looks like it may complicate the steering ? Have you set the radiator in yet? if the radiator fits OK I'd notch the front cross member. I have a guy with a late 30's early 40's Desota wanting me to set up a 318 with a auto so I'll keep up with your thread Thanks and good luck.
     
  14. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,457

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    if something is in the way cut it out. if cutting it out compromises strength weld something back in. I'm not seeing where the big issue is.

    moving the firewall would be a goofy idea.
     
  15. rosco gordy
    Joined: Jun 8, 2010
    Posts: 648

    rosco gordy
    Member

    moved mine back about a 1 1/2 in made my rack come out perfect also up a little ya got to give a little sheet metal but make s it cool on my 40 mopar convert and I have the double frame to deal with move the seats back too good luck
     
  16. bobby_Socks
    Joined: Apr 12, 2006
    Posts: 938

    bobby_Socks
    Member
    from ǑǃƕǑ

    Can the engine be raised up. In the second picture it looks as though you have room to raise it a couple of inches. If it can be rasied then it looks as thought the oil filter would need to be remoted and all else would work. Good luck with the swap and the engine looks good also.
     
  17. Pie cut the cross member, & move the back of it forward.
    Or slice it front to back on both sides past the suspension. Add a plate to the ends- and drop the center and move it forward. Use a heavy plate.
     
  18. fiveohnick2932
    Joined: Mar 29, 2006
    Posts: 889

    fiveohnick2932
    Member
    from Napa, Ca.

    Change the water pump housing.

    cut the crossmember a bit so the oil pump clears and get a ford adaptor that swings the oil filter 90 degrees (part number M-6880-A50). Dont be afraid to use some copper tubing bends from the hardware store to route your lower hose (believe me it helps)
     
  19. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073

    johnboy13
    Member

    Do you realize how hard that is to comprehend?
     
  20. fiveohnick2932
    Joined: Mar 29, 2006
    Posts: 889

    fiveohnick2932
    Member
    from Napa, Ca.

    BTW

    I love the gold with the cal custom valvecovers!

    What gold paint did you use?
     
  21. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash
    Member

    I want to see this Chrysler!
     
  22. deto
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 2,621

    deto
    Member

    mopar in a mopar is good stuff. Section that front crossmember and you wont be giving up much if any structural integrity. That seems to be the best plan.
     
  23. 4woody
    Joined: Sep 4, 2002
    Posts: 2,076

    4woody
    Member

    Photos as requested, then business...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Been wiggling things around some more and squinting my eyes whilst wielding the tape measure.

    I'm liking the section-the-crossmember idea best. In the photos the engine is pretty nose-up. As the nose comes down the problems with the water pump outlet & oil pump will be minimized, and the valve covers get a bit of space from the firewall.

    I may go to the driver's side water pump as it does solve the passenger side interference issue, but the radiator outlet is on the passenger side, so moving the water pump to the driver's side does add some cross-frame plumbing or a different radiator.

    Any advice about doing the sectioning is appreciated: I haven't done this before. Do I just use more 10ga to box it. Somebody above suggested plate, but I wasn't sure what/where you meant.
     
  24. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,241

    73RR
    Member

    Beautiful Car!!!

    Perhaps one of the guys with decent computer skills can show what the cross member might look like with a section cut and dropped in the subject area. Some of us can only do this sort of thing with pencil and paper which does not help you at this point...:cool:

    .
     
  25. fiveohnick2932
    Joined: Mar 29, 2006
    Posts: 889

    fiveohnick2932
    Member
    from Napa, Ca.

    Those headers love eating plug wires and boots. I have some long tube headers like those on my truck and have a aluminum heat shield and a fiberglass sock over the worst plug. So far so good. The rest of them all have the fiberglass socks.
     
  26. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,218

    F&J
    Member

    From what I can see in just pics, I'd slice the crossmember, sometimes you can reverse the same pice and weld it back in.

    I would NEVER cut a firewall unless there was no other way...and after seeing that car...no way I'd cut that car body. But I can't see all the issues you have.

    ...and...about dam time we finally get to see a real 383 here, instead of you know what;):cool:
     
  27. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,241

    73RR
    Member

    ...often copied but never duplicated....:D

    .
     
  28. 35desoto
    Joined: Oct 6, 2009
    Posts: 760

    35desoto
    Member

    That car is straight out sexy - and deserves a mopar engine
    A 383 in that will make it truly boogie - fine effort.
    As Hannibal in the A team used to say
    I love it when a plan comes together
     
  29. 4woody
    Joined: Sep 4, 2002
    Posts: 2,076

    4woody
    Member

    An Update:

    The suggestion to go back to the driver's side outlet WP housing was a very good one- it solver the whole passenger side problem, I'm not stoked to have to replace the radiator or move the radiator outlet; but to look on the positive side the original '38 radiator made for a 0 psi cap wasn't the best candidate for the 383 anyway I guess.

    Passenger side looking much better, and center of crossmember cut for pulleys:

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately there is no way the oil filter will fit without more cutting. I got a filter relocation adapter, and even with that pump-to-crossmember is too close. It looks like I'm going to do some more cutting that I really didn't want to do.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Anybody know of a really, really thin remote oil filter adapter?

    And yes, I'll clean up the cuts later, and I will be doing some boxing before I'm done.
     
  30. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,241

    73RR
    Member

    I 'borrowed' this pic from ebay... The adapter you need will look like this and be the same diameter as the gasket then figure about 2-3" for nipples and hose. Do not, do not, do not use right angle fittings like in the picture. Cold oil will not like taking those corners!


    [​IMG]
     

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