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Projects Pontiac men step up- engine swap/steering swap

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by No Plan, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. No Plan
    Joined: Nov 2, 2008
    Posts: 245

    No Plan
    Member

    It's time to swap the wounded 287 c.i./hydramatic for a fresh 400 c.i./200 4R. I know I will need to make side mounts & a new rear trans mount to replace the single center front mount & bellhousing side mounts- no problem. I also want to swap out the stock 55 power steering sector out for a smaller/later 605 p.s. box...What are the 605(round top/retainer ring) boxes in? Must be early to mid 70's G.M. 78-88 G-body is not that style. No one around here can tell me accurately what they came in. I got this info from an article from an old Rodders Digest called Strato Streak, looks like a straight bolt in, even uses a stock 55 non-power pitman arm....Has anyone here ever done this conversion? Please help I am Pontiac illiterate! What is a good drivers side exhaust manifold/header rear exit that would free up a little room on that side? The 55 exhaust is front exit & very restrictive on the bigger engine, I think there has to be a better solution. Things are very tight down there. Please help, gotta have this done by spring!
     
  2. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,669

    treb11
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Is that the subject in your avatar? if so, isn't the swap just like the tri-five chevies? And IIRC, it is a custom box with 605 guts that is used.
     
  3. No Plan
    Joined: Nov 2, 2008
    Posts: 245

    No Plan
    Member

    more to the story...Will a 57 Pontiac rear end housing be the same width/& bolt into the 55 springs? Who has one here in the midwest? I want a 3.23/3.40 rear if possible, am I dreaming? Thanks.
     
  4. No Plan
    Joined: Nov 2, 2008
    Posts: 245

    No Plan
    Member

    There is nothing the same between Chevy & (USA) Pontiac in the mid 50's as far as front suspension/steering/brakes goes! Ask me how I know...yes, my avatar is the turd under the knife!
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014

  5. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,683

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Don't toss that Hydro and slip yoke! I had a friend in high school that was the drummer in a band. He had a 55 Pontiac Hearse they used to haul the bands equipment in. Personally, I would't mess with a front clip swap. That's too nice of a car to alter too much from stock; those Safari's bring a bunch of $$$$$! A 57 Pontiac rear end is a bolt-in swap, but the stock rear end is plenty strong unless you're going to really beat on it. JMO. Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  6. swe64
    Joined: Nov 22, 2010
    Posts: 415

    swe64
    Member

    you have 2 cars that is bolt on
    pontiac 1957 and olds 1957
     
  7. No Plan
    Joined: Nov 2, 2008
    Posts: 245

    No Plan
    Member

    I don't want to do a front clip if possible, although it would possibly solve some problems, but if I do, it will be a G-body for front wheel track (narrow) is the same & can get many aftermarket parts to upgrade it (dropped spindles,brakes,etc.)...the stock rear is about toast, huge backlash/don't want to put $ in it, would rather find a 57, suppost to be a much better choice...& it should still be 5" bolt pattern. The plan is to change out the 16" TTll for 15" Skylark style Truspokes w/blkwalls also....will my (good) 55 brakes & drums swap to a 57 rearend straight across?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  8. No Plan
    Joined: Nov 2, 2008
    Posts: 245

    No Plan
    Member

    I want you to know that it IS KILLING ME NOT to put a LQ4 6.0 or LS1 5.7 (that I have 1 each of) in this thing!!!They may not be traditional HAMB approved, but they are definitely where it's at imho!
     
  9. swe64
    Joined: Nov 22, 2010
    Posts: 415

    swe64
    Member

    here is my gmc 1958 frame is untuched stock mid mount and a new rear trans mount engine is 1967 pontiac and 1960 trans cover to use front engine mount.
    i welded new bracket on adapterplate. trans is 700r4
     

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  10. andy checchia
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 46

    andy checchia
    Member
    from USA

    click on the pontiac custom safari website. I think you will find most of your answers there.
     
  11. Crazy Legs
    Joined: Sep 3, 2008
    Posts: 266

    Crazy Legs
    Member

    you already know what I think you should do ;) - I'll order the GTO engine covers :)
     
  12. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    Craigslist Chicago ( south side) had a 57up P/O rear for sale $1200 rebuilt but didn't read the whole ad .

    as for a mid mount S&W racing sells a steel mid mount plate so you can keep the trans/motor frame mounts on the rear with some modification and you can then use the factory front mount as

    for the manifold try a mid -late 70s firebird manifold its rear exit . some are mid exit as they went under the pan behind the x member on some of the other models
     
  13. No Plan
    Joined: Nov 2, 2008
    Posts: 245

    No Plan
    Member

    $1200 sounds like alot to me, but?...will look into the Firebird manifolds if I can find some, thanks.
     
  14. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,898

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    The Saginaw 605 box was on some G body cars....I took one off of a Cutlass...but many, if not most, seem to have a 700 series steering gear. I wanted a 'fresh" 605 and found it on eBay from an auto parts supplier.
     
  15. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    new bare housing with no ends for a 9" ford is $375 and thats w/o axles and center section and gears . I am finding used ones harder to find and more $$$ , and the P/O one are harder to find yet .
     
  16. John.....if you can find one, a 59-60 Pontiac engine will bolt up to your 55 car. With a little gentle grinding on the rear of the crankshaft the old 4 speed hydro will bolt up. Don't have to remove the crank to do this either. I've done 4 or 5 of these 389 into 55-57 Pontiac swaps. The original 3.23 gears in your car are a great all-around gear for street/hiway use. And yeah, a 57 Pontiac rear end will bolt in but if you want to keep your old 55 style U-joint, you'll need to use the flange [yoke] off the old 55 third member.
    If you want to go with a manual trans, a flywheel/bellhousing setup from a 58-60 Pontiac will allow you to run a muncie, T-5, richmond etc etc. I have all this stuff but I'm running it in my 34 ford...although I do have an extra 59, 389 engine although it's stuck.
    Maybe I'l run into you at Goodguys this summer if I can get away ..
    Rocky
     

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  17. James Curl
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 370

    James Curl
    Member

    Hot Rodders Bulletin board, build hot rod how to articles. Suspension up date for 37-57 Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac has an article on up dating the early suspensions to ball joint with late model spindles, disc brakes. It is a fairly easy update.
     
  18. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,898

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL



    Forgot about this. Basically, you need 1958 only Pontiac upper and lower "A" arms and spindles. A disc brake conversion kit and you have a pretty much bolt on improvement.

    In sizing this up for my '41 Buick, I found the stock spindle height was different between the OEM Buick and later Pontiac parts which would result in an increase in height of about 3/4". There are ways to deal with that and it may be different for your '57 Pontiac anyway. But if you can find the '58 Pontiac parts, it's worth looking into.
     
  19. No Plan
    Joined: Nov 2, 2008
    Posts: 245

    No Plan
    Member

    Thanks for All the good info, keep it coming. I called on the Chicago 57 P/O rear 5.14 ratio in it now w/posi comes w/used 3.23 r&p ,that would need to be installed & setup, no brakes on the housing. At $1200 + a trip/or shipping & another r&p setup, I'll keep looking.....Rocky, been following your 34 build on here, very impressive! Pontiac w/ a stick!....this 55 is for my wife so it will continue to be an auto, but now w/OD 4sp which I've had rebuilt along w/ the 400 engine. A Pontiac man is coming today to see if he has headers/ manifolds that might work,& I have a lead on another 57 rearend here local. Found a 605 steering box, but w/ shipping it's over $400. I must just be a tight ass but that seems outasight to me for what $200 box should be......I'll probably not going to change to the 58 balljoint style a arms because it's already got dropped spindles & they seemed to be working fine & I like the way it sets.....anyhow, thanks for the info & keep it coming!!!!
     
  20. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    I used a set of 3 tube headers for mine initially, they were for a GTO. Had them on when I made the engine mounts so to make sure they would clear. I moved my master cylinder to the firewall and didn't have to worry about the manual frame master cylinder in the way.

    On my currant 455, I have a set of 4 tube hooker headers I cut up the driver side and moved a few tubes around to get to work, the passenger side was left alone. You have to move the engine up higher and off to the passenger side some to make the most room away from the upper control arms and steering gearbox.

    Here was the gearbox article.

    http://www.pontiacsafari.com/L1Garage/SteeringUpgradeGM605.pdf
     
  21. No Plan
    Joined: Nov 2, 2008
    Posts: 245

    No Plan
    Member

    55chieftain; that is the very article I got the idea for a different steering box from! I have it mocked up now, I moved it over 5/8" into the frame for more clearance & better alignment of the steering shaft. Still need to get a rag joint. I am clearanceing the frame enough so I can put in a 700 series box if I don't like the way the 605 drives (same bolt pattern just longer in the front), but the 700 uses a different spline pitman arm (bigger) so I'm starting w/ 605 so I can use the stock 55 pitman arm.....got a set of exhaust manifolds today that have just enough clearance for the steering box, but are touching the right upper a-arm like you said, will be raising the engine tomorrow for more room... will continue to look for headers though. Bolted on a power steering pump & the lines will even work.....now to make the engine mounts. Did you come off of the sides of the frame in front of the steering, or off the front xmember & go back to the block? Any pictures? It's coming along nicely for no more time than I've worked on it.....I'd like to shorten the column & use a 60-61 Olds steering wheel, anyone done that & will share info about it? Are the splines the same? What about column shift linkage w/ the 200 4r?
     
  22. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    Here's a few pics of what I did originally for side mounts. The passenger sides lines up with the side mount, the driver side is in front of the gearbox but offset some of it with this adapter plate I made to offset the holes some. The frame mount bolted to the plate was from my 68 gto and used the matching side mounts. I went away from all this and used the Hurst mounts to mount it in now, I'm using the sidemount style.

    Here was another way to do it

    http://www.members.tripod.com/starchief57/techtips.htm#late
     

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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  23. No Plan
    Joined: Nov 2, 2008
    Posts: 245

    No Plan
    Member

    Thanks for the pictures.....What pedal & master cylinder did you use for firewall mounted the mc/pedal conversion? Any pictures would be great! Thanks again! I can see why most people do not build these cars. When we bought this I told my wife, "all the tri-five Chevy stuff should fit so it won't be a problem upgrading stuff." Man, what a dumbass I was (am?)! Nothing is the same on the USA built cars,I've been told that the Canadian built ARE like the tri-five Chevies (shorter wheelbase from firewall forward?, they appear stubby to me?) but don't know for sure. Would like more info from the Pontiac people.
     
  24. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    I used a firewall style master/booster pedal assembly from Speedway and added a master/booster from Auto City Classic on my 57. I also did a front disc brake conversion from Master Power Brakes. It suits my needs. I'm running the factory 347 in my car. Of course you have to eliminate the factory heat/defrost box on the firewall. I'll eventually add some sort of aftermarket heat/A/C that runs over on the passenger side. Flip through my build thread and pics on my profile and you'll get a good idea on how I did it. PM me with questions.
     
  25. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    I used a 55 chevy hanging pedel assembly and a dodge aluminum master/ looks similar to the wilwood/strange master, I cut the pedel end off also and added in a longer section from an ot truck to get the pedel position close to stock location. I cut the back section off to make room for the speedometer and made a bracket to secure it to the dash. But the defreoster plemun had to be removed with as high as I mounted it. It comes out right above the firewall opening for all the wiring.
     
  26. ClassicDriver
    Joined: Mar 8, 2010
    Posts: 115

    ClassicDriver
    Member

    Good info... subscribed.
     
  27. freiertpc
    Joined: Nov 5, 2006
    Posts: 111

    freiertpc
    Member

    Scarebird.com for front brakes and spindle info ,and rebuild your rear diff . soon as snow melts if you must have a 57 i have a couple outback.
     

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