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Technical SBC in an AD Pickup Questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by guthriesmith, May 7, 2020.

  1. Ok, so before I get thrashed for not searching first...I have both here and on the stovebolt forum and already have answers to several questions about this as far as offsetting the engine to the right some, exhaust manifolds, spacing steering gearbox over, not cutting out transmission crossmember unless I put some structure back in place, etc. But, what I am not as clear on as we are mounting a 283 in my kids project AD pickup with basically the original suspension setup is if there is a "best" kit out there or if I need to design something. I am not afraid to design something, but figure with as many kits that are available out there, surely I can get some good guidance from folks here on the HAMB that have done this before. I don't see any reason to re-design the wheel if there is already a good and affordable solution to be had. Also, not positive on transmission setup yet on this pickup, but leaning toward a column-shifted 3 speed so may be able to take advantage of one of the bellhousings I have on the shelf with the mid-mounts. However, this could still turn out to be a slushbox too depending on how the training goes for my son teaching him how to drive my pickup.

    Oh, and to be honest, when searching, I found more sub-framed and S10-swapped discussions than anything. So, since we are keeping this traditional, I would like to keep the discussion here that way too. :D

    A pic of the project for reference. This isn't the 283 going in it, but will serve as the dummy motor while we put the other together.
  2. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 962

    Pete Eastwood
    from california

    We used to move the engine , just slightly , to the passenger side ,
    to give more steering box clearance .
    kidcampbell71 and guthriesmith like this.
  3. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,573


    You haven't said what you are trying to accomplish with this "kit" The original suspension is perfectly capable of supporting the SBC. You can rebuild its stock, with readiky available parts unless you want to change the ride height. Look up Sid's axles for dropped axles. A typical upgrade to the brakes is to change the roller bearings for tapered bearings or just a disc break kit swap.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    guthriesmith likes this.
  4. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,578

    from Zoar, Ohio

    I agree.
    But I would also advise not using the original front suspension and steering assy.
    I tried rebuilding the original setup and wasn’t even close to happy.
    Those trucks aren’t designed to go down the road at 65-75 mph.
    Before moving your engine, decide on a good alternative set up that’s tried and true. Your new steering gear location may in fact rectify the engine location issue.
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
    guthriesmith and '51 Norm like this.

  5. Thanks guys! But, I already have a 3” dropped axle from Sid, 3” dropped posies springs, disk brakes, and later model Ford-style drag link ends, etc. And, I don’t mind the ride and handling of these old suspension setups. All those parts are on the frame already. I guess I should have clarified that I am mainly looking at engine mounting so wondering about the tubular crossmember setups, etc.
  6. catdad49 and guthriesmith like this.
  7. Here’s another
    catdad49 and guthriesmith like this.
  8. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,075


    What swade41 said if you are looking for a kit that shifts it to the passenger side. Make sure the kit does the offset, or you'll have to move steering anyway.

    We always used a mid mount bellhousing from a 60's era V8 truck, and a cheap tube crossmember for the SBC side mounts. I never ran a transmission crossmember using cast iron Saginaws... we just let them hang like the factory trucks did in the 50's. Had to move over the steering box about half a frame width and then heat/bend back the steering to keep the geometry in line. Typically we would just cut a piece of channel or junk frame rail from another AD to make the "spacer" and boxed the ends once we had it all lined up.

    The above setup used the OG brake pedal/master, clutch pedal/linkage, etc. 70's era truck manifolds will clear the steering IIRC. I've built several this way. Low-buck and old school, but I beat the snot out of them as a teen and never had a failure other than incredible brake fade when I was going entirely too fast. (Don't tell mom!)

    In all seriousness, the weakest part was brakes. They would fade bad if pushed too hard.

    Forgot: The first few we used a front mount for the engine rather than side mounts. Those come with their own drama though, and we never had issue with side mounts/bell mounts combo.
    catdad49 and guthriesmith like this.
  9. henry29
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,835


    I used this one from classic parts, The ends aren't welded and the mount is wider than the frame. I just cut the passenger side shorter and welded the ends on. It will sit the engine a little lower than your pic. You can see the mounts are just a bit higher than the top of the frame.


    Attached Files:

    guthriesmith likes this.
  10. Exactly the kind of info I was looking for! I knew I could get some wisdom from some that have done this before. Thanks!
    catdad49 likes this.

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