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Will a V8 fit???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Br8kNek, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Br8kNek
    Joined: Dec 9, 2012
    Posts: 49


    Hey everyone,

    I have another question regarding my 235 to 350 sbc swap in my 54 Bel Air.

    Currently I still have the 235 in my car, but I mated a TH350 to the motor via a Stovebolt adapter plate on the back, going to an open driveline, to an S10 rearend.

    The motor is sitting on its original motor mounts. However, I had to have a custom transmission cross member and mount made to accommodate the TH350, as well as enlarge the transmission hump.

    Upon closer inspection I noticed that where the 235/adapter plate mate with the TH350 seems to be pretty far back in the firewall.

    As you can see in the pic, the adapter basically is in the same shape as the back of a V8 so that the TH350 will bolt to it.

    I do realize I will have to cut out the ribs on the front of the firewall, which is no big deal and that a V8 is considerably shorter and will sit lower than an inline 6.

    My question is this, will I need to bring the TH350 further forward in order to mate up to the back of a V8?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,209


    How much MORE work do you really want to do? Why not just use one of the later style 194-215-230-250-292 six cylinder engines. More power than the 216-236-261 six, no firewall work needed, no need to move the parking brake, and with the right exhaust, it'll sound better than a V-8. The radiator will need to be moved to the front of the core support. It's hard to tell in the pic if the trans will need to go forward, or if a V-8 will fit into the space if you don't. I have't heard of anyone having to modify the floor hump. Butch/56sedandelivery.
  3. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,126


    You will have to move the transmission forward. I recently did a SBC/700R4 combo, in a '50, and managed to get it completely under the stock floor with only a hole in the inspection cover, for the shifter. You should be able to get the TH350 under the stock floor, too. The radiator is in the stock position.
  4. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,124


    i just got fininshed with v8 5 speed install and had to move the transmission forward . i had the 235 5 speed to a s10 rear. thought i could bolt motor to transmission and be good. found out it hit the firewall. i moved everything forward . measured where the mounts go for engine and found out the transmission was sitting back to far.
    measure where your mounts go for engine then measure how far back to bellhousing on trans. that should tell you where the trans will set.
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  5. It's a lot easier to saw off those ribs than it is to mess around moving the radiator ahead - it's easy to get about an inch with one by sliding it in on the front side of the cradle fins, more than that and you run into clearance issues.

    As for moving the trans, it depends on where it is now, which isn't that clear from the photo. If the front of it is ahead of the middle recess, then no, if it's behind the flat portion of the firewall, then yes. When I put a 350/700R4 in mine, it cleared everything but was a tight fit at the firewall.
  6. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,096

    from Kansas

    It fits in a 53, why not a 54? No problema.
  7. milanperformancecycle
    Joined: Apr 22, 2012
    Posts: 18

    from milan t.n.

    I've never heard a 6 cylinder that sounded better than a v8. I've put sbc in just about everything from datsuns and nissans to triumph spitfires to s10s hell I even put a big block In an 89 grand am. I'm fixin to swap a v8 into my 54 with a serpentine setup. Ill keep you posted.

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  8. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796


    That's debatable. As cool as a straight 6 can sound, it'll never sound better than a healthy V8. Kind of explains all the V8 swaps.
  9. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,209


    Let me clarify: I had an OT car, 74' Nova with a built 250 CID six, BW 4-speed, Clifford's intake-headers, Judson ignition,a mild cam, and a milled 194 six head. Fast car, sounded like a sports car through the stock V-8 dual exhaust in the Nova, no V-8 sounds that way, a very unique sound. I think the trans will need to go forward, and that means a new drive shaft for the OP. I think with the later six, he may be able to get by with what he currently has. I have a 51 Bus Coupe, .030 over 350, built Glide, 4.88:1 Positraction, 56' rear end. I wanted to go with a 250 six, but after I gave the car to my nephew, he decided we should go with a V-8. Turned out very well, but I think a six would have been easier, and would have kept closer to the 50's "look". I know exactly what it takes to put a SBC in a 49-54, and with the 52-54 engine mount towers that have to be removed for a V-8; there's a ChevyTalk.Org member that made his own mounts, and used the stock towers with his late model six upgrade. The OP's main question was if he has to move the trans forward; YES he will, and that's also why I asked why the trans tunnel had to be modified, never heard of anyone having to do that. Most of the time, with these "235" threads, everyone wants to keep the 235, or even a 216, with some guys pushing for a 261; no one mentioned that this time, and I'm surprised. Personally, I would go with the later six, then a V-8, and neither one stock; I'm not a fan of the 216-235-261 sixes at all. Butch/56sedandelivery.
  10. Wild Turkey
    Joined: Oct 17, 2005
    Posts: 903

    Wild Turkey

    A 292 will make that car step right along and be fun to drive.

    And can be dressed up right well for impressing folks.

    And I agree a 6 can sound very pretty when done right.

    And individuality is part of keeping it "traditional" --
  11. Sqeaky Hinge
    Joined: Oct 10, 2011
    Posts: 303

    Sqeaky Hinge

    My '51 Fleetline has a 327 / powerglide in it ,it was originally a 216 / 3 speed , I had to remove the front body mounts to accommodate the v8 , but just where they come up the firewall , and as far as the tranny mount , I cut it right where it arches up , and welded plates on each end , drilled the plates to make it removable , and welded a plate for the one hole powerglide tranny mount , and when I put the long "Thrush" glasspacks on it , it had a deep mellow tone that just screamed cool , yea , you got to remove the e-brake , but , it's an automatic tranny , how often would you use the e-brake anyhow? the motor mounts came from Chassis Engineering , makes for a clean setup , and easy installation , removal...

    Attached Files:

  12. Sqeaky Hinge
    Joined: Oct 10, 2011
    Posts: 303

    Sqeaky Hinge

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