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Thread: Chevy 327 engine swap help needed

  1. #1

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    Chevy 327 engine swap help needed

    Hey all,

    I am have been a member for a few months but haven't had the time to log on due to school.

    Anyway, I have a 327 that I want to swap into my 'bishi and am looking for information that will help with this. I am having a mechanic do it since I don't have the time but this is what I "think" I know.

    Firewall needs mod
    engine mounts need mod/move
    trans tunnel needs mod (putting turbo 350 in)

    Questions:

    After the firewall is modded and the engine is set in, is there room for a larger radiator and tranny cooler?

    I tried searching for info on this site but am not coming up with anything so if there is, please help me find it...

    Thanks guys.

  2. #2


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    You'll probably have to do the same thing I did and put a custom rad under the front header or in front of it. I used a 4 core 18X15 Forklift rad with custom outlets. as far as the firewall you shouldn't have to touch it as the SBC is shorter then a SBF and you can get short water pumps. I would go with a Th750 R4 as a tranny as the OD is great with the short rear gears and its easy to hook up the lock up solinoid with a Kit from B&M. the tranny tunnel will probably need to be cut and moved up a few inches to accomidate the bellhousing then some sheet metal filler strips to button it back up.Convert to a 1 piece drive shaft. now also remember the SBC will drop the front of the truck almost 2" so you might have to do some 2" blocks in the back to level it.you will probably end up using center dump exhaust mainfolds or block hugger headers to clear the steering system.Increase the Fuel lines to 3/8" if you plan or running a 4bbl and over 250hp.Friend did an 83 with a built 355 and he had to place the engine higher in the engine bay to clear the steering with the rear sump pan so you "might" have to put a hood scoop on to clear the air cleaner unless you go with a low profile one or a custom made set up.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the info. that will help out alot. As for the firewall, I was thinking that I had to have the radiator where it is now. I am glad that you said I don't have to mess with the firewall though, that was going to cost some money to get done. You say that yours in a different spot. I guess I didn't think of that in the first place. I was just trying to make it look stock, I guess. You said that you put your rad under the front header.. I guess I don't understand that because my headers are on either side of the engine (or will be). I'm thinking that I'll just have this guy put the engine and trans in move the hump and I'll take over from there as it's only a matter of putting stuff back together at that point. I just really need the heavy work done. I'm taking 6 college courses right now and really don't have the time to do the heavy stuff on my own.
    Anyway,
    Thanks again for the help.

  4. #4


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    The piece across the front that the rad and headlights attach to is called a header.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    as you see the rad is close but I was able to tuck it under the header panel.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    the bottom of the front cross member was cut and made the opening bigger.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    the Bellhousing tunnel was moved up about 1 1/2" then a filler strip was added.

    There are a bunch of pic's of the build at http://photobucket.com/fordubishi
    Last edited by Fordubishi; 02-21-2012 at 03:42 PM.

  5. #5

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    Ha ha... that's funny, I knew that but was so focused on the friggin engine..

    Dude that is some awesome work you did man.. thanks for the pics.. that helps out big time..

    I don't think i'll be going that far with mine right now but eventually, I would love to strip it down to bones and rebuild it... any vehicle for that matter.

    Thanks alot for the link.. much appreciated.

    Catch ya later.

  6. #6


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    The First time I dropped in the 302/AOD I didn't remove anything but the hood, Just had the front 1/2 of the driveshaft converted to a ford yoke.Then made a tranny X-menber that used the factory mounting holes.This is a complete rebuild after it was in an accident.

  7. #7

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    That's good to know. The mechanic I was planning on using keeps pointing out that the distributor is in the back and will hit. I know this but through many forums that I've been researching, some have modded the firewall and some have only taken a sledge and pushed it in enough to fit the distributor. I really don't want him to do the huge mod on the firewall, it'll cost too much. I might end up just bringing it back to my house and doing it myself but it'll be really slow.. hour here hour there kind of thing..
    we'll see.

  8. #8


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    You shouldn't have to do anything with the firewall as it's almost straight up and down. As far as the distributor goes if worse comes to worse you could always go to a small diameter cap from MSD and add an external coil. http://www.msdignition.com/Products/...stributor.aspx

    First time I dropped in the 302 it took me 6 months as I could only work on it when I didn't have a customers car in the shop. The current rebuild is going on 12 years of work when I have time.

  9. #9


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    Here's a pic of the back of the engine to the firewall. As you can see I had enough space to mount my starter solinoid behind the 14" air cleaner.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Fordubishi; 02-23-2012 at 03:05 PM.

  10. #10

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    well, I dropped it a few months ago and looks nice. I also have been working on installing the 327 i bought. the 350 I am building will have to be put on the back burners because I found an awesome deal for the 327. $1000 for the engine and tranny with only 20,000 miles on it. The guy had it in a 31 coup and only drove it to shows.. He upgraded to a 383 stroker. The 327 came with the carb, complete engine, brand new performance distributor, performance cam (forgot the brand) and power pack heads.

    we had to cut the whole tunnel out and re-fab it since I was putting a TH-350 in it. It's in now.. we are just putting the finishing touches on it such as the custom fit radiator hoses, power steering lines and a/c lines. My truck didn't have a/c or power steering but we decided to install that too since the engine bay was empty. We were lucky enough to find a 1988 D50 at a junkyard with powersteering, a/c and any other part we needed. What luck. Anyway, the link to photobucket is below. The pics go from most recent to older, we don't know how to reverse that other than re-uploading all the photos. The work is going on 3.5 weeks and it actually should be done this coming week. It's only the minor stuff now.

    I added Dynamat after we fabricated a new tunnel and even without music in the truck yet, I can already tell the difference in the sound resonance.

    My near future plans are to get a custom interior done. I swapped out my bench seat with a set of S-10 buckets so the first thing will be to have them reupholstered and do the walls and floors as well. I will also redo my gauge cluster and build a custom cluster maybe fiberglass one myself, not sure.

    anyway, I hope these pics will help out anyone that is thinking of doing this kind of swap. there are probably a million ways to do this but this is what we did. It ended up being more work than I thought but I think I'll be happy with the finished product. I'm already thinking of putting a supercharger in it!! lol

    http://s892.photobucket.com/albums/a...t=GEDC0479.jpg

  11. #11


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    Very nice so far. Great clearance with those headers.The rad set up look real nice too. I see you had to mod the tranny tunnel, you must have had a 5 speed in it. My first cab was a 5 speed and had to do almost the same thing. Current cab was an auto and the tunnel was larger so only had to move the bell housing part up. See you didn't have to mod the firewall to clear the distributor, that shows you're a builder not a "mercanik".

    Ok now we have to get together somewhere and have a Ford/Chev/Dodge-ubishi shoot out if the 3 V-8 people get them together.We'll invite the (cough, cough....."RICER'S".....cough,cough) to see if their none NA's can hang with the big boys

  12. #12

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    sho-nuff man.. name the place and time and let's do this..

    We started the engine about a week ago open headers and holy crap it sounds badass. We decided to do the pipes ourselves and put series 40 flowmasters on and I'm impressed with the sound.. I finished welding one side and will continue on the other side this week. We also added two electric fans to the radiator for cooling. ONce we finish with the pipes, we can fine tune the timing and carb settings. It's only a 3 speed tranny so I want the idle as low as possible so i'm not hitting EVERY gas station on the way to work.

    I'm already looking at superchargers, obviously it's way too much power for a small truck but, it's what I want.. lol.. won't be till next year maybe because I'm way over budget on this so far. There are more pics added to the photobucket.. video of the motor running WITH mufflers is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uVVe8DqWqU . Obviously the camera doesn't pick up the best sound but it'll give an idea of what it sounds like.

    So, Fordubishi, when do you think you'll finish your truck.. I'd like to see it tearin' up the roads man.

  13. #13


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    I'm getting down to the finish line, some more body work to do and misc. other things to clear up but should be on the road by end of June beginning of July.

    damn that thing sounds nasty, all you need is a nice little Weiand 144 blower on it now

  14. #14

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    dude... don't tempt me... we still haven't finished our taxes and I just might get one!! LOL.. I just listened to your truck in the video you posted here and your engine is running smooth man.. really quiet.. you making it a true sleeper?

    with mine, there is quite a bit of sound resonance in the cab, but I don't have tail pipes on it.. I'm gonna wait to get my stereo back in it and if it interferes with that, then I'll go ahead and put the tail pipes on..

  15. #15



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    It looks like we have found FordBushi's Nemesis, ChevBushi. Let the games begin.....

    These guy have some used ones laying around. I know for a fact they have a low profile B&M laying in the office they will dump for cheep. Comes complete with carb.
    http://rexracingengines.com/

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  16. #16

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    Camoit, thanks for offering a crack addict some cheep crack.. lol.. you're gonna get me in trouble with the wife!!!

    but for reals man, thanks for the info.. imma look into it.

  17. #17



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    Hell you think you will get in trouble with the wife. Take a look at my build thread. Now this is trouble... The Fab section.

    OH and a good line to use when you need to play an ace is.
    Honey it doesn't matter how much I make, build, earn , or steel for you. It can never compare to how much I owe you for the love you have shown me over the last (insert correct number here or the gig is up) years. Then it's time for make up sex.
    Last edited by camoit; 04-21-2012 at 08:53 PM.
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  18. #18

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    LMAO.. okay.. you win.. that's some badass work man.. I'm seriously impressed and jealous. I can't wait to get the space to have my own "fun" shop. I'm in the Army so it would be hard to own a business to have a shop at, so I'm limited to having my own garage etc don't have it yet.

    BTW,
    MY wife is mad you now.. lol

  19. #19



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    lmao ha ha ha ha ha,,,, why the heck is she mad at me?? But you must admit now any hatred she had for you is temporally deflected to me... You will learn not to let her look at the board.. No sex for you tonight
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  20. #20


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    Its PERTTY !!!!!

    <<<EDIT>>> added a check in the box for retrieve and reference locally for huge URL picture.

  21. #21

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    I'm gettin me some sex tonight, she has no choice!! LOL

    I've been looking at your build thread man and your live feed... i'm seriously impressed. I'd love to tube my truck but in a stealth way. More for safety since I'll be looking at adding more power. I'll have to acquire tools slowly though, can't be dumping thousands at one time.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordubishi View Post
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    Its PERTTY !!!!!

    <<<EDIT>>> added a check in the box for retrieve and reference locally for huge URL picture.
    thanks.. LMAO

  23. #23



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    Quote Originally Posted by 1987-bishi View Post
    I'm gettin me some sex tonight, she has no choice!! LOL

    I've been looking at your build thread man and your live feed... i'm seriously impressed. I'd love to tube my truck but in a stealth way. More for safety since I'll be looking at adding more power. I'll have to acquire tools slowly though, can't be dumping thousands at one time.
    See the link section for links to where to find tools and things I use.

    she has no choice,,, ya right... You said the key words. "My wife". That means the canon fires every day with no one around to enjoy it..
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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordubishi View Post
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    Its PERTTY !!!!!

    <<<EDIT>>> added a check in the box for retrieve and reference locally for huge URL picture.
    Damn that's sexy....

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