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Chevy drive train questions

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by Cruiser4Randy, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. Cruiser4Randy

    Cruiser4Randy

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    I am getting ready to ditch my Toyota drive train and swap in a Chevy engine and transmission. My thoughts are SBC 305 or 350 with a TH350 or TH400. I have other cruisers run a similar combination with good success. My questions for those of you who have done this conversion is:

    1. Will the drive train length require the use of a CV joint in the rear drive shaft?

    2. Will I need to add a body lift so that the exhaust can be inside the frame rails?

    3. Can I remove the standard clutch fan and go with an electric fan on the radiator?

    4.How can I set up the auto tranny so that it does not begin to engage until somewhere around 1200 rpms?

    I am considering doing this conversion sometime in the next two months, and like always, suggestions are welcomed.
     
  2. woody

    woody Internet Fireman Staff Member

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    Most likely...will depend on angularity of the rear joints, and the length of the rear shaft. If you switch to CV, you'll need to rotate the rear axle and point the rear pinion at the t-case. IMO, if you end up removing the factory frame cross brace due to driveline length, then a CV is encouraged....mine just barely clears with the SM465, but I run a CV anyways. (85 Minitruck front CV adapted to stock cruiser slip)

    IMO, no. I run a y-pipe off the manifolds to a single exhaust down the drivers side. &nbsp:Duals will require more room, and it's a tight fit, but mine fits above a flat skidplate no problem.

    Yes....IIRC, the one from a Caddy Mark VIII is the one to find??

    Stall convertor....generates more heat tho, and most guys who do rocks like the low convertors best. High stalls suck in rocks, IMO.
     
  3. Niner

    Niner

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    I agree with Woody, except I need to add a little bit of info

    The th350 is 3" shorter than the th400 and has a lower first gear, plus it generates less heat because it requires less HP to operate.

    I wish I would have know this 9 years ago when I put mine together.

    I run dual exhaust by crossing under the motor and running them both down the drivers side, inside the frame.
     
  4. Cruiser4Randy

    Cruiser4Randy

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    Thanks Woody and Niner for your responses. Today I looked at a '78 Nova with a 305/TH350 with the thought of using this drive train in my cruiser. I have seen some cruisers running a 305 with good success. A friend of mine expained that the 305 is the same block as a 327/350 with same crank but smaller pistons. He also explained that because the pistons are smaller, there is more metal between the water jackets and that the 305 tends to run a little cooler. I guess that I am looking for some conformation of this info. I would also like some input on the use of this engine/tranny combo from those who have tried it.

    Thanks to all.
     
  5. sfrolich

    sfrolich

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    Hi,
    I really don't think that the 305 will be enough for your FJ40. A 305 would be great for a CJ but the 350 works better in the FJ.

    I have no overheating problems with mine. The 400 small block is the engine that has problems that you do not want to use.

    Go for the 350... you know you want to :D

    Scott
     
  6. fresno-lc

    fresno-lc

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    hey i dont really knoe about chevy conversion but maby i could help you change it in exchange/partial exchange for your toyota drivetrain you are talking out. If you just want to sell it i would be intersted too. I have never done a chevy conversion but ive done other cruiser work/conversions,
     
  7. Cruiser4Randy

    Cruiser4Randy

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    I will be definatley selling the F engine that is in there now. The engine is real good, the four speed tranny is what has prompted the conversion. In the three + years that I have had this engine I have replaced the exhuast manifold, oil pan, starter, distributor, alternator, crank pulley, water pump pulley, and had a valve job done at Marlin's. I used this truck to run 50 miles round trip everyday for over a year with no break downs. I have recently moved the alternator over to the passenger side and added a York compressor. Over on the drivers side I have fabbed the mounting plate for a saginaw PS pump. The engine will be sold with everything that is bolted to it, including the PS pump, minus the York compressor. I plan on converting over to a V8 in less than one month.
     
  8. fresno-lc

    fresno-lc

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    what do you want for the engine and four speed? I am a poor high school student without a job so I have to start saveing my pennies now
     
  9. rocrawler

    rocrawler

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    I really don't think that the 305 will be enough for your FJ40. A 305 would be great for a CJ but the 350 works better in the FJ.

    I'm running a 283 with a SM420 and it's got plenty of ponies.
     
  10. Cruiser4Randy

    Cruiser4Randy

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    I went on a poker run yesterday and talked to two cruiser owners that are running carburated 305's. Both like the 305 and have had no problems with lack of power issues. Also neither had problems with overheating after re-coring thier stock LC radiator to a four core model. Both were running SM420's and I am plan to run a TH350 behind my 305. I run mostly rocks and daily driver. I don't do mud. My HP requirements are minor. I don't think there will be any problems. If I find that the 305 is not enough, I can always run it as is until I can build a nice 350 and then just swap the two engines.