v-8 conversion

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Jan 30, 2003
We are getting reay to do a v-8 conversion in our '63 fj40. Just wanted to get opinions on things to look out for, ways to save time, what companies are good to work with as far as parts are concerned. Anything I am forgetting that needs to be on hand. So far my list consists of motor mounts, crossmember mount, radiator and hoses, high flow water pump, oil pan, and clutch assembly. Any tips or personal stories would be appreciated. Thanks.
Oh yeah, the motor is complete. Going to be mounting SM465 mated to NP205 behind it. Thanks.
Motor Mounts: Advance Adapter is what I have

rear crossmember will have to be custom.

radiator - stock, but make sure it's in good condition. Another option is to recore - mine is a 5-row with stock mounting and stock tanks. Cools great.

GM Factory NEW water pump - you won't regret that

Stock oil pan outta work

I run a LUK clutch with mine and no complaints.

Hardest part is getting it to look like a clean install.
Maybe the '63 is different from my '76, but if not I would add:

Exhaust manifold clearance issues. You will need to mount the engine off-center about 1" to passenger side to clear stock steering gear box. Still too tight for me so I did the Saginaw conversion.

Rear-dump exhaust on the driver's side will run right into clutch slave cylinder, which mounts on the driver's side on Chevy bell housings. Use center dump manifold or headers of some kind. :)
Woody, you think a OEM radiator will cool enough? We had planned on buying an aluminum radiator and a high flow water pump to help with cooling issues. *Expensive though* Also, taked to Downey, they have a rear crossmember mount for my application, also expensive.
If Downey makes a crossmember for a NP205, it's news to me....you are installing 100% GM drivetrain....I thought they only carried Toyota-conversion stuff, but I have been wrong more than once today already...lol

I had my stock radiator recored/redone for about $200. Cools great, no complaints.

OEM is only 3 core, and IMO too light. Some later models have 4 cores and in some instances, those are enuf.

Cooling is a Cruiser-gremlin and only experimentation will find good results. No two people seem to have the same luck.
That is what guy at Downey said. IMO he sounds like he just "works there". No connection, no knowledge. Anyway, I will have to look at some of the other 4-cores that are out there. I had an attack when I got price quotes on the aluminum ones.
A bunch of us are using aluminum rads from ebay that are very nice for $165. They are not cruiser specific and require a little fabrication, but I am very happy.
Could you dump the clutch fan and go with an electric puller type fan? I believe BTB has one that fits a stock LC rad. I too am in the process of getting everthing together for a SBC conversion. I have choosen to put an auto behind it though. Any thoughts on running a TH350 or TH400 in a cruiser?

I have a 400 ci sbc with th400 auto to a dana 20 case. I found with a little engineering it was a lot cheaper to build all of the brackets rather than buying them. I still have cooling problems and can't seem to get rid of them recored the factory radiator to a four core and put in 3 pass plates helped but not enough to keep it cool when working the truck hard. would like to find a alluminum one to fit my application but haven't found one yet.
Any thoughts on running a TH350 or TH400 in a cruiser?
If your torn between the two transmissions I would go with a th350. The 350 is 3" shorter and has a lower first gear
Who is selling the aluminum radiators on E-bay? I should check that out.

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