Engine Swap - Part 2 - 03/02/2014

Been some time since the last update hasn't it? Life has thrown some really strange curve balls since then... But fortunately a lot of things came together this week to make it all happen and now the engine has been swapped, no more crusty 350. The 350 amusingly enough had no thermostat in it, so it wouldn't even heat up above 120F when you ran it. The muddy coolant was changed like 4 times until it finally ran clean and the gunk was gone from the radiator.

400 is all painted up and ready for install.

The positive battery cable was wedged against the header. There was like 3 feet of extra cable here, I guess cutting things to the proper length is against the shadetree mechanic code...

In and running! Long time coming, but it finally happened.

Ready to make the drive home!

Unfortunately... not really ready. Ended up having a car with horrid brakes that wanted to skid in a heavy braking condition due to dry rotted tires. Combine this with it raining, 580 & 880 being horrendous on a good day, no brake lights, no turn signals, and no windshield wipers? Recipe for disaster! I ended up calling AAA and getting towed home. It sure runs good though!

Car is home in the garage safe and sound.

Did a few minor adjustments, I re-arranged vacuum lines so the PCV is hooked into the carb instead of the first 2 intake runners (mixes vapor into all cylinders rather than leaning out just the front 2 cylinders).

Throttle setup. Not 100% ideal, but it actually works pretty well. You can't get 100% throttle, more like 90% which isn't a BAD thing for a car that will need to be shipped soon...

Air cleaner installed! No air filter though, that's pretty annoying. I completely forgot that the breather tube is for a Firebird, so it's 1" too short. I know I have another one laying around, but I can't find it. The engine sits a good 2" lower in the frame than it should, so something is "off" here and I'll have to fix it. I'll do that when I repaint the firewall black...

Since I was curious, I jacked up the rear and checked the code. It's an XH 10 bolt, that's a positraction 3.55 rear end. 3.55 gears are quite a bit more than I want... so I foresee an overdrive conversion in my future and very little if any freeway driving until then. The rear end is worth a nice chunk of change to the GTO crowd though...

Speedometer cable not being hooked up is quite annoying. Judging by this speedometer fitting the car has not had one for YEARS. Very crusty and dirty. The speedometer connector being on the passenger side and no side access plate ID's this tranny as a Dearborn Toploader 3 speed, which is about as bullet proof a transmission as you can get (better than a Saginaw...).

Using the old TH350 cable, it is just long enough to reach and get installed in the dash. This speedometer cable was a bear to get in, I removed the gear fitting from the tranny to clean it up and screw everything together. Routed, and we're all good. Plugged it into the dash and had a bear of a time with that, speedometer still doesn't work after test driving so something isn't kosher just yet. I have to put a set of ralley gauges in requiring dash tear down, so no reason to go nuts trying to fix it just yet.

I also checked the fuses and found that the turn signal and stop lamps were both blown. I replaced them and imagine to my surprise they all worked! The stop lamps stopped working after a minor test drive, so something is intermittent in the circuit and causing shortings. At least I have turn signals, but I REALLY would like brake lights! I also need to bleed the brakes and replace any problems in the brake hardware and replace the tires. But that can wait for another day!

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Last updated March 2nd, 2014