Installing an engine in a 1949 Chevrolet 3100 Truck
Seems like forever ago that folks were fashioning motor mounts out of scrap steel-and that was the norm because, unlike today, folks didn’t have the so-called luxury of pre-made components at the ready. Problem is, some people are still resorting to the scrap metal option, oftentimes missing the “mark” with placement, let alone structural integrity. For those folks alone, we’d like to present the proper way in which to mount an engine in a Mustang II–equipped classic Chevy pickup.
It’s quite simple, really, just keeping in mind the importance of angles, interference of other components (harmonic balancer/water pump pulleys with crossmember, valve covers/distributor with firewall, stuff like that), and, of course, the quality of the installation itself (good penetrating welds, and so on).
Classic Performance Products (CPP) helps greatly when it comes to the simplicity factor with their weld-in, side-mount pedestals for small-block Chevys (which, with their FitRite adjustable engine plates, will accommodate LS swaps as well); no more cobbled together scrap. While we were over at CPP covering the various transformations being done on a 1949 3100 they were R&D’ing, we were able to document the process of properly installing engine mounts, as well as their bolt-in/adjustable transmission crossmember.
Unlike the placement of the suspension crossmember, there is no “exact” set of measurements in which to follow when installing an engine and trans-basically, you want everything to fit nicely between the boundaries, those being the radiator and firewall for the most part. Typically, you can do so without having to butcher up the firewall, however, when running a mechanical fan (rather than a slimmer, radiator-mount electric for instance), you’ll need more engine setback, in which case you may need to relieve some sheetmetal to accommodate the distributor. In our case, no portions of firewall were harmed or altered at any point during the procedure.