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Engine swap

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by steven1213, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. steven1213

    steven1213 Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    I bought a 350 that came out of a 1983 GMC van and I am putting it into my 1976 Chevy K20.
    Are there any problems that I should consider when installing it? The guy at the wrecking yard said everything should match up fine. -------------Thanks, Steve
     
  2. steven1213

    steven1213 Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    I wanted to add this to my original posting:
    According to the vin# the truck originally came with a 305 engine but I think it now has a 400 in it. Any way the guy at the wrecking yard told me that the engine would bolt up and changing the flywheel is not needed. The only difference I see is the dipstick is on the opposite side but the exhaust manifold appears the same. Also he said to disconnect the torque converter from the flywheel and slide it back into the transmission before removing the engine. He suggested this is how many novices like myself can ruin the tranny. He also said I would need to rotate it three clicks upon installing/removing the converter so I do not damage the gearbox? Can someone clarify for me what he means by this against what do I rtate the converter? -----------Thanks, Steve
     
  3. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    The engine will work fine.

    A 400 has a different balancer and flexplate/flywheel, externally balanced, so you need to use the one from the wrecker motor. The dipstick change was made in the early '80s and is irrelevant other than that it uses a different block casting, pan, and stick... so as long as the parts all match its good.

    When you unbolt the torque convertor, you can slide it towards the rear of the truck by about 1/4" or so. What he is saying is that when the engine is out, some people take the TC off to try and drain it, change the seal etc. and when they put it back in, they don't get it to 'bottom' all the way (because it has to engage onto TWO splined shafts) and then try to bolt up the tranny, forcing it together with the bolts and break the ears off the casting of the tranny.

    So if you take it off you for any reason, you need to put it back, press lightly and turn and it drops, THEN KEEP DOING IT and it will drop again for a second time. Keep going, just to make sure it won't go any further. Only then is it bottomed, so the face of the bellhousing will butt up flat against the block. NEVER try to draw them together with the bolts... or a broken housing will result.

    And don't scrap the 400. They are worth some money as a core.
     
  4. steven1213

    steven1213 Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Thank you very much for the help Derek. The way you explained it makes perfect sense. ----Steve
     
  5. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    My pleasure. Done enough of them in my time. Its one of the joys of working on a Chevy--everything is simple as dirt and the parts are almost entirely interchangable.