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1959 Chevrolet Corvette Vette Engine -...
1959 Chevrolet Corvette Vette Engine - Overhauling A Friend's '59 Vette Part 2
Rob's '59 Receives A New Crate Engine While He Looks The Other Way.
By Dick Moritz, Photography by Dick Moritz
April 28, 2009
The bellhousing, and newly resurfaced flywheel bolted right onto the new GM Performance Parts long-block with no problems, with a new GM heavy-duty clutch assembly for good measure. TIP: You can try this at home, but pay heed to the transmission type in the recipient vehicle. The good folks at GMPP don't know if their engines will end up in cars with manual or automatic transmission, so if you're dealing with a stick-shift car, be sure the back of the crankshaft is fitted with a suitable pilot bushing, and don't try to bolt up an automatic to an engine with a pilot bushing in the back of the crank; it won't be pretty.
The bellhousing, and newly resurfaced flywheel bolted right onto the new GM Performance Pa
Fortunately, a life spent mostly in a dry garage had been kind to the engine compartment, so only a light cleaning was needed to prepare it for its new powerplant. It was just about this time that the quicksand started creeping up to Bob's ankles, as he realized, with the Gardners' recommendations, that it made no sense to put decades-old accessories on a brand-new engine. And so, what started as a quick long-block swap, rapidly turned into a list of parts as long as Britney Spears' list of ex-husbands and boyfriends.
Fortunately, a life spent mostly in a dry garage had been kind to the engine compartment,
Gary Gardner and his guys knew the original-type WCFB was not up to the task of feeding the new engine, so out went the call for an Edelbrock No. 1406 - 600-cfm carburetor with electric choke sitting on top of a new Edelbrock Performer intake manifold that Bob found at a swap meet years earlier. From there it was a simple step to a new high-performance mechanical fuel pump and some hand-fabricated fuel lines.
Gary Gardner and his guys knew the original-type WCFB was not up to the task of feeding th
Our new engine dressed up very nicely with a coat of '50's Chevy Orange paint and a set of N.O.S. '69-'71 Corvette LT-1 valve covers, courtesy of eBay. During disassembly the original harmonic balancer was found to have separated from deterioration of the rubber, so a new one contributed to the deepening quicksand.
Our new engine dressed up very nicely with a coat of '50's Chevy Orange paint and a set of
It was quickly concluded that the original single points-type distributor would be incapable of properly lighting the fire in this healthy new engine, so Gardner's added a Pertronix billet electronic distributor with a high-energy coil, 8mm plug wires, and new spark plugs. This setup retained an original-type appearance and, with some deft modifications, fit nicely under the original ignition shielding.
It was quickly concluded that the original single points-type distributor would be incapab
See how the quicksand deepens so fast? We're not done yet.
Since almost everything was nearly new, the reinstallation went quite smoothly. A rebuilt starter was installed, the original tach drive generator overhauled, and the new powerplant slipped its way into its new home. Surprisingly, one of the biggest challenges was finding a somewhat original-looking air cleaner that would fit the Edelbrock carburetor and also provide adequate hood clearance. It ended up taking selected parts from each of three different factory and aftermarket air cleaners to find a combination that would work-an Edelbrock dropped base, a K&N air filter, and a '65-'67 Corvette 365hp repro air-cleaner lid with a decal from a '70 Corvette. The final assembly is an appropriate complement to the LT-1 valve covers.
Since almost everything was nearly new, the reinstallation went quite smoothly. A rebuilt
The engine replacement went more or less as planned, with a few extra parts and accessories needed to do the job properly. But, as reported last time, the new-found horsepower and torque far exceeded the capabilities of the original king pins, drum brakes, and recirculating ball steering setup. And so the die was cast for this simple engine swap to morph into a full-fledged restomod.
The engine replacement went more or less as planned, with a few extra parts and accessorie
Gardner's couldn't bear to install a 25-year-old water pump, which led to new hoses, clamps, and thermostat. A scratch of the chin and a short con-versation later, it was agreed that the original radiator was risky business, so the call went out to Corvette Central for its excellent repro brass radiator. This helped ensure that we wouldn't be reporting a Corvette fever in Corvette Fever.
Gardner's couldn't bear to install a 25-year-old water pump, which led to new hoses, clamp
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By Dick Moritz
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