'63 Engine Swap

Out with the OLD...

And here's the NEW...

This is the 307 that is the original motor out of Craig's '73. Looks a little like a stock 283, no? It has 67,000 miles on it, so the short block was left original, except for switching to a Chevy II oil pump, oil pump pickup and oil pan.

The top end consists of ported 461 double hump 327 heads, Summit (ground by Crane Cams) hydraulic cam with 224/234 duration at .050", Edelbrock Performer intake modified for the oil filler tube and a Holley 1850 600 cfm 4-bbl. carb. It should make about 300 hp, but the low end torque won't be anything to write home about. That's OK, it'll keep Angella's lead foot from getting her in trouble.

The 307 is no more. The Summit cam went flat very quickly, which put a ton of metal throughout the motor. So Craig pulled it and tore it down. The crank was lightly scratched and the bearings were wiped out. The block and crank were taken to the machine shop for cleaning and polishing, but the shop found a crack in the block, so it was retired from duty.

While the cam was going flat, the Powerglide in the convertible also started slipping. What a terrible run of luck, now it needs a motor and a tranny!

Craig bought a running and driving '76 Monte Carlo for $350. It had a solid running 350 and a good feeling TH350 tranny. The motor and tranny were pulled and then the Monte was sold for $200. $150 ain't bad for a running 350 and a good tranny!

So the 350 was built up using the same parts that were on the 307. It should be quite a bit stronger than the first V8 setup and the lower 1st gear of the TH350 will help get the car moving much easier.

After driving the new setup with the 350/TH350 combo, I must say that its a pretty stout little ride. The stock converter is a mismatch with the medium sized cam, but low ETs isn't the focus of this Nova so I can live with it. I do plan on taking it to the track a time or two in the fall of '02 just to see what it'll do. I think it can turn solid 14s.

Here are some shots of the 350 installed:


Feedback and questions are always welcome, please click the "Contact" links if you'd like to leave some.

©2015 Bruce Johnson and Craig Watson