1957 Chevy Restoration "The Godfather" Part 3

1957 Chevy Restoration  "The Godfather" Part 3

P-Ayr Products

      “Who would want a plastic replica engine when you can get the real thing?” The many advantages of lightweight replicas are known to street rod and race car fabricators, performance retailers, and even major auto manufacturers. In the 12-year history of P-Ayr products, their collection has grow from a single Chevy short block replica to now over 150 part numbers.

      It’s important to stress that while many of their products are used for decorative or display purposes, each one is a faithful reproduction of the original, often with the cooperation of the original manufacturer. They use steel inserts for all bolt holes, and all specifications are held to OEM tolerances. You can bolt any factory component or accessory to a P-Ayr engine and it will fit! That’s why many P-Ayr engines and transmissions are used to design and build chassis.

     I can’t stress enough how easy engine mockups are when you use a P-Ayr replica engine block.

Motor Mount Installation.

     Time to set up the motor in the stock position and install the side mounts from Street & Performance. In order to do that we have to mount the backing plate and scatter shield from Lakewood. Photos 1-3

      As you see we used the stock engine mounts to locate the motor in the correct position - side mounts on the Lakewood bell housing really helped. We will eliminate these when we install the rear transmission mount crossover bar. For some reason it’s not recommended to run bell housing mounts and rear trans mounts together. Anyone want to tell me why? Photos 4-6

      Ok, engine is in place - lets take off the stock front mounts and clamp on the side mount kits from Street & Performance. I did use the cam hole in the replica block as well as the timing cover bolt holes as references to make sure the engine was centered over the cross member. Photos 7-8

     I clamped the mounts in place and removed the motor - no chains or hoists needed here! With the holes drilled I needed expert help to install the nuts and bolts thru the mounts. I enlisted my wife Mary Anne… Her hands are smaller and could actually get thru the bottom access holes in the cross member to reach the bolts sticking thru - she started the nuts and ran them up the bolts. She also retrieved the bottom rubber spacer and washer from the original mounts that I dropped in the cross member and couldn’t reach. I want to get her involved with the project and I’m certain I’ll have her paint stripping and sanding the fenders in no time…

     Notice the Busted Knuckle stool in the picture? They’re great to have around the shop for bench work or that pause between jobs. Yes, I have stopped trying to pick up the wrench painted on the seat before I sit down. Photo 1

 Front Disk Brakes

      Let’s move on to the front disk brakes. No, I did not have them on the “Godfather” in the late 60’s and yes I’m trying to restore it to the way it was but for safety sake I’ll make a few exceptions. 50 some year old drum brakes are not a good idea when I want to pound the gears in the quarter mile.

     Classic Performance Products came to the rescue with this neat conversion package. Everything just bolts onto your stock spindles. They also have 2” dropped spindles but that’s not the look I want for this Gasser. Photo 9

     Now, time for the caliper brackets. The caliper brackets are offset so you must install them on the correct side - the bags are labeled L & R. Which is great till you take them out of the bags and throw the bags away. I could not find any L-R markings on the brackets - So I had to assemble the pads on the (wet) calipers to line them up and install the correct bracket on the correct side.

     I am trying to plan ahead and paint the parts the night before but I might add that I’m getting good at installing “Wet” parts without messing them up. But it’s not recommended... The kit comes with the correct bolts and everything went together nicely. Photos 10

     I chose not to paint the anodized brackets and just left them as they were. I think it looks OK…

     I then de-greased the rotors so I could paint the exposed metal. I did give then a night to dry... I hand packed the inner and outer bearings. Once that was done I placed the inner race bearing and installed the seal. The other part of the bearings is already pressed into the rotors. For the life of me I can’t remember what they are called. OK I looked it up - Tapered roller bearings use conical rollers that run on conical races - so the races are pre-installed… Google is great and I’m getting old… Photos 11-12

    After sliding the outer bearing on I discovered that the cotter pin would not go thru the hole with the washer installed. Back to Google - I found that it was OK to leave the washer out and just install the nut but wanted further confirmation on this. Ron, the race guru who lives across the street said it would be ok, and CPP agreed but said that they did supply a shorter castellated nut for this purpose. After explaining that I already had the shorter nut installed they said that they knew of a few isolated cases where the cotter pin hole was just in a little too far in…  They requested I send them the photos and they would have their R&D department look into it. I’ll keep you posted. Photos 13

     I installed the calipers and made sure that the rotors spun without any binding. Installing the brake hoses was a breeze and the disk brake installation is finished. Photos 14-15

      So got the calipers and rotors installed - now for the real test - would the American Racing Torq-Thrust D 15x4.5 wheels fit? YES!!! As you can see there is plenty - well not plenty - but certainly enough room with some to spare. And don’t they look GREAT! WOW! I can’t wait till the rear is finished and the frame is sitting on all 4’s…Photos 16-17




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