1957 Chevy Restoration "The Godfather" Part 4

1957 Chevy Restoration "The Godfather" Part 4

     I’m coming along fine with “The Godfather”… I did notice I left out some pics on the front motor mounts. I think I was letting the paint dry and put the motor back in for the trans crossover. As you can see the motor mounts almost look factory installed… (1-4)

Transmission Crossover Mount

     Now I installed the engine again - did I mention how EASY that is with a P-ayr replica engine! The Lakewood Scatter shield has the `55-57 side frame mounts, this allowed me to again position the engine where it needed to be without any guesswork. I then installed the Borg Warner Super T-10 4-speed. It’s a steel case all nickel gear “Race” piece with a 2.64 first gear. (5-6)

      I remember in the 60’s we all wanted the “Close” ratio trans and thought that was the best setup for our street and race cars. I have since learned that the wide ratio gears allow you to run say, 3:90 or 4:10 rear gears instead of say 4:30-4:50’s - the 2.64 first gear of the trans allows you the same bottom end but at everyday highway speeds it’s  much better…

     I bolted the trans mount to the trans, then the crossover to the trans mount. I placed the side mounting brackets against the frame to mark the weld area I needed to clean to bare metal. After cleaning off the paint to ensure a good weld I clamped the brackets in place and tack welded the corners. I’ll do full welds the next time I take the motor out - that will allow me full access and eliminate some awkward welding positions. (7-10)


      I wanted to make sure that the clutch Z-bar lined up - it was a little off but the flat bar with the pivot stud that bolts to the bellhousing had two bends in it and by straightening out the bends a little it lengthened it just enough to work. (11)

Steering Box

     I installed a 605 steering box toying with the idea of power steering but the fenderwell header came across the top and were TOO close to the fluid lines so I used the original box. It was a stretch to put the 605 on a “Nostalgic” gasser and I’m kind of glad it didn’t work out. As you can see there’s plenty of room now for the fenderwell headers. (12-13)

     I rebuilt the idler arm with a special bearing kit I purchased from J&E Chevy instead of using bushings and from what I’m told this will make the steering effort a lot easier.

     Here’s a side view of the header over the front wheel. (14)

    Rear suspension.

     Here’s a picture of the lakewood Traction bars installed on the car in the late 60’s and still on the car when I got it back in 1995. (15)

  I installed new shackles and bushings from Classic Performance Products on the rear springs and hung them in place.

     Oops I almost forgot - I said I would keep you posted about the front spindle nut-washer and cotter pin -  Classic Performance called me back and said that they did NOT recommend running the front spindle without the flat washer - they sent me out a set of thinner washers and different castellated nuts. I installed them and the cotter pin went in as it was supposed to - Thanks CPP!

         Now back to the rear... I placed the rear Olds housing onto the leaf springs and  installed the set of Traction Bars that Lakewood sent me. They came powder coated in black and looked fine but my original ones were YELLOW. So as you can see I painted them to match. I’ll get the Lakewood logos and put them on each side.  The J-Bolts were installed and when I get the frame on the floor with some weight on the suspension I’ll adjust the bars so that they are parallel to the ground.


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