Engine leveling and mounting

Red98422

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well gents it looks like I’ll be switching to a “traditional” swap and going with a FR layout. As try as I might there was no way for me to fit with a cage safely with a helmet on.

That said I’ll be swapping the Cadillac into a Datsun 280zx I just wondered how you guys went about leveling the engine and figuring pinion angle? I’m assuming (hoping) it’s not just a take in and out of the car numerous times until it’s correct.

Another question is how critical is the level of the engine? I know my pinion angles need to be pretty much perfect but what about the engine itself?
 

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mario

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The original owner of this board, shiftless, was putting one in his 240. Don't remember how far he got, but he was past mounting the engine and trans. Iirc he had made a "k" frame for the front end. Don't know if those old posts are still available. He posted a few times on this board. Nathan is his name. Was big into megasquirt installs.
Maybe some of the "real old" members ( bro d) can fill in the missing info.
Ciao,
Mario
 

Red98422

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The original owner of this board, shiftless, was putting one in his 240. Don't remember how far he got, but he was past mounting the engine and trans. Iirc he had made a "k" frame for the front end. Don't know if those old posts are still available. He posted a few times on this board. Nathan is his name. Was big into megasquirt installs.
Maybe some of the "real old" members ( bro d) can fill in the missing info.
Ciao,
Mario
Thanks for the heads up, I may have have read about him and his car in an article or post. If it’s the same guy I think he called his creation the 820z or something along those lines
 

Darius

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Howdy Red98422

Boy do I have answers for you!

First of all, while it is important to get such things as 'right' as possible, it isn't that difficult to do.
The challenge for me to is to keep the answer as short and simple as the task itself is. Let's start by saying you will need a couple of good levels, of different varieties. The reasons being not every level fits everywhere, and secondly it is good to have the reading of one unit confirmed by a second unit.

Engine down slope:
https://www.google.com/search?q=pro...4KHbDDA5wQ9QEwAHoECAUQAw#imgrc=lCHVjFBKZG90iM:

Apparently, some intake manifolds are designed with a built-in slope. That was intended to offset whatever downward tilt of the engine and in the old days to keep fuel in float bowls are level as possible. That said, you can take reading from a number of places on the engine: flat of the crank pulley, flat of the water pump pulley, rails of the heads at the valve covers. I tried to get my engine downslope to zero but the closest it got was 4 1/2 degrees - which is fine. That measurement was confirmed by placing a level vertically across the output of the transfer case yoke.

The side to side, or rotational tilt of the engine was determined by using a long level across the valve covers. Done!

Overall two electronic digital levels were used, two of those round suckers seen everywhere, one long bubble unit (4-5 foot?) which belongs to Doc Wyman (if he's listening), two short (foot long) bubble levels. That totals seven.

As for engine side to side offset I was able to find the factory center points of the 1985 S10 frame and used that to offset the engine 3/4 inch to the passengers side. That provided much needed room for the Big Caddy engine to not rub against the front differential housing. It also was in tune with the pinion/flange offset of the rear differential.

As for drives-haft to rear end angles:

The link at the top of this posting is a good one to look over. My situation is somewhat different in that the rear is an independant or IRS setup which means that the differential housing (third member) doesn't move, up or down, or rotate, as it would in a live (stick) axle. That allow me to set the pinion angle to match that of the "engine-trans-transfer case" and not worry about axle wrap or any other movement. So, where my powertrain is at a 4 1/2 degrees downward slope the pinion is at 4 1/2 degrees upward, thereby making the two lines run parallel, or next to one another.

Hope this helps more than it confuses.

By the way, nice looking car! What part of Washington are you in?

bro. d (just remembered another level, probably one of the best, in my cell phone.)
 

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5one9

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What vehicle(s) do you drive?
2007 Magnum SRT8, 1957 F100
Caddy engine in a 280Z? That is going to be unbelievably cool.......and quick!
 

Red98422

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Bro D,
I’m out here in Tacoma, Wa. And she’s kinda a pretty girl with small cosmetic issues, but thank the lord no serious rust issues (they are typically plagued with them).

That is more than helpful on the posted links, for now it’ll be an IRS car...however only being a R180 it would not be long for this world behind any serious torque. Plans for the future are for a R200 swap and going to halfshafts instead of the CV...I’m trying to avoid back halving the car if I can help it.

Mario,
That definitely checks out haha. I think I found his “build page” http://stampie.com/SYP/syp/syp.html

5one9,
I hope so, still kinda bummed about the original plans but it’s not going to weight too much more than the Fiero I was going to build and it should turn some heads.
 

5one9

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What vehicle(s) do you drive?
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It's just my personal opinion, but I like the 280Z idea way better than the Fiero.
 

Monzallac 425

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When I put the 425 in my Monza , I just made 1/4" steel ear shaped plates , bolted them to the heads, mounted them to the frame rails with pieces of angle iron bolted through the rails. I welded in a piece of pipe in the rails as not to crush the rails.

Never had a problem with vibration drag racing the car, engine was mounted more towards the passenger side to clear the steering shaft.

I think I had 3* driveshaft angle.

Doug in P.R.:cool:
 

Red98422

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When I put the 425 in my Monza , I just made 1/4" steel ear shaped plates , bolted them to the heads, mounted them to the frame rails with pieces of angle iron bolted through the rails. I welded in a piece of pipe in the rails as not to crush the rails.

Never had a problem with vibration drag racing the car, engine was mounted more towards the passenger side to clear the steering shaft.

I think I had 3* driveshaft angle.

Doug in P.R.:cool:
That is definitely interesting, never thought about that. Heck I don’t actually think I’ve seen anybody do that before outside of a front/mid plate . Sounds like it allows the engine to be lowered quite a ways.
 

Darius

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When I put the 425 in my Monza , I just made 1/4" steel ear shaped plates , bolted them to the heads, mounted them to the frame rails with pieces of angle iron bolted through the rails. I welded in a piece of pipe in the rails as not to crush the rails.

Never had a problem with vibration drag racing the car, engine was mounted more towards the passenger side to clear the steering shaft.

I think I had 3* driveshaft angle.

Doug in P.R.:cool:
Bro. Doug,

I can't picture those "ear shaped plates" and hope that you have a picture of them. Is that a possibility?

bro. d
 

Monzallac 425

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Sorry I did , but they were on my desktop's hard drive that crashed before Maria.

I might still have the cardboard templates somewhere in the boxes from my backyard shop in AZ .

Not really that complicated, make them on cardboard first , put the bolt holes on the cardboard , and trace to 1/4" plate. Making sure they are long enough to make it to the frame rails. Pretty sure I had to shorten the alternator spacers a bit also...

Ear Shaped = rabbit ears

Doug in P.R.:cool:
 
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PJ McCoy

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Doug! I am still lost. can you draw it for us? This is a very interesting approach. rear mounted 500 into a VW. wheelies anyone?
 

Monzallac 425

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Something like this but on the cylinder head, remembered the idea from a old Hot Rod magazine of some guy putting a 440 in a Dart using the same idea but using the water pump bolts to hold the engine supported.

I used angle iron on the frame rails with a piece of old tire under it and a bolt through.

Like this....



Doug in P.R.:cool:
 

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