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1976 Chev Estate wagon

  
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1976 Chev Estate wagon

 
BMAC797 BMAC797
New User | Posts: 4 | Joined: 04/12
Posted: 04/18/12
09:18 PM

I recently picked up this ol girl without a motor and tranny. It had a 400 in it. I wanna do her up as a weekend cruiser but with a little bark. I noticed the rear end is quite saggy and one of my 2 questions is:
A) Could/ Would a 1/2 ton Chev 12 bolt rear end bolt up. And if so what affect will it have on the ride and would the back of the car be a lot higher than normal?
B) A motor i am looking for would be to get it to get up and go BUT don't want to be extreme. Will a 350 be sufficient or what should my max CID be with out being insane.

Any other tips would be greatful. Its my first project car in about 15 years.  

68scott385 68scott385
Enthusiast | Posts: 669 | Joined: 05/09
Posted: 04/19/12
01:09 PM

A) NO...coil springs on car, leaf springs on truck...can be MADE to work but will require cutting spring & shock mounts off one rear to weld to other rear.

To improve rear ride height, get new springs (O'Reilly's.com) and probably shocks too. If they're available get the variable rate springs, they increase spring rate as load is appiled to reduce the saggy britches look.

B) That boat will easily swallow a big block. So the question is how much grunt do you want? A 383 small block built for low-mid range operation will give you plenty of torque to make you grin. I say 383 as opposed to 350 because for the money spent getting a 350 crank prepped to go into a motor, you could have purchased a quality stroker crank with just a little extra work on the block.

Find a good used 700r4 and have it rebuilt for the duty it's going to do.
The factory 10-bolt will hold up in this application also, or could be upgraded with a posi unit. With the price of gas I wouldn't get crazy with the rear gears...3.23 to 3.42 with an overdrive trans.  
68scott385 68scott385 68scott385

idrivejunk idrivejunk
Guru | Posts: 1050 | Joined: 12/09
Posted: 04/19/12
05:55 PM

Nope, a truck rearend won't bolt up. I suggest air bags if you want any height adjustability. It may have broken air shocks on it now.

A stock 454 and TH400 from a truck would provide the torque you need for some snap, and be OK on the stock rearend. The 400 worked pretty good, but most small blocks will need some help to feel sporty at all in that thing. Wagons usually have good rearends, just tall gears.  
idrivejunk

452RBchevy_c10 452RBchevy_c10
User | Posts: 138 | Joined: 01/09
Posted: 04/19/12
06:43 PM

A 305 or 307 could work for a song if you want to fiddle with some gearing. All the engine in the world wont do ya any good without gearing.

The 454/TH400 could be had for a song as well if you search the ads. Perfect time to buy one now that the gas prices are high. Prices for big engines are in your favor now.  

BMAC797 BMAC797
New User | Posts: 4 | Joined: 04/12
Posted: 04/20/12
02:28 AM

6Qh8k1
The car has leafed suspension. I was unsure of a 454 or as a couple buddies mentioned...455 from a Buick clam shell wagon. Would 3:73 gears be sufficient in it because my brother has a set. Also I know truck suspensions are on top of the axle and cars are on the bottom which is why I asked about putting a truck rear suspension in.  

68scott385 68scott385
Enthusiast | Posts: 669 | Joined: 05/09
Posted: 04/20/12
07:32 AM

Sounds like you answered your own questions. Grab a tape measure and take some measurements.  
68scott385 68scott385 68scott385

pepsi1 pepsi1
Enthusiast | Posts: 301 | Joined: 10/11
Posted: 04/21/12
05:58 AM

Those big wagons also has 427 as an option!
Bob  

BMAC797 BMAC797
New User | Posts: 4 | Joined: 04/12
Posted: 04/21/12
05:50 PM

What would be the going rate on a 427? What tranny would be sufficient for it to bolt up to.