Drivetrain and Suspension, Part II


Engine #2- Olds 455

The engine is a stock 8.0:1 Oldsmobile 455 from a '72 Toronado running the stock Quadrajet carburetor and Blackjack headers designed for a Cutlass.

The water-pump outlet on an Olds is opposite the outlet on the original AMC engine, so I needed to route the lower coolant hose under the engine to the lower outlet of the original radiator. You can also see the engine-mount adapters that I fabricated out of chunks of 3/8"-wall 4" box tubing to mount the engine to the original engine-mount towers. I am using the stock Olds engine and frame brackets, with 2" total spacers on the driver's-side to gain some clearance between the valve-cover and the power-brake booster.

Driveline #2: TH400 3spd Auto Transmission and NP205 gear-driven transfer case

The transmission is the guts from an '86 Chevy TH400HD unit in a '78 Buick TH400 case, rebuilt with a 32-element sprag and mated to an NP205 transfer-case from that same '86 Chevy, with a twin-stick shifter conversion.

Axles and Suspension #2: Dana 60 Front/GM 14-bolt Rear, Stock springs with a front Spring-Over conversion and a Rear shackle-inversion

The rear axle is a GM 10.5" 14-bolt from a '77 K-20, with a bit of shaving on the bottom of the pumpkin and '77 Eldorado disc-brakes mounted using Sky Manufacturing one-piece brackets. The springs are stock 5-leaf Wagoneer springs mounted below the frame with 1" longer shackles mounted in compression rather than tension. This setup hangs kind of low in back, so a coil-spring conversion may be in my future.

The front axle is an external-hub D60 from an '88 Dodge, with a steering arm and drag-link from Sky Manufacturing connected to the stock pitman arm on a J-20 steering box. The springs are stock 7-leaf Wagoneer springs with 1" longer shackles. The front and rear axles have 4.10:1 gears, with the front running a Lockrite and the rear welded solid. Overall the front SOA and rear shackle-inversion adds about 8" of height.

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