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Thread: Engine Crossmembers and Driveshafts

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    Engine Crossmembers and Driveshafts

    66BeachCruiser has been working on his 66 and some questions came up regarding 1st and 2nd gen crossmembers and driveshafts. Since I had some handy, I thought I would post up some pics and try to show the differences.
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    Black one is 2nd gen and white one is 1st gen. The spacing between the mounts is a quick way to tell the difference between them.
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    The rivets were removed and will be replaced with bolts. The mounts can not be switched left to right or from 1st to 2nd gen since the holes and shape do not line up.
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    I set up a sheetrock square on edge and lined it up with the forward bolt holes. Then I measured the distance from the square to the motor mount bolt hole.
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    Measured out right at 4".
    Then I set it up the same way on the 1st gen.
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    Measured out right at 1".

    So it looks to me that the 2nd gen crossmember moves the motor mount holes toward the rear by 3". While I did not take notice at the time, I don't think there is a difference in the height of the motor mount bolt holes so I don't think the motor is any higher or lower with either crossmember setup, but I will recheck this.
    I then went out to the 69 WedgieVan 90' wb and measured the driveshaft and also the 66 FreakyVan 90" wb.
    The 2nd gen driveshaft was 22 1/2" and the 1st gen was 24 1/2". This is measured without the yoke, just the driveshaft.
    108VanGuy...
    Last edited by 108VanGuy; 08-28-2019 at 01:26 PM. Reason: spelling errors
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 Spd.with OD, 3.36 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan" 292 TFI coming. Owned since 76
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    1969 Chevy 108 Display 307 CID THM 350 Power Brakes 3.73 Posi
    1965 Chevy Panel, V8, 3 Spd. "Gold Hills Van" Best body of my 65s
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.

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    Interesting comparison. It would appear that when someone put a 283 in my '65, they used a 2nd gen crossmember. Is the motor mount bolt hole spacing the same? Will a 1st gen mount work with a small block chevy V8?

    The 3" setback is a good thing. It allows me to keep the stock '96 vortec accessories, and still have room for a large electric fan and shroud.

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    VCVC Member panelmanrd's Avatar
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    yes the first gen crossmember will work to support a small block chevy
    54 chevy panel truck 355 tpi 700r4 325/9in
    64 chevy 90 5.7 tpi 700r4 336 8.2
    69 chevy panel van 5.7 tbi 700r4 336 8.2

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    VCVC Member 66BeachCruiser's Avatar
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    Man, the 3" setback towards the rear is a big difference. This 2nd gen crossmember and and driveshaft is definitely something to consider to gain necessary clearance. Anything else moves back at the same time as the engine would? Then there's the transmission right lol, and then the shift levers if any lol. Well, we know crossmembers are different, are transmission levers longer too? I might have one of each to compare.
    1966 Chevy Sportvan seafoam green/white
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    VCVC Member panelmanrd's Avatar
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    if I remember correctly the first gen vans have the mounting holes for the engine crossmember in different location than the second gens
    54 chevy panel truck 355 tpi 700r4 325/9in
    64 chevy 90 5.7 tpi 700r4 336 8.2
    69 chevy panel van 5.7 tbi 700r4 336 8.2

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    So...... If you are going to put a 2nd Gen doghouse in your 1st Gen to go with a V8 swap, which crossmember would you use?

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    VCVC Member No1rascal's Avatar
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    Great info Mark, thanks 4 posting it!
    1966 GMC Handi-Bus Custom (project)
    1968 Chevy 90 panel
    1968 Chevy 108 Sportvan

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    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by panelmanrd View Post
    if I remember correctly the first gen vans have the mounting holes for the engine crossmember in different location than the second gens
    1st gens 64 to 66 only came factory with the 6 cylinder engines.
    V/8's where introduced with the new 2nd gen design in 67.
    Plenty 1st gens have been converted to V/8s muddying the waters a bit.
    ALL where factory 6 cylinder Vans....
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

  9. #9
    VCVC Member TurboVan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookee View Post
    1st gens 64 to 66 only came factory with the 6 cylinder engines.
    V/8's where introduced with the new 2nd gen design in 67.
    Plenty 1st gens have been converted to V/8s muddying the waters a bit.
    ALL where factory 6 cylinder Vans....
    Not true. My '65 came with the 4 cylinder 153 and standard trans. It sucked and I couldn't wait to get rid of it. The 153 used its own special towers on the first gen crossmember.
    When I wanted to put in the V8, I went down to the Chevy dealer and was able to buy just the towers for a six cylinder (which also fit the V8), drilled out the rivets, and bolted the new towers to the crossmember.
    Not sure if the 153 was an option and the six standard, or the other way around, but fours were surely available in '64 and '65.
    Last edited by TurboVan; 09-01-2019 at 05:53 PM.
    Keep one foot in the gutter, one fist in the gold...

    '65 Panel, with turbocharged 327 (originally 153 four), TH400 (originally 3-speed), and 3.31 '67 Camaro 12 bolt rear (my first car, 1970)
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    '69 Sportvan 108 with turbocharged original 250 six and 700R4 (originally Powerglide), 3.73 rear, starred in eight Taco Bell commercials
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  10. #10
    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    Sorry I forget about the 4 cylinders....
    Both the 4/6 cylinders also had a transmission, auto / manual with a mounting bracket /hanger formed into the transmission it's self....
    Last edited by Wookee; 09-01-2019 at 06:18 PM.
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

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