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1959 Corvette 283 FI

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by Pappabear1973, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. Apr 9, 2018
    Pappabear1973

    Pappabear1973 New Member

    Canandaigua ny
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    Jan 23, 2016
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    36
    this weekend I am picking up a block from a 1959 corvette. I was told that it was a running motor when pulled many years ago and was fuel injected. Over the years the po had used various parts in other engines. So I'm getting only the block with internals. The numbers do coincide with the year and is a 519 block that would have been later in 59 and its a coupe block. So very well could be.. Any ways I'm hoping to rebuild it into said engine and put into my 59 cj. I searched for small block engine info on here and only came up with four pages of posts. Many of which were only blocks or people trying to decide wether to use a SBC etc. I found nothing solid in some one using one and the modifications needed etc. I know in the corvette the t10 would have been used if it was a four speed. I want to make my cj a four speed. So what tranny and transfer case would be recommended that could handle the 290-315 hp of the 283 and the weight and 31s and the speed? I know I won't get the top end of 110mh lol. But seventy would be nice. Also any other help like motor mounts where to get a aluminum radiator exhaust manifolds what gears should I run etc. I am basically a nub to all of this. I can find several on google but again I can't seam to find any build threads online or any real info either. I am very sure there has been a few since the seventies. So you small block chevy guys help a fellow out would you. Especially if you have a 283. Thanks
     
  2. Apr 9, 2018
    Oldriginal86

    Oldriginal86 Member

    Pasadena, Md.
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    Nov 5, 2014
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    I installed a small block Chevy in my ‘61 CJ5. Did all this in the late 80’s, no build thread but happy to answer any questions. First off a Saginaw steering swap is needed, no room in there for engine and Ross box. As far as mounts I used stock Chevy mounts and clamshells. Fabricated perches off the frame from 3/16” x 4” plate. For the radiator, I had a custom built one built. This was long before the availability of the aftermarket aluminum ones. I used Advance Adapter fender well headers. They’ve held up ok but I don’t use the jeep much. Bought the chrome plated but wish I hadn’t. The chrome needs to be removed to have them Jet Hot coated. My transmission is a 400 automatic so I can’t help with your trans questions but plenty of knowledge on that subject here. Good luck with the project.
     
  3. Apr 9, 2018
    Pappabear1973

    Pappabear1973 New Member

    Canandaigua ny
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    Jan 23, 2016
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    I was going to ask about power starting. Thanks. With the Saginaw will I be better if to upgrade the staring column also? They are different teeth correct? What gear set are you running and what transfer case? How had it held up? Thanks. Any photos for inspiration?
     
  4. Apr 9, 2018
    Oldriginal86

    Oldriginal86 Member

    Pasadena, Md.
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    Nov 5, 2014
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    Still have the original axles for now. 5.38 ratio. 70 mph is possible but it takes a bunch of rpm. Original D18 transfer case. I replaced my steering column because I wanted tilt wheel but it isn’t necessary. Check out the Saginaw steering thread. I’ll try to get some “inspiration “ pics for you this weekend.
     
  5. Apr 9, 2018
    Pappabear1973

    Pappabear1973 New Member

    Canandaigua ny
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    Was wondering if like 4:11(?) or whatever in that range that's available would do better for the extra 5-10mph? Don't plan on any off road. Just occasional NY winter use....
     
  6. Apr 9, 2018
    mike starck

    mike starck Member

    salem,oregon
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    Jun 22, 2006
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    758
    I had a cj2a w/ 283 chev eng. so a couple things to consider.The early blocks like the one I had do not have motor mount bosses on the sides.Had to use a saddle mount across front of engine.That will cause a problem for P/S mount.I installed a Chev Borg Warner T-10 cast iron case 4 speed w/AA kit. Worked great with that hi-rev sbc and 5:38 gears. Later transferred to a M38A1 body. Heavier jeep and not as much fun.Where talkin late 1960's no fear .Those where the days. mike
     
  7. Apr 9, 2018
    Oldriginal86

    Oldriginal86 Member

    Pasadena, Md.
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    With V8 power I would think 3.73s if your not going with overdrive will get 70 with no issues.
     
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  8. Apr 9, 2018
    Daryl

    Daryl Sponsor

    Bonney Lake, WA
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    The biggest problem with the early sbc is not having holes in the heads to mount all the accessories. Best to go with 327 and later stuff. It was very popular from 1955 on to throw a sbc in front of a long shaft T90 as it was a very simple adapter. I have had several flatfenders with that combination and it works well especially if you keep the period generator. Next to a Buick v6, a sbc probably the most swapped motor into a Jeep ever.
     
  9. Apr 9, 2018
    Karl Childers

    Karl Childers Member

    Taos New Mexico
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    Sep 6, 2017
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    137
    I've always had a soft spot for 283 small blocks. My jeep has one from the last owner and it's a nice powerplant for a small light vehicle like a CJ. mine makes about 185 HP and it is more than enough. It has a two barrel carb and stock rams horn manifolds. The rest of the the running gear is stock and with a light foot the Jeep has held up well. The one change I would like to make in the future is to swap in a SM420 transmission but mainly for the compound low. If I were to build my little small block out to 315 HP I would be looking to change out the running gear from the motor back with some pretty stout pieces to handle that kind of power. My suggestion would be to start with a 283 in a much milder state of tune and see how you like it, you may find it to be enough. BTW the 283 small block was one of the first motors to achieve 1HP per cubic inch but it was the Corvette motor and it was mechanical fuel injection. I've also seen them with one barrel carbs in late 50's two ton trucks. :D
     
  10. Apr 9, 2018
    Pappabear1973

    Pappabear1973 New Member

    Canandaigua ny
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    Jan 23, 2016
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    Yes I wondered about the saddle mount of it would have that or not? One nice thing about a saddle mount is I can angle the engine slightly I would think so there won't be as much angle in the drive shaft when I do my 2" lift?

    Yes where would the Saginaw pump go?

    Will have to cut firewall for space for distributor right?

    The t10 held up with the rest of the drive system??

    Does not come with heads so I assume I can use later heads?
     
  11. Apr 9, 2018
    Pappabear1973

    Pappabear1973 New Member

    Canandaigua ny
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    I see that there is a plethora of 2bbl and 4bbl and pro flow efi kits now. Not sure which route I will go yet with that... I'm sure cost will be the deciding factor.... That and height.....b
     
  12. Apr 9, 2018
    SIDSCJ

    SIDSCJ Jeep addict

    14th State
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    If you end up finding and using the saddle mount (goes on front of block) I have a set of the frame brackets the saddle would sit on.
    NIB, picked 'em up years ago. Probably won't ever use them.
     
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  13. Apr 9, 2018
    Oldriginal86

    Oldriginal86 Member

    Pasadena, Md.
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    I set the engine as far back as possible with out cutting the firewall. No need to do that. However there is no room for a mechanical fan. Had to use a Mallory electronic distributor as a GM HEI was too big. I built the engine myself and estimate around 300 hp. or less. Running 35” tires and haven’t broke anything yet. I think the automatic may have a bit to do with that but it’ll chirp second gear.
     
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  14. Apr 9, 2018
    jpflat2a

    jpflat2a what's that noise?

    Riverside CA
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    Jul 30, 2003
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    The T10 shifter ends up being right next to your right leg, and off the hump.
    The T90 has been used extensively behind SBC and has a good track record of use.
    I've also seen mechanical fans on these so I don't know what issues folks have with those.
    Just have to be easy on the skinny pedal.
     
  15. Apr 9, 2018
    Daryl

    Daryl Sponsor

    Bonney Lake, WA
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    Pertronix in an original distributor works great. No need to cut the dash on a 5 that way. The grill usually gets cut back or best to use a 72-86 grill.
     
  16. Apr 9, 2018
    tarry99

    tarry99 Member

    Northern California
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  17. Apr 9, 2018
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    I have a machinists "bible" of casting numbers, and your 3556519 block casting was used from 1956 through 1967. There were a lot of those 283's made for about every form of Chevy. The date codes will confirm when the block was cast. The stamped numbers on the right front cylinder deck will tell the rest of the story, provided they haven't been milled off from decking the block. I don't have that info at hand, but it can easily be found on the Chevy boards. If your block was truely from a '59 fuelly Vette, it could be very valuable, maybe too valuable to put in a Jeep!
    If you supply the date code and the stampings, I will find out what you have, if you like.
    As mentioned above, this early 283 is not a particularly good choice because there are no bosses on the block sides for engine mounts, and the heads have no accessory bosses (I happen to have a '58 Vette. 283 engine, 4bbl/3spd manual originally).
    The front mounting plate takes up a fair amount of real estate in the form of a big obstacle to get past. You can use later '60's through into the 1980s heads so you can mount both an alternator (early 283s has a generator hung on the exhaust manifold) and power steering pump, or any other "modern" accesories. A 2bbl carb would be adequate, but an alloy aftermarket 4bbl intake would save lots of weight (alloy heads, even more weight savings!).
    The stock Chevy bellhousing will take a 4spd Saginaw, T10, or Muncie straight out of a passenger car (the last two being preferred) and between Novak and Advance Adapters, these can be mated to the D18 transfer case. I have one of each in my Jeeps. The downside to this (besides cost) is the bellhousing is shallow making it necessary to make a well in the firewall for the distributor, and you end up with an offset-to-the-left shifter, usually a Competition Plus.
    If you get the T90 to Chevy adapter, its a bit longer, and you use the T90J long input shaft from a Willys wagon/pickup. A T90 will last pretty well unless you really beat on it. I never broke mine behind a V8.
    As far as gears, with a V8, the 4:27 ratio found in Kaiser era f134 CJs are perfect. I know I seen well over 80 mph in my younger days. 70 mph cruise was "normal" in my old Tux on 29" tires, yet still had plenty of crawl.
    You might be better off selling the early 283 to fund your build if it really is from a '59 Vette, but the vast majority of 238s are from other Chevys. Those stamped numbers in front of the head, along with date codes, will tell the story.
    -Donny
     
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  18. Apr 9, 2018
    gunner

    gunner Member

    Washington state...
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    Dec 4, 2012
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    Why would it require that style bellhousing? Is it the design- bolt holes for example- or do you need the mounting points? Next question, if you used those mounting points, you'd then have the engine/tran/TC mounted up in 3 places: front of engine, bellhousing and TC or tranny?
     
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  19. Apr 9, 2018
    Pappabear1973

    Pappabear1973 New Member

    Canandaigua ny
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    You guys rock!! Keys5a nice information. Thank you very much. Sidscj I am sure I will be taking you up in that offer!! I will know for sure this weekend. Thank you.
     
  20. Apr 9, 2018
    Pappabear1973

    Pappabear1973 New Member

    Canandaigua ny
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