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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know where I can get my hands on a set of design drawings for the frame of a 97 Rodeo? I'm mainly interested in the front end, and motor mount set up in the 2.6 4cyl models.

I've had a crazy idea since I first bought my truck and its starting to become an obsession...... Maybe if I just work it all out with Engineering Drawings I'll be able to forego actually doing it.

The idea is to swap out the 4 banger and 5 spd tranny with a small block chevy V8 and say a turbo 400 automatic tranny. I know there will be a lot more to change, but for an old muscle car builder and racer... it'll be more of a project for braggin rights when its done than anything else. Besides, a 10 second quarter mile street legal Rodeo should turn a few heads.....
 

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Biggest thing I've heard of in a Rodeo is a Ford 302. I know there have been several that have done the SBC in the older Troopers but there is much more room under the hood as compared to the Rodeo.

Better take some good measurements.

I know the bulk of those that did this swap had to move the radiator forward to get clearance for even an electric fan setup. Also with the SBC engine you will need to clearance the firewall for the distributor.

Also other things that need to be addressed is oil pan clearance, front driveshaft clearance (of course these are if you are 4wd).

There are lots of things I know I've left out just trying to think of the big things.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The SBC isn't much bigger in over all size as the Ford Small block engines. You're right though about the distributor clearance. Having it in the back of the block could be a problem at the firewall.

A friend of mine and I put a 327 in an early Vega once. Used the Nova SS motor mounts upper and lower. The 350 is the same block and head size as the 327 was and the Rodeo has way more room in the engine compartment than the Vega did.

We did have to cut the Vega's fire wall to make it fit though. Changing the points, rotor and distributor cap was interesting with the distributor sitting where the radio used to.

We built it strictly for the drag strip, so having the interior cut up and done over with aluminum panels was no big deal. If I end up doing this, I'd like to keep the appearance as near to stock as possible.
 

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Well the fact that it's a 2wd will help more than anything.

Take pictures, and keep up posted.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It will be awhile before I make any changes. Unless I can find a adapter kit for it that will make it a simple weekend job.... yeah right.... :lol: But when I do it I'll surely post pictures.
 

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That stuff is cake. Chevy LUVs are just older Isuzu trucks whith the same style moro mounts and such. People have been dropping 350s in em for years. Im working on a Cad big block swap myself.
 
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