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Thread: 500 Caddy/G Body Swap
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    Mike P's Avatar
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    500 Caddy/G Body Swap

     



    Well last week I picked up a parts truck for the 84 El Camino project (far cheaper/quicker to replace the door and tailgate than find and wait on a body shop). The parts truck is really not in all that bad of shape so......well you see where this is going don't you.....

    Anyway I have a 500 out of an El Dorado, and TH400 from a 69 Pontiac and probably a 9" that is close to the right width. I've found the engine mount swap kits on line so this kind of sounds like something I might want to put all together at some point.

    Anybody gone thru one of these swaps and have any insights?
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  2. #2
    R Pope is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    The Caddy will fit anywhere a BBC will, it's actually smaller in most dimensions, including weight.
    HRM did that exact swap years ago. They took the 'Mino to the strip but never got a good time because everybody was having too much fun smoking the tires the full quarter! You just might have a slight traction problem.
    I've had three Camino's, a '72 SS, an '82 SS, and still have a '74 Custom. Love 'em. Always wanted a 500 Caddy, but haven't found one yet.

  3. #3
    Mike P's Avatar
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    ".....You just might have a slight traction problem......"

    Ya think Kind of the point for the whole exercise

    Another big plus on the Caddy is that itís supposed to only be 50 pounds heavier than the SBC.

    Iíve had several El Caminos over the years and still have the 68 BB/4sp/12bolt one Iíve used as a shop truck for years and the 84 Iím building to sell.

    The problem with the 68 is that once I get through doing the planned restoration on it will be too nice and valuable enough I wonít want to use it as a truck (unfortunately the same problem I currently have with the 76 Dodge I originally bought to replace the 68 for shop duties with ).

    Anyway this is a down the road type project (chances are I might get the SB swap in the 87 D50 done before I start on this one). Having one around even it is a back burner project will make selling the 84 a little easier. Iím just kind of looking for some input on the swap right now.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  4. #4
    canadianal's Avatar
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    if your going to get the engine mount kit and the caddy motor has a hei you should be able to make the swap real easy , if you want headers that can be a pain, you can get caddy flanges and adapt them to a set of big block headers for your car,i dont know if the caddy suppliers had headers for many applications, you dont need much gear in it mine has 3.50 and thats on the far end for a 500. Be ready to spin tires

  5. #5
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Pope, I have a friend who actually had a copy of that Hot Rod issue that he let me make a copy of. Between the article and some of the posts on the Caddy engine forum this almost looks too easy.

    Iím pretty much in the information/ parts collecting stage (as long as the parts are either free or extremely cheap or I can work a swap )

    Actually as it sits now the truck is a little rough, the front clip is nice, but as I found out when I got it home the doors have some rust in the bottoms. The interchange books show the only doors that are a bolt on are El Camino and Malibu which are just not around here any more.

    Looking around the net though I found out that if I use the entire front clip and doors (windows have to be changed) from a Monte Carlo it will work and I think it gives it a pretty neat look. The second picture is one the conversion has been done to. I can live without the visor but I do like the looks. Iíve located a donor Monte at local wrecking yard that has all the straight rust free sheetmetal I will need itís been there for years and would likely go in the next crush otherwise. I should be able to get pretty cheaper than doing the body work to repair the doors I have.

    I canít believe how well the parts collecting is going at this point. I already have the 500 Caddy El Dorado engine with the correct pan (and a 472 for parts that will donate the drivers exhaust manifold and non-EGR intake). My Pontiac TH 400 turned up MIA, but a friend donated one from a 455 Pontiac he no longer had a need for. Another guy donated a pair of new rear springs and shocks that he never got around to installing before he sold the car (the rear springs currently on the El Camino had been cut).

    Yesterday was a good day for parts collecting. While I was wondering around the wrecking yard after looking over the blue Monte, I wandered over to the crush pile (cars that are already prepped and stacked waiting on the crusher) and there on the middle of a three car stack was another Monte (too rough to use for sheetmetal). I HAD to climb and take a peek inside. It had a red interior (Iím leaning towards doing the El Camino in red anyway) with really nice door panels and the red kick panels and windshield trim I will need. It also had a gauge cluster with gauges instead of idiot lights unfortunately it clock instead of tach equipped but itís a start. As Iím one of the guys that often helps out during the crushing they told me just to take what I wanted as it was going on the crusher anyway.

    For this is a project Iíve decided to keep a record of what Iím spending on it (usually not a good idea you usually donít really want to know how much you really have in a project ) . Out of pocket to date (including the parts I spent money on or traded for over the last 10 years or so which includes the motors), Iím into it for around $500 at this point.

    When you subtract the things like the truck itself that was bought as a parts car and the needed parts used on another project the El Camino basically ends up being free. Then their things were bought as a package deal and pieces sold off (like buying 2 caddy parts cars with 472s for $100 and selling one 472 for $50 etc). When all that is factored Iím right at $200 total for the project t this point. Of course the really expensive stuff is still down the road (rebuilding a big inch Caddy appears to be around the same cost as doing a HemiÖ..but thatís down the road.
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    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  6. #6
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    I'm willing to bet it's a lot more work to install the 9" than the engine and trans.. Oughta be a piece of cake in the G body..Nice combo too
    I remember when hot rods were all home made.

  7. #7
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Actually I'm looking at 2 things either a 9" from a 57-9 Ford/Edsel wagon or a Bronco and both of which are the same width as the G Body and I also happen to know where both are. I have also found brackets on E Bay for the axel conversion (about $50).

    The other option is a a place called Quick Performance Inc out in Iowa that sells a bolt in 9"/G Body set up with housing/after market axels and brakes (drilled for GM 5 on 4 3/4). A bit harder on the budget but definately something I'm thinkg about.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  8. #8
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    i use to do ford 9s to g body cars there not hard to do i made up a T that had a place to hold the bottom control brackets tru the bolt holes and then the top part slid up and down that held the upper control brackets at the right angle and bored a some 3/4 by 2 solid cold roll and press new bushing in and welded them on the ford 9 and reused the lowers g body brackets.i tried to keep away from the 57 T rear ends brake parts like drums at the time i did them were hard to find and were small but i was told that front shoes pickup trucks were the same size?
    IRISH DIPLOMACY the abilty to tell someone to go to hell.. So that they will look forward to the trip

  9. #9
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    IMHO- If you do the front Monte clip, adapt the rear wheel opening metal too. Sounds like a fun project. My dad is a big 500 fan too. Oh yeah, Sanderson has block hugger headers for the 500 but I think that's all that's available.
    Last edited by rc57; 03-01-2009 at 03:42 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pat mccarthy View Post
    i use to do ford 9s to g body cars there not hard to do i made up a T that had a place to hold the bottom control brackets tru the bolt holes and then the top part slid up and down that held the upper control brackets at the right angle and bored a some 3/4 by 2 solid cold roll and press new bushing in and welded them on the ford 9 and reused the lowers g body brackets.i tried to keep away from the 57 T rear ends brake parts like drums at the time i did them were hard to find and were small but i was told that front shoes pickup trucks were the same size?
    If you use the backing plates and all you can swap any ford 4.5 BC brakes on to it..
    Last edited by Daffy427; 03-01-2009 at 03:50 PM.
    I remember when hot rods were all home made.

  11. #11
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Your right on the brakes Pat, I was running the 57-9 rears in the couple of V8 Pintos and the 77 Cobra II I built.....never had problems getting brake shoes, wheel cylinders bearing etc but finding brake drums was becoming almost impossible. I've kicked around the idea of doing a rear disc conversion, but the by the time you do that redrill the axels and rotors (or drums) and figure I'd still be running 50 year old axels, the drop in unit from QP starts to sound better.

    Thanks for the mention of Sanderson rc, from what I've heard they just don't work in a G body though. What some guys are doing is buying the flanges and then modifying BB Chevy swap headers.

    The most common exhaust on these seems to be passenger side El Do manifold and drivers side RWD 472 (which I happen to have). These engines still made 500 foot pounds of torque at the flywheel with manifolhids.....I think I can live with that (for now ).
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  12. #12
    pat mccarthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P View Post
    Your right on the brakes Pat, I was running the 57-9 rears in the couple of V8 Pintos and the 77 Cobra II I built.....never had problems getting brake shoes, wheel cylinders bearing etc but finding brake drums was becoming almost impossible. I've kicked around the idea of doing a rear disc conversion, but the by the time you do that redrill the axels and rotors (or drums) and figure I'd still be running 50 year old axels, the drop in unit from QP starts to sound better.

    Thanks for the mention of Sanderson rc, from what I've heard they just don't work in a G body though. What some guys are doing is buying the flanges and then modifying BB Chevy swap headers.

    The most common exhaust on these seems to be passenger side El Do manifold and drivers side RWD 472 (which I happen to have). These engines still made 500 foot pounds of torque at the flywheel with manifolhids.....I think I can live with that (for now ).
    the hooker comp bbc header s from a 66 chevelle will fit the g body with a small amout of work on the back tube but if the caddy is wider it going to be some work i like the 80 truck 9s axles are bigger drums and all parts are ez to find new and the axles have no window holes in them so you do not have to plug them to go to the 4 3/4 gm from the 4 1/2 on the old T bird i been there plugging all the window holes in the axle flange and re face them on the lathe and then drill out to 4.3/4 fun fun fun
    IRISH DIPLOMACY the abilty to tell someone to go to hell.. So that they will look forward to the trip

  13. #13
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Well the direction I’m going on the rear end was kind of decided yesterday. I was out at the wrecking yard picking up some parts for a customers car and almost tripped over a 57-9 Ford 9”, it had been pulled a while back and was just sitting there. The tag says it’s a 3.10 gear set, but I’ll swap straight across for one in the 2.7 range at some point. I already have a nice 3.10 set on the shelf if I decide to go that deep, and on paper the 2.7 is more where I want to be.

    I picked it up for $100 complete drum to drum. If I go the complete route with this including new axels and a disc brake conversion, Ill be into it for a couple hundred less than the Quick Performance unit with drum brakes. There are some even cheaper options involving the stock axels and drum brakes but I’ll figure that out later.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  14. #14
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Well, I picked up the rear end and things kind of snowballed from there. Initially I just planned on taking it apart, checking things out and cleaning it up. A friend came thru with a 28 spline Posi that needed some work and I found a set of 2.75 gears off of E Bay that for the price seemed like a better deal than spending a day at the wrecking yard taking rear ends apart.

    SooooÖThe Posi was rebuilt, the brake drums had plenty of life left and they were turned, new wheel cylinders, brakes and hardware kits installed. I picked up a G Body bracket kit from E Bay along with a pair of Lakewood adjustable upper control arms.

    I spent the weekend putting everything together and I now have a G Body 9Ē.
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    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  15. #15
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    I can't watch this thread... there's a drivable '69 Elcamino in the local want ad.. needs some work but it's got a 500 Caddilac and it's listed cheap.. and I now have room for another.
    You don't know what you've got til it's gone

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