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Old 01-03-2014, 11:49 AM   #1
Vanhalen1985
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72 K10 350, Engine hugging firewall?

I've been in the process of replacing a leaking header gasket on my 72' K10 and I'm rather not happy. What was GM thinking put the small block against the firewall? I can barely slide a sheet a paper between the distributor cap and firewall, let alone get to the rear header bolts. Would I be better off taking the starter off and working from underneath? Anyone else complain of this problem or has my truck just put me in a bad mood?

Only other option I can think of is to take out the heater box for more room but geez I really don't want to do that. It would be a piece of cake on a 2wheel drive.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:57 AM   #2
IwantaK5
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Re: 72 K10 350, Engine hugging firewall?

You can swap in a 700r4 real quick. That will give you 3 more inches away from the firewall.
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:13 PM   #3
Vanhalen1985
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Re: 72 K10 350, Engine hugging firewall?

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Originally Posted by IwantaK5 View Post
You can swap in a 700r4 real quick. That will give you 3 more inches away from the firewall.
Changing transmisions wouldn't change the location of my motor mounts.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:09 PM   #4
Chevy1TonFun
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Re: 72 K10 350, Engine hugging firewall?

Every 1st gen truck I've worked on has had different spacing between the motor and firewall. I moved my engine crossmember forward 2 1/2" to fit my BBC.
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Old 01-04-2014, 02:56 PM   #5
IwantaK5
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Re: 72 K10 350, Engine hugging firewall?

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Originally Posted by Vanhalen1985 View Post
Changing transmisions wouldn't change the location of my motor mounts.
700r4 is longer than the th350. The crossmember the motor mounts to has to be moved 3- 31/2 inches forward unless you get custom drive shafts made.
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:10 PM   #6
Mike C
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Re: 72 K10 350, Engine hugging firewall?

Yup. Either move the T-case back and get custom shafts or move motor foreward.

GM pushed the motor back in order to create clearance for the differential housing and to keep a reasonable length on the front driveshaft. One reason I am a proponent of small cap HEI ignition setup so you don't have to hammer the crap out of the firewall.
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:26 PM   #7
burnin oil
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Re: 72 K10 350, Engine hugging firewall?

Its tight but not that tight. I have a feeling that your cab mounts are toast and letting it all lean forward making a tight spot even more cramped. My stock Cap HEI fits with a little clerance. I can put a shorty wrench on the rear header bolt from the top also. The best thing I have done is buy header studs for the outer bolts. Holds everything in place and lets you put a socket on that sucker. Only downside is my headers are to close to the frame to install the header over the studs.
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