Is it possible to put a BBC in a 63? I'm looking at a rolling chassis for sale and would want to stick a big block in it. Searching on Summit's web site I don't even see any headers made for a BBC/63 combo.
The first car I ever bought without my dad having to cosign was a '67 Chevy II 2 Dr Sdn with a 194 EconoThrift L-6 and and a 3 in the tree. Of course I thought it was a little under powered, so I put an L-88 435 horse (factory rated, NHRA thought otherwise) in it.
It was a disaster. I had to pull the motor to change the plugs, it ran way hot for some strange reason, I could never get any traction with 480 additional pounds over the nose so I put a '56 Olds rear end under it, with a set of 32"x16"x16" tires mounted on the true mag wheels off Don Garlits' Swap Rat top fuel rail (he lived six miles from me and I used to run with his nephew Ed) .
Finally I got it to hook long enough to pull the front end six feet in the air, which caused me to wonder where I was going, enough so that I lifted off the throttle, causing it to crash to earth pulling the left front strut out from under the car. After I put the straight axle out of an Econoline van on the front end I couldn't get it to stay in the lane on the top end, as it wanted to wander around a bit. I have since learned that this is why they banned AA/FA cars from NHRA competition (something about suicidal tendencies with lots of horse power in a front heavy car, with a short wheel base, and having the aerodynamics of a brick.
The 2.25" Hooker fender-well headers were cool thought.
Now a 350 horse 327cid motor in a '63 Chevy II econobox will be fun ride, even if it will still scare the pants off you for the same reasons I described above.
You have got to keep in mind that early Nova's stripped of excess interior parts like radios, and door panels, weighed just as much as a VW bug or about 2,100 pounds. Everyone knows how much fun can be had with the 36 horse stock engine in a bug; well imagine replacing it with over 500 horses and just imagine the joy; the tire smoke; the rear end passing you, while you're doing 120 mph.
Just to set things straight,, you don't need no big block to put the car on the bumper.
This is from last year with a 660HP 436 small block that is now my backup motor. After a season of carrying the fronts WELL out past the 60' cone, and dropping it back to mother earth somewhere after the 1-2 gear change,, I had to replace the front suspension with an AJE front frame kit. (nice pieces BTW). And I had shortened the oil pan almost an inch by slamming it to the ground and I have NEVER lifted with the fronts in the air. Anything that goes up high,, comes down HARD and that's all there is to it. I totally destroyed the original stock underpinnings in just one season. Just as Big Dave found,, the stock Chevy II suspension is real fragile and won't tolerate much of this before it's toast.
In order to stuff a BBC in one of these you have to cut the inner fenders and box the area that covers the coil springs,, and cut the rear of the inner fender for the fenderwell exit headers. Anyone who has ever messed with these early shoebox's knows 80% of the strength of the front suspension is built into the inner fender panels. Removing anything from them is just asking for trouble.
This year with the new motor combination she's running 9.30's @ 143 and with all the original glass, window operators, a full cage and tubular frame rails replacing the stock floor, it tips the scales at 2625 pounds (without driver) and that was after loosing over 200 pounds with the AJE front frame kit compared to the stock suspension. If I were to go fiberglass doors, fenders, lexan windows and all I'm sure the thing would be easily at the 2100 pounds.
In the end,, it doesn't take a big block to make one of these things just plain STUPID FAST.
Yeah but there's nothing like popping the hood and seeing a big block. On the power tour east in 98, there was a guy who put a 427 in to late 80's Sunbird convertable. He'll probably never use it, but it always got stairs when he popped the hood. (you didn't really need to open the hood, most of the engine stuck out the top anyway.) I know someone makes a kit to change the front section to a control arm / mustang two coil set up. A thought if you don't want to get crazy with it. Another thought, Back-halfed unibody cars aren't the greatest idea for going fast anyway, make a chassis car out of it. You'll have plenty of room to work on it and it'll be plenty strong.