Question On a C2 Corvette, does the engine and transmission go in together or separately?

wildmandon

Casual User
May 28, 2018
18
13
Best answers
0
Car
1965 convertible
Reactions
16 0 0
#1
On a C2 Corvette,(1965) does the engine and transmission go in together or separately? Since the transmission crossmember is not removable, I would think think that they are bolted together and then installed, but the front nose piece seems to not give a lot of length to wiggle it in there? How did the factory do it, or how would you do it?
 

taylorsk8

Power User
C3 Owner
Jan 25, 2009
1,031
109
Saskatoon
Best answers
0
Car
73 Corvette Coupe
Reactions
120 0 0
#2
I have seen it done both ways on C3's (same chassis)...but I am sure you are correct about the removable crossmember. It would be tough to do the transmission with it in place. I believe that manual cars had removable cross members and auto cars had fixed but I could be wrong.

The factory would have had the engine and transmission in place on the chassis and dropped the body over top.

T
 

Luke 1967

Casual User
May 3, 2018
11
9
Saint-bruno QC
Best answers
0
Car
1967
Reactions
9 0 0
#3
The cross member is also fixed for manual, but still can be done both ways with manual tranny. Here is how I do it.

Its best to install as a complete aligned unit, but more tricky and tight to slide in . You need to remove the radiator support, you will need a very good engine lift with an extra long boom (big gap to cover between the nose and the final position of the engine in the bay), and you will need a engine leveller to adjust the angle of the engine to guide it into place. You also need good ceiling clearance because engine and tranny will need to be angled to slide in. Install motor mounts but do not install the exhaust manifolds, fuel pump, water pump, starter, and especially distributor, until after the engine is in place.

Alternately, installing engine and manual tranny separately makes it much easier to drop the engine into place but a little tricky getting tranny in from underneath. One issue is keeping the clutch disc splines aligned with the splines on the tranny input shaft so that you can slide the tranny in from underneath. If you choose to do it this way, I highly recommend you try and get your hands on an old tranny input shaft (I have attached a picture of one I kept from a scrap tranny). They do sell plastic repro ones specifically for use for alignment and torqueing pressure plate but much more accurate with real one, especially for torqueing.
DSC05684.JPG
Doing it this way, the radiator support can stay in place and engine should be prepared in same way. If you can't find an input shaft, temporarily install the tranny to ensure alignment of splines on clutch disc. Then remove the tranny prior to installing the engine and keep your fingers crossed that nothing moves during install.
After installing the engine in the bay, recheck the alignment with the input shaft to make sure tranny will slide in properly. Now raise the back of the car to allow you to get under there with the tranny. You will need a small jack just under the rear of the bell housing to control the angle of the engine to help with tranny install.
Slide the back of tranny up and over the cross member and as far back into the tunnel as possible, and adjust the engine level/angle as needed so that the front the tip of the tranny input shaft can clear the face of bell housing and into the opening.
Once in the opening, adjust the jack set on the bell housing to get the engine as level as possible so that you can slide the input shaft through the clutch disc and into the engine. If its not level, it won't slide in so this will need some trial and error, lots of giggling and twisting and a few curses before you get it in, but don't give up! For what its worth, I've done it both ways but prefer installing separately. Do not enjoy the sight of big block and tranny assembly hanging over the car!

Good Luck,
 
Last edited:

Jcpstrat

Casual User
Mar 19, 2016
82
70
Georgetown, Kentucky 40324, USA
Best answers
0
Car
1967 Coupe
Reactions
71 0 0
#4
I can't speak for all the years for C2's & C3's but automatics generally had a removable cross-member. I know my '74 Vette which was an automatic had the removable cross-member. There are kits available to convert the fixed cross-members to a removable one.
 
OP
OP
W

wildmandon

Casual User
May 28, 2018
18
13
Best answers
0
Car
1965 convertible
Reactions
16 0 0
#5
Thanks Luke, if you say you can put them in separately and you accomplished it then I think I will try it that way too. My engine hoist probably won't go high enough to put them together and slide them in that way. I just hate working underneath one now in my old age.
 

Luke 1967

Casual User
May 3, 2018
11
9
Saint-bruno QC
Best answers
0
Car
1967
Reactions
9 0 0
#6
I know exactly what you mean, I`m there too! We need to work smart and not just rely on our muscles, that's when we get into trouble. And unfortunately, not much room for 2 people under there. Use multiple jacks or stands or something to rest the tranny on when you need to take a break or breather.
 

Luke 1967

Casual User
May 3, 2018
11
9
Saint-bruno QC
Best answers
0
Car
1967
Reactions
9 0 0
#7
I can't speak for all the years for C2's & C3's but automatics generally had a removable cross-member. I know my '74 Vette which was an automatic had the removable cross-member. There are kits available to convert the fixed cross-members to a removable one.
I've seen some conversion kits for C2 as well, probably best to have it done by a good shop as cutting is needed. But definitely something to consider especially for automatics.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
W

wildmandon

Casual User
May 28, 2018
18
13
Best answers
0
Car
1965 convertible
Reactions
16 0 0
#8
As a follow up on this, if someone later wants to know, I put the big block engine and trans in as a single unit and it was a piece of cake. I removed the radiator support and my son guided it in as I lowered it down. Clenched butt cheeks as I rolled that huge honking engine/trans over the front of my fiberglass front end. But in retrospect, I would have installed the driver's side exhaust manifold first as its a bugger to put in afterwards. My hydraulic lift was big enough to lift up about 8 feet and that helped.
 

XFIRE82

Regular
C4 Owner
C3 Owner
Oct 24, 2014
607
383
Krydor, Saskatchewan
Best answers
0
Car
1982
Reactions
415 5 0
#9
auto or std tranny ? well done !! glad to hear it slid in there. Got any pics ?
 

Jcpstrat

Casual User
Mar 19, 2016
82
70
Georgetown, Kentucky 40324, USA
Best answers
0
Car
1967 Coupe
Reactions
71 0 0
#10
Yes ... well done. Any problems getting the angle just right or did you have an Engine Hoist Leveler to make the angle adjustments?
 

taylorsk8

Power User
C3 Owner
Jan 25, 2009
1,031
109
Saskatoon
Best answers
0
Car
73 Corvette Coupe
Reactions
120 0 0
#11
Sounds great. Did you get any pics of the process? Just 2 people and no issues?

Just wondering.

T
 
OP
OP
W

wildmandon

Casual User
May 28, 2018
18
13
Best answers
0
Car
1965 convertible
Reactions
16 0 0
#12
No pic. I am not big on photos, usually just want to get it done. I didn't use an equalizer or leveler, just attached chains to the heads so that it raised up at the correct angle (about 45degrees I think) and got it high enough for the 4 speed to clear the front. I lowered my hoist slowly while my son moved it around to get the trans tailshaft into the crossmember and check our clearances at the firewall and motor mounts. Actually, it turned out to be one of the easiest ones I have done. I had a lot more trouble removing and replacing the 350/4speed in my 72 Corvette because the nose was longer on the car.
 

Jcpstrat

Casual User
Mar 19, 2016
82
70
Georgetown, Kentucky 40324, USA
Best answers
0
Car
1967 Coupe
Reactions
71 0 0
#13
Thanks for update ... like you I always dreaded moving the engine/tranny over the body to get it in ... worst part for me. 😊
 

Luke 1967

Casual User
May 3, 2018
11
9
Saint-bruno QC
Best answers
0
Car
1967
Reactions
9 0 0
#14
Sounds like you had the right combo, a good size hydraulic lift, and your son! hopefully you will be hearing the sound of that big block soon.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)