Engine/Trans and Master Cylinder Installation

First... I have to apologize for not posting in a while. I had some minor health issues which kept me sidelined for a couple weeks. Although I am on the mend, my energy level still isn't back to normal so things will be moving somewhat slower than normal for a while.

With that said, lets move on to installing the driveline. For those familiar with Mopars you know Ma Mopar installed their drivlines from underneath the body. If you've watched Graveyard Cars you've seen this procedure several times. Unfortunately they have the advantage of a two post lift which allows them to simply lower the body onto the engine/trans unit and bolt things together.

Without the benefit of a lift, sometimes you need to be a little creative in order to get the job done. In my case it was pretty simple. I just lowered the jack stands supporting the differential as low as they would go and then raised the jack stands supporting the trans crossmember as high as they would go. This gave me "almost" the height I needed to slide the engine/trans unit under the front frame rails. I did have to use my floor jack to raise the radiator support a few inches which gave me the additional clearance needed to slide everything under the car. Once positioned I lowered the front end back on the jack stands.

Believe it or not... that was the hard part. The rest is pretty much a piece of cake.

Below is a shot of the engine/trans in place ready to be lifted into position.

With everything in place I simply lifted the unit up to the chassis using my engine hoist. A little finessing with the floor jack helped the trans crossmember into place and four bolts for the trans and another four bolts for the engine crossmember and that was it.

I might add that this entire process took about an hour and was done by myself with no help. I'm 67 so you younger guys should be able to knock this out in a half hour, no sweat. Below is the finished installation. I may need to do some "adjustments" to the headers on the passenger's side as one tube is a little close to the shock tower, but at this point that's not a big deal.

Another shot of the right side.

You notice in that pic the master cylinder and associated brake lines are in place. These were installed before the engine/trans unit but I simply forgot to get pics at that time. Anyway, because I'm converting to manual front disks from a mid 70's "A" body, this master cylinder is for a '75 Dodge Dart with manual front disks.

Many people doing this swap will use a proportioning valve along with the master cylinder. In reality the early "proportioning" valves did little more than split the front lines and send the fluid to both front brakes. I have had a lot of success with disks by simply using a three way fitting for the front brakes which run off the large reservoir of the master cylinder, and allowing the rear brakes to run directly off the smaller reservoir. The proportioning function is performed by an aftermarket adjustable "proportioning" valve.

Below is a pic of the three way fitting and the rear brake line. The dark colored line is for the rear and the brass colored lines run to the front disks.

Here is a shot of the Summit Racing adjustable proportioning valve. Some people will mount this out of sight, and that's fine. I prefer an installation which will allow me to easily adjust the unit, so that's why its mounted out in the open.

Finally here are the stock '75 Dodge Dart brake lines for the calipers. Hopefully I'll finish the front brake installation next time.

That's it for this month....next I'll be finishing up the driveline with the driveshaft installation along with the front suspension and brakes.....check back often for more updates...

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