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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys, I'm starting on my second gasser project which turns out to be a 66 Econoline Truck. I want to put the motor in the back as close to the back axle or maybe right on top. I remember seeing a monster garage episode where they built a wheel standing van and they used a "v drive" unit to get the motor back there. I searched ebay for ideas and found some for sale for boat applications. If anyone has some tips to point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it. Thanks in advance!!!
 

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The V drive doesn't handle a ton of HP normally, so either needs to be low power, light, or skinny tires. You could run a setup like the Little Red Wagon ran, and then you could put your engine back far enough to just have the trans yoke hook direct to the rearend!
The LRW used a carriage that held the engine, trans and rearend as one unit. It pivotted at the front like a ladder bar suspension, and had coils at the rear to carry the carriage assembly. Since the drivetrain moves as a unit it doesn't require any driveline, and that allows a lot of engine setback for wheelstands!
Here's a diagram of the LRW's setup, with the carriage being long trailing arms holding everything:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The V drive doesn't handle a ton of HP normally, so either needs to be low power, light, or skinny tires. You could run a setup like the Little Red Wagon ran, and then you could put your engine back far enough to just have the trans yoke hook direct to the rearend!
The LRW used a carriage that held the engine, trans and rearend as one unit. It pivotted at the front like a ladder bar suspension, and had coils at the rear to carry the carriage assembly. Since the drivetrain moves as a unit it doesn't require any driveline, and that allows a lot of engine setback for wheelstands!
Here's a diagram of the LRW's setup, with the carriage being long trailing arms holding everything:
Thanks for that info Vall. A buddy had suggested that idea with no knowledge of the LRW and I thought it was a pretty radical. Goes to show how creative my buddy is too. Which wouldn't surprise you guys if you've seen some of the Rods he's built in his garage. He always seems to find a way to figure things out without ordering new parts and breaking the bank. I could only dream of being that creative.

I think that is going to be the best route to go. Fabbing up a cradle and mounting everything to it. Hopefully my welding skills can keep everything together. HA! Thanks again Vall and if you see any other info please send it my way. I'll keep you guys posted on my progress.
 

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The advantages of the cradle are not only having it all work together, but being able to weld it all together outside the vehicle, so you can turn it over and get everything easily. Another advantage is the cradle handles all the power, so the unibody construction of the Falcon doesn't need a bunch of frame work to handle all the power. If you tried to put too much power into an Econoliine youu'd end up doing a lot of frame upgrades as I had to do with my Falcon project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The advantages of the cradle are not only having it all work together, but being able to weld it all together outside the vehicle, so you can turn it over and get everything easily. Another advantage is the cradle handles all the power, so the unibody construction of the Falcon doesn't need a bunch of frame work to handle all the power. If you tried to put too much power into an Econoliine youu'd end up doing a lot of frame upgrades as I had to do with my Falcon project.
Aw yes, great points Vall. Hey here is a silly question, and I know theres much more to it like traction and weight but how much horsepower do you think it'll take to get the wheels in the air? 500? 600? I know the LRW was running an injected hemi and probably making all kinds of power to keep the wheels in the air all the way through the quarter, but I just want to get them up there a bit.
 

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The current v-drive by casale can be set to handle lots of Horsepower my boat current 500 plus no problem also lots of blown hydros and flat bottoms out there pushing 1000 plus thru A V-drive direct and also thru transmissions in boats
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The current v-drive by casale can be set to handle lots of Horsepower my boat current 500 plus no problem also lots of blown hydros and flat bottoms out there pushing 1000 plus thru A V-drive direct and also thru transmissions in boats
Thanks Wildbill, I'll definitely look into the casale.
 

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Too many variables to really put a HP amount on it. Traction, engine placement, weight, etc., all affect whether it comes up, and how far or how long. I have a friend who used one of those V drives on a groundskeeper's snubnose pickup with a 350 Chevy that was only about 300 hp, and it stood on the bumper easily. But that little truck didn't weigh 1500 lbs., and the engine sat nearly over the axle. It was tough to keep the frontend down, and I think 100 hp would have done wheelies.
Another thing to remember is some V drives are reverse rotation, so you need to face the engine backwards to drive the rear the right direction. Be careful to figure out which direction the drive is if you buy one!
And 500 hp in a boat with a prop is not the same as 500hp in a car with tires firmly on the ground.
 

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Well put about rotation and props are not that easy to push as thought mtr,s in boats are camed and buiilt to different specs for torque curves and Horsepower . Have a nice day Wild Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Too many variables to really put a HP amount on it. Traction, engine placement, weight, etc., all affect whether it comes up, and how far or how long. I have a friend who used one of those V drives on a groundskeeper's snubnose pickup with a 350 Chevy that was only about 300 hp, and it stood on the bumper easily. But that little truck didn't weigh 1500 lbs., and the engine sat nearly over the axle. It was tough to keep the frontend down, and I think 100 hp would have done wheelies.
Another thing to remember is some V drives are reverse rotation, so you need to face the engine backwards to drive the rear the right direction. Be careful to figure out which direction the drive is if you buy one!
And 500 hp in a boat with a prop is not the same as 500hp in a car with tires firmly on the ground.


Thanks Vall, i knew that was a loaded question but I figured I'd throw it out there anyways. I'm torn between cutting up a beautiful rust free truck to put the motor back there and lose all usefulness of it or just cut it and go radical with it. Which is what I'm used to doing with most of my projects. I guess i'll look into both and just take it from there. Thanks again Vall, you always have great info and insight.
 

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Many V drives are 1 to 1 ratio, so adding any number wont change much. It will simply add more parts to rotate, and slightly decrease HP. V drives wont handle much power in most designs. There are some in the 1.25 or 1.5 ratio that would change the output gearing, but that wouldn't change your HP, just how it applies to the rear wheels.
Most V drives wont handle over about 475ft. lbs. of torque, so be sure whatever you look at will handle the engine you've planned to use.
 

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Just my two cents but you could drop in a late model independent rear assembly from a Camaro, Mustang, or even a full size Chrysler. Then you could mount the trans output shaft directly to the rear center section. The motor, trans, and rear become one long single unit with a flex coupler (like the late model cars all use instead of universal joints. You just have to get the centerline of the motor/trans in as close to a direct line to the rear end as possible. If you need a shorter motor/trans assembly you could use a shorty PowerGlide or even a TH400 with a shortened output shaft and a flat plate with seal in place of the trans rear extension.

Mark
 

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there was a late 80'S s10 chevy pick up on my local craigslist that had a really cleanly mount in the bed a 472 Cadillac and fwd Eldorado trans, looked really nice, an he used the font frame engine and trans support mounts and every thing, but I dont think it worked out cause I keep seeing it being resold...the weight bias looked way off because he didnt put the engine far enough forward in the bed,,, but its a thought....Lash
 

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The issue with many rear engine setups is the axle dictates the engine location. The Toronado is a great choice, but it places the engine behind the axle, and in many cases the frontend is so light it will only work as a wheelie car, without adding a lot of weight to the front. No adjustment forward or back with this set up.
Same thing happens using a Vette, Jaguar, or any IRS style rear axle. The engine is forward, which is much better, but still is a set location, and will often crowd the passenger compartment by the time you add a trans in front of it. It restricts how far back the engine is placed, but can move infinitely forward.
The boat V drive requires the engine to be situated backwards, to accommodate the reverse direction the V drive works. Tat can be another issue, and like the others, it only allows the engine to be adjusted farther back, unless you move the V drive forward, which allows the engine to be placed forward also.
 

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The best way to go is the subframe way that Val showed of the "Little Red Wagon". V-drives can be made to handle well over 3000hp and can handle tons of abuse. Just watch a few clips of top fuel drag boats or old clips of SS class flatbottoms. But why would you want the engine on the tailgate? The original LRW had a 383 in the stock location and still did wheel stands. If memory serves me correct [but not likely] the truck was built for SS class. Unless you saw a crazy truck like that built in Wisc. Gearing for V-drives is up to you and your rear end gearing and engine.
 
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