May 5, 2016 David Hamlin

1977 Corvette 350 H.O. TKO 500 5 speed conversion.

1977 Corvette 350 H.O. TKO 500 5 speed conversion.
I have personally have been working on cars since the age of 17, I am now 45. Since than I have dreamt of doing a conversion very similar to this on a second generation Camaro. But to be quite honest, I did not realize just how much time and money actually go into a car when  converting a classic car with a modern drivetrain. When  we first took delivery of this 1977 Corvette. I was under the assumption that this was going to be an simple engine swap / five speed install and the car would be in and out of our shop in just a couple weeks…….
I WAS WRONG!!!! So please continue reading, I will explain in detail what is actually involved in performing a drivetrain conversion similar to this and the complications that you might experience. 
First it is important to realize the scope of this project…. The project car is a 1977 Corvette 350 v8 with turbo 350 automatic transmission. The customer purchased a GM 350 H.O. turn key engine from Jegs, part number 19210009. A Tremec TKO 500 5 speed manual transmission, part number TCET4616, and an Profit TKO installation kit, part number PFGM-20008 from American Powertrain. Giving us an opportunity to transform this tired Corvette  into the car it was meant to be. 
1977 Corvette 350 H.O. TKO 500 5 speed conversion 1project 1977 Corvette
350 HO Crate Engines 2
GM 350 H.O. turn key engine kit part #19210009. 330hp 380tq
350 HO Crate Engines 3
American Powertrain TKO 500 with Profit installation kit. Part numbers PFGM-20008 and TCET4616.

Day 1:
Here at Glory Days Automotive Restoration I firmly believe in keeping a note book and taking notes as you go through a major project. Taking pictures before you get started is also a very smart idea. In fact taking photographs through out the entire project is a great idea. I am certain that you have heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Trust me when I say that you can never take to many photographs as a reminder. The picture you did not take is the picture you are going to need.
The first thing when we received the Corvette, was to pressure wash the car. This gives us a clean vehicle to work on. While allow the car to dry in front of the shop. We set up a table and laid out all of the parts in a nice neat orderly fashion. Making certain you have everything you need before you get started is another important tip. Having to stop working to look for a tool is a serious waste of time.

when performing any major projects on a vehicle it is always intelligent to disconnect the battery before you get started.

350 HO Crate Engines 4

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