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Street Race Truck More... The Toolbox

Installing a Transmission Crossmember - 1967 Chevelle

11/10/2020
Not just another pretty part

Once the engine and transmission package was in the car, I found so many things I wanted to change. Rather than working around things I didn’t like, I found a better way to address issues that popped up. One of those issues was the transmission cross member and my increasingly critical ground clearance.

I had every intention of reusing the original cross member I already had. I even had it powder coated gloss black when I had the wheels done. The engine and trans were installed with it and then I started trying to mock up 3” exhaust pipe under the car. No Bueno.

Back to the Speedway Motors catalog. I knew we had added some moderately expensive cross members from G Force. I knew they were very well built and they had generous cutouts for dual exhaust. I also knew I’d just paid to have my stock one made new.

I finally caved and bought this G Force RCAE Transmission Crossmember. After laying them on the floor side by side I started to appreciate the differences. Notice the slight asymmetrical design on the original. That’s a problem for me. I like things to be mirrored as much as possible. The other issue was that the depressions for the exhaust routed the pipe much too close to the new, slightly larger overdrive transmission. The farther out you went the lower the pipe needed to hang in order to clear.

My end goal was to have nothing of the exhaust system visible from the side view of the car except the tailpipes peeking from under the quarters.

Installation of the new unit was easier than taking the old one out by far. The extra exaggerated angle of both sides from the center made it much smoother to angle the hefty part into place. I also purchased a special low profile rear motor mount but the speedometer gear pot on the transmission necessitated the use of a stock height mount.

As you can see, the tunnel for the exhaust is huge and perfectly placed. I would be able to tuck my exhaust pipe tight to the floor (.50” space) directly from the mid-length header flange. From there it shoots through the trans support and between the drop of the driveshaft loop and the hardware retaining it.

Which was exactly what I did. After I bought my Speedway Motors DIY 3” exhaust tubing kit and chambered mufflers. Stay tuned for more on that!

I guess the moral of the story, if there is one, is that sometimes you buy things more than once as a project progresses. Sometimes the more expensive part is just the thing that saves you headaches down the line.

That being said, does anyone want to buy a powder coated, stock, A-body trans cross member? It’s cheap.

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