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From: Kenny J.
Remote Name: 18.104.22.168
Date: August 25, 2002
Hey, Brian. Been there, done that. I simply ask my machine shop people if they can get the parts and if they can beat the kit deals offered by Kanter, etc. They usually can. I also ask them if they need reference material since I usually bring them "weird old stuff" rather than run of the mill Chevy 350s. Some of the odd stuff will force you to be captive to Mopar specialty places like Roberts or Bernbaum (such as the block coolant distribution tube.) If you have access to parts numbers, check with Len Dawson. He usually beats everybody else's N.O.S. prices for unique stuff. Flatties were produced well into the 1960s as industrial engines (pumps, forklifts, generators, etc.) and parts availability will surprise you (in a positive manner.) Just remember the belt, water pump, pulley & harmonic balancer set up is unique to '57-'59 passenger cars due to the lower hood clearance, so don't lose anything from the front of the engine. Be really careful with the harmonic balancer. The rubber insert lets go with age and deterioration. Check it carefully before reusing it. It is also a unique '57-'59 passenger car part. Dawson had them last time I checked. Motor mounts may still be available from NAPA. Steele Rubber can redo them and most of the N.O.S. suppliers carry originals. If you can find the beefier truck crank, use it if you plan to up the performance level of the engine. If you are doing the final assembly at home, please be extra careful with the oil pan gaskets. They are a pain to replace once the engine is back in the car! Best wishes.