Access holes for bell housing bolts

Big Block A body Tech

  1. gm1236

    gm1236 Well-Known Member

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    I want to drill a couple of hole for to gain access to the top two bell housing bolts. Anybody have a template or some way of determining where to drill them? It’s a 383/727 in a 1975 duster with Schumacher motor mounts and spool type k frame.
    Thanks
     
  2. mbaird

    mbaird mbaird

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    Why not just use studs on the top 2 bolts ?
     
  3. rklein383

    rklein383 Well-Known Member

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    I never have had any trouble at all removing the upper two bellhousing bolts. Not sure why the need to drill holes in the firewall.
     
  4. 67Dart273

    67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I'm gonna be 72 in June, and even in my crippled state, I can get a blanket, pad, old sheet, cardboard, beer, pain pills, etc etc, lay across the engine and reach down to the bell with a 9/16 combo and work those bolts. It might help to "custom make" a couple of wrenches. Look around egag and find some extral long ones, or weld an extension or use a small tube handle. You can bend wrenches with a propane torch.

    The more holes in the floor, the more dangerous. More chance for CO (monoxide)/ exhaust leaks, or in case of a fuel leak getting "singed" from fire, whatever. Hey, it has, does, and might happen
     
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    • mbaird

      mbaird mbaird

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      Good point ! You wont pass tech if they see the holes at the track
       
    • jos51700

      jos51700 Hemi Orange you glad it isn't a political avatar?

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      I agree with 67', it's a firewall for a reason. I reckon a couple holes wouldn't hurt, but I doubt they're really necessity
       
    • Jim Lusk

      Jim Lusk Well-Known Member

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      They're not too bad to get to with a long extension/u-joint/swivel socket and the rear of the trans dropped some, if possible.
       
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      • Princess Valiant

        Princess Valiant Duster specialist FABO Gold Member

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        If you remove the transmission cross member and tilt the transmission tail down on a jack, you can get a socket on a medium extension, straight shot right on the upper bell housing bolts.

        The other option is like others mentioned, remove the hood and sit on either the cowl or engine and those bolts will be very much in reach.
         
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        • famous bob

          famous bob mopar misfit

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          Dont sit on the cowl vents if your heavier than Rainy , I did pre installing my engine and making engine plates. It took hrs to straighten the louvers before paint !
           
        • Demonic

          Demonic Well-Known Member

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          That's what I do. A whole pile of 3/8 extensions and a universal at the top.
           
        • RustyRatRod

          RustyRatRod Lemmie see your b00bs. FABO Gold Member

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          These younguns just won't understand the importance of alcohol and pills used in a positive manner until they get to where they have no other choice. LOL
           
        • RustyRatRod

          RustyRatRod Lemmie see your b00bs. FABO Gold Member

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          I will go on and answer your question, @gm1236. If I just "had to have" access like you are asking about, what "I" would do would be to form another firewall/transmission tunnel transition right there in the very front of the transmission tunnel. I would cut the original section out a little smaller than what I made, so that there'd be about 1" or so overlap all the way around. Then place the new panel over the opening. Drill holes through both panels all the way around at about 4"-5" increments. Next, put some clip on nuts like these in each hole in the original panel.

          https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/51240455

          Put some sealer all the way around the panel opening and screw the new panel on. But I will echo the sentiment of others. I've never had trouble getting to those top bolts either. That said, there's no way to know what you have. You may have something different than what any of us has seen. Maybe your engine is further back somehow. At any rate, if I just had to do it, that's what I would do. Make a large removable panel, instead of two smaller ones.
           
        • mbaird

          mbaird mbaird

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          Again.... just use 2 studs and nuts/lockwashers in those holes.
          Just long enough for the nut....
          This will not only make it easy to fasten but will also act as a pilot to ease install .
           
        • BWDart

          BWDart FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I made a sling for the cherry picker that way I can hover all over the engine bay
           
        • 67Dart273

          67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          Yup and I've done this as well. "Adapted" 3/8 to 1/2 to get enough length LOLOL
           
        • gm1236

          gm1236 Well-Known Member

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          Thanks for the replies, I guess this is not a common practice. My plan was to put body plugs in the holes. I’ll either try the stud idea or put the bolts in with the engine tilted back. I took them out with the engine and tranny still in place.
          I’ve been drag racing for 35 plus years and I understand the purpose of the firewall and how even the smallest hole can be an issue. I’ve always been a small block guy, this is my first a body with a big block. Things are a lot tighter!
           
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          • 67Dart273

            67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Frankly not sure studs are a great idea. If you have to pull trans/ bell when in the car studs could make that a lot more difficult, not to mention the possibility of damaging the threads getting the holes off/ lined up again.
             
          • gm1236

            gm1236 Well-Known Member

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            I put the tranny back in today, and you guys we’re right on, no problem getting the upper bolts in with the back of the tranny dropped. A bunch of extensions and a nifty swivel 9/16 socket.
            Thanks again for the replies.
             
          • famous bob

            famous bob mopar misfit

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            Gotta comment on the plugs and access holes-------
            Back int the day , I cut holes for the trans bolts in the old hemi car, they have some electrical snap in plugs that worked great in a 1'' hole , they didnt even pop out in a violent trans explosion !
             
          • gm1236

            gm1236 Well-Known Member

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            Thats exactly what I was thinking of using. I’ve seen it done on many race cars. I can imagine how difficult they must be to get at in a hemi car.
             
          • MiradaMegaCab

            MiradaMegaCab Well-Known Member

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            047AFE8E-2DCC-4F7A-9E69-81142DF61530.jpeg D1CBFAC1-DF7D-4871-A590-77B141460871.jpeg
            Ive used a 7/8” holesaw to make holes in the fire wall and used this type of electrical knock out seals.....
             
          • gm1236

            gm1236 Well-Known Member

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            Nice!
            I was looking at the ones with the little prongs on the back. The one you used look even better. Easier to get in and out.
             
          • LO23M8B

            LO23M8B Well-Known Member

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            Hi guys. I never had any problems either even with stock bodies but on my modified cars I cut off the flange on the floor (by the trans) and butt weld it together. Makes a big difference when you are working in that area. I do this when the engine and trans are out. Makes it a little lighter also. Hope this helps.
             
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