After removing the tired Slant...
After removing the tired Slant Six from our '67 Barracuda, we decided to go large and install a big-block. Luckily, a kit from Schumacher Creative Services makes this an easy swap.
There's no doubt that Chrysler's Slant Six engine is an engineering masterpiece and works very well when used for its intended purpose. Reliable, efficient, and powerful for its size, the Slant Six had one of the longest production runs in automotive history, finding its way into virtually every body style Mopar, including trucks. Though there were various performance versions of this engine over the years, the Slant Six was designed more for efficiency and longevity than power. So if you enjoy performance driving like we do, there are better options for your car than the Slant Six.
Knowing that building a Slant Six to the power of even a mild V-8 would compromise reliability and cost a significant amount of money, we decided it just made sense to swap a V-8 into our A-Body. There is one problem with this swap, however, and that has to do with the K-member. Cars equipped with a Slant Six had a different K-member than V-8 cars, so there's no combination that will directly bolt in. Several years ago, attempting this swap would have required the K-member to be changed, a motor plate utilized, or some heavy engine mount and exhaust fabrication. Fortunately, today there are kits available from Schumacher Creative Services that make swapping your Six for a small- or big-block V-8 virtually painless.
Using the diagram included...
Using the diagram included with the instructions, we decided to test fit everything to see how much clearance we'd have. The engine mounts simply bolt right where the original mounts did and are clearly marked left and right.
Since Schumacher has conversion kits available for the LA, B, and RB engines, and none require changing the K-member, our options were wide open. Being cheap and wanting to get the most bang for the buck, we decided a big-block made sense for this car. Since we already had a good 383 just sitting on the floor of the shop waiting for an overhaul, we decided to simply make our Barracuda into a Formula S big-block clone. The 383 makes great power, is super reliable, and responds well to modifications. In an A-Body like ours, it will be fun to drive, and as a small displacement big-block, it shouldn't kill us on fuel economy.
A swap like this used to require expensive and restrictive exhaust manifolds, cutting the inner fenders for fenderwell exit headers, or tightly fitting chassis headers, so we called Schumacher to see what our options were. They quickly informed us that they had all the parts to make our swap easy, including their own headers designed specifically for our application. While their "tri-y" design is not as free-flowing as large-tube race headers, the Schumacher headers work great on a mild big-block and offer plenty of room around the steering column, the spark plugs, and the starter. This option sounded like it would suit our needs, so we ordered a complete engine swap kit that included the engine mounts, an adjustable torque strap, and the big-block headers.
The Schumacher engine swap...
The Schumacher engine swap kit has everything you need to perform the task, even the hardware. It can be ordered with or without headers, and there is an optional torque strap that we added to our kit.
When our kit arrived, we were impressed with the quality of all the parts. Schumacher thought of everything and even includes the hardware with their kits. All of the parts were individually marked, and the instructions were clear and concise. Our swap required a minor amount of grinding on the driver-side K-member engine mount provision for oil pump clearance, and the instructions even contained a template to mark the engine mount pad with. All told, it took about half a day to bolt the mounts and headers on the engine, grind the engine mount pad for clearance, and install the engine and torque strap. We were impressed by the fit and finish of all the parts, and when complete, the engine looks like it could be a factory installation to all but the well-trained eye. During our installation, we grew to appreciate Schumacher for making what was once difficult a lot easier.
Follow along, and we'll show you how an A-Body big-block swap is made easy with the Schumacher kit.