Back in the November 2013 issue of CUSTOM CLASSIC TRUCKS we showed how our own Jason Scudellari went about modifying the firewall and mounting Wilwood swing pedals in his 1956 Chevy pickup. As we explained then, Jason plans on taking his truck to track events so the engine has been set back in the chassis 6 inches to put more weight on the rear wheels.
Moving the engine to the rear is one of those good news/bad news scenarios. The good news is sliding the engine to the rear will no doubt improve handling, the bad news is the engine now intrudes further into the passenger compartment and that complicates a few things. So far the firewall has been fixed. This time around Jason builds a new transmission tunnel and installs the steering column.
To put the steering wheel at a comfortable angle for tossing the truck from one heading to another, Jason chose a Flaming River 30-inch-long tilt steering column without an ignition switch (part number FR2000FB). The U-joints and steering shaft needed to get past the Doug's headers, as well as the steering wheel and column drop, also came from Flaming River.
One of the other ramifications of moving the engine is that the transmission goes with it—and that meant the transmission tunnel had to be revamped. To simplify that chore Jason got in touch with Engineering and Manufacturing Services, or EMS for short, and ordered a pair of universal transmission tunnels (part number 804 for the larger version and 808 for the smaller). Both are die stamped in the USA from 18-gauge steel.
With all the parts on hand and with a rare lull in activity in the Source Interlink Tech Center, Jason Scudellari took the rare opportunity to focus on his project. Here's what our resident Tech Center manager was up to when no one else was around.