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Ok, I know a 64 Chevy ll needs a bell housing with the fork opening clocked lower for clearance issues. I am going to install a CR front clip on mine. Is this going to make any difference? What is the main issue with the lower position opening? It will be a big block.
When Chevy decided to put the smallblock V8 in the Nova body, they ran into a bunch of problems. The one that you're seeing is that there just wasn't enough clearance anywhere on the driver's side of the engine for them to use any of the existing clutch linkages. Management must have REALLY wanted this swap, because the engineers made some extensive changes to make it happen...
1) They re-designed the side of the 283/327 block casting with a relocated 'boss' to place the clutch-pivot ball in a lower position so that the clutch linkage could go UNDER the driver's side of the engine.
2) They recessed the oil filter mount up INTO the engine block casting. While they were at it, they changed the oil filter to the new 'spin-on' type that was being used on the latest generation in-line 6 cylinder engines. All this was done so that the clutch linkage could pass UNDER the oil filter.
3) The bellhousing was re-designed so that it would both fit inside the small Nova drivetrain tunnel and also accept the lowered clutch linkage without using a bell-crank or similar device. The OEM Nova bellhousings will only accept the smaller V8 flywheel. This is one reason you see so many aftermarket bellhousings on Novas with engine swaps.

I don't think that using an aftermarket front clip will have any real impact on the clutch linkage situation. It would, however, make things a lot easier when dealing with the oil pan. It should also let you let you change to rack-and-pinion steering. I'm hoping that some of the members who have done this swap will chime in. From what I've seen, you'll also need an adapter plate to properly place the clutch ball on the side of the engine - or - you could probably go to a hydraulic clutch release system.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the info! I have found a Chevy II type scattershield cheap enough. I'm just wondering if the big block will cause problems without the oil filter boss milled down and such with the checkered clip. The clip comes with rack and pinion and disc brakes already and is one of many factors that I am champing at the bit to use one, plus making a big block install so much easier. I wish I could sell the 427 and just build a hot 406 but people are as broke as I am right now.
 
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