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Solving Space Issues with CPP's Tri-five Engine Mounts

Forward Motion

Robert Fortune Jan 4, 2016
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Oftentimes, it’s easiest to address problems with the path of least resistance. But what about when that problem is a firewall that prohibits the use of an HEI distributor cap in your small-block-equipped 1955-’57 Chevy? Many would recess that seemingly troublesome firewall, but it’s not the firewall’s fault. So, why not forgo the sheetmetal surgery altogether and simply move the engine forward? For the naysayers who throw in the “having to make new engine mounts” and the like, there is a simpler solution.

Classic Performance Products offers an engine mount kit that does the trick—their fabricated pedestals push a small-block forward 3/4-inch (while their Fit-Rite LS-series engine plate kits give you a full 3 inches of adjustability). Of course, that does leave you with having to similarly address the transmission mounting, but their adjustable trans crossmembers handle that rather well.

CPP’s 3/16-inch-thick steel pedestals come in both stock and forward-mount location options, and work with either standard rubber or polyurethane SBC mounts. Easing the installation factor, the pedestals are designed to initially locate off factory rivet holes in the front crossmember (requiring the removal of said rivets as well as drilling two additional holes). With the engine in or out of the vehicle, the job is quite simple and very straightforward, as we’re about to illustrate for you here.

2 Tri Five Engine Mounts 2/22

01. Fabricated out of 3/16-inch steel plate, CPP’s 1955-’57 Chevy pedestals locate a small-block V-8 3/4-inch forward (also available in stock location) and utilize standard rubber or upgraded poly engine mounts.

3 Tri Five Engine Mounts 3/22

02. Our 1955 Bel Air had a side-mount conversion done at some point, but as you can see, the brackets were actually welded to the frame after being bolted in.

4 Tri Five Engine Mounts  Cutoff Wheel 4/22

03. Nothing a little extra time with a cutoff wheel and grinder couldn’t take care of.

5 Tri Five Engine Mounts Support 5/22

04. Prior to the old mounts being completely removed, the engine itself was supported with a cherry picker. For those performing the job with the vehicle on the ground, it might be better to remove the engine/trans altogether, if possible.

6 Tri Five Engine Mounts Frame Drill 6/22

05. With the mounts out and the crossmember rivet heads ground flush with the framerail, the bodies of the rivets are drilled (3/8-inch bit) and subsequently punched out.

7 Tri Five Engine Mounts Frame Holes 7/22

06. These holes locate the rear portion of the new pedestals.

8 Tri Five Engine Mounts 8/22

07. Verify the holes on the pedestals align with those in the frame—if slightly off, chase the frame holes with 25/64-inch drill bit.

9 Tri Five Engine Mounts Install 9/22
10 Tri Five Engine Mounts 10/22

08-09. With the engine still supported securely, the engine mounts (with supplied plates) are test-fit to the engine.

11 Tri Five Engine Mounts Drill 11/22
12 Tri Five Engine Mounts Mounting Holes 12/22

10-11. Using a pneumatic angle drill and 3/8-inch bit, the front mounting holes for the pedestals can be drilled into the crossmember once everything’s lined up and good to go.

13 Tri Five Engine Mounts 13/22
14 Tri Five Engine Mounts Side View 14/22

12-13. Once the pedestals are solidly mounted, the poly mounts are installed and we’re done with the engine portion.

15 Tri Five Engine Mounts Clearance 15/22

14. Proof of a successful job is in the elbow room now found between the large HEI distributor cap and the unmolested ’55 firewall—plenty to R&R the distributor … with the cap on.

16 Tri Five Trans Crossmember 16/22

15. Now to address the transmission’s minor relocation via CPP’s tubular, adjustable trans crossmember.

17 Tri Five Trans Crossmember Bracket 17/22

16. With the side bracket “ears” loosely attached, the crossmember is mounted to the transmission tailshaft and aligned onto the framerails for positioning.

18 Tri Five Trans Crossmember 18/22

17. Once the tranny’s centered and the bar is perpendicular to the ’rails, the side bracket holes are transferred onto the frame.

19 Tri Five Trans Crossmember Installation 19/22

18. The framerails are then drilled accordingly using a 5/16-inch bit—the hardware supplied is 3/8-16 self-tappers, so undersizing the holes is necessary. (The transmission is supported via jack or lift during this portion.)

20 Tri Five Transmission Crossmember Install 20/22
21 Tri Five Transmission Crossmember Install 21/22

19-20. Attach the side brackets first, followed by the tube crossmember itself.

22 Tri Five Transmission Crossmember 22/22

21. Using a new polyurethane mount, the 700-R4 is mated with its new adjustable crossmember and our ’55 is about ready to hit the road again.


Classic Performance Parts (CPP)
Placentia, CA 92870



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