Front Drive Systems
Some crate motors come complete with a front drive system, but for the ones that don't you will need something. If you are just swapping in the same type of engine that came in your project and want to keep the budget down then you can recycle the stuff you have. Now if you are going from small-block to big-block, changing to an LS platform or just want to upgrade, then you want to look at the aftermarket for help.
For the small-block to big-block swap you can hit up companies like Trans-Dapt for new stock style replacements. For the LS swap or for an upgraded serpentine belt system you can contact companies like Billet Specialties, March Performance, or Concept One. These companies whittle out all kinds of style and belt options to drive the front accessories. Most of these will come complete with water and power steering pumps, high amp alternators and pulleys.
Concept One Pulleys
A new motor won't do much to move the car unless you hook it up to a transmission. The question becomes do you want an automatic or a manual. On the automatic side,, technology has come leaps and bounds over the past few years with new options added to the shifting arsenal. Autos have grown from the simple two-speed powerglide all the way up to a six-speed automatic and others in between. There are a few things to consider when choosing an automatic.
What will you use the car for-drag racing, daily driving or a little of both? Also, you will want to consider whether or not you want the trans be computer controlled. If you are going for all out quarter-mile action, then a low power robbing Powerglide, TH350, or TH400 might be the best way to go. If you want the added fuel economy an overdrive will bring, then you will need to look into a 200R4 or a 700R4 like the one shown by TCI. Most of these are still non-computer controlled using a TV cable to adjust line pressure.
The higher end of overdrive transmissions will be the 4L60, 4L80 four-speeds. There are even six-speed automatics out there like the 6L80 and the 6x from TCI. These are made to handle a lot of power and offer great control over shift points. The only issues with these pose will be the higher cost of the units and the necessity of a computer controller. Again the aftermarket has those computers. Check out the swap stuff section for those.
Now, if you are the kind of guy who wants to take full control of the shifting for drag racing or autocross events, then you will need a manual. Just like the autos, manuals have gotten better with time. Even though an M-22 four-speed is the old school epitome of muscle car manual gearboxes, they are getting scarce. While the Rock Crusher will hold a lot of power, the newer versions not only can handle the ponies but have one or two more gears.
Swapping a five- or six-speed has gotten a lot easier thanks to the complete kits that are out there like this one from Classic Motorsports group. Just know that even though most of these kits are complete you will still need to track down a clutch pedal assembly and clutch master cylinder.
Classic Motorsports Group
Other Transmission Sources