What goes around inevitably comes around, right? Back in the day, many Chevy fans couldn't wait to ditch their Stovebolt sixes in favor of V-8 power. Half a century later that's not necessarily the case. In this age of "daring to be different," many rodders are reconsidering inline power for their Bow Ties. So, it seems like the timing is right for Walton Fabrication to put a new twist on six-cylinder swaps.
Walton's six-cylinder engine crossmember for '41-48 Chevys is a natural extension of the company's growing '41-54 Chevy product line. Owner Todd Walton tells us that his bolt-in rear four-bar kit for '41-48s has actually garnered plenty of attention from the lowrider crowd, while many other Chevy owners are coming to him for Mustang II IFS installations. In talking with lowrider owners, Todd found that they loved the six-cylinder sound, but were not opposed to swapping out the early splash-oiler 216ci sixes in favor of the more modern and powerful 194-250ci variations from '63-and-later Chevys. If he could make the swap easy, Todd thought, he might just have another cool product on his hands.
The perfect opportunity presented itself when Leonard Apple brought his '46 Chevy in to be updated with a Walton four-link rear suspension and TCI IFS. Leonard's Chevy was already outfitted with a 250ci six and would need new engine mounts when the stock crossmember was removed. So Todd went to work developing a simple bolt-in engine mount crossmember that uses existing frame holes to ensure proper placement. Adapter brackets allow the six-cylinder to use V-8 engine mounts, which in turn bolt to the crossmember. Todd also designed a radiator core support, since the old one is part of the stock suspension crossmember.
The engine crossmember is designed to be used on stock frames with updated suspensions (like Mustang IIs), but it also appears that it will work with stock suspensions that use later-model GM power steering boxes (what you're seeing on these pages are early production parts, so you'll want to contact Walton Fabrication for more details). Interesting byproducts are the brackets that adapt V-8 engine mounts to side-mount six-cylinder engines. These brackets are available separately and just might come in handy if you're slipping a Chevy six into just about any vintage rod.