A well-designed hot rod incorporates a great amount of creative elements into its build to make it stand out from the rest. From the most elaborate suspension setup to the simplest hinge, custom fabrication is something that takes both vision and talent to bring it to life.

There are specific dynamics that come into consideration when the time comes to installing an engine and transmission into a new chassis. This is especially true when needing to settle a vintage combination between the 'rails, as many chassis manufacturers don't offer simple bolt-in mounts for your specific application. Related installation issues include where the engine will sit in relation to the firewall and radiator, how plumbing will be affected, and attaining the perfect plane for the driveshaft once everything is bolted in.

The Rolling Bones Hot Rods Shop in Greenfield Center, New York, has dialed in more vintage engine combinations than we can count, so it was a perfect opportunity to follow along as they nailed a vintage 312ci Ford V-8 coupled to a T5 transmission into one of their newly completed chassis.

Instead of using the factory engine mounts located on the side of the engine block, Keith Cornell of Rolling Bones prefers to construct his own engine mounting plates, which are secured to the front of the block. This style mount not only gives the finished car a vintage race car look, it also acts as a perfect anchor to the chassis. To get started, Cornell fabricated a pair of temporary engine mounts fashioned from rectangular steel and bolted them into the factory mount locations. With the engine secured to the transmission they lowered the combination into the chassis and mocked it into place.

To assist in the correct placement within the chassis, the Deuce firewall was bolted in and the radiator was also secured to where it would be positioned. Once the fore and aft proximities were dialed in, Cornell adjusted the pitch of the engine and transmission, marked each spot for placement, and began to design the engine-mounting plate. With the radiator now removed, he began taking measurements and transferring them onto a sheet of durable Masonite. Taking into consideration engine pulleys, accessory mounting points, and water pump access, he used simple drafting tools, including square and curve templates to approximate the design. Once completed, he used a razor knife and hole punches to carefully cut out the template while intentionally leaving the ears of the mounting plate long for trimming once installed to the front of the engine block.

With the template mounted in place, Cornell measured for proper placement to the chassis, in this case 1 inch in from the outer 'rail on each side, which he marked with a black marker. Using a square, Cornell marked the area to be trimmed and removed the template from the engine to conduct the final cut. The completed template was then sent to CBM Fabrication in Ballston Lake, New York, to have a water-jet version cut from 3/8-inch steel plate.

To help dampen vibration when bridging the engine-mounting plate to the chassis, a call was placed to Speedway Motors for one of their Universal Bolt-Through Engine Mount Cushion kits (PN 7209314) to utilize a number of parts within the kit in the adaptation. Included in the kit is a pair of 3-inch rubber biscuits and base cups, which needed to be modified to fit the application. Since Cornell wanted a nice clean look to the outer framerail where the biscuit would normally overhang, he removed an outer section of the rubber mount using a belt sander and followed by adapting the mounting cup base to reflect the same new angle by trimming the outer diameter and welding a small lip to the edge using mild steel.