I just now read your postings... Thanks for noticin' me... As you mention, I used 1.5 inch tubing for my build. I made that decision early on totally based on "seat of the pants", and now I wonder how necessary it really was. As I stated numerous times in my log, "I ain't no engineer." Rod's good-looking build uses (IIRC) 1.25 tubing and has proven to work just fine on the road. I think you could probably build a "normal" frame with the 1-inch and be good to go, as long as it was well built. (See "Engineer" disclaimer above.)
I totally understand wanting a V8, just because you want one. I love that rumble. (and I don't mind that TORQUE one little bit, either!
) Colin Chapman and Arthur Mallock would probably slap me, but they ain't payin' for this car or driving it, so I'm gonna stick that big lump in it and not look back, dammit!
If you're a Ford guy, and set on a V8 in a 7-ish car, I'd say check out the venerable 302 pushrod motor. The cylinder heads are a lot smaller than the newer modular Fords and the block itself looks narrower. (I haven't measured one.) There's plenty of hot-rod parts for the 302, and unlike the ubiquitous "Small Block Chevy" you won't find one in every street rod/custom car you look at. (Heehee... Same could be said of "Miata motors" and "Locosts", but we best not mention it in here, they gots us out-numbered!) I think you'll find the 302's are generally cheaper than the modulars to purchase, being older and more plentiful in potential "donor" cars. I got my 302 HO in an old Lincoln with the air ride shot and the interior trashed. 500 bucks... I imagine parts are the same way, cost-wise.
Having said all that: There's no reason you can't put a 5.4 or a 4.6 in a Seven chassis, just seems the 302 would fit easier. All the above is my .02, and since you're
the one payin' for this build and doin' the work and driving it... Well, guess who gets to pick the motor you
Keep us posted on your progress, and feel free to stop into my build log if you want to ask a question or just visit.
JD "Did I spell ubiquitous right?" Kemp