Here's my two cents worth.
Putting a small block Chevy in your truck is relatively simple. With
all the conversion kits available, it should be a breeze.
When I put the 265 in my dad's truck, it really made the oletruck cruise
nice. We used stock 3 speed tranny. Stock radiator, stock driveshaft and
rearend. The process basically involves new motor mounts, move the steering
box to the outside about 1 1/2" . Change to 12 volt electric and you're on
your way. This all could cost very little, or a lot depending on how far
you want to take it.
Good luck with your project.
Oh yeah, I have 3 big kids and they pretty well drain the ole piggy bank
too, So I know where you're coming from.
'55 1st 5-window 3100
oletrucks is devoted to Chevy and GM trucks built between 1941 and 1959