Lynn, from what I understand, the FE truck bellhousing is a bit deeper than the car bellhousing, but the Toploader I am using is a small block unit (HEH-BV, from a 66 Fairlane 289), the small blocktrans is supposed to be identical to a 390Fairlane transmission, except that the small block input shaft is longer than a FE unit. The splined area is identical, the added length is only on the small tip, where it goes into the pilot bushing. Some guys say that to use the SB trans behind a FE engine, the extra length can be trimmed, or , if a T bellhousing is used, the SB input will be fine as is. I do have a Lakewood scattershield from my 427 powered drag car, that I had planned on using, but the extra wide flange of the Lakewood housing looks like it would have major interference with the FPA headers.
I would be interested in any photos of your 59 FE Z bar, and perhaps the length of the lever that connects the Zbar to the clutch fork rod, and how far the lever is from the inner end of the tube. In addition to the 58 FE Z bar I have, I also have a Z bar that I removed from my 59 Custom 300 parts car. That car is a 223 6 cylinder/3 speed manual, and suprisingly, the 58 FE and 59 6 cyl. Z bars are identical, other that the orientation of the inside lever lower pin. The 6 cyl Z bar has the pin pointing inward, towards the engine, the 58 FE Z bar is opposite, pointing to the frame. So I would be suprised if the 59 FE Z bar is different, but you never can tell!
As for the motor mounts, since my 59 is a factory 332 FE car, I still have the original motor mounts, however they are (understantbly) in poor condition, but when I compared the old mounts to the new, height wise at least, the new mounts were about 1/4" taller, which I figured was due to 55 years of service on the old mounts. Like the motor mounts on my 3 old 57 Y block cars, the open end of the mounts "C" shape are facing the firewall, as the stock 59 mounts did. I am considering just installing a shim between the frame mount and motor mount, as it seems that lowering the engine will put the passenger side FPA header even closer to the frame. As it is, I have maybe 1/4" between the headers ball end flange and the frame. I have yet to trial fit the supplied exhaust connector pipes, but I imagine the flare will be very close to the frame. How close is your pass side collector from the frame on your 57? Also, my FPAs can with 2 connector pipes, one a short straight piece, the other is longer, with a curve just past the flange. My FPAs did not come with any instructions as to which pipe fits which side. Do they only fit one way? Also, how large are your exhaust pipes? I am looking a 2 1/2" on my car, but there is hardly an abundance of room between the top of the trans crossmember and the floorboards. All 3 of my 57s had dual exhaust, and with the mufflers in the stock location, the floor could get pretty hot on the feet. I am considering shorter mufflers,, located further back to hopefully adress that problem. Maybe even notch the top of the trans crossmember for a little extra space. Think that is worth the effort? Thanks for your input.