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Machinery enthusiast
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A couple years back I purchased a well worn but still running 1954 235 engine to rebuild and install in my 1949 Chevy 3100 pickup. The 216 that's in the truck is also well worn but still running strong and I wanted a period correct replacement engine at the ready once it kicked the bucket.
I also wanted the experience of rebuilding the replacement engine. I chose a 1954 235 because it not only is a direct boltup to the 216's bell housing and drivetrain but the water pump sits at the same height and distance from the radiator as the 216 did. Later model 235's & 261's water pumps sit lower and are prone to have overheating issues without further modification.
I got this engine on the cheap because cylinder #1 was dead. It was complete so I decided to gamble on it being rebuiildable.

So I got bored and put together this filmstrip giving a basic overview of the rebuild.

The engines are still awaiting the swap that I plan will happen in 2019.

 

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It's a real improvement on the 216, full pressure lubrication instead of the dipper lubed rod bearings, and no Babbitt bearings. Nice.
 

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Master Cranker!!!
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14,980 Posts
Really enjoyed the video, Dave. Well done. Honestly, I can sit and watch open rockers with the same fascination I did as a kid. It mesmerized me watching my older brothers adjusting and taking the "clack" out. The motion, the mechanics, the sound, the oil dancing on top. Very cool. Thanks!

edit: Forgot to say.......those dual carbs are epic! Coupled with the chrome job.............perfect.
 

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15,000 +posts!
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I had a 1956 Chevy 3200 pickup when I was 18..traded a '63 VW Bus (factory camper!) and a '63 VW Beetle for it..looking back ,I wish I had bought the truck,and kept the VW's,both today would be worth a fortune!..

The '56 pickup had a 235 in it ,when I got it,it had a dual fuel conversion setup on it,it could be run on propane or gasoline..most of its life it was run on propane,I think it was part of a fleet of utility trucks originally..I decided to sell the conversion parts ,propane was no cheaper than gas was and harder to get after dark,I preferred to use gasoline ..

That engine always ran great,had very good low end torque..truck had a three on the tree,and non-syncro first gear,so you often had to lug it down in second,but you could take off in second from a dead stop easily unless you were on a steep hill--then you had to just rev it up some and dump the clutch to get it moving..once you got it in third,you rarely had to downshift..I think it had 4:56 rear end gears ,so highway speeds were limited to 60 mph or less..I rarely used it on interstates,it was a "back roads" truck..

If I knew what I do today I'd have hung onto that truck--it had hardly any rust and I could have swapped the cab & bed onto a later GM 4x4 chassis pretty easily,that would allow for power steering (which it needed badly,that was the only thing I hated driving that truck--trying to park it was tough,the manual steering box had tons of slop too)--a new chassis would allow you to have disc brakes too..but the original frame on that truck was in great condition and very thick,about 3/8" ,looked twice as thick as any other truck I've had since..

A friend has a '59 GMC with a factory Pontiac 337 V8 in it,and a 4 speed Hydra-matic transmission..truck came from Kansas and is in really nice condition..he paid $4500 for it,and has refused more than one offer approaching $20,000 for it ..
I have seen a few GMC's like his with a factory Buick nailhead 322 V8 also ..one guy at a swap meet who had one put a 425 V8 from a Wildcat in his when the 322 had a crack in the block appear that he didn't think was repairable..that truck was very fast and could roast the tires in all three gears,he used the TH400 from the Wildcat that had the "switch pitch" torque converter..
 

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I'll never get to 10,000
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Thanks for posting that! Looks good and can't wait to see it in the '49.
Makes me want to find '48 F-1 (my first vehicle) and tweek the 239 V-8 flathead like you did.
 

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Machinery enthusiast
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Discussion Starter #8
rudedawg, thanx, I plan on documenting the swap once I get over the holidays and a little bout with tendinitis.

Paul, they built these old Stovebolts to be worked on under a shade tree. If your oil pressure dropped too much, just drop the oil pan and remove a main bearing shim or 2 and voila you got your oil pressure back up. Some even had shims on the babbitt rods.
The head design was a limiting factor in these old engines. They corrected some shortcomings in the later, 230/250 & 292 series engines.

Gary, Thats one of the primary reasons for the upgrade. That and an almost doubling of the HP. Not quite double but close.

Ellis, know what you mean, . When you run one of these up to about 2500 rpm you'd think the valves would never fully close LOL. Imagine watching the valve train on a built SBC or SBF turning over 6K. Thanx , I like those duals also.

TH, shame you didn't keep it. Theres alot of these old engines that could crank out the power..

John, thanx. Getting an old Ford flathead V8 powered coup is on my bucket list. The 48 F1 was one of the best looking old trucks around.
 

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Dave--just ran across this --and must say--I'm surely impressed. The video was well-documented in simple terms----old school thinking and tools were used. I like the 'run stand'--also--that amp/volt/rpm gauge set-up--I had an identical one up until ten years ago when my son, 'borrowed it and someone dropped it and broke the needle off. Mine was early -60's Craftsman era name brand.:tango_face_crying::tango_face_crying:

Keep the good times coming--I see retirement is taking care of your business.
Saw that ol' Wheelhorse sitting over on the side, too.

BTW__does the madam of the house know about the mess you made in the driveway? Must have been away at work......:tango_face_devil::tango_face_devil:


glenn
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Great project! It will be fun for you to reap the results of your work - and fun for us to watch the transformation.

As a mid-teen I drove a 55 Chevy Belair Coupe with a worn out straight 6 New Blue Flame engine. A friends parents totaled a 58 Chevy wagon with a 283 v8. I captured the "new" engine tore it down in an unheated chicken coop (no longer home of any chickens) and rebuilt it. My supplies came mostly from JC Whitney. The donor engine was mated to an automatic and my 55 was a straight transmission. I recall I had to do some junk yard crawling to come up with a bell housing that would work. But ultimately I got it rebuilt, swapped, and ran it into my late twenties, more than 10 more years till I needed/wanted more modern transportation and sold it. It was a wonderful learning experience for a teen. Grease under finger nails is a rite of passage.
 

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Excellent job, Dave. It seems to be running perfectly. Bet you can't wait to swap it. The BX earned its keep again. :fing32:
Also, nicely done video. :thanku:
 

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Great video!! My 54 has 89,000 original miles on it and runs good, just leaks oil from everywhere! One of these days I will replace the rear main seal. Not looking forward to that at all considering it's been there since 1954. I really like the dual carbs and the split exhaust. That truck is going to be a lot of fun to drive once you get that engine installed.
 

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Machinery enthusiast
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks men.

chip61, I like the Best Seal rope seal kit, it includes everything but a mechanic to do the job for you LOL. It can be done in-truck but it's a job. Much easier if you pull the engine.

I'm still R&R'ing some tendonitis which is getting better, so I haven't done the engine swap yet. But I'm still playing around with MS movie maker and put together a little story about how I got the 49 Chevy.
 

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A true labor of love, Dave, but well worth it. Now you have two old trucks to play with. :thanku:for the video.
 

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Thanks for that video-Dave.....I can almost hear/imagine the pleasure in your voice on that shake down cruise.:woohoo1::woohoo1: Job well done so far...


I see Chip61 ventured in--I know him--he lives close to me. Hi-Chip!!!

Continue on w/ the progress reports--

glenn
 

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Thanks for the videos-really enjoyed them! I need to work on my truck but can't seem to find the time. As Glenn said, please keep us updated with progress.

Hey Glenn!
 

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Make Smoke, Boil Water!
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Wow, brings back old memories of when I was an Apprentice Mechanic in the late 60s, early 70s. We had a '49 Chev half ton for one of the shop trucks; Old Red was my favorite ride. We had a '57 Chev long bed half ton and all the guys liked that ... thing. Could never see why, other than it had a V8 while Red had the original 215.

We restored cars as a side business, so the antique shop trucks and antique loaners were always in demand. But nobody like Red that much, which means as low man and go-fer, I was always behind his wheel for something or other.

A million years before I got there, they'd swapped the original 16" wheels to 15" and that gave Red plenty of torque, plus a somewhat lower center of gravity, so he really went round corners quick.

Thanks for the many memories!
 

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Machinery enthusiast
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Discussion Starter #20
I added a new update to the 1949 Chevy restoration video. This is part 2, prepping for the engine swap.
It's a short video on getting the truck ready for the engine and front clip removal.
 
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