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Old 07-18-2008, 04:27 PM   #1
ed_v
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Default crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

I recently purchase a 1950 Chevy 3/4 ton pickup. This is my very first project that is my own. When I first bought it I had big dreams of putting in a fuel injected SBC, putting in IFS with four wheel discs, converting it to a short bed, and so on. You know, the hot rod AD truck that has been done a million times
The more I sit here and look at the photos on my computer of it, I kind of wouldn't mind just restoring it back to somewhat of it's original glory. It doesn't have to be authentic or perfect, just something I can fire up every once in a while and go for a sunday drive in the country or haul an atv with. I just kind of hate to see the original farm truck that it was loose it's charm.

It has a 216 inline V6. I have never tried to rebuild a motor on my own (but I do have a fair amount of knowledge). This might be a good chance for me to give it a shot. Is it worth it or should I just get a new crate engine ? What are your thoughts ?.

Ed
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:32 PM   #2
kustombypook
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

Rebuild the old engine. Everybody had to start somewhere, and inline 6's are pretty simple to rebuild.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:33 PM   #3
Dick Dake
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

It's not a inline V6, just an inline 6. I would look for a full flow 235 for it and yes it is worth it. Go with a better geared transmission and fix the brakes. I have this thing with dual reservoir cylinders but 4 wheel drum is fine. Wash, wax and drive.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:53 PM   #4
Road Runner
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

You got it right - restore the truck.
Replace the 216 with a later full pressure 235 or 261.

The Stovebolt forum has all the info you need and more....
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:10 PM   #5
49ratfink
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

yeah what they said ^^^ 216's are for pure restorers.

they have babbit bearings and no oil pressure to the bearings. not much good for longevity if you plan on driving much on the freeway.

235 or 261. 54 or later.

though if i'm not mistaken you can put regular bearings in a 216... not sureif there is a cure for the lack of oil pressure to the bearings,
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

check out www.stovebolt.com lots of info there on upgrading your truck. where are the pic's of your truck?
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:20 PM   #7
flatheadfever
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

i found my 55 235 from a car in good running condition for $175 for my 58 pickup.
Since then I found a complete engine and trans with everything for 400.
Lots of folks have replaced the motors with 8s and can't give the originial stuff away.
Put an ad on craigslist and here and I am sure you will find one
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:28 PM   #8
lowgobuick56
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

i would go with the original if you are only going to drive it every once in an while. and in my experience straight sixes are very tough but simple motors. a good one to start on and the parts should be fairly ez to get a hold of. even your local napa should have most of them.
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:19 PM   #9
Johnnyzoom
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

One more vote for rebuild or 235. I'm almost done with my first (230), nothing beats hands on tearing into a motor. You'll never think of driving the same again, and you'll have the confidence to fix it or others in the future.

Those pickups are cool and full of character, and a Stovebolt is part of that.
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:52 PM   #10
6deucecaddy
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

In my case I swapped the 3/4 ton chassis for a lighter 1/2 ton shortbed chassis. Theyre cheap. I paid $150 for my chassis. And I replaced my 216 for a 228 GMC.
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:21 PM   #11
ed_v
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I really appreciate it. I kind of want to rebuild the 216 because I already have it but the lack of oil pressure bothers me. I'll have to think this one over. Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Dake View Post
It's not a inline V6, just an inline 6
I knew that. Just a typo. Kind of hard to be a V when they're inline .

Ed
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

My taste?
Do what they would have done in 1954 - swap in the biggest GMC you can find. Original hot-rod, almost a drop-in, traditional appearance and sound, much more power.
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Dake View Post
. I would look for a full flow 235 for it and yes it is worth it.
yep, I'd go with the later "car" 235 with hydraulic lifters as well...

a dual intake and some split exhaust.... a T-5 and a better rearend (mostly for gearing)...
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:16 AM   #14
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

There is no 'crate' 216 I'm aware of... or even 235 or 261. If there is, somebody let me know.
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:22 AM   #15
zman
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big T View Post
There is no 'crate' 216 I'm aware of... or even 235 or 261. If there is, somebody let me know.
He's talking a crate motor or rebuild the 216. i.e. a SBC crate motor. Reading is fundamental, comprehension is not.
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:11 PM   #16
hobbyjp
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

You should keep the 216. The motor might not need a full rebuild maybe some rings and a valve job. I hate when I go to a car show or event and you see nothing but the same 350 in almost every car. here is a page from California bills speed book. they were raced tons of oil dippin inline sixes. You can find the book on ebay and any chevy/ GMC inliner should have it.
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:31 PM   #17
Dick Dake
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

That is an excellent book, however, a 235 will do a better job. There is also a 270 Jimmy for sale in the classifieds right now.
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:38 PM   #18
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

I had a '48 1/2-ton with a 216 and three-on-the-old-tree. Keeping up with traffic usually wasn't enough- I was passing lots of people- I think I kind of had something to prove. I went through a rear end, transmission, and engine, which was replaced with a "it looks like it was rebuilt before it sat" non-splasher 235. I couldn't get the front brake drums it needed. A friend of the family bought it and may be storing it for me. Anyway, I'd probably hang out on a stovebolt forum and ask for the easier fixes. How much money to fix the 216 would probably be the deciding factor on keeping it or replacing it with a slightly newer six-banger. Especially since you say you just want to putt around occasionally. I'd keep it 6-Volt and foot starter, get split exhaust manifolds and add glasspaks.

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Kurt
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:38 PM   #19
RileyRacing
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

It's not the lack of a pressurized rod oil system that will kill a 216 at highway speeds, it's the rev/min. Most of the cars/trucks of that era had low (4:10sih) rear gears that utililzed the low power that the engines made. You could make a 216 live if you swap the rear gears to something like a 3.23.

That said, for your application, I'd get a 53- later 235 or even a 261 if you can find it. They bolt right to your tranny, but offer some more "peace of mind" if you're concerned.

I have a 1950 216 in the garage myself. I would like to use it in a modified someday... Alot of my peeps (cough FatHack cough) keep riding me about it being a scatterbolt six, but I ain't skeert. I just have to build a car to put it in.

Good luck either way!

Jay
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:54 PM   #20
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Default Re: crate motor or rebuild my Chevy 216 ?

I got a rebuilt 216 I will let go for 300 bucks, it has never been started since the rebuild.
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