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Old 07-23-2013, 06:01 AM   #1
bfalfa55
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Default A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

I have found my way to the HAMB many time s I have researched this build, that must mean something ! The 265 I am building is the original 265 my dad had in his 55 Chevy back in 1960. He was pulling it to build a 283 because, of all things, the diaphram in the fuel pump let go, pump the crankcase full of fuel and the engine actually caught fire inside the block ! It was put out through the carb and set aside. It has not run in 53 years ! We being the "parts pack rats" were are, between my dad and I we have both held onto this engine since then. My son wants to learn how to build an engine, so he and decided to build this and put it in my 55, replacing the 350 my dad and I built 23 years ago for another car. I think it's cool that the last time a 17 year old touched this engine, it was his grandpa ! If your going to build a small block, it might as well be THE SMALL BLOCK. We have started disassembly and I have some question based mostly on all the knowledge I have gained from the HAMB. Hope you guy don't mind the book I am writing !!
My dad never built this engine, and never had it apart, he is sure of it. That being said, I have found that prior to him buying his 55 back then, it would appear someone was in this engine. Popped the main caps and it looks as though they have some scoring on the journals. Don't know if it will be worth cleaning up and drilling for the balancer bolt or if I should just try and find a 283 small journal crank. Removed the old oil pump and popped out 3 pistons to see what I've got there. Pistons look good, don't have valve reliefs but do have locating notches pointing toward the front of the block. Are these factory installs or early replacement pistons ? Cylinder walls should clean up to whatever I want, they look very good. All the main caps are stamped with a number and all the connecting rods have been stamped already. Did they ever do this from the factory ? Also, I was under the impression that stock 265 rods had a start or some kind of symbol right in the middle of the rod, these have no markings. Is there a way to identify the rods ? They have GM on one side and one has a "7" cast into it and the other 2 have a "6" cast in them. Are these factory replacement rods ? None of the journals have a spot of rust on them even though they are void of oil after all these years. I am actually very surprised. Also, original oil pan has one spot the size of a silver dollar that is pitted and has a whole in it. This is where it sat on my grandmothers dirt garage floor for the first 30 years of it being out of the car ! Anyones insight into my questions above would be highly appreciated. Last pic is my parents almost 49 years ago to the month, 1964 !
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Last edited by bfalfa55; 09-06-2013 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:10 AM   #2
36-3window
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

if you can save the crankshaft by grinding it i would. the 265 crank is forged and worth putting some money into it. i can get a crank rods and mains ground for $100 around here

all 265 and 283 cranks are small journal........but some later 283 cranks are cast
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Last edited by 36-3window; 07-23-2013 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:56 PM   #3
bfalfa55
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

Thanks 36-3window. I hope they can clean up in .020. They aren't horrible, so hopefully it is good. I know these are forged so I really want to use it. It will not get spun above 7500 RPM, so @ .010-.020 grind, I should still be good. Can you shed light on some of my other questions by chance ? Some of what I have found is a bit puzzling.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

I have run many a small block Chevy without a balancer bolt, with no problems. doesn't seem like a big deal if the rest can be polished.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

I believe the original 265 pistons were flat top with no relief.
Remember that if you replace the cam the '55 engines had the back end of the cam machined because of their one year only oiling system. Just duplicate what is on the original cam.
I would not worry about bolting the damper on as thousands of early sbc ran fine without the bolt.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

love the history, good luck with the build, more pictures!
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

Excited to see it coming back to life!!! It's coming full circle! I love these 265's and I plan on building another in the near future.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

Thanks guys. I would like to know if main caps and rod and bearing caps were number stamped from the factory ? I would also like to know if these are different rods. I thought all 265 rods had a mark cast in the beam that non of the others past 283's have. I will be modifying the block to modern oiling and will drill the crank because I will be running a modern compatible balancer. The build might be with a 4-71 blower in the future and I will need it for the pulley. Plans for this build is to be mid to low 13 second car. With modern technology in cams and heads, any horsepower saving trick I can use from the Super Stock guys, I feel this can be achieved. I will try to use older external items to look more old time. I have my dads staggered bolt Vette valve covers and will make whatever mounting needed to put them on whatever heads I end up with. I hope to see you chime in with any help you have JefferyJames. I have seen your avatar pop up on most every 265/283 engine build thread I have run across !
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

no numbers from factory---make a 301 at least...
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

Like I said on the Tri-Five site, Chevrolet did a lot of warranty work due to the flat top, with no valve relief, pistons. Any kind of over-rev, missed shift, etc, and the valves kissed the pistons. The replacement pistons/blocks had pistons with valve reliefs. They learned the hard way with the "new" 265. Any new piston you get now will have valve reliefs. Your engine has to be a completely stock short block with those pistons. The rods are going to be the weakest point in your engine. At least use the second design, small journal, 327 rod, or an after market rod. After market will be cheaper in the long run, and stronger. The other issue with your motor is that it has no oil filter, unless it had the optional, remote cannister, oil filter. All 265's had heads with very small ports, and small combustion chambers. Most any other head put on a 265 will drop the C.R., and they were only 8:1 in 55, and most 56, and the 2 barrel, 57, 265 to start with. The 56 4 barrel, and dual 4 barrel engines were only 9.25:1. The CC on these small port heads was about 55.6 CC's. The smallest stock SBC head is the 601 casting, 305 head, at 53 CC's. There are some after market heads with 49 CC chambers; I believe made by DART. Other than using small CC chamber heads, your only other way to build compression is with domed pistons, and those are going to be $$$$, and a special order item "these days". 7500 RPM is't going to come cheap with a 265. Not discouraging you, but it may be more realistic to just do a stock rebuild, with maybe a mild cam, and build the 350 to have on hand. JMO. Butch/56sedandelivery.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

Awesome story keep us posted on the build !
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

Thanks 56sedandelivery. You have given me some of the best info to continue with this build. It seems to be that this engine was rebuilt. I am still wondering what these rods were from ? All these parts that I don't use will still be set aside maybe for a milder engine in the future. Got the balancer, timing chain cover and timing chain off. Only have 3 pistons left to pull but it seems the "MOUSE MOTOR" has 3 rustier pistons due to the "MOUSE NEST" that was in it ! I guess mouse dropping and whizz are not good cylider lubrication ! Soaking them some more because the won't budge and I can't remove the crank.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

Hi 55

I used plenty of the 265' blocks for Crackerbox boat racing [ 68' to 76' ], we were limited to 272' cid and would bore them to .060 over, but I used the 56' year blocks because that was the first year for a oil filter

One bad part is the main webs are paper thin, so I put on splayed bolt 4 bolt caps to keep the crank in place

Your stock rods are not up to doing any drag racing on the new very sticky tracks, you are going to break that little jewel by having a blower on top

Just rebuild it and maybe a 097 duntov cam and be happy with that, then put your money into a newer engine that will hold up at the drags

In the 327' engine I ran in my gasser in 64' I made main cap straps and had special rod bolts made to try to keep it together on slippery tracks back in the day

Please take care of that 55 motor as that stuff is hard to find, don't brake it!!

Good luck with your 55 project

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Old 07-26-2013, 08:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

Crank, pistons, lifters and cam are finally all out ! Need to knock out all the freeze plugs and unscrew the screw in plugs. Need to remove the draft tube to get one of the freeze plugs. Any suggestions of how to remove the tube ?

The cam has part #3713103. What cam is it ? I also found something that I have never seen. On the gasket surface for the oil pan, right by each piston, there are stamped numbers also. They range from 7 to 10. Since it is most likely that this engine was serviced before my dad had it, what would these numbers mean ?

Last edited by bfalfa55; 07-26-2013 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:45 PM   #15
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

Engine is all apart and in good shape so far considering how long it has at. I ran across some pistons but I want to know what anyone can tell me about them. They are HEPOLITE pistons. Ever heard of them ? How good are they ? It was an old British company tp the best of what I can find. The pistons are in Canada but I personally never heard of them nor has anyone I have talked to. I see they have made tons of automotive and motorcycle pistons and it sounds like alot of people outside the USA swear buy the original old ones. Let me know what you know !
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:47 PM   #16
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

Hepolite was a well known maker of replacement pistons for English cars and motorcycles. Never knew they made pistons for Chevs.

I wouldn't touch them. Buy new pistons. Metallurgy has come a long way since the fifties.
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:51 PM   #17
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

Never heard of HEPOLITE; are they an old, NOS set? WAAAAAY back in the day, pistons used to come "semi-finished"; meaning the engine re-builder/machinist "final ground" the pistons to the standard or oversize size to be used. There are only a few places in the entire country that still have the equipment to do this "finishing", and the piston manufacturers won't do it for you (I checked!). So, be sure those pistons are't of that design. I learned all this the hard way when I bought a set of Thompson, forged pistons, advertised as standard size, and then found out what "semi-finished" meant. They were for a 265 also! Thompson pistons became TRW (T=Thompson), and that company has again been resold several times. They were a domed piston, and the seller did refund my purchase price due to his error in how they were advertised. That was why I ultimately gave up on my 265 build, and went with a 283 short block (a legal Super Stock short block). There are 265 pistons on E-Bay, but even there they're not cheap, and they are cast pistons. Before you buy these HEPOLITE pistons, you need to find out how far over the block will need to be bored; and it will if you have stuck pistons due to corrosive mouse urine. I remember in high school (66-69), all the guys with 265's built them into 272's (.060 over). The stampings on the block pan rails were for GM engine assemblers; it told them what the specifics were for the cylinder they lined up with. I can't be more specific than that however. Be careful of your oil pump and the swivel pickup; it's a part dedicated to only the 55, 265, and probably hard to find a new replacement. Butch/56sedandelivery.
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:01 PM   #18
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfalfa55 View Post

The cam has part #3713103. What cam is it ? I also found something that I have never seen. On the gasket surface for the oil pan, right by each piston, there are stamped numbers also. They range from 7 to 10. Since it is most likely that this engine was serviced before my dad had it, what would these numbers mean ?
That casting # and its corresponding part #3713453 have been superceded by casting #3836686 and corresponding part#3836700. It is a 1955 passenger car, 8cyl with mechanical tappets, except the high lift cam.
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Last edited by Bowtie Coupe; 08-24-2013 at 02:50 AM. Reason: Correct original part number.
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:26 PM   #19
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

'
'Just rebuild it and maybe a 097 duntov cam and be happy with that, then put your money into a newer engine that will hold up at the drags' There is a carb/cam expert who would spin tighter than this SBC w/5.13 rear gears seeing that cam recommendation. RUN IT!
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:22 AM   #20
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Default Re: A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

I guess they made them because of the cars in Canada that used Chevy engines. I don't believe they are so old as the 50's but I am trying to find out. They are cast to size pistons with rings and wrist pins. 2 sets, .020 and .040. both sets being sold as one package for less than $200. Here is a pic. They look to be a healthy casting. I will be running a retrofitted roller cam using Gen 2 spider and dog bones and 2.2 cyl./3.1 60 degree v6 roller lifters. The parts are cheap and doing the job is not that hard. The external look of the engine will be mostly period correct looking but the inside and heads will be more modern technology.
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