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1953 chevy 235 oil system

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by randyclardy, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. randyclardy
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    randyclardy Member

    i recently bought a 53 chevy bel-air,3 on tree....it has a oil filter on the side of the intake,but it isnt hooked up,do i need to hook this up,what is the best way to hook it up.the casting numbers beside the distrubtor are (LAAb9I00b) i havent been able to find anything but the first 3 letters,which i believe means that its a 1953 motor made in flint,michigan.
    another question is it hard to convert it to 12volts?say i wanted to bag it later on i would have to convert it to 12volt system to run my 12volt air compressor,right? sorry for all the stupid questions,this is all new to me,but im loving it
  2. randyclardy
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    randyclardy Member

    come on people help me out
  3. 6inarow
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    6inarow Member

    1. Do an intro
    2. Join inliners
    3. Use the search function.
    4. Get Patricks catalogue
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  4. mofles
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    mofles Member

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  5. mtkawboy
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    mtkawboy Member

    First off do you know thats a splash oiling babbit bearing motor if its the original one, 54 was the first year for insert bearings with a stick shift. My dad bought a brand new stick 54 chevy which ended up my first car in 1960 is how I know. Before I spent a bunch of money on it Id be finding a later motor with insert bearings
  6. randyclardy
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    randyclardy Member

    yes it is a splash oil motor,with that said do i need to hook that filter up or just take it off? their has to be a reason that the previous owner didnt have it hooked up.
  7. Skeezix
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    Skeezix Member

    The previous owner may have been a "amateur engineer" or a paste-eater ... I'd figure if the GM engineers designed the thing to have a filter you are faced with the latter. When at his poorest my brother bypassed his too save money on the oil and couldn't afford a new filter. The oil pressure was affected by the "shorter trip" and 50 weight. I suspect there is good reason to run it... I'd certainly remove the filter housing and thoroughly inspect it for cracks/leaks and etc.
  8. F&J
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    F&J Member


    Why? Maybe ( or probably ) the rockers were not getting oil, and if you shut off the filter line, you do get a bit more line pressure that may have gotten more oil to the rocker shafts.


    there is a simple fix for that oil problem to the rockers, but I forgot where I read it. Keep searching
  9. randyclardy
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    randyclardy Member

    ok i aperciate the help
  10. truckeroy
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    truckeroy Member

    The oil canister mounted on the intake was an option. It only has a small line running to it so the help in filtering oil is minimal. Most engines didn't have that filter because it didn't help much. Change the oil frequently will help more. I have seen remote racing type installed somewhere on an inliners website, but it required machining a tapped hole in the block. In the early 60's Chev. came out with at 262 that had a spin on oil filter. They are not easy to find. They are the same as the 235 block.
  11. panic
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    panic BANNED

    261: 1954, not the same block.
  12. fordcragar
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    fordcragar Member

    What?
  13. brookwood
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    brookwood Member

    throw it away!!! if its a splasher, you dont need it!!! just keep the oil clean and run the snot out of it!!! there pretty tuff!!!!
  14. brookwood
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    brookwood Member

    buy the way, panic is right!!!
  15. markjenks
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    markjenks Member

    I have a 53 chevy 210 sitting in the driveway, that I try to take for a ride once a week.

    Since it's a 3 on the tree, it's a 235 dipper motor. They automatic was a different motor entirely (even the master cylinder was different!).

    The oil filter doesn't do much at all. It filters what just happens to be passing through that line, and not much actually does. Without it hooked up, it'll just go the other route which is there anyways, and not cause any problems at all.

    As for converting to 12v, it's not that hard at all. Just follow those directions above to convert the 54. It's exactly the same step for step. I haven't done it yet, but I'm hoping to do it this winter.
  16. 6inarow
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    6inarow Member

    The oil filter doesn't do much at all. It filters what just happens to be passing through that line, and not much actually does. Without it hooked up, it'll just go the other route which is there anyways, and not cause any problems at all.


    Not completely true. It filters about 15% of the oil. that means every 8 minutes or so all the oil has been filtered. The filters are also capable of capturing particles more thoroughly than todays filters.

    These 235 filters get a bad rap for doing "nothing". IMO, they are worthwhile - just different than we are used to today.
  17. terd ferguson
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    terd ferguson Member

    Just to keep it straight, powerglide equipped cars in 1953 came with the full pressure oil system motor. 1953 manual tranny cars came with babbit motors. I'd hate to think somebody would junk a powerglide motor thinking it's no good from reading a couple of posts, lol. :D
  18. trialbyfire
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    trialbyfire Member

    if you needs some pictures of the hose routing mine has the filter housing on it and it still hooked up i can take some pics in the morning if you like.
  19. threewindaguy
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    threewindaguy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    What gets the oil up to the rocker arm shaft? I guess its that little tube in the middle of the shaft, one end going into the head. I pulled it, cranked the engine, but no evidence of oil. I head something about a "hollow bolt". Any truth to that?
  20. Rusty O'Toole
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    Rusty O'Toole Member

    Any oil filter is better than no oil filter. Your motor is known for losing oiling to the rocker arms due to sludged up oil passages. Anything you do to keep clean oil in there is a good thing.

    A bypass filter filters ALL the oil just not all at once. All the oil in the engine goes through the filter every 15 or 20 minutes when the engine is running. And, the original filter, filters out much finer dirt than the new type filters.

    There are 2 small copper or steel lines between the filter and engine. You must get them going to the right place. If you do a search I am sure you can find an illustration showing how to hook it up.

    First take the top off the filter and remove the filter element. Have a pan to put it in, it will be messy. Wipe off the top of the element and you will see a part number and brand name. Different brands of filter use different numbers so you need both. There were different brands used by Chevrolet, and other brands sold as add on accessories.

    Now ask your local NAPA store if they have that filter, or an equivalent, or can get it. Or do a search.

    You are supposed to clean the filter housing by sucking out the old oil with a suction gun and wiping out the dirty oil with cotton waste or old rags. The filter needs to be clean but it does not have to be perfect. Then you can put in the new filter. Always use new gaskets, they should come with the filter. Smear a little oil or grease on the gasket, this helps them seal better and come off easier next time you change the filter.

    Once you have a good filter in there, no more worries for 5000 miles. That was the recommended change interval. However, on today's paved roads they will last a lot longer. Here is an easy way to tell if the filter needs to be changed. After going for a drive, check the temp of the filter with an infrared temp reader or just touch it with your hand. Be careful they can get very hot. Check before every oil change, when it no longer gets hot it is plugging up and needs to be changed. This may be after 10,000 miles or more.
  21. Rusty O'Toole
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    Rusty O'Toole Member

    Just to clarify... the life of the oil filter is 5000 miles. Oil is supposed to be changed every 1000 miles (without filter) or 2000 miles (with filter). That was on the old dirt roads. On good paved roads, not in the desert, you can go 3000 miles with good oil. Use 10W30 or 15W40 detergent oil.

    Keep tabs on the temperature of the filter and you don't have to change it until it shows signs of being full and not filtering the oil anymore. This could be way more than 5000 miles. On the other hand if the engine has been run with no filter it may plug up sooner.

    If the last owner was too cheap to buy a filter he was probably too cheap to change the oil every 1000 miles. It might be a good idea to take off the pan and clean it out.
  22. studedudeus
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    studedudeus Member

    Had one of these in the day, on a '55 Chevy. There are rubber lines available, NAPA should be able to get them. Also, be sure you put the right restriction fitting in the system.

    The pressure side taps off the main oil gallery, runs through the side of the filter. Return goes out the bottom of the filter, and over to a hole in the side of the block that simply deposits the oil back in the pan. The restriction fitting goes right at that return hole. Don't use the filter without it. You'll loose oil pressure and ruin the motor. Ask how I learned that....

    Keep in mind, modern motor oils are vastly different from when this engine was built. They are far less likely to sludge up your engine, as long as you change them regularly. I'd follow Rusty's recommendations.

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