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Hot Rods 140 Horsepower. 3 gears. 3.08:1. 28" tires. 3200lbs

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by drew1987, Feb 17, 2024.

  1. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 56,013

    squirrel
    Member

    This works great with small engines.

    Big engines...tend to get better mileage and are still drivable when run slower, with a bit more load.
     
  2. my uncles log, dump and septic tank trucks were all gas burners.
    Had to wind em up tight.
    Specially between 2nd and 3rd.
    lived in the 3-4500 rpm range
     
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  3. Los_Control
    Joined: Oct 7, 2016
    Posts: 1,134

    Los_Control
    Member
    from TX

    I have to admit that I'm basically in the same boat ..... 100 hp/3 on the tree/4.10 gears with 29" tires.

    My thinking, I just have to try it and see what I think from there.
    I know I can install a better rear end and a T-5 trans ..... I figure I could get up to 70mph.
    At 70 mph I'm going to feel like I'm driving 100 mph with the sloppy 10" drum brakes and straight axle front end. ..... That can be upgraded also .... where do you stop though?

    Here in Rural West Texas, the two lane roads from my town to the next, the speed limit is 75mph.
    So even if I could get it up to 70 mph, everybody drives 80 mph.
    Same time the highway has wide shoulders for slow moving vehicles .... lots of tractors and farm equipment being moved from one field to the next.
    I just feel the truck will be more enjoyable to drive at 55 mph and I will simply move to the shoulder when others approach. ...... I think this is the way I want to enjoy driving my truck.

    I already have a 1970 318 with a 3spd trans, a Rusty Hope disk brake kit ... rear ends are plentiful.
    Possible I may go this route .... I just have to drive it stock first then make up my mind.
    Then it will never feel like I was driving a 75 year old truck.
     
  4. drew1987
    Joined: Nov 22, 2015
    Posts: 678

    drew1987

    Thanks all! Lots of really good feedback!

    I have a 3.09, 3.55, and soon a 3.73 to work with. The ONLY thing stopping me from a t5 is wanting the column. A 4 speed doesnt make sense unless it has a higher 1st than a 3 speed, or 4th is 0.75:1 or something, becuase just spreading the same span from 1-3 to 1-4 doesnt really help.

    I am shocked that its not "bad" to wind these 235s for any amount of time. Sometimes I tow with my tundra out of overdrive and its at like 3,000 for hours and hours.. I am always nervouse to do it but a 2UZ is easier to replace than a 235. They are everywhere but they seem to all need work. Plus I dont like beating on my stuff.


    3.55:1 gives me like 58mph at 2500 rpms... that seems excessive. I'm at 2150 rpms at the same speed with 3.08 but curious how 1st would be



    I would like to hear more about lower RPMS under load hurting bottom ends... thats new to me


    And just to reiterate, I am not looking for a fast or powerful vehicle - just a pleasant cruiser thats not painfully slow to the point of in the way, and not screaming at 60
     
  5. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 23,307

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If the OP has 140hp, it is unlikely that it is a big engine.

    That's just 20-over a stock 200-6 in a mid 60's Ford.
     
  6. five-oh
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 468

    five-oh
    Member
    from Arkansas
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    I have no idea of the weight of my old AD truck- but it's currently powered by a 235 originally in a '53 BelAir PowerGlide car that I suspect only DREAMS of making 100 hp, much less 140 hp- it hasn't been touched internally since at least the '80s, if ever. I run a SM420 open drive transmission in it, no overdrive, and a 3.08 rear end from a k5 Blazer. It won't win a drag race, but it cruises comfortably at 65-70, and will climb the only hills we have here in Central Arkansas without a problem.
     
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  7. drew1987
    Joined: Nov 22, 2015
    Posts: 678

    drew1987

    hey wow that helps a LOT five-oh! Cause very similar. The 235 i have sitting here is a 1956. Supposedly good for 140hp. I have a set of 3.0g to use and a 3 speed (no overdrive). Do you feel like its gets up and moves fine enough? I am not bothered by the pick up in early 2000's economy cars etc. Like a prius from work doesnt bother me. If I do get the urge to go fast it wont be in this truck haha so in light of being FINE with a, say, 1999 4cylinder camry or malibu, you think this is a good setup?! thanks man!

    Not many hills here either, and there is always second if its needed haha. If I am blessed enough to end up in Upstate SC, like we are kind of aiming for, maybe i'll give up that column shifter for T5 and 4.11:1 haha but its flat here...
     
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  8. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 23,307

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Long crankshafts in inline 6's can develop harmonics that can end up poorly if lugged for too long. The 235 crank is only supported by four main bearings, for all 6-cylinders, where more modern designs have seven to support all 6-cylinders. This can allow for unwanted flex.

    Crankshaft tech from the 1950's is not what it is today. You can get 1-thousand to 2-thousand horsepower out of a modern Toyota 6. Try for 200+ in a 235, and you will spend a few pallets of money to keep it together over the long term.

    Also remember that the oiling system in just the next generation after splash oiling. It is a better system, but it is a little lacking.

    Chevy only pushed them to about 150 before they walked away from the design.
     
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  9. I pulled a tractor and bush hog with mine.

    pulled better than it stopped

    was often loaded with engines amd other junk. Up and down hills.

    it was a .060 over 235 with a slight shave on the 848 head.
     
  10. five-oh
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 468

    five-oh
    Member
    from Arkansas
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    I've driven it around a couple thousand miles before I tore into it to freshen the body up and haven't driven it alot in the last two years; having said that, Central Arkansas is fairly flat, but we have some decent hills to the north of me. Keep in mind I treat the old beast mainly like a car with a really big trunk. We don't load it down much, but it is adequate getting on the interstate, but you will use all of the on ramp to get to speed. I always wind it out before shifting and wring all the power I can out of it. For me it works well. Takes off from a stop sign without slipping the clutch or anything. Of course, that old SM420 has a granny gear if I absolutely needed it and wasn't in a hurry. I highly considered a t5 myself, but that old granny four speed just seems right in the old guy. LOL
    I'm like you in that if I want to go fast, we've got a couple of way O/T plastic fantastic GM Flagships to get in- the old trucks are for relaxing.
    My daughter has a 4 cylinder automatic Miata. The old truck has more pep than it, although that's not saying much. LOL
     
  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 56,013

    squirrel
    Member

    keep in mind that the SM420 has a 3.58:1 low (not granny) gear, while the three speed has 2.94:1 low gear. It makes a difference
     
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  12. five-oh
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 468

    five-oh
    Member
    from Arkansas
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    Good to know, I'm sure that WOULD make a difference.
     
  13. My sm420 has a 7:1 first.
    Bout 5 mph is it with 4:88 gears
     
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  14. drew1987
    Joined: Nov 22, 2015
    Posts: 678

    drew1987

    Yea I know the 235 sucks compared to a 250 or a 292. My Car (in the photo) has a dead v8 and is getting a 250 and overdrive. Maybe a 292 if one pops up. Going back to not needing to spin my tires from a stop til 75mph... Just want to cruise. But that car will get driven and thats why I want overdrive for sure (200-4r I think) and the 7 main bearings, good oil filter, i even have an HEI for a new style six on my shelf. Plastic gas tank and carb floats for e10 if there is no non ethenol... a drivers car etc.


    The 235 I have sitting here is so beautiful. Its even got the orange water-tower style oil filter cannister and the chevy script on the cover. the truck being not really for transportation etc. I am pretty darn set on using it. but say TWO 292s dropped on my lap... I think I would be forced to put one in this truck lol. That, a plain o'l 3 speed, 3.08 and no worries about get up or highway. BUT. That 235 sits here. I dont have a lot of money and it is good for what it is....


    I make my humble living with a dealer license. 6 of us on that one income and I am not greedy. I make enough for her to stay home with the kids and I am VERY present given the circumstances. I bring in affordable southern economy cars and the public gobbles them up. Profits are small but so are the issues. The reason for this backstory? I have a dealer plate and GOOD insurance. If I get a hare up my butt for a "fun car," I can grab a vette, porsche, jag, mustang... whatever, until the itch is gone.. Blessed to have that. Also If i want a beast of a truck, I have my tundra. Its the 2UZ (new body, old motor) but its a rocket and tows. My plow truck is a 454 with 4.10:1 so there is also that. We've got a 2002 Camry convertible, and my wife has a JDM Crown Majesta with a 2ZJ in it. Oh and we have, for sale sadly but need to fund these two old chevys, a JDM 1989 Camry Lumiere "G" with a 2C-t turbo diesel. Plus her odyssey. Which is strangely quick and nimble. So this truck will be for relaxing and hauling things that dont really need to be hauled lol
     
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  15. drew1987
    Joined: Nov 22, 2015
    Posts: 678

    drew1987

    Anthony but I bet its 5mph up the side of a building lol. First in the family 1940-whatever ford 2n (look it up if you dont know its neat) is like screaming at a walking pace. And thats with a 4 bedroom house behind it kicking up dust.
     
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  16. The Chevy Pope
    Joined: Sep 15, 2023
    Posts: 858

    The Chevy Pope
    Member

    This is to answer the question on how lugging an engine can hurt the bottom end. Basically lugging often leads to spark knock. Which in turn results in a sort of hammering effect on the bearings. Most engines run the risk of piston damage but I honestly haven't seen a 235 with piston damage that wasn't strictly wear related. Ever seen a rod bearing where it had uneven wear spots?
     
  17. The Chevy Pope
    Joined: Sep 15, 2023
    Posts: 858

    The Chevy Pope
    Member

    For what it's worth the hydraulic cammed powerglide 53 235 was rated at 115 hp
     
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  18. five-oh
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 468

    five-oh
    Member
    from Arkansas
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    I thought it was somewhere around that. But I figure the last 40 plus years of torment have caused a few of those horses to leave the stable so to speak. LOL
     
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  19. The Chevy Pope
    Joined: Sep 15, 2023
    Posts: 858

    The Chevy Pope
    Member

    Hence the "for what it's worth" part ;). Only reason I even know the factory rating is my 53 was a factory 235/powerglide (with rare factory power steering). I believe the three on the tree cars were 105 or 110 hp
     
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  20. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 56,013

    squirrel
    Member

    1st gear is hardly ever used....in normal driving, 2nd gear is low gear on that transmission.

    2nd on the SM420 is the gear we compare to 1st gear on a 3 speed.
     
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  21. drew1987
    Joined: Nov 22, 2015
    Posts: 678

    drew1987

    Wow shame that 4 speed wasn’t more like 5.75:1 in first. That with like 2.73:1 would be perfect…

    This has been very helpful thanks all
     
  22. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 4,069

    gene-koning
    Member

    I suspect your ride will be fine on the highway, being in an old truck, it might have a reduced top speed when you are driving into the wind, and that won't matter if that highway is a two lane or a 4 lane. The wind resistance of the 50s trucks usually isn't so good.

    The truck will probably be OK around town, but if the people in your town drive like the people in my town, you will be in someone's way. Most of the people here think leaving a traffic light is like leaving the starting line at a drag strip, wide open to 5 mph above the limit, from every stop. Modern cars are pretty quick 0-35 mph, most have pretty low rear gears to get them rolling and gain the mileage back with the OD transmissions. Your ride won't be quick, it will be sort of OK.

    The next thing is, low powered vehicles tend to be driven pretty much with wide open throttles. You have to put your foot pretty deep into the carb to get them to start moving. Lower rear gears help that a lot, but you don't need to get too carried away. A 3:20 something gear would be much better then the 3:08, the 3:55 may be on the boarder line between the highway rpm and getting it moving. On that windy day when you are driving into the wind, the different rear gears probably are not going to make much difference, the wind and the motors HP will be the limiting factors.
     
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  23. Those horsepower values sound high for cruising at freeway speeds.
     
  24. Jack E/NJ
    Joined: Mar 5, 2011
    Posts: 837

    Jack E/NJ
    Member
    from NJ

    > > I would like to hear more about lower RPMS under load hurting bottom ends... thats new to me> >

    Think extremes. Try pulling away from a dead stop in high. You'll hear something if engine doesn't stall. >8^0
     
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  25. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 8,232

    flynbrian48
    Member

    The DeSoto Hemi in my car is 160 HP. TH350, Ford 8" with 2.85:1 gears, 28" tires. Soccer moms in mini-vans easily outrun me at lights, landscapers hauling dump trailers with Isuzu cab overs walk away from it. They're not having as much fun though. :rolleyes: 60FAA048-1DBC-46E6-B26C-288F73D84A65.jpeg
     
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  26. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,542

    Joe H
    Member

    My truck has a 120hp 250, T350 auto, 3.08 gear, and 28" tires. Weighs 3500 with two people, around town I have no problem keeping up with traffic, out on the highway, it will run 70mph all day long and get 20-21 mpg if the wind is right. I had a 3.42 gear for awhile but got tired of the high rpm on the road. The 250 likes 2300 rpm. When we had a drag strip, the truck ran 17.9 @ 79 mph with the 3.42 gear, stock 1970 250 engine.
    With the traffic we have in the Kansas City area, there's no need for jack rabbit starts, someone is always on the phone in front you holding up the line.
     
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  27. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 4,255

    ekimneirbo

    Its easy to overlook the common sense approach when you have a somewhat pre-conceived idea based on just wanting a certain thing so you can enjoy the nostalgia.

    Don't know what hwy you are driving on, but it doesn't have to be NY or LA.............there will be semis and lots of other vehicles close behind you in the SLOW lane. When I haul things to my son's home down I-65, I get in the slow lane with the trailer. Never fails that semis and other vehicles keep driving too closely...........wanting me to speed up.........and I'm going 65-70. Bought a 14' long brake one time up in Michigan. It was long enough that I could not slide it forward for tongue weight, so had to make do. At the time I had an S-10 Blazer. I could only go 55 mph or it would begin to wag. Put my blinkers on and got in the slow lane. Constantly approached from behind by semis etc even though the blinkers warned them. Then there was the plethora of semis passing me...over and over. Driving blind half the time and sweating bullets. Suddenly I hear the horn of a semi. It happened just as another semi was going by. I looked out the drivers door window and would have sworn I could touch the front wheel on a second semi. Apparently he either approached too fast and whipped over at the last second and was about to hit the first semi. I instinctively whipped to the right and went into the emergency lane and the semi continued past me in the slow lane and didn't hit the lead semi. All of the side wash from the two semis was blinding me but I managed to avoid the guardrail and stayed in the emergency lane for maybe a 1000 ft before I was sure I could get back in the slow lane. Just praying there wasn't a stalled car in the lane. Like I said earlier........take a 50 mile drive on a local expressway at 60mph and decide for yourself. Michigan Brake 002.jpg





    I'm not suggesting the engine of choice be racy...........just torquey and of sufficient power to make driving enjoyable.
    My brother had a 4 cylinder S-10 with the 4L60 overdrive. I hated driving that thing because it wanted to constantly shift when at cruising speed. Either had to drive faster or slower. Its probably comparable to what you will have with a 200r4 behind the inline six. Don't forget that part of that comfortable driving experience will probably include wanting some A/C for the wife and kids.....real men like us don't need it.:cool: But, it will affect driveability when that engine is low on HP.

    Excellent point. If you look at all current vehicles they have something like 10 speed transmissions shifting automatically to stay in the torque band. A wide torque band is the key to less shifting. Many people with more powerful engines often shift their manual transmissions from 2nd to 5th. My grandson recently bought an OT
    2015 Mustang. My son took me for a ride. It was fast, but he also drove it at 15-20 mph in 5th gear with no problem. How much you need to shift will be as much about your engine choices torque range as its gearing.

    It should help acceleration when trying to get up to speed on an entrance ramp. Once on the xway, if the engine has sufficient power to use the gearing it should increase top speed as well as mileage. Probably need to move up some from the 3.08 to take advantage tho. My son had a 93 Camaro with the LT1 and 6 speed. He would put it in 6th gear and set the cruise control and get well over 20 mpg. It was painted "write me a ticket" red, so he used the cruise to avoid tickets.


    80 is about normal for most of the traffic with it tapering to about 70 in the slow lane. But I promise you that if you get in the fast lane on I-65 and drive 80 mph you will have cars stacking up behind you. And the same thing if you drive 65 in the slow lane.

    One last thing about those old inline 6s. They didn't have the best oiling systems, so operating one at elevated rpms for long periods might not work well.

    A builder has to be realistic not only about the traffic in the real world surrounding him, but the fact that so many distracted drivers are on those roads. While it may sound fine to drive slower than the norm and be safer, that often isn't the case. Build a car thats enjoyable to drive even if its not built for a hot rod.:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2024
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  28. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 56,013

    squirrel
    Member

    I've driven crappy old cars that had trouble getting up to 60, all over the place, west coast to upper midwest, and never got run over. One trick is to get behind a slower semi, and just stay there, and let the world go by.


    I'm happier going 70-75 on the freeway, if I can, though!
     
  29. I’m federally protected to drive low hp beaters.
    45 mph minimum on the interstate.
     
  30. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 56,013

    squirrel
    Member

    yup, your estate can sue the guy who killed you
     
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