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216 or 235????? Possible swap help plz

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by dimebag, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. dimebag
    Joined: May 16, 2009
    Posts: 622

    dimebag
    Member
    from Joliet, il

    Hey Guys thanks for all the help so far, you guys are the best....I have a 50 Deluxe Coupe w/ a rebuilt 216 that runs like a charm...but looking to the future & from what I have read the 216 due to it's oiling problems, Babbit rods, lack of oil filter and sooo many other problems have made me think about a swap. I just bought a Fenton dual carb set-up & love running a I-6 so I have been thinking about a swap to a 235(all parts-header & intake will fit both). From what I've been reading the motor should slip right in, motor mounts won't be a problem, and the trans w/ torque tube will still work(3 on the tree). What I really need to know is, what are the benefits of the swap????? Is there a lot more power from the 235, is it more reliable? What are the pitfalls with this swap? And I guess lastly is the 216 really that bad of a motor???? I have had the car for a month, besides the carb being jacked up-hence the 2 pot swap, the car runs great & I love driving it, but I want to continue driving/restoring/showing and loving this beast.....Just looking for an opinion, a little sage like advice. So guys hit me with your best shot.....& please be kind, no assholes telling me to junk the whole car & buy a import, or send them the car for free and they will give it a good home, or anything super negative. Just looking for your .02 cents.
    thanks again!
     
  2. A 235 is only a slight step up, while it has insert bearings and I've heard few reliability complaints, it also does not have an oil filter.

    Well, some had a filter, but it was a bypass filter and almost as useless as none at all.

    They can be converted to a full pressure filter if you want to play around doing some drilling, tapping, and plugging various connections.

    Depending on the year you use they may also need the rockers/valves adjusted now and then. About the best thing I can say is you can run it with your existing bellhousing and driveline in the car.

    The 235 is also a tad longer than the 216. The cheapest and easiest way to combat this is to install the radiator so the side mounting fins are to the front of the radiator cradle fins, instead of the way it's supposed to go with them to the rear. That gives you clearance enough to run the mechanical fan. You may also need to trim off a bit of the hood brace for clearance. Or, you can buy the expensive shortened water pump, shorten one yourself, or buy a kit that relocates the pump to the 216 location.


    Personally if I were going to upgrade the car I'd go to a Chevy 250 or 292 six, a T5 trans, and a second gen Camaro rearend, and build something you can cruise down the highway with and buy parts for almost anywhere.
     
  3. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    The oiling system on the 216 will not take high RPM. They will run for many years if you keep the revs down.
    A 235 is much better, more torque and HP. but a 261 is best. If and when the splash oiler 235 in my '52 expires, I'll put in a 261.
     
  4. V4F
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 4,207

    V4F
    Member
    from middle ca.

    get a later model 235 . the early 235 has the same problems you do . i had a '55 235 than ran forever ! never any problems & i used it to tow my digger ! ......... steve
     

  5. dimebag
    Joined: May 16, 2009
    Posts: 622

    dimebag
    Member
    from Joliet, il

    I would love to put in a big 6, but my lack of fab skills & $$$ are gonna hafta keep this simple. My wife & I are in the process of adopting a little girl fro China, so I have to keep this as low priced as possbile. Hell if money wasn't an issue, I would have put a Poncho 428 in it by now, sorry but still a Pontiac freak, some things never change.:cool:
     
  6. 6inarow
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,326

    6inarow
    Member

    Well, I guess I have a bit different opinion on the 235 than rustynewyorker. The 235 is a huge step up. Inserts, full pressure oil system, aluminum pistons

    The filtration isnt that bad. it filters about 15% of the oil, so in a matter of 7 or 8 minutes all the oil has been filtered. For when it was designed, it was a good system and wont fail you now.

    rustynewyorker meant "full flow' rather than 'full pressure" - they all had full pressure oil to the rods and mains from 53 (PG) and 54 up through 62.

    Regarding the swap, either PM me or call Patrick and get is catalog. Do a search here and you will find TONS of info on the swap. REPEAT - Search is your friend here. Use it

    The 235 is EXACTLY the same length as the 216. the water pumps on the 235 is a bit longer so you have to buy a water pump with a short shaft, then it will go right in where the 216 is. Again, let me know and i'll get you particks catalog - it describes the swap in detail so you dont miss a thing. Its a natural swap.

    Personally, I would not go to a 250 or a 292. i would do the 235/261 swap just like you are doing. They are reliable and go right in where the 216 was. Convert the rear if you want, but the 3.55 gears arent that bad unless you are planning 80 mph on the interstate all the time.
     
  7. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    My opinion; If you are content with the power you are getting, all of those things you state that are "problems" are due to misguided information. Your 216 probably doesn't have babbitt rods, most of them (if they were ever overhauled) were converted to inserts. Oiling priblems? I had a couple of 216s over the years, overhauled one with insert bearings in 1961 with a kit from Montgomery Wards, it ran like a sewing machine. Any oiling problems anybody that I ever knew about had was if they tried to hop them up and race them. For normal driving, they work good and last a long time. If you want an oil filter, put one on.
     
  8. dimebag
    Joined: May 16, 2009
    Posts: 622

    dimebag
    Member
    from Joliet, il

    the motor was rebuilt about 2 years ago by the previous owner. It supposedly has oversized pistons in it, don't know why, but....and is there a way to EASILY put on some type of filter?????It runs like a top, and as long as I don't go much over 60mph it runs like a champ, just trying to look at the long haul.
     
  9. retromotors
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,045

    retromotors
    Member

    I bought a '57 235 out of a pickup to put in my '50 sedan, but that was because the car came with no engine at all.

    While there are undeniable advantages to the later full-flow 235s, if I had a good runnin', recently overhauled 216 I'd be all for running that puppy as is!

    Get yourself a Powerglide rear end or gearset to bring the revs down on the highway and call it done. You can always score on a later / larger inline and build it up for "down the road".

    But unless you're tryin' to trash the 216, don't wait around for it to wear out. The stovebolt motors were noted for their reliability, funky oiling and all!
     
  10. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,482

    Hellfish
    Member

    Stick with the 216. a) money is tight, b) you're not sure about your mechanicals or fabrication skills, c) the 216 is rebuilt (even if it's just fresh gaskets), d) the intake you bought won't fit on the 235 without buying more parts. Neither the 216 nor the 235 are fast motors, so enjoy what you have. If you want to burn tires, start thinking of another motor, but just drive the 216 for now. Keep the 216 and put the money you would've used to buy a 235 into buying headers or splitting an exhaust manifold. The 216 will sound better and have better power with duals.
     
  11. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    I see the filters all the time at swap meets and on ebay. Look for AC or Fram, cannister type, with oil line taps into the oil pressure galley. That type of filter was an option in the 50s, then later on became OEM. You should verify your connections with somebody familiar with the installation.

    I did a quick search, found what you need like this one on ebay. It's listed as 6 cyl chevy, but that filter installation was optional on many other makes and v8 motors too. ,,,, but that price they're asking is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much! Look around you'll find one for a hundred less.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1956...ptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  12. dimebag
    Joined: May 16, 2009
    Posts: 622

    dimebag
    Member
    from Joliet, il

    I bought the universal Fenton intake, I will need the reducer/alignment rings, but supposedly everything else should fit. How bad is it to change out the rearend to one from a PG car??? Yes it still has the torque tube set-up. I am not driving from Chicagoland to Cali anytime soon, but I would like to get on the highway, and get to some more shows this year. And anything I can do to get the revs down would be great.
     
  13. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    Higher ratio rear end gears are available, costly, but I saw some recently in Hemmings...... Also try Chevys of the 40s. They're online.
     
  14. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    Here's another, without fittings and hoses. You got the idea............... http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/6-CY...id=p4506.c0.m245&_trkparms=65:12|39:1|72:1171
     
  15. Cosmo49
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,289

    Cosmo49
    Member

    Reread 6inarow's comments. I have a '56 235 no oil filtration (the engine came that way) ~45 k miles, change the oil once a season, that's four times a year. This is in an only vehicle daily driver. You will have a new daughter soon. You won't drive that car more than 2k/year. That 216 motor will outlive you. You want to play in traffic you're going to put some money into her, remember, in 1950 there weren't many if any interstates. IMHO, you're good to go the way you are.
     
  16. Chebby belair
    Joined: Apr 17, 2006
    Posts: 840

    Chebby belair
    Member
    from Australia

    If everything is running right you're not in a hurry, so take your time. Get all the bits together and don't fix her till she's broken. While you are out shopping about, you might like to consider moving up to the 54 brakes, (huck to bendix) they'll stop you better and no fabbing needed.
     
  17. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,482

    Hellfish
    Member

    Easy swap... if you have one. I swapped a 54 rear end (3.73 gears, PG rear is 3.55) into my wife's '51 in about an hour or so. Pretty straightforward. She drove it from Chicago to Maryland. It handled just fine at highway speeds.
     
  18. DRUGASM
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,795

    DRUGASM
    Member

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=350627

    I just did mine. 235 replaced the 216 with basically no modification at all. I had to drill holes in the flange on the timing cover for the engine mounts and that was it. Still running the 3 on the tree but she's starting to complain with the new motor. sounds like some type of bearing problem in 2nd.

    if you do a 235 add all the goodies you can to get power out of it. its soooo much nicer to drive now that it has a little more power. getting on the freeway and passing are much easier now.

    The week after this swap I drove it to Santa Maria from here (over 300miles) and didnt have too many problems. the exhaust loosened up and one of the gas tank straps broke but the motor ran fine.
     
  19. The 216to235 swap is pretty straight forward. As said previuosly you will have to drill out the plate under the timing gear cover for the front mount. Don't forget the oil pressure gauge. the 216 only reads up to 30 psi, and the 235 will be at 35 or higher. The 216 bellhousing will work on the 235.

    Lee
     
  20. 26 coupe
    Joined: Apr 1, 2006
    Posts: 39

    26 coupe
    Member

    Sounds to me like the 235 is the way to go. My first car was a 46 chevy coupe with a 216. I blew a rod in driving 70. Good Luck.
     
  21. RDR
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,355

    RDR
    Member

    you said the 216 runs good...don't knock?....then drive it. Like was said above, you can't race it or wind it or she won't last..been there done that...If you drive it sensibly..(er..like an old grandpa it could last years)...if it is a 3 speed, you probably have 4.11 gears...could change rearend with a powerglide ratio 3something which would help the 216 live longer at highway speeds....and in the meantime locate yourself a 235 or 261 truck motor and change it out down the road....manifolds or headers etc ought to transfer over to those engines...good luck
     
  22. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    Re; My previous info on oil filter, was to accomodate the question; Of course my personal choice would not add a oil filter, no need, like Cosmo49 points out, change the oil with the seasons, low visc/winter, higher in summer, good air filter will protect the motor from contamination.
    Yes, as pointed out, with any aftermarket goodies, duals, Fentons, etc. they will cross over from 216 to 235 with minimal adaptation if you decide to upgrade or when/if that one you have bites the dust. Enjoy it, use it up.
    Keep on keepin' on.
     
  23. Crease
    Joined: May 7, 2002
    Posts: 2,878

    Crease
    Member

    Jeez, you need to get your priorities straight! :)

    Seriously, I would just run that 216 til it literally falls apart which will likely be a LONG time from now if you treat it right. In the meantime, just buy parts as you can afford them for your big 6 set up.
     
  24. dimebag
    Joined: May 16, 2009
    Posts: 622

    dimebag
    Member
    from Joliet, il

    Guys thanks for all the great advice, I think I might keep the 216, till I manage to blow it up:cool: Until then does anybody have a PG rearend they would wanna sell, or trade????? I have a Fenton dual carb manifold coming and gonna pick up a matching header, so that should wake it up, but lower gearset should make a world of difference!
     
  25. ChromePlaterJosh
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 667

    ChromePlaterJosh
    Member

    I have been watching this thread and it has helped quite a bit. I have a 48 Fleetmaster that I am going to put a running 216 from a parts car into it to make it useable, then build up a 235 from a '56 truck I have on a stand. My plan makes even more sense after reading the replies.

    The rearend from a 2nd gen Camaro was mentioned as a good swap.
    Wouldn't that require eliminating the torque tube setup?
    I have a 79 Z28 I am parting out, and it has a good rearend with 3:73 gears. Should I keep it around for the mildly hotrodded 235 down the road?

    Is there a stronger manual trans to replace the 3 sp that will not require cutting up the floor? I want to avoid cutting up the floor; if I had to cut it I might as well drop in a late model 5/6 speed.

    My plan is to have a 50's style build that I can cruise for hours on the highway, at highway speeds.
     
  26. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,482

    Hellfish
    Member

    Josh - the 3 speed is plenty strong for a 216, 235, or 261, even a hopped up one. Yes, a Camaro rear end would mean getting rid of the torque tube and you would have to find a later inline 6 transmission, too. Any 55-62 3 speed from a 235 car would work. My wife used a 53-54 3-speed trans. They're pretty much the same as the 49-52s, but may have slightly better gearing. Probably nothing you'd notice.

    I think 48s are narrower than the 49-54s. I'm not sure if that z28 rear will fit. Better look it up. You'll also need to change the mounts, and I think, springs. Plus you'll need to get a new driveshaft made. 53-54 rear ends can usually be had for next to nothing. I couldn't give one away. It eventually went to the scrapper, but I sold the gear set to someone on the HAMB. Most people will toss the 6, trans and torque tube rear end as soon as they get the car. Check here, craigslist, your local paper, and ask around at cruise nights. Check ebay for guys selling parts from a 53-54 near you and ask if they still have the rear. Transmissions can be shipped cheaply via greyhound if the seller will box them well. That's how I shipped one.

    Dimebag - 216s are hard to blow up. :D
     
  27. ChromePlaterJosh
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 667

    ChromePlaterJosh
    Member


    Thanks a lot! Good info.
     

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