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235 Chevy - to rebuild or not to rebuild

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryleej3, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Ryleej3
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 58

    from Washington

    I am pulling my 235 Chevy motor from my 1954 Chevy Bel Air. I did a compression test and a coolant test before I pulled the motor. Based on the results I didn't bother to do a leak down test. At this stage the motor is pulled apart enough that I can't run more tests. I want to share the results of the test with the forum to get some feedback. Based on the results I don't plan to rebuild the engine. Curious what others think.

    Keep in mind that at some point I'll probably swap out the 235 for a 350 SBC and 700R4 so I'm trying to avoid putting much money into the motor. Also, I am OK with cars but engine rebuilds are something I would pay someone else to do.


    Here are the results of the dry compression test.

    1 - 95
    2 - 100
    3 - 110
    4 - 100
    5 - 110
    6 - 110

    Wet compression test results.

    1 - 115
    2 - 120
    3 - 120
    4 - 120
    5 - 130
    6 - 125

    Spec says that compression should be 135

    Engine ran good before I started to pull it. Small amount of white smoke on startup. Spark plugs look OK. Top half of engine was rebuilt 100 miles before I started to pull the engine. Unknown miles on bottom half of engine but based on a visual inspection from my mechanic the cylinder walls looked good.

    I did a coolant test and it didn't show any gas escaping into the coolant.

    I'm feeling like I can skip the rebuild on the lower half of my engine and run it like it is. Anyone think I'll regret this choice?
  2. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,442


    i would leave it alone. looks healthy to me. save the money for the v8 swap.
  3. Run it, and enjoy.

    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
    Joined: Feb 16, 2010
    Posts: 628


    If it ran good why all the fuss? Put it back together and run her till she drops.

  5. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,647


  6. GREASER815
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 973


    Keep running it until it scatters, and don't waste money rebuilding it. I picked my running 235 up for $100, just get another one and run it until it blows as well.
  7. Vimtage Iron
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 549

    Vimtage Iron

    I just went thru the top of a 235, head was cracked, so we got a good head went thru it and put it on, now I'm kicking myself for not putting rings, the cylinders looked great so I left it alone, now its sucking some oil. If you have the head off already,it sounds like you do, then put a set of rings in, you'll be happier later.
  8. 226 flattie
    Joined: Jan 6, 2009
    Posts: 307

    226 flattie
    from orange,ca

    Run it and save the dough. The compression on each cylinder is not way too much different from each other. These engines will run for ever as long as it has oil in the crankcase .
  9. pinkynoegg
    Joined: Dec 11, 2011
    Posts: 1,135


    i would run it. the 235 has plenty of torque and should be fine with a little compression loss
  10. Dane
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,351

    from Soquel, CA

    How much is a set of rings and a ball hone?
  11. aussie57wag
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 233

    from australia

    Run the 235. sbc and autos are for people with one leg and no imagination. A tripple carb 235 will look way cooler than a sbc when you open that hood, aand built right it should be as dependable.
  12. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope

    Rings, rod shells and a valve job will give you an engine that will run for years. Like Dane and Aussie said. I wish I still had the original 235 for my '54 Bel Aire HT. A cam and dual carb/dual exhaust is cheaper than a 350, and much cooler.
  13. cartoon14
    Joined: Jan 21, 2013
    Posts: 46


    run it, save the money, swap her out when she's done...
  14. Hotrod 35
    Joined: May 26, 2007
    Posts: 52

    Hotrod 35

    If you need a 235 and 3 speed trans leve me a note.
  15. teddyp
    Joined: May 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,197


    run it for now save up and put a 350 with a 4 sp. in it and have fun
  16. Ryleej3
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 58

    from Washington

    Cool. Thanks for the feedback everyone. I've decided to leave it as is. At least for now.
  17. Ryleej3
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 58

    from Washington

    So I pulled the engine and cleaned all the gunk off. Engine is ready to be media blasted and painted. Found a big long crack running lengthwise along the bottom of the block just an inch above the oil pan. It was leaking coolant out of the crack. Glad I pulled the engine and found the crack. I'll have it welded up and block should be good for a few more years.
  18. Probably froze up one winter. Those sometimes close up nicely with an application of a block-saver product and it runs forever. Welding up the crack is way more involved.

  19. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,647


    I will get pooped on for this, but some block sealer on the inside and JB-Weld on the outside, and you are done.
    Joined: May 6, 2012
    Posts: 325

    Since you have the engine apart, is there any evidence that coolant might be anywhere else it doesn't belong (ie in the oil pan)? A careful inspection is in order. That might not be the only crack in that old block.
  21. Good advice, although the project to save the block may spiral out of control fast. I would be taking the bare block to the local machine shop to have it cleaned and inspected, let them make the call.

  22. Ryleej3
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 58

    from Washington

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