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54 chevy 235 updates. ????

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by t-town-track-t, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. t-town-track-t
    Joined: Jan 11, 2006
    Posts: 884

    from Tulsa

    Ok, So now that I have been driving my '54 daily now for about a month, I have learned all of its little leaks and rattles. I keep going back and forth on if I should build a 283 for it, or freshen up the old 235.

    My car is a 235, ironglide car. The engine starts right up, smokes a little bit at the stop light, and runs great. I have a few lifters that once the engine warms up will bleed off, and sound like hell. I pulled all of them a few weeks ago. Disassembled, soaked and reinstalled them. Once things are all warmed back up I have 2-3 lifters that just seem to pump up and bleed off all the time still. The motor runs so great that I hate to get rid of it. I was thinking that instead I would just pull it out, freshen it up and put a different tranny behind it.

    So I'm trying to make a list of all the things I should do while its out, and was hoping that some of you stovebolt experts could point me in the right direction as to anything else I should pay attention to while I am in there.

    First off I will be doing a compression check on the whole motor to verify I have no weak cylinders. I do not anticipate any issues in this area.

    I intend to put an entire gasket kit in the motor, to fix all the little leaks its picked up over the years.

    While I have the head off I will have new guides installed since the thing puffs a little smoke. I will most likely go ahead and install new valve springs, and have a valve job done while the head is at the machine shop. The parts seem cheap enough, and its good insurance.

    While I have the pan off I will flip things over and yank a few of the main caps to inspect the bearing surfaces.

    Once things start to go back together I intend to install a new set of solid lifters. My research seems to indicate that the hydraulic lifters are problematic above 3500rmp, and that the replacement hydraulic lifters available are not well made.

    My car came with a composite cam gear. If it has not already been replaced, I will do so with an aluminum gear.

    Is there any reason I can not throw solid lifters directly into this motor? I know that that I will need to use the shorter push rods to achieve this.

    Is there anything else I should update/change besides the cam gear and lifters?

    I'll also be converting to a 700r4 and open drive line when it all goes back together.

    Thanks in advance,

    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  2. t-town-track-t
    Joined: Jan 11, 2006
    Posts: 884

    from Tulsa

    btt, straight to page 3!
  3. waldo53
    Joined: Jan 26, 2010
    Posts: 844

    from ID

    Bentley; I love the ol' stovebolts so I'd keep it and freshen it up as you said. You'll have to change the cam to, the lobes for a hydraulic cam are different than for a solid lifter cam. As far as I know you can use a solid lifter setup in your powerglide block with the different cam, lifters, and pushrods. I recommend you get ahold of Patrick Dykes and talk to him about a good street cam for your engine. A mild cam, an HEI ignition, some Fenton headers and maybe dual carbs and that ol' bolt will put a smile on your face for sure.
  4. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077


    Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I don't think that there is an easy way to put a 700r4 behind a 54 235.

    The PG is indeed inefficient but it does what it's supposed to do.
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  5. 6inarow
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,234


    there are 3 (that I know of - maybe more) companies that make adapters to put the trans on, but its isnt necessarily "easy"
  6. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,077


    Cool, thanks. I wasn't sure.
  7. dante81_98
    Joined: Sep 26, 2005
    Posts: 504

    1. A-D Truckers

    What are the three. I know of the Langdons Stovebolt 6, but that is all I know of.

  8. Jkustom
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,680


    You know, my 54 was a powerglide car too, and now that it's been a few years since I swapped in the sbc/th350,, I really miss my old 235 powerglide car.. Yeah it was slow on the freeway, but I beat the hell out of the car, drove it every single day, sun/rain/snow, to Canada and back in the space of about 7 hours, all over hell and back, The car never complained once.. And with straight pipes it sounded RAD!
    I'd keep it the way it is if I were you..

    Now my car gets worse gas milage, but does awesome burnouts, steers a little easier (lighter engine tranny combo), But every dipshit with a nova or camero wants to race, and even though I usually beat them, I'm thinking very heavily about swapping a 6 back into it..
  9. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope

    I put solid lifters in a 261 years ago. You have to set them real close, like .006 hot, because there's no "take-up" ramp on the juice cam, and set them often.
    I second the guy who sez to leave the 'Glide and closed drive in it. The 235 won't handle an overdrive worth a damn. I put a 3 speed OD with 4.11 '55 rear in my '54 and it got better gas mileage with the OD locked out.
  10. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,866


    Must be those 261 powered Pontiacs in Canada,all US 261's were in truck with solid lifters.A retired GM mechanic said they used to install solids on a hydraulic cam in 235's to get rid of clacking lifter complaints.He said he never knew it to cause any problem,his words ,not mine.
    I've heard guys complain about noisy hydraulic lifters in 235's.There was a discussion on the Inliner's site many years ago about it.The fix seemed to be isolating the lifter(s),then filing a very small flat on the lifter body to allow air in the oiling system to bypass the lifter,but no too much so oil pressure is lost.The air gets in the oiling system from oil pump design,something about the pump not being submerged in oil all the time..Sounds strange ,but apparantly it doesn't do the engine any harm other than making lifters clack.
  11. BabbitBeater
    Joined: Aug 18, 2009
    Posts: 163

    from Colorado

    Sounds like you are headed in the right direction. I hope to be able to do the same process with my 53 Babbitbeater soon, but im gonna keep my three-speed and torque tube. From my research, the 700R4 doesnt perform well behind the 235... maybe think about a T5? Unless you want automatic, then keep the old one.

    Dual exhaust is a must. It will wake up the engine and sound awesome, but you may run into problems with the parking brake and throttle linkage. Its nothing that cant be worked around though. There are a couple good solutions here on the HAMB if you search "235".
  12. medicinal_marinara
    Joined: Nov 24, 2009
    Posts: 139

    from Oregon

    The stock carb tends to open the power valve a bit aggressively, especially once the spring fatigues. If you aren't pulling enough vacuum to keep the power valve shut, the gas mileage really sucks. If you do a bit of tweaking, you can handle an OD just fine.
  13. CrkInsp
    Joined: Jul 17, 2006
    Posts: 513

    from B.A. OK

    Unless you have a REAL aggressive 235 that 700R4 is going to eat a lot of horses. How about a 200R4, they require less horses.

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