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55 1st series chevy truck

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Eddie S., Jun 22, 2013.

  1. Eddie S.
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 10

    Eddie S.

    Hello folks! I have a 55 1st series chevy truck with a 235 inline 6 cyl on a Hydramatic transmission. It runs great, however I have 2 engines (327, 454) ready to be fired up so it got me thinking.. Now im just pondering here but...

    is it possible to bolt on a V8, maybe even a Big Block to this trans?
    If so would you? or keep it all original?
    I know its a matter of personal taste, however i dont wanna do something that's sacrilegious to the truck, just looking for feedback.

    reason I'd keep the Trans is cause i love its rarity and i love cruising.
  2. blyndgesser
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 167

    from Georgia

    There's a lot more to do than just bolt engine and transmission together. You might find the guys over at helpful, as many of them have put V8s in the Advance Design trucks.
  3. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    from socal

    you have a great combination there. that 6 is a good torqy engine, and mated with that old hydro, its a factory combo that a lotta guys would love to have. its got the torq for a good driving machine and a real conversation piece. bout the only thing that I would do is find a taller geared rear end, that six will pull it so you can drive it anywhere. close to stock is more fun I think, everybody has a V8 these days.
  4. its your rear gear ratio that's keeping u in the slow lane
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  5. You need a 55'-72 V8 bellhousing car or truck for the swap and some aftermarket motor mounts.
  6. We went through this at least once before and I still don't understand what you're trying to do. I do know you'd probably roast the trans in a hurry with the 454 though.

    AD trucks are cheap and you have a super rare combo. If you don't like it, sell it, and build one the way you want.
  7. UPSrodder
    Joined: Jun 9, 2005
    Posts: 566


    change the gear in the rear. Thats a rare combo, and worth more intact than you would think. like rusty said, build another before you change that.
  8. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,755

    from Quincy, IL

    2nd design and later Chev trucks were built with V8's and Hydros such as yours. With the right combination of parts you could use a later model V8 with your trans, but as is, it isn't a bolt in. And the parts required are quite specific and not all that easy to find.

    Furthermore, the stock hydro was great in it's day, but were I doing a late model V8 engine swap, I'd use a matching modern GM automatic for best drivability.

    That said, I agree with previous posters that you would be better served keeping what you have and changing to a more suitable rear axle ratio. If you want a bit more engine power, swap in a 261 Chev truck block and do a few simple hop up mods and you'll have a very unique ride with good my opinion, of course. :)

  9. I have a 55 1st series Chevy panel that I did all of this (small block, auto, too wide IFS, too wide rear end to match), to it in the '70's. I'm trying to undo all of it now and go back to a modified six wit an auto and a dropped I-Beam axle.

    My advice.......don't do it!!!!
  10. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,309


    The factory hydro has some unique and hard-to-find parts involved in it's installation. The tranny cross member is unique to the hydro, in fact it's the only bolt-in cross member for those truck from the factory. Your 235 bell-housing won't bolt up to any V8. That would have to be changed. Although the bell unbolts from the tranny, when was the last time you saw just the bell housing for a hydro that goes to a V8?
    I agree with the consensus here. If it were mine (and it isn't) I would do little things to improve drivability like change the rear gear ratio to a more friendly 3.50. That you can find for your closed driveline rear end easy enough.
    Engine mods are plentiful for the 235. Try a 261 cam with the electronic ignition and headers. Oh, and find an intake manifold for the 235 that takes a 4 barrel carb. I don't know of any off hand, but I plan on building my own. Then top it off with an old 4-jet from an early 50's Olds. That should be all you need to bring it up to snuff.
  11. carlisle1926
    Joined: May 19, 2010
    Posts: 536


    The 1955 1st series truck has an open drive shaft not a enclosed one like the earlier models.
  12. carlisle1926
    Joined: May 19, 2010
    Posts: 536


    The easiest thing to do as far as getting highway gears, is to replace your rear axle with one out of a a 1970's or 1980's full size K-5 4x4 Chevy Blazer. They are only 1/2" wider, they have the same 6 lug bolt pattern and they have either a 3.42 or a 3.08 gear ratio. They bolt right in. Even the drive shaft will bolt right up. I've done that swap a few times and it works great. I had no trouble keeping up and passing people on the interstate.
  13. henry29
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,810


    Could you point me in the direction of these cheap AD trucks you speak of?

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