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Technical A 265 Chevy build with a cool story

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by bfalfa55, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,942

    Roothawg
    Member

    My 1955 265 was driven to college daily in dad's 36, campaigned all through the late 50's and 60's in C/Gas , then it was pulled in the 90's when dad put his 36 back on the street, then it made it's way into the Fly for the first 6 years of it's life.

    It's getting reunited with the very cam that was in it when he (dad) ,drove it to college. I also ran that cam in my 327 in high school in my 36. Sentimental stuff outweighs HP for me any day. Mine has great big old domes like yours, but with 64cc heads, it makes it a manageable 10:1, which will work on the street. The bottom end is all good stuff and balanced, so after a cam swap and a new timing chain and cover, it should be ready to reinstall.
     
  2. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,266

    56sedandelivery
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    Why do you think the pistons are cast vs forged? They look to be forged from what I can "see". IF they are cast, and you run one that's forged, but weight matched, it'll run fine after warm up (forged tend to be "noisier until warmed up as they expand more than cast; due to their expansion, forged are usually set up with more side clearance). I'll check with a guy I know who has run a speed shop for many years, and never throws anything away, to see if he has anything that'll help you out. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  3. bfalfa55
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 223

    bfalfa55
    Member

    Above the wrist pin the piston isn't solid. I wish I could take a better pic but my phone is only so good. I will try to take another. It also has a rough, sandy like texture where it isn't machined. Thanks again, Butch. If your friend has one obviously I'm interested. I didn't think it would matter mixing pistons as long as the weight was equal. Forgot about the warm up noise like you said but that's no big deal. I have another line on a 56 265 short block that is supposedly freshly done, domed pistons and balanced ready to go for $400 ! I am going to have to clean up some space in my garage for my 265 collection !
     

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  4. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,266

    56sedandelivery
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    I'm now thinking cast by what I see on the "inside", now that you've provide better pics. IF it did't say JE, I'd swear it was an old Jahns piston; maybe it was at a "crossover time", Jahns becoming JE? I'll see what I can find out tomorrow. Sounds like the "next" 265 has potential, and may be a better short block to start with as long it checks out OK. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  5. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,266

    56sedandelivery
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    No luck on the piston issue.
     
  6. bfalfa55
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 223

    bfalfa55
    Member

    After a precision measurement of the bores on this engine, it is actually .030 over. Previous owner thought it was standard. But now I have a line on a brand new, in the box (.030 over) set of these pistons. What do you think is a fair price for them ? I asked if they came with rings and wrist pins too. Sent him an email, waiting for his response.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
  7. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,266

    56sedandelivery
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    So, what's the deal? You going to pick up that "freshly done" 265? $400.00 and freight, I'll take it off your hands. What are these .030 pistons you have? I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  8. When you build a unique set up, it's worth all the fun. If your Piston is a JE........they can make a customer repl, or they may have a set of 8 with similar compression ratio for same price. Let me know what they offer.
     
  9. bfalfa55
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 223

    bfalfa55
    Member

    I got a response from the guy with the pistons. The are JE cast dome pistons that are .030 new in the box with wrist pins for $200 plus shipping. I am leaning toward the other short block and probably still going to buy the pistons afterwords just to have them. I have some side work (car repairs and CAD drawings) soon that will be to fund the engine purchase. Je Psitons will make a forged version of what I have. A minimum run is $300 and 2 pistons. A new custom set is $950.
     
  10. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,266

    56sedandelivery
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    You're going to have to change the title of this thread, although it is still turning into a cool story. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  11. bfalfa55
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 223

    bfalfa55
    Member

    Yeah, I know ! My son and I are still building it together and the "Old Hot Rodder" (my dad) will still be in there turning wrenches. He actually wouldn't let me buy the $100 short block, he bought it and said it was my Christmas present. He thinks this engine build is really neat and wants to here an engine from "the good old days". I don't know what to rename it !
     
  12. bfalfa55
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 223

    bfalfa55
    Member

    Hey Roothawg, what are the 64cc heads you are running ? Are they an old set of double hump heads with 1.94 valves ? If so how bad are the intake valves shrouded (if hey even are) and if you had to unshroud them, what did you do to make it work ?
     
  13. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,942

    Roothawg
    Member

    I was running the 461 castings. I had to massage a little on the block side. They aren't ideal, but with that small of a bore there's not a lot you can do. I did some port work to relieve some of the shrouding. There was a really good thread that Fred Williams did on here covering the shrouding remedies.
     
  14. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,942

    Roothawg
    Member

    Here's my question for the group.

    Could you run a hydraulic roller cam in a 1955 block? Would you get enough oil up top to keep it lubed? I am running a mech roller in mine, but if I put it back on the street, I have a nice Howards cam I may throw in it.
     
  15. dblgun
    Joined: Oct 24, 2009
    Posts: 348

    dblgun
    Member

    I see no reason why you could not run a hydraulic roller as long as you are using an aftermarket lifter with tie bars to keep them from rotating. Factory rollers use a "spider" that bolts to the center of the lifter valley to keep the lifters from rotating. Barring some sort of modification to attach the spider it a factory type hydraulic would be hard to make work.
     
  16. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,942

    Roothawg
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  17. bfalfa55
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 223

    bfalfa55
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    I am running 461's on my 350 right now and all the port work and valve relief was done 25 ears ago when my dad and I built it. Do you have to clear away a small portion of the top of the cylinder wall at the deck ? Do you remember what the Fred Willliams thread was called ?
    I also wouldn't see why not. As far as the oiling goes, are you running the cam with the notch or have you modified the rear of the block to oil like all the other small blocks ?

    This can be done. I was going to do it to my 55 265 in the first place but the 56 265's I've found are a better starting point than my dad's original 55 265. You can drill and tap the center of the oil galley, use threaded studs and mount the spider. Machine the area around the lifters flat for the dogbones and use 3100, 3400 v6 or 2.2 4 cyl. hydraulic roller lifter and it will work. These lifters are the same diameter and have the oiling groove in the same spot as a regular hydraulic flat tappet lifter. You need longer pushrods too. I found a lengthy thread on Nastyz28.com where a guy did it to his 350. Some block need a lot of grinding to make the dogbones fit but I found that my 265 needs almost nothing to be removed and they will fit. I think if you look back thru this thread I think I have a picture showing them setting in place. I may still do this to my 55 block in the future for another project.
     
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  18. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,266

    56sedandelivery
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    Look for the Fred Williams article in the Tech Section, try searching for fuelie heads, camel humps, 461's, etc. He's a local guy here in my neck of the woods. I'd stick with your smaller chamber heads, and work with them. The 461 style heads have too big of chambers (unless you're intentionally trying to knock the CR down), far bigger ports and valves than you really need, unless you're building an old Modified Production, or full on Gasser type of engine. JMO. Did you get the second 56, 265? I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  19. bfalfa55
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 223

    bfalfa55
    Member

    I didn't get it yet Butch. The reason Roothawg was saying to go with the 461 heads is the second 265 also has domed pistons. I think I will be in the 10,8 to 11:1 range of compression if I go with the 58cc heads unless you think I can use a thicker gasket and get the compression closer to 10:1.
     
  20. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,942

    Roothawg
    Member

    I ran the 461's with mega domes and with a steel shim gasket, it was right at 10.8:1.

    We massaged the deck to clear the valves. It's not a lot but it is a mandatory deal if you run bigger valves than the powerpack heads.
     
  21. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,942

    Roothawg
    Member

  22. bfalfa55
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 223

    bfalfa55
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    Waiting for my friend to get the cash for fixing his car on Tuesday and then I will FINALLY get this other 265 short block. After talking with the guy, it sounds like it is a complete, fresh, balanced rebuild that is ready to go. I think I will still check clearances so I feel comfy but I hope it is really what he says it is.
     
  23. bfalfa55
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 223

    bfalfa55
    Member

    Well, tomorrow is the day ! I FINALLY got the money from my friends for fixing their fuel and brake lines. My little bro and I are making a road trip to pick him up floor pans and the 265 in the same area. This 265 sounds like it has had a lot of work done to it. He built it in 1995 but has had it properly stored and oiled. he said it is still like brand new and has never been fired. The rotating assembly has been balanced to within 1/2 a gram, forged domes, chromoly rings, reconditioned 327 rods and the tops of the cylinder walls have been relief cut to unshroud a 1.94 valve. The block has been fully oil flowed. The only extra thing I will probably have to do is modify the rear cam bearing oiling groove so it oils like all the other small blocks. This engine and a disassembled set of 462 casting 1.94 heads for 400-500 bucks. Don't think it's a bad deal at all. I think I am starting a 265 collection !
     
  24. bfalfa55
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 223

    bfalfa55
    Member

    Mission complete ! For $500 I did get the engine and a set of 461 casting heads that have pinned rocker studs, machined for large springs and valve seals and have already been gasket matched, ported and blended. They have a full coating of surface rust but came with all the valves coated so they wouldn't rust. The guy still had the build tag for the work done and all the weights for balancing the rotating assembly. This engine was actually put together 22 years ago but it was covered and oiled by the previous owner once a month. I don't think they are forged pistons, they look like some Jahns or JE's that would have been circa 1992. Small hints of surface rust is in the oil galley but check out the pics. The epoxy white paint is a bit different ! He used to own a repair shop a good bit of engine building. This was a backup engine to a 302 he had so this engine was built to accept all his parts from the 302. It had a HUGE lift cam so I am assuming that is why he unshrouded the top of the cylinders like they are. Also it appears from measuring with my calipers that it is .060 over. I will verify when I get it on the engine stand. All input accepted and wanted.
     

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  25. Finn Jensen
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 633

    Finn Jensen
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    .060 over was not a problem with early 283 engines, so I expect that would also apply to 265 engines.
     
  26. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,679

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    I'd say that you're Dialed In. I'd have paid that for what you got; I think I'd eliminate the pinned studs for screw in studs.
     
  27. bfalfa55
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 223

    bfalfa55
    Member

    Got it on the engine stand. I will be disassembling it to make sure it is clean and clean a few spots that have developed a slight coat of surface rust. He told me it has a rope rear main seal. I will replace that with a neoprene one. He also never knew about the 265 oiling difference. I will most likely have to remove the rear bearing and modify the block. My question with that is it has a 2 hole rear cam bearing. Can I reuse it or do I need to install one with only one hole ?
     
  28. dblgun
    Joined: Oct 24, 2009
    Posts: 348

    dblgun
    Member

    If you get the cam bearing out without tearing it up there is no reason why you can't reuse it after the machining process. Just make sure you get everything cleaned up, I would normally want to start out with a stripped block after any machining/grinding operation. I have seen others get away with it but have never been lucky in this situation so error on the side of caution. Your mileage may vary.
     
  29. bfalfa55
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 223

    bfalfa55
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    Can't identify the manufacture of the pistons. They are brand new but have a rough surface on them rather than machined or polished. Anyone have an idea why that might be ?
    I talked with the previous owner again to get the gasket numbers he used to setup the heads and port match the runners. He said this engine was built to turn a max of 10,000 RPM. I will not be close to that but that makes me feel good knowing it was overbuilt. Have to get the heads cleaned up and see how much they need to be unshrouded. Looking at some roller cams that will work good with this combo. I am looking at an engine that will be somewhat street friendly and turn around the 7,000 RPM range. Any suggestions ?
     
  30. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,942

    Roothawg
    Member

    The only way I would run a roller on the street would be a hydraulic roller. I called Howards Cams and talked to them about running a hyd roller in an early 265 and they say as long as you notch it, it won't be an issue.

    I wouldn't worry about changing the pinned studs out, you will never pull one. It looks like a decent score to me. The machine work alone will run you that much now.

    My guess is they are just a cast piston, which will be fine for what you are doing. I can't see the domes on the pistons, but I am guessing from previous experience, that your compression will be a lot less than you think it is. Even with a giant dome mine is streetable when coupled with the 64cc heads.

    Good score.
     

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