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Any shame in running a 216?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Devin, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. Devin
    Joined: Dec 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,352

    Devin
    Member
    from Napa, CA

    I did some horse trading and will be picking up a rusty 1950 style line 2 door next week. I'm planning in trying to keep this build as traditional and economical as possible by investing elbow grease rather than ordering parts. No bags, a/c, etc. are in the cards. The only modern concessions that I will be willing to make are brakes as this will be a family vehicle and possibly an overdrive transmission. I'm debating keeping the 216 and factory driveline and wonder how poorly I would be able to keep up with traffic. This will not be a daily driver. Thank you and happy turkey day!


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  2. Barsteel
    Joined: Oct 15, 2008
    Posts: 726

    Barsteel
    Member
    from Monroe, CT

    I had a '51 Fleetline with the original 216. I swapped a powerglide center section into the original torque tube rear...3.55 gears vs. 4.11s. There was a noticeable improvement. Top end went from 50 to about 65, 70 if you pushed it a bit, so yes it will (kinda) keep up with modern traffic if you stay in the right lane. A tire burner it won't be.

    Chris
     
  3. Toast
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,885

    Toast
    Member
    from Jenks, OK

    I like the 216 for keeping it traditional and cheap, just won't win any races, (with anything)!
     
  4. classicKustomCarSales
    Joined: Oct 18, 2013
    Posts: 16

    classicKustomCarSales
    Member
    from midwest

    put a 55-64 rear end in it with like 336 gears in it and you can cruise 75 all day with low rpms. ive don't the swap 3 or 4 times. easy, cheap and effective
     

  5. JunkYardGuy
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 82

    JunkYardGuy
    Member

    I agree with Toast, My 49 Chevy pickup sure won't win any races, but it gets me there and back.
     
  6. Devin
    Joined: Dec 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,352

    Devin
    Member
    from Napa, CA

    Thanks for the responses so far. What is required to convert to open drive or do I have to swap transmissions?
     
  7. Barsteel
    Joined: Oct 15, 2008
    Posts: 726

    Barsteel
    Member
    from Monroe, CT

    Devin -

    I *think* one of the vendors (Stovebolt, maybe) makes an adaptor kit that will allow you to mate an open rear to a torque tube transmission.

    Honestly, tho, if you're going to go through the effort, just swap in a T5 with an S10 tailshaft. You'll get an OD transmission that will get you up to 70+ without to much of a problem.

    Chris
     
  8. 6inarow
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,286

    6inarow
    Member

    the biggest problem with that in this case is there goes his budget. OD with is 216 will sure make the think a lot happier though!!
     
  9. luke13
    Joined: Oct 25, 2013
    Posts: 381

    luke13
    Member

    get exciteted when you you come across a tractor on the road cause you finaily get to overtake something.
     
  10. except maybe .....maybe , that punk kid on the riding mower , like I say , maybe lol
     
  11. dinokruzordinance
    Joined: May 21, 2008
    Posts: 301

    dinokruzordinance
    Member

    Run it like it is. It's not a daily driver so..... Later u can make changes.
    That keeps it budget minded. I got a 216 in my 38 pu
     
  12. Tough as nails, slow as shit. Welcome to the club, you can do burnouts in the snow or dirt. Still cooler than a trailer queen !

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  13. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,559

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There is really only a couple of ways with keeping the 216-235-261 style of engines; you'll need a truck style bell housing, or a 55-57 passenger car bell housing, in order to keep the side/bell housing mounts. Then you'll need a 55 or later transmission, drive shaft, and open rear end of your choice. The other involves an adapter plate, and is usually used along with a 5 speed O.D. transmission; the rest of that conversion is basically the same. Patrick's make a kit to use a Saginaw 3 or 4 speed and retain the torque tube, but it requires you to send them your main shaft for modification; they may have an
    out-right" kit now. The 49 and 50 cars had the Huck brake setup, the 51-54 have the better Bendix brake setup. Lot of work to convert the brakes over however, as it requires a backing plate swap. Convert to a Powerglide, complete torque tube/rear end from a 51-54 will get you the better 3.55 gear ratio AND the better Bendix brakes. Then convert the fronts over to Bendix style brakes. Several vendors make power brake set ups. Check in with ChevyTalk.Org, in the 49-54 forum, where there are a lot of devotee's of these cars. That's about all I have. As far as the shame in keeping the 216, throw a nitrous kit on it, and you'll not have to deal with the shame for very long (just kidding). Butch/56sedandelivery
     
  14. Devin
    Joined: Dec 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,352

    Devin
    Member
    from Napa, CA

    Thanks, if the current engine checks out ok then i will go that direction, otherwise I will look for 235 and open drive. I do have a spare saginaw 4 speed and some 57 chevy rear beak parts and pumpkin. That may he th direction I go. Great advice all


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  15. No there's not i ran one in a 46 chevy truck with n-50-15's on the back(things we do when it looks cool) i don't reccomend it. But you could run something under a 225/75/15 or 215/70/15 and not stress it to much.Good luck they can be kool cars.
     
  16. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas

    there is always shame associated running a 6, but if it gets your car running DO IT...
     
  17. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    The "cool" factor increases exponentially if you put it in a 4 door, add a glasspack and a foxtail on the antenna.:rolleyes: Extra points for curb feelers, angel hair on the package shelf, and sex lights.:D
     
  18. Devin
    Joined: Dec 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,352

    Devin
    Member
    from Napa, CA

    Hahaaaa. I do have a running SBC I could throw in there, but I want to resist that temptation and keep the build focused towards early customs. Also I'd like to learn more about inclined.


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  19. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,404

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    There's no shame just a little inconvenience. If it is the original motor it is babbit bearings and low pressure lubrication. Keep it down to 50. Maybe 55 if the motor is in good shape and you feel lucky.

    I would keep the torque tube drive (less work) but change the rear gears and maybe the engine. A newer 235 or torquey 261 GMC truck engine will bolt in.
     
  20. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,117

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    He makes a good point. They sound fantastic with a great set of pipes on them and if you don't push them too hard they are pretty reliable. You just have to plan any trips out of the local area so that you have plenty of time to get there without pushing the car too hard. If you are in the habit of traveling alone that isn't much of an issue and you end up doing the two lane thing rather than the big road thing and get to see cool stuff at an easier pace.

    The big rub with an engine that can't keep up with the big engine boys is if you belong to a club that likes to travel together and the trip leader likes to run at the speed limit or above. They always get whiny when they have to slow the pace for the slower running cars and can't run 85 in a 70.

    Going slower on a road trip isn't all bad as it becomes more about the actual trip than the destination. Instead of running at 75 on the freeway you run at 50 or so on the two lane and see the old barns, old cars and trucks beside the barns and stop at yard sales along the way.
     
  21. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 897

    Bearing Burner
    Member
    from W. MA

    Run what you can afford and don't be ashamed. But RUN it.
     
  22. Devin
    Joined: Dec 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,352

    Devin
    Member
    from Napa, CA

    I'm going to try to get her to kick over and run her till she drops then look for a 235, 261 or a Jimmy!


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  23. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    X2 in spades!! Locally, the tedium of driving the I-5 between Bellingham and Portland is enough to put you into a coma. SR-9 is so much more interesting. Get off the interstates, and SEE the USA.
     
  24. ^^^ love your Aviatar ^^^^ When TV WAS funny!
     
  25. bishop327
    Joined: Oct 13, 2008
    Posts: 31

    bishop327
    Member
    from CO

    These are good engines if you keep the RPMs down.
    I have a 181 (pre-216) in my 35 Master Delux. Sat for lord knows how many years. New wires, points, and fresh oil and a 12v in line with the 6v battery and it started right up. You give them gas and spark and they will start.
    Besure to check the valves if you are having problems. Set them before you start. I have had a couple of 'old-nonrunning' 216's that the valves were so loose, they didn't know what to do. Set 'em up, not too tight and it solves a world of problems.

    build'em to drive'em.
     
  26. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Reminds me not to take this shit too seriously...:D As if I need reminding...:p:rolleyes:
     
  27. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,898

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    From a guy who rocks a 144, run it until it explodes, and worry about it then. I'd put an S10 T5 behind it, on an HRW adapter, and a Walton Fabrication crossmember. Mid 70's Camaro axle.
     
  28. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Wow, these would really take my concept to the next level!!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nostalgic-s...ries&hash=item519d466218&vxp=mtr#ht_91wt_1124

    Starting to think about building this deal myself!!:eek::p
     
  29. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,907

    Truckedup
    Member

    216 will get the job done...But please use a reasonably quiet muffler..The world doesn't need another slow ass loud 6 cylinder :D
     
  30. cheepsk8
    Joined: Sep 5, 2011
    Posts: 560

    cheepsk8
    Member
    from west ky

    Drive her til she lays down, that's my plan. 55 and mine is smooth, stays cool, and seems happy. Keep the motor from getting hot and good oil pressure is key. Chevrolet built them well, from the 30s to the 50s. Tough old grocery getters. Good luck to you.
     

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