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History Hang on to your Chevy 216s, fellas ...!!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by retromotors, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. retromotors
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,045


    I got a chuckle out of this.

    Was just fiddlin' around on the web
    and found some truly astonishing information regarding a 1950 Chevy 3600 truck, and in particular it's kickass 216 babbit-pounder engine!

    Gotta be true ... it was on the Internet, right?:rolleyes:
    Particularly when the site's motto is "Trusted advice for the curious life".

    Here are the specs.
    I've highlighted some, umm, let's say "interesting" data:

    The 1950 Chevrolet 3600 was a truck produced by the Chevy division of General Motors. Chevy engineers improved upon the body design of first-generation models by increasing the 3600's wheelbase several inches and made the pickup's flatbed longer by adding running boards. The Chevy 3600 brought innovation as well as top specifications for drivers wanting a heavy-duty pickup.


    • The 1950 Chevrolet 3600 comfortably seats six adults and featured an improved Rochester B carburetor that helped make the 1950's Chevy models number one in sales, according to The 3600 weighs between 5,200 and 5,800 pounds.
    Engine and Transmission

    • The Chevy 3600 utilizes a 216.5-cubic inch, six-cylinder engine that delivers 92 horsepower. The stroke measures 3-15/16 inches, and the bore is 4 inches. The engine's diameter is 430 inches, and the vehicle delivers 465 foot-pounds of torque at 2,200 revolutions per minute. The 3600 features a four-speed transmission directly behind the motor.

    • The 1950 Chevrolet 3600 has a common front engine-wheel layout, with the engine fitted in a skewed position vertical in length with the pickup. The Chevy 3600 sits on a rock-hard steel frame and has four-wheel drive. The truck has front suspension that is similar to later 1955 Chevy models.
    Exterior and Interior

    • The 1950 Chevrolet 3600 measures 206.3 inches in length and has a wheelbase of 125.25 inches. The truck was available with genuine leather seat trim in the interior. Exterior features included a chrome radiator grille, long running boards and rear fenders, as well as dual tail and stop lamps and various tire size options. In addition, 3600 Chevrolet pickups came standard with accessories, including a rod-type radio antenna, outside air heater-defroster and under-hood lamp.
    Cost and Performance

    • The 1950 Chevrolet 3600 can go from 0 to 60 mph in seven seconds. The pickup runs on regular unleaded gasoline. During its era, the 1950 Chevrolet 3600 sold for between $1,050 and $1,425. The cost range depended on the optional accessories that customers could request for the 3600 Chevrolet truck.

    So let's see here. We've got a truck you can stuff a whole bunch of your buddies and/or babes into, although I think they should have specified consenting adults.

    In spite of being heavy as hell, it turns a pretty sporty 0 - 60 time.

    The engine ain't much for horsepower, but dayumm look at the torque ...!!! You could gear it to the moon!:D

    Visibility could be a problem, with an engine in front of you that's almost 38 feet in diameter!

    The leather seat trim could very well have actually been available, I dunno. Wonder how many were ordered with that option?

    So you might wanna think again before you pull or toss that ol' 216.


    kiwijeff likes this.
  2. gtkane
    Joined: Jan 25, 2009
    Posts: 327


    I gotta find me one of those!
  3. It's true... I had one of them... got it out of a barn for free!

    I drove it for a while but I had a hard time parking it.

    I know it's pretty rare because it was the highest priced truck in the world and since it was the depression "Nobody" could afford one!
    Bone and butchcoat1969 like this.
  4. retromotors
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,045


    LOL .... the depression, huh?
    Damn, wingnutz ... I think you could probably get a job as tech writer for that site!:D
    kiwijeff likes this.

  5. oldblue1968chevy
    Joined: Apr 10, 2011
    Posts: 141


    my 216 took me to the moon once lol WHO WROTE THAT!?
  6. I like to think of myself more as a "Historian".

    Les Paul in the Fifties...

    <iframe width="480" height="390" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  7. 423trader
    Joined: Jul 15, 2011
    Posts: 12


    Heck, I believe I'm goin' to go find me one of them trucks:rolleyes:. Who wouldn't enjoy sharing a leather seat with :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::cool:five people in the roomy 1950 cab goin' 0-60 in 7 sec. banging through all four gears trying to see around that massive 216cid mill... Wait a minute,:confused: I don't think it would fit through my garage door? Never mind...Lol. Thats crazy:D!!!
    F-ONE likes this.
  8. retromotors
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,045


    Well, when you put it that way, and with the other five people being of the suitable age/gender, it does sound like a real good time!

    Who the hell garaged a ¾ ton pickup back then anyway?
  9. 423trader
    Joined: Jul 15, 2011
    Posts: 12


    I figure a machine like that would have to be behind lock & key...
    volvobrynk likes this.
  10. Smokin Joe
    Joined: Mar 19, 2002
    Posts: 3,770

    Smokin Joe

    She's real mean, my 216! But I like mine better in my Styleline Delux 2 door. You can sneak a few friends into the drive-in in that trunk too. Might be fun smokin a little of whatever that internet site writer was smokin tho.
  11. its a well known fact that NASA uses the 216 in the space shuttle.
  12. weps
    Joined: Aug 1, 2008
    Posts: 554

    from auburn,IN

    we have one in storage, never knew it was that cool!
  13. Another blast from the past. I don't think Les Paul wrote that song, It was Rupaul in the 90's. No wait that was take me in the moon, completely different.
    turboroadster and lothiandon1940 like this.
  14. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 10,295

    jimmy six

    "Fly me to the Moon"
  15. luckythirteenagogo
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 1,265


    I ended up having to pull mine out of my Styleline, not only was parking it a chore but I kept blowing the tires off with all of that torque.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using H.A.M.B. mobile app
    volvobrynk and leadfootloon like this.
  16. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,092


    I heard the cook with a stove bolt on the moon
  17. He may have had spell-check, but I think he missed the number-check part......
    evil clown and volvobrynk like this.
  18. Jim Huseby
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 89

    Jim Huseby

    I almost thought I had a valuable 216 (though no one wants it) until I read on. Ha,ha, you made me look. But it got me thinking...there were a lot of 216 Chevies running around,'cause that's what they had, when I was young but I never heard any praise for them. They were called babbit beaters. There were flat head six Mopars (noted for their durability and reliability, my folks always drove them though I can remember having to use ether on cold winter mornings and also some hot starting difficulties) Olds Rocket ohv's, Hemi's, nailhead V-8s & straight eights, 235's, 265's /283's/327's/348's/409's, Cad's, Y-blocks, etc all spoken of with respect, but never any respect for the 216 that I can remember. Then a lifelong racer friend, my age, came in last week and told me about their family car, '50 Chevy w. 216, when he was a kid that had gone on several long cross-country trips and served their farm family's rugged needs for years faithfully with no repairs. I drive and work on splash lubricated bangers daily, but I have never had a 216 apart. The spray bar intrigues me and I've thought of adapting the idea to the bangers... anyway, what's the real truth about serviceability, time/miles between overhauls/bearing adjustments, spray bar cleaning and aiming? Everyone that knows about them says don't bother with them and everyone that puts a six back in puts in a 235. Who out there has accumulated some real true life experience with the 216? (Not just repeated stories that they heard). Should I find something to put this 216 into? Would there be any interest or merit to it?
    volvobrynk likes this.
  19. raprap
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 768

    from Ohio

    Hey guys, the initial specs at the top of this article are a bit off. I had a 216 in my coupe when I got it. I did a lot of research in hopping it up. A very mature engine builder said to move on it's got poor bones to hop up.
    Here are the specs for the 216.48 CI, 3.5L, 3.5" Bore, 3.75"Stroke, 85HP @ 165lbs/Torque. In 1941, they put a new head on it and it went to 90HP @ 174 lbs/torque.

    These were low reving, poured lead babbit bearings motors that did not hold up very well to stress. It cruised well up to about 54mph then the hp & torque fell way off. They eventually went to full pressure oiling late in 1951 then to the 235CI motor. A much better motor. Trust me I know. The 216's were know as "Boat Anchors"! When I pulled mine it toppled the engine stand over. Hell, the dinky cast iron 3-speed tranny weighed 100lbs! Svelt.
  20. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,728

    Atwater Mike

    Hmmm, I can remember removing shims from Babbit rods as an apprentice. Careful fitting made for a quiet running package.
    I also recall torch cutting a large hole in the firewall of old Chevy 216s to replace the rusted out Welsh ('freeze') plug at the rear of the block!
    Welding the patch back in was tricky, laying on my side and juggling torch-and-welding rod!
    kiwijeff likes this.
  21. C5Corvettefan
    Joined: Feb 7, 2010
    Posts: 282

    from Milton, WV

    Mine has just turned 99,000 miles. I've logged 105 miles in the last two days. It has recently been completely rebuilt using EGGE brand aluminum pistons. I went back stock except the pistons, babbit bearings on the rods were in excellent condition. This engine still had ALL original internal parts! The rings and main bearings still had GM stamped on them so I figured if this engine lasted this long why change it. The only issue I have is a minor rear main leak since rebuild ( '37's do not have a rear main seal) trying to find a solution, otherwise it cruises at 55mph all day long.
    tuckpoint and Baumi like this.
  22. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,806


    Les Paul-How High the Moon..
  23. But we are now in the 2000's, so they replaced the 216 with a full pressure 235. Ever tried getting babbit bearings poured on the moon?
    turboroadster likes this.
  24. rock hard frame and four wheel drive?
  25. Was that the Brit? Private Joke!
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  26. Ive got a 216. Its in a 1950 truck. it had a 9 ft 6 inch fendered bed. I always thought it was a one ton truck. I put the pumpkin from the rear end in a 66 chev 3/4 ton. It was 538 gears. so I used tall 19.5 tires. The 216 I have ran very well. but it leaked oil everywhere. My son Chris pulled all the sheet metal from the engine and was going to regasket it. 25 years later its still like he left it. He removed all the pushrods so none of the valves would be open. and filled all the cyls with oil.
  27. waldo53
    Joined: Jan 26, 2010
    Posts: 863

    from ID

    True 216 story - this guy in the Seattle area had a nice '39 Chev coupe with the now-famous 216 in it. I used to see him regularly at a weekly cruise. Anyway, he built this nice 261 engine and it was ready to install, and he decided just for grins, he'd blow up the 216 first, then put the new engine in. Well......long story short, he ran the wheels off that '39 - I would see him out there in the fast lane on the freeway, pedal to the metal. He didn't change the oil, just beat the crap out of it. The 216 wouldn't die!! He finally gave up after 2 years waiting to put his new engine in - sold the 216 and as far as I know, it's still running around somewhere out there.
  28. Road Runner
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 1,257

    Road Runner

    Got my 48 coupe in 2007 with the original stock 216 still in it.
    It was a driver off and on until the 90s.
    Leaked a quart of oil with every gas fill-up, but I drove it for another 1000 miles around town and occasional short freeway trips until my 261 was ready to replace it.
    No muffler and a cool sweet buzzing sound.

    Sold it to a local guy who collected running 216s and 235s in his backyard - 'cos you never know when you need one' - he said. :)
  29. It's true! I bought a nice little '40 coupe in 1960 for $15. It had the original 216 which ran good. I used to love blowing the doors off the 335 h.p. 348 Impalas at the stop lights. That torque was KILLER!
    Baumi likes this.

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