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Projects Inline Chevy 6

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jimmy51, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. Jimmy51
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 27

    Jimmy51

    Need some advice. Have a 51 fleetline 4 door that was my grandfather’s. We rebuilt the original 216 together when I was in my late teens or so, so not too long ago. The motor runs like it’s brand new and I have a spare 216 that came when I bought the car. I’m sure there’s other threads on here about this, but I figure I’d throw my own questions out and see what gets sent back. I’d love to get a little more out of the 216 being it’s numbers matching and all. Part of me wants to keep it as is, the other part says throw in a 235 and don’t risk blowing the 216. Might as well make a nice mild custom if I go that route. Also, to throw another possibility into the mix, I have a 250 from a 67 C10 that belonged to my other grandfather. That would throw any period correctness out the window. Need some wisdom from some wiser men than myself on this one.


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  2. 55blacktie
    Joined: Aug 21, 2020
    Posts: 307

    55blacktie

    The 250 would be my choice among what you have, if the intake manifold is not an integral part of the cylinder head. A Chevy 292 or GMC inline 302 would also be good choices, but the latter might be difficult to obtain. If considering the 292 or 302, make sure you will have enough hood clearance, but generally not a problem for these old cars. As far as originality goes, an expert will know what you have. Everyone else will see an inline six under the hood and not think twice.
     
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  3. The 216 can be hopped up but with splash oiling system and Babbitt bearings it has its limitations.

    pull the engine and store it.

    buy a 235 or 261 or a “newer” inline 250-292 and stuff it in and have fun.

    there’s split exhaust, multiple carbs , cam shafts etc etc available for these engines.

    just so you know, the newer inline you would have to swap the trans and diff to make it work.

    One of the big downsides to these cars for driving at hwy speeds is the three speed and 411 rear gears . You cam swap a power glide torque tube in and keep the stock three speed and it drops the rear gears to better hwy cruising gears.


    Super cool cars , not really something that most folks care about numbers matching , so do what you want to do and keep it fun.


    Post some pics we all like pics.
     
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  4. Jimmy51
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 27

    Jimmy51

    Thanks!! Along with that 250 I have the three speed and rear end from that C10


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  5. Jimmy51
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 27

    Jimmy51

    Thanks. The 250 is great it runs really well it’s still in the C10. I gave the truck to my brother and he wants to put a big block in it


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  6. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,962

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    The engine and trans are very usable, but I believe you will find the rear end is too wide and may not be geared well for your passenger car use. Otherwise, ‘carry on”! ;)

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
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  7. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,666

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    Just run the 216 and have fun.
    Those Chevys absolutely love 50MPH and can do it all day. 70MPH all day?, Nope.
    With that said, a 216 can do short bursts even into the triple numbers if they are built right but they cannot hang there long.
    A babbit Chevy six can be an absolute blast to bang through the gears. To "scratch off. To ride those country roads.
    They can be a very fun car. A interstate cruiser?....No, but they can still be a fun Highway car none the less.
    Put a couple of carburetors on it, a split manifold and have a ball.
    ^^^^Do this or learn what a Pain in the butt modifying a Stovebolt Chevy era car can be.

    If I was going to install a new rear axle and all that stuff, there is absolutely no way six in a row of any type would go back into it.
     
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  8. ol-nobull
    Joined: Oct 16, 2013
    Posts: 1,627

    ol-nobull
    Member

    Hi. My avatar phot here shows the 234 I put in my 46 Chevy coupe when the original 216 thrashed. It is bored 0.060 with a hot Clifford cam, dual intake with 2 two bbl Weber carbs, Clifford shorty tube headers. Langdon HEI ignition and 12 volt system. Ran original 3 on tree and a 355 ring & pinion and could run with the traffic on the interstate and got 20 MPG. Tranny finally cratered and got talked into a T350 automatic and put it and a 57 Chevy pickup rear end under it with minimum modifications. those pickup rear ends have a big assortment of gear ratios avalible & I got a 307 as it is a road cruiser. Guess what? Millage dropped to 10 MPG and the converter would bleed down every night and leak fluid. That tranny is the biggest POS I ever had. Was test driving it following some work and got rear ended and have not yet rebuild but when I do it will go back to manual tranny. Good luck with your build, Jimmie
     
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  9. I have 47 coupe with a rebuilt 216 with a t5 and 3.08 geared 10bolt rear. Mild Corvette cam, aluminum pistons, twin one barrels and split exhaust. Its not all that fast off the line but will easily do 90mph, just takes all day to get there. 34mpg on highway 16mpg around town. 110hp is really just barley enough to play safely in traffic. I have a 292 in storage but honestly a V8 is probably smarter money and effort. Too much work to build a slow car.

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  10. tractorguy
    Joined: Jan 5, 2008
    Posts: 687

    tractorguy
    Member

    Pull the 216 out and preserve it since you rebuilt it with your grandfather......he may not like it if you put a rod out of the side of the block after you "warmed up" the motor.
    Find a full pressure oiling 235 or 261 and warm it up. It would be a simple swap and if it did get "too warm", take the hot rod stuff off and build another.
    I personally would avoid the later 230/250/292 or a V/8.......you would be busy with LOTS of other stuff.....trans.....converting driveline to open drive from torque tube.....rear end swap etc.
    Spend your time with a mild engine hop up and installation .......then spend the time DRIVING your grandfathers car.....and he will be smiling along with you. Have fun
     
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  11. Jimmy51
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 27

    Jimmy51

    Thanks. Being a simple swap that might be the way to go. Not much time off from work these days. I gotta search the classifieds for a 235/261 and see what I come across. I wouldn’t be able to use that 250 for quite a while anyways my brother still drives that c10 around on nice days.


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  12. scoop
    Joined: Jul 4, 2001
    Posts: 1,293

    scoop
    Member

    A 235 will bolt in, a 250 is longer so you have to move the radiator foward and make motor mounts.
     
    belair likes this.
  13. Easiest is a warmed up full pressure 235, and get a 3.55 PG rearend. Can use your stock 3 speed trans. That will enable you to cruise 65-70, assuming tall enough rear tires. Not lowrider small diam.
    The 216 is just not a good candidate for higher rpm and increasing power levels too much.
    The advantage of the 250 or 292 is you can use modern transmission as they have the bellhousing pattern same as V8 Chevy. But they also require open driveline rearend swap. More work, but you get more options. And higher costs.

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  14. A guess it depends what you want. I put a 235 in my 38 with all original running gear, bellhousing exc. I also have 3.55 rear gears in it which makes it a bit better. Haven't had it on the hwy. yet.
    Just got it on the road and drivin around town. Am already thinking it would be nice to put a t5 trans in it and put a chev 6 bolt rear.
    But for now will just keep it the way it is and fix what I have. In the meantime enjoy and look for parts. thumbnail_IMG_0125.jpg
     
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,824

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'd say the first step is to actually ask yourself how you intend to drive the car and where you intend to drive it to. If you are only going to get 100 or so miles away from home base once or twice a year and don't plan a lot of freeway driving the 216 is fine and a split manifold or set of cast headers and dual pipes with glass packs give a sweet sound.
    If you plan a lot of longer road trips with other cars, the 250 makes more sense geared out with the right rear end. The C-10 rear won't fit or work on a bet but might be trading material. I put over 100K on my 48 with a 250 and a full syncro 3 speed and too tall a gear ratio Nova rear axle. The truck would cruise at 70 on the freeway all day long and give 20 mpg but was a pain to get away from a dead stop with as it was/is geared too high. 20 mpg didn't hurt though. you have to swap bellhousings to match the engine though.
    The 48 is getting a 292 that will be painted the original gray for a 48 engine with a lot of finned aluminum on it.
    The 235 would be the simple swap for an engine that would hold up better to serious road trips. All you need is the adapter plate to run the earlier short water pump and other than that it is pretty well a bolt in. Those swaps have been done thousands of times and could be reversed real easy if the desire ever came about.
     
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  16. Jimmy51
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 27

    Jimmy51

    I don’t go far. The highways are way too crowded and most people are on their cell phones. Got rear ended on my Harley after about two weeks of being out here. But the option to do so would be nice. Was just looking to get a little more HP and make a mild custom. Fresh paint, maybe artillery wheels and a hopped up inline 6. I want to lower the stance too so I’m looking around at lowering blocks for the rear and what to do up front. I’ll put a picture of it how it is now. [​IMG]


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  17. Jimmy51
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 27

    Jimmy51

    Nice that’s pretty cool I like that!


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  18. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,313

    squirrel
    Member

    Sounds like you're probably going to be fine with the 216.

    Customs don't need to go fast....especially after they've been lowered. Might just concentrate on dressing up the 216 with as much old genuine speed stuff as you can afford--aluminum covers, dual carbs, etc. And make it look nice under the hood, spend your effort detailing it all.
     
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  19. buick bill
    Joined: Dec 18, 2008
    Posts: 509

    buick bill
    Member
    from yreka;ca

    i luv that car ! those fleetlines are the coolest 4 drs there are in my opinion .i put a 235 in my 41 last year , mainly to try to keep it simple . looking back , while i had the front end off and i was under it , over it , and buried in it , anyway , i should have 350/350ed it . just much smoother ,same or better mpg and sometimes its fun to spin the tyres !!just my personal .last p/u i bought cause it had i6 and 3 tree .same thing . after it was done i thought i coda had a v8 .id probably still have it if i had of . and its really not much more work OR money while your at it anyway ! 292/3 spd .still no power and shitty millage ! DSCF5021.JPG
     
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  20. 55blacktie
    Joined: Aug 21, 2020
    Posts: 307

    55blacktie

    It makes no sense to me why someone would want to put loud exhaust on a vehicle that doesn't have the power to back it up. If you want attention, get an oogah horn; you'll get more thumbs up. If performance is your primary goal, there are better candidates. Appreciate it for what it is (or isn't) or move on. A lot of people are having fun with 40 hp Model As.
     
  21. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,962

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Perhaps most of us here are of the opinion that a nice mellow exhaust note, NOT raucous noisy racket, enhance our enjoyment of our cars. It isn’t always for the attention of others. People are sound oriented creatures.....although some may prefer musical instruments more so than cars, but their/our enjoyment doesn’t interfere with the stock Model A enthusiasts pleasure.

    Some might think an oogah horn is not too far removed from a whoopee cushion when sound quality is considered.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
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  22. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,478

    Hellfish
    Member

    I've had 2 cars with post-1955 235s + 3 speed + torque tube rears. 1 ('50 Fleetline) had a stock single carb and the other ('51 Bel Air) had 2 carbs and headers. Both ran just fine at interstate speeds in Chicago (so NOT 50mph). I'm not sure if a 216 would do much worse, but probably risky. There are lots of books and sites devoted to performance improvements, but you'll get the largest gain from an extra carb and headers.

    However, I really like the idea of fitting grandpa #2's engine into grandpa #1's car. You would represent them both at the same time. "Period correctness" still applies in my mind. It's not a Nissan engine. The whole point of hot rodding was to stick the hottest, fastest, newest engine in your car. Someone building a car in 1967 would have absolutely considered a 250. Besides, didn't the 250 come out in 1962? No one is going to check your casting numbers... and if you're that worried about it, keep the hood closed! :)
     
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  23. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 6,724

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    You must be one of the guys that never heard a '48 Chev fastback with a split manifold & a pair of 22'' Douglass steelpacks ....
     
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  24. Jimmy51
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 27

    Jimmy51

    Yea I’m in NY so the only time there’s no traffic is never and I don’t take it on the highway just around the neighborhood and to family and friends houses or out to dinner and stuff like that. I thought that too about the engines. I like the idea of playing with the 216 for now and having a 235 to build while I use the 216. The 250 will always be available once my brother swaps it out.


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  25. Paint_Rep
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 77

    Paint_Rep

    I’ve had 6 194/230/250 in cars and trucks. I love those engines. Seven main bearings, rev decently quick (for an inliner) and bulletproof. I had a 61 Biscayne that had a 235 and ironglide, and while it drove awesome, it was a horrible dog. I actually did a swap in it to a 230/aluminum glide using 63 parts, and even though the 230 was tired, the car ran exponentially better than the 235. I just bought a 64 Bel Air with a 230 glide and it is much more zippy and way better on gas (which I could care less about) than the 61 with the 235. I’ve got threads posted with both cars. I know there are 235 die hards, I just love the later sixes..,,


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  26. Jimmy51
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 27

    Jimmy51

    I’ve decided to go with a 235 or 261 whichever I find first. I’m not sure how to post in the wanted section of the classifieds on here cause it says I don’t have permission to do so. If anyone has or knows of anyone looking to part with one give me a heads up. I appreciate all the advice from everyone.


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  27. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,962

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    @Jimmy51

    you should be able to post a want ad. go to HAMB Marketplace, click on ‘wanted’.....look to upper right, red rectangle, click there and make your post......

    Ray
     
  28. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,824

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Keep your ear to the ground locally for someone pulling a runner 235 out to put a V8 in . They get real expensive if you are asking for one but can be pretty reasonable if someone is pulling one out for a swap.
    Davis Speed Equipment sells an adapter plate for 39.00 that lets you run the 51 water pump on a 235 and not have the normal issues that the later pumps give. 10018 235 CHEVY WATER PUMP ADAPTER PLATE - Davis Speed Equipment A well spent 40 bucks.
     
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  29. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,962

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    An endorsement here for Davis Speed Equipment. I have bought a couple of their mount kits and found them very nicely made.

    Ray
     
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  30. getow
    Joined: May 9, 2016
    Posts: 286

    getow
    Member

    Hey Jimmy51, where you from? That might help with availability and pick up options. I actually have two 235s waiting for an another ride. Might part with 1? Just saying.?..
     

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