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Modernizing a Chevy 216. Not looking for HP!

Discussion in 'The Antiquated' started by Steven F. Bishop II, May 20, 2020.

  1. Steven F. Bishop II
    Joined: May 20, 2020
    Posts: 6

    Steven F. Bishop II
    Member

    Okay so I am restoring a 1946 Chevy Stylemaster 4 door sedan. Yes I wanted a 4 door and no I don't want your 2 door. Sorry I get that a lot. Anyway I have the original 216 and I really want to keep it. I am not looking for a super fast car. I just want to be able to drive it every day and I mean every day. Like 12,000 miles a year every day. It has already been converted to an open drive with a 50's truck axle that has 3.55 gear ratio. I have a Muncie 4 speed for it initially but it will get a 5 speed after it is back on the road.

    Now that being said what is available for these engines to make them modern/ reliable. I am aware of the distributor options (Mallory dual point, mini HEI, Pertronix) but I am wondering what other things I can do to make the engine last and run better, other than regular maintenance? Back when this engine was in service it was normal to rebuild it every 30,000 miles. I would rather not do that since it is much more expensive now.
     
  2. I have 80k miles on my already well used 216 . every day for over 20yrs . LOTS of oil changes :)

    Work done during that time has been minimal , early on I took some shims out of the mains as the clearance was rattley loose , then several years later I changed a head gasket , It just blew thru between 2 cyls . no obvious reason why and an easy fix . More recently I replaced the fibre timing gear . Anti freeze changes as required , more oil changes ...... Pertronix , fentons , Carter W-1 . Never took it over 2500 rpm .

    I believe todays oils are so much superior to the early offerings that it should be easy to get good life from your engine . You may like to consider adding the period bypass oil filter .
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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  3. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,401

    jimmy six
    Member

    Not much to a dip oiling system for the connecting rods unless you are willing to use an early powerglide engine. Yours is reliable with oil changes every 2500 miles and a filter. A 12 volt system and electric wipers would be good. You could continue to use the foot starter also. As you stated a more modern ignition. Tom Langdon makes a system using a small cap HEI and external coil that is really nice. The engine would stay a little cleaner with a PCV system and not smell if you having that as a problem. Good luck.
     
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  4. Steven F. Bishop II
    Joined: May 20, 2020
    Posts: 6

    Steven F. Bishop II
    Member

    Dusty-NZ: it is good to see that someone else actually drives these things. Thanks for the info.

    Jimmy Six: The car was converted to 12v with electric wipers before I got it. I was looking at the HEI system and they do seem nice. Do you have any experience with them and do you know if they can be run by an MSD box? The PCV system is a great idea. Are you aware of a kit for that or do I have to modify the valve cover?
     
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  5. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,401

    jimmy six
    Member

    We have one of Toms units on our GMC and could not believe how well it worked. Engine starts before you can even get you hand off the key. We bought his complete setup. Dist, coil, wires, and plugs. I have every kind of ignition you can think of but wanted something that was tested and would fit without hitting any thing. I had to make a bracket for the coil which I mounted on 2 screws of the side plate above the starter. I have no experience with anything MSD, too much crap and wires.
    As for a PCV system, I drilled and tapped a hole under the carb in the intake for a 1965 283 Chevelle valve I bought from Rock Auto. I replaced the side oil fill/breather with a 68-69 Camaro that had a fitting and a sealed cap. I put a barb style fitting in the new oil tube fitting and connected it to the valve with a hose. Our valve cover had a breather. If yours has a cap which seals, put on a breather style. I used some 1/2” aluminum tubing to make the line look good.
    If you have a worn out engine with a lot of blowby your engine won’t run very good but if you have a good tight engine a PCV system won’t matter much. Good luck..
     
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  6. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,056

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Tune or calibrate the carburetor. A wideband O2 might be overkill but, there's no guess and by golly. It's tougher to read plugs with modern gasoline. Excessively rich fuel mixtures will tend to wash out rings, carbon things up, foul plugs quickly, and contaminate crankcase oil.
     
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  7. Steven F. Bishop II
    Joined: May 20, 2020
    Posts: 6

    Steven F. Bishop II
    Member

    Jimmy Six: I am having a hard time finding the parts you are talking about. If at all possible could you find me some links?

    Truck64: I already planed on a A wideband O2. Long term I plan on making my own sequential fuel injection system for it.

    Dose any one know if you can get taller pistons to bump up the compression and if so where?
     
  8. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,684

    LAROKE
    Member

  9. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,401

    jimmy six
    Member

    That’s it, and you get Tom on the phone when you call. At a dollar a plug and 20 for wires it’s a good deal. I almost went for the traditional coil and was convinced by Tom not too because the dist is taller and the coil could not be mounted stock. As I remember Inliners got a little discount.
    Rock Auto Standard Products V100 PCV Valve. $5.60..
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  10. MO54Frank
    Joined: Apr 1, 2019
    Posts: 275

    MO54Frank
    Member

    There is a 216 Social Group on this forum. Get on there and post an intro and ask your questions. ‘Mo is the moderator of that group. You can send him a PM and he will be helpful.
     
  11. Steven F. Bishop II
    Joined: May 20, 2020
    Posts: 6

    Steven F. Bishop II
    Member

    M054Frank: Where would I find this group page? I do not see anything listed.

    Jimmy Six: Thanks for that. The part I am having a hard time finding is
     
  12. MO54Frank
    Joined: Apr 1, 2019
    Posts: 275

    MO54Frank
    Member

    At the top of the page, pick the second tab from the left. On the pull down pick Social Forums. On that list pick Brands. Go down to Chevy 216’s. It is an open forum, no need to join, just post. Be patient as it does not have a lot of activity.
     
  13. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,401

    jimmy six
    Member

    Google 1969 Camaro oil fill tube. Most repos are chrome mine was stock painted. Probably got if a swap meet for a buck. I know they came on Z-28’s because they had fancy rocker covers. Summit and the restore shops like classic are good choices too. Just look for the threaded fitting.
     
  14. Steven F. Bishop II
    Joined: May 20, 2020
    Posts: 6

    Steven F. Bishop II
    Member

    M054Frank: Thanks I found it.

    Jimmy Six: Are you talking about the V8 ones? Because I don't see any for the 235.
     
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  15. Wrench97
    Joined: Jan 29, 2020
    Posts: 66

    Wrench97

    What durability or performance advantage does adding a PCV valve give you?
     
  16. Steven F. Bishop II
    Joined: May 20, 2020
    Posts: 6

    Steven F. Bishop II
    Member

    Wrench97: It won't give you any extra power. It's strictly a longevity thing. It seals up the oil system so no foreign contaminants can get in there and still allow the crankcase to breathe. Not to mention you won't leak oil on the ground anymore.
     
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  17. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,401

    jimmy six
    Member

    The word “leak” is just important as the the 2 words “as much” with the use of the system in our old engines. A slight vacuum on an engine is good and 25” of vacuum is great... ask a NASCAR engine builder.
     
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  18. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,401

    jimmy six
    Member

    I believe a 1969 Z-28 may be a V8.:rolleyes: The last year for a 235 was 1962. The oil fill tubes fit, just put some sealer on it.
     
  19. VANDENPLAS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,379

    VANDENPLAS
    Member

    If you can find it the pcv system was an option on newer 235/261 engines.

    you will need to change your valve cover to a sealed unit or seal the vents in your valve cover .

    as has been said electric distributor. Tom Langdon builds a great one.

    duel carb makes em run better .

    split exhaust also.

    nether is necessary but they are cool!

    steel timing gears help longevity.

    a bypass oil filter helps.


    Really a bullet proof engine, just requires a bit more maintenance then newer units is all.
     

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