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Projects New to me 54 Chevy..... Build thread to follow

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 51fordor, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    The engine is newer than 1954, it has the four bolt valve cover. From the center breather, I would guess it to be a 1959 or newer, could even be a 261.
     
  2. doinbad
    Joined: Sep 17, 2012
    Posts: 322

    doinbad
    Member
    from celina tn

    4 bolt valve cover started in 53 with the 235. You could get a insert rod bearing in the power glide model with 60 psi oil gauge, or babbit bearings in the 3 speed with 30 psi gauge. the breather could be as early as 55. but i had a 57 with same breather.
     
  3. 51fordor
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 216

    51fordor
    Member

    I didn't know until you mentioned it. The head is Code 3836848. Back by the starter the block has raised letters CON3 480. Then Stamped behind the Distributor is what appears to be F0IIIJ. Going to get the number off between the Distributor and road draft hole tonight. My question is if this is a later block, how is the torque tube setup in it? I was under the impression that the later straight 6's were a different bell housing pattern and it would match up.. Maybe someone just swapped heads. Thanks guys for the heads up.
     
  4. Hot Rod Pat
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 116

    Hot Rod Pat
    Member

    Nice build so far. The 216, 235 & 261 all share the same bell housing bolt pattern regardless of the engine year.
     
  5. 51fordor
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 216

    51fordor
    Member

    But didnt the later years with the open driveline differ from a torque tube setup?

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  6. kennyg1931
    Joined: Sep 14, 2009
    Posts: 58

    kennyg1931
    Member

    The type of motor you have were made till 1962 then the back of the motor was changed ; Your motor has to be a 62 or earlier but they started the open drive shaft in 1955 . Your Chevy looks really good .
     
  7. 1953naegle
    Joined: Nov 18, 2013
    Posts: 242

    1953naegle
    Member

    53' valve covers still had center bolts, 54' was the first to have the four bolts on the edges, but the cap was still up front (I have originals of both). Not sure when the center fill cap started but my brothers 59' Apache had one.
     
  8. 1953naegle
    Joined: Nov 18, 2013
    Posts: 242

    1953naegle
    Member

    One other note: the original owner may not have removed the oil filter. Back then those things were actually an accessory. They were very popular but some motors didn't have them.
    Very nice car, btw.
     
  9. 51fordor
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 216

    51fordor
    Member

    He removed the oil filter because it was in the trunk of parts. He also has welded a pipe into the draft tube with a nipple with a rubber hose going over to a tapped fitting on the manifold. I assume to keep oil from gettig all over the engine bay. I plan to reinstall the filter soon. Thanks guys for all the kind helpful comments.

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  10. deeddude
    Joined: Aug 30, 2011
    Posts: 127

    deeddude
    Member

    Love the color. Now I know what mine will look like once I paint it, I was wondering about that color. Car looks good. Keep at it.
     
  11. gasalley
    Joined: Jan 10, 2013
    Posts: 116

    gasalley
    Member
    from East Texas

    Your car looks great. I can't wait to get my 54' as low as yours in the front.......

    M-
     
  12. 51fordor
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 216

    51fordor
    Member

    The color chip on tcp globals site looked a little closer to a Carolina Blue. The final sprayed color was a way different then i expected, but I love it. It stands out for sure.

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  13. 51fordor
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 216

    51fordor
    Member

    The car has settled and rides great now. The last owner did a crap job on the exhaust and it is the lowest point under the car. That will be fixed later. Also rebuilt the master cylinder over the weekend. Brakes feel awesome now. Here's a couple pics from today.
     

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  14. Hot Rod Pat
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 116

    Hot Rod Pat
    Member

    Nope, the difference between the open drive and closed drive set up is how the rear end is connected to the transmission, i.e drive shaft or torque tube. I know this for a fact as I've put three different motors in my car all coming out of open drive cars. I've reused my bell housing flywheel, clutch, pressure plate, transmission and torque tube every time.
     
  15. 51fordor
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 216

    51fordor
    Member

    So I spent most of the summer working on my 54. I added skirts, painted the entire lower half of car again, painted wheels, added spider caps, rewired car, and did most of the interior. The car was bare metal inside when I got it. This car has been a learning curve for me. It was my first paint job, my first attempt at seats, and I am still learning as I go on the mechanics of it all. Enjoy the pics.
     

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  16. gasalley
    Joined: Jan 10, 2013
    Posts: 116

    gasalley
    Member
    from East Texas

    Looks good. What did you do to lower the rear that much?

    M-
     
  17. 51fordor
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 216

    51fordor
    Member

    I just used 3" lowering blocks and installed air shocks.

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  18. gasalley
    Joined: Jan 10, 2013
    Posts: 116

    gasalley
    Member
    from East Texas


    Wow, i did the same thing but mine just doesn't seem as low. Maybe my springs have a touch more arch......

    [​IMG]

    M-
     
    gotta56forme likes this.
  19. 51fordor
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 216

    51fordor
    Member

    My springs are well worn I assume when compared to your picture. Your right, big difference.

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  20. Keep this thought in mind.
    Being that this is a torque tube application, it is possible that the tranny oil and rear end oil can interchange fluids and levels, not by design, but by a faulty bushing/seal.
    I mention this because a 3" drop actually is raising the rear end towards the floor, making it possible for rear end lube to run "downhill" through the torque tube, past the defective seal/bushing, then to the tranny. Is the 3" drop enough to start this process? Don't know either way.
    However, check tranny oil level and rear end oil level to be certain each level is correct ..... meaning the "unwanted swap of fluids" is not occurring.
    It can happen, with or without the lowering blocks, if the bushing/seal in the torque tube is defective.
     

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