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Technical The force is strong...38 Chevy help

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by hurlbird, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. telekenfun
    Joined: Mar 9, 2010
    Posts: 250

    telekenfun
    Member

    Hurlbird, if your Icon is your car, it's a beauty. Oh-nobull is the closest on track for you in my opinion. But let me throw in my experience and advice. Nothing is as simple in the doing as it is thinking and talking about. Retrofitting a V8 in place of an Inline will create all sorts of unforeseen issues. I assume that your car still has it's 6 lug hubs and knee-action front suspension. It will be enough work to just clean up the brakes, install new shoes and turn your drums to have a car that can make sure safe stops in modern traffic.
    To improve the get-up and go and be able to stay up with traffic it is easily obtained by substituting a later model Chevy 6. A 235 is a direct bolt in if you save the front mounting plate from behind the 216's front timing cover. You can use the original bell-housing/rear motor mounts and transmission. For rear end ratio, get a set of 3.55 gears from Patricks in Az. This will be all you need and will keep it very stock looking to all but the most discerning observers. Savvy Inliners are pretty rare. If you are looking for more speed and performance, find a 261 from a 2 ton Chevy truck or school bus, 62 or earlier. There is no substitute for cubic inches. Ross makes a hi-compression (pop up) piston for 235's and 261's. They can be bored as much as 3/16" and will yield 287 cu in. With their 3 15/16" stroke they make torque that will shame a 283/327 small block. Down the road there are Fenton headers and plenty of multi-carb manifolds to increase the performance even more. Delta makes a nice 243 degree cam that will really wake up a Chevy 6. Even with the extra power and 3.55s you will be spinning the motor pretty fast for a long stroke motor when running with the cars in the fast lane. The solution for you car is to install a "Truckstell Overdrive". They were made as a dealer installed option for 47-54 Chevys. They bolt to the transmission U joint ball and attach to the shortened torque tube via an adapter. Then you will have final gearing of a modern vehicle and can run close to 90 at 2600-2700 rpm.
    Check out my albums on my profile page where you'll find Semi-sweet my 54 GMC with a Truckstell and I can knock off 41 second miles at only 2600 rpm for mile after mile.
    Best regards and good luck with all your endeavors, KB.
     
  2. hurlbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2016
    Posts: 30

    hurlbird

    Thanks KB it is my car. This was my original quest and had issues with the rear end. This is the first time I have heard of the 3:55 option via Patrick's. If they have it ill go this route all day long. I appreciate your $.02 -John
     
  3. The 3.55 gears and running a taller rear tire like 7.00/16 would help a lot even with stock engine and trans. My 37 Chevy Ute is all orig, 216/3-speed and torque tube 4.11 ( I think, maybe it's 4.22??) rear gears. With 7.00/16 rear tires I can cruise 60 mph OK, around 25-2600 rpm. I don't want to push the engine more than that, although the engine is rebuilt and good condition. It just takes a different attitude when driving it, a bit lower and less aggressive.

    Even with the stock engine, I converted the radiator to a sealed system with a pressure cap. Tired of having to add water.
     
  4. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 937

    vtx1800
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My friend did not modify his hub/s wheels, other than going to 15 inch wheels. This left the six lug pattern on both axles . If you change to the 53-54 hubs then you have a common Chevy five bolt pattern, I hope I understood your remark correctly.
     
  5. hurlbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2016
    Posts: 30

    hurlbird

    so here is the deal as I understand it. There is no straight forward solution. The rear end can be upgraded to a 3:55 BUT not by a simple gear exchange. I need to get a 41-54 drive shaft and have the end grafted onto my 38 shaft. Only then I can use the new pinion. ill do that first and then drive it a while before putting a 235 in... Thanks all.
     
  6. telekenfun
    Joined: Mar 9, 2010
    Posts: 250

    telekenfun
    Member

    Why not find the entire rear end and torque-tube from a 50-54 power glide Chevy that everyone trashes to convert to open drive. That could be just a bolt in and there is your 3.55s. But assuming 38s where 6 lug to keep from needing two different spares, you'll need to change your front hubs to match lug wise. It looks as if you already have custom wheels that must be 6 lug, switching bolt patterns will be like starting over.
    Best Regards and good luck with all your endeavors, KB.
     
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  7. hurlbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2016
    Posts: 30

    hurlbird

    so... If I go the straight six route and I find a bolt in which is up to 1963. Can I keep the car 6 volt even though im putting an engine from a 12 volt in the car? I have a bead on a 1960 motor. I assume Chevy was 12 volt in the late 50's....
     
  8. bdotson
    Joined: Sep 28, 2011
    Posts: 160

    bdotson
    Member
    from texas

  9. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,286

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    I have a 37 p/u with a 57 235 hooked to a T-5 and 8 inch with 3.55 gears and it keeps up with traffic just fine,I used a water pump adapter so I could use a earlier water pump to keep the fan where it belongs and if you keep a six use the original fan since the later fans stick out towards the radiator more since the 40 and later vehicles had a slightly longer engine compartment. You can also keep the foot stomp starter as I went back to one when the mid 50s car starter I originally used needed to be replaced and I also adapted a 216 side cover and other parts to make the motor look more original.
     
  10. hurlbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2016
    Posts: 30

    hurlbird

    thanks did you do anything to keep it 6 volt or did you go to 12?
     
  11. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,286

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    I changed it over to 12 volts but if you want to keep it 6 volts all you need to do is use the 38 flywheel and starter and no need for a ballast resistor before the coil.
     
  12. hurlbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2016
    Posts: 30

    hurlbird

    great thanks for the information
     
  13. hurlbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2016
    Posts: 30

    hurlbird

    So in the end here is what I am doing. I got a 53 chevy rear end out of a powerglide car. This is 3:55 ratio. I need to cut and weld the torque tube to fit my original torque tube length but it should bolt right in after that. I also found a nice 56 235 ready to go. I will need to convert to 12 volt for the 56 engine. Can I sue the 53-54 from brakes or are the lug patterns off? I believe this gets me the original look and feel with highway safety and comfort. Y'all agree?
     
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  14. Pre-48 Chevy car is 6-lug, 49-up is 5-lug with most all being 5x4.75. Only the big cars had some 5x5 pattern, which is also used on the 2wd trucks with 5-lug. I believe the 53-54 front hubs and drums will work on your spindles and brakes. This gives 5-lug pattern to match the rear, and a lot more wheel choices.

    You don't necessarily have to go 12 volts, but it is a good upgrade.
     
  15. hurlbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2016
    Posts: 30

    hurlbird

    why don't I have to go 12 volt? I thought since the engine is id have to give it the proper volts? Thanks
     
  16. mopar362000
    Joined: Feb 14, 2008
    Posts: 85

    mopar362000
    Member

    using 38 flywheel & starter,coil u can keep it 6 volt .You have to make sure timiig mark on flywheei is the same .
     
  17. hurlbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2016
    Posts: 30

    hurlbird

    really? so there is enough energy in the coil for the engine to run normally? I assume making sure the timing mark is the same you mean the position of the #1 piston is the same when I remove it from the 216 and bolt it to the 235? Thanks....
     
  18. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,232

    325w
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from texas

    Doing the 53-54 front hubs why not do the complete backing plates and all. Gives you the Bendix set up front and rear.
     
  19. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,286

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    A 12 volt coil is basicly the same as a 6 volt,a resister is used when its on a 12 volt system so the newer motor will run fine if you stay 6 volts and use the original coil,both the 216 and 235 have a timing mark in the flywheel and are in the same place and when you have it apart paint the ball so its easier to find. If you are going to go 12 volts and want to retain the foot stomp starter the original starter will work but you can get a starter off a 55 to 58? truck with a 235 that is a foot stomp and you will not have to worry about burning up the original,I am using that later 12 volt foot stomp starter on my 37 p/u.
     
  20. hurlbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2016
    Posts: 30

    hurlbird

    great! I don't want to go to 12 unless i'm forced to. Sounds like I don't have to, just put the 215 coil in place of the 235 and im good to go. correct?
     
  21. hurlbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2016
    Posts: 30

    hurlbird

    im trying to keep the rear axel from the 38 and just switch the torque tube from the 53. Can I switch the 53 rear brakes/drums etc with the 38 and then get a matching drum set up for the front? Then i'm all bendix and all 5 lug??? Thanks
     
  22. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,286

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    Just use the original coil and you will be fine with 6 volts and now on the 53 torque tube I am no help there but I have read that the 53 brakes and axles should fit the 38 rear end,I was originally planning on retaining the original driveline in my 37 but went with a T-5 and 8 inch and got rid of the original parts.
     
  23. hurlbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2016
    Posts: 30

    hurlbird

    thanks jeff
     
  24. I would highly recommend the 12V over 6V. For two reasons, unbelievably faster starting, and significantly brighter head lights (brighter tail lights don't hurt as well). You can run a generator from a 12V 55-59? and a matching regulator on the cowl to keep the original look. This is what I have (58 vintage 12V generator) on my '47.
     
  25. nunattax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,987

    nunattax
    Member

    jim carter trucks rebuilt my stock gauges.now 12v and compatable with the sbc.new gauge face decals are available if you want them looking new.
     
  26. nunattax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,987

    nunattax
    Member

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  27. hurlbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2016
    Posts: 30

    hurlbird

    the more I contemplate this the more questions I have. the 3:55 ring and pinion discussions I always see talk about the work being done in the pumpkin to swap them out. BUT could I take my 53 rear end and just put the whole set up right into my 38 pumpkin? NOT touch any gears? Slide the axels out put the 53 in and slide the axels back? If so then the work I have in front of me is at the transmission end of things. Perhaps shorten the 53 torque tube/drive shaft and I am assuming use the tranny end of my torque tube /shaft since it is for a standard while the 53 torque tube is from an auto... Am I thinking about this correctly?
     
  28. hurlbird
    Joined: Oct 4, 2016
    Posts: 30

    hurlbird

    Simply switch at the spindle or is there more work with the master cylinder etc? Left the rear 1938?
     
  29. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 937

    vtx1800
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I swapped a 57 Chevy rear end, I used swinging pedals with an early gm pickup combination master and clutch and used a hydraulic slave cylinder on the clutch. That was in the mid 70's, since then I reverted back to the org pedals, built a bracket to mount a dual master cylinder for the brakes and fabricated a Z bar for the clutch. I used the backing plate, drums, brake parts from the 53/54 brakes. I did have to manufacture a couple of spacers to affix the backing plates to the spindle, being a farm kid I used a stack of washers as a spacer Edit.....I had to mix bearings on the hub, a combination of original 38 bearings and 53-54 bearings, they are all actually roller bearings (which you probably already know)


    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  30. telekenfun
    Joined: Mar 9, 2010
    Posts: 250

    telekenfun
    Member

    I'm perceiving that you might be a little overwhelmed by the prospects of changing gears and engines and voltages and brakes all at once. Let's just take them one at a time for now.
    For the gear change:
    I'm guessing that You can do this just as you described with a few caveats. The first caveat is whether or not all the splines on axles and the impeller shaft are all the same on the 38 as on the 53. My experience suggests that they probably are. To advance you project, you need to jump in there and get a little dirty. Jack up the car on jack stands and drop the 38 rear end. Pull the axles, separate the center section from your housing and remove the torque tube. Then find the pin that is locking the "impeller shaft" from the pinion gear input. Do all that dismantling to the '53 rear end as well.
    Now see if the '38 impeller shaft fit on the '53 pinion. Insure that the '53 center section fits into the '38 housing. If so you are in business. Use the '38 torque tube and impeller, the '53 3.55 center section and '38 axles, brakes and drums. There should be no difference between the automatic "U" joint and the stick one, or the ball and gaskets. The difference most likely would be in the length of the torque tube and impeller shafts, which is the reason for using the '38's.You can then deal with brakes or electrical or engines as whole separate projects.
    I hope this clears some things up for you.
    Best Regards, and good luck with all your endeavors, KB.
     

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