The early Stovebolts
By Barry Weeks
(Narrator speaking in short, clipped tones:) You are a man or woman who's just brought home your latest find -- a '30 Chevrolet Roadster Pickup. Only one problem, it doesn't run. No problem, you say, the classic Stovebolt Six was virtually unchanged from '29 through '62, right? How hard could it be??? How hard, indeed. Here's Barry with a reality check you can cash at any bank in ... the Stovebolt Zone!
While I don't know much about the early Chevrolet 6's (the 194 and 207 CID engines), I will share what I do know. They were built from 1929-1936 and were quite different from the 216 which came out in '37.
The later 235's ('54-'62) were basically a refined 216, and will easily replace a 216. Replacing a 194/204 is much harder, but can be done. In my opinion a '54-'62 235 is a good swap for the 194/207, if you aren't concerned with keeping it original. You may have to use a later bellhousing and/or trans.. You may also have to change the front crossmember or build motor mounts.
A friend of mine here in Minnesota is just finishing a restoration of a '31 2-dr. sedan. He says if he could do it over, he would not put the money into rebuilding the 207. He would swap in a 235 instead. Check out Paul Linstad in Fargo,ND -- His '34 truck can be found on the Stovebolt Page Gallery. He swapped his 207 for a later 235 recently and we e-mailed back and forth alot of ideas before he got it in. He seems to be real happy with it. I also remember reading a 3-part story in the G&D (VCCA club magazine) about someone who put a 235 in a '31 coupe.
Done right, swapping out a 194 or 207 for a later 235 would give you a better driving engine, but you would have to do some modifying. It all depends upon the level of originality you want to retain. Your choice. Before modifying anything, though, talk to everyone you can who might have some experience with this.
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