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"Shoot, it       only has 2 or 3 thousand miles on it since a rebuild ..."


For awhile now, you've had feelers out for a 261 to replace that tired 216 in your truck.  Besides, you're sick of that 48 mph top speed, even with the new gears in the rear axle...


But wow ...  a super easy upgrade, right?  Maybe ...  But before you swap out engines, you'd be wise to treat every unknown engine as a rebuildable core -- going to all that trouble to pull an engine and reinstall it somewhere else would be a terrible waste if the "recently rebuilt" engine put a connecting rod through the side of the block at 60 mph because someone (um ... that would be *you*  Sparky ;) ) didn't take a little time to check the bearings, etc ...

Cool -- A "ran when parked" engine!!!  It even starts and runs!!!

A guide to rebuilding the Chevy 261 ...

NOTE:  This tech tip is NOT intended as a replacement of, but a supplement TO, your SHOP MANUAL.


Excerpt from the 1960 Shop Manual covering the 261


Thanks to the great minds at the Old Dominion Stovebolt Society, here's a little walk through of what it takes to check and rebuild that wonderful engine, the mighty 261.  For simplicity, we've broken out the major steps as follows below.  Our aim isn't so much to turn you into an expert engine rebuilder, but to give you an idea of what's involved and what you should be checking to see if the engine needs a lot of work or not.


But ....  before you dive into this, please refresh yourself on our newly updated Stovebolt.com safety class

You're here now!

Removing the head and inspecting it

Disassembly and inspection of the main block

Prepping for reassembly after all the machining is completed

Reassembling the crank, pistons, cam, etc

Reinstalling the top end (head, rocker arms, lifters, etc)

Reinstalling all the peripherals and setting the timing

1st start and break in

1st start and break in

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