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Keep it stock...or Not? #1216757 Wed May 10 2017 07:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 740
F
Fort Knox Offline OP
Shop Shark
I am in the grips of the classic dilemma. I have 1961 2wd swb 1/2 ton. It is all original now, not restored but complete. She has the 235 and SM420 trans. I want to bring her back to her former glory, but I can't decide about powertrain. I have had this truck for almost 15 years now. She runs and drives as is, but is getting too worn and tired for daily driving.

I have a complete 283 sbc torn down in the garage, the correct bellhousing, and some of the engine parts as well. A 283 would be 'matching' in the sense that it was an option in 1961, but would not match my VIN.

The 235 is admirable and hard working, but outclassed for real work by the sbc. If I go 283 it will be a stock rebuild, nothing crazy, and I will keep the SM420 and the truck will remain stock oherwise. If I use the front motor mount and keep my 235 I could theoretically undo my modification and take it back to stock.

I would like some thoughts. There are no more of these being built and a lot of the 235's are being tossed in favor of other drivetrain options. I like original but I also want a capable truck for the long term.

Thank you,

Kyle


"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." - George S. Patton

My Machine
Re: Keep it stock...or Not? [Re: Fort Knox] #1216760 Wed May 10 2017 07:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,631
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
The 283 is a classic engine, and period-correct for the truck, but your driving habits are going to have to undergo a pretty dramatic reset. 283's like lots of RPM, and the HP advantage it has over the 235 is going to show up somewhere north of 3,000 RPM. Torque- - - -from a 283- - - -forget about it!

If you're planning on building a weekend cruiser that seldom if ever carries a load, the 283 V8 is a good option. If you plan on doing truck stuff with a V8, adding another 1/2" of stroke in the form of a 350 transplant would be a better choice, and the 350 can be dressed up as a 283 in disguise with a little tinkering so only a purist would notice the difference.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Keep it stock...or Not? [Re: Fort Knox] #1216767 Wed May 10 2017 09:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 8,116
Justhorsenround Offline
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
As HRL so aptly said, the 283 is period correct. However, it is not original. You have to make a choice. Evaluate your needs and do a bit of soul searching and you will find what is right for you.šŸ› 


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
ā€˜65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (Iā€™m #2)
ā€˜39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe


"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line" and lock up those on the wrong side of that line.

Re: Keep it stock...or Not? [Re: Fort Knox] #1216794 Thu May 11 2017 02:58 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,631
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
If you want the advantages of a torquer engine without feeding the extra cubic inches of a 350, consider dropping a 305 in. It's got the same 3.48" stroke as a 350, but it's got a slightly smaller bore size than a 265. It was built specifically to have lots of low-end torque when smog control, low cruise RPM, and very high-geared rear axle ratios got popular in the late 1970's and early 1980's.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Keep it stock...or Not? [Re: Fort Knox] #1216861 Thu May 11 2017 06:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 583
B
BC59 Offline
Shop Shark
I'm glad I stayed inline all these years (had it since 1973) in my '60 2wd swb 1/2 ton.
Take it on long road trips, the T5 transmission helps cruising RPMs & love the surprise I get from people that didn't think it would keep up w/ the pack.


BC
1960 Chevy C10 driver
1949 GMC 250 project in waiting
G.M dealer tech since 1980 & counting
Re: Keep it stock...or Not? [Re: Fort Knox] #1216895 Thu May 11 2017 10:10 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 740
F
Fort Knox Offline OP
Shop Shark
Thanks everybody. For now I will be getting her back to running happily.

Kyle


"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." - George S. Patton

My Machine
Re: Keep it stock...or Not? [Re: Fort Knox] #1217189 Sun May 14 2017 04:41 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 786
P
padresag Offline
Shop Shark
nothing wrong with a 235. it will get you where ever that you want to go. a 261 would be a nice little uprade in there and is the same engine except fora few more cu in.
ron

Re: Keep it stock...or Not? [Re: Fort Knox] #1221805 Sun Jun 18 2017 12:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 237
M
Michael1964 Offline
Shop Shark
Man, I love a 283. Me and dad have had a few of them. I think they are the best motors that Chevy ever made. The 327s are good too. If you have one of those 283s that has the power pack heads on it then you got a little power house. You can put in one of the high energy CAMs and it would be a great motor. Good on gas too. I have never been a fan of a 350 unless you get a 4 bold main and they are hard to come by. All the other ones I ever had seem to be made out of recycled cans and never lasted. Nothing wrong with the 6 either... One of those rebuild and it can take a far amount of abuse..

Going fast is over rated anyway. Drive slow and enjoy the ride.... Going fast you might miss something important.


Jesus is Lord!
Only through the blood of Jesus are you washed clean of your sins.
Come see us... Dad's Chevy
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God bless you! Michael..
Re: Keep it stock...or Not? [Re: Fort Knox] #1224801 Mon Jul 10 2017 08:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 112
R
Rick O Offline
Shop Shark
I have a '59 3/4 Chevy 4x4 with the 235, and with the 4.57 gears, the little six is all it needs, easy to maintain and it'll cruise at 55-60 comfortably
The '66 K20 w/ +.040 but otherwise stock 283 winds up and runs out of steam pretty quickly, with the 4.57's again,but drives just fine
The '66 4x4 Suburban with Goodwrench 350 long block and stock "283" intake and exhaust manifolds w/ 3.73 axles is by far the most "powerful" of the bunch. Those 67 extra inches and easier ratio make a ton of difference.
But, we have a 1963 292 equipped K10 w/ 456 Tony and cannot wait to drive that Big Six and see how it goes...

I think I'd stick with and enjoy the 235 in yours, were it mine...

Re: Keep it stock...or Not? [Re: Fort Knox] #1224824 Mon Jul 10 2017 10:59 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,523
B
bartamos Offline
Truck Whisperer
The 283 is a good motor, correct for your truck. There is nothing better than the sound of a V8 with duals except a Harley.
There is nothing in your VIN that designates motor.


I'm away on an ego trip. Will be back on Feb 30.
I'm not an Auto Mechanic, but I play one on TV.
I charge $0.02 for every opinion and I take Paypal.
Plan B is always better than plan A, by definition.


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