I am looking forward to what you all come up with on this one.
I have a '52 1-ton GMC long box. So after digging through the forums for hours I believe I know what I have: a Canadian 216 with a replacement block. Here are the details: Head casting: 3695451 Head date: C-21-1 (March 21, 1951) Block casting: 3835814 with a triangle and circle (can anyone tell me what that means?) Block date: F-9-2 (June 9, 1952) Block serial: 594233 with no letters
From what I have learned from you fine folks already is this is a 216 with the 216/235 style head, given it has the uncharacteristically short side cover.
Nothing on the door plate matches the block, which I believe it should to indicate the original engine? The block is also a sea-foam green colour as in the pictures, and the serial seems to have been hand punched given its random alignment. Finally, there is a tag from a vendor that shows details of the last time the cylinders were bored (I found an image of the old shop that did the work!). This leads me to believe at least the block is a replacement.
Now to explain my confusion: 1. Why replace the worn out block with another block cast in '52? Would they not put in a newer block closer to the date the original block failed or would they use a block from inventory that was cast in '52? 2. If the dealer replaced the block, why stamp a new serial? Were they not supposed to stamp the serial of the departed original engine for titling purposes? 3. I have read that many replacement blocks were not stamped at all. Why was this one stamped? 4. If the original engine were replaced with this green block, would it then need boring again at some point? It was a grain truck as far as I can tell so it wouldn't be driven much, but would be worked hard. Odometer shows approx 26,000 miles but that doesn't prove anything.
I want to keep this truck as original as I can, but the prospect of the engine not being original has me considering putting a full pressure 235/261 in for performance. But the story of this one might be intriguing enough to keep it in there. Please help if you can! Thanks.
You could ponder on the questions that confuse you all day long and not figure it out. Only real answers would be from the owner during that time period. The real question is what do you, the current owner want to do with it? Personally, I am enjoying my 216 so far. 60 mile trip to link up with the guys in less than 2 weeks and it will be the first time driving it for a link up. My advice, figure out what you want, what you can afford, what will make you happy, and go from there.
You have the same style head that I have on my 51. That engine and head were only used from 1950 to 52. None of the heads from other years can be used. So if you pull it apart and find a crack in the head, you will have quite the hunt to get another one. I enjoy my original 216 and I might actually overhaul it this winter.
Kid, I know what you mean. It is easy to get lost in all the questions. I am hoping to gather a little more info on it to better justify putting money into this motor. I am really enjoying your restoration photos by the way!
Trucker, I read your past post about the cracked head. I suppose if I find a crack in mine it will make the keep or replace decision a lot clearer!
Gmc, my biggest regret is that I should have driven her all stock without changes and then come up with a plan. I made a ton of mistakes and errors, but through learning the hard way, I am slowly learning. I really enjoy my 216. I don't care if I am "slower". If I wanted to go fast, I have other toys for that. I say upgrade safety items, see if she runs and enjoy the ride.
Thanks, I think that I should have taken more pics since I never have the one I need during assembly. Good luck! Where in Canada are you at?
That is where I am leaning myself. I can obsess all day long about this, or I can go start turning wrenches and having fun with it. I originally bought the truck as sort of a starter that I could take apart and learn so when I had the money to land the truck of my dreams I would know what to look for. But who knows, maybe this one will be the first and last one I own.
However, I am sucker for detail so if anyone knows anything about the typical process for a replacement engine job, please let me know. Any details that I can use to enrich the story behind this truck I am all ears!
I have included a picture of the old rust bucket. Next step is to rent a engine hoist and pull the power plant out for inspection.
I am out in Alberta now. The truck came from a guy here, but I can't find any record of registration anywhere.
Well I started following the Tech Tip for the first start but then decided I should take it out and run through it before I start it. I don't want to damage anything... my brother is a skilled diesel engine technician and he advised against trying to start it before a detailed inspection. What are your thoughts Tim?
By replacement I meant what process the dealers/shops would take when they replaced a worn out block with new. I can't understand why they would stamp a different serial on a new block, and it was clearly hand stamped indicating it is not the original engine from another vehicle.
By the way your '54 fleet is spectacular, but you already know that haha.
Forgot to mention one reason I didn't start it was I found some rust flakes in the intake manifold. I didn't want to suck them into the cylinders. So manifolds are off currently and I did some electrolysis to clean them up.
My guess is that most of us would try to start it after figuring out compression and going through fuel and electrical systems (coil, points, wires, distributor, plugs, etc.) my guess is that sweet could have her purring like a pussy cat in less than an hour!