Hi guys I joined this forum many years ago but I am a much bigger reader than a poster. But the time has finally come. I was able to acquire a 1950 4400. It is in very rough shape right now, and I’m not entirely sure what direction I’m going to be going in on it. The engine is currently stuck but the clutch and transmission seem to be in good shape. The wheels turn freely and the brakes kinda work. There isn’t any usable wiring left at all. My plan for now is to try getting the engine free. If I can get it moving then I will start replacing ignition and fuel systems to try getting it running. My first question it how do I identify what engine I have ? And how do I identify the type of carb is on it.
I’m not all that computer savvy and I don’t have a computer at all. I use my phone and my iPad. I know many of my questions have probably already been asked and answered but I never seem to be able to find what I’m looking for! Also if anyone can point me in the right direction I would like to post pictures if possible. More to come !! Thank you ! Dan
Find the number that's stamped (not cast) on the machined pad just to the rear of the distributor and post that for us. Most likely a 1950 big truck would have left the factory with a spray-oiler 235 engine, but there's no telling what might have been installed since then. If it's got a sheet metal side cover on the passenger's side that extends up over the cylinder head and the spark plugs and 2 bolts in the center of the valve cover, it's either a 216 or an early 235. A short side cover and 4 bolts at the edges of the valve cover would probably make it a later model 235. The block casting number down near the fuel pump and the stamping I mentioned before will ID it accurately. 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!
Good job, the photos are great! So if that is a US motor, it is a 1950 to 1952, low pressure 235. That motor is unique to those years. In Canada we had 216s of the same design. The truck looks like it wants to do serious work! Congratulations on your new addition.
The truck served as a sign for a local business for the last 40 years! I’m fairly sure the original engine is in it. It was still running when it became a sign but hasn’t run since the day it was parked around 78-79. I also have a photo copy of the original title issued in 1950. It is very rough so I plan to just do little things at a time. Starting with getting the engine unstuck. After that I will get the starter rebuilt clean and rebuild the carb and replace the entire ignition system. Then hopefully I will have a runner. Does anyone know if there are print versions of repair manuals available anywhere. I have only been able to find online versions that don’t seem very helpful. Also here’s a picture of the driver side of the engine
I’ll try it again here’s the driver side of the engine. The oil cap is missing since who knows when and some mice had taken up residence under the valve cover. So I’m thinking I’m going to pull the head to make sure nothing is in any of the cylinders and see how bad the rust is in there. So are the head bolts reusable?
The detail that identifies your engine is the shape of the head near the plugs. In the photo you can see a bulge in the casting between 1 and 2 plugs. That is distinct to the 1950 to 52 motor and that head doesn’t fit anything els.
The stamped code on the block behind the distributor is the code that’s listed on the title as the vin AHEA123590 the cast code on the head by the valve cover on the driver side is 3895499 here’s a picture of it. Where is the block casting code and date located? And where is the head casting date ? It’s greasy and I have to spray with brake cleaner and wire brush it to find casting marks
It’s certainly possible it’s 383 !! I will clean it up better tomorrow. I didn’t see the link until you pointed it out will also look for those codes tomorrow. I think I’m going to pull the head this weekend so I will find the head date code when I pull the valve cover
The 3835499 is the casting number on my 1951 216 head too. It now has a head with the US casting number because my original Canadian head was cracked. There is no date stamped on the head as far as I know.
head casting 3835499 is used in multiple part numbers and maybe machined differently - swap with caution head casting 3835499 is used in part # 3835545 for a 235 engine 50-53 in USA, these are likely babbitt 235s head casting 3835499 is used in part # xxxxxxx also found on Canadian 216 51 engines (block 3695408) head casting 3835499 is used in part # 3703569 for a USA 54 261 engine
Also the actual vin tag between the door hinges on the driver side door is long gone. You can see where it was I will take a picture of it tomorrow but there’s 2 holes one is most likely a screw hole the other has the remains of a pop rivet. So the true actual vin will likely never be determined. Unless someone knows of another place that was also marked
2ManyTrucks, that is interesting information. The head that I put on my Canadian 216, came off a Canadian car with a 216 motor. Apparently there were times when parts crossed the border to keep production going. The difference in my case is that the intake ports that align with the manifold are the correct size for a 216, not a 235.
It may be the original engine, but still be reasonable about your intentions and options. Perhaps it cost $3-6,000 to professionally rebuild. Or you may find a good replacement for well under $1,000.
I enjoy seeing all original trucks and restorations, I’m glad some people are that passionate and dedicated. There is a lot to learn from their research and efforts. I’d also much rather see a good everyday driven truck with slight and or sensible upgrades than a half hearted “original restoration” that actually isn’t original. Go all the way and be original or be practical (and drive it a whole lot), I don’t see much use for half way in between. I really enjoy driving old trucks, and 100% original isn’t necessary for that. Not saying you can’t drive an original as it is or fully restored to like original because they were new once and perfectly driveable then as now; but consider cost and rewards.
Decide what makes you happy and fix or restore your truck to suit. Also step back and reevaluate that plan a time or two along the way.
My guess is you will find mouse pee and poop corrosion all the way to the oil pan down the oil drain holes and push rods. The rockers will all be frozen to the shaft, the bolts, push rods, valve springs, keepers and valves will all be corroded beyond use. The valves will likely be stuck tight in the guides. There very likely will be corrosion on the lifters, they may be stuck and the cam likely damaged.
Personally, I would not try too hard to salvage the head, certainly not the valve gear. IF the valves can be driven from the guides, its possible the bare head might be salvaged.
First thing I would do is pull the engine, I would not even think about taking it apart in the truck. To my mind that would be a total waste of time as it will all have to come apart, right down to the bare block. Every part will need to be inspected for rust damage.
There will be a lot of damage. Pretty sad to see that picture.
Last edited by sweepleader; Sat May 04 2019 11:04 AM.
1962 K10 short stepside, much modified for rally 1969 T50 fire truck, nos, needs a few things
Just to echo/footstomp what Grigg said. I tried going the all-original route, too, once ...
The good news is that you have cured any boredom problem you may have had for the forseeable future -- looks like many, many,many hours of fun there....
The best advice I've heard in situations like yours is to stop at this point and check with your State DMV to see what will be required to title and register this truck. Do not listen to anecdotes or stories or advice or any of it from anyone other than the professional staff at your DMV. Their answers will help you decide how much further you want to go with this project. You will no doubt have a bit of a project just to get the truck titled. Best you find out now, rather than after you've sunk a lot of money into.
THEN, once the DMV has helped you make an informed decision ...
Think long and hard about what your ultimate goal is for the truck (to help you decide how to proceed). A couple of thoughts to ponder (from my own painful experience...) It is best to decide now because down the road it will sure stink if you dumped a bunch of money into that 216 and decide that you really wish you could actually drive the truck to events or even just around town.
'49 Chevrolet 3804 '70 Boston Whaler Sakonnet w/ '84 Evinrude 90 '85 Ford F-350 "The Farm Dawg"
I don’t know how long mice live. but over 40 years !! I’m guessing many generations of mice lived under that cover. All hope definitely doesn’t mean a bottomless piggy bank. The engine is just the first thing I wanted to work on because weather it will run or it’s too far gone will determine the direction of the whole project. I haven’t posted pictures of the cab yet!!! It’s like Swiss cheese and would probably be discarded by many. These definitely are not a dime a dozen around my area. So I will work slowly and within my weekly budget to buy panels and parts. I don’t appreciate the be cautious advice though. That’s why I am here I will need plenty of advice Here’s some more pictures of the carburetor if you see anything out of the ordinary let me know!
John No worries there as of yet. It is titled. But it’s titled to the serial number of the block. Even on the original title which I have a copy of. So I do have to find out about how to change that if the block is shot. And I do agree it very likely is but I haven’t gotten into it yet
Well don’t get too down until you got solid data... I needed a 235 temporary replacement for my original 216, the best candidate in my junk car pile was an engine that last ran in 1980, After removing a gallon of cherry pits and mice nests, from inside, I gas washed the rockers and valves and oil pan, sprayed oil on it, hammered all the valves free with wd-40, pounded some bent push rods straight-er... And that’s the engine I’ve been running for about 3 summers now. It leaks coolant out the side of the casting a bit, this engine also froze a bit with water in it one fall back in the late 70s, I’m gonna use jbweld to seal that up one of these days. -s
I will say that getting an old motor unstuck and getting it running is one of the most fun filled things I have ever done. My truck sat in a field for over 17 years and I got it going. It didn't have nests inside but it was stuck at first.I did an in place rebuild and put about 40K miles on it. Last year I pulled it, had the block tanked and bored and it is like new.
I did a little more inspection today after work. The rockers are very rusty to the point of rust is scaling off them I think the head has rusted itself into one solid piece I really don’t know if I’ll even be able to remove the head bolts. Going to clean the rest of the mouse hotel tomorrow after work and try removing the bolts before I even start with the manifold bolts.
Ok I think I have decided on the path this truck is going to go on after a week of thinking and discovery ! It’s probably going to be a few weeks before I can get it into the shop as my son and his buddy are working on a 97 mustang. So I’m going to leave the truck out behind the barn until then, and just keep spraying every nut and bolt with penetrating oil every day or so hopefully that will help with some of the worst bolts. In the meantime lots of research and questions!! I’m still looking for a repair manual anyone have an opinion on where to find the best one ? Here’s a picture of the rear anyone know what the bent up bracket is ? Im thinking it was a spare tire holder but not to sure !
There is a add on to the frame of about 20” I assume it was for the sign that it carried for 40 years. Yes the rear crossmember is bent down a little that can easily be straightened. The main frame rails appear to be very straight and in very good condition. John, I really think it looks like that bent up piece was a spare tire carrier but I see no evidence of a missing second piece.
Do take all necessary precautions while handling/cleaning animal waste/ mice pee/poop. You don't want the hantavirus.
As much as I love old Chevy trucks, frankly there's not much left to love with that one. Major mechanical parts, body panels, hired body work, hired mechanical work, all the small stuff, etc... add up over time. The best advice I ever heard as it relates to any old car/truck, collector vehicle... is buy the best example of what you want that you can afford. Dragging one home from the fencerow is kinda romantic, but usually takes too long and cost too much.
Of course I'm just some guy with a keyboard. It's your truck. Do what you want to do - but do it safely.
What terms do you use when searching for a 235 on like a Craigslist or searchtempest or something like that. I don’t have much luck searching Craigslist. I usually use like Chevy 235 of Chevy 235 engine or something along those lines.
The current owner might not know what a 235 is, that is working against you. You might try "Chevrolet 6 cylinder" with the years you are interested in. You might have to buy an entire or partial vehicle.
1962 K10 short stepside, much modified for rally 1969 T50 fire truck, nos, needs a few things
I like ecklers classic Chevy for parts and they have books as well. The shop manual and user manual are very informative and worth having. The engine size however is difficult given you're not very good on the internet, the best way is to find the serial number stamped on the block behind the distributor and look it up on the Web. I have been told that if you have the original oil pan, a 235 will have 235 stamped on the side of the oil pan. Another great place for parts is NAPA, at least my local Napa is very informative and usually has what I need in stock. Great looking truck by the way, I have 51 4400.
New question.. it is my understanding that it is not possible to regear the stock rearend. Is that correct? So if I want to keep it a dually is there any certain axle I should be looking for that will fit the best or is it more personal preference? I have been giving every nut and bolt I can see anywhere a blast of pb blaster every week for the last few weeks as well as dosing the cylinders with atf acetone mixture. But I really don’t hold out much hope that my 235 will ever turn again. It’s very possible that the replacement engine will have a few more cylinders than the current engine. I’m hoping to be able to get it into my shop within the next few weeks to begin the diagnosis of what it still serviceable on my truck and begin to firm up my plans a little more
Before answering about regearing you need to know the present ratio. But the answer, even if yes, is still not very fast.
GM used Dana 70HD and Dana 80 axles in later model P30 and similar chassis. These axles from those applications have same bolt pattern (but larger 5.25” center bore). They are also available in useful ratios as well as even faster that you could use. Down side is they only have disc brakes, which then requires swapping to front disc brakes too, so more work and expense.
How do I identify the current gear ratio? There are no plates anywhere I guess I have to wait until I can remove the diff to see. I don’t really want to do a front axle swap too. Wow lots of things I didn’t think of !!!
You can find the gear ratio by counting turns of the driveshaft and wheels, don't need to disassemble anything. First assume it has a standard differential, no locking device. If that is the case (should be for your model) then leave one wheel on the ground, jack up the other and because of the differential action the wheel that turns will turn twice as fast than if both turn. Turn the one wheel 20 times and count turns of the driveshaft. Divide the result by 10 for your gear ratio, for example 61.7 turns of driveshaft is 6.17:1 ratio. Others may advise to only turn the wheel once, or turn both wheels together once.. the method I have described is both easier and more accurate.
Thanks Grigg I have read everything in the big bolt section of the tech tips but probably should reread some of the write ups again. I have no shortage of ideas on what I want to do with my truck. Probably doesn’t help that it’s still sitting behind the barn and not in the shop yet. Soon !!
Jack up one wheel, count driveshaft revolutions vs. axle revolutions to get axle ratio.
Don't forget to allow for the fact that only one wheel is turning. The spider gears in the differential will cause the driveshaft to turn only half as many turns as if both wheels were turning together.
Kevin First car '29 Ford Special Coupe #2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up. Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos
Well it is not your original bolt pattern. I'd guess from the small picture that it has 6 lug Budd (stud centered) wheels. Also suspect it is not a GM chassis, not that it matters. Oshoksh and perhaps some others did use that bolt pattern for step van chassis.
Without a good plan already I'd pass on that chassis. Then figure out what you're trying to do with the truck and make a reasonable plan.
Yup I didn’t even get a chance to go see it. I’m not dying to pull the trigger on something I’m more trying to get an idea of what’s available out in my area and what could work. There seems to be no lack of knowledge here on how to identify things and what could work. You guys are great!!! Dan