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261 Lifters #1311369 Tue May 21 2019 10:50 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 43
B
bigblack'74 Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
I was wondering if I should go with stock solid lifters or use hydraulic lifters for my 1962 261 rebuild? I have had several solid lifter 235s and they were much noisier than the hydraulic lifter motors. I assume the block/ head has provisions for use with both lifters?

This is going into the '53 handyman wagon. It's a family cruiser that hauls a small camper.

Thanks.


1953 Chevrolet Handyman Wagon 36k
1938 Buick 38k
1947 Hudson Commodore 18k
Re: 261 Lifters [Re: bigblack'74] #1311370 Tue May 21 2019 11:29 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 28,471
tclederman Offline
Boltergeist
261s never came with hydraulic cams.

Some 235s had hydraulic cams (only in car engines, and, depending on year or transmission).
Yes, they were quieter, but there was probably a little loss in power.

Mechanical lifters that are excessively noisy are a usually the result of incorrect adjustment or worn parts.



Tim
1954Advance-Design.com
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban - part of the family for 48 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic - part of the family for 14 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE - now part of Dave's family
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engine are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler.
Re: 261 Lifters [Re: bigblack'74] #1311379 Tue May 21 2019 01:09 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,019
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
The only 261's that I'm aware of that are capable of running hydraulic lifters were Pontiac engines sold in Canada. It might be possible for a very well-equipped machine shop to gun-drill a 261 truck block for a hydraulic lifter oil gallery, but given the current status of "machinists" these days, finding a shop willing to attempt that procedure is a little less likely than encountering a chicken with lips!
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: 261 Lifters [Re: bigblack'74] #1311380 Tue May 21 2019 01:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,390
S
sstock Offline
Shop Shark
Besides, there really isn't nothing wrong with the sound of mechanical lifters, it is just sweet music to most.


1953 Chevrolet 3100
261 cu inch, sm420, 3.55 rear, omaha orange, still 6 volt, RPO green glass, side carrier spare
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bli...n05i04t1aokgm4p04jiwgffwhyyih5xbk0h00410
Re: 261 Lifters [Re: bigblack'74] #1311387 Tue May 21 2019 01:50 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 485
D
Dragsix Offline
Shop Shark
X2 on the Canadian Pontiac blocks. Those blocks came with hydraulic lifters so you can use either sold or hydraulic lifter. Chevy 261 truck block, I have never seen one drilled for hydraulic lifters. That is not to say that none ever were, just that I have never seen one.

That being said, as you may know, the new manufactured hydraulic lifters have been problematic for quite a few years now. A nasty habit of collapsing within a limited number of miles. Really the only way to get the best shot out of using hydraulic lifters, at least in my opinion, is to scrounge for a GM NOS set, or a RNOS set that are at least 20-25 years or older post manufacture, preferably USA made.

On the mechanical lifter side, the current manufacture solid lifter does not struggle with quality issues so you can use new. Solids are pretty reliable, will not collapse, and do not suffer ticking from air in the oil, lifter or under the push rod seat. Yes, sounds a little bit like a sewing machine, but runs reliably and requires only a bit of maintenance in the form of a valve adjustment every once in a while.

Last edited by Dragsix; Tue May 21 2019 03:02 PM.

Mike
Re: 261 Lifters [Re: Dragsix] #1311392 Tue May 21 2019 02:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 43
B
bigblack'74 Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Very good, solid it is. I like the simplicity of solid lifters but wanted to confirm there wasn't some other avenue to take.

One last question. Any recommendations on a cam for this engine? Just mainly hauls the camper and family around. The stock cam is long gone due to a previous rebuild. Thanks.


1953 Chevrolet Handyman Wagon 36k
1938 Buick 38k
1947 Hudson Commodore 18k
Re: 261 Lifters [Re: bigblack'74] #1311393 Tue May 21 2019 02:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,019
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
Elgin E-293S

http://catalog.elginind.com/elgin/

It's an exact copy of the original 261 solid lifter cam, the one that was also used in 6-cylinder Corvette 235's. Elgin used an OEM Corvette cam as a pattern, and the only difference I've been able to find is a slight change in the clearance specification. Elgin lists it as having a "290 degree" duration, but they're also including the clearance ramps in that figure. The actual "valve open" duration is around 260-something which gives the engine a good idle and slightly better torque and horsepower than a stock 235 cam. Elgin does not sell direct, but they will provide you with a list of their vendors. I buy mine from the "Internal Engine Parts Warehouse" system, specifically, Nashville Engine Parts in Nashville Tennessee. IEP has facilities throughout the southeastern USA that deal with professional shops and parts stores, not hobbyiststs and DIY'ers.
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: 261 Lifters [Re: bigblack'74] #1311442 Tue May 21 2019 09:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 523
B
BC59 Offline
Shop Shark
Good parts store with a machine shop (i.e. NAPA) can get that cam.


BC
1960 Chevy C10 driver
1949 GMC 250 project in waiting
G.M dealer tech since 1980 & counting
Re: 261 Lifters [Re: bigblack'74] #1311443 Tue May 21 2019 09:42 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 485
D
Dragsix Offline
Shop Shark
Or if you are a recycler like me and you have a 235 cam laying around, you can send it to one of the cam grinders and have it reground to either 261 specs or something slightly more aggressive. I like Schneider Cams in San Diego Ca. They have done the last three cams for me and all were great cams.


Mike
Re: 261 Lifters [Re: bigblack'74] #1311445 Tue May 21 2019 10:14 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 28,471
tclederman Offline
Boltergeist
What would it cost to regrind a "normal" 235 cam to 261 specs?

That Elgin cam is available for a little over $100 (free shipping) on eBay (and the same price from Elgin, plus shipping).


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban - part of the family for 48 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic - part of the family for 14 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE - now part of Dave's family
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engine are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler.
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