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1937 216 rebuild #1341801 Sun Jan 12 2020 10:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 38
J
John Dlugos Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
In the planning stage on 216 rebuild and need some advise from the experts.
I have a 37 216 that is beyond economical repair due to wear and cracks block casting # 838710, machine be shop says head has a lot of cracks.
Picked up a 39 nos short block but no head casting # 838941
Found a 42 block with good head block casting # 839770.
Here's the problem
38 has flat pistons
42 has domed pistons
Plan on using all engine components from the 37
Machine shop guy says if I put domed pistons in 38 block I can use 42 head.
Is that true? Any problems?

Next question: if I can use domed pistons should I buy standard pistons or should I bore block and use .040 pistons from 42.

Other option is to build a 235 full pressure

Truck is completely disassembled right now for frame off restoration.
Thank, Johm


John
37 Chevy 1.5 ton
17 Dodge Brothers Roadster
23 Dodge Brothers Touring
23 Dodge Brothers Coupe
73 Plymouth Scamp 2 dr
Re: 1937 216 rebuild [Re: John Dlugos] #1341814 Sun Jan 12 2020 11:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,857
5
52Carl Offline
Master Gabster
If you are not building a concourse de elegance quality build, you would be money ahead by building full pressure 235.
A '53 235 With Powerglide Engine (that is what they call the engine, you don't want the Powerglide transmission). or, a '54 235 from a truck or a car would be a direct bolt-in.
Any 235 '55 or newer will require some modifications to make it work. Nothing too difficult though.
It is hard to find anyone capable of rebuilding a 216. If you find one who can, it will be considerably more expensive to have rebuilt.
I hate saying this, because 216s in old trucks is too cool.
Carl

Re: 1937 216 rebuild [Re: John Dlugos] #1341815 Mon Jan 13 2020 12:08 AM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 4,876
P
Pre '68 Dave Offline
Shop Shark
Just a little correction,
1937-40 had dome pistons, everything after that had flat top pistons.


See the USA in your vintage Chevrolet!
My Blog
Re: 1937 216 rebuild [Re: John Dlugos] #1341847 Mon Jan 13 2020 02:47 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,144
M
Mike B Offline
Shop Shark
Just a friendly heads up, check your title before you scrap the original block as the engine serial may be on the title. If that's correct, than that's the only place its marked on the truck...

Mike B smile

Re: 1937 216 rebuild [Re: John Dlugos] #1341849 Mon Jan 13 2020 02:54 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,104
E
EdPruss Offline
Shop Shark
If so, need to see DVM to get SN assigned VIN.

Ed


'37 GMC T-18 w/ DD 4-53T, RTO-610, 6231 aux., '95 GMC running gear, full disc brakes, power steering, 22.5 wheels and tires.
'47 GMC 1 ton w/ 302, NP-540, 4wd, full width Blazer front axle.
'54 GMC 630 w/ 503 gasser, 5 speed, ex fire truck, shortened WB 4', install 8' bed.
Re: 1937 216 rebuild [Re: John Dlugos] #1341873 Mon Jan 13 2020 01:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 38
J
John Dlugos Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Your correct Dave I have it backwards. Thanks for setting me straight.
So if I tried to put flat pistons in the 39 block with a 42 head would I be asking for trouble?

Thanks for the information Carl. I have a line on 3 235 cores. One is a 56 that is a good engine block # 3837004. Sitting at engine shop half built.

The other two block #'s 3769716 & 3738307 (1960 & 62) are unknown condition cores under cover.
What modifications would be required on these engines?


Thanks for your help, John


John
37 Chevy 1.5 ton
17 Dodge Brothers Roadster
23 Dodge Brothers Touring
23 Dodge Brothers Coupe
73 Plymouth Scamp 2 dr
Re: 1937 216 rebuild [Re: John Dlugos] #1341875 Mon Jan 13 2020 02:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 29,256
tclederman Offline
Boltergeist
Have you looked in the Stovebolt Tech Tips (the link is on the menu at the top of this page)?

Engine Section

high pressure engine swap?

waterpump relocation, by Pre '68 Dave


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic - part of the family for 15 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: 1937 216 rebuild [Re: John Dlugos] #1341892 Mon Jan 13 2020 03:35 PM
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 38
J
John Dlugos Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Thanks for info. Read it.


John
37 Chevy 1.5 ton
17 Dodge Brothers Roadster
23 Dodge Brothers Touring
23 Dodge Brothers Coupe
73 Plymouth Scamp 2 dr
Re: 1937 216 rebuild [Re: John Dlugos] #1341897 Mon Jan 13 2020 03:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 4,876
P
Pre '68 Dave Offline
Shop Shark
Using flat top pistons in a 1937-40 engine is not a problem, as long as you use a 1941-53 head.
Using a 1937-40 head would give you very low compression and power.


See the USA in your vintage Chevrolet!
My Blog
Re: 1937 216 rebuild [Re: John Dlugos] #1341900 Mon Jan 13 2020 04:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,637
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
Boring the block .060" oversize and using Std. size 235 flat top pistons would probably compensate for the compression loss with the domed head. That makes the "216" a 224 cubic inch engine. It also replaces the cast iron pistons with aluminum- - - -less reciprocating weight, faster acceleration, and less stress on the Babbit rod bearings. Doing the same thing with the head for the flattop pistons will give even better performance.
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!
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