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216 Babbit
#1364729 Sat Jun 13 2020 05:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 65
4
Wrench Fetcher
After hours of using a garden trowel, whisk brush, paint brush, screwdriver, and shop vac to remove several inches of debris in the tray under the motor (it probably has a proper name, but I'm a newbie) I uncovered the engine stamp.

GM
839910
10
42

My title says it's a 1946 so I assume, since it was built post WWII, that it's a 1946 build with a 1942 engine? That's my first question.

My second question is: I'm going to make it my daily driver. I travel [via highway or back roads] about 12 miles to work 5-7 days a week. Other than that, and a weekly grocery trip I'll just be going to occasional car shows - no interstate or OTR driving. What motor do you recommend? Hubby was talking about a 235, but we're checking out our options (practicality, cost...). While hubby was active duty his dad traded parts for the motor that's currently in hubby's '68 Camaro... Researching an engine is new to both of us, and I want to make an educated decision. Any input is greatly appreciated!

* I've attached a few pictures of the motor, what I cleaned out of the passenger side (oddly enough there was zero debri on the driver's side of the motor!), and a couple of parts that we believe to still be original. I find them fascinating, since he's 74yrs old, so I thought I'd share. 😊

Attached Files
20200611_220145.jpg (774.05 KB, 301 downloads)
20200611_213809.jpg (336.55 KB, 306 downloads)
20200611_211844.jpg (404.66 KB, 306 downloads)
20200611_204235.jpg (167.02 KB, 300 downloads)

You can't buy happiness but you can buy a truck...and that's pretty much the same thing.
Never marry the one you can live with, marry the one that you can't live without.


____________________________________________________________________________
Maria
'46 Chevy pickup
Re: 216 Babbit
46 Chevy Mom #1364816 Sat Jun 13 2020 11:16 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 5,678
3
3B Online
Master Gabster
Hy 46 Chevy Mom, those engine side pans are actually kind of rare, most of them were removed for some reason and never re-installed. Are you thinking of replacing the current engine because it has a problem? A tuneup including a compression test, oil and filter change and a good listen while its running will tell you a lot. If the engine does turn out to be a bad one, then you have a few choices. All the different Chevy sixes manufactured up to 1962 can be swapped into place where your 216 is, with varying slight challenges. Give us some more information and we can make more specific recommendations.

Re: 216 Babbit
46 Chevy Mom #1364847 Sun Jun 14 2020 07:42 AM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 1,110
D
Shop Shark
The 839910 casting # on the block is a Canadian number for 1942 - 47 216 .

If the engine starts and runs , give it an oil change , adjust the valves and drive it daily . smile

Re: 216 Babbit
46 Chevy Mom #1364850 Sun Jun 14 2020 12:01 PM
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 4,556
J
Unrepentant VW Lover
My Reference corroborates Dusty's -- that it is a 216, 1942 to 1951 (in US trucks, anyway)

Before attempting to run it (unless it's already running), you might want to check out our Tech Tip for starting a dormant engine.

Other folks on this site have used babbited engines (low oil pressure engines like yours) for daily driving under the conditions you are anticipating for yours, but they do require a little more care and attention than some of the more modern engines do (like regular valve adjustments and oil changes ... and a few other things I can't think of at the moment). Daily use is doable with a 216, but not merely drive, park, repeat.

The best advice we can give you is that if your original engine will run, then get it running well. Get the truck driveable as is. Enjoy it for a season or two before ripping into any major projects. You might find you like it as is ...

BUT ... If you want to upgrade the engine to something that will provide more margin for daily driving (while retaining most of the truck's original "essence"), the good news is as 3B says -- you have plenty of options with a fairly good array of GM six cylinder engines over the years, ranging from the venerable 235 all the way up to the GMC 302. And as he says, some of these engines will require more modification than others.

I think the options fall into three broad categories for the average restorer:

Easy (No mods required) -- Engines in this category include swapping out for another (but better) 216 and the early 261. There might be others...
Not bad (some minor mods required, but still very doable) -- The mighty 235, later 261's (these two blocks are the most popular we've seen for re-engining)
Challenging (significant mods required) -- Later sixes like 250's, 290's, GMC 302 (or any GMC six, for that matter. They're different, rare and harder to find parts for, compared to the Chevy sixes)
Advanced/Graduate Level -- Diesels, V-8's. Sure, you can toss a v-8 in there ... and make all the modifications for it. Many people do. But you can't swing a dead cat at a cruisein without hitting 5 or 6 trucks with v-8's in them. But pull up in a '46 with a two-cycle oil-slingin' Screamin' Jimmy, a Cummins Battle Rattler, an Isuzu Rice Rocket or air-cooled Deutz and you will be a show stopper with your very unique truck. But there's a very good reason for that ...

But to start, here's a couple more Tech Tips:

Swapping out a 216 for a 235
Rebuilding a 261 -- Although it's an article about engine rebuilding, we do discuss how easy it is to replace a 216 with an early 261.
Swapping out a 216 for a GMC 302

A couple of things to keep in mind when pondering (Note, while most of this applies directly to the Advance Design Trucks, it applies to the '46/Art Deco Trucks, too)...

1. Most of the sixes that came after the 216 will need to have their water pumps raised to the higher position of the 216's. This is because of the body redesign that came with the Task Forces trucks ('55 2nd series to '59) that lowered the profile of the truck. They also need the "short shaft" water pump, because of the tight fit between the radiator and the engine. This is why you see a lot of Advance Design trucks with the upper radiator stand bracket cut -- to accommodate moving the radiator to the front of the bracket to provide clearance for the unmodified water pump ... You can just use the new motor as is without messing with the pump location, but this usually leads to overheating issues as the fan is only working on the lower half of the radiator. ... or you can use an electric fan .... which then requires converting the truck to 12 volts as noone I'm aware of sells a 6-volt radiator fan .... One must be careful when chasing rabbits down their holes like this as you can get lost down there frown ...
2. The later 235's had side engine mounts in the front. The earlier trucks like yours just had one under the timing cover. This is not that hard to address if you want to use one of those engines, but it is something to keep in mind as a data point for the over all project. I am not sure what the year cut off is for the engine mount dealio ...
3. *Some* sixes will interchange directly with the 216 with negligible modification. The 1954 261, for instance (and later 261's that were molded in the 1954 mold as replacements for the 1954 motors). Others, like the GMC 302, will require more modifications. But if you have the gumption, the 302 is a very sweet upgrade and will get LOTS of attention (and sheer coolness points) at the cruise-ins and car shows.


John


John
"There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes..."


'49 Chevrolet 3804

Re: 216 Babbit
46 Chevy Mom #1365090 Tue Jun 16 2020 10:39 AM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 65
4
Wrench Fetcher
@ 3B - I had no idea they were rare, that's pretty awesome! The current engine doesn't run. Hubby and I are mulling over our options. I'm hoping to pull the motor next weekend so we can see what we're working with. I'll definitely be back for more info - thank you!

@ Dusty - I Googled the # and found a restoration book with 4.5 out of 5 stars. If we go the rebuild route it's definitely on my purchase list. Thank you!

@ John - Thank you for the wealth of information!! I'm printing the articles you recommended right now. I have a folder that I'm keeping everything in so I can be as efficient as possible. I'd like to get him running sooner rather than later. 😁 I appreciate all of the advice, and resources!

We uncovered a few more markings when I power washed him again on Sunday. I think it's really neat that they're still intact, but you guys are probably used to seeing them. LoL Thank you all again for the advice and resources!

Maria

Attached Files
20200614_155413.jpg (379.02 KB, 167 downloads)
received_1139449553095672.jpeg (262.67 KB, 173 downloads)
received_268559014349848.jpeg (233.4 KB, 171 downloads)

You can't buy happiness but you can buy a truck...and that's pretty much the same thing.
Never marry the one you can live with, marry the one that you can't live without.


____________________________________________________________________________
Maria
'46 Chevy pickup
Re: 216 Babbit
46 Chevy Mom #1365099 Tue Jun 16 2020 11:48 AM
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 4,556
J
Unrepentant VW Lover
Maria, If you are wanting a restoration book, probably no better one exists than Tom Brownell's How To Restore Your Chevrolet Pickup Truck" [amazon.com] It's the book that got most of us started. In a way, it's responsible for this web site ... but that's a long story for another time ...

Also, look through our Tech Tip Library here on Stovebolt.com. We have a lot of material you will find helpful and who knows, possibly even interesting ... smile Look for "Tech Tips" in the menu bar at the top of every page and click on it. It will take you right there. The Stovebolt Library is always open, No masks or social distancing required smile


John
"There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes..."


'49 Chevrolet 3804

Re: 216 Babbit
John Milliman #1365101 Tue Jun 16 2020 12:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 65
4
Wrench Fetcher
@ John - I just purchased that book about 30min ago (on the recommendation of this group). =) I've also printed a couple of the pieces recommended earlier, and put them in my "things to devour" folder. LoL I appreciate the help!!


You can't buy happiness but you can buy a truck...and that's pretty much the same thing.
Never marry the one you can live with, marry the one that you can't live without.


____________________________________________________________________________
Maria
'46 Chevy pickup
Re: 216 Babbit
46 Chevy Mom #1365172 Tue Jun 16 2020 09:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 65
4
Wrench Fetcher
The engine will not turnover. We might need a hand crank to get it to turnover. Is there a place on the East Coast or Midwest that specializes on these early engines?


You can't buy happiness but you can buy a truck...and that's pretty much the same thing.
Never marry the one you can live with, marry the one that you can't live without.


____________________________________________________________________________
Maria
'46 Chevy pickup
Re: 216 Babbit
46 Chevy Mom #1365187 Tue Jun 16 2020 11:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 8,761
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
Have you read the Tech Tip on Bringing a dead engine back to life? Read it through several times. There is a section on what to do if the engine won’t turn over.πŸ› 


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
β€˜65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2)
β€˜39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe
USAF 1965-69 Weather Observation Tech (got paid to look at the clouds)


"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"! Hug a cop!

Re: 216 Babbit
46 Chevy Mom #1365204 Wed Jun 17 2020 02:15 AM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 65
4
Wrench Fetcher
@ Horsen - Yes, thank you. We have both scoured over it, and that's when hubby decided that we'd try to find a professional. We've got it almost halfway disassembled, and we've got quite a bit of work ahead without pretending we can rebuild an engine. LoL


You can't buy happiness but you can buy a truck...and that's pretty much the same thing.
Never marry the one you can live with, marry the one that you can't live without.


____________________________________________________________________________
Maria
'46 Chevy pickup
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