I've known about this truck for the past few years, but I could only see the back of the cab. Didn't know what year it was, what model, or if was either a Chevy or GMC. I would occasionally drive by the property it sat on on my way home from work, slowing down in hopes I'd see someone there. Well finally earlier in March of this year I saw a guy on the place and stopped to chat with him. He was planning to sell the property and wanted it all cleaned up, so I asked him about the truck and he said that it had sat there since the '80s and will sell it to me....for $200! Well needless to say I bought it from him, and later that week me and my dad went to cut down the growth around it and remove the tree limb off the hood to get a better look at the poor ol truck. We peeled the hood up to reveal a 261 missing its valve cover cap and air cleaner, thankfully the choke was closed. Tried to see if the 261 was free by moving the fan, but the fan just slipped on the dry-rotted belt.
Well fast forward a week and a half, got a friend with a rollback to haul the truck a few miles down the road to the my house, unloaded it and drug it around to the back of the shed to clean out the cab and start tinkering on it! I removed the spark plugs, seized carb, and valve cover to get a better look, other than some acorns and stuff, the rockers were really clean! Shot some PB Blaster down the cylinders and was able to rotate the crank with a strap wrench! I think we got us a possible runner If the engine is in good running order, it may just find its way into my '58 3800!
Though there is one thing I noticed on this 261 engine, it has been rebuild. The head is from '55 (date code B-11-5) but the block is from '59 (D-29-9). Block casting # is 3759365, the prefix is difficult to make out but I can see an "L" on the end (6000 series truck engine). And also see a tag (most likely from the rebuilder) thats been riveted into the front of the block, but its halfway covered by the water pump.
As for the truck itself, I originally bought it just to save it from getting scraped and would use it as a parts truck. But after thinking about it, the truck might end up becoming another project. Repair the fixable rust, different engine, swap axles/wheels, and building a flatbed might be in store for the ol 6500!
I think it would be neat to put the box back on it! You never see old box van trucks anymore...
It would be neat to have the box back on, though the box might be too far gone considering it was on the ground last time I saw it. I'll drive by the property within the next few days to even see if its still there, might have already been hauled off.
Originally Posted by 69Cuda
that is a sweet find, and a steal at 200$! If you swap axles, there may be someone that wants parts off the old ones.
I'll definitely hang on to them, looks like everything for the 2-speed axle is all there as well.
Aren't there some motorhomes that run the 10-7.25 bolt pattern? Could pull the rear end out of one. Or I could just go with a 14 bolt swap.
I just replaced the stock two speed with a disc brake D-80 in mine, bolted right up. Axle tube on D is .25” smaller, made curved spacers, new U bolts, removed a few leaves, adjusted pinion shim. Used D axle shock mounts. The axle is the less desirable one to some, about 7’ wide outside of duals. Easy job. Installed one of my of my spare 5500 Brownies to give more gears.
'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. '55 GMC 370 w/270, 420 4 speed, grain, dump bed truck from ND. Works OK.
Ok so we finally decided to bear the Texas heat and start messing with this truck again. I pulled off the starter to disassemble it and freshen it up, which I'm glad I did! Found out the bearing in the starter was seized, so I ended up taking apart another starter I had to steal the bearing from it. Cleaned up the internals and greased up the bendix, reassemble, test it on a hot battery, then reinstalled! Next was to make new battery cables. The old positive cable was completely bare and the old negative cable was just too short. We put a good battery in the truck, squirted some oil down the cylinders and hit the stomp starter, and the engine spun over the first time in who knows how long! We spun it off and on for a couple minutes to see if it would build oil pressure....but nada. We took the pressure gauge line off the block (which ended up breaking on us) and spun the engine over a couple more times hoping oil would leak from the hole, still nothing. There's plenty of oil in the engine, is it possible it just has lost its prime after sitting for so long? We plan to pull the distributor and spin the pump with a drill.
Also while browsing the web and forums on the 261(since this is the first time I've ever messing with one) I've found out about the infamous dowel pin and the oiling line/filter situations. The pin on this engine is flush with the block, though it looks like someone had tried to drill it out. Meanwhile I noticed that both 1/2" oil holes are plugged and have no line running between them. I have no clue how many miles were put on the engine after its rebuild. I assume I should install a line before proceeding any farther?