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The question, initially posted May 23, 2005, was:
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Re: 49 250 Flat / Tilt Bed
Barcho #1410610 Thu May 20 2021 02:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,454
I have heard letters first indicate rebuilt, however not likely with such low mileage. The trans is direct, not OD, so would be less desirable than OD box. If there is a furl pump just like the one on your 228, most likely not military, can also look and see if lower front engine mount or side of block mounts. I would go for the 302. I presume your truck has 8 on 6.5” wheel bolt pattern? Rear ratios probably low and lower, so not very useful, D-70 axles with that bolt pattern can have
Higher ratios, single speed, easily exchanged, measure overall axle and spring perch widths to get correct one. Might have disc brakes which you may or may not want.

Should work well with direct 5 speed.


'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.
Re: 49 250 Flat / Tilt Bed
Barcho #1410677 Thu May 20 2021 08:37 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,185
If you use a 302 I expect even the available 4.10 gears for the Eaton axle will feel like they're holding you back.
Ed mentioned a Dana 70 could work for an axle swap if the right width. I have found the 14 bolt GM axle to be a nicer swap in the AD 1 ton as one version of it is pretty much the perfect width, see sticky thread in this section. 14 bolt also has some quite fast axle ratio choices if needed for some reason. Gears I believe are easier to swap and setup in the 14 bolt (more actual adjustments, fewer shims) than a Dana.

Seems your other questions may have been covered already, but if looking for more input...
In my opinion a 6 cylinder would preserve more of the value and uniqueness of the truck... (why is closer to the original appearance now "unique"?) Would not rebuild a 228 but a 270 or 302 instead.
The 18" wheels and tires are probably fine if in good shape and those wheels are distinctive 1 ton. Otherwise 19.5" wheels exist and are probably a better option if used frequently and or in the long run, best with 8R19.5 tire for the original tall skinny look. There was some discussion and perhaps an example of someone adapting 19.5" rims from a dodge 4500 or similar to the old wheel centers. I think those rims might be a little wide, and would use 6" wide 19.5" rims if possible, and with the original centers with 8 hand holes I think would be the the ideal combo for original looks and modern reliability/function.

No need to switch to single wheels unless you just want to. In which case you need front hubs from a 3/4 or 1 ton single wheel truck. Rear axle is the same except the dually application has longer studs. In my opinion the ideal single wheel is also 19.5" but becoming harder to find than the dual 19.5 wheel.

1951 GMC 250 in the Project Journals []
1948 Chevrolet 6400 [] - Detroit Diesel 4-53T - Roadranger 10 speed overdrive - 4 wheel disc brakes
1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup []
---All pictures []---
"First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-
Re: 49 250 Flat / Tilt Bed
Barcho #1410722 Fri May 21 2021 04:01 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 1,080
I can’t help you with the value of the transmission ... but the value of a running 302 is all over the board depending on the seller. I have picked up short block 302’s for 300.00, rebuilt military surplus and crated 302’s for 600.00 and paid about 900.00 for a rougher 302. Yet, some vendors will list them from 1200-1500.00-2200.00 give or take.

The rebuilt military 270’s and 302’s I have seen typically come with metal tags on them that specify bearing and piston sizes, rebuild date, and serial number. These are usually fastened to the engine block.

Lots of opinions here about dual exhaust, intakes, multiple carbs etc... but if it was me - I tend to stay with stock manifolds and carbs on these, just as they were designed for...unless you want to take the 1 ton to Bonneville salt flats and modify it for that use but I like old school hot rods and wish I could install a modified 302 into a model A roadster. 270 and 302’s are fine engines.

Last edited by tom moore; Fri May 21 2021 06:40 AM.
Re: 49 250 Flat / Tilt Bed
Barcho #1417736 Thu Jul 22 2021 01:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 66
Hey Barcho - Nice truck! I have a '49 just like it, and I've asked and answered the same questions for my truck with the help of folks here, so here's my $0.02.

I ran 6 volt pos for a while, and eventually switched to 12v neg with a 12v generator. Nothing wrong with the 6v, but I wanted 12v for easier access to electrical parts (plus the starter runs faster smile ) I recently switch over to an Alternator, mainly because they are cheaper and easier to come by.

I also just had my 228 rebuilt. I did all the work except for the machine shop items. In CT, it was about $3400 for boring .040 over, new pistons and rings, bearings, cam bearings, repair a chipped lobe on the cam, new oil pump, new valves (no head machining, did that a while ago), resurface the fly wheel and install a new starter gear ring. I debated on going the 270 or 302 route, but I knew my 228 was pretty good. Unless the block was cracked, I wanted to keep it. I have split "Fenton" headers with dual exhaust (the split header sound really cool on these trucks). I can rip along the highway around 55mph with a big load of hay (about 2500 lbs) no problem. I still have to stock rear end with 5.14 gearing and the 4 speed.
I wanted to keep the original engine. I've never done an engine swap. I know they make all kinds of swap kits to make it easy, but I assume you can still run into clearance and fitment issues

I drove on the original wheels and tires for some time, but the rims were showing some pretty good rust out in some places. Still fairly solid, but if I was going to be hauling heavy farm stuff, I wanted safer rims and tires. I opted for modern 19.5" rims and tires. I found some used truck tires from a tire shop that were in great shape. They don't quite look original, but I do think they look nice, and they ride so much better. I did have to get 1.5" wheel spacers for the back wheels due to my 14" drums. Those larger drums seem to be less common, not sure how my truck got them. You'd think bigger wheels would have no clearance problems but the contour of the rims didn't allow clearance for the bigger drums. I found some heavy duty steel spacers and that did the trick.

I would say do whatever you think would work best for you. My direction was to keep it as original as possible, but also make it safer and more reliable by adding some modern enhancements. It's not a show truck (though it is popular at my local cruise night) its primary job is that of a 1 Ton truck. We've come to rely on it for lots of tasks, so taking it off the road for restoration work can be a pain sometimes!

Good luck with your truck - I'm sure it will be even more awesome when you're done!

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